Blog Post #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

In this post I will discuss social media strategy for a strong organization which is Emirates Airline and an organization that needs to adopt a social media strategy which is Farley Mowat Public School (FMPS).

Emirates Airline on social media

Emirates airline knows how to make social media work for its benefits. They have an impressive social media plan within their marketing strategy. Some of the marketing campaigns that had high echo across all social media: #BeingThere campaign which was transmitted on different social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Below I will explain how Emirates Airline was able to grow awareness about their network, inspire travellers, and engage people with their social media channels.

#BeingThere campaign

Emirates Airline had chosen 7 Globalista (travel is their passion) to travel to different cities, capturing shots & videos and post it on the social media platforms. I will highlight 2 social media tools that have been used successfully in promoting for the campaign.

Facebook:

  • Facebook was powerful at this campaign as it helped to reach higher targeted people and video view volumes and greater interaction.
  • 120 Million people reached on Facebook
  • Over 60 Million Video views on Facebook and YouTube

Twitter:

  • Emirates partnered up with many traveller bloggers, who shared Emirates content with their followers allowing Emirates airline message to reach out for more people on Twitter.
  • High amount of positive tweets on #beingthere @Emirates
  • Globalistas posted daily tweets about their trip and engaged people by asking them where do you think our next trip will be?
  • Varieties of contents were posted on twitter to encourage people who are passionate about travelling to like, comment and share.
  • Over 50 Million impressions on Twitter

In my opinion Emirates #BeThere campaign was victorious in all standards, their Goals & visions were clear, the media efforts was appropriate to the targeted audience, and they have chosen multiple social media channels that go well with their campaign.

Farley Mowat Public School (FMPS)

I believe Farley Mowat Public School can establish a professional presence that allows them to capitalize on this social space in many important ways. Facebook Page is an excellent opportunity for schools to supplement their web presence, although FMPS has a Facebook page but it’s not active.

If FMPS is consistent in keeping the information updated and accurate, students and families will likely come to rely on the Facebook Page as a resource to find information about what’s going on at the school.

Successful presence on social media provides an opportunity to showcase the unique culture of the school and promote the academic development of the students.

Also if the school is active on social media, it will be easier for community members to get involved and share their opinions on a variety of fronts.

First steps into the world of social media

  • Understand the audience, where they are? What platform they use? What they like to read about. Most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
  • How often to post and when
    • Facebook: school can post once or twice every weekday
    • Twitter: 2- 3 times a day
    • Instagram: 1 photo per day or many photos if there is an event or school trip.
  • Timing: it is important to determine the best time to post. Most people are consistently checking in before they begin their day or after school/work.
  • Well-constructed posts are essential to attract the audience’s attention and make them engaged.

References:

COM00014 Blog 7 – Personal Reflection

We’ve learned in this course that storytelling is a great tool to capture audience’s attention and make them engaged if done accurately. Carolanne Mangles in her post Storytelling is the future of Content Marketing strategy in 2018

Wrote The power of telling your audience a story is a technique that must not be overlooked, because when done correctly with strategic planning – knowing who your audience is, where they are and what story they want to know – will provide great engagement with your content and brand.

Also we’ve learned how to create messages that are appropriate to the brand of an organization or individual and this is explained perfectly in Carolanne Mangles’ post, she gave an example about National Geographic while they are masters at engaging their followers on social media platforms following great techniques such as posting high quality, colourful and unique visual content, using interesting, unusual, shocking, or emotional engaging first sentence to grip the audience, and writing texts that are full of detail and rich with every description of the subject of the image, their reason for being there / why they are important and descriptions of their surroundings.

images

retrieved from:http://yoursmallbusinessgrowth.com

The story that I would share with others about the challenges that I had faced when I decided to move away from family, friends & places where I grew up and came to live in Ottawa, new city, new people, new environment, how I had to start to learn new language, and earn a new certificate to work and blend into society.

 References:

https://www.smartinsights.com/content-management/content-marketing-strategy/storytelling-content-marketing-strategy/

image :http://yoursmallbusinessgrowth.com/3-ways-personal-reflection-can-help-you-grow-your-business/

Personal Brand

I was born and raised in Dubai, an advanced, luxurious, and the multicultural city that shaped my feelings and personality. Living in Dubai made me proud of my Identity as a Muslim woman who is wearing veil, speaks Arabic and English fluently, and believes in diversity and multiculturalism.

It gave me the skills and the strength to move and live in another city that shares almost the same values which is Ottawa Ontario in Canada.

In Ottawa, I easily built relationships with many people who speak different languages, have different backgrounds, religions, and skin colors. Living in two different cities: one in the east and another in the west played a critical role in defining my values and who I am. This is one of my characteristic that sets me apart from others

Another characteristic is, I like to be perceived by others as highly educated person who is always learning something new. I have finished my Master degree in Human Resources Management, studied French language and now I’m pursuing a social media certificate. I’m also a reader interested in reading books about human development and emotional intelligence.

 

I am an athlete, which is my third characteristic that makes me different from others. I enjoy different type of sports and every year I add a new sport to my list. When I was younger, I‘ve been always one of the top 3 winners in Bing Bong (Table Tennis), swimming and running races. I played Karate for 10 years and I have the brown belt. Since two years I’ve started learning Back horse riding and my next sport is learning kickboxing.

Voluntarism is my last characteristic. I learned voluntarism here in Ottawa. I found joyfulness in engaging with people from different places and contributing to the community I Live in. Right now I’m volunteering with Blood Canada and in the future I would like to volunteer with Food Bank here in Ottawa.

 

Reference:

http://www.mongolia-travel-and-tours.com/horseback-horse-riding-tours-mongolia.html

B2C-Emirates Airline

hellotomorrow1_tcm133-838964

retrieved from Emirates.com

Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airlines are one of the leading airlines in the world. Its a brand to youth, innovation and adventures. In order to reinforce this image, the airlines are engaging proactively with its customers 24/7 by developing a high quality campaigns resulting in a strong presence on social media platforms.

Emirates Airline on social media

Emirates airlines know how to make social media work for its benefits. Some of the marketing campaigns that had high echo across all social media: #BeingThere campaign which was transmitted on different social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Below I will explain how Emirates Airlines were able to grow awareness about their network, inspire travellers, and engage people with their social media channels.

