COM0014- Post 1: Dinosaur ROAR! (or What I Did On My Vacation)

Ah, winter! Cold, snowy, dark, did I mention cold? Makes me remember of warmer weather and past times. I reminisce of the last time I went on vacation. It was last summer. I did not visit somewhere tropical (Canada get’s rather hot in the summer) but we took a drive down to Drumheller and Calgary, Alberta. Don’t worry; we lived in Edmonton at the time, so it was not a cross-country affair. (We did THAT trip when we moved back to the national capital region a few weeks later… but I digress…)

If you have never had a chance to visit Drumheller I strongly suggest it. I loved seeing the history behind it not only as an adult but also through the imagination and mind of my three-year-old son. My one-year-old daughter was not as impressed.

We visited the giant T-Rex and climbed up to the very top. It was pretty impressive.

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Quite the climb up!

After that, we drove over to the Royal Tyrell Museum. This contains so many dinosaurs that my son did not know where to go! They had a live demo where they had a paleontologist explain how they found, removed, and then treated the fossils. Then they have a great display of fossils through the ages; quite fascinating!

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Royal Tyrrell Museum Drumheller, Alberta

They also have quite a few hiking trails in the badlands and in through some of the quarries where you can find dinosaur remains. Seeing that our kiddos were still young and how hot it was (well about 30C and sunny!) it was not the best activity for us, however, I am very much hoping to return in the future when they children are older and can partake in some of those activities.  (I know, it feels wrong complaining about the heat in the middle of January)

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Triceratops Royal Tyrrell Museum Drumheller, Alberta

 

After our busy day, we drove over to Calgary, where the next day we visited the Calgary Zoo!

Now this activity had the kiddos of all ages happy. It was another hot day but the delights of seeing the animals distracted us from the heat.  They had many exhibits from animals big and small. From the hippos and giraffes to the butterflies and fishes, many experiences and sights were to be enjoyed, big and small. (Of course, my son preferred the dinosaur exhibit there, yes another one!)

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Hippo and Giraffes Calgary Zoo

A great family weekend getaway that I would LOVE to repeat. Had we remained in Alberta that trip would have become a yearly event. Have you ever visited Drumheller or the Calgary Zoo? Do you have weekend family getaways you enjoy? I am always looking for great experiences to have with my minis so please share!

COM0015 – Blog Post #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

New Media is a very effective technology, chalked full of useful tools that can help your business soar.  There are many organizations that make good use out of this technology, however there are some who do not fully utilize these tools.  When we think of social media, often we forget that once upon a time it was traditional media magazines that wielded the power.  Today that power is losing its hold and traditional print is going ……well traditional.  I thought I would take a look at who is migrating with technology well, and who seems (and I mean seems because I could be wrong) to being sadly left behind.  Let’s begin by highlighting a couple that are doing well, and then let’s look at one that could use a gentle nudge.

There are a lot of organizations that are doing it right.  One such organization is Alberta Venture magazine .  By all accounts they could be reeling in the other direction because of social media (as a magazine) but rather they seem to have taken the digital bull by the horns.   AV takes a strong team approach via successful sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now a strong push towards podcasts.  I believe in the team approach; it helps amp up your viewing power and supports overall engagement. The AV Team are super at connecting Alberta’s business and entrepreneur community by providing great articles, blogs, in depth podcasts  and connecting people to resources.  AV is always finding ways to help businesses and entrepreneurs shine whether it be through contests or highlighting what businesses are succeeding through innovation .

Another notable is Western Living magazine.  Like AV they let you know they are social by strategically highlighting their social sites (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).  It’s important to notice that Western Living has a great pinterest site , whereas Alberta Venture dominates LinkedIn.  The reasons are obvious – Alberta Venture plays more in the business world where networking and connecting are essential, whereas WL Is about homes, style, food, travel, etc.  all visual feasts.  Connections are also important but they are attained in more of a visually stimulating way.  Like Alberta Venture,  Western Living helps connect ‘up and coming’ designers and runs contests to help them get noticed.  Additionally Western Living works to connect their readers to everything they need to know when it comes to home, food, wine and travel.

Ok now it’s negative time……So who is choosing, or simply, opting out?  Northwest Business magazine.  There is not one hint of social on their website, which is unfortunate as they have successfully been connecting business in the northwest for over 18 years.  I know from experience that people enjoy this magazine and I feel they are missing the mark here.  I don’t understand the reasoning behind it, or if perhaps social media is presently in the works, but it amazes me that a successful offering such as this is not exploring the social waters.  To me they should begin with the basics of  Facebook and Twitter.  Start sharing some of their information and asking for feedback.  To help draw more attention to these sites they could begin a northwest business blog site and offer up guest blogging opportunities to the local businesses who feel they have something to contribute – hence further promoting peace region business through knowledge sharing and valuable regional business insights. From there they would do well digging into the world of podcasts – the interviews would be great and it would really be of a value for the regional businesses participating. Furthermore, these digital content tools would serve as great fodder for their new Facebook and Twitter accounts. As I am not in the publishing world and not privy to the ins and outs of how it ‘really’ works – I don’t want to presume how it should be done.  Nonetheless, there are many great examples of traditional businesses choosing to shift with the changing landscapes and coming out the other end extremely successful – this is a mission worth striving for.  This is what (from the outside looking in) Alberta Venture and Western Living magazines are doing very effectively. Let’s face it, these days either an organization engages in their customers digital conversations or they fade away……

Beg to differ?  Let me know.