Facebook and a Pandemic

We are a family restaurant in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. The restaurant has been in business since 1994. We have been the owners since 2016. We run at a slow and steady place. The food is good but we are not too cutting edge or exciting. We have 72 seats and make old fashioned home cooking.

I am going to be blogging about our journey in discovering how to talk to our customers through social media. I will discuss what was successful and what we learned.

Fast forward to March 2020 and the beginning of the Canadian response to Covid19. Nova Scotia had no cases until mid March. It happened so fast. Sunday March 15 at 3pm atlantic there was a press conference with the Premier and the Chief Medical Officer. Everything changed after that press conference. Social distancing in restaurants was to implemented immediately. Traffic patterns of dining guests changed drastically and the new reality was setting in fast. Four days later all restaurants were ordered to close for dine in and could only offer take out and curbside pick up. In less than a week our business had declined by more than 70%.

The complicating factor to this restaurant and its ownership is that we live in Ottawa, Ontario. We now had to figure out how to stay open under the new guidelines and run the business from afar. We have family in Bridgewater that runs the day to day operations however this new reality was completely overwhelming for them.

There were some tough conversations about whether we should stay open or just close the doors until the climate improved. I was very against closing as I felt that if we closed we would become irrelevant in the eyes of the customer. We had to start talking to our customers in a real way through social media. We could do this! We had no formal social media strategy and there was definitely no social media plan. We did however have a very active facebook page, when the pandemic started and it was time to use that page. https://www.facebook.com/WavesSeafoodandGrill/

So the posts began. We tried to be authentic and honest. We tried to educate our followers about what services we were offering and that we were open for business. We watched our competition and we watched the news everyday. Things really started to heat up when we started selling high needs groceries. There was no flour or yeast in the community and we could get those items from our supplier. The engagement from our followers was like nothing we had experienced previously. We were in uncharted territory.

Although these actions had no formal strategy or plan that was written or even discussed, it is clear now that posts with informative and authentic content received more engagement. We only engaged on facebook. We looked at other platforms but did not feel that we could start from scratch on any new platforms during this important time. We needed to use what we had already built and what we were continuing to build.

We are through the worst of the lock down now. We are open for in restaurant dining at 50%. We are still posting on facebook a couple of times per week but it is not like it was back in April and May. I miss talking the cutomers everyday. I feel like there is more work to be done to create an overall strategy now. It is time to do the SWOT analysis for our business and our clientele in order to create an overall strategy. From that analysis, I need to take the learnings to create the strategy so that I can make the plan.

Starting a Fitness Social Network Group?

I am a fitness and yoga teacher, currently teaching five online classes a week to between 8-12 people. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had to move from live classes to online classes. In a live scenario, I was limited to smaller classes in my home studio. This new online medium gives me the opportunity to broaden my audience. In order to do that, I have been trying to increase my Facebook presence and engage my current participants online and attract more participants. With my limited experience and trials, I have managed to attract one new participant in the last four weeks.

Woman doing an online Yoga class. Image by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

My vision to move forward and broaden my audience would involve creating my own website that would include the following content:   blog on fitness, health and aging topics (including fitness book reviews), fitness videos (indoor and outdoors), fitness video snippets (how to), nature & ‘play’ pictures (I love the outdoors, golfing, SUP, skiing etc).  It would also allow for tracking attendance for classes and payment.  I would also publish content on Facebook and Instagram to bring the audience to my webpage.  The theme would be relating to fitness for playing or finding your fitness mojo.

I would like to engage my audience by offering a periodic (weekly or bi-monthly) free play activity, such as hiking, walking, biking, swimming etc.., while still offering my weekly fitness classes.   This offers an opportunity to create a free activity, allows a social aspect that we don’t have time to foster during the fitness classes and also the reason for the fitness classes, is to be able to be fit enough to ‘play’.  

Furthermore, I have been starting to use polling in Facebook, which helps me to listen to what types of classes or areas of fitness people would like to work on (e.g. what equipment do you have, what areas of the body do you want to work on next, what health related programs would you like to start etc.).   Lastly, I would like to create a seasonal (one per season) contest or challenges on either recording/counting steps or time devoted to fitness – and offer small monthly prizes for the winner.

