Blog en-us Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:00:00 MSTimages/header.jpg Why you need HR Director Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:00:00 MST

Our HR software is a great solution to your HR problem.

The stakes have never been higher for hiring new employees, providing ongoing workforce mHR Director onitoring and maintaining morale, while supporting a safe workplace. Adding automation to your Human Resources saves you time and makes it easy. Automation includes tracking personnel requests, applications, hiring, crew scheduling, certifications, time-off and vacations, as well as safety days, training days, holidays and more; in fact every detail from date of hire to date of retire. The only question is how to convince the CEO it's the right move for the company.

In order to effectively make your case that HR automation is the right fit for the firm, you will have to demonstrate the improvements you expect will occur across the company and not just for a single individual or department.

How do you do that?

One of the attributes of HR software is the ability to quickly get through all the paperwork needed to manage crews. You can save the time spent by one or more FTE (Full Time Employees) when managing your crews with an automated system. The time spent on manually onboarding often eats up expensive hours for both the HR person and the new hire which doesn't contribute to profitability. The savings in faster onboarding doesn't just positively affect the HR group, however, but also the department to which the new person will be assigned. The sooner additional personnel can begin contributing their skillset to the company, the better... and cheaper... for all. Work out how much the savings will be per new employee and, depending on your turnover rate; you will have a solid argument for the automation initiative.

Free up HR hours for other things.

Another way is to show how your time will now be spent on managing people instead of paperwork. Those additional, precious minutes can finally be used for the "human" element of HR, which is the most vital aspect of the position. With HR hours freed up to develop morale-boosting initiatives and enhance engagement with individuals, costly employee turnover can be significantly reduced and real dollar savings realized.

A valuable benefit is that you have more time for educating new hires regarding company culture and safety policies. Used in tandem with customizable safety training software such as SafetySpot (also by INM) this approach may effectively illustrate your company uses due diligence in its policies and procedures. These forward-looking initiatives may reduce your risk liability and perhaps even your insurance premiums. By lowering workplace accidents with safety orientation initiatives, you demonstrate to staff they are valued, all the while avoiding potential legal wrangles.

Special features!Equipment Asset Tracking

If your company has equipment that it needs to keep track of - our software does that, too! The Asset Tracking feature allows you to monitor equipment locations, model choices, services available and even equipment certification updates.

With a Time Tracking tool, Sage 50 Integration, Flexible Reporting, Online Recruitment and more customizable features, HR Director will exceed your most exacting expectations.

The tool was specifically built for Crew Management and even better for Rig Crew Management.

You can visit for more details!

Contact us today at 780-739-5850 to learn more about this great business solution!


Creative101 is here! Mon, 2 Dec 2019 00:00:00 MST

Industrial NetMedia's new Creative101 brand!

Industrial NetMedia and Creative101
The name Creative101 is much more descriptive and memorable when you think of creative design and websites. We have launched our new website and Facebook page, so please check it out and tell your friends to follow us!

Don't worry, Industrial NetMedia is still here, we are just adding a new name to the mix. We are providing our graphic services as Creative101 to serve you better. If you're looking for any graphic design, website design or even social media management, come on over to Creative101. Our new website has examples of work Industrial NetMedia has done over the years and currently with the new brand. By making this move, we have opened up INM for more programming and application development. Focusing on our individual skills, we have more to offer to our clients, old and new!

You can follow INM and Creative101 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see what we're up to next. Our blogs will have info that any business may be interested in regarding the graphic design world and how marketing can help your business. Keep in the loop by watching all these social media pages for more information.

We are here to help.
Call 780.739.5850 today! 

Do you have a strong password? Wed, 30 Oct 2019 00:00:00 MST

Do you have a strong password?

Here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you make a strong password.

How to strengthen your password:


  Longer is better, try to use a minimum of 8 characters.


  Special characters are your friends, such as * $ _ #.


  The best passwords include a number.


  Use both UPPERCASE and lowercase letters.


  It's better to use different passwords for different accounts.


  Safety first. Remember to update your passwords every few months.
Keep these points in mind the next time you login anywhere.
5 Reasons Why People Are Leaving Your Site Tue, 20 Aug 2019 00:00:00 MST

Are you wondering why your site isn't gaining traction? Here are five reasons why your site may need an upgrade.


1. Not Mobile Friendly 

We live in the world of smart phone - your website needs to be mobile friendly. Is your website usable on today's smart phones? Are images the right size? Is text readable? Are links not too close together?

2. Trust 

When a visitor gets to your home page they need to know what you do, how to get it, figure out what you sell, how to get it and form an opinion of whether they trust you or not. All within about 3 seconds. If your website isn't clear and easy to use as soon as the user clicks on your site they will most likely click the back button and continue you on to your competitor's site. 

3. Loading slowly

This may be the number one reason why a user will leave your website with a strong chance of never coming back. You have about three seconds for your page to load before the user loses interest - three seconds is not a lot of time. Make sure all the images on your page are the correct size and remove any unneeded videos; this will help your page speeds. 


4. Where's the contact information?

Your potential customers can't contact you if you don't give them the info to do so! Add your contact information to multiple spots throughout your site so users have easy to access to it.


5. Overall Design

Does your site look like it's outdated? Would you trust a website that looks like it was designed in a different decade? If your site looks fresh and modern your site visitors will have more trust in your business. 


We are here to help - call 780-739-5850 today!



Is Your Site Mobile Responsive? Thu, 1 Aug 2019 00:00:00 MST



Many people who read the title of this blog are probably thinking - mobile responsive? What's that?

Do you often reach for your phone when looking for a local business? You type in the business name and click on the website link. The site you have to physically zoom in to read the content, scroll sideways to see images, while the whole site just looks strange - This website is not mobile responsive.

Mobile Responsive sites respond to the size of the user's device, move columns to fit the proper space, and even hide any unnecessary images. Mobile responsive websites look professional and work flawlessly on all types of devices.


How do I know if my site is mobile responsive?

One of the easiest ways to figure out if your site is responsive is to use a smartphone and go to your website. If your pages look strange and are acting funny it probably means that it is not mobile responsive. If you're on a desktop computer try reducing your browser's window size. If your text, images and menu get smaller and move according the space - congratulations your site is responsive! 


Why does Google matter?

Back in 2015, Google announced that there was going to be changes in their search engine algorithms. One of the changes was that your website's mobile presence needed to be user-friendly on any hand-held device. Previously web developers created multiple websites at different sizes to accommodate different screen sizes. The Googlebots that crawl through your site now only have to crawl your pages once instead of crawling multiple times to retrieve all versions of your content because you only have one URL. A simpler way of saying it is that your website must be user-friendly on a smartphone! 


Other Benefits?
  • Your website is guaranteed to work well on any device that your potential customer is using leading to a more positive experience which increases lead generation and sales.
  • You have a better chance to show up in search engines because Google will favor your site over your competitor's website that isn't mobile responsive.
  • It's an effective way to refine your sites content because you can decide what devices will see what information.
  • Your potential client can easily click on different forms of contact and immediately be able to call or email you. 


Does your website need an upgrade? No worries! Give us a call 780-739-5850.


A New Website Can Be More Affordable Than You Think Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:00:00 MST

We recently took over a web design project from a business owner who had been trying to build it himself, using one of those "free" website-builder tools available out there. He told us that by the time he'd opted for some of the upgrades that were basically required to make the site look professional -- a proper domain name, security certificate, and some of the more advanced editing tools -- he was spending between $60 and $70 per month to have his "free" site.

We told him that our pricing started at $79 per month, and we'll do all the work for you. 

When it's not uncommon for people to pay $150/month on a cellphone plan, there really is no excuse to have a powerful, well-built site.

Let us help you with that. Give us a call at 780-739-5850, or email us at !

Does Your Business 'Make It Easy'? Tue, 2 Jul 2019 00:00:00 MST

This past weekend I was trying to make an online purchase for some camping gear I had found on sale. I'd been researching for a long time, and had finally figured out exactly what I wanted; now that I'd made the decision, all that was left was to pull the trigger and place the order. And that was where the frustration started.

The experience proved so difficult that I ended up not buying the item I'd been shopping for. Once added to my cart, the price reverted back to the non-sale price, a significant difference. The "free shipping" that was advertised did not appear, and instead I had a sudden large shipping fee. And I was being charged a significant amount extra, because it was charging me the HST from the vendor's home province, which doesn't apply to me.

I've learned since, after emailing their support account, that their system is set up around coupons. To get the sale price, you have to input the coupon code written in tiny print at the bottom of the ad. Then for free shipping, there's a code for that as well. And sure, that's acceptable, it does mean they weren't being dishonest. But the experience was bad enough that I didn't want to buy from them anymore.

Is your business making life difficult for your customers? If your sales process is too difficult or inconvenient, a customer just won't want to bother. Or are your customers even able to make a purchase or place an order from your website? If your website doesn't provide any way for customers or clients to interact with you, or if it makes it too difficult for them, you're only getting a part of the benefit your website could provide. There could literally be customers out there who want to hand you money, and you haven't provided a way for them to do that, or you've made it difficult with a cumbersome purchase process.

Does any of this sound familiar? Then maybe we should chat. We have experts at designing a thoughtful flowthrough process for your customers to interact with you. If we can make your customers start out happy before you even know about them, that just makes your job easier! Send us an email, or give us a call, we'd love to hear your experiences!

The Secret Things You Didn't Know Your Website Does Mon, 17 Jun 2019 00:00:00 MST

In this age of social media, it's pretty common for businesses to think that having a Facebook page is the same as having a website. After all, it gives you an online presence, right? You're visible on the internet, and people can find your business on their computers. What more could you possibly want?

Well, as it turns out, quite a lot, actually. All it takes is a quick Google search to see the impact. Try pulling up a business on your smartphone's navigation app, and you'll quickly realise that a Facebook page isn't enough.

But that's not to say it's as cut-and-dried as all that. Nothing is ever so simple. There are obvious pros and cons to relying on a Facebook page, or even to opting for a build-your-own website. Let's walk through those and compare the benefits for your business.

Facebook: The Bare Minimum

It should go without saying that your business should have a Facebook page. It's just a requirement of business these days, as well as maintaining an active presence on the platform. But it's certainly not enough to put all your eggs in that basket. The obvious benefits are the very reasons you should have a Facebook page in the first place. Your established fans will be able to find you and connect with your business. Restaurants, for instance, can update their daily specials on Facebook, and regular customers can see what's on offer for the day. That's a fantastic connection, and one every business should seek out.

When it comes to people who are not already fans however, it's not quite so rosy. Facebook isn't great about helping businesses find new clientele, or about helping their users find random new businesses. A preference is always given to those companies who advertise with them, and that can get expensive very quickly for many smaller businesses. Furthermore, if you're a business who really wouldn't benefit from Facebook advertising, then your very existence on the platform will never really grow.

Add to that the simple fact that the under-25 demographic is dropping off of Facebook at a precipitous rate and you start to see the risks.

Build-Your-Own: The Compromise

For many businesses, the build-your-own option can be a great temporary solution. You get some of the benefits of a full-fledged website, with most of the cost savings of a Facebook page. For a relatively low fee, and a bunch of work on your own, you can have a basic, functioning website, that will allow you to establish an online presence.

The trick there is that most businesses, particularly small businesses, are already complaining that they don't have enough time to do all the things they want to do. The most common lament we hear from businesses coming to see us after building their own site is some variation of "I don't know when I thought I'd have time for that."

An effective website does require time and energy -- but let's face it, it also requires money. As the old saying goes, "nothing is ever really free". In order for a build-your-own site to be effective, you have to pay for the options that make it work. An effective domain name, search engine optimization (SEO), even social media integration. Some of the DIY sites will charge you for each piece of that, as well as hosting costs if you want to add too many photos, or online store fees if you want your customers to buy online. It doesn't take long for those costs to add up.

A Professional Site: The Endgame

As a general rule, a proper professional site is what businesses get around to once they've grown enough to need it. Some smaller businesses use them to get established, and that's an excellent strategy, but at some point, every business will need one.

Why? Because without it, you're relying on computer algorithms to help people find you.

Google -- and as a result, most every piece of navigation software out there -- relies on a business' webpage to establish the information about a business that it shows in a sidebar, or in the popup that appears on a map. It would be too easy for people to confuse Google's search engines with false Facebook pages or even Yelp or Twitter accounts. The single item that will most impact your business' visibility and search engine placement is your webpage. Simply put, most of these services operate on the assumption that something that has been paid for is more reliable than something free. If money has been spent on it, it's probably being spent to get it right. This applies to free website services as well.

Beyond that, there is a level of expertise involved. Web developers are trained at -- and spend every day -- perfecting a method of improving a website's ranking on Google. A small business owner isn't going to have the time to compete with the knowledge level of someone who has made it their career.

What to do about it?

It's a debate that's as old as the internet, and as websites get more expensive, it just gets harder and harder for some businesses to justify the expense. At the same time, the rest of the internet begins to rely more and more on the information that comes from those websites, so it becomes harder for businesses to survive without one. When a car's satellite navigation insists a business doesn't exist because they don't have a website... that business is in trouble. And that's where Creative101 was built to help.

We've put together affordable payment plans, and a regular website update structure that will help your business get a digital presence that makes sure it can be found. Plans start at just $79/month, so there really is no reason to settle for "free".

Think we're wrong? Is there a huge flaw in our argument? Or would you just like some more information? We'd love to hear from you. Send a note to and talk to us about it!

Social Media: How Not To Trip Over Your Own Feet Tue, 4 Jun 2019 00:00:00 MST

We had an awesome three days at the Leduc Black Gold Rodeo this past weekend. For those of you who didn't see us, we were set up in the Trade Fair, and spent a good portion of our time there fielding questions from small business owners about how they can perfect their online presence, and really get their message out more effectively. While the topics people wanted to ask about were widely varied, there were a few things that came up over and over again, and we thought we'd touch on a few of them, and share the discussions we had.

Probably the most common question over the whole weekend was some variation of "what am I doing wrong?". Almost exclusively, the question revolved around social media. Everyone understands its value, but few people really seem to understand how to make it work for them. There are a lot of 'unwritten rules' on the various platforms, and not everyone has a spare millennial kicking around to coach them. So while there are a million things you can do to get it right, there are a few things that can get it wrong very quickly, and undermine a lot of the hard work you've done.

Don't Annoy Your Audience

First things first, especially for a small business, is the golden rule: don't be irritating. Quality always trumps quantity on social media. We see this all the time from some retail businesses, but it can happen to anyone. We have seen nail salons, for instance, that post a photo of each client's nails when they're done, or car dealerships who post every new car they get on the lot, or even coffee shops who post every fancy coffee they serve, with a sea of hashtags in the description. This can mean as many as a dozen very similar posts per hour, tagged for every community they serve. We saw one business who posted their logo, every hour on the hour, and their Instagram account was nothing more than 2,000 photos of their logo. That kind of thing makes people block your account, not follow you. If you just want to advertise, buy advertisements; social media should be a place to connect with your community, and find new people who might be interested. We can help with that.

Leave Your Family At Home

Secondly, just like your family probably tells you at the dinner table, keep your work life and personal life separate. A business account is not the spot for photos of your kid's birthday party, or your family reunion, or your fishing trip. They're interesting photos, and they're great to share, but they dilute your company's core message. You want people to know what you do at a glance, and understand why they should trust you. We saw a camping supply company who posted dozens of photos of their parents' wedding anniversary in a luxury hotel, and most of the comments from their audience were some variation of, "Did you post this by accident?". And of course, we can help keep that message consistent, and ensure your brand always looks its best online.

Talk With Your Audience

Thirdly, don't make it a one-way street; talk with your community, not at your community!. Use your business account to interact with your neighbours, fans and customers. "Like" other businesses' posts, leave comments, follow people. It's hard to expect people to interact with you if you don't reciprocate. It's a slow process, but it's one that pays dividends in the long run.

Want to know more? Did half of this article sound like a foreign language to you? Give us a call at 780-739-5850, or drop us a note at We do have some millennials kicking around, and we're happy to loan them to you.

Say Hello to Creative101! Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 MST


It's been a long time coming, but we're so excited to announce our new project!

Say "hi" to Creative101, a new creative concept in internet marketing and design! 

Over the course of the last year, we've been listening to a lot of feedback about the challenges many small businesses are facing. We've heard all kinds of things, from the challenges of monthly cashflows, to prioritizing where to spend money, to simply finding the time to stay "ahead of the game" and compete.

As we listened to more and more businesses tell us the same things, we realized we needed to cater to those needs a lot better. And so, Creative101 was born!

  • Maybe your company just needs a more affordable way of getting a website up and running. We can help with that.
  • Maybe your business needs to have a creative team at their disposal, but can't afford to hire a marketing team and graphics designers. Oh yeah, we hear that.
  • Maybe you're tired of seeing the same few Wordpress templates being repurposed for almost every website out there, and you want to stand out from the crowd? We have got you covered!

We're built to be more flexible, adaptable, and able to meet the needs of your business. And we're ready to have a bit of fun while we do it. Basically we're like balloon animals that can work a computer.

For those of you who are used to Industrial NetMedia, don't worry, it's not going anywhere. There will always be a place for those safe, professional websites that corporations love. Creative101 is just here for those businesses that want to stay nimble, and keep up with the times, no matter how the winds may change.

Come talk to us. We're friendly, we promise. Let's figure out what you need, and how we can help.

Update vs. Refresh vs. Redesign: Which Do You Need? Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 MST

We've been talking a lot lately about some good practices around keeping your website up-to-date, relevant, and ranking well on search engines. And while keeping your website up-to-date and looking fresh is absolutely important, we have had a number of calls in the last few weeks from people who just don't know what they should do. Let's see if we can help.

There are a number of questions we would ask you if you were to approach us with this dilemma. We, as your web-design engineers, would need to determine exactly how we find an effective - and of course affordable! - solution for your specific circumstances.

How Long Has It Been?

The first, and most obvious question would be to determine how long it's been since the last time you updated your website. There can be a pretty huge spectrum here, anywhere from "last Thursday" to "what year did Netscape come out?". Of course, the amount of time since you did an update doesn't automatically determine what needs to be done, but it can certainly give some perspective on what might be needed. As little as five years ago, for instance, the priorities for being ranked on a search engine were completely different than they are now, and virtually nobody gave any thought at all to ensuring their site was verified with a security certificate. Today, getting just those two details wrong can result in your site being virtually invisible to most searches. A site that has gone more than 5 years without an update will likely need a significant bit of re-working.

How Well Is It Working?

Is your site the backbone of your business? If it is, the old saying of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" certainly applies. That's not to say that everything we said in the previous section isn't still relevant; there may be things that still need to be polished, but you want to make sure you're not damaging your existing business with any changes you make, so it should be a slow and careful process, best handled by experts. Of course, at the opposite end of the spectrum, if your site isn't really doing anything to help your business at all anymore, then perhaps it's time for a totally fresh approach.

Do You Love It?

This might seem silly, but it's extremely relevant. Any web developer can tell you of the many times one of their clients has asked for something completely new, completely different, a total overhaul; and then weeks later after much back-and-forth, the client ends up wanting something almost exactly like what they had previously. So it matters; do you love it? If you do, plan for minor changes, some simple updates. If you find yourself admiring other sites with envy, then it's time to change it up.

What's Your Budget?

It's the most crude of the important questions, but it's also arguably the most critical. None of the above matters if your dreams outpace your budget. As a business owner, you need to be realistic about the scope of work you can afford. Luckily, Industrial NetMedia has a lot of new ways to help with that. Including our new sister company, Creative101!

We Have Exciting News! Wed, 15 May 2019 00:00:00 MST

Industrial NetMedia wants to help your business grow. You're great at what you do, now you just need the world to know about it.

Unfortunately, advertising can be expensive, and frustrating if you're just doing the same thing as everyone else. Does your voice get lost in the crowd?

That's where we want to help.

We have an entirely new project in the works that intends to help you change it up a bit. A new way to help you promote your business. And we'll tell you all about it... in a few days.

Can't wait that long? Curiosity killing you? 

Give us a call at 780-739-5850, and we'll give you a sneak peek.

Is It Time To Update Your Website? Tue, 30 Apr 2019 00:00:00 MST

When was the last time you had us do an update or overhaul on your website? If it's been a while, what is holding you back?

For many of our clients, the answer is "price". We're trying to help with that.

A major update to your website can have a significant impact on your business. New search engine optimization, a fresh new look, and some new information about your company, all combine to tell both Google and your potential customers that you're open for business. So if you're holding off on an update because of cost, we have a new solution.

We've developed simple monthly payment plan options that can make a website overhaul affordable for almost any business. And as an added bonus, each monthly payment plan includes a SECOND complete overhaul in a few years time at no additional cost, as well as including all your security and hosting costs into one low payment, starting as low as $79/mo!

Talk to us, and let us tell you more about it! or 780-739-5850

Spring Clean Your Website Fri, 5 Apr 2019 00:00:00 MST

How often have you driven past a business whose sign is looking tattered out front? Or whose awning had a tear, or whose windows need a good cleaning? That business owner knows that something needs to be done, but they probably don't think it's the most important thing to running their business right now. There are other things to do rather than getting out there with a ladder and cleaning their sign.

Now, think about your website.

If that thought just made you cringe, it's time we talked.

Some businesses set their website up once, and never touch it again. If that's you, let us help you get caught up.


Today, trends happen and disappear faster than you can even keep track. The key to success in this digital world is to keep agile, and keep up-to-date. Google's algorithm changes every couple months. The best websites are waiting for that, and updating to stay relevant. Like a top athlete, they're always training, always trying to get better. If you want to play in the big leagues, you have to stay in shape.

If you don't, you'll just be watching from the sidelines.


Do you, or a business you know, need to refresh their website? Tell us about it!


For every new business you refer to us, we'll give you a $10 Starbucks Card!

(Terms and conditions apply, obviously)

Not Secure Tue, 26 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST

Google in their infinite wisdom, keep changing the rules of the game. As a part of changing their ranking system, Google announced in 2017/18, that ranking will be penalized if you do not have an SSL Certificate encrypting your website by mid July 2018. Yes, this happened. Websites that do not have an SSL certificate now display a warning that the website is not secure, even though there may be little reason to have a secure website. But your visitors will be alarmed in thinking that they are at risk by being on your site.

To force websites to upgrade to a secure SSL website, Google has been penalizing insecure websites. They now appear lower in the search results rank or not at all. If you have noticed that your search ranking has started to suffer or your website traffic has dropped, you need an SSL certificate.

Why SSL Certificates?

  • Your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information, is visible if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to.
  • SSL Encrypts Sensitive Information
  • SSL Provides Authentication
  • SSL Provides Trust
  • SSL is required for PCI Compliance
  • SSL is required by Google to rank better in their search engine

Website owners need to install the SSL Certificate onto the website at the server to initiate a secure session with browsers. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be encrypted.

When a certificate is successfully installed on your server, the application protocol (also known as HTTP) will change to HTTPS, where the 'S' stands for 'secure'. Depending on the type of certificate you purchase and what browser you are surfing the internet on, a browser will show a padlock or green bar in the browser when you visit a website that has an SSL Certificate installed.

So basically, your website ranking will be SEVERELY punished without this certificate. Your visitors will be WARNED in a in an alarming way that your website is insecure and this will scare off many visitors.

We can help. INMCA is offering SSL encryption certificates to our clients, completely installed and headache free. Call 780-739-5850 today, we are here to help!


Are Your Kids Schedules Jam Packed? Thu, 6 Sep 2018 00:00:00 MST

Kids with Busy Sport Schedules Find Time for Free Play

Parents who are afraid that kids in arranged sports spend much less time on just-for-fun activities could take heart in a brand-new research by scientists at McMaster College and the University of Toronto.

Not only did the research locate those youngsters who welcomed free play, it found they generally engaged in extra exercise on their own compared to those who were not in arranged sport.

Lead author John Cairney, a teacher at U of T's Faculty of Kinesiology and Athletics, states the their findings expose typically held concerns that structured sport comes at the cost of free play.

He thinks that's because kids that are normally inclined to take pleasure in organized sporting activity are just energetic children.

Yet he claims it can additionally be due to the fact that organized sport teaches the fundamental motor, mental and social abilities that children require for not being watched tasks such as a pick-up game of basketball or playing tag after class.

The study followed 2,278 children from grades four to eight. Researchers likewise looked at whether age, sex and socio-economic status played a role.

Cairney confesses he was surprised by the results.

"Common sense would perhaps suggest that a child who was maybe really busy with sports, the last thing they want to do is come home and play more sport or more physical activity with their friends but it actually was the opposite."

The sports involved included dancing and martial arts in addition to team sports, he states. Scientists did not consider the possible impact of non-sport tasks like songs class or scholastic clubs.

Cairney claims cost-free play is important in offering youngsters a chance to be innovative as well as learn how to connect to each various other without the aid of grownups.

They're organizing, they're leading, they're interacting socially with other children, they're practising decision-making, conflict resolution," he states. "Free play really allows them to practice being an independent adult on their own terms."

As opposed to exactly what some could believe, children do not naturally acquire most of these abilities by themselves, he includes.

And also if they are not certain in their physical ability, they will certainly be less most likely to discover and also attempt a large range of tasks.


"Sometimes we think that if we sort of push them out of the house, away from the TV... that they'll just be active, it's just what kids do. And what we've found is that's true for some kids, for certain, but for a lot of kids it isn't and they need that extra support and encouragement," he claims.

"It's possible that what's happening here is kids are getting those skills from their experiences in sport and organized play and they're actually practicing and they're using them, they're engaging them on their own. And that's a good thing."

Still, there are negative experiences in organized sport, Cairney acknowledges.

He urges parents and guardians that are taking into consideration an organized sport for their youngster to ask concerns first: Is the focus on competitors, or enjoying and making friends? Will they find out abilities in such a way that's non-threatening?

Children that appreciate sports have the tendency to recognize two factors-- that it's fun as well as they can make pals, he states.

Parents must also let youngsters be attracted to exactly what they're interested in, and also recognize that they might change rate of interests with time, he states.

The Dangers of Having a Heavy Backpack Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 MST

School is back in session, and doctors are alerting about the dangers of a heavy backpack.

"It is common for kids and teens to see backpack-related injuries once school begins," said Dr. Candise Nichols of ARC Physical Therapy.

Majority of the country's pupils bring a knapsack that's larger than the suggested standards from the American Occupational Therapy Organization.

Nichols claimed youngsters as well as teens must only carry 5-10% of their body weight. Anything larger compared to that, or if they're using the backpack incorrect, can injure muscle mass as well as joints.

"We notice that it changes the curvature of the spine," said Dr. Nichols. "We get forward head, rounded shoulders, you get back pain between your shoulder blades, back pain from carrying heavier weights and things like that."

If these injuries aren't checked out and dealt with, it can transform significantly - especially for a trainee that is additionally an athlete, or work somewhere that requires heavy training.

Physicians said it is essential for moms and dads to encourage their youngster to notify them if they're experiencing feeling numb, prickling or discomfort.

Backpack-related injuries can be prevented by using the ideal sort of backpack, as well as putting the bag on correctly.


How to use a backpack safely
Physicians at Via Christi Wellness used a few suggestions to secure your child from backpack-related injuries:

  • The heaviest products in the backpack ought to be filled closest to the child's back.
  • When picking out a backpack, the bottom of the bag must sit against the curve of the back and must not sit more than four inches below the waist.
  • Both shoulder bands should be worn so that the weight is evenly dispersed and it will stop the kid from leaning to one side, which can create discomfort and also curving of the spine.
  • Picking a backpack with well-padded shoulder straps is also very important.
How to Get Your Kids to Read & Enjoy it! Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 MST

How to Get Your Kids to Read

In his 2015 book  Raising Kids Who Read, College of Virginia psychology professor Daniel Willingham explains the principle of "virtuous cycle" of reading. Children who read well and often have the tendency to enjoy it. When children read more they turn into better readers.

However just how do you generate literary enthusiasm amongst kids who are not in the virtuous cycle-- those who fight with reading, or who would rather like to play outside instead of huddle with a book? Willingham and also DM Crosby, a deputy headteacher at an elementary school in Nottinghamshire, England, have some recommendations.

Place publications in unexpected places

Willingham suggests that parents looking to encourage reading keep an eye out for environments that are "poor" , areas where children could be a bit bored and fill up those areas up with books.  Assume bathrooms and also vehicles. "My wife's a teacher," Willingham tells Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), "and she tells parents all the time: Put books in your child's bathroom. And it's amazing how much kids will read when there are books in the bathroom."

Create settings that welcome reading

Another step, according to Willingham, is to impoverish the environments that are already crowded with plenty of other distractions. That means removing phones and also tablet computers to create the time and also space to check out.  "Restricting screen time is an obvious version of that," Willingham claims.

Carving out reading-specific spaces is helpful. Take a bunch of toss cushions, placed them behind-the-scenes with a lamp, and also dub it a reading corner.  Discover a time of day that is conducive to family reading time, perhaps after dinner and also prior to TV time, or before bed time.

Check out in front of your youngsters

If youngsters see grownups reading themselves, they'll be more encouraged to give reading a try. Crosby advises that parents talk to children about what you are reading and read in front of them; you could be the only person they ever see doing this." Willingham additionally tells MPR that he urges his kids to review not due to the fact that scientific research claims it will make them smarter and assist them gain extra down the line, yet due to the fact that it is simply a great household worth:

"You should model reading, make reading pleasurable, read aloud to your kid in situations that are warm and create positive associations. But also setting a tone where our family is one where we like to learn new things. We like to learn about the world, and a big part of that is reading."

Information backs up this pointer: inning accordance with Scholastic, the four most effective forecasters of reading  frequency for children in between the ages of six and seventeen are a solid idea that reading for fun is essential; actually enjoying reading; having parents that are involved as well as involved in reading with children; and also having parents who are frequent viewers themselves.

Help kids love reviewing for its very own benefit

Lots of parents in a moment of anxiety or creative thinking could think about monetary motivations or other "rewards" to obtain their youngsters to make it through the summer season reading list or the school year itself. This could be a minefield, Willingham argues: Paying your youngster $5 for getting through a book develops an external incentive, as opposed to motivating intrinsic inspiration.

"When you offer kids rewards, there's the potential for them to think, "The reason I read is because I'm offered a reward." Therefore, what's going to happen when you eventually stop the reward? The child is going to figure, "There's not really any point to reading. I wasn't reading because I liked it. I was only reading to access the reward."

Check out with your children

If all else fails, delve into publications with them. Offer to review the very first couple of chapters together aloud in order to help children begin, or as DM Crosby suggests in a blog post for educators, create "book teasers": Share the very first couple of chapters of a book with your children/class. Pork up the efficiency, obtain them hooked and after that quit; hold a lottery to see that reaches take a copy home that evening.

Parents  may not have the ability to produce the affordable tension of a classroom, however sometimes, tackling the first couple of chapters of a publication and also chatting through it assists youngsters that feel extra positive they could make it through the rest of the reading solo. (This is particularly true of long books, which can seem intimidating.) Reviewing with each other additionally permits you to examine to see what children recognize as well as assist with vocabulary.

Encourage your kids to try new categories as well as more challenging publications

And when you finish the summertime reading, you can utilize all those great routines in order to help youngsters maintain diving deeper right into the library heaps. Doug Lemov, writer of Teach like a Champion as well as co-author of Reading Reconsidered, suggests that it is essential to let youngsters choose the books they like, yet also encourages moms and dads to review them texts above youngsters'

"Yes, encourage your kids to practice decoding and fluency on accessible texts. But also realize that being read to from books that are more complex than they can read on their own prepares them for the gatekeeper task: understanding difficult ideas and complex texts."

Tips to Help Your Presentation Jitters Tue, 14 Aug 2018 00:00:00 MST

If you resemble most individuals, then public talking or presenting is a big fear for you. However take a second to think of this: When you have a conversation with someone you are public speaking. You might not need to speak with hundreds at once, however in your day-to-day life, some kind of public talking is a common incident. With this in mind, you owe it to yourself to establish the techniques and methods to manage your nerves so you can focus on supplying an efficient as well as engaging discussion.

To tackle your uneasiness and bring it in control, remember these six essential pointers. 