#BeingThere campaign

Emirates Airlines had chosen 7 Globalista (travel is their passion) to travel to different cities, capturing shots & videos and post it on the social media platforms.

I will highlight 2 social media tools that have been used successfully in promoting for the campaign.

Facebook:

  • Facebook was powerful at this campaign as it helped to reach higher targeted people and video view volumes and greater interaction.
  • 120 Million people reached on Facebook
  • Over 60 Million Video views on Facebook and YouTube

Twitter:

  • Emirates partnered up with many traveller bloggers, who shared Emirates content with their followers allowing Emirates airline message to reach out for more people on Twitter.
  • High amount of positive tweets on #beingthere @Emirates
  • Globalista posted daily tweets about their trip and engaged people by asking them where do you think our next trip will be?
  • Varieties of contents were posted on twitter to encourage people who are passionate about travelling to like, comment and share.
  • Over 50 Million impressions on Twitter

 

In my opinion Emirates #BeThere campaign was victorious in all standards, their Goals & visions were clear, the media efforts was appropriate to the targeted audience, and they have chosen multiple social media channels that go well with their campaign.

 

References:

  1. “Emirates Be There Campaign.” Shorty Awards, http://shortyawards.com/8th/emirates-be-there-campaign
  2. Hersh, Fadi. “Emirates Airlines And Social Media Marketing.”Waterloo,19,June.2017, https://smbp.uwaterloo.ca/2017/06/emirates-case-study/
  3. “Be There with Emirates.” CREAM Inspiring Innovation , Havas Media, http://www.creamglobal.com/case-studies/latest/17798/37670/be-there-with-emirates/
  4. picture: https://binged.it/2yjRUKD

Analyzing your Audience

There are different methods to analyzing our audience on social media as mentioned in lesson #4; below are guidelines that I have used to analyze the audience for motherhood and parenting blog.

Analyzing the audience:

  • Identify the target audience: Who the audience are? Where are they communicating? What are they discussing? For example, my blog is about motherhood and parenting, my targeted audience are parents, psychologist and educators. After identifying my audience, I have set a Google alert to notify me when articles are being posted that contain keywords such as: children and parenting, raising children, how to be a great mom. On twitter I followed influencers in my area of interest, these influencers post on regular basis. On Facebook I have chosen to join Facebook pages that has a high number of members to learn what type of topics that engage them and who are the active members on these pages. On Instagram i have kept my eye on the most active hashtags that discusses childhood & family topics. Implanting this detailed research guided me to have a great understanding what are the topics that interest people to talk about it in my blog.
  • Understanding the industry: using specific keywords search related to childhood & family in Twitter search, Google alert, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram helped me to understand clearly my industry, how tough it is? What topics engaged followers more than others? This understanding played a great role in the way I choose my contents.
  • Learn about my competitor: by doing quick search on the same social media tools mentioned above, I was able to identify my competitors, how they are perceived by their audience and what tools they are using. This step was very beneficial as I was able to determine my competitor’s weaknesses in order to use it for my advantage.

Successful online campaign:

#worldstoughestjob: A campaign that went viral in 2014, when a American Greetings Card store and Mullen made an uplifting video ad for Mother’s Day that offered a fake job. They posted it online, printed it in newspapers, and then held real interviews with a dozen unsuspecting people looking to take the position of Director of Operations. What made this job so interesting? Unlimited hours, no breaks, no time off, and no pay were just a few of the crazy requirements for the job. By the end of the video, the interviewees realize the job they are applying for is what many people feel is the most important job – being a Mom. In the last few seconds of the video, it reaches out to the audience saying, “This Mother’s Day, you might want to make her a card.” Steps For Viral Campaign Success: #WorldsToughestJob Videos (2014, June 12). Retrieved from http://www.pagemodo.com/blog/3-steps-viral-campaign-success-worldstoughestjob-videos/

 toughest job

References:

https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan/

http://ccol.algonquincollege.com/com0014/lesson-3/lesson-content/\

http://www.pagemodo.com/blog/3-steps-viral-campaign-success-worldstoughestjob-videos/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3941651401&feature=iv&src_vid=MWcJZ210AaM&v=NDmHcTLdKGk

Blog 2: How to stand out

write

(Image via Bronco Round Up)

 

This week, I learned that writing is a great way to express feelings and in order to engage people with our stories, our writing style should hook the reader and make them excited to come back to the blog and even leave a comment or a like.

In the past, I used to think that I’m not a good writer and that’s why making a phone call has been easier for me than sending an E-mail. However, since I have written many blogs I feel more confident and I realized that being a good writer is not as difficult as I thought as long as I follow the right steps to reach out. The first step is to define my gaol, which means I should understand what I need the the reader to do; for example if I’m writing in my blog, my expected action from thereader could be to click “like”, leave a comment, or even share my blog. Second step, I need to understand clearly who my audience are and how to interest them to stick around. Third step is my writing should be clear and concise and this comes only if I have a clear understanding for the topic and I have the ability to simplify my thoughts, discuss, and engage with my audience. Fourth step is using active voice instead of passive voice. There are different points of view about writing in passive or active voice. Some advice that writing in a passive voice is more professional , While others advice writing in active tone is clearer and make readers more interacted. Personally, I’m interested in reading topics written in active voice and this is what I prefer while writing my blogs. Finally, Checking spelling and grammar is very important while writing an article or a blog. Reading a piece with many spelling and grammar mistakes show lack of credibility and professionalism.

 

Referances:

https://inspiredm.com/persuasive-writing/

 

Darwin-et awards

 

In 1985, the Darwin awards were created to honour those whose moronic behavior got themselves killed. Named after Charles Darwin and his theory of natural selection, the award is given, posthumously, to an individual who ends his or her life in dramatic, idiotic fashion.
Past winners include: Karmic Valentine Schadenfreude, who pushed his girlfriend into an icy river, then jumped in to kill her. Problem was she could swim and he could not. She swam to shore while Valentine drowned. A man named Anthony G died while driving around safety cones, placed around downed hydro wires, ignoring screams from passing pedestrian.

And then we have the story of Nguyen of Vietnam. While drinking with his friends, he got into a heated argument over whether the old detonator he found could explode or not. Nguyen assured his friends that it was too old and rusty to work. They disagreed. To prove to them that he was right, he put the detonator in his mouth and told his pals to connect the wires. He died on the way to hospital.