I also think that knowledge is power.  I would like to develop a ‘play to test your knowledge game’ relating to the benefits of health and fitness activities or topics. 

I have been using Facebook to post my fitness class events but have not fully used the full suite of capabilities.  Once I have more content posted – perhaps on Facebook or my website, such as 2 videos, 2 blogs and images, I would like to use the Facebook ‘boost posts’ option to advertise my online fitness classes.  There is also an option to promote offers by offering discounts etc.   These tools would help reach a broader audience.

I really like the Instagram format of posting images and video snippets (short videos).  I could use this to promote certain movements such as stretching, strength or cardio exercises and playing.  I could also use these as a challenge for people to try the movements and post the results on my Facebook page.

My next steps are to install and learn video editing software to begin to create videos for my online content.  I will begin by creating a private page to post my videos and content and invite members to the private page.  Because of my insurance, I need to ensure that my participants have signed a waiver, before they join my fitness classes (live or video).  I will also therefore need to create a form in Google Docs that people can review and click yes quickly, before they connect to my content.   

What other tools or activities could I engage in? I would love to hear from you.

PROMOTIONAL POSTS

FACEBOOK: Vision of creating a new online fitness Social Network Group. Can you help me plan it out #OnlineFitness #OnlineBusiness #FitnessInstructor #FitCovid Check this post: https://bit.ly/2XTt01A

TWITTER: Vision of creating a new online fitness Social Network Group. I need your help. #OnlineFitness #OnlineBusiness #FitnessInstructor #FitCovid https://bit.ly/2XTt01A

Survival of the fittest

Michelle Ramsaran 2016

About

Have you ever met or spoken to someone who is passionate about their overall well being? If your answer is no, not to worry, because here I am. My name is Michelle Ramsaran. I am 29 years old from Toronto Ontario. I have a strong passion for traveling, soccer, fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle. I have been playing soccer for over 20 years, and I typically have always been very outgoing growing up. I am a moderately healthy person, who eats three meals a day and I do try to get in some sort of exercise. Aside from my three meals, I am guilty of munching and snacking at night, but who does not have a sweet tooth? I am also a strong believer in living life to the fullest and pursuing my ultimate dreams, passions, and ambitions. My smile is contagious, and I love helping others as much as I can.  In 2017 I went through a life-changing experience that has now made me the best version of myself.

My story

In May 2017 I began to experience digestive issues. I had just returned from Florida for a work conference. Considering I was a healthy person I found it very concerning that I suddenly started experiencing digestive issues. I decided to visit my Dr. immediately. He initially started me with acid reflux medication in the hopes this would relieve my symptoms. Weeks went by but the symptoms were still not resolved. I returned to my Dr. who began sending me for blood tests, and ultrasounds. I was tested for Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. The ultrasound was for my gallbladder. Both tests came back negative. It was now August, and the symptoms remained mild enough, that I was still able to go to work. In the second week of September, the symptoms began worsening and I started feeling sharp pain down my lower back. I left work one afternoon and instead of seeking medical attention, I avoided it in fear. It was thirty degrees that year in September and all I wanted to do was soak up the sun and go swimming, I was in denial, and ultimately afraid of the worst possible diagnosis. After a fun-filled weekend, the pain returned down my lower back, and at that point I made the decision to go to the emergency. Thankfully, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it has now saved my life. I was given a shot for pain and returned the next morning for a CT scan and ultrasound. Have you ever had an IV, stitches, or staples? Prior to this experience I would have answered no to all the above, but I experienced them all in one shot. Later that same day, I was rushed into emergency surgery and remained in recovery for an entire week. I was suffering the entire time from Appendicitis and an Umbilical Hernia. My surgeon was very concerned as he did not know how I suffered for that long. I had been suffering with more than one issue and was oblivious for months. This was one of the most emotional and challenging times of my life. 