1. Analyze you crowd.
Specify exactly what makes your audience special by identifying their problems, biases and also questions. Locate individuals who are representative of your awaited audience as well as ask just what they would anticipate from the discussion. Furthermore, greet your crowd at the door and do a fast survey of why they are there as well as what their assumptions are.

2. Know your information.
Absolutely nothing is worse for nerves compared to trying to talk about something you don't know a lot about, especially in public. Making certain you've properly recognized your audience and their requirements will assist guarantee your product is on-target. Also remember that you can not possibly cover a whole topic in one discussion. Select one of the most essential factors from your subject base as well as supplement them with various other information if time enables.

3. Organize your discussion.
Organize your presentation to ensure that you remind yourself about upcoming information. Have a set of essential expressions and refer to these expressions to cause your memory as to what is next in your presentation. If you're using slides, make use of these vital expressions in your changes. 

4. Method, method, practice.
Familiarity constructs self-confidence, and technique assists you to supply your words normally. This indicates your words will be coming more from your heart as well as mind, instead of from a piece of paper. Learn the organization as well as order of your discussion. Tape-record yourself to hear how you talk, your tone and also your rate, and adjust appropriately. My suggestion is to exercise your whole discussion, consisting of any visuals, at the very least six times.

5. Prepare, prepare, prepare.
When you understand just what you are going to state, you should prepare on your own for the actual delivery. Anticipate troubles as well as have back-ups in position for situations like equipment failure. Preferably, give whatever one last rundown in the actual setting. Keep in mind to prepare responses to expected inquiries.

6. Calm yourself from within.
Nervousness creates physical reactions which are primarily associated with the rise of adrenaline in your system. You could neutralize these impacts with a few simple methods:

  • Deep breathing: Deep breathing is one of the most convenient and fastest leisure strategies.
  • Water: Have a glass of water helpful. Take sips sometimes, particularly when you intend to stress a factor.
  • Smile: This is an all-natural relaxant that sends out positive chemicals via your body.
  • Use visualization techniques: Picture that you are delivering your discussion to an audience that is interested, amazed, smiling and reacting positively. Positive visualization is effective!
  • Prior to you start chatting: Pause, make eye call, and also smile. This last minute of peace is unwinding and gives you time to adjust to being the centerpiece.
  • Speak a lot more gradually than you would in a discussion: Also, leave longer pauses between sentences. This slower speed will soothe you down, and also it will also make you less complicated to hear, specifically at the back of a big room.
  • Walk around during your discussion: This will use up several of your worried power.
  • Keep in mind that the target market is there for info as well as it is your job to obtain it throughout to them.
Does Coffee Help You Live Longer? Mon, 9 Jul 2018 00:00:00 MST

In a research of around half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers were found to have a slightly reduced risk of death over a 10-year follow-up duration than non-coffee enthusiasts.
The apparent long life boost comes yet an additional item of excellent news for coffee enthusiasts, with health and wellness benefits shown in drinkers of instant, ground and also decaffeinated coffee.
Late in 2015, scientists at the University of Southampton in the U.K. found people who consume three or four cups of coffee every day can dramatically minimize their possibilities of passing.
Consuming coffee might boost your chances of a longer life, research study programs, also for those that consume as many as eight cups a day.

In a research study of around half-a-million British adults, coffee enthusiasts were located to have a somewhat lower risk of fatality over a 10-year follow-up period compared to non-coffee drinkers.

The obvious long life increase comes yet one more item of great news for coffee lovers, with wellness benefits recorded in enthusiasts of instant, ground and also decaffeinated coffee. The study is additionally the first of its kind to suggest wellness advantages in people with supposed hereditary problems influencing just how their bodies respond to high levels of caffeine.

Wellness specialists cautioned individuals must not start drinking coffee, or enhancing their consumption, for medical reasons. They likewise cautioned excessive coffee for women during pregnancy might be damaging.

Health advantages

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) utilized information from individuals taking part in a hereditary research study called the U.K. Biobank. The individuals of that research study volunteered to provide blood and also answered a series of detailed questions about their health and lifestyle.

For the most recent research, published on July 2nd in the Journal of the American Medical Associations  JAMA Internal Medicine, NCI researchers analyzed details given by roughly 500,000 individuals, who answered questions about coffee consumption, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption behaviors, medical history and also more.

Around 14,200 of those very same individuals died in the 10-year follow-up duration. Nevertheless, the researchers found people were most likely to live much longer with almost every level and sort of coffee usage.

In general, coffee enthusiasts were discovered to be around 10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than non-coffee enthusiasts throughout a decade of follow-up checks. The differences showed the amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal.

Various other research studies have asserted substances in coffee may decrease inflammation and also improve just how the body makes use of insulin, which can reduce the chance of creating diabetes.

How Cold is the Coldest Place on Earth Mon, 2 Jul 2018 00:00:00 MST


Some Canadians may lament the cool temperature levels winter months brings us, yet they're nothing as compared to record-setting Antarctica.

In 2013, scientists announced they located the coldest place on Earth, in the East Antarctic Plateau, where the mercury dropped to a face-numbing -93 C. Now, after re-examining the data, they concluded it was even colder then originally expected at -98 C.

Researchers use ground-based and also satellite sensing units to compute these temperatures. However, as a result of the dimension and also remoteness of the Antarctic, there aren't sensing units in many locations. So, the authors of the study released in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on June 25th, re-examined satellite information from the Southern Hemisphere winters of 2004 to 2016.

The data remained in line with what they would certainly observed in 2013: normal temperature levels of near -90 C at the surface area, with the lowest at -93 C.

However, the scientists after that made use of instruments on NASA's Terra and also Aqua satellites that had been calibrated to make up more current ground-based terminal measurements and afterwards reanalyzed the information.

Exactly what they discovered was that the chilliest temperature level was, as a matter of fact, -98 C.

It's not that the researchers got it wrong or that the temperature level transformed.

Instruments on the two Earth-observing satellites are calibrated using ground-based information. With more recent measurements, the scientists recalibrated the information, which provided a much more precise temperature level.

There are a number of reasons the surface of Antarctica has the ability to get so cold. For one, the continent is excessively dry. Secondly, at night the temperatures drop. Nigh in the Antarctica last for months!

The new information found the coldest areas remained in little dips, because that super-cold air drops into the hollow locations as well as becomes entraped. Then the snowy surface area and air directly over cool much more.

Lead researcher Ted Scambos, with the National Snow and also Ice Data Facility, said the brand-new data does not truly transform any type of science, but it does help researchers better understand the remote area.

"It really is a place where the Earth begins to act like it's a different planet," Scambos said. "It's very extreme for Earth."

"It's a look at what the extremes of Earth are really like."

How to Properly Remove a Tick Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:00:00 MST

We love Summertime, but we despise ticks! You don't need to reside in concern. You can still enjoy being outdoors, but simply be sure to make use of bug spray on your skin as well as your clothing. The CDC recommends sprays which contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Also avoid strolling in high turf, as well as use lengthy socks, trousers, long-sleeves, and hats when you can. Check for ticks right away after being outside. Strip your clothing, throw them in the clothes dryer (the heat eliminates ticks!), as well as take a shower to wash off the ticks you can not see.

OK, so you did all that, as well as you still obtained a tick. If it's ingrained, the CDC states do these 4 points:.

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to bring the tick as near to the skin's surface as possible.
  • Pull upwards with constant, even pressure. Don't bent or jerk the tick; this could create the mouth components to break short and also remain in the skin. If this happens, get rid of the mouth with the tweezers. If you are incapable to eliminate the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and allow the skin to recover.
  • After getting rid of the tick, completely clean the bite location and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap.
  • Never squash a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a tick by placing it in alcohol, positioning it in a secured bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.

An additional thing you should do is draw a circle with a ballpoint pen around the bite area so you remember where it is and also can keep and eye out for irritability or breakout.
The CDC adds that you must stay clear of old "folklore remedies" such as applying nail polish, rubbing alcohol, fuel, or petroleum jelly to the tick. Don't try burning the tick with a match. Doing any of these put you at higher danger of creating a tick-borne condition because it makes the tick spit up the contagious saliva into your body. Nasty


Serious Backlash to School Shooting Video Game Mon, 11 Jun 2018 00:00:00 MST

A Seattle-area company has removed a school shooting video game from its on-line platform following prevalent reaction.

The Active Shooter video game was drawn days prior to it was to be launched on the video-game marketplace Steam.

Steam's parent firm Valve Corp. stated Tuesday that it was removing the computer system video game because the developer was a "troll with a history of customer abuse."

The game was created by Revived Games, released by Acid and led by an individual named Ata Berdiyev, who had formerly been removed from the system under a various company name.

The game enables players to re-create institution shootings by stalking school hallways as well as racking up eliminates.

Does an Apple Watch Count as a Hand-Held Device? Mon, 4 Jun 2018 00:00:00 MST

An Ontario student was penalizeded for looking at her Apple Watch while driving.

Victoria Ambrose, a University of Guelph student, claimed that she was taking a look at the time on her Apple Watch when she was stopped in April while driving to class.

Following the May 16th hearing, Justice of the Peace Lloyd Phillipps delivered his judgment, fining Ambrose $400.

"Despite the Apple watch being smaller than a cellular phone, on the evidence it is a communication device capable of receiving and transmitting electronic data," Phillipps said.

"While attached to the defendant's wrist it is no less a source of distraction than a cell phone taped to someone's wrist. It requires the driver to change their body position and operate it by touch."

Ambrose was charged with driving while holding a hand-held communication device under the Highway Traffic Act.

While Ambrose and also the prosecution settled on the details of the occurrence that took place on April 24, what they fought over was whether or not an Apple Watch is in fact a hand-held device.

"The evidence before me is that an Apple watch is capable of receiving and transmitting electronic data. Ms. Ambrose testified that the watch was not connected to her phone which was in the car with her at the time," said the Judge. "It is abundantly clear from the evidence that Ms. Ambrose was distracted when the officer made his observations."

"Whether it was actually connected to another device at the time of the offence is not a determining factor. It is the holding, or use of the device that the court must determine."

Ambrose has 90 days to pay her penalty.

New Technology Could Help You Sleep Mon, 28 May 2018 00:00:00 MST

The Future of Sleep is Technology

We rest for one-third of our lives, however we're just currently getting up to the relevance of rest. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention well as released findings that showed a 3rd of grownups just weren't obtaining adequate rest. As well as these sleep-deprived individuals are setting  the country  back over 400 billions of dollars yearly. In accordance with a record by Rand Europe, 1.2 million working days are shed in the United States annually as a result of sleepy workers. This is addition to the cost of our specific wellness as well as temporary influence rest deprival carries our minds as well as bodies. The expanding body of study and also boosted public understanding around rest has actually placed rest at the center of everybody's minds. Consequently, our supposed rest epidemic has actually triggered a sector pattern devoted to assisting individuals rest.

As our culture comes to be progressively much more worn out, firms are recognizing there is an expanding possibility for advancement in the area. Specifically, modern technology could be leveraged to address the issues that for years no person in the rest market has actually had the ability to address.

The way we rest hasn't already essentially transformed in over half a centry. The last significant advancement in rest was memory foam, developed in 1966. Ever since, very little has actually taken place. We have self-driving cars and trucks on the roads however still rest on layers of foam glued to each other. The international cushion sector is anticipated to get to $38 million by 2022, yet all the mattresses on the planet will not have the ability to significantly affect our rest due to the fact that they are not able to adapt to our certain demands. Below the streamlined product packaging and also strong advertising and marketing is simply an item of foam as well as textile. Yes, it might include convenience, however convenience could only work so much.

Bringing innovation right into our rooms is something that could genuinely change the rest experience. Innovation has actually progressed virtually every facet of our lives currently. From flight to robotics that cleans our residence to purchasing food with at a tap of our fingers, we have the ability to do so far more many thanks to modern technology. As we accept development extra quickly compared to ever before, it appears our gizmos no more should be scheduled for our waking hrs. An entire variety of items is being presented to fix usual rest troubles brought on by inappropriate bed room temperature level, excessive sound or light as well as rest conditions like rest apnea or sleeplessness. If innovation could control temperature level, lessen diversions as well as deal with rest conditions, after that rest will certainly boost dramatically. Just what's more, products that assure to boost corrective deep rest or sensing units that could spot crucial wellness elements will certainly additionally profit our rest. Leveraging innovation to maximize and also improve rest will certainly enable us to lastly accomplish optimum healing as well as recovery

Silicon Valley directors as well as health specialists all concur that innovation needs to take on rest. Well + Good also called sophisticated rest scientific research a leading fad of 2018. Inc states ingenious rest devices will certainly specify technology this year. Much better rest could be accomplished with scientific research. Resting well is an essential column of health and wellness that could not be neglected any longer. Researches have actually revealed that resting much less could raise the danger of Alzheimer's, create weight gain and also make grownups as much as 200% more probable to have cardiac arrest or stroke. By assisting individuals rest much better, rest technology can be the following action in human advancement and also long life. It has the prospective to include hours back to our days and also years back to our lives.

Based upon the several tools presented at the Consumer Electronic devices Program this year, corrective as well as relaxing rest goes to our fingertips. These brand-new room devices might seriously change the means we rest. From Philips' SmartSleep headband to Nokia's sleep sensing pad, the rest technology market appears ripe with brand-new items. The Las Legas show additionally presented Dreamlight, a band that covers the eyes as well as makes use of light, shade as well as noise to maintain the individual asleep. On the application front, a special sleep-coaching system that supplies tailor-made rest guidance each evening.

In spite of its growing appeal in 2018, rest innovation is not a brand-new creation. Among the very early leaders was Zeo, a firm developed in 2003 to check rest. Their trademark item was a headband that determines mind waves to precisely find rest stages. Zeo, regrettably, closed down procedures in 2013, likely due to the fact that customers just weren't yet prepared to welcome rest modern technology at the time. Rapid onward to currently, and also rest is lastly prepared for interruption. Ingenious rest technology is swamping the marketplace and also revealing no indicator of snoozing. Around the world, the marketplace for these items is anticipated to get to over $76 billion in 2019. As individual's rest high quality enhances, power, performance, wellness as well as total joy will certainly increase. The future of rest entails modern technology, there's merely no other way around it.

Technology Advances Will Make Shoveling a Thing of the Past Mon, 21 May 2018 00:00:00 MST


Your days of shoveling the snow might be over. Winter is defiantly not going anywhere anytime soon (we would hate to give you any false hope), however instead innovation could have the ability to get the job done in your place. Fulfill the SnowBot Pro from Left Hand Robotics, a commercial-class, self-driving robot whose single function is to get rid of the snow and to ensure that you do not need to. Nevertheless, your time is too valuable to be shoveling day in and day out.

This large robot was originally planned for usage in houses, however the group quickly understood that the device would certainly be far better matched for better applications.  "Snow and ice management companies, property managers, government agencies, etc. all face significant labor challenges when it comes to sidewalk and pathway work in the winter," Mike Ott, , chief technology officer of Left Hand Robotics told OEM Off-Highway last fall. "Securing the necessary labor force on short notice, in harsh conditions, for strenuous, dangerous snow removal work is very difficult."

However not so with the intro of the SnowBot Pro. The self-governing car adheres to a set course that is figured out by GPS and also accelerometer as well as gyroscope modern technology, and also could be regulated from afar on an  internet control panel. In order to in fact eliminate snow, the SnowBot Pro utilizes a 4-foot-wide revolving brush, and is able to reduce the amount of people shoveling by about 80%.

The company's claim that the SnowBot Pro has the ability to browse and also identify unforeseen barriers also without a human driver existing. The robot leverages high-precision GPS RTK modern technology in order for its to move up, down, as well as around roads. In accordance with Ott, human specialists will initially "document" the pathways and the course the robot will take making use of a unique device (this does not need to be performed in the winter season, making the procedure much less strenuous). These courses are after that published to Left Hand Robotics' cloud-based procedures facility, whereupon they're transformed into a collection of commands that the device utilizes to drive itself.

When the snow drops, the gas-powered SnowBot requires just a human to open up an application on his/her mobile phone as well as press start. The robo will certainly do the remainder. SnowBot Pros are presently in manufacturing for the 2018-2019 period, people are able to to pay a $1,000  to hold their area in line to purchase among these robots once they're made readily available.

Say Good-Bye to Illegal Streaming Canada Mon, 14 May 2018 00:00:00 MST


Illegal Streaming of Pirated Movies and Tv Shows Could Soon be Blocked in Canada

Canada's biggest communication firms consisting of Rogers and also Quebecor have  signed up with with content creators (CBC, Corus Entertainment, and so on) as well as unions throughout the nation to quit illegally downloading as well as streaming of movies, television programs, live sporting activities and also music.

With each other, they have actually submitted an application to the Canadian Radio-Television and also Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to block all sites that admit to pirated products. In accordance with their evaluation, piracy makes up to $55-billion loss in Canada's social markets. Actually, in 2017 alone, over 1 million Canadian homes had Android boxes that permitted them to gain access to pirated products free of cost.

Fair Play Canada, the provided name for the coalition, prompts the CRTC to mandate an "Independent Piracy Review Agency" that would certainly be devoted to recognizing all the internet sites associated with goods . The CRTC would order all Canadian internet providers to block those sites, in addition to issue cautions to visitors that are believed of unlawfully downloading and instaling or streaming from them.

While lots of people are revealing their support for this effort, others think it is an offense of net neutrality, which presses the situation that web service providers need to deal with all materials equally. Some are afraid that carriers might wind up abusing their power to obstruct sites at their will.

Navdeep Bains, the Innovation, Scientific and Economic Minister, talked on this issue by guaranteeing that Canada continues to be dedicated to "maintaining one of the best intellectual property and copyright frameworks int he world to support creativity and innovation to the benefit of artists, creators consumers and all Canadians."

‘I Know Where Your Cat Lives’ is a Real Site and is Creeping Pet Owners Out Mon, 7 May 2018 00:00:00 MST


It seems like the title of a scary film focused on teen pet cat enthusiasts, however as opposed to '90s starlets like Jennifer Love Hewitt as well as Sarah Michelle Gellar, the appeals being tracked are tabbies and also calicos. is a site masterminded as well as set by Teacher Owen Mundy of Florida State College. In accordance with THV11, Mundy claims his objective is to caution individuals regarding uploading images that hand out their individual GPS coordinates.

"It worked great. It went viral immediately," claimed Mundy of the website, which tracks over 7 million felines internationally. It also locates them best inside their houses, simply based upon the hashtag "pet cats" as well as information, i.e. the previously mentioned GPS coordinates connected to images on social media sites. Mundy claims these pet cat owners are uninformed of what they are revealing and what they are disclosing about their personal lives.

The teacher states he had the suggestion - as well as recognized the info he was distributing through GPS - oneday while photographing his little girl and also uploading her photos to Instagram.

"I realized that all of that data was made available to all the third party developers ... I saw it as a problem, it's a data leak," Mundy informed THV11.

Mundy's objective with the website is to inform individuals to safeguard their personal privacy, as well as he believes that these pet cat pictures are a method in order to help individuals comprehend simply details they're unintentionally revealing concerning themselves. He keeps in mind that if the net is presently in a "Wild West" phase of advancement, as it increases, business might surreptitiously profit economically from your individual information.

Therefore, appears to be making its mark. Mundy reports that around 60 percent of the 1 million initial pet cat images he's accumulated not show up on the website. This suggests that individuals have actually at some point captured on as well as altered their personal privacy setups.

As well as while it's simply one application, Instagram has actually secured down on what does it cost? of individuals' personal details it permits third-party designers to gain access to. However, Munday state it's a recurring concern.

"The next app that comes out, you'll have to watch it in the same way," he says. 

Why Professional web design is the way to go Mon, 30 Apr 2018 00:00:00 MST

DIY Web Builders VS Professional Web Designers

If you are introducing your organization on a small spending plan, you could believe the expense of an internet developer does not match your strategy. Also if HTML as well as CSS resemble hodgepodge to you, drag and drop website-building user interfaces that make it nearly impossible for non-coders to develop their very own sites. That could be a great alternative for you depending upon the magnitude of your company and also your web site objectives. Nevertheless, convenience comes with the expense of flexibility, and also a less-than-professional aim to your web site will certainly drive service away. Your cost-effective Do It Yourself site after that comes to be instead rather pricey.

It could be far better to buy a professional website design service then to obtain your service online. Remember that your internet site belongs to your general advertising strategy, so place it as an expenditure where you anticipate a favorable price of return on your investment, equally as you would with an advertising campaign. Hirirng a pro will certainly finish the job quicker and also much better compared to if you deal with the task on your own.

Just what does Do It Yourself website design include?

Website building platforms are the quickest means to construct as well as release a site. They have pre-coded themes, drag-and-drop components as well as royalty free stock images - every little thing you should need to produce a basic site. These devices are typically packed with organizing solutions. Building contractors such as Wix as well as Weebly supply complimentary alternatives, however you will certainly have the building contractors' names in your LINK and also their promotions packed into to your site. This is great for a hobbyist, yet a company requires something extra professional. One more prominent choice is a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. Although the fundamental learning curve is tough, web page home builder plugins speed up the process, and also website owners have numerous choices for personalizing with thousands of styles as well as plugins offered.

An internet developer could set you back much less over time

When you consider your time, or the time of a staff member charged with developing your internet site, as well as the advantages of a properly created internet visibility for your organization, it makes more economic sense to acquire an internet developer. A complicated website with numerous web pages as well as subpages, an online store, or a booking system for accommodations could become a disaster in the hands of a beginner. An expert will certainly make a website that reveals your brand name and also involves site visitors so they stay to learn more about your company.

The math makes sense

Exactly what is the very best method to go? The estimation will certainly be various for each and every organization. Begin by thinking of just what you want to attain with your internet site. Do you intend to be above your competitors with your flashy site? Do you prepare to market products online? Will your website's key feature be to produce leads or sales? With objectives in mind, you could identify exactly what kind of site your business requires. Is the degree of intricacy something you and also your group can efficiently manage? If of course, the amount of time will be invested in web site growth? Place a worth on this time and also minus it off of the expense of employing an internet developer. You may be shocked to know an expert could save you more money.

Doctors Can Now ‘See’ Under Your Skin with Augmented Reality Technology Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:00:00 MST


It seems like stuff right out of a sci-fi: an enhanced program that could browse your skin and also reveal physicians just what's troubling you.

However that's basically the concept behind the brand-new ProjectDR, which was established by 2 grads of the University of Alberta ,reports CBC News.

Point is, it's not actually checking out your skin; rather, ProjectDR makes use of clinical photos from resources such as CT scans as well as lines them up with the client's physique while the physician takes a look at them.

Unfortunately, it does not make use of a gadget like the Microsoft HoloLens; rather, ProjectDR utilizes a projector to show the pictures on the body.

Yet, it does feature numerous benefits, such as permitting specifics. If the physician simply intends to see a client's lungs, that's feasible. Tracking sensing units on the individual's body enable the pictures to align as meant, also while individuals move.

Future functions might consist of automated calibration and also sensing units that properly represent the deepness of body organs.

It's awesome, obviously, yet a lot more significantly, designers Ian Watts and also Michael Feist wish that medical professionals will certainly locate it valuable for a variety of choices from medical training to chiropractic treatment and also physical treatment.

Watts particularly sees it as beneficial for laparoscopic surgical procedure, which entails tiny lacerations and also a little cam and also likewise little tools.

With ProjectDR, doctors would certainly have the ability to see where those devices presently remain in relationship to various other crucial body organs, minimizing the danger of crashes.

Increased usefulness

ProjectDR is however one program in an expanding list of functional clinical applications for increased augmented reality.

In 2014, among the extra outstanding uses the modern technology we saw was a mixed-reality user interface from Scopis that aids cosmetic surgeons with spine procedures.

With the Microsoft HoloLens, doctors might precisely straighten pedicle screws in vertebrae surgical procedures without needing to regularly take a look at an exterior screen.

Jump right into increased truth later on this year with the Magic Leap One

Associated item: Microsoft HoloLens

HoloLens supplies a special AR experience. Its develops terrific high quality and also focuses on information, and also the application capacity appears infinite. It's currently an issue of whether Microsoft could take care of some unpleasant concerns, and also what does it cost? It will certainly set regular people back.


Uma Thurman Claims Quentin Tarantino “Tried to Kill Her” on Kill Bill Set Mon, 16 Apr 2018 00:00:00 MST


Uma Thurman has shared video footage of a vehicle accident on the set of 2003 theatrical blockbuster, Kill Bill. Thurman claims he told director Tarantino she was uncomfortable driving the 1997 Karmann Ghia convertible while on location in Mexico.

Thurman says she requested a stunt double for the shoot but that Tarantino denied her request and forced her to drive the vehicle herself to get the hair motion just right.

In an interview with the New York Times*, the actress was quoted as saying, "Quentin came in my trailer and didn't like to hear no, like any director. He was furious because I'd cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. "He said: 'I promise you the car is fine. It's a straight piece of road.'

According to Thurman, Tarantino was insistent, saying,  "Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won't blow the right way and I'll make you do it all over again."

"But that was a deathbox that I was in," Thurman stated. "The seat wasn't screwed down properly. It was a sand road and not a straight road."

The footage from a rear-mounted camera in the Karmann Ghia which the actress posted appeared to show Thurman speeding down the road before the car began swerving before slamming into a tree. In the video, you can see Thurman's head was thrown against the dashboard before she fell backward after impact. Tarantino can be seen in the video offering water to the actress after the incident and then she was carried from the scene by a member of the film crew.

"When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset," said Thurman.

"Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn't feel he had tried to kill me."

The story is just emerging now as it took 15 years for the actress to gain access to the clip. Director Tarantino has not responded to Thurman's allegations

Thurman accused Tarantino of other abusive practices including spitting in Thurman's face for one scene and choking her with a chain in another.

Tarantino and Thurman had also worked together on the 1994 mega-hit, Pulp Fiction, a film which propelled Tarantino into the upper echelon of Hollywood directors. Thurman described working with Tarantino as "a horrible mud wrestle with a very angry brother". She ony continued to act under his direction, Thurman claimed, because of the "greater good".

Thurman has since received support from fellow actors Jessica Chastain, Asia Argento and Judd Apatow.


My old toys are now worth how much? Woot! Mon, 9 Apr 2018 00:00:00 MST


Many of us are a wee bit guilty of being unable to throw away our old toys as we grew out of them. There is little doubt there are millions of boxes of discarded toys gathering dust in the darkest reaches of the storage sheds and garages of the nation.  Whatever outrageous amount they cost back in the day is now barely worth putting into any self-respecting garage sale. In stock market terms, their valuation has hit rock bottom.

Or has it?

Surprisingly, a number of our favourite playthings of yesteryear have actually held their worth or even risen in value. Here's a list of some of the most recognizable toys we all used to love and what they're worth today.


We all recall this lightbulb-powered toy which featured tasty-looking, multi-coloured, translucent plastic pieces which appeared to light up when inserted into the black paper-covered holes. Still available as a smartphone app which is much cheaper than the $310 an original "magic screen" is worth currently to collectors.

Teddy Ruxpin

Remember the bear with the googly eyes and blue denim shorts?  Of course you do! It was the best-selling toy of both 1985 and 1986 and even spawned an animated TV series in the latter year. Originally costing a cool $69.99 the bear has undergone many makeovers over the years and now retails for up to $145.00 on Amazon. How much for an original Teddy Ruxpin in the box now? A cool $400.

Batman Action Figure

POW! BIFF! This article features lots of expensive action figures but the 1960s Batman action figure is in a league of its own fetching a whopping $16,000.

Beanie Babies

These plush "stuffy-type" toy were once all the rage but could usually be purchased for less than $20.00. The special edition Princess Diana version, on the other hand, will set you back... are you ready for this? Diana Beanie Babies in pristine condition can fetch up to $475,000!

"American Girl" Dolls

Introduced in 1986, the 18" tall American Girl dolls were only available through mail order and were fairly expensive at $82 each (but with a book!).  That's chickenfeed, though when compared to the price of the largest American Girl doll collection ever which was listed on eBay for a low, low, $25,500

Pez Dispensers

Austrian-born Pez candy has been around since the 1920's when the originally round candies were created by confectioner Eduard Haas. The dispensers came about a decade later.  The Nowadays you can even order customized ones with Pez versions of your own friends and family. Relatively inexpensive, you can get a complete collection of modern Pez machines for as little as $175.


Iconic dress-up doll Barbie have always enjoyed great popularity at a reasonable price. Except the "World Barbie" series. A collection of these babies will run you $1200. That's nothing compared to the asking price for an original Barbie in the familiar black and white swim suit which are priced in the $20,000 neighborhood.


Surprisingly, the electronic pets known as Furbies are still being manufactured and are available for a little as $35.  This is a great deal compared to original models which are being advertised to collectors for $900 or more.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Few little girls in the 1980s went without a Cabbage Patch Doll.  The birth certificate-bearing dolls were first sold for about $25. If you were wise enough to keep it in the box and keep it in your safety deposit box, it would now be worth a whopping $3000.

Sonic the Hedgehog computer game from 1991 which is still in the box.


Everybody has loves the Peanuts gang featuring "good old Charlie Brown" since they hit the funny papers in the late 1950s.  This may be why a Schroeder at the piano figure from 1958 is currently priced at $2,995.

Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

Another fad doll that took their little girl target market by storm, Strawberry Shortcake was a product of the early 1980s and are still sold today. How much for a vintage one? Just $1000. What a deal! Companion product, My Little Horse is a real steal for only $600.

My Little Pony

Still sold today, My Little Pony dolls designed for little girls were a smash when introduced and can now fetch up to $600 for an original one still in the packaging. You could almost buy a new horse for that!

Care Bears

Those instantly recognizable stuffed animals with their unique totem image on their tummies were fairly reasonably priced when first released. Now a complete collection of the newest ones will reduce your bank balance by between $5000 and $7995.  That price is unbearable!


Tamagotchis were virtual pets that flooded the toy market in 1996 priced at about $15. They remained popular and even spawned a movie. A 1996 model still in the box will set you back a little more, though... like about $3000!

Easy Bake Oven

What little girls didn't want one of these growing up? Introduced at a fairly hefty $125 in 1964, sadly it was a bit too pricey for many parents. Now it looks like a bargain when compared to an Easy Bake Oven Super Treat Centre which goes for a mere $4,600.

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels cars, introduced in 1968, poked a huge hole in Matchbox car sales with their racing tracks and faster speeds. A new Hot Wheels racing car cost less than $5 back then while currently a complete set of them is just... gulp... $8,500. You can buy a decent used car for that!

Pokemon Cards

Want to invest in pieces of paper with pictures of imaginary creatures on them? If so, Pokemon are for you! A package of cars back in their inaugural year, 1999 were under $5 but in 2018, a collection of those cards is worth $5,995. Think that's a bit much? A single 1995 Alakazam card is apparently worth $7,500.

'Star Wars' Action Figures

Since 1977, millions of kids have enjoyed their Star Wars action figures featuring heroes like Princess Leah and Han Solo. If they had kept their collection of 9 figures from 1977 in the original packaging they would now be worth $2000. 

Millennium Falcon Lego.

Many classic Star Wars-themed toys demand a high price among collectors bu it seems kind of unfair to charge $24,000 for a Millennium Falcon Lego set you have to build yourself!


For over three decades Transformers have been a popular toy with many happy hours of play time invested in them by young girls and boys.  Apparently these kids should have saved them as a financial investment, though as The Voltron Club Lion set on its own is currently running at $1,299.

Webkinz Stuffed Animals

These popular, pricey high-end stuffed animals have their own interactive website, which is why they retail for up to $20. Or, you could buy the complete collection of 15 Webkniz pets for a mere $1,100.


The beloved toy cowboy protagonist from Pixar's Toy Story movie franchise was a must-have Christmas gift for many hopeful children who dreamed of receiving the $20.00 toy. Now a rare Woody doll can be theirs for $1,200 making it too rich for a Santa.

Sonic the Hedgehog.

Crazy as it sounds, even with free versions of the game available online, it'll set you back two grand for a

The lesson seems clear. Tell your kids to forget playing with toys; but save them in the original packaging for a few decades and make big bucks on them, instead. It may not be as much fun for kids but they will appreciate the dough when they're in their thirties.

