Vol 1, #41, Dec. 22, 2009
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December 22 , 2009


"Send Money" app now available from PayPal
Lifenews.ca reaches 2M page views in December
rabble.ca opens free video conference
MobilizeMe launches mobile.dalsa.com
Savings inspired start-up from Gaucho
Sick Kids Hospital sharing success stories online
Kraft has a recipe for joy this holiday season
Canadian investors can now search using CSA's web-based tool
Shake & Spell adds social dimension to gaming

"Send Money" app now available from PayPal

PayPal announced last week that its mobile "Send Money" application is now available for BlackBerry smartphones.

The PayPal application is free to download from BlackBerry App World and makes it easy for BlackBerry smartphone owners to send money quickly to friends and family around the world from their PayPal accounts.

"Any BlackBerry smartphone user who has bought an application on their phone is already familiar with PayPal, as we provide the payment system for BlackBerry App World," said Eric Duprat, general manager of PayPal Mobile. "We're thrilled that BlackBerry smartphone users now have an easy way to send money to almost anyone with a phone number or email address anywhere in the world, directly from their phones."

PayPal is a leader in safer online payments with more than 78 million active accounts in 190 markets around the world. This global reach, paired with the international popularity of BlackBerry smartphones, will enable a safer and easy way to send mobile payments. Users can send money to anyone in their contact list, eliminating the need to remember email addresses and phone numbers. Users can also check their recent history and account balance directly from their BlackBerry smartphone.

The PayPal application is free to download and use, and is available on BlackBerry App World in Canada, USA, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Portugal and Australia. Top of Page

Lifenews.ca reaches 2M page views in December

www.Lifenews.ca, a life stages announcement site launched in May 2009, marked 2,000,000 page views with 150,000 unique visitors in December.

Lifenews.ca is affiliated with twelve Ontario newspapers that populate the site with Ontario obituaries, baby births, marriage announcements and other celebrations from local communities. Visitors can access Lifenews.ca directly or from the partner newspaper sites. They can search by name, date or category, and leave condolences and congratulations in Guest Books. Viewers can also link to Facebook to share comments or announcements on their profile. Future plans include the option of adding video tributes and announcements.

"To reach 2,000,000 page views by December is quite an accomplishment considering that the site is just seven months old and our SEO strategy is still in its infant stages," says Beverly Crandon, Director General Classifieds, Digital for Metroland.

Lifenews.ca has plans to add six more community papers in the near future, including some that are currently working with a large American obituary site.

"When people want information about people they know, they turn to local sources first. Lifenews.ca is a better option than American obituary sites for two reasons: the content is hyper-local and it includes Ontario obituaries as well as all of life's important stages."

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rabble.ca opens free video conference

Last week rabble.ca launched the rabble video commons - a video meeting place where anybody with a webcam can drop by and videochat with up to two dozen friends, family or colleagues - for free. Using innovative video conferencing technology ( http://tokbox.com), rabble is creating a video commons that's like an online cocktail party, speakers' corner, video phone or, whatever rabble visitors want to make of it.

"We're excited to see how Canadians use the virtual video space," said rabble.ca publisher, Kim Elliott. "We already know our audience loves to talk, discuss, debate and organize online. This is a brand new space for them to do just that."

To drop in on the rabble video commons users just visit http://rabble.ca/rabbletv/commons. If they have a webcam, the commons will recognize their microphone (a headset or headphones is advised) and their video camera. There is no need to download any software. If other folks are in the commons they'll jump right into a conversation with them. If no one is there, users can invite friends, family members or colleagues to hang out with them. They can even let folks know they're using common social media tools like Twitter and Facebook.

"It's like a party or meeting room where you never know who will show up," said Wayne MacPhail, rabble's Director of Emerging Media. "We're going to leave it unstructured and hope the video commons community itself starts to self-organize around the space," MacPhail explained. "We're certain our users will discover uses for the commons we never imagined."

rabble.ca is Canada's most popular source of independent news and views, and features original news, opinion, book reviews, podcasts and live and pre-recorded video exploring issues facing Canadians. rabble.ca is in its 9th year of providing 100% free news content to Canadians. rabble is a non-profit, community supported organization. Top of Page

MobilizeMe launches mobile.dalsa.com

MobilizeMe, specialists in helping businesses easily and efficiently migrate their brand and content to the mobile platform, today announced the launch of DALSA's mobile Investor Relations website at mobile.dalsa.com.

As part of DALSA's ongoing commitment to provide shareholders with up to date corporate information, the website has been mobilized for the convenience of all of DALSA's current and future investors.

“The mobile site will allow our shareholders and potential investors to check company information anytime and anywhere, making this a convenient and efficient tool," says Patrick Myles, DALSA's Vice President Corporate Communications.

The mobile site features DALSA's latest news, stock quote, quarterly financials, product information, plus more, all designed specifically for the mobile. Top of Page

Savings inspired start-up from Gaucho

The newest addition to the social media craze is a timely one. With the economic recession hitting hard at home, many people are looking for ways to cut costs and save money. Technology's latest solution comes in the form of Gaucho - a real-time social media platform built around savings deals.

Gaucho has been in private beta for a while, but just opened its doors for the holiday season.

The main feature of the site is the Gaucho Savings Stream (GSS). The GSS is a real-time stream of coupons and deals that get shared, chatted about and voted on by users from all over the Web. Their Gaucho Maps provide a more visual way for users to find discounts at real brick and mortar stores nearby.

Social functions allow users to friend and follow each other. This helps to create a lively, mall-like feel. Whether it happens with friends, family or while meeting new people, shopping is an inherently social experience. Gaucho is the first website that captures the social side of shopping and injects it into an online environment. Some are calling it the Twitter of savings.