The road to recovery

Michelle’s Breakfast 2017

The road to recovery was not easy. It took a while for things to gradually go back to normal. I was given two months off work and that is where I decided to take a more serious approach to a new lifestyle. In January 2018, I went back to playing in both of my soccer leagues and started to train three to four days a week in the gym. I not only lost weight but lost a lot of muscle mass as well. My diet was also very difficult to adjust too. I was disgusted by meat, seafood, and basically all of the things I once loved.  On the bright side, I no longer craved sweets or sugar. I created a meal plan to follow mainly for my breakfast and lunches. This went hand in hand with my gym regime. My healthy lifestyle was not only about what I ate or what I physically did. This also impacted both my mental and emotional health. I began listening to positive affirmations, took long walks on the trail near my house, and enjoyed the best parts of nature. As I started to build back my strength, immune, and overall well-being, I finally felt like a human again. 

Maintaining my healthy Lifestyle

Michelle Ramsaran 2018

 I am very proud to say that I am the healthiest I have ever been. I have gained more confidence in myself and I am happy that I have overcome one of the hardest things I never would have imagined going through. I continue to train in the gym and maintain my healthy eating habits. I walk, run, and jog on the trail while listening to positive affirmations, podcasts, and audible books. I spend ample time doing my own personal research in herbal medicine and natural supplements. This has helped me gain the knowledge and insight which I have applied to my everyday lifestyle. This entire experience has helped me understand myself more and that “we are what we eat”. What we put into our bodies is crucial for our overall health and well-being. The irony of this all, is that it is now May 2020 and COVID-19 has changed the way we all live. It is truly about; Survival of the Fittest. This is honestly what I practice each and every day. Our bodies are our temple and it is mandatory that we take care of ourselves, no different than the things that we value. The best investment in life is yourself!  

Three Inspirational People That Play

Playing is a big part of my plan.  As I approach my retirement, I plan on taking on more activities that involve play; hockey, swimming, cycling, golfing and teaching fitness.

As a child I remember how much fun I had climbing trees, swimming, playing tag and jumping on inner tubes!  Those were the best summers ever as I played.  As I grew older, I stopped playing outside.  As a 16 year old, I starting to do strength training in my brother’s gym, in our house and slowly began to understand the benefits of strength training. 

As I attended University, I started to frequent a gym where I took a fitness class that my friend was teaching thinking that, eventually I would teach fitness classes too.  Alas, that didn’t happen right away.

After University, I started a full-time job, got married, had kids and didn’t have much time for fitness or playing.  I was too busy working day to day, taking care of a household and too exhausted.

Finally, after my last child, I started to play once again and joined a women’s hockey team.  I then started slowly to play more, by cycling, learning to swim, running and strength training.  

Over that period of time, I watched my parents age and found that my father who worked outside all his life and walked every day was in great shape, but my mother, who worked in a more sedentary role as a housewife was not as healthy.  They both lived long lives, my father to 93 and my mom to 87.

In 2015, five years ago, (22 years after attending university), I finally fulfilled my dream and enrolled in YMCA courses and received my Group Fitness Certification to teach fitness classes. I have also since obtained my Yoga certification.  I now teach several classes a week.   I learned through these and other courses and literature, that exercise slows down our aging process, helps our cognitive abilities, strengthens our heart, bones and muscles.  There are so many benefits to exercising as we age. 

At my current age and activity level, I feel that I need to take fitness seriously, which includes strength, cardio and flexibility training because I would like to continue to play sports such as hockey, cycle, swim and golf for many years to come.  The only way that I can continue with my ‘play’ activities and not get injured, is to continue with a deliberate fitness regime.

If I would have known then, what I know now, I would have walked daily with my Mom, when she lived with me.  I could see her cognitive and heart condition deteriorate before my eyes.   Had I known the benefits and had I been able to help her increase her physical activities, she may have had a better quality of life, towards the end. 

It may be too late for my parents, but it may not be too late for you or your family members.  It’s possible to keep ‘playing’ in life, even when we get passed 60, 70, 80 years of age and beyond.   Here are three inspiring people that may help you or your loved ones to start and stick with a fitness program, whatever it may be, it’s never too late to start.

Mark Sertich – The Oldest Hockey Player from YouTube

Mark Sertich is a 95 year old hockey player.   He does his daily stretching and strengthening and also plays his three hockey games a week.