‘Severe Pain’ Cited for Cancelled Lady Gaga Euro Tour Dates Mon, 19 Mar 2018 00:00:00 MST


Music superstar, Lada Gaga has axed the final ten European dates from her "Joanne World Tour" due to pain from fibromyalgia. The disappointed singer cancelled shows in Paris, London and other major centers to "put myself and my wellbeing first."

"I'm so devastated I don't know how to describe it," said Lady Gaga. "All I know is that if I don't do this, I am not standing by the words or meaning of my music. My medical team is supporting the decision for me to recover at home."

Concert organizers Live Nation assured the public Gaga was receiving expert care. A spokesman for the company stated Lady Gaga's medical team is "working closely with her so she can continue to perform for her fans for years to come."

Live Nation added all ticket holders will be fully refunded for the cancelled shows. This was followed by a promise to her fans directly from the singer via Twitter, "I love this show more than anything and I love you, but this is beyond my control," she tweeted.

There is no word yet if the illness will put at risk Lady Gaga's 74 performance Las Vegas act slated for the MGM Park Theatre in 2018.

Professional Branding - Why do You Need it? Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 MST

When your potential clients and also customers hear your name, as well as the name of your services and products, what picture and also ideas become part of their thoughts? Are you making a great impact, as well, is it the impact that you desire?


Do You Have a Genuine Brand name?


Exactly what are you and also your service recognized for? At exactly what do you really succeed? Exactly how do you attract attention from the remainder of your rivals?

If your customers do not have a company photo of exactly what you and also your product or services represent, after that you actually must be sincere with on your own and also ask on your own if you have actually done the job that you have to totally develop your brand name as well as track record?

Besides, it takes greater than simply having a logo design as well as a website for your company to develop your brand name!


Why Does Your Brand name Matter - Why Should Customers Pick You?


In the past, numerous services enhanced their sales just by having the internet visibility, yet, in today's expanding and also progressively affordable atmosphere that is no more sufficient. It is no longer enough to spend time and money right into driving web traffic to your site, you require a web site that boosts your conversion rate.


This is why it is very important for your web site to be developed in such a manner that it plainly specifies your brand name, exactly what you as well as your solutions mean, to your customers. It depends on you making your brand name matter!


Traffic is Worthless without Conversion - Which is Straight Connected To the Strength of Your Branding!


YouTube video clips, e-mail e-newsletters, uploading on your Facebook web page as well as in the different teams, are all excellent means to drive website traffic to your website, however if your website isn't really created to completely promote your brand name and your business, all that work will do nothing to boosting your cash flow or profits.


Preferably, your site needs to be created to plainly describe what you, and also your solutions represent, it must promote your expertise in this field, as well as it needs to urge site visitors to want to take action with your brand name and also register, purchase or otherwise involve themselves on the website. If your internet site it obtaining a consistent website traffic stream, yet lacks conversions, the concern most likely depends on the manner in which you have actually specified for visitors to take action.


Branding and designing a site that increases conversion rates are areas that many creatives struggle with since the steps that are necessary to take to build your brand and site can be a bit complex as well as time consuming. Contracting out those jobs that take you far from your core business could aid to maximize your time to concentrate on more crucial elements of your business as well as permit others to utilize their experience in a particular area to boost your degree of success. Besides, you do not have endless quantities of resources and also time, so if you are having problem with  your conversion rates and also the concern is some problem in the manner in which your brand name has actually been identified, take into consideration contracting out the redesign and also advertising of your website to ensure that it much better represents your brand name as well as your vision!

Canadian Immigration in Perspective Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:00:00 MST


Canada has a well-deserved reputation for welcoming newcomers with immigrant admission rates among the highest in the world on a per capita basis. Over the past ten years the country has accepted approximately 200K of these "new Canadians" each year. This stands in contrast to the US who is not as welcoming as their Canadian counterparts in reaction to 9/11 and other terror attacks and some American commentators have questioned Canada's accommodating ways and ability to assimilate immigrants who may have been radicalized.

In the beginning

Canadian immigration policy was originally enacted to populate the vast, largely unsettled lands of Western Canada. Few who could pay for a chance to homestead were denied the opportunity. By the early 1900s, immigration policy began to change to exclude non-European applicants. These exclusions were set aside in 1976 when the government of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau eliminated criteria based on ethnicity. Canada quickly became a magnet for immigrants from across the globe which has not changed in the subsequent years. In fact, recently, Trudeau's son Justin who became Prime Minister in 2015 has announced the intention to increase immigration numbers to 350,000 per year.

New Country - Who Dis?

Countries which have supplied the highest number of immigrants to Canada* include the Philippines in top spot followed by India, Syria, China and Pakistan. In 2016 these five countries accounted for 154,690 of Canada's newcomers while the next 20 countries in the list made up about half that amount.

The 3 Types of Immigrant

Canadian immigration policy recognizes three types of applicants;

Economic immigrants looking for better financial prospects than their home country can offer,

Family Reunification applicants who want to bring over family members left behind in the "old country"

Refugee claimants who are the smallest slice of the immigration pie and are seeking asylum protection or have humanitarian concerns.

For What It's Worth

Those who are successful at gaining "landed immigrant status" in Canada have many programs available to help them resettle in their new country. These include health and social service programs as well as language training in their choice of official language. Despite these generous programs, studies have shown since the 1980s, new Canadians appear to have more difficulty in fitting into Canada's employment landscape due to language issues or Canada's occasional unwillingness to recognize professional qualifications earned in their previous country.

Other studies indicate first generation economic immigrants of colour do tend to have less earning power than their fellow citizens, however improvements occur in second and third generation populations who earn about the same as the non-immigrant family counterparts.

 Gimme Shelter

Asylum seekers in Canada enjoy opportunities found in few other countries. Every refugee, regardless of country of origin, is offered a hearing to make the case why they should be allowed to remain. Following approval of the Immigration and Refugee Board, refugees can then apply for permanent residency. This process has many critics who claim the refugee program is simply a "back door" method of gaining residency, as this group of newcomers avoids the long waits and significant costs of normal immigration channels. These critics also have brought up security concerns with our comparatively lax refugee rules which allow freedom of movement within the country for those awaiting a residency determination. This makes deportation for failed claimants extremely difficult and it can often take years to track down these individuals. Only about half come forward voluntarily to be returned to their original country.
there are also critics who are concerned about the growth in Muslim populations in Canada which have doubled from 580,000 in 2001 to the current 1.2 million.

"Temporary Citizenship"

Canada also offers opportunities for foreign workers to come to the country to work in areas which lack an adequate home-grown workforce.  Although some work in highly technical niche jobs, most end up in service industry occupations. If done correctly, the Temporary Foreign Worker  (TFW) program does offer a somewhat shorter and much less expensive route to Canadian permanent residency.

Gauging the Problem

Does Canada have an undocumented immigrant problem? It depends on who you ask. Traditionally those who have gained entry into the country but have been denied their residency request and have been slated for deportation averaged between 100,000 and 200,000 until 2016. This number has skyrocketed recently, however, as an estimated 50,0000 or more refugees have flooded into Canada across the border from the US just in 2017 alone. This influx has reportedly swamped the refugee system and is creating even more undocumented immigrants, as about a third of these claimants get rejected for various reasons.



Houses in Italy a Bargain at just a Buck Mon, 5 Mar 2018 00:00:00 MST


Owning a home in the picturesque Italian countryside is no longer a dream only for the wealthy. A town in the mountainous Italian district of Barbagia, known as Ollolai, on the Island of Sardinia is currently selling homes for a buck ($1.50 factoring in Canadian exchange rates).

Though not the first Italian village to attempt to bolster population with similar deals, Ollolai appears to be the most serious about the initiative and offers natural beauty and a rich history in addition to the loonie price point.

Of course there are strings attached to the "two for a twonie" dwellings. The stone-built homes need considerable work to become livable and there is a requirement to complete all necessary home improvements within three years of purchase. The improvements are estimated to be about $25,000 per unit.

The payoff for Ollolai will be community revitalization which has lost almost half its population in recent years with few babies being born annually to replace citizens lost to less remote settings.

"We boast prehistoric origins," states Ollolai mayor, Efisio Arbau, "My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion. Pride in our past is our strength. We've always been tough people and won't allow our town to die."


Once Barbagia's bustling capital, Ollolai remains predominantly a natural and undeveloped section of Sardinia where many traditional lifestyles continue to be handed down from one generation to the next.


Mayor Arbau compares the struggle to repopulate with discount dwellings to ancient battles in the town's history.


"We once had a fiery king, Dux Ospitone, who united all heathen tribes in a league," added the Mayor. "Our pagan ancestors never succumbed to the ancient Roman conquerors, who dubbed us 'barbarians.'

These hills are Italy's 'Highlands' and we are sons of 'Bravehearts.'"


Arbau initiated the bargain house idea by contacting the artisans and farm workers who had moved away requesting they turn ownership of their buildings over to the municipality.


"They're picturesque old buildings made with Sardinia's typical gray granite rock that grows on mountain peaks and shores," boasts Arbau. "We need to bring our grandmas' homes back from the grave."


The mayor is pleased three homes have already sold and there are over 100 other offers received including from places as far away as Australia and Russia and hopes the newcomers will enhance job creation and the Ollolai economy.


Retired builder, Vito Casula, bought the first of these homes and created a modern residence using eco-friendly building materials and repurposing some of the original décor and furnishings.


"The fresh air, zero smog and great views have a healing power. My bones and back don't hurt anymore," beams Casula.

Elton John's Good-Bye Tour Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:00:00 MST


Good-Bye Elton - Good-bye Yellowbrick Road 

One of pop music's most iconic figures is retiring from touring after a half century of entertaining enthusiastic audiences around the globe. Prior to his retirement from performing, however, the 70 year-old John announced a three year Farewell Tour which includes numerous Canadian dates in an effort to "go out with a bang".

"I've had a good run, I think you'd admit that," John said Wednesday. He added that he wanted to "leave people thinking, 'I saw the last tour and it was fantastic."

The singer has admitted a long love for Canada and even married a native of Toronto, David Furnish. The couple have two children together. John cited the desire for more family time as one reason for his announced retirement.

"My priorities now are my children and my husband and my family," said the singer. "This is the end."

Among John's accomplishments include sales of over 300 million records world-wide of chart-topping hits like Crocodile Rock, Candle in the Wind and Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting. His awards include a Tony for Aida, as well as an Oscar and a Golden Globe for The Lion King, in addition to his five Grammy Awards. He also is the recipient of a Kennedy entre honour.

Besides these accolades in 2000 John received the Legend Award for his lifetime achievements and was also honoured with the MusiCares Person of the Year for his work in raising hundreds of millions through the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The beloved singer was additionally honoured in 1994 with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. John certainly deserved the honour given his impressive record of 4000+ performances in more than 80 countries during his 50+ year career.

John launched his first tour in 1970 and boasts having performed over 4,000 times in more than 80 countries. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.


Canada's National Anthem Changes to be Gender Neutral Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:00:00 MST


Gender-Free Anthem Bill Passes Canadian Senate 

Members of the Red Chamber have passed a bill which makes O Canada gender-neutral.  The vote was not unanimous as some Conservative senators made a stand against the change.

The bill had come before the Senate following its introduction to parliament by late Liberal MP Mauril Belanger in 2016. The bill changes the lyric, "in all thy sons command" to the gender-free "in all of us command".  It is the twelfth attempt to eliminate any gender references in the anthem since 1980.

O Canada was originally written by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908 and has been changed many times with the first edit coming in 1913. The bill for this most recent change was sponsored by Senator Francis Larken who reacted favourably following the vote.

"I'm very, very happy. There's been 30 years plus of activity trying to make our national anthem, this important thing about our country, inclusive of all of us," she said. "This may be small, it's about two words, but it's huge ... we can now sing it with pride knowing the law will support us in terms of the language. I'm proud to be part of the group that made this happen."

Not all senators were in favour of the change and boycotted the final vote.  Longtime foe of attempts to change the anthem, Manitoba Senator Don Plett claims he was prevented from speaking in opposition to bill thanks to time-limiting motions which he viewed as an insult to democratic principles.

"When a majority of individuals decide to shut down discourse in this place, democracy dies. We need to be very wary of tools that muzzle debate ... that is the fundamental right you have, to get up and speak on any piece of legislation, none of us have the right to take that away," said Plett.

To see how much Canada's anthem has been altered over the years, it's interesting to review the original, 1908 lyrics below.

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love thou dost in us command.
We see thee rising fair, dear land,
The True North, strong and free;
And stand on guard, O Canada,

We stand on guard for thee.


O Canada! O Canada!
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow,
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow,
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea;
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!


O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years,
From East to Western Sea.
Our own beloved native land,
Our True North, strong and free!

Ruler Supreme, Who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within Thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day
We ever stand on guard.

Smart Business Resolutions for 2018 Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 MST

As we dip a toe into 2018, Alberta businesses face a lot of uncertainty due to significant changes in the small business landscape by various levels of government. These include:

  • New federal tax rules which impact popular tax and retirement planning tools currently in use.
  • Radical updates to Alberta's labour laws, which not only impact payroll with increases to minimum wage and holiday pay, but also how long employers must hold jobs for new parents and those taking on caregiver roles for seriously ill family members.
  • New provincial carbon taxes being levied which increases costs on practically everything.

Quitting is Not an Option

Although business is generally averse to change and many Alberta companies are wondering what their next moves should be to ensure their viability in this new business climate, one thing is certain; it's not time to give up. Instead, what smart business people know is when conditions change, business must adapt. To help companies find ways to manage these changes, we have come up with some New Year's resolutions which may make these transitions a little easier.


Resolution #1;  Re-examine your business marketing.

It is important to have a look at all the elements of your business and objectively weigh whether they are doing what they were intended to do and how they can be made more efficient or less costly. One of the most important of these elements to consider is your marketing approach. Understanding first and foremost the reality all businesses need marketing is vital. You can have the best products and services in the world but if no one knows about them, you will surely go broke.

Resolution #2: Undertake a website review

Marketing around your website is a great way to funnel prospective customers toward a purchase or, at least, toward the Contact Page to start a beneficial relationship for you both. If your website isn't "mobile responsive" (viewable on any size screen from smartphone to desktop monitor), is slow to load, or looks dated, you can be sure you're losing out on real sales opportunities.  A site review with your web developer is a great place to start. (Don't forget, INM's site reviews are free!)

Resolution #3: Ensure both social media and traditional marketing initiatives tie into your website.


Your website is the fulcrum on which your other marketing strategies are leveraged. Your company website URL must be on all printed materials with matching colours, fonts and verbiage related to the site.

Resolution #4:  Use the KISS* Principle for marketing materials (*KISS: Keep It Super Simple!)

Ensure those who receive your printed material or find their way to your website will be funneled toward a predetermined goal; making a purchase or making contact, if those are the goals you are pursuing. Whatever the next step you want potential customers to take must be blatantly obvious. No one likes hunting around for the online catalogue, your contact URL link or the phone number.

Resolution #5: Try Something Different

If you feel you aren't getting the most out of your current marketing approaches, change things up. As Einstein said, "Doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result is evidence of insanity." What are some things you can change to get your company name out there besides more social media?

  • Consider sponsoring a local event or sports team. People do pay attention and are very loyal to companies that encourage local groups.The Black Gold Rodeo, for example, offers numerous sponsorship opportunities which are embraced by businesses both large and small.
  • Take another look at traditional marketing initiatives such as the tried and true annual company calendar giveaway which is still widely popular even in the age of computers.
  • If you're a "bricks and mortar" business, look at hosting an event with swag give-aways and special pricing to boost traffic. Printing attractive handbills to promote is inexpensive and, like the calendars, gets a hard copy reminder of your business in the home of prospective customers.
  • If you lack a physical location for your business or work out the home, definitely consider being involved in one or more of the local Trade Shows in the area. These are a great way to get your goods and services in front of the faces of local folks. Both the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce and Black Gold Rodeo Association have extremely popular Trade Fairs.

The Importance of Benchmarking

Whatever new marketing angle you decide to go with, however, make sure to quantify your rate of business prior to and following the initiative, to be able to tell if they made a difference. The initiatives that worked can be expanded while those that did not can be cut.  Bear in mind, however, it's sometimes hard to quantify the power of keeping your name in the minds of the public. This is why the biggest, most successful brands do a lot of "reminder advertising". The most important advice, though, comes from Winston Churchill, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

Happy Holidays from Your Friends at INM Tue, 19 Dec 2017 00:00:00 MST

Happy Holidays from INM

To Our Treasured Clients, Contacts and Associates



At the hallowed End of Year
We like to spend our time.
Sharing festive Christmas cheer,
With family and friends, sublime.

We reflect on the successes
Of Twenty-Seventeen
All the joys and all the stresses;
All the places we have been.

Amid the Christmas merriment
We really want to say
This special Yuletide sentiment,
"All the Best for Christmas Day!"

Why A Facebook Page Can’t Be Your Company Website Tue, 5 Dec 2017 00:00:00 MST

Small business owners know having a website, social media and Internet presence is as essential for company success as having an email address. In fact, according to marketing industry website, AdWeek, 96% of small businesses have a Facebook page. The value of social media must be glaringly obvious to have that level of adoption.

There's a "but".

Just because social media marketing is demonstrably successful, however, doesn't mean business owners like it. Unfortunately, lots of Mom and Pop shops don't understand Internet marketing nearly as well as they understand their own business. They don't realize only having a social media channel, a Facebook page for example, is not enough for effective Internet marketing. They don't grasp that social media is only one element of a total online presence.

What's not to like?

In fairness, it's easy to see why entrepreneurs may despise social media. They may use it to keep up with their own family's news but don't see the value to a company. They hate to spend money to do something people do in their spare time for fun. Staff Facebooking and Tweeting are often activities business people are trying to discourage, so contracting out social media communications or paying an employee to do it seems terribly wasteful.

Facebook; Not a Total Waste, Not the Total Answer

The fact is, social media marketing is like sport fishing. A Facebook page is the flashy lure to get the attention of other Facebook customers but that page will rarely show up in a Google search. To land new customers, you also need a professional website to draw fresh contacts toward. Once there, converting visitors to customers is done with rich, persuasive, sales-friendly content, not possible on a single FB page. Using professional social media services in tandem with a great website is the modern way to attract and "hook" new clientele until you can add them to your "net" sales*. And the best part is, compared to most other old school marketing options like TV, radio and print ads, a website/social media combination is far less expensive and demonstrably more effective.
(*It may sound fishy but it works!)

ComparE a high-end website to A Basic radio, print and TV ad

To learn what a great deal a website can be when compared to the high price of traditional marketing, check out this article. It shows recent advertising rates in actual dollar terms for familiar Alberta-based media which make comparisons a snap. You will see, not only are traditional media initiatives far more expensive than online initiatives, they are also limited by geography and timing. An entire year's website/social media budget costs a great deal less than

  • a single TV ad run,
  • a once-per-day radio spot or
  • a limited duration newspaper ad campaign.

 In reality, not only is the website/social media option less expensive than traditional marketing, your entire catalogue of products and services are available to a global audience 24/7, 365 days a year.

But wait! There's more!

TV, radio and print ads need luck to find their audience. Prospective customers may not be viewing or listening at the correct time or on the right channel to see the ad. As well, many customers may live outside your chosen medium's broadcast region. Additionally, not everyone takes the newspaper, listens to radio or watches TV anymore. These media have been steadily plummeting in the face of competition from entities such as Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. A website, however, with ongoing social media exposure changes everything. Instead of trying to find new customers, it makes it easy for new customers to find you. And that makes all the difference in the world.

The Moral of the Story

Don't just rely on half a job. To maximize your online marketing efforts a website to anchor your social media outreach is simply smart business. Trusting your Facebook page do more than catch your customers' eye will lead to disappointing results.


What Does Your Business Card Say About You? Thu, 9 Nov 2017 00:00:00 MST

Many of us recall our first business card. It was thrilling to receive the validation provided by these tangible, tradeable, mini-documents which affirmed our relationship with our employer.  We were impressed with our cool cards because we knew being a business person without a business card was like being a peace activist without a protest sign. 

Business Cards in the Smartphone Age

Despite rumours to the contrary, business cards continue to hold an important place for savvy business people in the Age of the Smartphone.  Although in a number of ways, business card usage and appearance have subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) shifted over the years, they are still an essential engagement tool for most modern business people.

Here is why:

  • Business cards allow you to put your most important contact information details directly and instantaneously into the hands of your clients and associates. You don"t even need to interrupt the conversation during the exchange.
  • Not everyone you meet during your workday is a slave to their electronic devices. A business card allows you to communicate your most important information to anyone, regardless of their relationship with technology.
  • Every business has computer issues; crashes, malfunctions and wholesale upgrades, all of which can put your vital client data in jeopardy. Maintaining a hard copy business card file is essential for protecting this extremely important resource.
  • Business cards are a tradition older business people recognize and feel comfortable with. This may be the new millennium but these people are still old school all the way. They may not be impressed when they want to exchange contact information with you and you whip out your iPhone.

 Things your business card can do for you

Classy, conservative or uniquely creative, INM can design the business card you need.Well-designed business cards provide instantaneous sharing of every type of contact information you wish to include, such as phone number, fax number, physical address, email address and website URL. You may not need to share each type, depending on how you use your cards, but future contact is what it"s all about.

  • Cards get right to the point; they tell the world your core business thrust. "Effective Marketing at a Fair Price",  "Small Breed Dog Grooming" or "Canada"s Best Whoopee Cushion Selection." Anyone with your card will be reminded why they need to contact you.
  • Stacks of business cards can be provided to willing associates and other contacts to share. This is not possible with a smart device.
  • Sharing contact information on smartphones is impersonal and can make you appear enslaved by your device.
  • Business cards have a "gift" vibe to them which makes the exchange much more friendly and human. We appreciate receiving cards far more than, say, spam, or snail mail advertisements even if they contain the same messaging.
  • In many circles, business cards are still expected, as they provide an element of credibility. Even in the new millennium, people will judge you harshly if they ask for a card and you don"t have one, no matter how smart your phone is.

Card Facts to Consider

  • What is the central purpose of the card? Space is limited and you don"t want an over-crowded card.  Is it to promote the business, promote the employee and their role in the company or to promote an event, service or product?
  • What sorts of people are likely to receive a card? Are they for your clients, your vendors or other professional associates? Depending on who the intended recipients are will affect the tagline message and style.
  • What kind of image do you want to project with your card style? Creative and "hip" or stable and "professional" in the traditional sense. Balloon artists, for example, can have much more artistic-looking business cards than would be appropriate for a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant.
  • Your image can be further enhanced if you have a luxurious card that creates a good first impression. Paper thickness, coatings, embossing or unique shapes can make all the difference when you want to make a lasting first impression.
  • Do you envision your card having a "call to action" aspect to it? Perhaps the bearer can get a small discount on their first purchase or bring it to your store to claim a bit of swag; a company calendar, for example.

When you have made the all-important decisions as to what you want your card to look and feel like and the message it is to deliver, check out INM's dedicated Business Card Page for more information and style options.


Why People Abandon Online Shopping Carts Tue, 7 Nov 2017 00:00:00 MST

Imagine you're a fly on the wall, watching a visitor to your company website. You were wise to have a properly optimized website to ensure high placement in Search Engine Response Pages (SERPs). Your consistent search engine optimization practices (SEO) allow potential new customers to find you among the millions of other websites. As you watch with your compound eyes (you're a still that fly on the wall, remember?) you're overjoyed the visitor is reading lots of your content and is now on your checkout page with a "shopping cart" brimming with product.

The plot thickens

Suddenly, excitement turns to alarm as your visitor closes the window before completing the transaction. "What happened?" you wonder.  The reality is a full two-thirds of online checkout transactions are never completed. Chances are, the abandonment was due to at least one of a list of causes revealed in a 2016 US study which involved over 1000 respondents. Understanding why the test subjects abandoned their carts will allow you to tweak your system to avoid these all too prevalent eStore errors.

Surprise! Unexpected charges scare people away.

According to the study, 61% of abandoned purchases were because the online shopper encountered too many unexpected charges, like handling fees, shipping costs and taxes. What looked like a great deal at first was now more than they were willing to pay.

What to do!? What to do!?

If site visitors are advised upfront about shipping costs, tax rates and other incidental fees, they are less likely to feel instant sticker shock at the checkout. If you have a dollar amount after which shipping is free, ensure that information is prominent on the landing page. It may even encourage upselling to achieve the amount. Don't make it too high or site guests won't even try to top up their cart to save freight.

Get Professional Help

Of the folks who flee checkouts, about 40% did so because the site would "freeze up" or "crash" or had enough spelling errors and other mistakes, the visitor did not trust the site with their credit card information.

What to do!? What to do!?

There is no replacement for having professionals design your website if you want it to look and operate professionally. It's that simple. Here's our exclusive blog with more details on this important point, How Amateur Web Design Hurts Your Brand.

Back off!

35% of individuals surveyed indicated if an eStore requires a membership just to poke around, they will become cart quitters. Many people have privacy concerns while online (gee, we wonder why) and if you try to force a relationship before they're ready to commit, you will lose them.

What to do!? What to do!?

Start each relationship with as little commitment as possible. Allow for a "Guest" membership to allow eStore browsing without needing a full-fledged member profile. Once they spot what they came looking for is the time to take your relationship to the next level.

What the Heck???

Do you have a confusing cart process? A full 27% of eStore visitors who have abandoned their carts claim it was because the checkout procedures were way too long or just too confusing.

What to do!? What to do!?

Before putting your site live with your eStore at the ready, make a few practice purchases to see for yourself how user-friendly the checkout system is. Ask people who don't shop online very often to try the process. Newbies are your best bet for catching complications which experienced eStore users might not notice.

Your eStore policies suck are too rigid.

Just over 18% of prematurely ended checkouts were the result of a perception the eStore had poor shopping rules such as an unacceptable returns policies or inadequate payment methods.

What to do!? What to do!?

Before establishing your eStore's rules of engagement, be aware many of your competitors do not have policies like demanding restocking charges on returned goods.  Online shoppers expect, not only free shipping, but free returns, as well. They also want to pay with forms of currency they already have such as credit card or PayPal.

Time is of the Essence

Cart quitters cite slow delivery times as their abandonment reason about 16% of the time. No matter how long folks take to decide what they want, once they've made up their mind, they want it yesterday. The longer it takes than "yesterday", the less likely the transaction will be completed.

What to do!? What to do!?

Provide a range of delivery options which spans folks who don't mind paying for super-fast expedited service, all the way to those who are happy to save money by ordering ahead of time and patiently waiting for "snail mail" delivery.

Tapped out

5% of cases of "checkout interruptus" occur because the credit card was declined.

What to do!? What to do!?

This one is tough to solve. Just be sure if you accept cheques as payment, you only ship goods after they have cleared the bank.

At the end of the day

There will always be those who, for one reason or another, will abandon their shopping cart before completing the transaction. By following some of these suggestions, you may reduce the number of abandoned carts significantly but you will never eradicate them all together. It's just part of the new normal in the Age of eStores.

7 HUGE Ways Photo Galleries Improve Websites Wed, 11 Oct 2017 00:00:00 MST

There are many "must have" elements to a website including an attractive Home Page to steer clients toward the shopping cart or call button, and a Contact Page which encourages visitors to start a vendor/customer relationship. For a marketing and engagement "must have", on your website, however, the smart money says a Photo Gallery is "picture perfect". Here are seven reasons why they work so well.


Photo Galleries; Because Internet Surfers Read Less Than Hard Copy Readers

One thing's certain; Internet folk are an impatient lot. If a company's website takes too long to load, ("too long" in this case, is less than ten seconds), they've already moved on to your competitor's site. It's no surprise; therefore, web wanderers who think ten seconds is an eternity, are not likely to read all that lovely prose you had written for your website. In fact, studies show 55% of website visitors only read articles for about 15 seconds before their focus strays to something else ("SQUIRREL!"). A Photo Gallery full of interesting pictures will be far more successful in retaining the focus of web-based attention spans.


Photo Galleries Provide Multiple SEO Enhancement Opportunities

Photos relay far more information in an instant than a block of text ever possibly could (pictures are worth a thousand words, remember?) but more importantly, every photo offers text fields for Titles and Alt-Tags. The more of these fields you have available, the more ways you can fit important keywords and phrases into your site to improve your position in Google's search engine.


this Easy Update Attracts Robots (Not the Evil Ones)

The way Google decides which websites to list first on their search pages is partially based on reports made by millions of "robots" who constantly crawl the web looking for changes. If a website remains unchanged for more than a month or two, the "bots" will assume it's an abandoned site and stop visiting. Updating even a single image in a Photo Gallery is enough of a tweak to keep them coming back, making your site rank better.


 Photos offer product information in a convenient form

Photo Galleries dedicated to demonstrating how your products work, as well as various ways to use them, are a powerful method for educating potential clients why they need your products. Videos are also powerful but can slow your site down and cause anger if they start up automatically which can lead to embarrassing incidents.


A Photo Gallery is an easy way to have a Staff Page

Staff pages present a great opportunity to give your company a human face. Humanizing your business is essential for encouraging ongoing engagement as well as reducing bad reviews. It's been shown time and again people are, by our nature, more likely to attack a monolithic company or institution, than attack the actual human beings who are employed by them. Staff Pages also help your workforce feel more part of the team.


Photo Galleries can provide a forum for increasing organic reach

See what happens when you open up your photo gallery to your customers and let them share their own product-related pictures with each other through a photo contest. Everyone who posts a snap will want all their friends to see their picture and will drive traffic to your site for the insignificant cost of a bag of inexpensive swag.


Photo Galleries are great for Artists

A Photo Gallery can be a great way to curate and display an artist's portfolio of paintings, sculptures, photographs or other visual work. Even better, companion galleries can host portfolios of the images rendered onto coffee cups, calendars and other kitsch thier customers want. Here is one clever company who used their Photo Gallery to create a Portfolio Page of websites they designed for their clients.



What are you waiting for?

With a Photo Gallery on your website providing new and exciting opportunities for increased exposure and higher sales, there is no reason to delay getting one of these powerful addons working for you. The web design team at Industrial NetMedia can get you started quickly with a professional website armed with a funky, flexible Photo Gallery for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing approaches. So... what ARE you waiting for?


Blogs and Newsletters - Web Marketing's Dynamic Duo Tue, 12 Sep 2017 00:00:00 MST

Do I need a Blog?

So there you are in cyberspace with your website ready to enthrall and entertain with its beautifully displayed, original, top quality content. You have an eye-catching rotating image banner on your Home Page, a Photo Gallery for visual folk, a Testimonial System to share comments from happy customers, as well as an interactive map for finding your location. So why isn't anyone showing up? Perhaps what you need is a Blog/Newsletter system to add a one-two punch to your marketing attack.

Blog? What is this Blog you speak of?

The word "blog" is short for "web log" and is simply a written article discussing issues related to the content of your website. Often blogs avoid the hard-sell approach and seek to inform readers, rather than to convince them to buy something. This soft-sell helpfulness encourages trust in your brand which can be a much more potent persuasion tool than an actual hard-sell pitch. Blogs are such a powerful medium, according to cyber-marketing gurus, Marketing Sherpa, Internet marketing experts rate blogs as the single-most effective platform available, according to their annual survey of professional Internet marketing people.

Great! but i need a newsletter system, too?

Luckily, for those modern websites with a dedicated blog/newsletter system built into it, (such as those available here) a click of a button can convert that blog into a mass email which is then automatically sent to a list of subscribers who have indicated willingness to receive the newsletter. Super-efficient and surprisingly effective, the blog/newsletter system provides a marketing push which can reach your target market better than print, TV or radio ads and costs a fraction of the price.

Do I need a website to profit from a blog?

You could blog without a website but why would you want to? Sure, it's possible to have your articles hosted by a generic blog site such as BlogSpot which dot the Internet. However, the main point of having a business blog is to trigger specific actions in your readership such as to access your website contact page, connect to a customer service chat window, or go to your e-store. A stand-alone blog might attract a few readers but they will struggle to convert readers to customers like a website can.  (Using a generic blog site also means you don't own the content and the blog site can remove your content without notice.)

What will a blog do for me?