See the source image

 

It’s not a stretch to suggest a Darwin award, which I like to call the Darwin-et award, to someone who is moronic, idiotic, whose ill advised tweets or posts gets them in hot genepool water. ( click )Twitter has become the go-to media for anyone who wants to chime in on the topic of the day.  To vent their displeasure on the goings on is society, it has become the soap box, on which anyone can impart their, sometimes ridiculous, dogma.

Now not everyone who joins Twitter does so with the sole purpose of espousing their misguided lunacy on the rest of us. According to the (Click) Huffpost, there are 10 types of twitter users: the egg, the lurker, the contester, the retwitter, the Bot, the #Teamfolloback, the Celebrity, the Guru, Business, and a whole bunch of normal people that don’t fit into the above categories. But for the purpose of blog, let’s focus on the moron. The celebrity moron.

There have been alot of celebrity mistweets in the past.(Click) Buzzfeed has a list of their top twenty five mistweets. And they are funny. But the best, and this year’s winner of the Darwin-et awards goes to: Roseanne.  Roseanne, an actress with a hit sitcom, flamed out in the most moronic, the Donald Trump of moronic, way with her tweet about Valarie Jarret, a black woman and  former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, looking like a monkey. Within hours of the tweet, ABC, the network that carried the program, cancelled her show. Thus ended her career.

 

C’mon down Roseanne Barr — you’re this year’s winner of the Darwin-et award!

If anyone wants to nominate next years winner, feel free. (Donald Trump is too obvious.)

Roseanne Barr

 

 

#celebrity tweets

 

 

Social Media- A Modern Addiction

How many “likes” are you earning a day? How many “followers” do you have? A race to be famous…

My friend…he was having an accident before an hour, broken his legs and had numerous fractures; seems not concerned about his health but his cell phone. He hungrily wants his phone back. Busy in watching the posts on Instagram and emerging into such fantasies. He now feels his existence as he was online. He might not believe but he was addicted to social media.

Never before have had the habits penetrated the unprecedented speed of the proliferation of social media around the world. Using the social media has been an inseparable part of our lives. Years ago, there were cigarettes, now it’s the fame on social media by getting “likes”. As the people are engaged with such stuff, much the data is uploaded and leaked, more the time is wasted. Same like in the gambling business, social media companies use intermittent variable compensation to hook their users.

I completely agree that social media has several benefits and advantages: from skill learning to skill showing, making contacts to making big companies and enterprises; only by using certain functionalities of social media and modern technology. But according to various experts, there is a major impact of social media on our mental health. “Everyone who has scrolled through Facebook knows how, instead of imparting wisdom, the system dishes out compulsive stuff that tends to reinforce people’s biases” has been stated in The Economist with their issue “Social media’s threat to democracy”.

One does not exist until it is recognized in social networks. The evidence is clearly in front of our eyes – like not leaving a phone while doing any damn easy thing. People are now decreasing the use of their minds and are moving further to be dependent on machines; which are remarkably increased after the introduction to the field of Artificial Intelligence. Although every technology has its pros and cons, one is here to use it in some better deeds. Nowadays, it is acting least as media for news but has more dumps of images and information that is not much relevant and reflects the stupidity of one’s thought.

I just wonder; would there be special seats for social media addicts in a movie theater or on the bus? Does large consumption of social media cause social cancer?ph.jpgph2.jpg

Twitter: Social Media … A Modern Addiction

Facebook: Social Media … A Modern Addiction

3 Reasons: Facebook should be integrated into High School Classrooms

High school students procrastinate more than six hours a day on Facebook (Tsukayama, 2015). For some students, it ends up costly toward their final grades. Facebook has become part of their daily life. It is almost impossible to stop them from using it. High schools can change the use of Facebook for these students by making it part of the curriculum- make it more positive. Therefore, Facebook should be integrated into the high school classroom because of following reasonable reasons; first, it is an effective way to connect students around the world. Second, students can use it for educational purposes.Third, it is a tool to engage students in the learning process.

Mind Map Mind map.jpg

1. Facebook is a great way to connect students around the world.

Facebook creates an effective platform for students to build International communication between each other. Students in a various way can share their ideas by posting on their Facebook wall and comment on each other’s posts. For example, they can create a short survey research with five to ten questions. They can collect data from all over the world, by sharing it in their Facebook walls. Moreover, Facebook makes Group collaboration easily accessible for students internationally. They can work in a singular assignment or a group project by connecting and collaborating with each other through Facebook. Recently, in 2016, Finland ranked as a top education system in the world by the world economic Forum. Let’s say students are assigned to do a group project about “high school education system in Finland”. They can create a Facebook group chat and add students from Finland for collecting raw data from students. Most important of all, Facebook is a free online social network. Usually, other websites need a bank account or other information to have access to their data. Facebook is a network that most of the students are already a member of it, so they do not need to start everything all over again.

2. Students will learn to use facebook for educational purposes.

Since most of the high school students are already a member of Facebook and they know how to use it. They only thing can be school’s responsibility is to teach them how to use it for education purposes. In Facebook, students can create groups for each of their classes. For example; They can have a separate Facebook group pages for mathematics. They can share all of the related documents and discusses the related topic in separated pages so that they don’t get messed up with their school work. Another interesting way to use Facebook for education purpose is to follow academically informative pages on Facebook. For example, I am following a Facebook page that regularly posts mathematics formula including funny memes about math. All of the posts of these page appears first in my newsfeed. To be honest, I have learned and have always been refreshed about mathematics topic by following these particulate academically informative pages. Students can easily find related pages to their own subjects of interest in Facebook and follow them for gaining further information. Once of my favorite way of using Facebook for education, the purpose is to post school related blog on Facebook with my friends. I took social media for entrepreneur online class this semester. Most of our Assignments was to post blogs in word press. And most of our grades were based on those blogs. If students get used to posting blogs on Facebook with their friends by using Facebook, they basically learn new skills.

3. Facebook is a tool to engage students in the learning process.

 

Facebook encourages students to improve their writing skills. For example, Facebook has improved my writing skills. Every time I want to post something on Facebook –I want it to be grammatically correct –Because my friends are going to see it. Same with other students, they can express their ideas in Facebook. It might not be as academic as school teachers, but at least they get motivated to write and get creative with it. This leads to another crucial point, Facebook makes learning more fun. For example, students can make memes about what they learn in class and share it with friends on Facebook. Memes make learning more fun. Most important of all, students who use Facebook regularly, they have a great knowledge of computer. They get to explore computers themselves. Then there will be no need for computer class.

