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5 Sites I Recommend – Casie, Fourth Floor, Lena & More!

Over the lifespan of my time on the ‘interweb’, I’ve encountered a few sites I really think are worth looking at. If you have some time, and want to do some discovery work – look no further, these are sites for you!

 

1. CasieStewart.com

 

Nope, there’s no relation (besides maybe being members of IAA – Internet Addicts Anonymous). Casie is always on the cusp of digital – constantly sharing her perspective about product/conference/more. Her image heavy content is always a pleasure to sift through, and you can literally get LOST in her site for hours, so have some fun!

 

 

 

 

2. ListenToLena.com

 

A social media expert, lifestyle blogger, and mom. Lena always is able to take relatable experiences and share her insights with the world. She also has a great perspective on new products – and some sweet giveaways!

 

 

 

 

3. OnTheFourthFloor.com

This blog is run by rock-it promotions. The entire staff is dedicated to highlighting the best in lifestyle, fashion, digital, and more. Each day marks a new and exciting post into the world of this PR firm, and they continue to churn out great content for their readers! Definitely worth checking out, if only for the DIY tips.

 

 

 

 

 

4. BunchFamily.ca

 

A fab site for the foodie in me. I can always count on Bunch to serve up some delicious content, along with some family fun. A big shout out to Bunch recently for their coverage on LGBT parenting – this topic is often sifted over by some family-oriented sites, and Bunch makes a real effort to provide their perspective. Definitely a fun place to look for the whole family.

 

 

 

 

5. 12Most.com

The name says it all. The 12 Most ______________ – articles that are all based around lists of 12. From professional to ridiculous, it’s always fun to just explore what this team of bloggers have come up with each day. Caution – you will spend a LOT of time looking around on this page!

 

 

 

 

 

Also, I mentioned yesterday that I would be posting video of the FourPin+ presentation I gave today. Sadly, the video on my iPhone did not produce the quality I would’ve liked – so I’ll be posting an updated narrated version of the slides from yesterday. Look for that in the near future!

    Understanding Foursquare and Pinterest: FourPin+ Slides

    As I mentioned yesterday, I have the pleasure of speaking about Foursquare and Pinterest tomorrow for Torstar Digital’s University program! I’m taking this opportunity to provide you all with a sneak peek at the slides I’ll be presenting with. Have a look, and enjoy the case study videos! Tomorrow, I’ll have a video of the presentation for you to enjoy and learn with! Thanks for checking in, and let me know  if you have any questions about the deck below!

    Also, keep your eyes peeled over the next 24 hours for a guest blog post from my dear friend, @shopwithrobin! She’ll be providing some great insights on interview attire!

    Download the FourPin+ presentation here.

     

      E-Reading Trends INFOGRAPHIC

      So many of my friends have purchased and use Kindles daily to consume their novels and reading materials. I came across this INFOGRAPHIC today, and thought it really explained some of the disruption within the marketplace :

      20120618-213110.jpg

      Do you own an e-reader? How often do you use it? If not, do you plan on buying one? Share your thoughts in the comments!

        The Importance Of Pinterest

         

        On Wednesday, I’m teaching a seminar on Pinterest for Torstar Digital’s University program. Because of this, I’ve revisited marketing tactics for the innovative, image based social pinboard, and I thought I’d share with you some key ways that you can use Pinterest effectively for your business, your brand, or even yourself!

         

        “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.” (source: About Pinterest)

        A picture represents each unique pin. Popular subjects include recipes, memorable blog posts, craft projects and more. Once a post is pinned, others can see the pin and follow a link to the original source. The ideal scenario is that your pictures (ie. pins) will be re-pinned and shared by others!

        First off, a quick video that shows some of the key info about this buzz-worthy network!

         


         

         

        Isn’t it crazy that Pinterest generates more referral traffic than Google+, Youtube and LinkedIn combined?! Here’s a few first steps that you can take to get a piece of the Pinterest action:

         

        Make Your Site Image-Friendly

         

        Whether you’re blogging, or just enhancing your current website – make sure to have lots of images that are able to be re-pinned! Why? This will ultimately bring you more referral traffic (not to mention make your site a prettier place to visit) while people are looking through the infinite images on Pinterest. A big shout out to some of you readers who have already started pinning my images – THANK YOU!

         

        Get The Browser Add-On

         

        When using firefox, google chrome, or even explorer – you can download a simple add on that allows you to easily right click on images and share them on your pinterest boards, etc. Find more information on where to download these add-ons here.