Having a blog on a website performs a number of helpful functions for increasing the marketing reach of your website. For example:

  • Blogs about your industry let you start a conversation with site visitors about specific information they seek; what your products do, their unique features and how to use them properly. These conversations establish your industry expertise and authority.
  • Blogs also improve search rankings by giving you more opportunities for having specific keywords and search phrases in titles and image tags than just a website alone can provide. Obviously, the closer to the top of the first page of Google you can get, the more people will find your site. (After all, when was the last time you went two or three pages deep in Google to find what you were looking for? For most folks, "never" is the correct answer.)
  • Blogs allow you to quickly and easily update your website to attract Google-bots, which sense new activity and helps improve search rankings. Adding a new blog or even simply changing the picture associated with an existing blog is enough to alert the G-bots there is something different about your site. Bots, like real folks, get tired of the "same old, same old" and won't return without new content to look at.
  • Blogs allow you to use the company's own "voice" to enhance your brand and distinguish it from competitors. This "voice" helps humanize your company for prospective customers.
  • Blogs work great on social media to attract website visitors, too. After all, you can only promote the same web pages so many times before people start to ignore your feed. With an ever-growing collection of blogs, you will eventually have a suitable blog post ready to go for every situation; from New Year's greetings to your annual Boxing Day Madness Sale.
  • Blogs encourage more in-bound links as other sites direct traffic to your blog to answer questions based on the authority you have carefully developed. These in-bound links will also improve search rankings as Google rewards perceived authority.

The Blog Driver's Waltz - Quick Tips for Conquering the Blogosphere

  • Be genuine. Blogs allow you to share your passion which is why you went into business in the first place. Talk about what makes you excited about your industry.
  • Be helpful. Learn what are truly your Blog and Newsletter Systems; The Dynamic Duo of Web Marketing
  • Offer general advice, not necessarily specific to your product. So if, for example, you manufacture gourmet popcorn, don't write blogs about how terrific your brand of popcorn is, write about the best methods to pop any popcorn, or the best flavorings to use for topping the crunchy kernels, whatever the brand. (Try black licorice popcorn topping... YUM!)
  • Don't expect viral posts right away. Successful blogging is a marathon that is run over a long period of time, not a marketing fad you can try for a week or two. It takes a while to establish authority in cyberspace, just like in real life. There are very few examples of "overnight successes".
  • Maintain professional writing standards. Writing is an art at which not everyone excels, so get trusted people to review your blogs for grammar, punctuation and tone. If it is written amateurishly, people will be less likely to put much authority in what you have to say. If you wisely realize writing is not your strength, it is still worthwhile to hire someone to do it for you on a piecework basis. Alternatively, most web design companies offer social media management service packages which can include blogging services, as well as posting "ghost-written" blogs to the social media platforms of your choice.

The final chapter

If you are serious about expanding your marketing reach, a blog/newsletter system is a great choice for companies of every size. Not only is it less expensive than virtually every other mass market advertising approach, but it is also the most effective method still within reach of the smallest businesses; even home-based businesses.

Blog curious? Call us.




Hated at Work? Here's Why Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 MST

Nobody's Perfect

Every workplace has one; a staff member so hated, they have earned the title of "Office Jerk" or OJ for short. This person is so despised; co-workers celebrate their sick days with donuts. The designated OJ is an equal opportunity position, however, open to every gender, race, creed, hair colour, height and weight. (If you can't pick out who it is in your organization, we've got bad news... it's probably you.)

To Err is Human

Sure we're all flawed humans but there are some workplace behaviors so infuriating, they can get you immediately nominated for the OJ position. Bear in mind, however, there are so many of these annoying behaviors, we've probably all been guilty of one or two in our careers, so understanding and compassion toward the OJ may be in order.

Here's our list of "DOs and DON'Ts" to avoid becoming the OJ.

1. DON'T be a screw up.

If you make a multitude of mistakes which creates extra work for your co-workers, we can guarantee your peers are thinking nasty thoughts of you THIS VERY SECOND! Fellow employees do not respect incompetence, whether the boss notices your hopeless ineptitude or not.  DO try to be diligent but NEVER blame someone else for your own mistakes.

2. DO finish your work on time.

Waiting for someone to complete a task before you can proceed can be very frustrating, especially if the "slow poke" appears to be wasting time on Pokemon Go instead of working.

3. DON'T take credit for the achievements of others.

Few other OJ behaviors produce as much hatred as this one, (other than infiltrating the coffee room and rifling through lunches). Generally speaking, working in any group setting is a team sport and group results are what is celebrated, not individual achievements.
DO take responsibility for mistakes and share credit for successes.

4. DON'T be lazy.

If you take the last bit of coffee from the urn, make a new pot. Don't be afraid to volunteer to help lift heavy paper boxes, water cooler bottles etc. Taking your own trash out? Offer to take someone else's trash bag while you're at it. If you think you're much too important for such menial tasks, however, don't worry. You're probably already the company OJ.

5. DO listen to leadership directions carefully.

If you were busy feverishly swiping your device looking for Mrs. Right on Tinder (though not Mrs. Always Right) while the boss was setting out goals, your workmates won't be very impressed. Don't waste your co-workers time making them repeat what you should have listened to in the first place.

6. DON'T be bossy.

No one appreciates a control freak and if you start telling others how to do their job, you can expect a picture of your face to be pinned to their mental dart board. And even if you're the boss there's still room for "please and thank you"

7. DON'T be a braggart. 

No one cares about your embellished personal exploits with lengthy details of your wonderfulness.. Open your mind to the telepathic messages from your co-workers telling you to "shut up and go back to work".

8. DON'T talk and/or dress inappropriately for work.

If you discuss topics and wear clothing which are NSFW (Internet-speak for "not suitable for work") people will resent you and the title of OJ will be yours. Few folks respect others who can't follow simple rules.

9. DON'T cook smelly food in the office.

Sure, sardines on toast is the perfect snack to get your brain cells firing on all cylinders but their rank aroma will make you as popular with your workmates as infectious pustules. If your favourite foods have a pungent aroma, do your workmates and society as a whole a hugea favour and eat them at home.

10. DON'T stink. Seriously.

Nothing will get you nominated for OJ faster than smelling like a hobo. Cleanliness is a must when sharing an office with other people who have nostrils. Watch your breath, too.  If your directed exhalations can kill flying insects, perhaps consider better dental hygiene or at least a breath mint.

There you have it. If you're doing any of these things on a regular basis, you can bet your coworkers have pitched in on a Voodoo doll of you, complete with extra large pins. They may be able to hide their hatred but you can be certain the title of OJ is yours.


Ransomware Just Got More Dangerous - What You Need to Know Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 MST

A frightening peril hanging over many small-to-medium businesses nowadays is the threat of a ransomware attack on their computer systems. Having online extortionists shut down operations is, of course, a major concern of large businesses and public institutions, but for the smaller entities, it could mean more than just inconvenience but even bankruptcy.

Wait a Minute... Don't Hackers Only Rob From the Rich?

Although the "NotPetya" virus, the major online attack launched June 27, 2017, adversely affected such high-profile, household names as confection manufacturer, Cadbury, drug company Merck and small package carrier Fed-Ex, even Leduc-area companies are reporting ransomware emails in their inbox. Web protection provider, Kaspersky, states the number of web users who had a ransomware attack grew by 11.4% over the previous year to 2,581,026. This means it's not just big business which is in jeopardy but everyone.
Even you.

Oh no! What Should I Do to Protect My Business?

     1. Educate Your Staff

To save yourself from these evil extortionists, stay current on how each new threat works and share that knowledge with your entire staff with no exceptions. No matter how careful you are with your own processes, if an employee unknowingly opens the wrong email and clicks on the bait link, you're still just as hooped. Ensure they all know they must never open any emails from unfamiliar senders and, if they do,  to never, ever click on any links without hovering the cursor over the link to see what the actual URL is. Here is an example of such an email sent to Mike here at INM. Note the link appears to be a legit CRA link, but hovering over the link reveals it is actually for (Visit this URL at your peril!)


PRO TIP:: Revenue Canada doesn't send emails to advise of refunds or that you owe them money. If you feel it may be a legitimate email from the CRA, phone them directly at 1-800-267-6999.


  2. Double-check ALL emails with links or attachments.

It is a good practice to instruct all employees to confirm emails with attachments that they weren't expecting, even if it's from a trusted colleague. Call or ask the sender before opening the link or attachment. Ask them if they sent you the file or link before you open it.

  3. Threats Evolve, now attacking unmapped drives.

Keep up-to-date on the latest cyber attacks via tech news on your favourite news sites such as Yahoo news, Google news, etc. Hackers often tweak their code to bypass security patches. For example, previous ransomware versions would only look at the drive letters on your computers, but the new NotPetya virus can attack all unmapped drives and shares available on the network. This is why it's imperative to tighten your cyber-security. Here are the essentials:

  • Ensure you have a professional-grade anti-virus product installed which specifically mentions protection from NotPetya and any new bugs being reported with equally fancy names.
  • Keep on top of browser and anti-virus updates. These contain "patches" which help fix gaps in previous versions' protective layers.
  • Unmap drives, close the shares which are not needed and block your SMB ports.
  • Review all security authorizations and change it to "read-only" for those who don't require "write" access.
  • Administrators should have two login IDs; one for everyday use and another with higher privileges which are only used when necessary.
  • Purchase a professional-quality router to provide a decent firewall. That Walmart  "special" may not be up to the task.
  • Always have your Windows Firewall turned on.
  • Again, NEVER open suspicious emails.
  • Again, NEVER click on links without double-checking the URL by moving your cursor over the link and reading the display.
  • Did you open an evil email and click on a link before suddenly realizing you made a big oopsie? If your computer starts acting strange like it is downloading something or gives you a clue that your computer is in trouble, IMMEDIATELY UNPLUG THE POWER AND NETWORK TO YOUR COMPUTER! It takes a little while for the complete virus to download and if you are quick enough, you may save your data. Make sure the network cable is unplugged before you restart your computer. Talk to an experienced IT person before trying to restart it.
  • Remember to update your anti-virus software. That anti-virus software you bought 5 years ago is not protecting you anymore.

  4. What to Do If Your System Becomes Infected.

Okay, so despite our best efforts to warn you, something went wrong and now you have the maddening extortion letter on your monitor explaining how much you have to pay the blackmailers for the encryption key to get your data back. What's your next step?

  • Do not try to restart your system using your backups but hire professional IT people to do this for you, for your best chance of having a positive outcome.
  • You may consider paying the blackmail amount as it can be as low as $300/device, but bear in mind there is no guarantee the encryption file you're paying for will work or that the malware isn't programmed to make a comeback or two. It also alerts the extortion enthusiasts that you are a great mark as you are willing to pay money to them, rather than to IT people to be rid of the nasty code.

The Bottom Line

"Cyber Security is a Team Sport in Every Business. Keep Everyone with Online Access in the Security Loop."

  - Mike Kuefler                        

Industrial NetMedia  



Be Positive About Negative Reviews on Social Media Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 MST

Bad social media reviews are not something to shy away from. Embrace them and the opportunity that they present. Yes, they can be a good thing.

At Industrial NetMedia, we have built hundreds of websites and encourage all of our clients to invest at least some resources in social media to promote their site and the products and services they contain. Many of our customers embrace social media platforms themselves or subscribe to our social media packages to increase awareness of their messaging, but some clients resist this critical step out of fear of negative reviews and comments. This seems like a case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. Every business initiative has obstacles. These challenges, however, should never be a reason not to do something but are simply realities which must be factored in. Most business are scared to get public reviews and will go out of their way to prevent them.

Customer Reviews are a Double-Edged Sword

It is a well-known fact positive reviews from regular folks are a powerful selling tool. That immense power is why we do social media in the first place. Industry researchers have found almost three-quarters of consumers claim a positive review makes them trust the business being reviewed significantly more than mere advertising. The down side is, though, no matter how carefully you run your business and social media initiatives, you are bound to receive at least a few negative reviews. But we think that a few bad reviews mixed in helps increase the trustworthiness of all the reviews as a whole. Viewers usually read the bad reviews first to see how they were handled, before reading any positive reviews. This gives the reader a better picture of the company that they are dealing with.

Oh no! Not negativity!

Knowing there may be negative reviews posted on your social media pages is no reason to give up on those pages. Less than positive consumer posts will only hurt you if you don't have a plan to deal with them. Handled properly, negative comments actually provide an opportunity to demonstrate you are a caring company that listens to your customers. You can even turn negative client experiences into a positive social media experience that increases trust and, ultimately, sales. We have turned around many negative reviews. Negative reviews actually give you more PR than a suspiciously glowing review.

No one is perfect.

As consumers, we have all had our troubles with one company or another throughout our lives. Most of us understand everyone, including businesses, make mistakes. It is what happens after a error is made that separates quality companies from those we try to avoid. Let's look at ways to turn customer frowns upside down.

Respond to the Review

Take the time to reply to the review as if you were talking to the world and every future customer... because you are. Apologize. Don't accuse or tell the customer they are wrong. State your policies, but tell the customer that you care and are willing to work with them if they are unsatisfied. Let them know you will call them or ask them to call you.

Take them Aside

If a customer has taken your company to task for whatever reason, the first step is to publicly offer sincere apologies for their unhappiness (but not yet for the problem) and suggest further conversation, such as by phone or the direct private messaging area of the social media in which the discussion is taking place.

They're not your spouse so Really Listen

Unless the complainant is simply a troll trying to stir up trouble (and yes, this sort of creature does exist on social media platforms) the people who throw shade at your company really are unhappy and often, for good cause. It is vital to sort through your unhappy customer's emotional negativity and discern exactly what the problem is. If your product or service is flawed, it's something you should want to know. Your client is doing you a favour by telling you, instead of all his friends, family and followers. If it really is a troll, don't worry, people are smart enough to recognize a troll. They certainly have been on the receiving end of one before and will empathize with you if you respond to them compassionately, and not to start an argument.

Stay Calm and keep on smiling

Your company is important to you and it hurts when someone attacks it. The natural reaction is to get your back up and defend your precious business to the last breath. That won't help, unfortunately, but will only make the situation worse. Instead, having listened carefully to the complaint, try and put yourself in the customer's shoes. What would you expect from the company if you were in his position? What is he asking for? Is it reasonable? Is it worth less than the bad publicity might cost you if the problem goes viral? It is important to stay focused on solving the customer's problem and demonstrating your willingness to react fairly.

Have solutions at the ready

It is a great idea to have a comprehensive set of social media policies ready so that you can respond consistently and decisively. Map out the lengths your social media providers can go to satisfy the unhappy; perhaps with free goods or services or some other item of value such as a discount coupon. Follow up after a bit of time to ensure the client was truly satisfied with your response.

Treat the person complaining as... well... a person!

Sometimes business people fall into a trap where they see clients as a problem rather than a person. The customers become the "them" in an "us vs them" world. Instead of dehumanizing those who are dissatisfied, it is critical to view them as fellow human beings, with all the due respect that is owed to an equal.

Tips to remember when faced with a dis-satisfied customer.

  • Getting caught up in your client's emotionalism is counter-productive.
  • How you deal with the negative post is being watched by the world.
  • More people will read and follow a negative review than a glowing one. Take advantage of all this free publicity. It is your chance to shine.
  • Every complaint is an opportunity to learn how to improve your product or service.
  • Doing more than necessary to make things right will cost a lot less, in the long run, than not doing enough.
  • Even the worst PR storms eventually blow over.

Care to Share?

If you have had experiences in dealing with unhappy campers in your social media feeds, INM would like to hear from you! Drop us a line and share how your company dealt with the issue and any suggestions you might have for resolving client/company conflicts.


How Amateur Web Design Hurts Your Brand Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 MST

(INM) Can you tell the difference in quality between an amateur hockey team and a professional one? Of course you can. Professional hockey teams are demonstrably more effective and successful than their amateur counterparts. NHL teams boast much higher quality talent and more top-level skill sets than any amateur league, even if you include the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Or how about dentistry? Would you feel comfortable going to an amateur dentist? Not likely, probably not even an amateur dental hygienist.

In fact, numerous scientific studies show people are highly influenced by perceived professionalism. We don't need scientists, however, to tell us experts who have dedicated their lives to a profession know more than a newbie.. We are all aware how much more comfortable we are trusting the expertise and experience of pros in practically every discipline, compared to even the most enthusiastic amateur.

If looks could kill

The harsh reality is that we now know almost 40% of online visitors will stop engaging with a website the moment unattractive layout or poor design is noticed. In fact, according to industry surveys, an estimated 94% of web surfers claim poor web design has been a reason for mistrusting a business. Furthermore, a whopping 75% of your site visitors will base your company's credibility entirely on your web design. Given that it has been shown that it only takes approximately .05 of a second to develop an opinion about a web page, the negative impact of an amateurishly-designed site can't be understated.

The Pros of Professionalism

To demonstrate the difference between amateurism and professionalism in a variety of disciplines, lets look at the results offered by each choice and see how many times professionalism wins:

Professional Earth Moving Companies Amateur Earth Moving Companies
Professional Chefs Amateur Chefs
Professional Currency Printers Amateur Currency Printers
Professional Stone Carvers Amateur Stone Carvers


The Exception Proves the Rule

Okay, so the professionals appear to be winning in the examples provided, as well as in virtually any other workplace situation you can think of, with the only exception, perhaps, being the staff at a kissing booth. Who, after all, wants to kiss a professional kisser?

When Amateurism Costs You Money

Now that we have established how dim a view people take of amateurism in the business world, consider your company website. This is your street sign, your calling card and your international reputation all rolled into one. An amateurish website will not only fail to attract customers but may drive them into the arms of your competitors.  This is unfortunate because the difference in cost between a professional created website and a DIY effort is not as much as you think. Once you factor in the time it takes to learn how to use web design tools to gain even a modicum of proficiency, add in the costs associated with "freemium" website companies and also allow for the poor sales results offered by an amateur design, professionalism will look like a bargain. Give your web designer a call and you may be surprised how little it takes to add professionalism to your business site.



Marketing Humor; Is the Risk Worth the Reward? Wed, 7 Jun 2017 00:00:00 MST

Unless you have been off-planet for the last year or so, you must have seen the Skittles advertisement featuring the poor, unfortunate youngster with colourful candies stuck to his skin, suffering from "Skittle Pox". A young female friend removes one of the Skittles affixed to his face and eats it. She then asks her confection-afflicted friend if Skittle Pox are contagious, only to be suddenly covered in them. It's hilarious stuff which has helped to propel the confection into the much-coveted top spot in sales of non-chocolate candies in North America. (Numbers two and three happen to be Lifesavers and Twizzlers respectively.)

Taste the Rainbow - When Sweet Goes Sour

The entire Skittles marketing approach has been one of edgy humor. The trouble with this that biting humor can bite back, as Skittles' Mother's Day ad did. It featured a woman on a couch eating Skittles while her bearded adult son still connected by a large umbilical cord, who comments on the various flavours. The "ewww factor" was off the charts and the ad had to be pulled.

Oh Dear!

Such is the nature of advertising with humor; it's like using an outhouse...when it's good, it's great but when it's bad, it can stink to high heaven. Pushing the bounds of what is politically correct may yield great dividends but you need to prepare for possible social media shaming, boycotts and lost sales if a joke falls flatter than a steamrolled cartoon character. We all love yucks that push the boundaries but we all have different boundaries which makes hitting the "sweet spot" a challenging gamble.

So why do it?

Given the risks associated with humorous ads, it is a bit surprising that any brand would take a chance on tarnishing their carefully protected public image. However, more and more businesses are crowding the "good taste" line because the rewards are significant. Unfortunately, bland, safe jokes never work but effective ones; gags that people instantly relate to, are the Holy Grail of Internet marketing; the viral ad. A successfully funny commercial can reach millions of people through organic reach at a fraction of the cost of TV spots. When friends share their favourite memes, the effect is powerful.

How Tweet It Is

Of course Skittles doesn't have a monopoly on edgy advertising. American-based fast food giant Wendy's uses some fairly over-the-top comedy on their Twitter feed; pushing the parameters of what is considered politically correct.  It obviously is working, given the 1,890,000 followers the chain can boast. That is almost 2 million people actually choosing to have Wendy's advertising tweets on their timeline.

advice for the adventurous - Using Humor in advertising

  • Understand your demographic. Selling Depends undergarments using hipster humor, for example, will get you nowhere. Research what your target market is already consuming and finding funny.
  • You have to be prepared to laugh at yourself if your jokes miss their mark. In the event of a fail, own up and move on.
  • If your brand takes on a humorous persona, (think Old Spice Guy) make sure the humor is consistent and spans all your marketing channels.
  • A humorous marketing thrust works well for reminder advertising but not for explaining a product or its advantages.
  • If you hit a humor homer and an ad goes viral, look at what made it successful and try to repeat it but do not ever tell the same joke. A major drawback to humor is it gets old fast. Fresh material is needed more often than any other ad style.
  • Avoid controversial topics. Digiorno Pizza made the mistake of using the spousal abuse hashtag #whyistayed in an attempt at light-hearted humor that fell with a thud.





The Punch Line at the End

Humor is indeed a powerful motivator to encourage people to share your content with their friends and broadcast your message widely, inexpensively and effectively. It is dynamite as a marketing tool but like the TNT Wily Coyote buys from Acme, it can blow up in your face. Don't say you haven't been warned.


The Folly of a Free Website Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 MST

"When something online is free, you're not the customer, you're the product."

This sage warning is gaining a lot of currency lately as one company after another has begun to offer "free" websites. Obviously no business can exist for very long when their product is free, so how are all these companies managing to stay afloat? Simple. They are big on upselling a la carte website elements. Despite their promises in their ads, to end up with a website that projects the branding and market messaging you really want, (and your products need) is not going to be free.

So how does a "free" website work?

No surprise, "free" website companies aren't actually offering a ready-to-go website at no cost. The business model they use is known as "freemium" which means the basic unit they give away, let's use the chassis of a car as an example, is free or almost free. If you want the essential extras, however; such as tires, seats, a steering wheel and so forth; those extras are elements for which you must pay.

I knew there was a catch!

That's not the only way these companies make a buck. They also can, like so many other free offers on the Internet, be an opportunity for data-mining you and your business for information to be sold to the highest bidder. Information, particularly personal information which can be used to advertise at you more effectively, is actually a commodity in the new millennium. Even without this concerning reality, however, freemium sites lack many features of a professionally-developed website and won't fool anybody into thinking it's a professional design. Other than a few rare exceptions all amateur-designed websites look it.

Help! I'm getting the Freebie Jeebies!

And no wonder! Not only is your information in peril with a "free" website, but so is your brand. As a small company wanting to eventually become a big company, your brand is your bond. This unique brand is your reputation, your style and your public face all rolled into one. Playing at the role of "web designer" is playing with fire, if your skill set lies elsewhere. It is much better to contract the expertise you require than try the DIY route with a predictably unprofessional DIY look.

Yikes! Anything else I should know?

 Oh yeah. With a number of these freemium offers, you don't actually own your own domain name or, in fact, your website. Numerous online reports also suggest "free" web hosting companies are often guilty of taking sites down without warning or even losing client content. Additionally, with the thin margins which "free" web host firms must run in, security updates are few and far between, which means you are at a heightened risk for hack attacks and malware.

What's the alternative?

If you are serious about your business and your brand, you may wish to consider biting the bullet and paying for a professionally-designed website company like INM. Professional web design businesses can build you a fast loading, search engine friendly website which is easy to navigate and structured specifically to foster engagement with online visitors and convert them into paying customers. Isn't it better for you to stick with your strengths? Very few people excel at every skill required to build a dynamic website; skills such as an eye for images like graphic designers have, competency in effective, persuasive writing like content providers display, as well as other "creatives" schooled in layout, design, marketing and coding. If you're not great at all of these abilities, don't expect your "free" website to look professional. Let's not forget few business professionals like dealing with amateurs.

Conclusion: When it comes to "free" websites, you get what you pay for!



Just Say No to Saying Yes to Telemarketers Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 MST

We have all become quite used to the warning that prefaces many business telephone communications such as this one, "Please note; this call may be recorded for training and quality control purposes." Now, however, scammers are recording your voice with the intent to get you to say just one word; "Yes."

Oh no!

The reason for this is because it has become commonplace for many businesses to use recorded agreements while dealing with customers over the phone. If, for example, you're talking to your telephone service provider and decide you want that upgraded data package they're pushing, the phone company representative may very well ask you to say the word, "yes", as a verbal "signature" to the agreement which was struck. Often the customer service rep will even get a supervisor on the phone to get an "ear witness account" to ensure the client did, indeed, agree to the terms discussed.

So what's the problem?

In the past, this recording technique was used by scammers to "force sell" office products to businesses. A smooth-talking sales person would try and get unsuspecting secretaries and receptionists to say the word, "Yes" in order to create a false recording of the agreement to buy the aforementioned office supplies. When the invoice is past due, a collections person would call with the false recording to "prove" a contract had been freely entered into and payment was now required.

Those poor secretaries!

Now however, this scam is being perpetrated on homeowners, rather than just businesses. The calls began in the US but have now been reported in Alberta, as well. In this form of the scam, shady individuals call homes to get verbal agreement on a sketchy offer, then the caller uses trickery to get agreement. They even say things like, "Can you still hear me?" hoping to get that all-important "yes" soundbite.

According to Ron Mycholuk, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta, there have been over 2000 complaints about this scam from consumers across North America.

Coming soon to a telephone near you

"We don't yet know where this scam will proceed to, and the best way we can educate people about any sort of scams is information," Mycholuk said. "But it's also about educating people on where and how their information is being used and shared online by various companies."

The BBB representative is telling people the best way to protect themselves is to always be suspicious of numbers you don't recognize and to report any activity which sets off alarm bells for the consumer. It is also prudent to get company names and have them added to the no-call registry.

Mycholuk added, if you think you have encountered this scam, it is wise to advise your credit card companies and any banks you deal with, to monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. 

AAAK! What should I do if they call me?

The safest approach to take if you believe a scammer is on the line is to simply hang up, said Mycholuk.

 "If you don't recognize the number, don't answer. And if you do pick up, and they instantly start asking, 'Can you hear me? Are you there?' Don't say anything. It's fishy, don't fall into the trap."

Google is Turning 20 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 MST

Leaving the Teen Years Behind

It's hard to believe folks have only been "googling" for not quite two decades. Despite its tender years, it seems that Google, like the Internet as a whole, has always been a part of our society's fabric. In fact, however, September 15, 2017 will only mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of this pervasive website. It is fascinating how this modern necessity has evolved in the short time it has existed.

In the beginning

At first, Google was content to just catalogue all the websites in cyberspace to make them easier to find. Their shiny, new computing algorithms were designed to simply seek out keywords for sorting purposes in headers and image descriptions on each website. Companies who were early adopters of this emergent technology could intuitively see this was the future of new millennium marketing and used significant resources to create and promote their place in the online landscape. Due to the professionally organized nature of corporate websites, they generally won the highest search rankings right off the bat.

Introducing the Brand New Science of SEO; Search Engine Optimization

As the world's most profitable companies embraced this new marketing initiative, they began to notice that by tweaking the keywords in their image descriptions and header text, they could affect the placement of their website in Google's search listings. It was apparent early on that the closer to the top of the search results a company's link rose, the more likely it would be clicked on by a user. This began an entirely new profession known as "SEO Specialist".  There are now thousands of these SEO gurus of varying ability, working independently and in marketing firms around the globe.

SEO Gets Sneaky

This sudden proliferation of SEO "experts" instantly led to (Surprise!) sketchy website owners using "dirty tricks" to manipulate the algorithmic "spider-bots" that are sent daily by Google to report on individual website activity. These deceitful websites would overuse keywords, ("keyword stuffing") as well as placing white text on white backgrounds to hide their stuffing attempts. Google knew they had to punish this behaviour or trust in their rankings would be lost to cheaters.

The Google Empire Strikes Back

To add more values when factoring a website's ranking, Google's spider-bots began looking for links to other websites, based on the belief the more interlinked a website was, the more valuable it would be to a net surfer. This, of course, immediately led to the practice of companies creating dummy websites, known as "link farms" for building interlinks which added little or no value to the website but artificially inflated search results.

Saved by the Spiders

To meet this new challenge, Google's spider-bots were then tweaked to analyze inbound links to make sure they were of high quality and would add to the website owners' perceived authority in their industry. Additionally, to reflect the fact the majority of web searches are now conducted on mobile devices, Google began using "location relevance" information as part of their ranking data.

Freshness Matters

Another website feature the spider-bots currently look for when assessing the value of a website is how "fresh" a website appears. The algorithms can tell websites which have continual updates compared to those that remain static for weeks on end. The fresher the content, the better the rank, all other factors being equal. The longer your site remains unchanged, the longer it will take for the bots to return to check on whether your site deserves a better rank.

Googling the Future

It is impossible to say what new marching orders Google will give their spiders going forward to help them choose ranking winners and losers. It is enough to know, however, what Google wants them to find are search results that display what you're seeking  on the first try. The best advice for any company with an online presence is to make sure your website is free of sketchy keyword practices, provides visitors with a high quality user experience and is a dynamic space with ongoing updates. Simple, really!

Are Hand-Held Electronics the New Heroin? Tue, 11 Apr 2017 00:00:00 MST

This may sound like one of those "problems for happy people" but concern is growing currently over a global pandemic of a condition known as "PSA", or Phone Separation Anxiety. Apparently, people are getting addicted to their "smart" devices, and it's negatively affecting their business, social and family lives. Who knew hand-held electronics would be the new heroin?

Signs you have Cellphone Addiction

  • You keep an eye on the whereabouts of your phone more than the whereabouts of your kids.
  • You can't resist answering texts or emails immediately upon receipt, even during inappropriate situations such as at dinner with friends or on your wedding night in the Honeymoon Suite.
  • You take your phone to public gatherings, like a movie-house, live theatre venue or a funeral and don't shut the ring tone off in case someone shares your awesome Facebook post with the cute puppies.
  • You get anxiety attacks during phone charging operations.

If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you may be just another wretched cellphone addict just waiting for your ringtone to announce your next "fix".

Addiction in the Workplace

 The rate of employees being device-addicted is climbing so rapidly, companies are beginning to take steps to wean their workers away from their cellphones. It's already been over two years since international freight solution company, PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services identified this concern and began taking action. The business repurposed "casual Friday" into "Email Free Friday" forcing people to actually speak on the phone or (horrors!) face to face. Following the implementation of this initiative, the company experienced an 80% drop in time spent reading carbon copies of irrelevant emails and reports not of value to the recipients.

Kicking the Habit

  1. Recognize your weakness - Like any rehab situation, you won't take behaviour change seriously if you can't admit you have a problem.  You'll know you have a problem if, for example, you can't go 24 hours without accessing your social media feed. Or just ask your kids if you do. They will know.
  2. Pick a date to start the process. Much like quitting smoking, your success will be more likely if you can mentally prepare for the change ahead of time. Warn your social media contacts you may be away for a few days so they don't worry. They know you're addicted like they are and may contact emergency services if they don't hear from you in a day or two.
  3. Try and go completely phone-free for the first few days to reorder your brain and weaken your connectivity habituation. This would ideally take place in new surroundings, such as a resort on some tropical beach or in prison. The latter option may be a bit extreme for some, however, despite its effectiveness.
  4. Establish Rules of Engagement - If you bought a phone to keep in contact with your kids, you will be hard-pressed to stop using it for that purpose. It is the constant social media engagement you want to limit, not your contact with loved ones, so set your timer before "tweeting" or "Facebooking" and stop when the alarm sounds to limit your social media minutes.
  5. Get a phone-sized block of wood or plastic to simulate a cellphone without fear of it going off. Seriously!.  Read more about prosthetic phones here

Ultimately, we would all be much happier if we could just relax and not respond the second we hear a ring tone. It's good to remember most of us aren't doctors or super heroes and the vast majority of emails and texts are not "life or death". Take your time to answer and take some stress out of your life.

iSpy - Is Your Toaster Watching You? Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 MST

When US president Donald Trump claimed his microwave oven was spying on him, it provided much levity and joke fodder for late night talk show hosts and the Twitterverse alike. The reality isn't nearly as giggle-worthy as they made it out to be however. Whatever distrust President Trump may hold for his hotdog heater, the grim truth is that "smart home" technology is causing chinks in our privacy armour which have proven to be a valid concern. Feeling like your fridge is a double agent may not be so crazy after all. Here are some of the ways bad guys can use various devices against you.