All in All, Facebook provides the opportunity for students to connect with other students globally. Students will learn that what they are using for procrastinating can be used for learning too. In addition to that Facebook is an exciting tool that can encourage students in learning process. With considering the above reasons Facebook should become part of high school classroom curriculum. Integration of Facebook in High school classrooms will bring a massive change in the traditional learning system. The high school will become a fun learning institution.

 

References

 

Obrien, A. (2014, September 23). Edutopia. Creating a Dynamic Facebook Page for Your School. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Schelten, K. (2009, December 21). Do You Spend Too Much Time on Facebook. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Tsukayama, H. (2015, November 3). Teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2017.

COM0014 – Blog Post #2 : I Have an Amazing Story to Tell!

Look At Me Hello GIF by kate spade new york

I am passionate about writing. I want to write the next, Game of Thrones, or Harry Potter. The problem is how do I start? What makes a good story that people want to hear? This week’s lesson focused on my problem. To quote the lesson plan, I want to “Inspire, motivate, captivate and entertain my audience.” So, while that elusive best seller is out of reach, I will focus on my blog posts. I will read, write, learn and do it all over again until I reach my goal.

There are a few things in the lesson plan this week that resonate with me. Not only for this assignment, but for all my writing. The main point? Begin with the end in mind. I love this. It makes so much sense now. Social media is a fantastic tool to reach out to people. Blogging is new to me, and this one idea is so crucial. What do I want my audience to get out of my post? What do I want? Engagement. I want people to interact with me and get to know me as a person. I want comments, shares, interaction. Knowing this up front is a good way to understand how I am going to proceed.

The next thing I learned is the elusive passive voice vs active voice. Even while writing this post, my computer is yelling at me! I often write in the past tense, which has that troublesome effect of writing in the passive voice. It is usually the first thing I edit. Active voice makes the story more gripping to the reader. Lesson learned. Write, rewrite, edit, and proof read. Using a beta reader also helps to make sure you are creating your masterpiece as you intended.

The third tidbit of advice is the importance of Grammar, spelling and punctuation. Nothing annoys me more than an unedited book, article, post or anything that I am reading. It not only makes it hard to read, but it makes it look unprofessional. I try to put my piece away for a bit and come back to it later. A fresh set of eyes makes all the difference in proof reading your own work. Writing is easy. Writing well is hard. Writing compelling stories people want to read is demanding and difficult.  It is a gift, and worth all the effort it takes to achieve it.

So how about you? What is your struggle with writing? What stands out when you are reading?

Social Media and Children’s Behavior

As a mom to young children, I always find myself torn between “Do I let my kids have the IPad, or don’t I.” That’s the ongoing question, or should I say argument…

When I was kid, I was told, “Turn the tv off and go play outside!” It wasn’t turn the Ipad / Youtube/ T.V/ Videogames controllers/ Cell Phone.. The options are endless these days on where we need to plug our mind to. What happened to using our imagination? Going outside and being adventurous?

We need to encourage our kids to put the technology
Image:https://phys.org/news/2017-07-kids-social-media-bad-news.html

Positive Effects

Yes, I suppose there is some positive to it all… Technology and social media are growing at a rapid rate, our children must be educated properly on the positive impacts of  social media and how to navigate their ways through all the cluster.

-Students are able to have more options to classes, by taking courses online and being able to communicate through discussions and chat groups to engage and share ideas with larger audiences. Online classes also benefit kids that are physically unable to get to a class room on a regular basis or at all, but still being able to continue their education.

-Social Media platforms that allow kids to connect with others that have the same interests or hobbies.

-Connecting with others, especially family and friends all over the globe. From emails and chat rooms, to photos and videos and Skype and Facetime. We can stay in touch so easily now, no matter where you live.

Negative Effects

This is where my spouse and I constantly have the battle, where he thinks it’s all negative, but with control and guidance it’s important to educate, so social media doesn’t cause negative effects.

Addiction, its real. We all know as adults how easily we can be wrapped up in swiping and searching and maybe creeping (we all do it, just admit it).

Addiction gets in the way of relationships, school, and activities. Not only is it wasting a lot of time, but also causing mental health issues, and effecting social skills by not being able to put the phones down and live in the moment. I have seen many times at events or family dinners where they are videoing or taking photos throughout the entire time. Instead savour the moments with family or that Awesome concert you’re going to, yes take a photo or two for memories, but be there with your own eyes, not through the lens of your phone.

-Selfies, “let’s take a selfie”. Especially in girls, who are always conscious of their looks. Editing photos and tracking to see how many ‘likes’ they get on their photos becomes an obsession and they are selfie addicts.

-Cyber Bullying, not just bullying anymore. It’s easier to be mean through the screen then it is in person. Children can also become targets for stalking as well. It’s important to teach our children not to post to much private information online.

What can we do to help our kids?

As parents we always want what’s best for our kids, we need to educate them, and beware of what they are doing.

  • Monitor how much time they are spending on social media platforms
  • For young children, restricting them to sites that are appropriate for their age group, and set time limits for how long they are on screens.
  • Explain the importance of still having social interactions with friends not just chatting online and commenting on each other’s posts.
  • Suggest platforms that could enhance their learning or communicate with others of similar interests.

Social Media is growing at a fast rate, and it’s difficult to keep up, but we need to educate our children to monitor how much time they are spending online, and what they are doing to make sure they are managing their time appropriately, to still incorporate other things in their day like socializing with friends doing other activities, or maybe having a family conversation over dinner and asking how everyone’s’ day was?! What are your families thoughts on social media and phones during family time?

– “Your kids and social media” http://kirkcameron.com/kids- social-media/

“Oversharenting”://twitter.com/ABC/status/1131801770840268800

References: Mrunal.(2018, May 4).”Impact of Social Media on Children”.https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/impact-of-social-media-on-children/

4 Ways to Tailor What You’re Seeing Online

4 Ways to Tailor What You’re Seeing Online

Even though the Wild West of Web 1.0 has been wrangled with the advent of social media, there is still more content published online than any one person could hope to discover! So what’s the best way to go about finding what we want to see, as personal Internet users, and as a digital brand?