Ernestine Shephard – The 80 Year-Old Bodybuilder from YouTube

Ernestine Shephard started body building at 71 years old.  She walks and runs 10 miles a day and trains daily with a group of ladies. She is the oldest female competitive bodybuilder in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Betty Jean McHugh – The 90 Year Old Marathon Runner from YouTube

Betty Jean McHugh started racing (running) in her late 50s.  Since then she has run 20 marathons and broke many records for her age category and she is still a marathon runner at 90.

These videos show regular folks that decided to keep active during their golden years.   It shows that these activities help to keep them feeling young and to keep them connected to others – something very important as we grow older.  

Playing during my golden years is a big part of my plan These three individuals have inspired me to keep going with my plan. Who is inspiring you? What about you? Will you play?

PROMOTIONAL POSTS

FACEBOOK: Some people never stop playing. Check out this blog on three inspirational people that play. #Healthinaging #Aging #Health #Longevity #HealthyLifestyle Check this post: https://bit.ly/2ZsC3I5

TWITTER: What’s your play plan? Check out this blog on three inspirational people that play. #Healthinaging #Aging #Health #Longevity #HealthyLifestyle https://bit.ly/2ZsC3I5

Global Bread: from Yeast to West

Join me on my journey around the globe in search of freshly-baked artisan breads in countries far and wide. Every week, I will introduce you to a different country, share one of its traditional bread recipes – and as a bonus you will get to know the baker and their story. 1 country, 1 bread, 1 person.

About me

Hello and welcome to my blog, Global Bread: from Yeast to West!

My name is Kristina. I have three passions: baking bread, travelling the world and collecting stories about different people. It all started with my grandmother’s bread. She baked it weekly. I remember waking up in the morning to the delicious smell of fresh buns. Buns with butter – what can be better?! Perhaps, only buns with butter in Paris. As I grew up, I discovered the beauty of travels. I explored a number of countries in Europe before moving to North America. I met many wonderful people along the way and was inspired by their stories.

Destination baking

Corn bread in Canada, baguette in France, ciabatta in Italy, naan in Pakistan, pumpernickel in Germany, black bread in Belarus, etc. Is there such a thing as destination baking? If not, then let’s invent it.

Based on research, “culinary activities such as “trying local food and drink” is one of the top leisure travel activities that travellers choose to do when visiting”. France and Italy are the first to come to mind when we think about this type of tours. Bread is baked around the world. Combine bakery tours with wine and cheese tours – what else does one need?! Ancient Romans might’ve added “circenses” (from Latin, “panem et circenses”, means bread and circuses, or bread and spectacle) to the list.

1 country, 1 bread, 1 person

Country: Belarus

I would like to start my journey around the breads of the world with my home country, Belarus. It is a country in Eastern Europe with a population of just under 10 million people. Belarus has a variety of traditional breads made with wheat or rye flour. Some of the recipes are recognized as a “non-material heritage” of the country. Fun fact: some bread is baked on top of oak or birch leaves, this adds a beautiful flavour and a pretty pattern.

Хлеб – pronounced “khleb”, means “bread” in Belarusian language

Bread: Belarusian rye bread recipe

Source: Kristina Stankevich Photo

Starter:

  • 50 g rye sourdough
  • 300 g rye flour
  • 300 g water

Mix sourdough, flour and water and leave to rise for 12 hours.

Dough:

  • Starter
  • 150 g rye flour
  • 150 g wheat flour
  • 150 g water
  • 12 g salt

Mix all the dough ingredients with a wooden spoon first, continue with wet hands. The batter should be moist and slippery. Grease your bread pan with butter. Put batter into the pan, cover with a plastic bag and let it rise for 1.5 hours. Pre-heat the oven to 490 degrees and bake bread at this temperature for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 460 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 395 degrees and bake the remaining 40 minutes. Spray the top of the bread with water about 10 minutes before you pull it out of the oven.

Baker: Veronika

Source: Kristina Stankevich Photo

Veronika’s baking was inspired by her grandmother. She is a nurse and works hard during these difficult times of coronavirus. About five years ago she decided to pursue her passion of making cakes. It didn’t stop her that she lives with her husband and two children in a one-bedroom apartment with a shared kitchen. She worked hard and now creates magnificent and delicious masterpieces. A few years ago she ventured into bread baking. After months of trials and errors she became a master baker. She treats her family to a few fresh loafs every week.