You're on TV!

If your television is smart enough to remember the show you wanted to watch, and alert you when it is coming on, it's possible it may be a potential problem. It could be sending your viewing choices, as well as any other information it can glean (such as when you usually turn in for the night) to outside agencies. Even more serious is that hackers have proven they can remotely access Samsung LG TVs and hijack the camera and microphone to gather images and sounds of the TV viewer. Samsung claims to have patched this weakness but other TVs may be vulnerable, too.

Forget Larry the Cable Guy, Be Leery of the Cable Box

A number of companies, including Google and Verizon have developed cable boxes with motion detectors and onboard cams to learn what television viewers are doing in order to provide more relevant advertising to their screen. Couples making out on the couch, they theorize, may be interested in birth control products, for example.  This sort of intrusive data-mining makes one yearn for the good old days of "rabbit ears" antennae.

Are Smart Phones Outsmarting You?

Some people may be surprised to learn practically every portable device such as smartphones and tablets have built in GPS technology which can allow others to track your movements. They are also capable of having the camera and mic remotely triggered to see what you're up to at any given moment. It is great for parents to keep tabs on their teens but in the wrong hands, it is nightmare material.

You Don't Have to Use Google to Learn About Stuff, For Google to Learn Stuff About You

Google has admitted to creating code which installed listening software into peoples' hard drives without their knowledge, under the guise of "improving user experience" in their Chrome browser.  Although Google claims they have removed the offending code, it would be wise to be wary. We have experienced situations where people have discussed weekend plans, only to have an ad which relates to the random subject pop up immediately in the search engine advertising area. Coincidence? Maybe.

If you're the sort that believes in coincidence, that is.

INM now favours for internet searches, rather than Google. Here's why.

Household Appliances (Yes, Even Microwave Ovens.)

It has been revealed recently that hackers have actually employed a "smart home" refrigerator to gain entry into a household network to deliver a malware attack. I mean, jeepers, if you can't trust your fridge, who can you trust? The reality is, any device connected to your home network system needs to be password protected as carefully as your home computer. Otherwise it becomes the weakest link in your privacy protection. Even your home security system can be hijacked by hackers if it is not protected well enough. Imagine the value to criminals such a situation would provide. (Read here for more about password safety,)

Can We Trust Our Stuff?

We can't tell for sure that any of your possessions are spying on you, (although that stapler by your elbow appears to be acting suspiciously) but the likelihood is enormous. The more companies learn about us, the more they can use the information to exploit our weaknesses and sell us more possessions. This makes them very motivated to use any method at their disposal, whether ethical or not, to watch our every movement. It makes one wonder what they know of us already, and who "they" might be.





Top 20 Tips for Winning Social Media Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:00:00 MST

Most business people know their products and processes inside and out but may be weak in other areas just as important to their bottom line. For example, social media wasn't even a thing until the last twenty years or so but is now an indispensable marketing channel for many companies.  To help you get the most return on your social media time investment, Industrial NetMedia has curated some of the best advice from our own SM experts, as well as from some of the luminaries in this burgeoning industry. We hope it helps!


  1. Being on every social platform is NOT the goal. Pick just one or two you know your target market frequents and stick with those ones. For more information on the big four, check each link above:
  2. Never lose sight of what your brand stands for and why it is on social media. Don't break your brand's unique character. You ARE the brand, not an individual when you're posting on social media business brand pages.
  3. DON'T JUST YELL SALES PITCHES AT PEOPLE! You have to embrace the fact social media is an informal chat. You can't simply holler slogans at followers all day. You have to add value to the conversation with information and insights which encourage client engagement with your business.
  4. Do not try to be overly serious. People avoid "Debbie Downers" on social media.
  5. Don't just ignore or delete negative posts. They present an opportunity to show your potential clients how good your customer service is when things go a little sideways. The fact is, every company screws up at times. It's what we do to rectify the situation for our customers which separates good companies from the sketchier ones.
  6. Monitor your social media progress. Are you gaining followers? Are your blog pieces being read according to Stats Counter? More importantly, are sales improving over similar periods in previous years? If not, change may be needed.
  7. Set goals but make them reasonable and measurable. Numbers of followers, shares, and likes are all important metrics to maintain to quantify your client engagement.
  8. Be aware of what is trending as you move through the calendar, i.e. Father's Day, Easter, etc. Being timely means being read.
  9. The Rule of Thirds; No one will pay attention to your messages if all you do is constantly promote your own product or business. Instead, try doing 1/3 self-promotion, 1/3 promotion of non-competing, complimentary businesses and 1/3 humor/human interest. This will keep your readers engaged and interested, not simply passing by your posts with their eyes glazed over.
  10. Use pictures (or better yet, video) along with your text-based message every time, for every social media post. Posts with accompanying images has been proven to be many times greater than that of a text-only post. Video is even more eye-catching.
  11. Make being your follower worthwhile with informative blogs on DIY options to save them money, or with fun photo contests involving your products or services with prizes of logo-bearing company swag. Whatever you do, make them glad they follow you.
  12. Don't take social media tasks lightly. Social media is serious business. Effective posts can increase sales and customer engagement significantly but, if mis-handled, can alienate all of cyberspace if a poorly worded social post goes viral. Correct spelling is vital and the tone must stay positive and light-hearted.
  13. Make sharing easy with obvious links which have been double-checked. Don't clutter up posts with too many #hashtags or @recipient names.
  14. Become an authority in your field with industry information available on your site that is not sales -specific but speaks to the larger industry. You're not selling individual products at this point but your expertise. Once they start relying on your website for information and advice, they will eventually come for your products.
  15. Regularly schedule time to attract new followers. There are many proven strategies for increasing your fan base but it mostly just takes commitment to the cause.
  16. The tone of your media posts is vital. There has to be a sense there are humans behind the brand and you care about your customers as people, and not just as organic wallet support systems. Be folksy but professional.
  17. A social media account does not take the place of a professionally-designed website. It is like fishing with a flashy lure on the end of your line but with no hook to actually catch the fish. Read more on this here.
  18. Avoid politics. No matter which side you pick, you will anger those on the other side. Why reduce your market by a half when your position likely won't change anyone's political views anyway?
  19. Avoid boring sameness. Avoid boring sameness. Avoid boring sameness. Also, Avoid boring sameness.
  20. Understand that not just anyone can do social media. There is much more to it than what hanging out on your personal Facebook page reveals. Hire social media expertise if you do not have the necessary skills. You can learn more about the Dangers of DIY here.
Fight Spam Attacks with These Great Hacks Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:00:00 MST

You may have noticed an increase of spam messages in 2017. Fans of computer geek blogs all seem to believe the Spam servers have been working over-time to infect our computers.


To combat the ever increasing spam, Industrial NetMedia has upgraded their SpamAssassin installation to drastically reduce the frequency of spam. Our spam filter blocks thousands of spam messages per day, but while no spam filter is perfect, we do continually make an effort to improve it.

Junk Mail Folder

You can have a direct impact on what you receive or let through. You can actually train the mail server to recognize what you think is spam or a friendly message (ham). To tell the server that a message is spam, simply move it to the "Junk Mail" folder before you delete it. This sends a message to the server telling it that the message was spam. The server will remember this and help recognize similar spam messages in the future.

White Listing

To white list a friend's email account, log into webmail and right-click on any message from this person and select "Add sender to spam whitelist" from the pop-up menu. This will add the senders email address to your own personal white list.

Spam is Annoying

Spam emails aren't just annoying time wasters that clutter up our inbox and junk mail folders, and violate the security of our computer, but in Canada, sending unsolicited emails is also illegal. Often filled with dubious offers for "virtually genuine" Rolex watches, easy degrees from sketchy universities and, of course, Nigerian princes with unfortunate banking problems, spam can also host serious risks to your hard drive and even your bank account if not handled properly.

What's proper?

When confronted with these nefarious emails, most of us delete them in resignation, or perhaps send them to the trashcan accompanied by a creative selection of four-letter expletives. However, instead of employing this time-tested response, which does nothing to discourage the spammers, here are some other suggestions which may actually help reduce spam in your own inbox, and hopefully, also in the entire Internet community.


One effective method of defending against unwanted emails is to make sure your email address is not sprinkled around the Internet. Avoid including your "addy"  in articles you may write, social media messages you might post or in any of the innumerable ways it may end up in a public place. This is because spammers use "spider-bots" to crawl the World Wide Web looking for innocent email addresses just like yours to corrupt to their fiendish means.  

But I must!

If you absolutely have to list your addy online, it's still a good idea to display it in such a manner the bots won't recognize it as an email address. To do this, you simply remove the @ sign from the addy and replace it with (at). For example, would be written as NigerianPrince(at) Only the humans seeing this will know to replace the (at) with the @.

Get an Extra Email Account

When you are signing up for an online contest that requires your email address, or any other situation where an email is demanded but you don't want to provide it, this trick works great. Simply create a drone email account which you can use just for such occasions. Any spam that occurs as a result of the contest will thus be diverted away from your main email account to the spam catcher account. It's a good idea to review the drone account to empty all the junk on a regular basis just to ensure it remains active with the provider.

Just say no to HTML

Some spam may be more than bothersome text asking you to do something stupid like send money away but may actually carry viruses, ransomware or other malware. To avoid this, ensure your email provider lets you disable HTML on incoming emails. This is where the malware will be written and removing the HTML will prevent it from being taken up by your computer through the preview pane. If unclear how to do this, a net search for directions specific to your browser and email provider may be helpful.

Tell the world

Why just delete spam just to solve your own problem temporarily, when you can strike a blow against spamming for all honest users, instead? Move the message to the Junk Mail Folder. If you are a little more tech-savvy, use a spam reporting service such as SpamCop ( and you can quickly, easily and at no cost to you, send critical information about the source of your spam with just a fast copy and paste. The company will determine the origin of the unwanted email and report it to the relevant Internet service providers. If you're not confidant about your computer prowess, here's an illustrated step-by-step wiki on how to use SpamCop.

"Unsubscribing" is not all it's cracked up to be.

If you get newsletter or advertising spam from a repeating source, unsubscribing may not be the answer to ridding your inbox of it. Some devious spam uses an "unsubscribe" button to discover if your account is active. By clicking the button, you're actually telling the bad guys you are worth spamming. Sending it to the junk pile and advising SpamCop will provide a much better, more spam-free outcome.


Don't open that attachment. At best, you have only told the spammer you are a live sucker and you can expect more of the same in the future. At worst, you have installed spyware or remote access software on your computer and the spammer now has complete access to your computer to use in its drone army to send more spam to the world. Even worse, they can encrypt your hard drive and hold it for ransom. This could cost you thousands of dollars to get your photos and documents back plus clean the unwanted program from your computer.


Don't load images by default. Choose the option to not show the images unless they are from a trusted sender. Outlook has good settings for this. Make sure they are turned on.

Reply to Sender

Just don't do it. Never, under any circumstances, reply to a spam email.


See above... Just don't click them. They will get you in trouble. I hope you like spam because this will get you a ton more.

The end of spam as we know it?

Following these suggestions will likely reduce your spam problem but it's not likely it will ever disappear totally. For every hole plugged, spam providers seem to find new ways to trick us and our filters. Always being careful with unfamiliar senders is essential to a safer inbox. It's also good to remember the wise words of all our collective Dads about life that also fits spam to a tee, "If it seems like it's too good to be true, it probably is."






6 Tips for Capitalizing on Alberta's Recovery Thu, 9 Feb 2017 00:00:00 MST

It is now official. Good times will be returning to Alberta very shortly. The bust is dust and booming is looming. West Texas and Brent crude oil are currently stable; trading above the emotional benchmark of $50.00/barrel with upward pressure resulting in one year forecasts at or above $60.00. Reports are now surfacing of drilling companies gearing up for a big spring, with Precision Drilling in Calgary announcing they are immediately adding 1000 to their workforce. So the question remains, how will you take advantage of the opportunities which recovery in the energy industry means for your business?

Tip 1: Start DOING

"Time and tide wait for no man", said Geoffrey Chaucer, and the competitors in your chosen industry aren't waiting around, either. Getting a jump on ramping up operations means you get a larger, deeper pool of unemployed workers to choose from, better deals on goods and services before vendors realize the boom is back and a leg up on marketing efforts to reach your target, free from your rival's competing messages.

Tip 2: Start FRESH

If you feel your old marketing outreach efforts have not lived up to expectations, this is the time to hit the reset button and re-imagine your business' relationship with your target demographic. Examine all of your advertising materials from a cost/benefit perspective and focus your efforts on the avenues that have shown the most promise. Conduct a website review with your web developers and ensure every page has a purpose and that site visitors never have to wonder what the purpose is.

Tip 3: Start REVIEWING

Prior to pushing your company's "Full Steam Ahead" button, remember it is the perfect time to review all facets of your operations, including licensing, compliance certificates, budgeting processes and safety policies. Ensuring any new staff you bring on stream are properly trained with your company's unique safety protocols is an essential element of legal due diligence. This aspect of the review process can be undertaken more easily with customizeable safety software such as INM's exclusive SafetySpot product. (For more on the legal importance of safety training and due diligence, check out this informative blog from the SafetySpot website.)

Tip 4: Start HIRING

Diligent, industrious people are the lifeblood of most businesses and if you have been waiting for better days to fill positions, now is probably the time. A great first step would be to increase the efficiency of your HR staff by providing them with automated HR software to speed up on-boarding and other document-heavy operations. You might consider another INM product for this purpose; their exclusive HR Director software  is uniquely designed to make many HR processes much more efficient which means less time working with reports and more time working with actual humans. Revolutionary! (Here is more information on the importance of HR Director software for fast staff re-population.)


Staying afloat in stormy waters can be a full time job for business leaders but now is the time to back away from panic mode and begin to re-engage using social networking with fellow industry players. Make sure your personal and corporate industry association memberships are still current, and that you continue to be engaged with your region's economic development groups and chambers of commerce. The sooner life looks like how normal used to be, the more confident in the recovery Alberta industry will become. After a forced period of business hibernation, it's time to hit the ground running.

Tip 6: Start NOW

'Nuff said.

The Danger of DIY for Small Business Wed, 25 Jan 2017 00:00:00 MST

Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer by trade, still managed to be recognized for his wisdom and gentle sense of humor. As a result, Lincoln became his era's most prolific manufacturer of quotable quotes, insightful epigrams and truthful truisms. One such example of his wise way with words is shown in a very popular quote regarding the dangers of do-it-yourself projects requiring professional-grade skills.

What did he say, again?

Here's the quote, "He who represents himself in court has a fool for client." These are very wise words, although one might argue the client's lawyer is none too smart, either.

What was Lincoln thinkin'?

Honest Abe's point was that there is a certain lack of understanding with those who ignore the need for expertise. To believe ourselves to be as capable of performing difficult, complex tasks as someone who has dedicated their career to learning every facet of the job, seems somewhat delusional. No one can possibly accrue the same knowledge and insights as a professional, without putting in the same time as a person who has spent a working life in their chosen field. You may have a grasp of the basics, but there is no way of even knowing how much you don't know about a job without that essential education and experience.

Can you give me an example?

Not just one, but there are numerous areas where DIY may end up being more expensive than biting the bullet and paying for the niche expertise you lack. These areas include:

  • Legal issues. Proper legal advice early on can save you a ton o' cash in the future. Consider the NHL's latest franchise, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Great name but the legal team forgot to ensure it hadn't been taken. The cost to buy out that existing copyrighted name is going to be a lot more than the lawyer bill for a copyright search would have been.
  • Accounting issues: Setting up your books properly from the outset and making sure you're paying and collect the right amount of taxes and reporting the figures correctly is absolutely essential to avoid a run in with Canada Revenue Service auditors later.
  • Marketing issues: You can have the best products and services on the planet but if no one knows about them, you will still go broke. If you invest in the wrong media or use the media incorrectly, you will still be unable to connect with customers and ultimately fail. Hiring expertise in marketing in your region means you won't be wasting money on ineffective media with limited geographic reach but will promote your wares to the largest audience possible for the least amount of money.
INM to Fight Spam With New reCAPTCHA Program Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:00:00 MST

With all due respect to Hormel, the makers of spiced-ham-in-a-can, most people hate "spam" (annoying, often harmful, unsolicited emails) far more than they do its namesake; the tinned Spam of Monty Python fame. No one needs to be told about the waste of time that junk email represents, and how difficult it is to be rid of entirely. We have all received sketchy offers from Nigerian princes with banking issues in our email inboxes, after all.

Going Postal Over Junk Mail

After a period of relative quiet on the junk email front, it became apparent that whatever evil which creates the spam scourge has becoming overactive once more. (Their government grant came through, maybe?) The uptick in spammy correspondence has become too obvious to ignore. Something had to be done, but what?

Ever Hear of CAPTCHA?

Though many may not recall the name, most folks will recognize the super-lame "prove you're a human" tests we've encountered when surfing the Internet. A large number of us, this writer included, may even have failed this critical test a time or two, despite our apparent human-ness. This mini humanity questionnaire was originally called "CAPTCHA", and it stood for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart." (Apparently cool acronym development was not their strong suit.) Unfortunately, the first edition of CAPTCHA was flawed, as the tests to discern "bot or not" were often too difficult for actual humans to figure out, particularly folks coping with vision loss.

reCAPTCHA - New and Improved

Google recognized the advantages of the CAPTCHA system and felt they could improve on it so they bought the company that invented it in 2009. Google set their brainy bunch to improving the program which was re-introduced as reCAPTCHA in 2014.  Better yet, Google is now in the process of introducing "noCAPTCHA reCAPTCHA" to eliminate the "skill testing questions"; replacing them with just a simple click.

Coming Soon to a Website Near You!

The reCAPTCHA project underway at Industrial NetMedia is ambitious and will safeguard our clients' sites better than the previous software was able to and with less aggravation for your site visitors. We do ask, however, that you patiently bear with us as we undertake the necessary steps to including noCAPTCHA on the hundreds of websites in our client portfolio. The wait will definitely be worth it!

3 Resolutions for Your Small Alberta Business Wed, 4 Jan 2017 00:00:00 MST

2016 was one of the most challenging years to be an entrepreneur in Alberta. With waves of job losses and bankruptcies hitting record levels, you can count yourself a success if you just kept your company afloat through such stormy seas. 2017, however, seems to be the turn-around year which Albertans have been anxiously awaiting. We rejoice at a healthy uptick in job ads for oil drilling personnel and rig moving companies. A barrel of crude is almost double the price it was a year ago; surging up from a low of $29.78 last January to rise above $50.00 currently. The recovery is real. The time to be bold is now... but how?

Dust Off Your Marketing Plan

If you reacted to the challenging economy like most businesses and shelved expansion plans, reduced advertising expenses and ignored your social media outreach, now is the time to go big or go home. Companies and consumers alike are emerging from their forced economic hibernation and are starting to peer out from their safe places like waking groundhogs. Confidence is flooding back to the Alberta marketplace and you must ensure your company is poised to take advantage of the improved prospects with an impactful online presence. Now that provincial industries are starting to buy things again, you will want your products in front of their eyes.

Contact Your Website Company for an Annual Review

Meet with your website company to discuss text edits and image updates to freshen up the look. Many reputable web design firms, like INM, offer this service regularly and at no charge, as a matter of course. Go over each web page with the designer to be certain each page has a specific, identifiable purpose and that the purpose is obvious to the visitor. Make sure the visitor can take the next step in the sales process, such as going to the online catalogue or to the contact form. Make sure it is absolutely crystal clear.

Inspect your Website on a Smartphone

It is super critical to ensure your website is viewable on a smartphone or tablet, since these devices have emerged as the medium of choice for web-shopping and pre-purchase product research. Google actually punishes sites that are not iPhone friendly, with low or non-existent search rankings. If your website is unreadable when viewed on a smart device, it is essential to have your web design company make your site "mobile responsive". The importance of this inexpensive tweak cannot be overestimated. You can find Google's testing tool here: Mobile-Friendly Test

Expand Your Social Media Reach

Compared to "old-school" advertising methods like radio spots, TV commercials and print ads, social media marketing is significantly less expensive and can out-perform the more traditional platforms in price, geographic coverage, message availability, and opportunities for organic reach (the new millennial version of word-of-mouth advertising). If you are too busy to hang out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like, or it is "not your thing", this form of customer engagement is too important to ignore. You may want to consider contracting this task out to ensure it is done properly and professionally.

Opportunity is finally knocking on Alberta's doors once more. Resolve to excel in 2017!


Got a Minute? 7 Amazing Things Will Happen In It Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:00:00 MST

For most folks, especially during the Christmas season, 60 seconds is not a lot of time to get anything of value accomplished. It's not enough time to wrap a gift or decorate a tree; sing a Christmassy song or eat your weight in shortbread. Whether at work or play, a single minute is barely enough to even begin the majority of tasks in our regular 3D world. In cyberspace, however, you can fit a lot into a set of six deca-seconds, especially if you're a social media platform. Here's what a minute means to these various Internet locales.

Do you have a minute to read a blog and explore different insights and ideas? Perfect! In that same short period of time, the Internet blogging site, WordPress, will publish 1800 new posts from their content providers. That's almost a BILLION new blogs per year for you to keep up with. So you see, it's not your fault you're behind in your reading!

Ever notice every minute in a Walmart line-up feels like an eternity? Not for Walmart! In that same minute, they will process 16,600 customer transactions. (We suspect all 16,600 transactions are for the guy immediately in front of us in the lineup even though it's the "Express Lane" with its 20 item maximum.)

Walmart is a slowpoke, however, if you compare them to online retail giant, Amazon. In their minute, Amazon will handle 25,000 individual product sales. This is just an average, of course. Imagine how many sales per minute occur during the height of the Christmas shopping season!

Are you the sort of person that likes to check your Twitter when you have a spare 60 seconds? You better take a speed-reading course! In that brief span, Twitter will have published 433,000 new "tweets" for your reading enjoyment. That would add up to approximately 227,584,800,000 messages annually. The volume of posts almost makes one twitter-pated!

Are you the kind of person who believes Twitter is too much like shouting at strangers who are already shouting at everyone else? Do you prefer the family-centric Facebook platform for accessing your loved ones' musings, insights and cute puppy pictures? You're in luck! Every minute, Facebook adds another 293,000 status updates to keep you informed on critical issues, family issues and kittens wearing sunglasses.

Sixty seconds is also all it takes for Google to process 2.66 MILLION searches. It is simply amazing that it often takes more time to type in a search query than it does for them to find the answer among  the billions and trillions of information bits they check for every search.

Can't be bothered to read all the text on the Internet and prefer your online content to be more about watching and less about reading? Every minute of every day, there are 5 MILLION YouTube videos being screened.  

With less than 60 seconds left on the time to read this blog, Mike and his creative team at Industrial NetMedia would like to wish all of our clients, friends, associates and everyone else a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!




Website Reviews - Essential for Business Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:00:00 MST

We all know a website is the official calling card of the Internet. Your "brand", the new millennium term for your reputation, is closely associated with your company, and your website is an extension of the brand you're trying to establish. It is for this reason it's critical you don't allow your website to sit idle for too long before conducting a comprehensive review. We're certain you can think of something you want to add to your website; perhaps a new product, service, photo gallery or social media?

What are we looking for?

A website review is a process whereby you and a qualified web design professional goes over your website, page by page and line by line. This will ensure all of the information is current, the pages look fresh, search keywords are done right and the messaging is on point. Additionally, site speed should be assessed and hyperlink testing is also recommended. We will also look at your digital marketing strategy and offer suggestions on how to grow your digital footprint.

Will it hurt?

A site review usually is painless and, depending on the size of the website, can be completed in less than a half an hour. It is vital to keep the goal of the website in mind while undergoing the review process to ensure every page, line of text and graphic is designed to achieve that goal. Whatever elements which are on your site that do not work towards your aims actually work against them.

What do you mean by fresh pages? Do they need their face slapped? Are they better than canned or frozen pages?

The algorithmic formulas that rank websites are constantly looking for something new on every web page on the Internet. Sites which appear stagnant rank poorly in search engines, which can hurt your brand. Luckily, it takes little effort to inject a little freshness into your website by using any one of a number of quick and easy hacks. For example:

  • Add a new blog
  • Replace older images on the site with updated ones
  • Create a new web page
  • Add or replace pictures in your photo gallery

Sounds great but is it expensive?

Although some agencies charge for it, regularly scheduled site reviews are offered at no extra charge from Industrial NetMedia to all their web accounts. This is because we understand it's not just your brand that people are judging from your website, but our brand, too. Call today to make an appointment to have your website reviewed with Mike and the INM team. That half hour spent going over your website could make a significant difference in its effectiveness and positively impact your company's bottom line.


Smart Business People Eat Frogs & Why You Should, Too Tue, 8 Nov 2016 00:00:00 MST

It may surprise you that iconic American wit, Mark Twain, had excellent business advice to offer. His insights fit new millennium business models as effectively as those back in the 1800's, when Twain was in his prime. Even more surprising is Twain's advice explored the correct method of eating frogs. We're talking buggy-eyed, sticky-tongued, hoppy-legged, fly-enthusiast frogs. Apparently, if you know how to eat one properly, you know how to deal with difficult business pressures, as well.

What Twain Said About Eating Frogs

"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."

This is Business Advice?

What Mr. Twain meant by "frog eating" goes beyond scarfing down wiggly amphibians. What he was addressing was a simple life hack, namely; when you have a number of tasks to do, tackle the hardest, grossest, most unpleasant duty first. This is particularly important for small business operators who don't have a lot of staff to help eat the daily supply of frogs. Being everything from CEO to Chief Cook and Bottle Washer means every frog is yours and that it is imperative to triage your frogs to make sure you're eating the biggest one first every time.
You mean the jobs I always avoid?

There are actually four types of tasks in any business situation;

  1. Jobs that enjoyable but not a priority. (Buying the staff a frog.)
  2. Jobs that are enjoyable but are also a big priority. (Feeding the frog so it doesn't die and create a PR issue with frog lobbyists.)
  3. Jobs that are not enjoyable but are not a priority. (Toilet training the frog.)
  4. Jobs that are not enjoyable but must be done. (Yes, we're back to eating the frog.)

Why are we eating frogs again?
Twain's frog was a metaphor for your most hated task. It might be paying the bills, filing paperwork, or doing cold calls on prospective clients. Since we're all different, what your personal frog-eating task is will vary from others. There is no doubt, though, that in business, there are frogs just waiting to eaten. The important take-away is to eat the biggest, ugliest one first.
Does eating frogs early make them taste better?

Sadly, no. The frogs will still taste like lizard butt. Starting with the frog, however, allows you to bring the most energy, diligence and creativity to the project. Then, once the frog has hit your gullet, you are done with it for the rest of the day. Eating that repulsive reptile won't be in the back of your mind as you tackle other, more enjoyable projects with more positivity, attention and optimism.

Be careful! Eating frogs can be addictive!
Although few derive pleasure from eating a frog, humans do experience a rush of endorphins from our brains' "pleasure center" when we have completed an unpleasant or difficult chore. If we make a habit of starting our day by taking on the tough tasks and seeing them through, we can actually become addicted to the natural chemical rush from our ongoing achievements. Numerous well-known business people claim this type of addictive diligence can be the difference between your business being a success or a struggle.


Enjoy your frog!


Facebook is the Lure but Your Website is the Hook Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 MST

Small business owners know having an Internet presence, usually on Facebook, is as essential for a company as having an email address. In fact, according to marketing industry website, AdWeek, an impressive 96% of small businesses have a Facebook page. The value must be glaringly obvious to have that level of adoption

There's a "but".

Unfortunately, lots of Mom and Pop industries don't understand Internet marketing nearly as well as they understand their own business. They don't realize only having a Facebook page, for example, is not enough; that social media is only one element of a larger online equation. The worst part of this lack of understanding is that it hurts their profits significantly.

What?? A Facebook Page Is Not Enough?

The way social media marketing works is sort of like fishing. The social platform, be it a Facebook or Google+ page, a Twitter account or any of the rest, is the flashy lure to get the attention of the customer. It is not the line that reels them in, however. To land that new business, you need a professional website to draw fresh contacts toward. Once they're there, your chance of converting visitors to customers is accomplished with persuasive, sales-friendly content not possible on a single FB page. Using engaging social media in tandem with a great website is the modern way to attract new clientele and keep them on the hook until you can add them to your "net" sales. And the best part is, compared to most other old school marketing options like TV, radio and print ads, a website/social media combination is far less expensive and demonstrably more effective.

Comparing a high-end website to the cheapest radio, print and TV ads available

To learn what a great deal a website can be when compared to the high price of traditional marketing, check out this article. It shows recent advertising rates in actual dollar terms for familiar Alberta-based media which make comparisons a snap. You will see, not only are traditional media initiatives far more expensive than online initiatives, they are also limited by geography and timing. An entire year's website/social media budget costs a great deal less than

  • a single TV ad run,
  • a once-per-day radio spot or
  • limited duration newspaper ad campaign.

 In fact, not only is the website option less expensive than traditional marketing, your entire catalogue of products and services are available to a global audience 24/7, 365 days a year.

But wait! There's more!

Surprisingly, TV, radio and print ads need much luck to find their audience. Prospective customers may not be viewing or listening at the correct time or on the right channel to see the ad. As well, many customers may live outside your chosen medium's broadcast region. Additionally, not everyone takes the newspaper, listens to radio or watches TV anymore. These media have been steadily plummeting in the face of competition from entities such as Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. A website, however, with ongoing social media exposure changes everything. Instead of trying to find new customers, it makes it easy for new customers to find you. And that makes all the difference in the world.

The Moral of the Story

Don't just rely on half a job. To maximize your online marketing efforts a website to anchor your social media outreach is simply smart business. Trusting your Facebook page do more than catch your customers' eyes will lead to disappointing results.

Get a Smartphone-Friendly Website or Miss 90% of Sales Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:00:00 MST

The Internet has changed practically everything in the modern world from how we get our news to how we get our groceries. Companies who fail to embrace cyberspace are at a serious disadvantage in the marketplace, however. If your company has no website, or it is not easily viewed on a smartphone, you are losing business. Lots of it.

Here's why:

"90% of smartphone owners "pre-shop" on their devices before buying."

If you don't have a modern, fast-loading website that can shrink to the size of a phone screen, you aren't even in the running. Modern consumers won't even consider you as an option.

"2/3 of every dollar spent in a retail store was influenced by previous online engagement."

In today's world, prior to buying practically anything, the majority of goods being purchased has already had reviews about it read, price comparisons made with other vendors and location information divined.  If your company isn't smartphone friendly, it's not even in the running.

"$2.2 TRILLION worth of worldwide sales is now attributed to smartphone shopping."

When you consider that over a third of all smartphone users use their devices at a minimum of once a week, compared to PC owners at just 15%, it's easy to grasp why your website must be mobile responsive; i.e. easy to read on a small display. In fact, individual mobile users spend over $800 more on online goods than those who shop on desktop computers.

"Google Update 2.0  punishes non-mobile websites with poor rankings."

If your website can't be displayed easily on a iPhone-sized display, your company will rank very poorly in the search engine. If you're not near the top, you will lose business due to customers' not being able to find you. Site visitors are an impatient lot and won't look past the first couple pages of search results or wait more than a few seconds for your site to load.

Contact Industrial NetMedia for a free consultation about how we can improve your online presence. Mike and his team will ensure you have a fast-loading, visually attractive, mobile responsive, sales-oriented website like your competitors already have.

Call now! Potential sales are lost daily without a well-designed website working for you.

Hot Dog! INM Shares Marketing Wisdom from the Past Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 MST

Have you ever heard the parable of the hot dog cart? The story has been around since the Great Depression and became a staple of business and marketing classes ever since. This version of the famous tale was published in an American newspaper, "The Kentucky New Era" in 1959. Sadly, the original writer's name appears lost in the mists of history. (see the picture at the top of this story or click here to view in a new browser tab.)

Sound Familiar?

This story may resonate with modern readers, especially those in Alberta's battered economy. With daily reports of doom and gloom from the oilpatch and related industries (which, in this province is all of them) life is challenging for business owners. The temptation to react like the hot dog vendor and cut back on marketing is both very strong... and very wrong.