Brand Feedback

There are so many options for social media listening tools that it can be hard to narrow down which ones to use! Though tons of paid options for social listening are out there if you’re willing to spring for them, simple tools like Google Alerts can help you stay up to date on what audiences are saying about your brand. I consider it one of the best unpaid listening tools out there as it creates an RSS feed of keyword notifications that you can choose, including hashtags. You can always trust our Internet overlords Google to provide us with a good system to monitor our brands’ digital presence! Google has also created a program to monitor website and social media analytics (Google Analytics)! These two free programs provide you with a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to know what’s going on with your brand and it’s digital presence, and are super easy to set up and navigate.

pretend edward cullen GIF

My Personal Feed

When it comes to getting news and web content curated to my interests, Google doesn’t have quite the same iron grip on my Internet use. Here, Reddit (reddit.com) holds the key to my heart, as it provides a front page similar to an RSS feed based on “subreddits” (collections of community-curated web content based around any and every subject you could imagine) that you subscribe to. This allows me to go to one website for anything from Black Mirror discussion groups to local Ottawa news to Lord of the Rings Memes and everything in between. As much as I love Reddit for personal use and don’t personally use it in any professional respect, I can see the potential that a site like Reddit holds. Reddit is often one of the most up-to-date sources of news, memes, and other Internet content, and appeals to an audience that is not always as present on traditional social media. The specificity of the communities that exist on this website are the perfect source for community observation and discussion. Stay away from a sales-push on Reddit though! Users are quick to sniff out a sales tactic and generally don’t tolerate the use of the platform as a marketing opportunity – another reason why I love to use it!

episode 2 my safe space is reddit GIF by Portlandia

I’ve also been a huge fan of the new Instagram feature of following hashtags the same way you can follow users, with a collection of tagged photos showing up on your feed! While, again, I have made liberal use of this on my personal accounts (hello #guineapigs!), it is also great if you are planning a campaign based around hashtag use, as now the content generated from this campaign will show up directly in your feed. If your brand is present on Instagram, hashtag campaigns are great because they generate both free publicity by encouraging people to post related to your brand, and the potential for free content (and community kudos) by regramming the best shots!

beautiful late night GIF by PBS

These are just a couple of my favourite online sources for curated content and digital feedback. What are you using right now to stay up to date on your favourite web content? Let me know in the comments below so I can check them out!

COM0014 – Blog #01 : A Trip through time across the country

A few weeks ago, I had some business travel to Seattle. Since I was on the west coast, I arranged to spend a few days in Vancouver visiting friends. Friends I haven’t seen in a very long time. This is the gang I hung out with over thirty years ago when we all had superpowers, time to burn and no responsibility.

It has been twenty years since I’d last visited the old gang. For me, the trip was a voyage through time as much as it was a trip across the country.

I imagined Vancouver would be late nights in bars, screaming along to blistering music or drinking in a pub raging against the world. Maybe we would climb a mountain to conquer something — the things we used to do.

Tom’s band back in the day

I arrived on a Friday, anticipating everyone’s excitement at my arrival. I’d left all my responsibilities behind in Ottawa for a few days. For my friends though, this was another Friday night. Chris had to work; Tom couldn’t find a babysitter, Sarah had a crushing deadline and couldn’t leave the studio.

I spent my first night out west wandering around looking for something to eat. Has that ever happened to you? When you find yourself in the middle of a major city, restaurants everywhere yet you can’t find somewhere to eat? That was my Friday.

Young Punk

When we were invincible

Saturday was the day to see people. I was nervous. Other than the odd comment on Facebook, we’ve had very little communication over the years. Would we have anything to talk about? Would we be relegated to small talk? Chatter about work or housing prices? How do you pick up friendships after so long apart?

Adam has been diagnosed with MS and no longer able to work in his beloved film industry. There would be no late nights drinking with him. The medication he was on and the diet to stay healthy ruled out alcohol. He walks with a cane and is still as funny and brilliant as ever. Chris still lives as he always has, bouncing from band to band, picking up short term jobs that he can quit to go on tour. Tom has a family now. Sarah is a widower, a mother of 3 and a successful artist. She has recently started teaching again so she could get out of the studio and see people.

My nervousness at what to expect quickly faded. We picked up as if it had been two days and not two decades since we were last together. We didn’t go to pubs, shows or stay out late. Instead, I had a great time getting to know the people my friends shared their lives with partners, children and new friends.

father and child in park

Now we hang out in parks

I would encourage any of you to look up your old gang. Life goes on, but the people you share your youth with have a special place in your life. For me, these were the people who were there when I began to be the person I am now. I miss my friends of long ago, I am enjoying who they are now, and I look forward to who we all become. One thing is for sure, I won’t wait another twenty years for my next vacation to Vancouver.

COMM 0015 -Blog Post #1 – Tools & Sources

When it comes to social media listening and monitoring tools there are many options. Throughout other courses in this program many were discussed in great detail and I had the ability to try different ones out. I probably don’t use the traditional avenues to gather my information and some might say I do not use all the tools available to me.

full frame shot of computer

Photo by Tranmautritam on Pexels.com

A few that I like are:

Hootsuite – I really like how I can track what is happening in multiple places at the same time. The amount of time you can spend tracking what is trending alone is insane so it’s great that there is a platform that can take all of the information I am looking for from multiple platforms and put it all in one nice package for me. While I haven’t used this feature, I also think that’s it’s helpful that you can schedule posts across multiple platforms. Again, I have not yet used this feature, but it does seem to me it would be helpful and save a lot of time.

Microblogs – There is a ton of information out there and only so many hours in a day. I find it you are monitoring multiple items at once it can be very difficult to keep track of everything if you have too much content to read. This is why I love microblogs or the idea at least. I look at it almost like the cliff notes of daily information. If I need more information, I can go ahead a look into it but if I just need the topline information, I have that available to me.