Bonus: Bread around the world

Source: https://youtu.be/K2dQxnoy-I8

Let’s talk

What is your favourite type of bread? Who inspired you to bake? What is your favourite country to visit? Would love to hear your thoughts – share via the comments below and find me on social @Yeast2West.

COM0012 Blog # 1 – Self Introduction

Hi everyone, 

My name is Jessica Khural but you can just call me Jess. I will introduce myself a little.

I was born in Canada. My favourite hobbies or things that I like to do are painting, drawing, dancing, and fashion modelling. Fashion modelling started in January 2020, during this time I was a bit nervous as to what I was going to pose as but once I got the hang of it I got the habit of making a lot of different unique poses.

I am an undergraduate student doing social media as of my program. The reason that I have chosen this program is that it is interesting to know how social media could work in different unique ways. For example, business-related or it could relate to strategizing social media features displays. 

This fall I will be at Ryerson University for my master’s degree in digital art production where it will allow me to learn technology-based arts that are combined with social media. 

I hope you like this blog, there will be more to come during this semester!

Nani

Hello everyone! My name is Tyler Reed, I am 21 years old, work at Walmart, and don’t have a business of my own or anything like that. But I do have a couple interests, one of those interests is anime. Anime is essentially animation made in Japan, though it has more to it then that. If you ever watch cartoons, the first difference you might see when comparing anime to an american cartoon, is how much more detail anime has in it’s style.

Details, Details!

North Western animating style is often pretty plain, while in anime you’ll see details in the hair, eyes, clothes, and various other attributes. While both methods have merits, for example, plain styles are faster to draw obviously, so shows can be pumped out quicker and cheaper. Though lots of detail I find makes the show easier to watch and makes the characters easier to love. It encouraged me to try drawing characters myself time to time even.

Don’t Don’t Take It Personal

Characters not only look good in anime, a lot of detail is put into their personality as well. History is given to most characters in every anime, sometimes the background characters have more of an impact than the viewer would think, and pop in later to give a surprise that turns the whole show around.

Double The Love, Half The Effort

Anime is often created based on a manga, so the amount of time a writer would take to make each character is already been done before the anime was even started up. This means, anime has source material from the gecko, therefore giving the producers time to perfect and improve everything. Nothing is ever perfect of course, but it definitely does a good job.

Image Source

To Conclude

Cartoons and anime are both great in their own rights, though personally I’ve found anime to have more genres, stories, details, and interest than cartoons usually do. There are bad apples and gems in both too. Which do you prefer? Do you perhaps watch live action and movies more? Let me know in the comments below!

Tyler Reed

COM0012 Assignment #1

Introduction

Hi all, in the beginning of this blog, I’d like to talk a little bit about my self and the reason I chose this topic. My name is Shirun Liu and I’m a data analyst in a consulting company and trying to improve myself in order to be competitive by doing the algorithm question on Leet Code. By doing those questions I have a little experience now and I want to share with you guys, I would be appreciate that if this can be an advise or the hint for you if you’re facing. The question I’m going to talk about today is Add Two Numbers II

Introduction for the question

In this question, we are given two non-empty linked list, the most significant digit comes first and each of their nodes contain a single digit. Add the two numbers and return it as a linked list.

For this qustion, probably the easiest solution would be changing the linked list into numbers, adding these two and then reversing it and changing it into liked list in the end.

However, it takes too much time when there are two large linked list, so I tried another way to approach

Algorithm

First of all, we have to be familiar what is linked list. According to Wikipedia. In computer science, a linked list is a linear collection of data elements, whose order is not given by their physical placement in memory.

The most obvious advantage of a linked list is that the way in which conventional arrays arrange related items is different from the order of these data items in memory or disk. A linked list allows inserting and removing nodes at any position on the list, but does not allow random access.

So I’m going to use stacks to decrease its processing time and increase its efficiency. In the first I will creat two null stacks and take the element in order from two different linked lists and add them, then put the results into another new stack and in the last, we put the new numbers into the empty linked list.

I will also show how it works by attaching the code for you to be easy to get understand.

