Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Dinosaurs, Jesus, Pizza
travel to Eastern Ontario from Toronto and or Ottawa
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

What do dinosaurs, Jesus and pizza have in common? All three were part of my great staycation during a one day trip to Eastern Ontario. During these pandemic times, who says you can’t find excitement, spirituality and good food all in one day? The idea of this adventure stemmed from an old bookmark of an apparition of Mother Mary which was reported to have occurred sometime in the 90’s on the Greensides’ Farm in Marmora, Ontario. I had always found the phenomena of apparitions interesting, not only for their spiritual value but also because of their intrigue of the unknown. School aged family members loved the idea of visiting a drive-thru dinosaur park along the way, but people of all ages can also enjoy the indoor reptile zoo.

This is a great day trip for anyone travelling from Toronto or Ottawa and can also be incorporated into a longer vacation as there are many fascinating things to explore in this area. Driving from Toronto, our first main attraction within the first 90 minutes was the drive-thru Dinosaur park located in the small town of Indian River.

Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park

Indian River, Ontario, https://reptileanddinosaurpark.org
Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park
Vacation
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

The Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park is the best drive-thru park adventure I have ever experienced anywhere in Ontario. It took about 30 minutes to drive through the whole park with over 50 life-like dinosaur exhibits on display. The kids and adults loved the self-guided tour where there were many opportunities to take close up pictures of our favourite dinosaurs. There are plenty of things to do at this place including shopping in the gift shop for reptile memorabilia, checking out the enormous collection of live reptiles, and also outdoor mini golf.

Greensides’ Farm

We continued to travel east along Highway 7 for about 30 minutes to reach our next destination of Greensides’ Farm located in Marmora, Ontario, but not before we took note of the wonderful scenic towns of Norwood and Havelock–where we stopped for a quick Tim Horton’s coffee. We eventually reached Greensides’ Farm and were greeted by a few patrons who directed us along a path, which led us through a beautiful walk with the Stations of the Cross honouring Jesus; which eventually led us to the top of a hill where a shrine had been built to honour the appearance of Mother Mary. At the shrine we said a few prayers for our family member who had recently passed away and paid tribute to the message of Jesus with the hope that world peace could be achieved one day.

Greensides' Farm, Marmora, Ontario, 
Religious Retreat, Mother Mary, Stations of the Cross, Jesus, Christian, Spiritual, Vacation
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Greensides+Farm/@44.4941182,-77.6320185,16z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027!3m4!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Theo’s Pizzeria

Of course, after all the walking and hiking at Greensides’ Farm, we were ready to devour just about anything, but we were also very careful not to just settle for a mediocre meal. We had made the long journey and rightfully so, we thought that we should make an effort to find a most suitable establishment to eat great food. Our 10 minute online search led us to Theo’s Pizzeria which was conveniently located 4 minutes from the farm in the centre of the town of Marmora. (We also made a note that there is a scenic Marmora Mine to visit next time we are travelling to the area.) We arrived at Theo’s Pizzeria with great enthusiasm and were thrilled with all of the unique menu items. We ordered burgers, Hawaiian pizza, sweet potato fries, gourmet dipping sauces and the rest was a food extravaganza of flavour and delight. Best of all, looking through the large glass window into this quiet little town, made the food experience that much cozier and pleasurable.

Theo's Pizza, Marmora, Ontario, Pizza, Pizzeria, Food, Vacation, Cozy, Casual Dining, Take-Out
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Theos+Pizzeria/@44.4823661,-77.6831537,17z/data=!4m22!1m16!4m15!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!2sTheos+Pizzeria,+20+Forsyth+St,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.6826149!2d44.4834966!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd34574e32f496f:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm,+15+Greenside+Ln,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.633027!2d44.4938886!3e0!3m4!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!8m2!3d44.4834966!4d-77.6826149
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Next time you’re looking to do something closer to home and off the beaten track, think about taking the ultimate day tour in Eastern Ontario–Dinosaurs, Jesus and Pizza. Sometimes we can be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gems we find along the journey and the vacation begins to unfold in ways unexpected. Let us know what you think about our travel stories and how you can relate with your new discoveries while travelling?

Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Dinosaurs, Jesus, Pizza
travel to Eastern Ontario from Toronto and or Ottawa
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

What do dinosaurs, Jesus and pizza have in common? All three were part of my great staycation during a one day trip to Eastern Ontario. During these pandemic times, who says you can’t find excitement, spirituality and good food all in one day? The idea of this adventure stemmed from an old bookmark of an apparition of Mother Mary which was reported to have occurred sometime in the 90’s on the Greensides’ Farm in Marmora, Ontario. I had always found the phenomena of apparitions interesting, not only for their spiritual value but also because of their intrigue of the unknown. School aged family members loved the idea of visiting a drive-thru dinosaur park along the way, but people of all ages can also enjoy the indoor reptile zoo.

This is a great day trip for anyone travelling from Toronto or Ottawa and can also be incorporated into a longer vacation as there are many fascinating things to explore in this area. Driving from Toronto, our first main attraction within the first 90 minutes was the drive-thru Dinosaur park located in the small town of Indian River.

Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park

Indian River, Ontario, https://reptileanddinosaurpark.org
Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park
Vacation
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

The Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park is the best drive-thru park adventure I have ever experienced anywhere in Ontario. It took about 30 minutes to drive through the whole park with over 50 life-like dinosaur exhibits on display. The kids and adults loved the self-guided tour where there were many opportunities to take close up pictures of our favourite dinosaurs. There are plenty of things to do at this place including shopping in the gift shop for reptile memorabilia, checking out the enormous collection of live reptiles, and also outdoor mini golf.

Greensides’ Farm

We continued to travel east along Highway 7 for about 30 minutes to reach our next destination of Greensides’ Farm located in Marmora, Ontario, but not before we took note of the wonderful scenic towns of Norwood and Havelock–where we stopped for a quick Tim Horton’s coffee. We eventually reached Greensides’ Farm and were greeted by a few patrons who directed us along a path, which led us through a beautiful walk with the Stations of the Cross honouring Jesus; which eventually led us to the top of a hill where a shrine had been built to honour the appearance of Mother Mary. At the shrine we said a few prayers for our family member who had recently passed away and paid tribute to the message of Jesus with the hope that world peace could be achieved one day.

Greensides' Farm, Marmora, Ontario, 
Religious Retreat, Mother Mary, Stations of the Cross, Jesus, Christian, Spiritual, Vacation
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Greensides+Farm/@44.4941182,-77.6320185,16z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027!3m4!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Theo’s Pizzeria

Of course, after all the walking and hiking at Greensides’ Farm, we were ready to devour just about anything, but we were also very careful not to just settle for a mediocre meal. We had made the long journey and rightfully so, we thought that we should make an effort to find a most suitable establishment to eat great food. Our 10 minute online search led us to Theo’s Pizzeria which was conveniently located 4 minutes from the farm in the centre of the town of Marmora. (We also made a note that there is a scenic Marmora Mine to visit next time we are travelling to the area.) We arrived at Theo’s Pizzeria with great enthusiasm and were thrilled with all of the unique menu items. We ordered burgers, Hawaiian pizza, sweet potato fries, gourmet dipping sauces and the rest was a food extravaganza of flavour and delight. Best of all, looking through the large glass window into this quiet little town, made the food experience that much cozier and pleasurable.

Theo's Pizza, Marmora, Ontario, Pizza, Pizzeria, Food, Vacation, Cozy, Casual Dining, Take-Out
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Theos+Pizzeria/@44.4823661,-77.6831537,17z/data=!4m22!1m16!4m15!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!2sTheos+Pizzeria,+20+Forsyth+St,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.6826149!2d44.4834966!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd34574e32f496f:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm,+15+Greenside+Ln,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.633027!2d44.4938886!3e0!3m4!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!8m2!3d44.4834966!4d-77.6826149
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Next time you’re looking to do something closer to home and off the beaten track, think about taking the ultimate day tour in Eastern Ontario–Dinosaurs, Jesus and Pizza. Sometimes we can be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gems we find along the journey and the vacation begins to unfold in ways unexpected. Let us know what you think about our travel stories and how you can relate with your new discoveries while travelling?

Ottawa Fashion Network: Event Participation

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.33.52 PM

Image from Facebook

Networking in person, especially in the winter, can be a struggle. When I saw this event on Eventbrite, an event management website, I thought I would give it a shot since I am interested in fashion and would like to meet others with similar interests here in Ottawa.