One tool that I know many are a fan of, but I do not like is Google Alerts. I think in a perfect word with very specific tags this platform could be wonderful to use. However, when you are using tags like sports apparel, or concerts the amount of results in endless. Waking up to 200 google alert emails is not my idea of a great start to the day. Again, I totally understand those are very broad and can be narrowed down but I am just not a big fan. Judging by this article I may not be the only one – Why I hate Google Docs 

I also found a great article that discusses other platforms that are up and coming similar to google alerts with some tweaks –   Best Google Alerts Alternatives

The two ways I find myself gathering news and updates of things that interest me are Instagram and Twitter. There might be a few blogs here and there, but I am usually turned onto them by a tweet that shares a link. I find that these two platforms cover a variety of items in little captions which gives me the ability to filter through mass amounts of information in a short amount of time – right up my alley! They also show me what is trending in the world so that I am able to stay in touch but also keep me posted on what is happening in my local community.

laptop technology ipad tablet

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The biggest thing for me is getting the information I need and want without spending hours going through posts about nothing. As social media evolves everyone thinks that their life is the most interesting and you’d just die if you didn’t know what they had for lunch that day. I feel that’s part of the reason Facebook has lost some traction. For my professional development it’s important for me to see what’s trending. Working in entertainment you want to be with what’s cool before anyone even knew it was cool. Trends are coming and going at such a fast rate I need to be able to process information as quickly as possible and that is why these tools work best for me.

So, I am dying to know, am I missing a key platform to help achieve my goal? Please let me know!

COM0015 – Blog #1 – Tools and Sources

Every day at 12:05pm I receive an email. I hear the ding, look at the time and instantly know that I’ve received my daily Google Alerts email. I have this set up on my work email so I can receive the latest news around words that I have flagged related to my job and employer. Words include the name of the organization, certain tourist attractions, different townships as well as the name of our CEO and Board members. This helps me keep an eye on what is being reported about our organization and to alert the Executive team of any red flag.

To keep up to date on the latest trends, I subscribe to Mashable through Snapchat. It’s the easiest way for me to get the latest tech news. If you aren’t familiar with Snapchat, the Snapchat Discover feature gives organizations full access to publicly visible snaps. They are updated daily and provide live breaking updates. For this reason, Snapchat is my main source of news.

What exactly is Snapchat Discover?! G2 explains it well: “Snapchat Discover is all about keeping you up-to-date on current events, pop culture, and more. Long gone are the days of Snapchat being used just to connect you and your friends. Now you can get the lowdown on breaking news, big events, and celeb gossip all at your fingertips. On the Discover screen you can watch your friends’ Snapchat Stories, Publisher Stories, Shows, and Our Stories.”

When I first started using Snapchat in 2013, the only “stories” users could see were posted by friends or celebrities. Snapchat Discover started in an effort to reach a wider audience and encourage people to sign up. Snapchat users are typically between the ages of 18 and 24, with the next largest demographic being 13-17. Although I am not part of this demographic, it is still a very attractive and centralized place for me to get all my news.

Screenshot_2019-05-21-15-35-08.png

Users can subscribe to their favorite stories to ensure that they are seen first. I can honestly say that I rarely use Snapchat for its intended use of sending real time photos to friends, I spend most of my time on the app catching up on the latest. In one location I can get news from Vice, Now This News, CNN, The Washington Post, NBC, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail (to satisfy my gossip sweet tooth, of course). Each “story” can have anywhere from 10-20 screens. Each screen includes a headline, brief description and as the above video mentions, a full article that can be found by swiping up.

buzzfeed_news.17987faf8072e04e0ae4e68ff2f7de1d

My second source of news is Buzzfeed. I subscribe to them on multiple platforms and get a lot of my information there. Their extensive cross-platform network includes things like articles, lists, quizzes and videos (which I LOVE) but I also spend a lot time on Buzzfeed News. Although they may not always be viewed as credible, they do provide the latest in “world-class reporting and investigative journalism”. As of March 24th 2019, 60% of millennials are reached by Buzzfeed and 70% of Buzzfeeds total site traffic comes from mobile devices. Social Blade reports that so far this month, Buzzfeed News has had over 1.45M views and in April of 2017, the website had an impressive 8.58M views.

I use these tools and sources because they became integrated into social media platforms that I have been using daily for years. It was not something I was looking or asked for but appeared over time. It is definitely out of convenience because all the sites I would need to visit individually are all in one location.

References:

Reints, Renae (July 17, 2018) A New Snapchat Initiative Will Help Journalist Find and Verify Breaking News:  http://fortune.com/2018/07/17/snapchat-news-partnership/

Wahl, Jordan (October 10 2018) What is Snapchat Discover: Fresh Content at your Fingertips: https://learn.g2.com/snapchat-discover

Kunova, Marcela (July 13, 2018) How The Telegraph is reaching teenagers with news stories on Snapchat Discover : https://www.journalism.co.uk/news/how-the-telegraph-is-reaching-teenagers-with-news-stories-on-snapchat-discover/s2/a724198/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/about

Smith, Craig (May, 11, 2019) 38 Amazing Buzzfeed Statistics and Facts (2019): https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/buzzfeed-statistics/

Social Blade, Buzzfeed News: https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/buzzfeed

 

 

COMM0015- Blog Post #1-Tools and Sources

As an upcoming creator and younger millennial two of my personal favourite social media trend listening/ monitoring tools are maintaining a clean RSS feed and demographic analytics.

With social media growing and the amount of active users expanding faster each day, having a focal point to dissect various analytics is very useful for newer creators such as myself. Having a ‘social media dashboard’ of sorts allows for more clear and in depth monitoring of my online content.

The second tool I find useful in my online journey is demographic analytics. As a creator of any sort of medium, it is very easy to get caught up in quantitative data. Scrutinizing over how many likes, views or shares the work gets is often the cause of  many’s demises. As a beginner content creator it is the qualitative data I pull from my site, which affects me the most. Truly gaining an understanding of which posts gain more responsive and meaningful replies is where I find a base for future content. Although having physical proof of success is great, in my own opinion if the clicks/ views aren’t deriving from active or loyal audience members, I feel it isn’t as truthfully meaningful. 

As for where I personally go to for news and lifestyle content updates, I gravitate between Twitter and various reliable news sites. What began as a network to share 140 character  status updates has blown into a multi-media conglomerate for many business and companies and public figures. Although Twitter began as a social network, it has transformed into a faceted platform for presenting various types of content. According to the Digital Marketing Community “Millennials are spending about 2 hours and 38 minutes on social media each day” (Global 2018). With this information at hand, companies should realize the overarching message that social media marketing will only aid their own performance in the future.

