Vol 1, #40, Dec. 15, 2009
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December 15 , 2009


Get guaranteed profitable ad campaigns
Innovative web-based marketing service launched
SickKids gets healthy dose of social networking
Canada's first virtual prepaid VISA product now available
A new place for theatre people to click
GlobalTV.com reigns supreme in 2009
Canada's favourite past time hits the web
Web service manages social network accounts after death
3 in 10 will shop online at work, study shows

Get guaranteed profitable ad campaigns

BIGLocal, a Canadian based, Google certified search engine advertising agency, has announced the first ever opportunity to invest in advertising, with a money back guarantee if you don’t profit in the first month.

The offer to inquire is open to any business, however only businesses falling under certain criteria will qualify for this guarantee.  The full list of pre-qualified business categories (there are currently 153 categories pre-qualified) can be found at BIGLocal’s website; biglocal.ca/qualified.html.

 “We actually offer every one of our clients four guarantees,” says Steve Hampton, Search Marketing Specialist at BIGLocal.  “First, we guarantee you will generate new sales/leads.  Then we guarantee that you will gain these sales/leads at a profit.  Thirdly, we guarantee this will be your best form of lead/sale generation and the best way you find and hire superstar employees.  And finally we guarantee to place your business on the front page of Google and every other major search engine for every potential search term someone would use to find your product or service.”

Search Marketing is a form of advertising in where the advertiser places text ads on the search engine results page when prospects are looking for a specific product or service.  There are a reported 2,000,000 advertisers on the Google ad network alone, and the revenues from this impressive advertising model have been the sole source of income for tech Giant Google since 2000.  

Companies wishing to advertise on the search engines can do so through the help of a Google Advertising Professionals (GAP) certified agency, such as BIGLocal.  

“We handle everything” says Hampton. “Because we have such a high level of control over the campaign, we feel we should be taking accountability for the results – hence, we did what no other company is willing to do, which is guarantee results with a full money back guarantee.” Top of Page

Innovative web-based marketing service launched

Leader Aviation, providers of a new Web-based destination for comprehensive marketing and sales of business aircraft, today officially launched its online services at www.leaderaviation.com.

Providing the global pre-owned aircraft market with quantifiable online marketing solutions, including a portal for aircraft sales, targeted connection to international buyers and multi-channel exposure, Leader Aviation is addressing a business opportunity based on market demand for increased efficiency through accelerated and simplified sales cycles.

"Leader Aviation is providing a better way to market aircraft," says David Rose, President, Leader Aviation. "With more than 25 years of executive sales and marketing experience in the retail sector, I saw a tremendous opportunity in aviation. Over the past year, we met with leading buyers and sellers in this industry. Their message has been clear and consistent: A more efficient online channel for marketing pre-owned aircraft would accelerate the sales process.”

Leader Aviation's services represent a tangible improvement over today's best practices in online aircraft sales. With services starting at just $60 per month, Leader Aviation's clients benefit from:

  • Aircraft listings updated in real time
  • A superior, proprietary list of international buyers and sellers
  • Instant distribution segmented according to client preferences
  • The ability to launch and manage online sales initiatives in minutes
  • Concise reporting on results of lead-generation and the ability to respond rapidly
  • Exclusive ownership of a search-engine-optimized URL, per aircraft

"Research shows that 92 per cent of aviation professionals use the Internet to search for an aircraft. However, listing an aircraft online is not the solution - it's just the first step. The real challenge is ensuring that an aircraft is seen by the right audience. This is where Leader Aviation differentiates itself: our dynamic Web optimization techniques drive traffic with effective, tailor-made online marketing and e-mail campaigns to ensure that every listing is seen and read by the optimal person. We have already witnessed tremendous interest in our services and our objective is be in the top three online aircraft marketing services within the next 12 months," says Rose. Top of Page

SickKids gets healthy dose of social networking

Some kids in hospital can't go home for the holidays, but they now have a new way to stay connected to family and friends.

Today, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), TELUS and Kids' Health Links Foundation (KHLF) announce the launch of Upopolis, an online social network designed especially for young patients in hospital. Upopolis aims to make hospital walls virtually invisible between family and friends through the power of social networking. SickKids is the largest centre in Canada to offer this site to its patients.