As Gaucho evolves, it will quickly transform by offering many more features, including an advanced price comparison site where people can find prices from thousands of stores, all in one place. Gaucho users, or "Gauchos" as they are called, can find the best deal on a product, then use coupons found in the GSS for even deeper product discounts. While other sites of this nature only provide price comparisons or coupon code sharing, Gaucho will do both - and in real-time.

By next spring, Gaucho's Savings Search Advantage will be comprised of a fully integrated network of savings-related tools and communication platforms. Users will be able to learn, communicate and connect with each other in Gaucho Answers and Gaucho Forums. With iPhone and BlackBerry apps coming soon, Gaucho is poised to go anywhere its users go and make it easy to save while on the run.

As innovative as it is fun, Gaucho is a savings-inspired community full of features and tips designed to help people when coupon solutions aren't enough. Its user-generated content, community involvement and deep social media connectivity is what differentiates Gaucho from other  price comparison sites  and  coupon outlets. Top of Page

Sick Kids Hospital sharing success stories online

SickKids Foundation is asking people why they believe in the hospital and its work, and encouraging them to share their answers through a new online tool at IBelieveInSickKids.com.

Storytelling is a huge part of what the foundation represents and a key theme in the hospital's brand building, and the video-sharing tool reflects that, said Peggy Biggin, director of marketing, SickKids Foundation.

"It's what we do everyday," she said. "We thought it would be wonderful to build a tool that engages our patient families and people who believe in the cause."

Six videos have been uploaded to the site since it launched last week. Hewitt Johnston Consultants developed the site. Users can also share their stories across social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The tool coincides with last month's relaunch of a TV and cinema campaign, featuring two JWT-created "storytelling" spots with parents of former patients sharing their success stories, and a brand spot featuring the tune "Lean on Me" that originally launched in 2005.

The hospital is supporting the tool through Facebook, Twitter and on SickKidsFoundation.com. Top of Page

Kraft has a recipe for joy this holiday season

Kraft Canada has partnered with American Greetings for an e-card program that gives consumers a "Recipe for Joy" in support of the Canadian Association of Food Banks.

Kraft will donate $2 (up to a maximum of $50,000) to Food Banks Canada for every e-card sent through the program.

The holiday greeting comes with a virtual recipe box and 14 cards that can be saved on KraftCanada.com, or downloaded to the user's desktop.

Consumer research suggested that not only do people enjoy recipes around the holiday season, but they also appreciate the opportunity to give back, said Kelley Woodland, senior director of CRM, Kraft North America.

"We wanted to support that goal and desire and spirit of supporting our consumers during the holiday season," she said.

Over 15,000 e-cards have been sent since the program launched last month, and continues a long-standing relationship between Kraft and Food Banks Canada. 

For the past five years, Kraft has run the Hunger Challenge, matching donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $150,000. To date the company has helped raise over $2.5 million.  

Kraft is promoting "Recipe for Joy" through its What's Cooking magazine, festive mini-magazine, KraftCanada.com, e-mail, online advertising and point-of-sale materials.

The program wraps up Dec. 31. Top of Page

Canadian investors can now search using CSA's web-based tool

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is encouraging investors across Canada to use its National Registration Search (NRS) to check the registration of a firm or individual when considering an investment opportunity or using a financial adviser.

Canadian securities industry professionals and firms are required to register with the securities regulatory authority in each province or territory where they do business. Investors can use NRS to search for information about individuals and firms registered with the participating securities regulatory authorities.

Searching NRS allows investors to:

  • check a registrant's current or historical status dating back to March 14, 2003
  • determine the category of registration that applies to an individualor a firm
  • understand any registration terms or conditions that apply to a registrant
  • view the participating jurisdictions where a firm or individual is registered

Investors can search NRS on the CSA website, or link to it through a participating provincial regulator's website. Registration information from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is not currently included in NRS. The registration section on the CSA website links to the OSC's Check Registration tool for Ontario registrants.

The CSA launched NRS in early November and introduced it to industry and various stakeholders in order to test its capacity and encourage user feedback. The CSA used this input to make some changes and additions to NRS that improved usability, accessibility and design.

Firm and individual registration relies on National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements and Exemptions (NI 31-103) and related rules, which create a Canada-wide registration regime.

NI 31-103 also works with the passport system, which allows individuals and firms to register in more than one province or territory by dealing only with their principal regulator.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. Top of Page

Shake & Spell adds social dimension to gaming

Socialdeck, a Toronto and San Francisco-based gaming company and makers of Shake & Spell, one of the world's most popular social games for the iPhone, today announced the official launch of their new game, a sequel to the original Shake&Spell called Shake&Spell 3D.

"We've taken what people have told us they love about the original Shake&Spell and have really brought it to the next level," said Socialdeck CEO and founder Anish Acharya. "It's not just about the gaming itself; it's now about the relationships and connections people have through social gaming, and we've made it easy to have these sorts of interactions with Shake & Spell 3D."

In addition to a challenging three-dimensional cube design game board for players to find and create words, gamers are encouraged to challenge one another within Shake&Spell 3D and post their results to their Facebook and Twitter pages. Socialdeck's platform allows gamers to play against one another across multiple technologies, from Facebook to the iPhone to Blackberry, a development that has broken many barriers that challenged the social gaming world in the past.

"Our tagline is 'social gaming in your pocket', and that's really what we've attempted to do here," says Acharya. "Being able to play these games anytime, anywhere, with your friends in real time, we've created a real community in the gaming world that people are responding to."

Since its launch this week, Shake & Spell 3D has already cracked the list of iTunes' Top 100 most-downloaded games. Next up, Socialdeck plans on releasing its newest social game, PetHero MD, expected to be in the iTunes App Store next week. Top of Page