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.37.41 PM

My Golden Ticket

Not expecting the pouring rain, I still hustled myself over to the venue by myself and am glad I did. I was a bit nervous at first, since there weren’t too many people there and everyone seemed to already be in friend groups. The loud music didn’t help things.

However, luckily I found another girl who was also there by herself and sat near her. We got to talking after a little while, both glad to have someone to talk to and get to know!

Surprisingly, she was also in communications and we had a lot in common that we could discuss. I got her contact details (Instagram) and we plan on talking more later this week.

“You have to use what you have.”

When I was telling her all about my networking in London and how much more fun it was over there in comparison to Ottawa, she told me something that made me think which was about using what you have.

She made me rethink how I view Ottawa, and realize that there is a place for fashion and ingenuity in my home city. I always like to have new perspectives so I really appreciated that comment.

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.42.24 PM

What is different from in person events is all the preparation that is involved. I definitely spent a while planning what I was going to wear that would fit the ambiguous ‘dress to impress’ dress code.

After googling what to wear to a networking event, and what a ‘mixer’ even was, I settled on this hopefully chic look to the left.

The amount of effort it takes to look effortless is exhausting sometimes. The icing on the cake was being complimented not on my outfit, but the highlighter (makeup) on my face. Such is life!

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 1.16.01 AM

 

 

I was also able to see the guest list on Facebook. After scanning through, I found a designer whom I didn’t see at the event but thought was cool so I sent her a  message on Instagram.

You never know, maybe we’ll meet up some time as well! A mix between in person and online networking is key.

Overall, I am definitely glad that I went to this event and will go to more in the future when I can. I got out of my comfort zone and made a worthwhile connection. The Ottawa Fashion Network also reposted my snippet of their event, so I’m on their radar now as well which is great.

If that wasn’t enough, networking in person leads to some great appetizers! It’s rude to not eat the free food.

What kind of networking is more your style? Let me know in the comments!

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.44.18 PM

One of many events to come!

Give me “The Dirty”

the-dirty-2015-logo-ios.pngHas anyone else heard about the website “The Dirty” or have I been the only one living under a rock the last few years? This website came to my attention the other day when I was casually talking to my co-workers about relationships, and they mentioned the website, out of pure curiosity I checked it out. And all I can say is WOW!

For those of you who were living under a rock like me, “The Dirty” is a website for people to go and post things about other people in Ottawa, or lots of other cities, but I focused on the Ottawa website. It could be an ex-girlfriend posting about her ex-boyfriend cheating on her and how he is an awful human being, or it could be a friend of someone who has gotten screwed over one too many times. Either way this website is pretty interesting to me. How can this website stay running, when everything is libel. You can see some of the interesting news articles on the site, all over the web.

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 11.33.58 PMI can see both sides of “The Dirty” so here is my Pro and Con list of the website:

  • Pro List
    • Dating a new person, check to see what their last relationship had to say about them, maybe a little research before you jump in.
    • It’s super hilarious! Just to read the reviews and comments it’s purely entertaining. This website may be my new favourite guilty pleasure
    • Check out to see if something is a scam, one of the posts I read was about a guy who claims to rescue dogs, but actually turns around and sells them for drug money (again this is what one of the posts said, I have done no fact checking on this)
  • Con List
    • Everyone out there has a negative opinion about someone else. I am sure I could go on a huge rant about my ex, and I am sure he could go on a rant about me, hence why we are no longer together. So how do you take the word from a disgruntled ex?
    • There is no fact checking, yes I suppose other people can comment on the post, and put their two cents in, but there is never any actual facts about any of the post. I could go on and comment on every post if I wanted to agreeing to everything they were saying, and no one could stop me.
    • Has the potential to seriously impact someone’s reputation. What if somehow your boss was going through it (remember above I said my new guilty pleasure, once you start you just can’t stop) and sees something about you that goes against what they know of you. Will your employer now see you in a different light and start questioning your character at work.
    • You only know one side of the story!

Overall, I think this website is hilarious, if not lowbrow and a bit beneath me, still an enjoyable light read. When I look at the people that are being posted about, I have to stop and think, am I judging a book by the cover here, because if I met this person on the street, I would certainly believe everything they are saying!

Check out The Dirty and let me know your thoughts in the comments, happy creeping! 