Created by KHLF and powered by TELUS, Upopolis provides the best features of social networking for young patients, who often feel disconnected when they are in the hospital. It offers personal profiles, personal blogs, instant chat and child-friendly games. The site is a password-protected social network that uses a content-filtering tool and pre-consented contacts to create a secure environment for patients to communicate.

Upopolis also provides unique features to kids in hospital, like a homework site that helps them stay up-to-date with their schoolwork, links to child-friendly health and wellness information, and connections to other children with similar health challenges. The SickKids Child Life Department, which works with patients to help them cope with social and emotional issues associated with being in hospital, uses Upopolis as a therapeutic tool to help patients combat isolation and express their feelings.

"Caring for children is at the heart of everything we do. We are always looking for ways to provide better care and improve the patient experience," says Mary Jo Haddad, SickKids President and CEO. "We are excited by what Upopolis can do to enrich the lives of our patients and support SickKids' approach to family centred-care."

Through a unique partnership with KHLF, TELUS provided the technology to develop and build Upopolis. TELUS continues to provide site expansion, ongoing access to Upopolis, managed web hosting, application support and maintenance services. The TELUS Toronto Community Board also donated $40,000 to help launch Upopolis at SickKids.

"It's an honour to bring Upopolis to SickKids, a world-renowned centre for excellence in paediatric care," said Joe Natale, TELUS President, Consumer Solutions. "Kids are inseparable from technology. They rely on their social networks more than any previous generation. We're excited to champion a partnership that uses the power of technology to bring the virtual world to sick kids at the bedside, keeping them connected to their friends and family when they could feel isolated. It's important all year, and maybe that much more so during the holiday season. At TELUS, we believe that the private sector has a role to play in helping healthcare providers improve the patient experience. We look forward to more days like this when the private and public sectors come together to make a stay in the hospital a little easier for the young patients who matter most."

The online support network was inspired by the hospital experiences of two teenage friends, Christina Papaevangelou and Katy McDonald. In February 2002, Christina was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at McMaster Children's Hospital with a life-threatening illness. Shortly thereafter, Katy was diagnosed with cancer and was at SickKids for an extended period of time. During her hospitalization, Katy often felt disconnected from friends, family and her school. Sadly, Katy lost her battle with cancer. However, their friendship and common experiences inspired Christina to explore ways to help kids in care stay connected.

"It is my dream to expand Upopolis to every children's hospital across the country. We are excited to launch today at SickKids bringing us one step closer to that goal," said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids' Health Links Foundation. "We were inspired to create Upopolis by the common hospital experiences shared at SickKids and McMaster Children's Hospital. Connecting the kids in care at these two hospitals and others brings to life the vision of the Kids' Health Links Foundation."

KHLF and TELUS launched the first Upopolis program in 2007 at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton and since then it is expanding to other hospitals and healthcare organizations across Canada, including B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver, IWK Health Centre in Halifax, CHEO in Ottawa and Lutherwood in Waterloo. By adapting the TELUS technology, the Upopolis team has developed the system to meet the specific needs of each hospital, whether adding French language capabilities or information specific to mental health. Top of Page

Canada's first virtual prepaid VISA product launched

VendTek Systems Inc., Peoples Card Services, an affiliate of Peoples Trust Company, and Visa Canada have announced the launch of Canada's first prepaid virtual Visa program.

The launch of the product follows an agreement between VendTek, Peoples and 3V Transaction Services Ltd ("3V"), Ireland's leading online payments company, to launch the 3V Virtual Visa flagship product in Canada.

The 3V Voucher is an easy to use online payment method, allowing customers to shop online or by phone using a prepaid disposable 16-digit Visa number. These virtual Visa numbers can be used online just like a standard credit card.

The 3V voucher program will be introduced to the Canadian market in December. Customers will be able to buy 3V vouchers from participating Now Prepay serviced retail outlets in the same way they currently purchase credit for their prepaid mobile phones.

Voucher denominations will initially range from $20 to $500. The minimum $20 denomination will come without a purchase fee thereby enticing customers to try this safe new way to shop online. The program will permit customers to move funds between their 3V virtual Visas or deposit funds back to their bank accounts.