         

        Place Your Pins On Your Site!

        This one seems like a no-brainer. I’m using pinterest for the business I market for (Shopcatch), and am in the process of building out Embrace Disruption’s pinterest page (stay tuned). There’s plenty of widgets out there that you can place on your sites/blogs/profiles that will help you drive up your follower number, and also your traffic numbers by displaying snapshots of photos you’ve recently pinned.

        ***UPDATE!! You can now FOLLOW EMBRACE DISRUPTION on PINTEREST by clicking HERE.

         

        Get Your Comment Skills ON

        Another really important piece to the Pinterest puzzle is engaging. As with any kind of relationship, it’s a give and take! Make sure to comment on others’ pins – and really do the job of listening and viewing other people’s content. This may take some time, but is a guaranteed way to get people ‘pinterested’ in you!

         

        If you’ve still got questions – don’t fret! After my presentation on Wednesday, I’ll post the slides for you to look through for more info. Also, there’s some real crossover in terms of promotional strategy that you can employ from the Twitter Engagement post yesterday.

          Ask Embrace Disruption: Twitter Engagement

          Earlier this week, I opened up the option to submit your anonymous question – and I would answer any and everything that comes my way.

          One of the first questions mailed in is one that I encounter more often than you’d think, so I thought it necessary to start here:

          “How can I get my twitter following to engage more with my brand?”

          To be honest, there’s no “right” answer to this question, but there are some suggestions I can provide you with to hopefully spark some conversation.

           

          On the content side of things, I think the most important thing to remember here is that when representing a brand, you should not always be in “sell” mode. Tweets should be treated as a conversational tool, and if done properly can develop a more rounded personality for your brand. It’s important that when tweeting, you treat each one as though you were writing a headline on a national paper. Stay relevent, and always ask yourself if what you’re about to tweet would interest you if you saw it.

          There are ways to really build out your content and make it “must-see” writing. Some of the basic guidelines around building out engagement involve sharing relevant and interesting articles, but also reaching out to your audience and participating in their conversations. It’s important to not only be a broadcaster, but additionally a fantastic listener. Some of the best twitter presences will often engage a lot based on the content their followers are sharing and really listen to what others are saying. It’s important to remember that even from behind the facade of the computer, all these tweets are coming from real people. Finally, if you’re still struggling – there’s always contesting. It’s an easy way to get the ball rolling – and everyone loves the chance to win something (no matter how big or small the prize value is). I will caution that although it can bring great success, contesting should not be your sole strategy to engage with an audience on twitter – it’s more of a complement to your everyday content.

          I hope this spurs some creativity when you approach writing your tweets in the future, and thank you so much for writing in! For more insight on twitter, have a look at “Follower Count Is Wrong: 5 Steps To Measure Online Influence Properly”.

          Do you have a question you’d like answered? Click here to submit one!

           

           

           

            Late Film Friday: Snowball In A Box

            I was so excited about sharing the Mint.com app with you yesterday in App Attack, that I neglected providing you all with a film for Film Friday! ‘

            I found this little gem today in my travels – it’s probably one of the worst pitches I’ve ever seen done on Dragon’s Den. Have a watch and tell me: do you think this is a good idea? Would you buy it?

            Enjoy!

              App Attack: Mint.com Review

              Alright, if you’re looking for the ULTIMATE budget and money-saving app – I’ve got the best solution for you!

              Mint.com describes themselves as:

              “THE BEST FREE WAY TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY
              Mint.com allows you to track, budget and manage your money all in one place, so you can see where you’re spending and where you can save. Open an account, add your bank, credit, loan and retirement accounts and Mint will automatically pull in and categorize your transactions. It’s safe, secure and easy to keep your personal finances organized”

              I’ll admit: upon first setting up, I was hesitant to provide my login information for my banking – but I’m here to report, there’s been no ‘fishy activity’, or withdrawals from a foreign entity. It takes some time to categorize all of your transactions, so I do recommend using their web version to sort through quickly.

              Some other features include:

              • View all of your accounts including: checking, savings, credit cards, investments, and retirement.
              • Mint automatically pulls in and categorizes your transactions. No need to enter your own transactions.
              • Easy-to-understand graphs show you where your money is going so you get a clear picture of your spending and your net worth. (iPad only)
              • Know how much you have left to spend. Mint creates a customized budget based on your actual spending.
              • Add manual transactions at the time of purchase so you can track cash spending.
              • Avoid late fees and monitor cash flow — get bill reminders, alerts and advice sent right to your device.
              • View your data even without a wireless connection. (iPad only)

              You can download Mint.com for both Android and iPhone, or simply use their web version. Yes, it’s FREE!