Cheers to Canada Day – COM0011 #3

With another Canada Day come and gone the opportunity to discuss drinking habits feels missed. When I was working as a Paramedic in Ottawa, Canada Day was one of the busiest days of the year. It’s no doubt alcohol had a lot to do with the amount of calls as the crowds of people flocking to parliament hill for all the festivities, good times, events and the famous ByWard market seems endless. When it’s a beautiful day, the weather has a huge factor on the amount of people celebrating, how long they stay and how much they celebrate. When the heat rises so does the drinking. This year I finally heard some good advice as Mayor Watson suggested how to have a great Canada Day is easy “have water every other one!”  Did you?

Drinking tips…

Keeping hydrated while drinking is especially important when it’s hot out. Unfortunately not everyone is drinking responsibly… I mean what’s not Canadian about having a beer on Canada day? Especially if you’re dressed in red and white head to toe waving your mini flag with your temporary tattoo’s plastered on your face. Awesome. I admit, when I first moved to Ottawa almost a decade ago Canada Day on the hill was something to look forward to all year. I would have visitors from all over begging for a place to stay and there wasn’t a single bar that wasn’t busy. Who’s out there giving responsible drinking tips? Have you heard any?

Drinking in Canada is like a right of passage, a culture of “we deserve it”, “it’s not like I’m smoking” …what is it about alcohol that makes us not want to see the harms of it? We need to talk (about our drinking), an article in the globe and mail was published just before Canada day and I think they said it best about harmful drinking.

“It doesn’t take as much as you may think to qualify – 10 drinks a week for a woman, 15 for a man – face the biggest risks, emerging evidence shows that even moderate amounts are also tied to disease.”

So what?

With all that fun, drinking and celebrations what’s the big deal. Who was telling us that what we were doing had risks? Sounds odd to say risky but when you drink more than a couple you let your guard down and decision making capabilities are hindered by alcohol. You’re more likely to engage in risky behaviour, have unwanted sex, get into a car with another driver who may have been drinking. This may not be new information yet almost a quarter of Ottawa adults are heavy drinking and that number is on the rise. Does that surprise you?

That’s over 160 000 people in Ottawa that are heavy drinkers having 5 or more drinks (binge drinking) on a single occasion at least once a month. Does this shock you?

 

References
1. Ottawa Public Health. Substance Misuse in Ottawa: Technical Report. March 2013. Ottawa (ON): Ottawa Public Health; 2013.
2. Report to Board of Health. March 18, 2013. Ottawa ON: Ottawa Public Health; 2013.

 

COMM0015 Assignment #5 – Event Participation: Day On The Hill

ImageThe event of my choice was the finishing event for Startup Canada Day On The Hillin Ottawa on November 21st.

I picked this event because I have Start-Up Canada as a regular #search for a while now and thought it would be a good opportunity to dive into the whole “networking in person” which I successfully avoided for a while. Also, I do work for a Start-Up which had a chance to pitch during Start-Up week.

I had a couple of interesting conversations. One was with a Hans, co-founder of the company Savvy Dox.  He attended some a “round table” which was invite only and shared some ideas how the city of Ottawa is planning to improve entrepreneurship in Ottawa and what the company he co-founded does. My contribution was limited to asking questions and listening because I was not sure what the company was doing.

Another person I spoke to was Susan, Founder of GivOpoly. I’ve learned about her Start-up, an online marketplace for local businesses, allowing consumers to connect with a local business in order to send gifts to people in that particular neighborhood. During the conversation I shared my view that in the beginning of online shopping, small businesses where concerned about loosing business and now it seem, they leverage the internet to actually reach out to a not local customer base, which was to my surprise an angle she had not thought of.

Karen is a Chinese student in Ottawa who is setting up a business to import jewelry from China. I’ve learned that Ottawa U has programs for entrepreneurship and my contribution was, to share the fact that Invest Ottawa offers courses from marketing to accounting whatever one needs to start their own business.

The main idea I walked away with was that there are a lot of people who have smart ideas out there.  The ability to explain what it is one is trying to accomplish in simple words is important especially if what your doing is complex. To boil down messages to bring idea across is very important because not understanding the other person makes it impossible to have a conversation.

“The most valuable class I ever took while doing my business degree was consumer behavior and the best investment was a Marketing course” is the quote I’ve collected. I’ve heard a couple of interesting things but picked this one because it came up as a key challenge in every single conversation I had.