The 3V Voucher is designed to enable people to go online and shop instantly without any un-necessary delays.

"We believe this will be a very popular product for the Canadian market and we are extremely pleased that 3V has chosen VendTek as their distribution partner. We have approximately 15,000 terminals on our Canadian network and we will provide them with a wide customer base to launch the Virtual Visa voucher program," says Doug Buchanan, President and CEO of VendTek.

"We are pleased and excited to be a part of this innovative product offering and are confident it will be of significant benefit to Canadian consumers," stated Frank Renou, President and CEO of Peoples Trust Company.

"We're delighted to partner with VendTek Systems and Peoples Trust Company on the virtual Visa voucher program by 3V, which will provide Canadians with an innovative and convenient payment solution," said Brian Triplett, Head of Global Prepaid Products, Visa Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Peoples will act as the Visa issuer and VendTek will be responsible for marketing and distribution of the 3V product. VendTek, Peoples and 3V expect to spend up to $300,000 in marketing the costs in the first year. Top of Page

A new place for theatre people to click

Music Theatre International (MTI), the world’s premier theatrical licensor, will play a leading role on the digital stage with the launch of its free online community, MTI ShowSpace (www.mtishowspace.com), says Jason Cocovinis, MTI’s Director of Marketing.  

Dedicated to people who love and live musical theatre, MTI ShowSpace offers thespians and fans a space to connect with anyone and everyone involved in the theatrical process, and serves as a continuously expanding free knowledge database so that members can make their next show their best show.  Unlike other social networking outlets, MTI has built an online community that is specific to the practice of putting on a show. 

Exclusive interviews with Tony Award-winning composers Stephen Sondheim (WEST SIDE STORY, COMPANY, INTO THE WOODS, SWEENEY TODD), and Jason Robert Brown (THE LAST FIVE YEARS, PARADE, 13), have been posted in celebration of the site’s official launch, and MTI will continue to grow its online library of talks with authors and other leaders in theatre.

“Musicals are a collaborative experience and MTI’s role has always been to connect with and encourage people who are actively creating theatre.  MTI ShowSpace lets us expand the conversation, giving people another way to communicate with the artists of today and tomorrow, opening up the dialogue to the creative community at large,” says Cocovinis.  “We realize the MTI ShowSpace audience often uses many different social networks, which is why we designed our site to complement and integrate other media sites.”

Throughout the Canada and the U.S., 45,000 amateur and professional theatrical organizations involve more than four million households.   MTI ShowSpace offers each of these organizations — and their over twenty-five million audience members — an organic, multi-leveled way to network. 

At a time when the arts are feeling the sting of the economy, the site is specifically designed to help theatre practitioners save time, money and valuable resources with unique relationship-building features.  MTI ShowSpace provides a centralized location for community theatres, schools and professional organizations to share, locate or advertise hard-to-build sets, costumes or props.  Regardless of their ability, level of involvement in theatre, or geographical location, actors, dancers, composers, authors, producers, educators, students, crewmembers, musicians, administrators, and fans can share their ideas, advice and inspiration in the form of blogs, forums, photos, videos and other dynamic interactive features.  

Interactive forums allow educators of all levels to share and receive curriculum enhancement strategies as well as set-building and costume-creation techniques. This peer-to-peer network is further enhanced by a dedicated team of MTI experts who provide immediate assistance to any director who has questions about “putting on a show” in his or her community.   The site also provides a stage for the next generation of artists to showcase their talents with photo and video sharing features, while also enabling users to brainstorm about holding auditions, raising funds, securing a venue and producing a great show.  The MTI Vault provides an archive of original production photos and other rare media treasures from the past fifty years for reference.  Top of Page

GlobalTV.com reigns supreme in 2009

GlobalTV.com , Canada's Fastest Growing Broadcast Website, can add an additional title to its already impressive resume; Canada's No. 1 Broadcast Website For Video. As 2009 comes to a close, the latest comScore report indicates that the site has hit its highest marks to date in key online video metrics. Among the latest milestones achieved by Globaltv.com:

  • No. 1 in Video Plays at 15.4 Million - Up 10 times year over year and 4.5 million more than 2nd place CTV
  • No. 1 in Minutes Per Viewer at 105 minutes - Five times more than CTV
  • No. 1 in Videos Per Viewer at 34 per viewer - More than double than that of CTV