Translations Gone Wrong

Image retrieved from https://www.askideas.com/30-very-funny-bear-pictures/

So many people think that when you are bilingual and are proficient in both languages, for example, French and English, that you have everything you need to become a successful translator.  Unfortunately, this is not quite true.  It takes more than “knowing” both how to read, write and speak in two languages to become a good translator.  A professional translator will take into consideration many different factors in regard to the source language as well as the target language.  The most important factors are, without a doubt, the language’s syntax, terminology as well as idioms.  In order to be understood clearly by the people of a different culture, region and country, the translator must adapt the translation to deliver a more “localized” translation.  Localization is one of the most difficult, and yet, the most important part of a professional translation no matter the genre or the format of the translation.

One common mistake that is being omitted by many translators is that they are not asking enough questions concerning the content that must be translated.  It is imperative that the translator fully understand the content that must be translated before even knowing where the translation will be delivered.  It does not necessarily mean that the translator must know all the elements of the message but understanding the what, when, where, who and how that will be transmitted to the readers.  Effective communication must be present between the requester and the translator.

A message that is being translated word by word becomes a robotic message that may not even be close to the original message.  For example, the order of the subject, the verb and the complement are very often placed in a different order depending on the target language.  Very often, the translators will change the order without considering if the expressions or idioms in the translated message are correct.  The way the sentences are constructed, the agreement between the verb and the subject and the gender may be totally different or nonexistent from one language to another.

Of course, the choice of words and expressions must be verified before being used in a translation.  This explains the time that is required to research the terms that are specific to an environment, a culture, a region and a country.  The tone and the style of the original message must be kept once the message is translated.  For example, punctuation may differ from one language to another giving the translated message a totally different meaning. 

The translator must also stay current with the trends and the technology that changes rapidly.  The addition of new words and expressions in a language is something that the translator must keep in mind and research in order to be up to date as much as possible.  It is inevitable these days for a translator to encounter terms that are being used in specific environments, more particularly, in applications that are part of a more “global” vocabulary such as blogging, chatting and vlogging.  In my opinion, a “good” translator must be as versatile as well as professional and dedicated!        

References

cbtranslateday.  (February 27, 2018).  Common Translation Mistakes.  Retrieved from https://www.translateday.com/translation-mistakes/

Heart Warrior

A fighter from the moment I was born until today. The journey began at 7 months of age- barely surviving and living. Can you imagine me being a blue baby? Seeing a precious baby in hand, you only wish for good health and lots of love. So imagine my parent’s surprise- knowing their precious daughter was born with a congenital heart condition known as Tetrology of Fallot. Tetrology of Fallot can easily be defined as a hole in the heart. Luckily, I am from Toronto, where I received the best medical care from the Hospital for Sick Kids. Known as my 2nd home, since I spent my early years fighting for the courage to live. To hold onto every ounce of my being. 

My name is Rina and I was born in the early 80s in Toronto. The place I like to call my forever home. My earliest childhood memories were being a kid and playing with my friends in school. It’s like I experience amnesia and everything was wipes out when I was a baby. The stories my mother told me of how she was there for me around the clock during my time in the hospital.

Surgeries

Wow, if I could count the number of times I had a surgical procedure done, I probably would lose counts.

  • 7 months old- Shunt
  • 2 years of age- open heart surgery- 8 hours.
  • 2 years of age- another surgery to help fix my rib-cage. After the opened heart surgery, since my rib-cage was tightly closed
  • 15 years of age – Implanted Defibrillator
  • 25 years of age – replacement of the defibrillator- minor surgery
  • 33 years of age- opened heart surgery- to replace the valve.

Charities

As a heart warrior hero- I felt it was my duty to help raise awareness for the heart. A place I like to call the Heart and Stroke Foundation. As a student at Algonquin College in 2008, I used to do my internship at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. My proud moment of working with this charity was not only to raise funds but to also to share my personal experience. February is heart month, and I helped create 2 events for the organization which happens to be a smashing success.

My current status

Seeing how my life turned out today, I never thought I would be lucky to be alive. Being married, working, and traveling, is not something I thought I would reach. At birth, I was known as the lucky ones. If I didn’t have my heart repaired, I wouldn’t have survived my childhood years. Every moment on earth is precious and I am very grateful to be alive. Years to come, I just keep my head held high and enjoy what life has to offer.

Do you have a heartwarming story that you would like to share?