I will attend an in person networking event yes.  I can see it being a great way to meet potential clients but at the moment I can’t possibly fit more work in and therefore I plan to investing my time in events I can network with fellow designers or learn new things I can implement in my work or improve my work flow with.

Photo: done with my phone

COM0015 – Event Participation

edcamp

The Event

The professional development event I have chosen to participate in is called EDCAMP. I have chosen this event because my girlfriend is currently studying in Ottawa to become a teacher and I happened to be visiting that weekend. She signed up to go to this event and I decided to tag along so I can do my assignment on this as well. At first I thought to myself why I would do my assignment on an event that is directed towards teachers but after attending such an event I realised the bigger picture. Yes, a lot of current students studying to become teachers and those who were already a teacher attended but the main purpose of this event was focused towards professional development. The fact that it was a teacher event did not matter, it was how individuals in this field can improve, adapt and learn new methods to better themselves as educators. Therefore, the journey does not end after obtaining a position in your desired field. You must continue to learn and educate yourself to acquire the skills and knowledge for both personal development and career advancement. This is a link to their word press: http://edcampottawa2013.wordpress.com/

What I Learned and Contributed

I had interacted with several people during this event because it was not a typical event where you sit down and have someone lecture you throughout the entire day. Conversations were built on ideas that were submitted at the beginning of the event by everyone who attended. Meaning the attendees controlled the discussions based on what they wanted to share or know about a particular subject. Whoever wanted to provide input on the topic did so. This was almost one giant brain storming event to help or educate one another. I did meet one of the organizers of the event who did participate as well. Her name was Erin Painter and she is a teacher in Ottawa. One of the topics she brought up during the event was how effective social media is when integrated with learning. There was moments throughout the day during the breaks where you could continue your conversations with people you have met, so I briefly spoke to her about this topic. I could not agree more with her. I then began giving her my opinion on how introducing social media for purposes other than leisure, at such an early age compared to myself learning about it now, gives these students a one up. It gives them insight on how such tools can be used professionally and possibly help develop their future. She then said that, ultimately that is what they are trying to establish. With the way that our society is moving with technology, our future will soon depend on the usage of these applications and tools. They must take necessary actions to adapt to the given situation. This allows teachers to use them where applicable as an aid to help the students learn. Figuring out different strategies to teach and deliver messages to students increases their learning.

Ideas Gained From Event

Regardless of the profession you choose, there is always room for improvement. The use of technology and social media will be our future. We must all learn to adapt to change and embrace new arising resources. Learning to use such tools for our advantage makes opportunities endless. It is our decision on how far we extend ourselves for career advancement. That being said, is it really enough to only use social media for the ways you already know or have been told? Or is it our responsibility to continue to explore these options further to improve? Exploring these options is what I walked away with from this event. The teachers do this not only to benefit themselves but they do it to incorporate these tools as much as possible in learning as a strategy for students to retain information. This is also done to familiarize the students with these applications and prepare them for their future. Social media applications are given to society for free for the most part, and it requires nothing from us in return. It is an aid that can be used for an endless amount of tasks. Why not continue to explore all different kinds in order to figure out which ones benefit you the most and determine how you can incorporate it with your field to improve your professional development.

Collect a Quote

“Teachers Matter” is a quote that I decided to use from the event that seems the most important and the one message that had the most emphasis. The body language, teaching methods and the way teachers choose to speak plays a vital role in teaching. Therefore, the development of teachers is not just for them. They advance themselves in order to become better educators for the students. The things students learn from teachers is what will ultimately help them in the future with their development. Teaching at an optimal level  puts the students in a better position for their future.

Will I Attend a Similar Event in the Future

EDCAMP is an unconference meaning that events like this are loosely structured. This kind of conference focuses on the participants exchanging information and ideas in an informal manner, rather than following a structured program. I will attend another event like this in the future because this was one of the best experiences I had at an event. I hate being lectured and having a set plan that needs to be followed especially if the information being delivered isn’t interesting. I feel that I am able to retain more information at events like this due to the constant interactions.