One of the additional reasons why I find the platform a captivating source for news is due to its functionality. The site not only works as a place to share content within seconds but also as a centre for linking third party content. Relating the two sources together, I do often find myself leaving the site/ app after finding a link to a reliable news source; which has more information. As a broadcaster trusting and recognizing a reliable source of media is imperative. Having faith in the website or source you are pulling your information from comes down to journalistic ethics. Recognizing sites such as ‘CBC’ or ‘Global News over sites which have numerous pop up ads, strange site addresses or few to no cited quotes, could be red flags for another search.

I prefer the tools aforementioned over others as they provide an immediacy factor, I feel is forthcoming in our society. Due to societies relation to media becoming closer every day, the demand for content is almost instantaneous.  This can especially be seen in the field of broadcasting, from entertainment to news style programming. When learning about broadcasting, having an understanding of how to navigate these tools are a great place to start. When paired with an understanding for broadcast standards conveying stories across multi media platforms, becomes much easier. Many people believe that ‘reading the news’ is an easy position. Alas, knowing how to correctly craft and present the story is only half the battle. Having a thorough comprehension on the tools needed to convey the piece is just as vital. In broadcasting, fully grasping the technology used to present the story in a timely manner is just as important and as the saying goes “early is on time and on time is late”.

Citations:

https://www.digitalmarketingcommunity.com/indicators/social-networks-millennials-usage-2018/

COMM0014- Blog Post #1 – The Not So Cuba Sun

Cuba, what a destination, beautiful sun, beaches, and the food is okay. All is good, all is great and – wait no that is Dominican Republic. Cuba has okay beaches, no sun and food is terrible.

At least for me that is how it was.

carport beach

I went to Varadero, Cuba for a week in 2018. I have a lengthy video showing how it was on my youtube channel. Through that experience I have learned to not go to Cuba in January. It is how I described earlier, no sun, beaches were okay, and the food sucked, other than this barbecue guy actually he was a good chef but he only did hamburgers and hotdogs.

My parents bought that vacation for me as a gift, at the time I was an assistant for a salon where I worked every hour the salon was open. It was mentally very taxing and I remember when my parents told me that they got the vacation as a gift and only told me so I can take the time off and let my bosses know very early. So I told them, they denied it and with that, and it being very taxing on me I left the salon with my two week notice in place. My two-week notice ended the same day I left for Cuba. It just felt good to go away, Cuba is not the best with wifi so I never bothered. A week away from social media back then felt so good, I still remember it.

It may have not been the best weather while we were down in Cuba, but as my parents said ,” It’s much better than back home though.” That was very true, we missed a snowstorm in Ontario that week we were away.

The vacation itself was fun, we went into the town of Varadero and ate good food in town, went to the Beatles bar, and it was honestly great. I also bought a fun trip into Havana for a day. At the time too the song Havana by Camilla Cabello was very popular so I knew for my video I would get the instrumental to just play in the background while I was there. Havana was fun, had a blast touring the city on my own for a bit and the tour guide knew where to take photos and had great historic background to everywhere we went.

The city is great, resorts are okay, just do not go to Cuba in January and you will be fine. My parents and I learned this the hard way, learn from us! I seriously wished my parents looked up an okay time to go, because I just googled ‘when to go to Cuba’ and found many forums talking about this. I found a few of my favourites though so here is Tripadvisor, and Audleytravel.

Have fun on your next vacation, wishing you that it’s not like mine! Safe travels and wishing you good weather! Where are you headed next? Let me know down below!

COM0014 – Blog #1;Cruising the High Seas without Jack Sparrow

Holland America Line cruise ship on pier with mountainous terrain in backgroundHolland America Cruise Ship (CC)

Avast me hardy!, and other incessant childhood fantasies about pirates, Peter Pan and Long John Silver shan’t apply in this situation. In this moment we are discussing travel, destinations, food, entertainment, cuisine, games, brunches, socializing, midnight buffets, fun, and, did I mention food? This given holiday was, indeed, the cruises that one hears about over the years, yet may not have generated enough intrigue to look seriously at it as a vacation option. Gangplanks are optional.

One gets considerable advantages that other forms of vacationing and travel may leave wanting. In fact, if one views such means objectively, there is a variety of travel and vacation nicely packed into one given bundle when on a cruise. It seems it is a floating resort, a boat of hikers going to destinations, a thespian life jacket, a casino with a rudder, a variety of bars and lounges at sea, an amusement arena weighed anchor,  and both a restaurateur and foodie haven ocean voyage. Contests, games, sport, cooking classes, theatre, comedy, magicians, on board and on shore destinations abound inclusive of good television movies, midnight movies and 24 hour room service included.

Hedonism, you say. Perhaps? But given variety and spice of life this may qualify to your taste. Answer these questions:

Vacation Survey

a small chalkboard standing up on desk. Surrounded with pen, paper clips, spinner toy, calculator and plant in bowl nestled in white stones

  • 1. Do you look for a variety of things to do while on vacation?
  • 2. Would you like to travel to different destinations in one vacation?
  • 3. Do you enjoy fine food and cuisine?
  • 4. Do ocean voyages interest you?
  • 5. Do you like to both relax on vacation and have many activities as an option?

Should you answer “YES” to any or all of these, you may consider a cruise ship vacation or at least research, investigate or talk with friends about it.

Personal Experience

I blog this with enthusiasm. I must say one can enjoy a number of activities and experiences as aforementioned. A given day on a cruise ship can encapsulate a plethora of events, tastes or hi jinx; or you can just relax by the pool with a taco and pizza bar nearby. The fact is, one can do just about anything. Allow me;

In the morning I would have breakfast in the dining room, or breakfast buffet on the Lido deck. The I would make my way to library to enter a quiz contest for prizes. I would then take a leisurely stroll on the wide deck inhaling the sea air. Shortly, thereafter, I would stroll to my cabin to pick up fresh fruit left by the room staff, and head to a discussion given by the chief chef on the boat.

Food, food and more food

Holland America Line Mariner's Brunch Menu cover listing menu items. Glass of wine and woman looking at food in background.
Holland America Menu

Certainly, after leaving such a talk, there would be lecture about magic given by the entertainer the previous evening with his magic hats and wands. Harry Potter would have been up for grabs. Post magic, I would then head to the Lido deck for lunch at a variety of outlets, depending on one’s taste for food, given, a variety of cultural and taste genres ranging from Greek salads, smoked meat sandwiches, to a vegetarian repast and health driven smorgasbord.