Where Our Hot Dog Magnate Erred

When your traditional customer base erodes due to a struggling economy, the last thing you want to do is nothing. Replacing lost sales is essential and the best way to find new customers is through increased, not reduced, marketing initiatives. When advertising dollars are scarcer than frugal politicians, this may seem counter-intuitive but there is much truth to the old saw that, "you have to spend money to make money".

Marketing in the New Millennium

Industrial NetMedia web designers in Leduc offers marketing startegies using social media

For some business people, 'marketing' sounds like mumbo-jumbo with only sketchy promises of increased sales. Worse yet, marketing sounds expensive when profits are plunging like a Kardashian neckline. Luckily, though, an impactful marketing campaign doesn't need to be pricey. Having an effective, attractive website and a robust social media presence is an amazingly affordable method of reaching new customers. Compared to traditional marketing measures, a website/social media marketing thrust may be the most cost-effective advertising endeavor a business can make. Consider these alternatives:

  • Television - A 15 second ad on CBC with a regional reach, is about $20.000 for an average run. (Source: CBC News report) This may be the most expensive marketing option despite the fact TV is rapidly losing ground to online content such as YouTube, Netflix and Hulu.
  • Radio - $20.00 per appearance between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM or $7300/year for a once/day ad, or just over 90 minutes worth of air time. (Source: quote from a medium-market radio station in central Alberta) - Radio Ads in Edmonton start at $90.00 for each 30 second spot.
  • Print: -The smallest display ad offered in a major city daily paper is 1/16 of a page (3" X 2.3/8") and costs  $361/day plus $421 Sunday for a total of $2587 for a 1 week run or more than $130,000/year. The audience is limited to those who get the paper, see the ad and actually read it. (Source: Edmonton Sun Rate Card)


You "Gotta Have" Social Media

Industrial NetMedia offers social media marketing on platforms like Facebook

One of the best reasons to consider the website/social media marketing option is the driving force behind the initiative is a professionally-designed website. This is fortunate since, in today's business world, having an effective website is an absolute must anyway. Today's consumers have embraced the habit of "Googling" companies before dealing with them with gusto. In fact, according to this Social Times report, over 80% of shoppers do online research before making any purchase. If you have no website or have one designed by yourself or amateurs, you are missing a basic necessity of a modern company. A business website nowadays is as essential as a mailing address or business cards. (See this report for more about the dangers of a DIY website.)


Why Social Media Marketing Works

INM specializes in social media marketing on platforms like Twitter

Don't think about advertising on Social Media as running Ads. Think about it as keeping engaged with people. Develop a personality and a reputation on Social Media. Compared to more expensive, traditional marketing methods, using social media to promote your website is far more effective in numerous ways such as:

  • The "ad" (AKA your website) is available to potential customers 24/7, 365 days of the year. Some people actually spend this amount of time on Facebook. You should be there too!
  • The geographic reach of a website is not limited to a small region such as print, radio and TV ads, but to the entire planet.
  • Your central message can be changed quickly and easily for enhanced responsiveness to changing market conditions or new industry realities.
  • Unlike all other advertising options, social media marketing can develop a loyal following and enjoy "organic reach". This means your followers help to promote your business site through their own social media channels. It is like an army of volunteers putting up posters of your company in cyberspace. The effectiveness of such word-of-mouth advertising is legendary.


Social Media Marketing Making Sense? Here's Your Next Step

Industrial NetMedia provides SEO and social media management on platforms like YouTube

  1. A Digital Marketing Strategy doesn't just happen. Here's how to build one:
    - Make sure your site information is correct, even consulting with industry experts if necessary. One of the advantages which websites provide is to establish your business as an authority in your field and any wrong information can call your expertise into question.
    - Don't just create a Facebook page and relax because you "did" social media. A comprehensive strategy relies on including all the Social Media sites your customers frequent, as well as those that may benefit your own business interests.
    - Monitor new client interactions quickly and post interesting content daily.
    - A value-adding back-linking strategy is essential. These links connect your site with other sites of relevance to your website visitors, (and won't get you banned from search engines as some will).
  2. It's super-important to develop a website that people can find in the search engines! If people can't find it, the website is just an expensive business card no one will see. Spend time optimizing your website to improve your search engine positioning. This requires an expert who knows the search engine rules, since strategies from even just 5 years ago will get you banned today. Be careful you don't do something that will get you de-listed!
  3. Your home page must speak to the visitor and tell them immediately what you sell and how to get it, plus convey that you are a serious professional business so they will trust you enough to buy your products and services. By-the-way, studies show you have about 3 seconds to deliver these complex messages before your site visitors hit the back button to search again.
  4. Ensure you have a fast-loading, eye-catching, search engine optimized, expertly-developed website. The web pages must be "mobile responsive" which means they are equally readable on a small smartphone screen as they are on a large CPU monitor. (This article will explain the importance of "mobile responsiveness".) You can contact INM for a free website appraisal to ensure your website meets all those important criteria.
  5. Bring the world to your website on a daily basis by engaging with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Yelp. If you lack the time, skill or desire, INM can perform social media engagement on your behalf. (Click here for more ideas on promoting your website with social platforms. )
  6. Continually change up your webpages with new photos and blogs. This will provide content for an informative newsletter and establish your industry bona fides while improving your search rankings and garnering new sales leads. (See this report to learn how a photo gallery can make a huge difference to your website success.)


The Call You Need To Make Today

The man on the phone is calling for a free consultation from INM regarding a social media marketing package

If you are interested in discussing how social media marketing can increase your company's sales performance, contact Industrial NetMedia for your free marketing appraisal or call us at 780-739-5850. After all, you do not want to be like the hot dog vendor!

If You're Getting Spam About Your Website, Here is Why Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:00:00 MST

Recently, one of our clients contacted Industrial NetMedia in a panic. They had received an unsolicited email about their INM-designed website. The email claimed their company pages contained broken links, lousy SEO and 404 errors. "Luckily", the email promised they could fix every problem for a one-time fee of just $200.00. Such a deal!

Wait. What?

Our content people immediately conducted a site review. It showed the claims to be false. There weren't any loading or link problems and the SEO elements were still in place. Our client had suspected the warning email was from a spammer. The review confirmed his suspicions the offer was bogus. He said it was like "paying someone to prevent vampires from attacking". Still, he was curious why he received this email in the first place. "Doesn't Canada have anti-spam legislation?" he asked.

In Canada, This Is the Law

Our website customer was quite correct. Canada does have well-defined anti-spam laws. These laws prevent companies from sending mass emails to recipients who have not agreed to receive them. They also force companies to record all permissions they receive to be able to prove they have them. Unfortunately, though, the federal government can only make rules for Canadian companies. Non-Canadian firms can spam anyone they want.

A Great Law... if observed by all nations

Canada is a world leader in anti-spam legislation. This initiative had input from three federal bodies;  the CRTC, the Competition Bureau and the federal Privacy Commissioner. 

The legislation prohibits practices like:

  • Sending unrequested commercial emails and social media posts;
  • Forwarding emails without recipient permission;
  • Installing programs on someone's computer without their knowledge or approval;
  • Using false information to promote services;
  • Harvesting personal information or electronic addresses without permission.

Again, these rules only apply to Canadian businesses. If you receive spam, it's probable it came from another country. It's doubtful anyone needs to be warned about unsolicited offers from foreign lands. We've all heard from the Nigerian prince with banking problems, after all.

Who might spam me? What will they say?

There are a variety of offers these spammers will make in these emails. Many sound quite legitimate and use current web marketing jargon to gain your trust.  Here are just some of the offers and specials we have encountered:

  • Domain Registrars and resellers; "Since you own one domain, you should buy these other ones!". (i.e. same URL but with a different ending; .ca, .com, .net or .org are examples.)
  • Domain Services; Some search engine scammers will try to trick you into buying "magic services". They guarantee they are "registered with the search engines". Their emails often have warnings such as, "Failure to complete this order by 08/21 may result in cancellation of this offer. This will make it difficult for your customers to locate you, using search engines on the web."
  • Sales Leads ­- Spammers also offer selling aids such as sales calling campaigns, cold calling services, and automated marketing initiatives. It is a sneaky way of getting your client lists.
  • SEO Experts - Spam emails might offer to improve your website's SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They even guarantee you top spot in Google, DuckDuckGo and Bing. The reality is search ranking position depends on many variables including the age of your site. Honest SEO providers like INM can optimize a website to improve ranking over time, but changes aren't immediate like spammers promise.
  • SMO Experts - SMO stands for Social Media Optimization. Like empty SEO promises, SMO 'gurus" make lofty claims, too. They usually promise to boost "organic reach" of your website.  via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media platforms. Using social media is a good plan, but make sure you get value for your money.
  • Marketing Consultants -This is the type of spam that our customer was spammed with and can be viewed here. Like similar emails, they begin with a fear statement such as, "You have so many errors with your website." If you are with a reputable web design company like INM, you can be sure your website has been designed to the SEO standards of the day they were created.
  • Phishing - This type of attack is an attempt by bad guys to get sensitive information from your computer through email trickery. You will get an email with a vague, but specific sounding subject line and a link in the body of the email that you'll be sorry if you click on it. The link is often a virus, spyware or other form of dangerous malware. Here are some examples of these phishing email subject lines: "Order Confirmation", "Bank Notice", "PayPal Notice", "Your Account", "Your Purchase", "Confirm your account information", "Log into your webmail", "Your account has been flagged", and "Google Offers".
  •  Offshore Developers - Sometimes scam emails come from "local" developers who actually have their office in India or Pakistan. These not-so-local service providers generally offer suspiciously inexpensive websites, branding initiatives and SEO services.
  • Collaborative Partnerships - Also known as "white label suppliers", this type of attack consists of an offer to work together on a project to share risk and minimize costs. The real purpose, though, is to get your client list with contact information in order to steal your customers.
  • Ransomware - This very serious attack can shut down your computers remotely and encrypt all your data. You will have to either pay the ransom that will be demanded or pay to have computer experts remove the encryption. A full explanation of ransomware can be found here.

Other topics spammers use to get their foot in the door include:

  • Personnel matters - IT, staffing, outsourcing, temporary workers, sales gimmicks. Although you might need new staff, these emails originate from out of country. Can they really help you?
  • Government Funding Offers - "Secret ways" to get in on government funding programs for business, grants, tax breaks and loans. The only one that gets paid is the scammer.
  • Directory Listings - List your business in our directory and you will magically get loads of website traffic.

What To Do When Spam Happens?

There isn't much you can do if you receive a spam email like our client did, other than to let INM know it occurred. You can assure yourself your site is fine by checking each page for errors and broken links, too. Chances are, the effort would be wasted, as no problems are usually found. Spammers don't need to look at your site to make their claims. They just need gullible spam email recipients.

Is there room for improvement in my website?

There may be issues with your website depending on the age of it.  Like virtually everything else in life, web pages must be continually maintained for best performance.  Search sites like Google often change the rules regarding how websites rank and each change should be reflected in your website. For example, it wasn't so long ago "mobile responsiveness" wasn't even a thing. Now, if your site isn't designed to be equally readable on a 28" computer monitor as it is on a 3" smartphone screen, Google will punish you with low search rankings.  You can learn more about Google and mobile responsiveness here.

What is my next step?

INM is currently offering a free website review for all of our clients. We can go through your site to make sure it is up to date with the latest SEO protocols and is mobile responsive. If any improvements need to be made we can work out what will work best to realize the goals you have for your site with various add-ons such as:

  • Eye-catching home page photo rotators for heightened visitor engagement;
  • Blog and newsletter systems for enhanced industry authority and visitor engagement;
  • FAQ page to reduce time-wasting phone calls;
  • Testimonial areas to share positive client experiences;
  • Social media links and buttons, including full posting and monitoring packages with the most popular platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Yelp and more.

To discuss this, or any other issue, with your INM web design team, give us a call or contact us here. Besides making great-looking web sites, and customized software for business, we also provide peace of mind for our clients. Ask us how today.




Ransomware: How to Guard Against Online Extortion Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 MST

Recently, the University of Calgary had their computers hijacked by a ransomware scam that shut down the administrative staff and faculty members' email programs, as well as other systems. The aggressive virus provided automated instructions for the educational institution to pay $20,000 to receive an encryption key to unlock all their compromised files. The cyber-extortion case was reported widely in the media, including in this CBC article.

The Controversy of Caving to Criminals

The decision by the university to give into the extortionists' demands, paid in untraceable "Bitcoin" cyber-currency, was not without controversy. University officials admitted they were concerned for some of the content, which the criminals had encrypted, as it contained the life work of numerous academics from the campus. Others, however, suggest that every time any individual or organization takes the easy way out and pays the ransom, it encourages the hackers to continue the loathsome practice.

Additionally, those that do pony up are tacitly admitting they are a prime target and may be exposing themselves to further attacks. Another concern is being unable to tell if the decryption keys sent following payment actually removes all criminal malware from the system or if there are still residual bugs waiting to launch at some point in the future.

 It is not known how many other institutions and companies have been similarly victimized as few go public as the U of C did. Internet Security company McAfee Labs claims ransomware rakes in an estimated $10 million to $50 million per month. Being computer savvy won't necessarily help you, however, given that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who one hopes is somewhat cyber-literate, was even hacked, with his ineffective password, "Dadada" spread all over the web.

Job One  in Protecting Your Data from Cyber-Pirates

There are a number of ways to minimize the threat of ransomware attack. First and foremost involves the same piece of advice practically all of us are told repeatedly throughout our online lives, namely; BACK UP YOUR DATA!

Sure, it's a pain but making certain you have all your files backed up on a secure device, such as a removable drive, which is not in constant communication with your main hard drive, is the safest way to rescue your computer if it should ever become infected. Be aware that any mapped drives on your system can be compromised by unwanted encryption, including that thumb drive plugged into your CPU. If it's got a letter (i.e. C; drive, H: drive, etc.) it is mapped and vulnerable.

"Layering": The Best Way to Reduce Your Vulnerability

There is no one single action you can perform which will keep you completely safe from cyber-attack but, like protecting yourself from cold temperatures, layering helps. Each security measure you adopt provides a single layer of protection with the resulting multi-layers forming a much stauncher protective wall around your precious data than by using any single method. Here are some layers to consider:

Restoring Faith - Make sure your computer has a working "system restore protocol" with a restore point you are confidant is free of ransomware or other attack. If malware somehow slips by your virus protection software, it is much cheaper and easier to restore a previous session than pay hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, to a criminal organization. It is vital for the backup point to be serialized to avoid being contaminated by invasive programs.

Watch out for attachments that end in ".EXE". - Some email gateway scanners can weed out specific file extensions and the most popular one with online outlaws is PDF.EXE. Windows' default setting is to hide file extensions, so it may be wise to re-enable visibility of these extensions to make malware links more obvious.

Don't assume all non .EXE files are safe. - Unfortunately for innocent users, another strategy used by unscrupulous attackers has been to disguise malicious files as harmless looking installers for various legitimate applications which are routinely distributed by reputable online locations and shared networks. Careful consideration of every download event is the key to safety. Don't download or install any applications from the internet unless you are 100% sure they are trustworthy.

Turn On Your Windows Firewall. - In most cases, Crysis ransomware files are distributed as attachments to spam e-mails, employing double file extensions. Using this simple, yet effective technique, executable files appear as non-executable. Your firewall will give you another layer of protection againjst this form of invasion but only if you TURN IT ON.

Be Suspicious of Files that Run From "AppData" or "LocalAppData" File Folders. - One ransomware bug known as Cryptoblocker is designed to only open in either of those two folders. Creating a rule in Windows or your computer protection software which disallows files which bear instruction to open in either of these folders will provide yet another layer of security.

Disable your CPU's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). - The aforementioned Cryptolocker bug often gains access to your system through your computer's RDP program. This is the program which allows somebody in another office, or even a different city, (Pat in the tech support office in Toronto, for example) to take over your computer remotely. Disabling your RDP will block access to that specific viral pathway. You can re-enable it if you have to call Pat for anything.

Install Updates Religiously. - Be certain to download any new updates, also known as "patches" for important software (Windows Updates, antivirus, browser, antimalware) as soon as possible. Updates are created to plug the chinks in your Internet armour which are being discovered on an ongoing basis. Waiting only increases the odds of your system being damaged unnecessarily. This is true for all malware protection, not just ransomware.

Use Both Anti-Virus AND Anti-Malware Software. - Often, the bad guys will send out viral attacks with slightly different coding to try and trick your system, if not with one version, then another. Having both kinds of protection simply adds to the layers of your protection suite. We recommend for NOD32 antivirus and for Spybot Search & Destroy anti-malware.

Too Late - What To Do If the Bug Gets a Foothold

If you accidently click on a link or attachment and get a sudden suspicion it is ransomware, your options, other than paying up like the U of C did, are limited. If you realize the situation immediately, you can reduce the harm by pulling the plug. Litterally, pull the plug. Unplug the power to stop a virus in action. Before you restart, unplug your internet connection and hope the whole file hadn't executed completely as yet. This is the time to try the previously outlined "system restore protocol" and hope the bug isn't a newer version which automatically deletes all your "shadow files" to prevent the restoration process from taking place.

What If It's Already In Like Flynn?

Once the ransomware has been firmly established, all may not be lost.  This is because if your site is targeted by older variants of the Win32/Filecoder.Crysis virus, you may still have a good chance of getting your data back without paying a ransom. See website for instructions.

If Unsure, Ask an Expert

Ransomware is becoming more prevalent and more devious all the time. There is little one can do beyond "layering up" other than always being suspicious of all emails that are, in any way, out of the ordinary. Ransomware and other malware programs often arrive in emails. If you get one from the VP of Communication in your company's head office whom you have never heard from before, or perhaps receive instructions to click on a link regarding a shipment you weren't aware was en route, be very cautious. Inspect every link for slight mis-spellings (i.e. Constant vigilance is still your best weapon. And if all else fails, give Industrial NetMedia, or your own web service provider a call to see what options you have.

Anything Else We Should Know?

For more ransomware information, check out these trustworthy websites; We Live Security and Computer Weekly.

See also these related stories:

What to do About Microsoft Abandoning Internet Explorer versions 8 - 10

Older Websites May Be Punished By Mobile-Minded Google

What is Panda 4.1 and Does It Even Matter?






The Photo Gallery; Instant Engagement for Your Website Thu, 19 May 2016 00:00:00 MST

(INM) For a lot of business people, having a website is sort of like having children; they must be a good idea because everyone else has them. Also like newbie parents, these business owners aren't sure how to maximize the potential of their creation. Luckily for those company leaders, Industrial NetMedia can show them how to can get the most out of a website with various "add-ons" that grab your site visitors by the eyes and keep those eyes on your pages longer. We, of course, do not recommend grabbing actual children by the eyes, however. There are many "add-ons" available, such as a blog, a newsletter, FAQ and Testimonial pages but for many websites, possibly the most effective engagement tool is a photo gallery.

Our Favourite Add-On; The Photo Gallery

Many of us know that photo galleries are a quick and easy method to update a website with fresh content. This keeps both Google-bots and humans alike, coming back to see what's new and has a significant impact on search rankings.  However, not everyone gets the fact that regularly swapping out or adding more photos is only scratching the surface of the potential power of a photo gallery.

Everyone With a Smartphone can be a Photographer

One way to push the customer engagement envelope with your gallery is to get your site visitors to contribute photos for you to share on it. There is no better advertising than "word of mouth" and you can bet people will be talking to their friends about their prized photo being featured in someone else's gallery. Consider having a photo contest tied to your products and services. Virtually everyone with a mobile device has the ability to take a picture and many fancy themselves as discerning photographers. Combine their weakness for selfies with a weakness for your products and your marketing thrust will have instant impact. The prizes needn't be costly as long as you make the successful entrants feel like real winners with social media shout outs and promotion of the winning pictures.

And speaking of social media

A photo gallery is also a huge asset to whoever is managing the social media activity in your company. For small business owners, that person is probably you. If this is the case, you know only too well that continually coming up with new text-based posts can be challenging to make interesting and original every time. Pictures, however, provide a magnet for "likes" and further "shares" since studies show social media posts that are accompanied by an attractive image enjoy a 53% higher engagement rate than those that have no photo. A photo gallery provides a ready supply of material to keep both website and social platforms dynamic. The organic growth in engagement brought about by your photo gallery may also lead you to the Holy Grail of site engagement; the viral post. Text-only posts, however, rarely go viral.

Picture Perfect

The final observation about the impact of a well-stocked photo gallery should not be underestimated. There is much truth to the quote regarding pictures being worth a thousand words. By telling the story of your company in photos rather than text, makes engagement with your company far easier for your potential clients. It seems few people nowadays wants to read a whole lot, especially in an online setting. Providing site visitors with your products' benefits in pictures is the perfect way to get your business story told; completely, yet succinctly.

Related Stories:

Social Media Marketing - Focus on Facebook

Social Media Marketing - Targeting Twitter

Social Media Marketing - A Look at LinkedIn

Social Media Marketing - Totally YouTubular!

In 2016, Businesses Without a Website Are Invisible Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:00:00 MST

According to numerous studies, between 50 and 60% of small businesses have a website and for the larger players, the figure rises to close to 80%. It has become the most essential marketing tool of the new millennium and it's all because of one simple reason. It works. 

Here's Why

The whole concept of shopping for products or services has been radically altered by the Internet and how the post-Baby Boom generations use it. In the old days, (known as the years "BC", or "Before Computers") researching a major purchase, say a new propane barbecue for example, involved a day-long "shopping trip" to visit a couple department stores and/or hardware retailers which carried various grilling options. After the exhausting, time-consuming shopping adventure, you would then make a selection based on your impressions of the small sample group which had been viewed.

IRL* Shopping  is So Last Week

Nowadays, everyone from net newbies to senior citizens are tossing aside shopping In Real Life (*IRL) and embracing online shopping as a way to compare prices, research product features, read reviews, as well as actually buying their heart's desire. They don't just do comparisons on items geographically close to their homes anymore, with international shipping being so widely available and often included free with many purchases. Modern retailers understand only too well their competitors aren't just across the street, anymore but across the globe. Failure to understand this fact may render your company invisible to any new business.

Service Providers are No Exception

A company which provides services to a well-defined geographic area may believe they have no need for a worldwide website, however, due to the local nature of their business model. An example would be a small snow removal and dirt-work company based in Leduc County we'll call, Honest Bob's Bobcat Services with their proud slogan, "We Can Dig It!". Obviously Bob the owner isn't flying around the world with his Bobcat looking for parking lot clearing contracts in Siberia or South America. Why would he need a presence on the worldwide web when his business isn't worldwide?

Seek and Ye Shall Find... (but only if you're online)

The reason our friend and his Bobcat still need a website is that when homeowners in Bob's trading region decide they need Bobcat services, they no longer reach for the phone book. That's so "last week" it went the way of the dodo and the day-long shopping trip. Instead, nowadays the first thing they will do is grab their smartphone and conduct an Internet search for "Bobcat services Leduc". It is absolutely vital when everyone in an entire society reacts to each emerging need by first looking online, it's smart to be found where they're looking.

* For any millennials reading this and wondering what a phone book is, it was an enormously expensive to produce, awkward to read, four-inch thick hard-copy collection of phone numbers printed in a tiny font.  Yeah, we don't miss it, either.

The Bottom Line

It is apparent in this post-millennial world that every company, no matter the size, location or business model, needs to have a website. It is what smart business owners do.  This need is not only because of how virtually everybody finds out about anything, anymore, either. The larger concern may be, if you do not have a website, potential clients may be forgiven for wondering why you don't; assuming they ever hear about your business at all.

Website Upgrade - Why You Need It - How To Do It Wed, 6 Apr 2016 00:00:00 MST

(INM) For some businesses, having a website is sort of like having a big ol' wooden sign on their building. They put it up to attract customers and then forget about it until it needs serious repair or even replacement. What they fail to grasp is, like most everything in life, wooden signs and websites require ongoing maintenance to keep working properly. It makes no sense to allow it to simply sit out in lonely cyberspace collecting more dust than visitors.

The Cure for Cyber Loneliness

This is why INM is offering update packages for all their clients whose webpages are beginning to show their age. The teeming masses that use the Internet are computer savvy enough to recognize an out-of-date website design and may make unwanted inferences about the company as a result. By modernizing your site, you will ensure your best chance for attracting new clients and maximizing the return on your website investment.

So what has changed?

Similar to most other industries, website design has gone through a number of trends over the years as changes in technology provided more options to developers. Consider, for instance, the look of a website when dial-up modems were still prevalent. A person could get through an unabridged edition of "War and Peace" while waiting for images to load on a webpage.  As a result, websites were designed with lot of text because that picture worth 1000 words took far longer to load than the 1000 words.

Novel Graphics

As technology improved, companies began to move away from the text-heavy landscape that had been the norm and started to experiment with more graphics, such as rotating image carousels, videos and other "widgets" to captivate site visitors. Although developers are still mindful of load speed, the more muscular networks now available have added many arrows to the quivers of web designers.

The Perfect Project to Demonstrate the Difference

Like many of their corporate clients, Industrial NetMedia, is an active member of Leduc's vibrant volunteer sector. From the Black Gold Rodeo Association to the Leduc Minor Softball Association, INM supports many local charities and initiatives. One of our favourite projects, however, is the amazing work done by the LINX Connect group in Leduc.

INM has been a long time sponsor of this local agency who helps those with developmental disabilities find ability-appropriate housing and employment. To that end, INM has embarked on an update of their old website to bring it up to modern standards including:

  • Eye-catching rotator on the home page
  • Enhanced visual appeal with more images and graphics
  • Elimination of excess text content while maintaining messaging
  • Enabled mobile responsiveness

The All-Important Before and After Pictures

Here are the two Home Pages for the LINX site. Note how much more modern, attractive and impactful the upgraded site is compared to the previous version. If your site looks more like the example on the left than the example on the right, it may be time for an upgrade. Contact Industrial NetMedia today to discover how you can get the most bang for your website buck.



Why Your Older Website Needs a Tune-Up NOW Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:00:00 MST

(INM) As a savvy business person, you're proud your company was an early adopter of the Internet. Unfortunately for you, however, having an older website means it probably requires upgrading and modernization. Like most things in life, including your house, your car, and your wardrobe, if you don't perform ongoing maintenance, websites, too, will show their age in a most unflattering fashion. Don't do any work on your car for two or three years and see how well it runs... if it does at all. Websites are no different.

When Wordy Was Trendy

Web design trends have changed radically from the Dawn of the Internet Age to present. Those first company sites were somber, stodgy affairs with more text than the Encyclopedia Brittanica.  (For those under 30, the Encyclopedia Brittanica was a sort of hard copy, offline version of Google but without the daily Google doodle.) Images, graphics and other whirligigs on those first sites were as rare as accordion solos at the symphony. Despite a typically boring, blocky layout, those ancient webpages could never be shown legibly on a screen display the size of a playing card. Why would they? Back in the day, we all wanted bigger and bigger screens to surf the web on, after all, not the teeny-weeny ones we now consider to be one of life's necessities.

Suddenly... SEO

For those early adopters, it was enough to have their static, wordy websites out there as a sort of sandwich board in cyberspace. If someone happened upon their webpages, it was either by accident or due to someone actively searching for a specific company. There was no social media marketing, lead capture tools or call to action fields on these first website attempts. Indeed, Google's algorithms were only in their infancy, as well, so the new discipline of Search Engine Optimization was still at the primordial soup stage.
Now, of course, "SEO specialist" is a recognized career option, as we now understand the race to the top of search rankings directly translates into increased lead generation.
Being pro-active about boosting site visits isn't just a great idea, it is now a necessity to distinguish your business from the horde. The only way to do this is to maintain your site constantly; updating content and maintaining it freshness for both human and Google-bot visitors alike.

The Smartphone Takeover

When smartphones became pervasive in our society, suddenly the need to be understood in an itty-bitty media format became essential. "Mobile responsiveness" was what web designers called it, and it meant websites designed for a 50 inch display will also be readable on a 5 inch display. Ironically, this is no small feat. If your website isn't mobile responsive, however, you can forget attracting customers who access your webpages with portable devices. Sadly for you, this group you're ignoring is now the majority. In early 2015, searches on portables surpassed desktop googling for the first time and the rate continues to climb.  

Given these new paradigms, it seems apparent every company, NGO, and anyone else with a web presence, must realize the need for ongoing website updating. If your site isn't mobile responsive, easy to find and visually attractive, the webpages you were once so proud of may only be an annoying, inefficient waste of resources.  Contact Industrial NetMedia or your own contract web developer to learn what it will take to get your website up on the hoist. Your tune-up is likely long overdue.

Web Designer INM Takes a Gander at DuckDuckGo Wed, 16 Mar 2016 00:00:00 MST

We all love an underdog. Whether it's David taking on Goliath in the Slingshot Competition or tiny Finland fighting Mother Russia, we all feel a certain kinship with the little guy. This quirk of our humanity may at least partially explain why in the battle of the Search Engines, we're rooting for DuckDuckGo.

Isn't that a kid's game played during recess?

Nope. That's Duck Duck Goose. DuckDuckGo is a teeny-tiny, privacy-focused online search engine who is going up against Google, the undisputed giant in search services with an estimated 68% of market share.  Our society has embraced Google so enthusiastically; we have even added such words as "googling" to our dictionaries. There is no such similar verb for using DuckDuckGo yet but that may be where the trend is taking us.

Trend Setting Duck

Although the DuckDuckGo search engine, founded by energetic entrepreneur, Gabriel Weinberg, has been fairly slow to hit the radars of the cybernautic masses, it appears to be taking off recently in a big way. According to DuckDuckGos own About Page, it took DuckDuckGo five years to go from zero daily users on Leap Day in 2008, to 1.5 million daily Duckers by June of 2013. Now, Internet industry sites such Search Engine Journal are reporting DuckDuckGo experienced an increase in daily searches since then to where it is currently topping 10 million. This is still fairly minor compared to Google, of course, which boasts daily searches of a staggering 3.5 Billion, or about 40,000/second. In other words, it only takes Google a little over 4 minutes to accrue the DuckDuckGo's current daily figures.

Why the sudden interest?

The likeliest reason for DuckDuckGo's recent popularity surge is that people are finally starting to understand what it means for Google to track their online activity. They have begun to notice, for example, when they search for anything in the web, suddenly they are being shown ads for products related to their searches. If you "google" pink eye, suddenly your monitor features Facebook ads for sty medications.

How dare Google?

Google explains their tracking programs are not meant to merely stalk you for fun but is a method of learning as much about you as they can, so they can tailor your search results to your unique needs. Their little spybots watch where you go and what you do so they can ply you with ads for products you are most apt to be interested in. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, does not track anything. They feel where you go and what you do online is your business, not theirs and such, is not part of their business model. They understand only too well the common web truth that "If you're not paying for what you consume online, you are not the customer, you're the product". Not everyone wants to be a product.

Head to head comparisons

For those that grew up with Google, switching to an alternate provider is a little scary with a dash of separation anxiety. The familiar Google format and color scheme are, of course, goneentirely; replaced with something... well, just different. Once you get used to the different appearance and color-scheme of the site, however, its charms begins to grow on you.

What is there to like about DuckDuckGo?

In a word, plenty. Besides the most important fact that this Internet search website doesn't try and wrest all your personal information from you for their files*, there is still lots more to like about the service.
*Not just their files but also the files of their advertising clients, government spooks and whatever other entities Google deem fit and/or profitable to share with.

Free Echo Chamber Removal

One aspect of Google's aggressive personal data-gathering model which customizes a user's content, is that this feature can create an "echo chamber of thought". This means users are increasingly only exposed to opinions, politics and concepts that are already mirrored in their own minds.  This doesn't allow them to form new opinions; but rather it hardens the validation of our own already-held biases. If one questions if the "echo chamber" exists or if it has any effect on our society, one need only look at the increase in political polarization that has been increasing exponentially since Internet surfing became an everyday activity. Some experts even warn that Google's business model in the wrong hands could easily change the outcome of regional and national elections.