COM0015 – Strong and Weak Organizations

Paul Rushforth Team screenshot

Paul Rushforth Team screenshot

Since I have been following a lot of trends in the Ottawa real estate market, I decided to look at examples of brokerages that are leveraging or wasting their social media potential. The first example is the strong organization of Paul Rushforth Team. The brokerage isn’t even linked to any well-known realty brand, but does very well. They are using Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and LinkedIn regularly. On their Twitter feed, they are mixing new information with interactions and engagement. On their Facebook page, there is a great mix of engagement, information and listings. They also use their accounts to cross-post. For example, I found You Tube videos on their Facebook site, leading me to their channel. They also showcase each of these connections on the home page of their website, along with blog postings organized by reader they may appeal to. It seems they have a very effective system going for those social media previously mentioned. The Paul Rushforth team also runs a Podcast radio show for those who like to listen as information is presented to them. The only place they may benefit from an increase in effort is their Pinterest page. They only have one board and the board only has property videos.

Remax Canada's Facebook fan page

Remax Canada’s Facebook fan page

I found it difficult to find another strong organization that is working social media across the board. I found that the head office of Remax Canada is doing very well. Similar to Paul Rushforth Team, they have many different social media accounts and on their homepage, they have a whole section called ‘media newsroom’. This is where they have their blogs posted and anyone can look at commercial investor reports divided by province. Something else I found very impressive was that they had their Twitter and Pinterest accounts linked right on their Facebook fan page beneath the cover photo. Even though I found the Rushforth team accounts impressive, I thought this was a marvelous idea to promote across the platforms.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, it is not easy to find a real estate firm or company that is not at all using social media. Realtors are well aware that social media is one of the best things to ever happen to the real estate industry. I’ve been looking at Exit Realty Matrix for this and other classes, as they are in need of a social media boost. They had someone working for them in social media and set them up with numerous accounts. The only thing worse than not having any social media accounts is not maintaining them regularly. Exit Realty Matrix, and the ‘Tessier Team’ in particular, is doing okay as far as their Facebook account goes. Apart from the occasional contest, they tend to inundate subscribers with listings. Product information is only one of many things that should be included in your feeds on any social media platform. Their Twitter has barely been touched for months, their Pinterest either and their blog has been laying dormant since March 28th, 2013. They have all the tools and are not using them. Their strategy should be one of a multiple pronged approach.

–       They have already taken the first step I would recommend, which is to hire someone new to do their social media. I’ll be starting in the new year. 😉

–       monitor other sites for latest in real estate news and create their own content with similar information

–       start creating general content that would be of interest in their business to consumer aspect

–        keep a steady stream of content on all platforms

–       follower seeding

–       looking at their metrics to see what works and what doesn’t

 

Tessier team's lonely blog

Tessier team’s sleepy blog

If they start by taking these few steps, their currently ‘napping’ social network will get more traffic and increase their visibility. In real estate, a company needs to look impressive, at the top of their game, while maintaining a genuine connection with customers. Social media is one of the best ways that they can achieve all this and sell houses.

COM0015 – Blog Post#1: Tool & Sources

Is-Making-A-Smart-Phone-App-A-good-Investment

I personally have a lot on the go for the most part. I find that I don’t have enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done. Between work and school, friends and family, things can get a bit hectic. I am the type of person who is seen to be using their phone all the time because I find that it is a huge time saver! Being able to do just about anything on my smart phone gives me the ability to save time with applications that continue to update/improve. From emailing, social networking, news/weather and sports apps, I can stay in tune with all my interests.

Facebook is one of the many online social networks used across the world and the most popular among my friends and family. Facebook is one of my favourite social media tools because it gives me constant updates as to what everyone who is important in my life is up to, reminders of birthdays and social events. Coming from a huge family this is very important so I can keep in touch with all my family all over the world. Everything is done for me, I don’t have to input any information like I would in a calendar. For me this tool is quite easy to navigate and make changes to. The layout is simple and appealing to the eye which makes it enjoyable to use.

Instagram is another social Media tool that I enjoy using from my smartphone. Being able to follow friends and family like Facebook, gives me insight as to what goes on during their day. Especially with the newly added video option that captures 15 seconds worth of footage, so you can share priceless moments as if you were there for yourself. Big organizations use Instagram as well to promote release dates for shoes or clothes, so I follow the brands I like so I don’t miss out on any sales event. I can basically follow all the things I have interest in such as cars, different food dishes, and celebrities. Just one picture can paint 1000 words, that being said, this tool is so amazing because it keeps everything short and sweet.