The afternoon may pack a given round of mini golf on a swerving deck as ball wildly changes direction and speed. Later a steam bath awaits in the spa with a swimming pool to cool down and iced tea and taco stand to fill that micro gaps of hunger since lunch. The ship later docks on an island owned by the cruise line for ocean swimming, chaise lounging (sic) as it were, and burgers grilled just off the beach.

Beach Walking On Shore https://www.pexels.com/video/woman-at-the-beach-1093665/

three layer cake, all white with white roses and blue green trim sitting on table
Ahoy, Dessert

A formal dinner will be required for a sumptuous feast in the dining room where the ship’s Captain joins a certain reserved table and the serving staff later creates a parade through the large room hoisting baked Alaska as the piece de resistance for the well fed patrons.

That evening, I would attend a musical in the theatre hall, and top off the evening with a midnight movie in the show room with popcorn and an enthusiastic crowd of newer movie patrons. Post facto, I would lug my engorged body pasted with a day of activities to my clean cabin for a much needed rest to dream and await a food and games laden day at sunrise.

Fitness on Raft

Five spinning cyclists in gym, blue colour theme
Spinning Fitness Onboard

At last, for the indulged guilty a cornucopia of onboard fitness centres, training classes, schedules on deck walks, health spas, and pool can begin to cut into the obtained calories and dessert smatterings foisted upon one’s self. Leave a little room for other guilty pleasures.

It may be a obvious that a vacation with Holland America may have impressed me. But, nonetheless, as a consumer of vacation and travel, a given overall critique may later render tips to observe and calculate into your decision making process in choosing a specific cruise and travel plan for yourself. I am certainly not an expert. Yet, with more cruise experience I shall later discern as to what is fitting and what may disappoint. That being said, the entire cruise concept is certainly worth the effort and experience. See what be out there for you. Bon voyage.

References:

46743231381_aaaf8f8835_b Online Survey by Got Credit is licensed under CC BY 2.0, Creative Commons, CC Search, https://ccsearch.creativecommons.org/

Bordeau, Jessica, Blogging For Web Designers Editorial Calendars And Style Guides,Smashing Magazine, August 30, 2010 , https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/08/the-importance-of-consistency-using-editorial-calendars-and-style-guides/

Couple Walking on a Beach Filmed with a Drone, Pexel Videos, https://www.pexels.com/

CC Search, https://ccsearch.creativecommons.org/

eMarketer, Younger Users Spend More Daily Time on Social Networks, Facebook’s user penetration is more than double that of any other social network, November 18, 2014, https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Younger-Users-Spend-More-Daily-Time-on-Social-Networks/1011592

Hodkinson , Matt, Influence Agents, The Essential Social Media Toolkit for Small Business, June 2018, https://www.influenceagents.com/blog/essential-social-media-toolkit-small-business

Holland America,  https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US.html Holland America

Pexel https://www.pexels.com/ https://www.pexels.com/video/woman-at-the-beach-1093665/

Tam, Simon, Huffington Post, 5 Social Media Listening Tools That Every Business Should Be Using, Updated Sep 11, 2014, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-young/5-social-media-listening-_b_5317531.html

COMM0014- Blog Post #1- The Trip My Dog Died.

 

So I guess, you’re all wondering how on earth the memory of my beloved dog passing away could possibly relate to one of my favourite travelling memories. Well, I’m here to tell you a wild tale about how my ‘virtual’ dog was left on the top shelf of a bunk bed in one of the MOST beautiful places on earth.

It all started the day I was born into a loving family, who couldn’t care for me. Fast forward seven months and a plane ride across the Atlantic ocean and I was adopted by a Canadian couple rural Ontario.

My parents always wanted me to maintain my heritage but I was always a little hesitant. Growing up Canadian I had little interest in pursuing the education of my ancestral roots and more in the advancement of my video game levels or the next episode of Hannah Montana. Of course they eventually won out and in August of 2008 we decided to travel world wide to visit my homeland.

During this trip we travelled amongst an adoption group and visited absolutely breathtaking places. Including Xian Xian, Beijing- right during the pre-olympic period!- Shanghai-the most futuristic city I’ve ever seen- and so much more. But it was the night our travel group spent on the Shanghai Malev- a train that travels what feels like faster than the speed of light- that my whole world came crashing down.

This train had every service imaginable on hand, maid service, bunk beds, mini tv’s, you name it, the train had it. So as a nine year old Canadian raised girl, I hung out in the top bunk, ate lays chips and played Nintendogs- a classic Nintendo pet care game- with some of the other girls I had met.

I remember the moment as if it was yesterday. It was a great evening with many laughs had, that was until the incident. As usual I remember my parents and I retiring for the night around 9, tucking away into our little bunk pods. There was a small ledge on the back of the top bunk, which at the time seemed AWESOME! So I tucked in my little gaming console, and shut my eyes.

The next morning felt like a blur with breakfast being served and getting off the train in what felt like, 20 minutes-probably closer to an hour or so- of waking up. So being the nine year old I was, I rushed around last minute to pack my toys.

After leaving the train, we quickly boarded a bus which would take our travel group to our lodging for the night. I remember the tour guide’s voice being very monotone and blah, for a tour guide. So as a typical child, I asked if I could play my gaming console with a friend. Unfortunately this is where the story gets worse.

As I rummaged through my bag, my moms purse, and all of our on hand luggage there was no console to be found. My face hot and flushed, my eyes starting to well with tears and my heart pounding five miles an hour, I knew THIS WAS IT. I ran to my mom while we drove past mountains, smog and beyond gorgeous scenery and regaled the tale. I remember my mom telling me some sort of ‘it is what it is’ story, because we were a trillion miles from home as foreigners so there was no hope in finding it.

After a semi- large meltdown and a stern talking to about responsibility, my trip of a lifetime continued on. Although my friend was lost, many memories, photos and laughs were had. It’s roughly eleven years later and I still remember my homeland trip being filled with happiness, joy and lots and lots of delicious dumplings… but I will also never forget that this was the trip that my ‘virtual’ dog went to doggie heaven.