Caution: Side Effects May Result From the Use of this Product

Another unexpected side effect of Google's commitment to customizing our search results to our own specific needs is that Google search results may different for everyone, even if they use identical search terms.  This may be problematic if someone wishes to explain to another person how to find something in Cyberspace. "Just google 'latest election polls'" you might say to your friends, hoping to show them, not realizing the content shown your liberal-leaning buddy will be quite different for your conservative-ish friends.

Duck to Be Different

One more feature that makes DuckDuckGo different from its Goliath-like competitor is Duck results are displayed as one long, continuous page, rather than the chopped up display of Google which shows off just a short list of ten or so site suggestions. Google uses this quality to force companies to vie for the first page, to their monetary benefit, of course. They act as if pages 2 to 2,000,000,000 either don't exist or don't matter. DuckDuckGo search is much more seamless.

Customization And Accuracy Without Loss of Privacy

Google is more than happy to customize your search for you by monitoring your every online move, so they may add to the dossier they're compiling on you and all their other users. Duck customization, on the other hand is user-controlled, not search engine controlled. With their "Bang" option, one can simply add an ! to your search terms to be able to find what you were looking for within a specific chosen site directly. You can even customize your DuckDuckGo "bang" sites to create your own, personal list or just use the thousands of already-existing ones such as !w (Wikipedia), !yt (YouTube) and !ebay.

Repeat Business Sucks

While most of us want to repeat our successes, this is not the case with search engines. A major flaw of Google is that, depending on the search you embark on, may return results that are all directed at the same URL. Duck does not issue the duplicate listings which means you still get all the results you want but don't get redundant returns which clog up your results list.

The Downsides to Ducking

While giving the Duck a go for the past couple weeks, I did see areas where Google definitely has an advantage. For a free, albeit superficial translation service, DuckDuckGo has nothing like Google Translate. Mind you, if you do a Duck search for "translate", the second result is Google Translate so away you go. Plus, DuckDuckGo's driverless car is still likely decades, if not centuries away.

Will You Try Ducking Yourself?

 You may want to consider it. Google's CEO, Larry Page, describes the perfect search engine as "something that understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want." It is worthy of note Mr. Page makes no mention of assurance of privacy in his description.  If privacy matters to you, maybe trade your Google for a Duck.



When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Do Website Marketing Tue, 16 Feb 2016 00:00:00 MST

(INM) Alberta has been extraordinarily blessed with bountiful natural resources as diverse as the climate. Our province is also fortunate to be peopled by those with a diversity of talent, drive and a work ethic second to none. These Albertans demonstrate tremendous resourcefulness in their ability to wring profits from the good Earth; whether they till it, drill it, mill it or mine it. Despite this good fortune, however, our province is not immune to the vagaries of various markets, particularly those related to the oil patch.  You may have noticed that business has been slow and continues to cool down as people tighten their belts. Luckily, there is help.

Riding the Resource Ripples

In our region, when resource extraction companies hit rough seas, practically all other businesses in the province feel the ripples. Those firms that don't wish to sink need to ride the waves or risk being swamped, and the best way to remain afloat in an uncertain economic climate is to embrace Internet marketing. You need to be noticed by your potential customers more than ever before. They might not be buying today, but you certainly want to be remembered when they are ready.

This Internet thing... Is it new?

A situation that is working against many Alberta companies is that during boom times, many provincial enterprises were already running at or near capacity. They had as much business as they could possibly handle without doing any marketing whatsoever, so naturally, initiatives to expand public awareness of an already-busy operation weren't seen as a priority.
Having no marketing plan is understandable when the economy is humming along. When the bottom falls out, as it always does eventually, it leaves many firms unprepared. They have no strategy whatsoever to get their name out to new customers and are forced to play "catch up" with competitors who have maintained a marketing presence, even during the good times.

Guilty as Charged. Now What?

Businesses in this situation need to climb aboard the online marketing bandwagon as quickly as possible; and for many of these outfits, Step One is to get a company website. Here's why:

  • A website should be the basis of your marketing efforts. All other strategies should hinge on driving visitors to your website where you can show them how great your products and services are.
  • The competition is already there. In 2014, 53% of all small businesses in North America already had a website; up from 45% in 2009. Analysts expected a further 13% increase in website adoption for 2015, though these figures remain to be tallied as yet. When looking at medium to large businesses, the number of companies with a strong web presence climbs to close to 70%. If you want success in business, it helps to learn lessons from the hugely successful, and there is no doubt the hugely successful believe in the power of websites and social media platforms to promote them.

  • There is so much hard evidence that promoting your business website through tools such as Twitter and Facebook have made corporate social media a $24 Billion industry. Those large, successful companies understand completely the impressive reach these new marketing channels represent.  It seems apparent if you want to get public awareness for your business, you can't afford NOT to embrace online social marketing opportunities.


  • An astounding 97% of North American shoppers use the Internet to find and compare products and services. Of those, an impressive 91% have gone to a "Bricks and Mortar" (BAM) outlet to finalize a purchase that began as a positive online experience. If you have no web presence, your company will be excluded from reaching huge swaths of your potential market.



  • Also of note is that 73% of Internet product searches led to site visitors taking the experience one step further; by sharing the new information they gleaned on social media, calling the business, placing a new customer orders, or pursuing further contact, just to name a few examples. Can you really afford to lose out on all that commerce?


Am I Too Late?

Luckily, there's still an opportunity to take full advantage of a web presence even this late in the game. Although, as mentioned, a majority of all small businesses already have a website, many of those early adopters aren't maximizing the opportunity their web pages provide.
Here are some examples of why they are missing out in ways you can capitalize on:

  • An astonishing 93.3% of small business websites are not "mobile compatible". In other words, their sites are only usable on full frame monitors found on desk-top and laptop computers.  Having a website not designed for viewing on tiny tablet and smartphones screens means you're missing out.  This is because, according to the Global Web Index, 80% of the people who use the Internet do so from a portable device. Additionally, 40% of mobile device owners access price comparisons and product reviews while shopping in person. The choice is clear; optimize your site for mobile access or lose out on business. In May of 2015, Google started penalizing websites that were not mobile responsive. Google started ranking non-mobile responsive websites lower in the search results. Can you afford to have that happen to your business?
  • 70% of company websites are missing an essential component to customer engagement; a Call to Action field. (For example, a "Buy NOW!" button that links to your catalogue, service specials or contact page.) The problem with this lack is that having an attractive website with compelling content is only half the battle. You must make it as easy as possible for site visitors to take the next step; to buy a product, contract a service or contact a representative of the company.  Companies that utilize the Call to Action system can leap ahead of their competitors' websites, which are a button short of a top quality Home Page.
  • Over 80% of website-owning businesses do not have social media accounts. Their hope is, apparently, that if they set out a bare hook in the water, they might possibly catch a fish that accidently swims by. Social media, on the other hand, is not a passive marketing activity. Instead, using such platforms as Twitter, Google+, Facebook and the like, your marketing becomes pro-active in its approach. In other words, it is casting your hook directly where the fish like to hang out, rather than relying on the hope some misguided suckerfish will stumble onto your lure someday. 
  • Many companies with existing websites also ignore opportunities for increased sales caused by a lack of lead capture tools such as a Blog or Newsletter. These tools encourage engagement with your company from your clientele and lead to more long-term vendor/client relationships via email alerts and newsletters.  Only by having an effective lead capture system can you adhere to federal anti-spam legislation while increasing your recipient list for corporate/client communications.

We could quote facts and figures until the cows come home demonstrating the effectiveness of a web-based marketing strategy, especially if it is optimized for mobile access. Although data shows this form of advertising costs about half of old school marketing programs, it isn't free. There will have to be expenditures in either your time or your money to make a good social media campaign work for you.  This should come as no surprise to most business folks, however who know only too well nothing worthwhile comes free or easy.

If you think it's time for your company to make its mark with a modern online marketing strategy, or just need to make your current website mobile compatible, let the web professionals at Industrial NetMedia show you the way.

Website Guru: What to do About MS Abandoning Explorer 8, 9 and 10 Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:00:00 MST

You may have caught the recent news story making the rounds that Microsoft is withdrawing technical support for four of its products; Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 10, as well as Windows versions that predate 8.1.

Or you may not have.

When jargon-jammed news stories about computer guts make the rounds, many of us let them slide right by un-noticed, much like roller derby box scores or ads for that "one weird trick" to lose 50 pounds in a week. This is because for many of us, a computer is similar to a car in that, while we may know how to drive it, we have no clue how it really works. Additionally, we really don't care how they work, as long as they do.

Here's why this news may impact you

Browsers and other programs are eventually abandoned by the developers. Using outdated software may increase your chance of compromised security, loss of private data and the introduction of adware, spyware and other forms of malware. Developers update their products constantly to plug security holes that are being identified on an ongoing basis. Once the developer kicks a product to the curb, however, these holes become unchecked entry points for hackers, scammers and other evil entities that populate cyberspace.

It's great news for both web developers and their clients

The move to trash the three older Explorer versions is fantastic news for website designers. Gone will be the near-daily calls from folks having trouble using old browsers to view their new websites. Developers mostly use a code called "HTML5" to lay out their sites and older browsers didn't recognize the new code . Now everyone will finally be on the same page.

But wait! There's more!

Another problem with having an old browser is that any new apps are usually designed for the newest browsers. If you fail to keep your computer current, there is a danger new apps won't work properly on your devices.

Oh no! Am I doomed?

Luckily, doom has never been so simple to defeat. You actually have a couple of choices:

  1. Wait for the Microsoft Nag Screen telling you to install Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge. You will be automatically directed to install a newer Microsoft Browser.
  2. You could choose to install a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome. Either way, if you choose a newer Microsoft browser or one of the leading alternative browsers, your security and browsing pleasure will be greatly improved. Expert note: You might want to check out the privacy reviews before using any new browser. These new browsers all seem to want to track your browsing and search history so they can sell you some new toe fungus cream that you recently searched for. You can usually opt out of tracking in the browser settings or by using an "In Private" browsing session.
  3. Ok, there is a third option. You could not use any browser, stay off the internet, join a commune and live a simple Amish life.

Assuming you're not leaning toward the Amish option, it is essential to ensure you're downloading software from the actual Microsoft page, like the one we linked you to, and not some sketchy download "warehouse" site that harbours more viruses than the dumpster at the hospital. In any case there should not be a charge for this download.

If you have any technical questions regarding this development, drop us a line and we will happy to help. 

Christmas By the Numbers from the Website Gurus at INM Wed, 23 Dec 2015 00:00:00 MST

As 2015 draws to a close, Mike Kuefler and his team at Industrial NetMedia would like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic clients, our industry colleagues and our hard-working, creative staff  for the continued success of the business throughout this record-setting year.

As we enter into 2016, Mike wants you to remember that no matter what adversities we face in our day to day lives, we are all extremely blessed to live in one of the most free, most prosperous and most secure regions on the planet. Don't take our word for it, though. It's all in the numbers.

1000 - The number of guests Nisku Truck Stop expects to serve on Christmas Day for their 19th annual free yule supper.

270,000 - The kilograms of food donated in 2014 to the Leduc Food Bank thanks to the incredible Christmas decoration display erected by the Ruel family of Leduc County located southwest of the City of Leduc on Township Road 492 and Range Road 260.
38 - The number of years Clarence Shields and his family have put on their "No One Should Be Alone At Christmas" event at Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku.
75,600 - Square miles of Christmas wrapping paper used in Canada yearly.

150 - The number of families in the Leduc area who received Christmas hampers from Santa's Helpers in 2014.

36 Million - Number of parcels Canada Post handles during their Christmas rush.

256 - The number of Wetaskiwin-area children who received presents last year through that city's Christmas charity, who would not have had gifts to open otherwise.

400 - Percentage increase in eggnog consumption in last 50 years. Additional rum sales were not provided despite its influence on the popularity of eggnog.

22, 1.8, and 14,000 - Height in meters, weight in tonnes and number of lights on Edmonton's Churchill Square Christmas Tree.

260 Million - Number of Christmas cards sent in Canada. in 2014

58.3 Million - Dollar amount of artificial trees imported into Canada last year.

64.4 Million - Dollar amount for real trees sold in Canada last year.

18 - Number of countries Canada (mostly Quebec) exports Christmas trees to, including Aruba, Bermuda, France Jamaica, Russia, Thailand, United Arab Emerates and Venezuela

6000 - Amount in tonnes of garbage sent to Edmonton's landfill during the two weeks after Christmas, up from an average of 1400/week for the rest of the year.

15,000 - The fine in dollars for wearing a Santa Hat in Brunei... (and up to 5 years in jail)

Merry Christmas to all of our treasured clients, wonderful colleagues and dear friends. I hope this Christmas is truly the best ever.

And remember, if things don't go according to plan; just be thankful you don't live in Brunei!

Industrial Netmedia will closed for the holidays from Christmas Eve to January 4th.

See you in 2016!


Website Mobile Responsiveness is the New Millennium 'Gotta Have' Thu, 5 Nov 2015 00:00:00 MST

You are proud that you were an early adopter of Internet marketing and have had a website for a number of years already. Now, however, you need to be aware there is a sea-change occurring in how your target demographic views that website you value so highly.  Long gone are the days when the majority of cyber-surfers and online shopping enthusiasts would lash themselves to a CPU sitting on a desktop to go web 'tubing'. Mobile devices, such as smart-phones, tablets and other portable technology products now account for between 50 and 60% of all Internet searches and those figures are rising exponentially as each year passes.

Who knew?

Indeed, Google is so acutely aware of this change in how people access the Internet they altered their algorithms in April of 2015 to punish websites that were not mobile-friendly.
Here's how Moz-based web guru, Dr. Peter J. Meyers, who  makes his living trying to understand how Google works, put it, "Google's push toward mobile-first design and their clear public stance on this issue strongly signal that mobile-friendly sites are going to have an advantage over time."
On the plus side, however,. Dr. Meyers notes, "If you're worried that you may be too late to the mobile game, it appears there is some good news. Google will most likely reprocess new mobile-friendly pages quickly."

What does it all mean?

This means that old school websites that were designed for desktop viewing are often at a disadvantage to those that have been especially laid out to reflect the new mobile reality. A website full of large chunks of text, minutely detailed graphics and busy as a big city street does not have the same impact when seen on a screen that is just 5.5 inches by 2.5 like the new iPhone 6 is sporting. That screen size is only a small fraction of the viewing surface boasted by a 17" desktop monitor.

What to do? What to do?

Some companies solved this problem by creating sister sites; stripped down versions of their main site, for mobile visitors to be funneled towards. This solved some problems but created others. For example, having two sites with the same information and messaging can hurt search ranking. This is due to the presence of duplicate content which Google tends to frown upon and punish for, via reduced rankings. As well, dividing your visitors between two different IP addresses reduces each site's popularity by half which also affects your search optimization efforts. There is also the obvious issue of having to pay for two or more websites when you really only need one which has been redesigned to be mobile responsive.

So what exactly is mobile responsiveness?

Place your cursor on the minimize/maximize button at the top right of your browser display. This allows you to shrink the viewing field of the window you are accessing. By pulling the edge across your screen you can get an idea of what the window would look like on a small display. If the text overlaps other text or the text is leaking all over your graphic features, your site is not mobile responsive. A device-friendly site is engineered in the "backend" to move each element of a website into a tidy column. Visitors won't see the whole site all at once, like desktop visitors can, but instead are able to view each site element separately simply by scrolling up and down on the touch screen.

Elementary, my dear Watson

Some advantages of mobile design are likely quite obvious, even for those with just a passing knowledge of website technology. Most people understand that no one wants to read War and Peace on a five inch screen. Text passages need to be short and to the point. Graphics must be easily viewable in a small format. Each element of the webpage needs to be understandable, effective and enjoyable on a stand-alone basis. Having a website redesigned to be as impactful on a cellphone as it is on a 50" TV is challenging but the rewards are great. Studies have shown visits to non-mobile optimized sites from pocket-sized devices last scant seconds before the visitor moves on, possibly to a competitor's pages. Mobile optimization enhances visitor engagement and keeps your potential clients on your site for  significantly longer periods.

Does it really work?

According to Huffington Post business blogger, John Rampton, when he converted his own website to make it mobile, he noticed immediate impacts.
"My mobile conversion (people contacting me) tripled overnight as well as people coming to my site doubled. I've also worked with several clients that have had similar results."

Where can I get me some of that responsiveness stuff?

If you fear your 'old timey' website lacks mobile responsiveness, you should consider calling your IT department or contract web design/hosting company for their professional opinion. According to Mike Kuefler of the Alberta-based web design firm, Industrial NetMedia, being mobile friendly is no longer an option.
"We design every new website we build to be equally attractive no matter what type of device is being used, as a matter of course. The days of the strictly desktop design have gone the way of the five inch floppy."


For a quote on mobile responsiveness, call Industrial NetMedia at 780-739-5850 or visit them at

Web Designer, INM, Adds More Winners to Their Website Portfolio Wed, 23 Sep 2015 00:00:00 MST

Industrial NetMedia has been creating quality websites since 2002, which is an eternity of experience in cyberspace terms. With over 450 domains in their system and 235 websites built, with more being developed constantly, INM has the experience and the resources to create something great for your business or non-profit group. Fast, functional and smartphone-friendly, these locally-designed websites not only attract the eye, but more importantly, attract potential customers to their clients' sites.

INM's  Web Designs Keep Their Clients' Goals in Mind

To highlight their achievements, INM has added a portfolio page to their own place in cyberspace where visitors can sample dozens of websites developed by the Edmonton area-design team. Revisits are also a necessity as more sites are being added continually.

Some are lighter, some are brighter but all embrace the customer's vision

Among the many stellar home page designs found in the portfolio, there are some that shine brighter, depending on the mandate from the client and the individual tastes of the viewing public.  Consider, for example, the clean, austere look of the Leduc Black Gold Oilmen's Golf Tournament site to the busy, info-rich Black Gold Rodeo homepage. Despite the difference in aesthetic approaches, both sites perform exactly as expected.



Industrial NetMedia Believes Diversity is the Key to Developing a Successful Suite of Websites

The websites Industrial NetMedia builds are as diverse as the businesses that hire them; from stylish, sophisticated, female-centric sites such as event decoration company Dazzle by Dawn and beauty salon Zulu Hair Design in Leduc to websites as heavy-duty and industrial as Ironhand Drilling and Alberta Mobile Power Systems.

The Homepage of Zulu Hair  in Leduc Designed by Industrial NetMedia
The Homepage for Ironhand Drilling of Nisku created by INM of Leduc/Edmonton Industrial NetMedia designed this powerful Homepage for Alberta Mobile Power Systems of Leduc

Whether you have a passion for foods


Wilhauk Beef Jerky had their homepage designed by Leduc's INM website developers


Or a passion for Fords,


INM of Edmonton/Leduc created this classic homepage for Madn's Garage in Leduc County


Are a Professional Corporation

Melanie Gesy Professional Corp contracted Industrial NetMedia to design this stylish homepage


Or a Non-Profit

Industrial NetMedia has a website that is right for you

If you wish to get a new website for your company or non-profit group, modernize an old website to make it mobile friendly, or simply want to see the amazing diversity of companies that offer their services to the Alberta buying public, visit the Industrial NetMedia Portfolio Page today. It is truly a site for sore eyes.

Visit our portfolio now.


Making the Most of Your New Website Thu, 11 Jun 2015 00:00:00 MST

Being the proud owner of a website is the first and most important step in creating an Internet marketing strategy for your business, non-profit group or other project. As vital as having a website is, it is only one element of a comprehensive online marketing strategy. It is the anchor to which you can tie all your other online efforts.

Site Seers Welcome

Obviously, it makes no sense to have a website no one ever visits. The entire point of having a presence in cyberspace is to get your message out to the public, whether it's "Buy this cool thing!" or "Support this cool cause!" Unfortunately, the Internet is a highly competitive environment and it takes a lot of effort to be heard above the din. The most effective way of being singled out from the rest of the Internet mob is by getting as close to the top of Google's search rankings as possible. The closer to the first page you are, the more likely it will be that an interested party will click on the link to your site.


A Quick Word About Keywords

Keywords, in SEO-speak, are words or phrases that you anticipate your target demographic will use to find your website. These phrases often contain a word about what you are trying to sell, a descriptive word about the product and some kind of location information. For example, if you own a bakery selling high-end, fancy cupcakes in Wetaskiwin, your best keywords to employ might be "designer cupcakes Wetaskiwin" or "Wetaskiwin cupcake bakery". Depending on how you allocate these keywords in your text and tags, will increase the rank for that specific keyword search. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. The challenges facing you in achieving this goal are many and significant. However, you must remember the old adage that nothing worthwhile ever comes easily.


Just some of the challenges to becoming King of Google Hill:


You're not alone

Just as you are striving to gain the top spot on Google's first page for the keywords you have selected, don't forget that every other similar enterprise that is trying to rank for the same keywords you have chosen, are competing with you for the top spot.

If there are 100 businesses all using the same keywords, "website design Edmonton", for example, (which produced a mere 11,300,000 results) who will be at the top and who will be number 1000? Obviously, not all 1000 web companies can be on that all-important first page.  The winning businesses will be those that conform best to what Google's algorithmic formulas are looking for. This is, essentially, the inexact science of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

Search engines wheels move very slowly

Website rankings react to changes over time in response to a set of complicated algorithms. Google-bots won't necessarily visit your site on a daily basis to see if they should re-rank you. If a site has been static for a while, it may take weeks to get them to take another look at you. Newcomers to the Internet cannot just show up and get great rankings instantly. Much work is required just to make a dent. Judicious use of keywords and having high quality content that is of interest to your site visitors, are the most important parts of an Internet marketing plan. Even having these two critical elements may not be enough if your keywords are highly competitive or the search engines don't react fast enough for your liking.

SEO improvement isn't free

Increasing the amount and quality of content on your site is what drives enhanced Google rankings over time. It takes resources to produce enough content to ensure your keywords can be worked in as often as practical to enhance SEO results, but still sound natural to human site visitors. Overuse of keywords in your text can make your message appear artificial, contrived and annoying and can actually be counter-productive. If the Google-bots decide you have saturated your site with keywords; forcibly jamming them in unnaturally willy-nilly, they might even delist you from their pages. On the other hand, if you have used these keywords skillfully in your headline, sub-head and image tags, as well as your blog content, your website should experience positive results.

Caution: Curves Ahead

Trying to influence Google rankings can be time consuming with a daunting learning curve. When we build a website, we initially do careful keyword research, then work those keywords into the website strategically. We additionally recommend other avenues to explore which may also enhance your rankings; having a blog or photo gallery, for example. Like any other marketing initiative, the other avenues you choose to try are budget-dependent to a point of diminishing returns.

In other words, your Internet strategy will draw on your two most precious resources; time and money, but there should be a return on your investment in better rankings and more visitors. There is a point, however, where increasing the resources spent on your SEO efforts will not produce results worth the increased expenditures. This is true for any marketing campaign whether Internet-based or not. (Sending a flyer to every home in your city may generate X amount of business, but sending ten flyers to every address probably won't net ten times X in sales.)

Balancing content with brevity 

A difficult determination you must make about your website content is how much is enough and how much is too much. If your site lacks content, the Google-bots will assume site visitors will not find quality information about the keywords you've chosen and rank you poorly. Too much text-based content tends to scare away or intimidate Internet consumers who are less patient than are their newspaper-reading counterparts. Too many features, such as video, chat windows and other widgets can slow loading time which causes impatience in site guests and google-bots alike. It is also imperative to keep in mind that better search rankings are not the ultimate goal, but a means to achieve a bigger goal. That larger goal is to sell something; either a product or an idea, to whoever visits your site.

Serve content in bite-sized pieces

Generally, having lots of content is a better bet than not enough, as long as it's displayed carefully so as not to overwhelm visitors. Try breaking up blocks of text with white space and eye-catching graphics. More content allows you to use your keywords in a comfortable, conversational manner. This is because every picture is an alt tag keyword opportunity, while every blog has headline and sub-head tags to fit more keywords in, as well.

Tips and ideas to increase site rankings:

  • Add diverse content to your website. This may include polls, contests, even weather information and daily Sudoku puzzles.
  • Add a blog to the website to enhanse your perceived authority and increase your opportunities for keyword application.
  • Promote your content regularly on social media choosing just a couple platforms to focus on. No one can realistically be on them all and do a credible job..
  • Use an email marketing strategy from a good provider such as They have a low bounce rate and it won't interfere with your corporate email.
  • DO NOT use your corporate email addresses to send marketing email or you risk having your regular email rejected by your customers email servers.
  • Get promoted on someone else's email list in exchange for promotion on yours.
  • Remember to provide value, not SPAM. If you are unsure of what constitutes spam, check out this website
  • Start a Google AdWords campaign. Adword details are available here.
  • Advertise on Facebook. "Organic reach" is great but you can't count on your friends and followers to always share your social media messages.
  • Don't discount Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slideshare, YouTube or other social platforms. Visit each one, see how they differ and choose a couple that would work best for your campaign. They're not one-size-fits all.
  • Guest post on other websites. Your suppliers and other business contacts would be a good place to start.
  • Get other websites to talk about you. Trading links is a great way to enhance SEO.
  • Create shareable content. Be an expert. Make it visual.
  • Create back links to your website at every opportunity. This should be on your mind daily; thinking about new ideas and places on the Internet that will accept links to your website.
  • DO NOT pay for back links! These will get you penalized from Google.
  • Get listed in every directory you can find.
  • Research high-traffic sites and borrow their traffic by insinuating your link into their site; through their discussion board, forum, poll or any other means possible.
  • Syndicate your website content. Many publications will carry your stories, if they are meaningful to their readers.
  • Content must be new and not copied from another website to get recognized expertise. You must continually create new content that is valuable to your potential client-base. When you stop creating great content is when search engines start forgeting about you.
  • Monitor your site metrics. Get monthly ranking reports on your search keyword data and use the information to guide content revisions.
  • Create "special offer coupons" to post on your website and on Social Media. People love coupons because they save them money, while business loves coupons because they work.
  • Get interviewed. Research your industry's forums, newspapers, magazines, associations, and other conversational platforms, then offer your expertise. Forget humility, publish and promote the interview everywhere you can.
  • Support and review other websites to become an expert.
  • Comment on other people's blogs and news stories. This is how you make the connections necessary to engage in link trading, guest blogging and other networking initiatives.
  • Use Google Alerts to find related websites and stories that are useful for you to jump in on.
  • Publish an Industry Resource Guide.
  • Pursue industry-related awards and use them in your marketing materials.
  • Read this: (See? Industry Resource Guides work!)

There are hundreds of content tweaks you can try if you have unlimited time and money. They will all help boost your website traffic incrementally. Unfortunately, there is no single SEO-enhancing, all-encompassing marketing silver bullet. The closest thing there is to that ideal would be to hire a professional SEO team who have experienced content creators and social media monitors on staff and let them do the drudge work.

INM offers a suite of services to help you tackle all these recommendations starting from $500 per month. If producing text and applying graphics is not your strength, let us create that critical new content to enhance your SEO and promote your site on social media.

If, however, you're not planning to promote your brand new website, as well as monitor, massage and maintain the content, you may have to ask yourself why you even have it.





Social Media Marketing - Focus on Facebook Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 MST

The Platform; There's a Lot to Like

Facebook is the grand daddy of social media sites in use today. Created in January of 2004, Facebook garnered its billionth user in 2012, and as of Dec 31 of 2013, the figure climbed to 1.230 billion. That's a lot of potential reach for marketing your products and services.

The Players; No Longer Just for Kids, Grandmas Like It, Too

First designed for college kids, Facebook's power to provide a unique community for each user is a huge attraction for the wider world. With clients aged from 13 to 103, whatever market you're after is available on the site. With their core users in the critical 18 to 29 age group, Facebook is still an integral part of the young adult landscape.

Plus, Facebook has recently had an uptick in the older female market as proud grandmas discover the modern way to boast about their grandkids and share more baby pictures than could ever be stored in any photo album. In fact, women, who make most of household buying decisions, have adopted the site at a rate 10% higher than their male counterparts.

The Program; Making Facebook Work For You

Besides providing a great platform for enhancing brand awareness, Facebook has a proven track record for generating new contacts and sales leads for your business. Although Facebook has scaled back it's free access to organic reach, when you pay to play, you can still get impressive access to your target market through post boosting and site advertising.

The Inside Scoop; Tips and Tricks To Make it Pay

Make sure you're using a business Facebook page, not your personal page. The marketing data available to company pages is far more informative than for individuals.

Encourage your FB followers to post about your products with contests, coupons or other proven tools. Increasing brand awareness using organic person-to-person content is most effective, as people trust their friends more than they trust companies.
Make your content visually appealing. Plain text posts aren't all bad but an eye-catching image gets shared twice as much while funny or engaging video content is shared 10 to 12 times more than text only posts. Experts suggest the reach advantage is so great; it's a waste to boost text-only posts.
Ensure content is smartphone friendly. Odds are this will be the device used to view your page.
It takes money to make money. Don't rule out Facebook ads and business-centric offers.
Monitor your page performance regularly. This will inform you what works and what doesn't.

The Other Social Platforms in this Series

A Look at LinkedIn

Targeting Twitter

Totally YouTubular!


Social Media Marketing - A Look at LinkedIn Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 MST

The Platform: No Kidding, It's the Most Serious Social Medium

LinkedIn hit the increasingly crowded social media scene in 2003 as a kind of Facebook for business relationships. Much more commerce-focussed than its competitors, LinkedIn boasts a current membership of approximately 260 million people, in more than 200 countries, territories and protectorates. LinkedIn allows linkages of individuals to companies, as well as linking businesses to market partners, clients and prospective employees.

The Players: Forget Your BFFs, This Site is All Business

With 9 million users in the Canadian market alone, a LinkedIn account has become as indispensible in today's commercial landscape as business cards have been in the past. This site allows interconnectivity of individuals who are major players in industry, yet provides its members with selectivity in those connections.

The Program: Like a Giant Online Meet and Greet

Rather than being a medium to post pictures of your dog wearing sunglasses or to dish on current events, LinkedIn is built for its members to create their own business-sector communities based on their corporate connections. Its focus is to provide LinkedIn members with exposure to other businesses for commercial opportunities, job searching and head hunting.

The Inside Scoop; Tips and Tricks To Make it Pay

  • Post your professional credentials and let the business world peruse your professional assets. Not quite an online resume, a LinkedIn profile is the next best thing.
  • Build a great personal profile and employers will actually come looking for you, while a terrific company profile will be sure to attract the talent you are looking for.
  • Having your business connections endorse you for your individual expertise, prospective employers get a clear picture of your abilities, strengths and interests.
  • By connecting with specific companies, LinkedIn members can get automatic notifications of employment opportunities with the businesses they are most interested in.
  • Being part of a cohort of like-minded markets provides opportunities for best-practises sharing and issues of interest to those in similar industry segments.

The Other Social Platforms in this Series

Focus on Facebook

Targeting Twitter

Totally YouTubular!

Social Media Marketing - Targeting Twitter Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 MST

The Platform: Short but Sweet

Launched in 2006, Twitter is all about brevity. Getting to your point quickly is a necessity when you have only 140 characters to work with. (To give you an idea how long 140 characters is, the previous two sentences add up to that amount exactly.) Called "micro-blogging" the short shout outs are like texting the world.

The Players: It's Not Your Dad's Social Platform Anymore

Originally conceived as a medium for older, more mature users than their Facebook competitor, Twitter has now expanded its reach. Not only has it morphed into a business-to-business communications tool, it has captured a significant segment of the youth market with celebrities listed among the "Twitterati".

The Program: A Little Birdy Told Me So

Twitter provides businesses with an important forum to interact with their clients in a very public setting. Those companies that embrace this medium can experience significantly increased awareness of their products and services. It is, however a double-edged sword as it can add to your problems in a negative PR situation. Like many other social media models, the gains are commensurate with the risks.