Cp24 is a great application I use to be up to date with daily news. Where ever I am located, Toronto or Ottawa it will give me notifications on breaking stories so I don’t have to constantly check to see if something has happened. Weather changes so often you never know what to expect. Cp24 gives me updates of the weather on the go!

Everyone has their own definition of news now a days. News to each individual might be much more than stories that are happening around them or in different countries. It can be anything that they have interest in and haven’t heard about yet and for me, it is both. Sports to me is also news! I use the SCORE application on my phone so I can keep tabs on all my favourite sports teams when I don’t quite have time to watch a game. This also gives me notifications on signings, trades, game details, clips of game highlights and schedules.

COM0015 – Blog Post #1 Social Media Tools and Sources

154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons

154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons (Photo credit: webtreats)

The Internet is completely cluttered with social media, so it can be very hard to keep track of the updates and posts that are actually of interest to someone. My two favourite tools to keep me updated are HootSuite and my Facebook feed in general. In my business, I use HootSuite to track all of my social accounts. This allows me to monitor what my accounts are doing, who they are interacting with, who I need to reply to. Since my business is photography, I use mostly Facebook and Twitter. Facebook allows me to post pictures as well and keep them in different albums on my fan page.  I have my Facebook account linked to my Twitter so that everytime I post on my fan page, it automatically posts to my Twitter account as well.  I find that with the help of HootSuite to monitor my business accounts, I can spend time on my personal Facebook feed and Twitter to find the news that interests me. I look at the ‘trending’ section of Twitter to see what is going on. I appreciate hashtags and use them frequently so that perspective brides searching for #Ottawa #wedding #photography can find me with ease. I also scroll through my Facebook feed to see what stories are cropping up among my friend and business circles. Being directly connected to people I have a shared history with, or have met at mutually interesting events keeps me abreast of news that I would like to hear about.  I also receive updates from fan pages I’ve liked. With functions like these, it is obvious to me why Facebook is the giant in social media.

I also have an account with YouTube. This allows me to post slideshows of my works for my clients to share and to entice perspective clients. ( See www.youtube.com/jbphotocanada ) You Tube, or links to sites from Facebook to You Tube videos, are where I tend to find most of the news that interests me.  In fact, just today while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed I stumbled upon a TED event video. It was a young man talking about his fantastic idea to clean up the oceans of all the plastic waste that is clogging it up. (see below) This is something I never would have heard of without the Internet and my Facebook feed. You Tube allows for embedding video on to web pages, making content literally come alive. Although some You Tube submissions must be taken with a grain of salt, reposts from established broadcast channels make it so that an audience can catch almost anything they may have missed. By subscribing to a You Tube channel like the TEDxtalks channel, gives me access to the content I want to see. I prefer to watch news through You Tube as I don’t have cable or satellite. You Tube also allows me to watch videos that are educational and can help me with professional development.

Though it sometimes clutters my inbox, I do also like to sign up for newsletters. I, myself, use the free service MailChimp to keep my subscribers informed. To my business, keeping in touch with my clients through newsletters is paramount. Newsletters also keep me well informed of events that are of interest to me. For example, I subscribed to a newsletter that informed me about Creative Live, as service I never would have heard about otherwise. Creative Live allows you to watch experts in the field of marketing, photography, graphic design and more, give workshops over the Internet. Even more fantastic, is that these events are free to watch. Or, if you like to watch them repeatedly, you can purchase the event after you’ve seen it. Creative Live has helped me hone many of my photographic skills and I continue to watch segments today.

Newsletters may seem old fashioned, but they are also a great way to get free information from people hoping you will purchase what they are selling. I think the key to a good newsletter is not to go for the sale, but rather to have a goal of informing your subscribers. I subscribe to a few social media ‘guru’ sites that send out tips on how to maximize my social media. Once I am done with them, I delete them and always unsubscribe to any that I feel are not serving me well. My e-mail is the one thing I check every day, without fail. Having information delivered to me in this way is very convenient.

I prefer Facebook feeds, Twitter trends, You Tube and newsletters primarily because they are something I can scroll during the time I choose. I can search through my Facebook feed for either the top stories of the most recent. As I previously stated, using hashtags I can see the stories that interest me. You Tube is delivered to me on both these fronts and newsletters are sent straight to my inbox. All of these sources keep me well informed and my interests fed.

Jennifer Walker