GlobalTV.com proved to be the No. 1 destination for premium primetime content this year. In fact, the site streams the most primetime content in Canada with 18 hours per week which is almost triple that of the closest competitor. Fans think of GlobalTV.com first every time when looking for great television online and flock to the site to catch up on their favourite episodes of hit shows including Canada's No. 1 New Comedy Glee(xx), Canada's No. 1 Television Show House(xx) and hit Global programs Family Guy, Survivor and The Office, to name only a few. This was further confirmed in an independent study conducted by Solutions Research Group (SRG) that revealed more Canadians identified GlobalTV.com as the top destination for full episode video compared to any other broadcast website.

"When we launched the brand new GlobalTV.com last year, we made a promise to viewers that we would deliver them the No. 1 site in the country and we have delivered on that promise," said Graham Moysey, Senior Vice President, Canwest Digital Media. "This level of success is testament to fantastic content, added value like no other broadcast site and a loyal fan base who return for the best online viewing experience each and every day. We are very proud of all these achievements and 2010 is only going to get better." Top of Page

Canada's favourite past time hits the web

So you think you can predict who will be tending the goals tonight and which team will win the game tomorrow night? Then welcome to www.CrystalBallSports.com, an online prediction game that allows players to buy and sell "prediction stocks" representing events and game results related to the current professional hockey season.

Based on the mechanics of predictive markets, and similar to stock markets, but adapted to sports, www.CrystalBallSports.com offers players who register a free $100 000 virtual dollars portfolio to trade predictive stocks. The price of each stock is the equivalent their probability of coming true. As an example, if Toronto stands a 60 per cent chance of beating Montreal in their next game, then the related stock will be priced at $60. If Toronto wins, then the stock's value rises to $100 and players make a (virtual) profit ! But if Toronto looses, the stock's value drops to $0. And the players who bought that stock will loose their investment (virtually, of course).

The goal for the game is for each registered player to increase the value of his or her portfolio, by investing in a maximum of accurate predictive stocks. Each week, the player with the highest portfolio growth will win a prize.

The game, accessible via the web site www.CrystalBallSports.com, has already been operational in its beta version since the beginning of the 2009-2010 hockey season. The game will be up for the entire season, including the playoffs. Further, a special version will be adapted and launched in time for the 2010 Olympics, and will put in play the participating countries' teams.

The game was created by two internet professionals who share a passion for hockey. Louis Tremblay Malafarina, who made his name running interactive marketing campaigns in the US market before coming back to Montreal, and Daniel Lepage, an information technology and web applications specialist whose career spanned Europe and Canada. Top of Page

Web service manages social network accounts after death

Until now, there have been few ways to control our virtual afterlives, but a Swedish Internet site is launching a new service that offers to manage e-mail and social networking accounts after death.

My Webwill is set to test launch in Sweden and the United States this month and go live in Britain and Germany in the beginning next year. An upgraded version is expected in May, expanding to more countries, including Canada.

Users can set up a digital will with directions on what should happen to their e-mail and social network accounts after they die. Currently, a Facebook profile, for example, can remain active long after their creators have passed away. In some cases they become posting boards for condolence messages or even gossip – against the family's wishes.

“Practically everyone knows someone that has died and whose blog just stays up there, or whose Facebook profile keeps on sending friendship suggestions,” said Lisa Granberg, 29, a co-founder of My Webwill. “Those surviving that person, have a very difficult time (doing) something about it.”

A handful of services, such as Legacy Locker Inc., Deathswitch and Slightly Morbid, tend to the virtual afterlife by sending posthumous e-mails to friends and family. But Granberg and co-founder and childhood friend Elin Tybring, 27, say My Webwill is unique in actually entering accounts and “managing” them according to a person's last wishes. Top of Page

3 in 10 will shop online at work, study shows

Maybe it's the economy or maybe it's a fear about doing anything to compromise their jobs, but only three in 10 Canadian workers plan to do their holiday shopping online while at work this year, a survey shows.

But among those that will, they plan to spend an average of 3.1 hours a week browsing for bargains at the office, according to the survey of 367 Canadians by staffing company Accountemps. Top of Page