              Visit their site by clicking here.

                The Digital Disruption INFOGRAPHIC

                Today I stumbled upon this incredibly interesting INFOGRAPHIC about the history of digital disruption. I thought it was incredibly eye-opening, and knew I HAD to share it with you.

                What are your thoughts? Are you shocked by any of this info? Is there anything you didn’t know?

                  The Price Is Right: How A Bad Scan Means It’s Free!

                  Being a pretty avid shopper, I’m constantly on the look out for hot bargains and deals. Let’s face it: I really hate paying full price for just about everything. A while back I stumbled upon a policy that surprisingly: not many people know about!

                  Imagine a system where if a product scans with an incorrect price at the cashier’s till, it becomes FREE! Well, guess what? I’m here to tell you that this imaginary system is actually a reality, and it’s called the “Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code”.

                  There’s a few minor stipulations:

                  “If the scanned price of a non-price ticketed item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the item free, up to a $10 maximum. When the item has a price tagged, the lowest price applies. When identical items are incorrectly priced, the second one will be sold at the correct price.” (Source: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca)

                  Who Participates?

                  The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS)
                  Shoppers Drug Mart
                  The Groupe Jean Coutu (NB and Ont only)
                  Lawton Drug Stores
                  London Drugs
                  Lovell Drugs
                  Pharma-save (BC and Sask)

                  The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD)
                  Canada Safeway Limited
                  The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company of Canada Limited
                  Loblaw Companies Limited
                  Sobeys Inc.
                  Metro Inc.
                  Thrifty Foods
                  Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
                  Co-op Atlantic
                  Federated Co-operatives Limited

                  The Retail Council of Canada (RCC)
                  Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
                  The Home Depot Canada
                  Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd.
                  Toys r Us
                  Shoppers Drug Mart
                  Wal*Mart Canada Corp.
                  Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
                  The North West Company
                  Best Buy/Future Shop ( in implementation stage)
                  2 Home Hardware franchisees

                  The Federation of Independent Grocers (FIC)
                  Thrifty Foods
                  Overwaitea Food Group
                  The Harry Watson Group
                  Longos Brothers Fruit Markets

                  As well as over 1000 independent locations

                  So next time you’re at the cash register, keep your eyes peeled! The sale price that you thought was FANTASTIC could end up being better than you think!

                  Want more info? Click here.

                  Have a story about redeeming this policy? Share it in the comments!

                   

                    40% Chance Of Rain: What You May Be Missing

                    What do you automatically think when you hear the newscaster say: “40% Chance Of Rain”?

                    Chances are: a curse word followed by a swift move to pick up the umbrella on your way out the door are in your near future. Here’s the thing you may be missing -  40% chance of rain actually means 60% of sunshine. Refreshing, right?

                    This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be taking your umbrella out with you in the morning – but also, properly look at the information in front of you, and choose your perspective.

                    We’ve all heard the familiar ‘glass half full’ analogies, and I can honestly admit that I sometimes find them incredibly annoying – particularly when the timing is off. I’ll admit: I spend a majority of my life planning for the worst. I find that there’s great benefits from always expecting the outcome will turn out sour. It prepares your mind in advance of bad news, and if by chance it all goes well – you’re pleasantly surprised.

                    All of that said, there’s one important concept that can easily be forgotten. You can prepare yourself without allowing negativity or fear to take over. It’s easy to let little things distract you in life, but with a proper perspective – you can be fully prepared to embrace disruption.

                    When you encounter situations that you find challenging or even a test of your patience, there’s a few questions you can ask yourself to get in the right mindset.

                    • Can I change the outcome of the situation? If not, accept it and make the best – sweating small stuff isn’t worth the heart attack.
                    • How can I prepare myself? Think about what you can do to limit the amount of negativity in the situation, and brace yourself for the unexpected.
                    • Will this matter a year from now? If not, try to figure out how to deal with the situation, and realize that the outcome won’t last forever
                    • Will it reflect badly on me if I’m resistant to the situation? Chances are, the people who have positive and open mindsets are viewed as more evolved and progressive human beings.

                    Believe me, I know how tempting it can be to fly off the handle or jump to negative thinking. We’re all guilty of it – we’re human. Hopefully this post can help you work towards seeing the 60% chance of sunshine on the horizon, while still keeping an umbrella in your back pocket (just incase).

                     

                     

                     

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