The Inside Scoop; Tips and Tricks To Make it Pay

  • Start with a great bio for your company's profile. Using humour and appropriate hashtags (#) are important but relaying to the world what is your core business is the real goal.
  • Make sure those hashtags that are salient to your marketing thrust are part of your daily tweet regimen. This will attract the like-minded, as well as provide metrics you can monitor to quantify your reach.
  • Using Twitter's 'promoted tweets' program will expand the reach of your marketing message exponentially with far less labour than the manual method.  This is truly a case of there being no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Automatic systems such as Hoot Suite can be effective ways of reducing the amount of time spent getting Twitter exposure but does not replace manual tweeting completely. People need to feel there is a human attached to each tweet and not just mindless machinery.
  • Monitor when your tweets get the most action. In any 24 hour time period there are hot zones and cold zones that describe the ebb and flow of your business communications. You will want to isolate when your target market is on the site the most and aim your tweets to coincide with them for maximum coverage.
  • Remember that social media is, above all, social. A tweet is the start of a conversation, not a monologue. Ensure you're able to respond to anyone picking up the conversational thread as this is how organic reach happens. 

The Other Social Platforms in this Series

Focus on Facebook

A Look at LinkedIn

Totally YouTubular!





Social Media Marketing - Totally YouTubular! Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 MST

The Platform: Everyone is Now a Potential Film-Maker

YouTube hit the ground running in 2005 and was almost immediately gobbled up by Google who instantly realized the potential of a video-sharing site.  Users can upload videos from 30 second snippets to feature-long epics and is used for home-made humour vids, how-to primers and 'Not Appropriate for Commercial TV' ads that seem to be gaining more popularity every year. The new millennium quest is now the viral video.

The Players: The Choice of a New Generation

YouTube's attraction is that it is cleverly designed for today's text-averse youth culture with the site's vast array of videos; both organically, as well as professionally produced. It provides opportunities for both individuals all the way up to the world's richest corporations to create their own "channel" or to add to someone else's. These theme-based channels help narrow the field for the billion unique visits the site attracts each month.

The Program: You CAN Take It With You

YouTube's biggest strength is its portability. Videos posted to this site can be used on a number of other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. This accounts for why the site can reach the all-important 18 to 34 year-old demographic many businesses are so interested in pursuing so much better than any cable TV channel currently can. Designed with young people's smart-phones in mind, over 40% of all site visits are accessed by handheld personal devices.

The Inside Scoop; Tips and Tricks To Make it Pay

  • Ensure all your videos have descriptive keywords to draw the right people to your presentation.
  • Be reactive to the comment section and do not get too defensive of negative reviews. They should inform you, not enrage you.
  • Ensure your postings are smartphone friendly and present the least amount of obstacles to sharing on other social media sites.
  • If advertising on this medium, make sure your ad content is related to the video it is attached to. In this case the medium truly becomes the message and it is critical that they match for the maximum impact.
  • Including a transcript of your video will increase the piece's search engine optimization as the google-bots don't register video content.

The Other Social Platforms in this Series

Focus on Facebook

A Look at LinkedIn

Targeting Twitter

How BAM Biz Can Profit From an E-Store Website Wed, 29 Apr 2015 00:00:00 MST

There was a time, not so long ago, when retailing merchandise was fairly simple. If you wanted to sell products on a business-to-consumer (B2C) basis, you would rent or buy a building, stuff it with staff, fix it up with fancy fixtures, produce some products and maybe get a phone book ad. After all that work, you flung open your doors to let the flood of foot traffic in. You didn't concern yourself much with markets in other cities, shipping concerns or customer 'engagement'. The only contact made with the customer was in your store. This model of merchandise marketing had worked for millennia; from the street markets of ancient Marrakesh to today's West Edmonton Mall. Then came the Internet; possibly the greatest marketing tool ever devised.

Move Over, Medieval Marketing Model

With the advent of E-Commerce and the World Wide Web, the retail landscape has fundamentally changed. The new kid on the block has the pectoral power to significantly erode market share from the old school retailers with their pricey 'bricks and mortar', or BAM, business model. Established companies were forced to either adopt the new revenue stream or accept decreasing ROI; their precious return on investment. Small players, once just mere mosquitoes up against the moose-sized marketers with their glitzy 3D stores, suddenly had the playing field leveled as if by a nuclear device. The large retailers were shocked to find out many shoppers actually preferred this new marketing model of Online Virtual Stores, or OVS, to the sales model that had withstood centuries of success. The fogies in the BAM club soon embraced the ancient adage; if you can't beat them, join them.


BAM & OVS - True Love!

Although originally leery of this new wave in retail engagement, the big BAM boys discovered that the true road to increasing sales could be achieved by combining the two retail approaches. They discovered that as much as the highly prized 18 to 30 demographic enjoyed online shopping in an OVS, they appreciated the trustworthiness and convenience of having a BAM facet to a business. They didn't have to wait for the post office to deliver their hotly anticipated purchases after weeks of free storage, they could simply opt to pick it up from the store when it was convenient for them. And if there's a problem, there's no shipping costs to return the defective item, either. Consumers could simply take it back to the BAM building they had always relied on to give them face-time service. For merchandising magnates, it was the best of both worlds.

Great! Now.... Where to Begin?


The vast majority of BAM businesses already have a website. (If you have a BAM store without an online presence, here's why you need one.) Assuming, however, that you do have a website, now you have a choice to make; you can either create a stand-alone site to sell your products or you can add an e-store component to your already existing site. Both have their good and bad points.

Stand Alone OVS vs Adjunct to Your Existing Website


A separate site can instantly double your Internet presence and provide many cross-linking opportunities to enhance SEO.
This also means ongoing SEO resources will have to be expended on both sites independently which will double your optimization and bandwidth costs.

A stand alone OVS can feature all your products with glitzy art, multiple images and many fun, interesting features

That sort of content can slow down load time significantly. This generally hurts a branding site more than a sales site as people are more patient when looking for products, as opposed to company information.

Getting folks to venture from your website to your sales site may be problematic.
Having an e-store component to your existing site means you may have to scale back your product listings and colourful pictures or face slow load times which may negatively impact your site's search rankings.

What works best for your situation depends on the size of your product line, how much detail you need to display to achieve optimum sales and the familiarity your visitors will have of your offerings before they arrive at your site.

The Winning Combination

Combining old school BAM with an OVS component allows today's savvy shoppers to enjoy the best of both worlds. The online experience allows consumers to become informed about their purchases before they buy, without a salesman in their face trying to close the deal. They can take their time to read reviews, do cost comparisons and even search for coupons. They still get the security of knowing there is a place to go with "real human beings" that can take care of them if the OVS component fails for whatever reason. The likelihood of a BAM operations disappearing overnight like a bitcoin retailer is far less likely. Any way you look at it, E-commerce is now an essential part of most intelligent business models. If you sell products but your website doesn't, you may be missing out on significant profits. Contact your IT people or reputable contract website design company to launch your Earth-bound BAM business into the limitless opportunities of cyberspace.

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Website Promotion 101; What Works and Why

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Website Promotion 101; What Works and Why Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 MST

Don't Waste Your Website

There are plenty of business leaders currently sizing up the new economic landscape. Their companies were humming along smartly when, suddenly, the bottom fell out of the oil-patch. Seemingly overnight the price for a barrel of black gold was cut in half making margins thinner than Celine Dion after a stomach flu. In the good times, it never occurred to them to get a website since they always had more than enough business to keep them hopping. Why waste money on advertising when you don't need to?

Facing Up to the New Reality

That was then. This is now. Alberta has a whole new normal to adjust to. Industry players have finally come to the realization their businesses need to enter the new millennium. They need to get a professionally designed website to engage with current and potential customers. Running a company without a website nowadays would be like trying to operate without business cards back when card exchanging was the secret handshake of the old boys club. It's an online world now and if you're not in it, folks won't have a clue how to find you. Hard copy telephone books are, after all, totally last millennium.

Okay! Okay! I'll Get a Website!

Having a bright, fresh, attractive-looking website built is critical, of course, but even if you get the brightest, freshest, most attractive website in the History of the World, sadly, it isn't enough. No matter what, you still have to promote it. A website won't do much for you if you just let it lay there, no matter how shiny and new it is.

What Are You Going To Do About It?

Since the point of your site is to acquaint viewers with your wonderful company and to get them interested in whatever terrific products, services or information you want them to be aware of, now is the time to begin the promotion portion of the project. In the computer age, it does not usually make sense to try and advertise a website using traditional tools such as pamphlets, mailers or print ads, (although they may still form part of a successful campaign). Unless you have a massive budget for advertising, the best recourse for low cost (though not free) site promotion is social media; the Twitters, Facebooks, Google+ and LinkedIns of the world. (To help you get started, here is a handy four part lesson in Twitter.) 

How Do I Know It Will Work?

Often in business, if you are looking for `best practices`, no matter what the issue, a great hack is to start with the most successful companies to see how they meet the same challenge. There is no sense in re-inventing the wheel, after all. It is much better to examine the strategies of the uber-successful and borrow freely from their experience. As far as site promotion goes, what the biggest companies are doing falls under the umbrella of social media.
Look at the world's most ginormous companies. According to this interesting Forbes magazine report, the largest company on the planet is a Chinese bank called ICBC (which stands for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and not I Control British Columbia, as some would have it.) This firm has the resources to pay top-dollar for any kind of advertising thrust they have a mind to try. What are they doing? The are engaging in the same activities all the other hugely successful companies are employing; namely, using a whole lot of social media (or SM for short, which is very different, by the way, from S & M).

I Thought Tweets Were For Kids and Facebook for Granny's Baby Spam

ICBC has tonnes of Twitter accounts, fields of Facebook pages, and years worth of Youtube videos. A search of LinkedIn for ICBC China yields 3315 results.  It wouldn't be all that surprising to find them on the dating site, Tinder. (Which way would you swipe for them?) The same enthusiastic embrace of SM goes for the other big guys, too. It can be safely surmised that they wouldn't be this solidly invested in social media if it didn't work.

How Do I Get Started?

Getting SM accounts is relatively easy and free. A look at each platform will give you an idea of the format and a sense of their unique vibe. From this research, you can pick the SM streams you think will be the best fit for your company. There is no need to embrace them all at this point for each of them will consume time resources and even advertising dollars, if you're so inclined. Just pick a couple that you think works best with your brand.

Be careful about programs that automate your SM presence, however. The S in SM stands for 'social' after all, and it is worse than useless to try and engage your audience using robot proxies. SM isn't a monologue, it's a series of conversations. You need a real person to converse with those who seek engagement with your company. You will also need to engage in some SEO.


A critical aspect to getting traffic to your website is to get Google, the world's most popular search engine by a country mile, to notice you. To do this you must engage in SEO, or search engine optimization to move up as close to the front of the listings as possible. The further back you are, the harder it is for folks to find you. SEO is a complicated process, however and usually needs professional management. If you decide to try it for yourself, however, here are ten tips to get you started.

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!

Both SEO and SM require a sizeable time commitment for results that may take ages to realize. This is no reason to ignore it, however. Assigning these tasks to a staff member to perform daily can work if the employee has the right skillset for the job. It requires someone who is of good humour, able to deal with angry people without getting angry themselves, be well-written and understand your brand at the deepest level.
Since such employees don't grow on trees (though may swing from them occasionally) the solution may be to contract website promotion and optimization services from a reputable website company. They understand the different media, the importance of brand and their role in promoting it.

Paying money to people to 'play' on Facebook and Twitter for you may sound like folly, but the fact is, it's what every company on Forbes' list of financial giants is doing. Why would you do anything different?

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6 Popular Website Features; How they Help, How They Hurt

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6 Popular Website Features; How they Help, How They Hurt Tue, 7 Apr 2015 00:00:00 MST

(INM) So you're thinking about having a business website. Part of that process is considering what features you want on it to increase your company's public awareness footprint, optimize visitor engagement, enhance your branding and, of course ultimately, maximize your profits. For some firms, a complete package with every single bell and whistle available is their heart's desire. They likely order pizza with "everything on it", but not all toppings go well together. Is 'everything' the best option? Here is a list of some of the most popular features available for websites, and what can result, both good and bad, from their use.


Having a site enabled with Flash provides the opportunity to have animation and other video displays featured on your site. We all know modern web surfers love their moving pictures, as YouTube's popularity will attest. According to industry analysts, site visitors are 60% more likely to click on your video before they even read a single word.
Sounds too good to be true? In some circumstances, it is.

The Big But - Flashy Flash has a Dark Side

Although video is embraced by website traffic, there can be serious downsides. For example, Flash technology can't be used on many portable devices such as Blackberrys, iPhones and Apple tablets. Half of all searches are now being initiated on portable electronics, making mobility a major consideration.

The other aspect you must carefully weigh is that most video features increase the page-load speed of a website significantly. Slow-building sites aren't viewed by the impatient masses and may affect your search rankings, since Google's rules punish sites that have slow load speeds.
For visitors who have Flash-compatible Android devices, there may still be problems if they haven't installed the latest version of the video driver. They will be asked to do so, which will definitely dissuade some prospective customers.
Another downside to Flash is that it cant be read by search engines. If video is a must, look into other technologies to deliver it. HTML5 is the most popular with JQery adding additional functionality. Your web developer will have many recommendations to provide video without the problems of Flash.

Picture Gallery

Pictures do indeed speak thousands of words. In fact, approximately ¾ of a human brain is involved in vision. (Dogs, in contrast, have 75% of their brains wired for smell.) Attractive and evocative images appeal to our dominant sense. Images are easy to update regularly in a gallery to keep your site fresh for SEO purposes. How can you go wrong?

The Big But - Copyright Can Bite


As attractive as photos are, there are many legalities associated with images on the Internet. It is fantastic to find pictures that enhance your site, however, the ownership of the image must be established, respected and documented. Somebody owns every picture on the Internet. It is against the law to use someone else's intellectual property without their permission, unless that property is in the public domain.
There have even been cases where permission of use of an image was initially granted, but then the image was purchased by a photo service who doesn't recognize the pre-existing permissions. Even buying photos can be tricky as records of permission must be kept for as long as they're in use on your site.  You may wish to consider taking your own photos just to avoid legal issues.
Another important caution is that photos can be very large, hard to edit for a beginner and slow the loading process which hurts your SEO. Check your website on your smart-phone to see how long the image takes to boot up. If you don't know how to optimize, you should call in professional help before you get penalized by the google-bots because your site takes so long to load.

Blog Page

Having a frequently updated blog on your site is a simple way of updating your website to keep it fresh for Google's relentless SEO-bots. Well-written blogs that reveal your company's knowledge in their chosen field may enhance, in the minds of the public, your business' expertise. Writing carefully sculpted headlines and subheads is also a great way to properly use keywords and phrases to get better rankings without using the black-hat tactic of 'keyword stuffing'. Blogging can also feed a newsletter system to keep your contacts informed of new developments. The best part of blogging, however, is that it creates opportunities for sharing interesting content on social media which leads people back to your site. Google-bots look for site value and blogs that have been linked to often, help in that regard.

The Big But - Great Text Doesn't Grow on Trees

There are few downsides to blogging but it is imperative the blogs must have professional quality writing. If you can't provide that expertise in-house, you will have to pay for that professionalism like any other skillset. Doing it right is too important to just 'wing it'. Blogs with poor grammar, spelling errors and awkward sentence construction risk damaging your perceived authority.
Some companies initially think a blog is a good idea and approach it with enthusiasm and the best of intentions. The reality is that it takes time to write, edit and especially promote the blogs once they are produced. If you can't fin time to do this at least once a month, it may not be for you.

E-Store Component

Having your website come fully equipped with it's own built-in e-store is a great addition for companies with a catalogue of products or services on offer. This is different from having a separate web store. The advantages are numerous:


  • SEO efforts for both the website and e-store will be shared by the website as a whole, rather than be fragmented between two websites, if they are kept separate.
  • Online customers are more apt to trust internal, rather than external links.
  • It is less expensive for webhosting expenses to pay for only one website.
  • It is usually much easier to manage one website rather than two.
  • Most small stores fail because the store software is too complex and hard to manage, so a simpler store increases the likelihood of your success.
  • Generally, it is easier for customers to make the connection between your site and your sales selections.

The Big But - Say Farewell to Fancy

An E-store section attached to your corporate website is usually less elaborate than a stand-alone sales site and could potentially limit the range of items you can list. This may be a positive, too, however, as many shoppers want simplicity over selection and can be overwhelmed by product pages with too many items. Having a separate sales site does also provide some opportunity for SEO enhancing back-linking.

Social Media Buttons

There is no doubt having social media tabs; buttons that post information directly onto Twitter, Google+ or Facebook, will get shared more than sites without that feature. According to knowledgeable sources, a website with sharing buttons are seven times more likely to be shared on Twitter than those that do not. It is smart to make sharing as easy as possible for your site visitor. Hoping they will copy and paste to their favourite social site may be an unrealistic expectation.

Having counters on the buttons will also tell your visitors that you have a popular site and will inform you about which pages work best with each social media platform.

The Big But - 7 Seconds You Won't Get Back

Having share buttons can slow down the load time of a website by up to seven seconds, depending on the complexity of the code. This is critical as some estimates suggest a single second delay in page loading can result in 7% fewer conversions. Long load times, as previously mentioned, also affect rankings. If your content is informative and engaging enough, however, and provides positive return on your visitors' time investment, longer wait times become less of a factor making share buttons well worth their while.

Another caution of social media buttons comes with tabs that have counters showing the frequency of shares. If the number of shares is always low, it can hurt your image.

Home Page Rotator

Also known in the industry as 'sliders' or 'carousels', this popular website feature lets web designers focus on more than one important selling point. It allows for more H1 tags (headlines) to be used to showcase your products, plus provide a moving image the human mind is hardwired to pay attention to. Rotators are attractive and stylish, especially if care is taken to ensure the images are powerful and striking.

The Big But - Mixing Your Messages

Providing your site visitor with three, four or more messages, instead of one, may serve to dilute all the messages. Internet experts agree that often, the content contained on the first slide is read a lot more than subsequent slides; dropping incrementally in viewership the farther down the list you go. Make sure if you use your rotator for your call to action, that action call is on every slide that appears.

Choosing the Features Right For Your Site

How your website is laid out and what features you want on it depends largely on what it is you want the site to accomplish. The type of customer you are trying to attract makes a huge difference, too. Additionally, sites designed to tell you something are different from sites designed to sell you something. Your best option for choosing the right features to produce the results you want is to discuss your website goals with your developer. They have the experience to suggest the right mix of features you need to consider to make your website perform exactly as you hope.

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Older Websites May Be Punished By Mobile-Minded Google Wed, 25 Mar 2015 00:00:00 MST

(INM) Last month search engine giant, Google, announced their algorithm systems will be updated to give 'mobile-friendly' web pages higher rankings on portable devices such as tablets and smart-phones In April 2015. If your website is getting a little long of tooth, chances are it has not been optimized for the smaller screens on your customers' favourite devices.

Why Are They Doing This To Us?

Google's announced move, to take effect worldwide on April 21, is a reflection of the dramatic increase in web searches on portable electronics. Almost half of all Google queries are now made from phones and tablets, which is a marked increase from even a couple of years ago. In 2012 mobile Googling accounted for less than 30% of all searches, according to industry estimates.

Why Should I Care?

The difference between a modern, mobile-friendly layout and the old way of building a website was based on the belief that people wouldn't be shopping or doing serious product research on their iPhones. Everyone had a CPU at home to do that sort of thing. New data now shows that for many Internet users, particularly the 18 to 30 demographic, they are now accessing the web exclusively through their devices. If your site isn't easily readable on the smaller displays featured on these electronics, those potential customers won't stay on your site for very long. Worse yet, if you are not mobile-optimized, your customers may never even find you if you've been pushed way down in the mobile rankings.

What Should I Do About It?

If you have a business site offering products and services to the public, it is imperative to have your website professionally redesigned to be mobile-friendly before April 21. However, it is important to keep in mind the redesign isn't to please some stupid little website crawling google-bots. You're making your site easier to read on portable electronics to improve communication with real flesh and blood customers. After all, if the bots understand your website, neither can your device-dependent clients. Shrinking your potential customer base by half is never good business.

How Will This New Algorithm Affect CPU Searches?

Google has stated their new algorithm will have no effect on the rankings of searches initiated from desk-top or laptop systems. If your company ranked well before the change, you will probably rank exactly the same after. It will only be when users access your site from a mobile device that ranking changes will be noticed. Older sites that are on the first page of a Google search may end up so far down the list on a mobile device you may need drilling equipment to find it.

Don't Wait to Update - The Time to Mobilize is Now

It is easier to maintain high search rankings than to recover from a downgrade. Now is the time to contact your site designer to ensure your site won't be dinged by the google-bots and to make changes if necessary. The bots won't thank you but your customers will.

Device-Friendly Websites Are Geared to Get Results 

Industrial NetMedia can convert your existing site to be mobile responsive. All of Industrial NetMedia's new websites are already mobile responsive.

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Stealthercise; Workout While You Work Wed, 18 Mar 2015 00:00:00 MST

You're getting nervous. You just found out sitting all day at a desk will kill you prematurely. . Some experts claim sitting is more dangerous than dating mobsters' wives or smoking cigarettes. Thanks heavens no one smokes at their desks anymore, but many of us still risk life and limb by sitting at it.

I Don't Want to Die!

Few people seek to shorten their lives on purpose. We all know for optimum health, we should interrupt our work every half an hour for a quick power stretch and perhaps a walkabout. (See Wally of Dilbert fame for walkabout pointers.) Yes, we realize that regular exercise breaks are imperative for good health... except for our boss and co-workers, of course. To them, when we leap up to do some quick jumping jacks, we likely appear weird and unengaged, with short attention spans. They don't understand we're trying to add ten more years of our lives for the greater glory of our employer. Certainly there are some large companies that provide an exercise room for their employees. Some even have nap rooms, too, but most grunt-level staff members don't foresee anything like that being built where they work. Most Canadians are employed by small business, so exercise equipment will not likely be in the budget any time soon. Not even a shared Thighmaster.

Don't Just Sit There, Do Something!

So now you know that unless you regularly do some kind of physical activity many times throughout your workday, you may be hastening your death certificate. However, if you do interrupt your productivity for a minute or two of trying not to die young, you may be hastening your separation certificate. The answer is to workout at your desk on the sly; a strategy known as Stealthercise.

Exercise Stealthily to Live Better Healthily

Since bounding out of our ever-more-burdened office chairs to do a few squats is almost as distracting to others in the office as whistling show tunes or projectile sharting, a more subtle approach is called for. Here are some reps you can do while still staying, not only at your desk, but also under the radar:


Butt crunches: This exercise involves squeezing your buttocks (important: only squeeze your own buttocks) and holding the clench for ten seconds before relaxing your glutes. ('Glutes'is a snobby way of saying 'bum muscles') Glute relaxing is not recommended if you have had to take Imodium for any reason over the last 24 hours. Repeat the process until you are too tired to do any more butt-crunches; a condition also known as being 'bummed out'.

Tummy crunches: While seated with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor, tighten your abdominal muscles, hold for ten seconds, then release. Do this until you have a stomach ache or your co-workers start to noticing your groans and want to call an ambulance. If unsure how to tighten your 'abs', imagine the muscles you would contract if someone was about to slug you in the gut or go over your performance appraisal.

Seated leg raises: This exercise requires the participant to be seated while they straighten their legs and, you guessed it, raise them. This can be done individually or with both legs together. To increase the effectiveness, you can weigh down your legs with a purse, book bag or some of your more sedentary co-workers.


Toe-Tapping: Any motion, even fidgeting , that works muscles can burn calories. Even small movements like tapping your feet, can have a surprisingly positive effect on your overall health. Training your tootsies to exercise while you concentrate on your duties is the goal, but make sure you're on carpeting or your foot fitness offensive will annoy the heck out of your office-mates. (Important: Do NOT engage in foot-tapping reps when waiting for your boss to answer a question.)

Beyond the Desk: Are You Up For It?

The Stealth Squat: If you are required to stand around for any length of time; say, waiting for the fax machine to puke out your paperwork, use that opportunity to do some squats.  Maintain secrecy by saying things like, 'Gee, I better have a closer look at this,' while looking down intently as you bend your knees so as not to arouse suspicion in your fellow employees.


Standing Rules For Meetings: Since standing is a far healthier option than sitting all day, consider having meetings where everyone stands instead of using the boardroom chairs. Not only will everyone think sharper and feel better, you can be sure the meeting will take far less time.

Your Choice: Stairway to Heaven or Elevator to Health Problems

If you work in a high-rise office tower, you know that elevators are not only quick and convenient, they are also a great place to monitor who uses deordorant in your building. Despite these obvious advantages, consider using the stairs instead, at least half the time. Not only will you get a great little cardio workout, you won't be jammed into a tiny compartment with a bunch of overweight people who will expire before their due date.

Don't Take This Issue Sitting Down!

Although these solutions may make you feel silly at first, the problem is very serious. Sitting uninterrupted all day will shorten your life. This reality does not change, sadly, even if you go to the gym after work every single day. We were never designed to sit for long stretches at a time, apparently, so unless you change your chair dependency, you can expect a health effect. It's time to stand up for your health.

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Humorous HR Terms for the Terminally Serious Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 MST

Human resource management is serious business and we at Industrial NetMedia are doing what we can to ensure it's not solemn as well. Please enjoy our light-hearted look at the HRD dictionary.  




Ability test: A series of questions or problems used to determine if the HR manager has the ability to give a test properly.

Ability: A competency that job candidates lie about on their resumes.

Absenteeism: The recognized 'ability' of an absenteeist.

Accountability: The ability to do accounting. Also, the understanding that there is no accounting for some people.

Achievement test: A standardized form designed to measure how well a candidate can fill out an achievement test. It does not take into account anyone's achievements.

Advisory Committee: A group designed to provide well-considered input for the express purpose of being ignored by management.

Applicant: A prospective future disgruntled employee.

Apprenticeship: Donald Trump's boat.


Baby boomers: The last cohort in existence to remember 'the good old days'. A declining resource, the youngest is already 55 and will likely need time off for a new hip soon. And new glasses. And dentures. It is advisable to downsize them ASAP.

Back pay: Money owed to an employee after screwing them over in some way. Back pay is generally followed by a concept known as 'pay back' which is a... well, you know.

Benchmarks: Initials carved into the bench the disgusting smokers in the company use around back of the building.

Bereavement leave: A cheap excuse for absenteeism (see above) that employees try and blame on deceased relatives.

Best practises: Everything our competitors are doing. Nothing we've ever tried before but we talk about a lot.

Branding: An effective deterrent for absenteeism if done with red-hot irons.

Budget: A work of fiction produced annually by the finance department.

Burnout: What the younger employees do with their car tires when leaving the parking lot on a Friday evening.


Career path: A difficult-to-navigate unmapped dirt road with no signposts or rest stops.

Career plateau: The flat part of your career path (see above) that is surrounded by career cliffs in every direction.

Case study: Researching your next laptop carrying bag.

Casual dress: Not at all like the slinky black number ladies wear to fancy restaurants. Way more frumpy.

Change management: What lousy sports teams need to do.

Child-labor laws: The only impediment to getting a cheap, easily-intimidated workforce.

Civil union: A marriage where the participants are always civil and never argue. They are rarer than albino wombats.

Coaching: Bossing people around without them noticing how bossy you are.

Collective action: Behaviours seen on Russian group-farms.

Communicable disease: The best argument for allowing staff to work from home so their disgusting, disease-ridden bodies don't spread their plagues at work.

Constructive discharge: Almost as popular as a pustule discharge, this refers to being such a jerk that troublesome employees will just up and quit. This effective downsizing strategy is unfortunately frowned on by labour lawyers and judges.

Consultant: A person hired to cover up the fact your company lacks the knowledge to do the job.

Corporate culture: An important ingredient in corporate yoghurt.

Counselling: What people need following a job in HR.


Daily work records: You're not paranoid, we really are watching you all the time.

Deferred compensation: An agreement to provide remuneration at a later date than normal. Pioneered by "Wimpy" of Popeye fame.

De-layering: What Canadians do when they get to work in winter. (See 'toque-head')

Delegation: Making someone else do something you don't want to.

Department of Labor: (See Maternity ward, midwifery, etc. )

Disability: A flimsy excuse employees use to get out of hard work.

Distance learning: Understanding miles versus kilometeres, for example.

Diversity training: Learning to treat all people equally shabbily.

Downsizing: Like dieting only not nearly as fun.

Dress code: A special code announced over the PA system when the sexy intern is wearing that dress with the plunging neckline.

Drug testing: A simple method for HR staff to identify people whom they can go to in order to buy drugs.


Early retirement plan: (See 'Downsizing')

Electronic monitoring: An effective tool of micro-managers and Big Brother, this practise allows HR to learn more about their employees than they care to know.

Emergency planning: Identifying who gets to hold the door for the management team in case of a fire.

Employee leasing: A great alternative to buying employees outright. Be careful of hidden damage deposit clauses if they become scratched or dented.

Employee relations: A bad idea, especially if you're already married.

Employee self-service: A solitary alternative to employee relations (see above)..

Ethics: A belief system used widely in business when people are watching.

Executive retreat: How bosses screw the pooch. In politics, they're known as "wasteful junkets".

Exit interviews: These are facilitated by a well-disguised trap door in front of the HR Director's desk. Buh-bye!


HR Departments aren't allowed to use F-words.



Gag clause: Santa's eccentric brother.

Garnishment: The condiments used on the hotdogs at the company barbecue. Creditors can force you to give up your mustard and relish.

Gender: Formerly a question on the job application with only two possible answers, it has now become a multiple choice thing. Welcome to the new millennium!

Glass ceiling: A good reason for female managers not to wear a skirt and go commando.


Grievance: Irrelevant whining by the staff. Pay no attention.

Gross salary: You saw my pay stub, didn't you?


Harassment: A complex topic that is difficult to understand every nuance of, but is easier to explain in private; say, in my hotel room after drinks...

Hazard pay: The money the Duke boys get annually.

Head count: One each.

Home-based worker: A backcatcher in baseball is a good example.

Horizontal integration: (See 'sexual harassment').

Human resources: All those annoying people that work here.


Illegal immigrant: A wonderful source of cheap labor that won't go whining to authorities if you decide not to pay them.

Image consultant: Selfie advisor. (i.e. 'You have spinach in between your teeth in this one.")

Incentive pay: A legal bribe to get more productivity from the lazy.

Industrial rehabilitation: The cure for Dire Straits' 'Industrial Disease'

Insubordination: Accurately describing individuals in leadership positions.

Intangible rewards: Examples of this include praise and recognition. It's way cheaper than paying bonuses.

Intelligence quotient: Don't worry. Most staff don't appear affected by it enough for it to matter.

Internship: A legal method of getting free labor in exchange for vague promises.


Job: That whale guy in the Old Testament. Not related to the rolling paper dude.

Just cause: Ending world hunger is one.


Key employee: The guy that locks up.

Knowledge assets: A good example would be a set of encyclopaedias.


Labor: An activity that uses ice chips and screaming to produce a baby.

Layoff: What I have to do with potato chips until I get under 200 pounds again.

Leadership: People who enjoy telling folks where to go.

Lost workdays: Workdays that you forgot in your other pants.

Lump-sum payment: The easiest way to get people to take their lumps.


Management: Those who know what they're doing or are in charge. They're rarely the same people.

Mean wage: A wage which is lowdown and nasty. (See also 'gross pay')

Mentoring: Like coaching (see above) only more trendy-sounding.

Metrics: It's all that stupid litres and Celsius stuff.

Minimum wage: What my boss has promised to give me a raise to if I excel at my job.

Mission Statement: A summation of corporate goals other than "Make gobs of cash."


Nepotism: A system of favoring relatives in business invented by royalty and perfected by North Korea.

Nondisclosure agreement: The modern way to buy someone's silence.

Notice: What your boss won't do no matter how hard you work.



Offboarding: A painful exercise similar to waterboarding.

Offshoring: Sending your job to some nice, warm locale instead of you.

Onboarding: 'Welcome to the company. Now enough chit-chat, get to work!'

On-call pay: A legal method of robbing employees of what's left of their free time.

Organization chart: A visual aid showing how far down the corporate ladder you are. Loser.

Overtime: Hockey that's played after the third period in a tie game.


Parental leave: An initiative to rid the workplace of sleep-deprived zombies.

Performance appraisal: A strategy of finding fault with employees to prevent pay raises and unfair dismissal suits.

Personal days: Sounds better than 'too hung over to go to work'.

Privacy: Expect the same amount of privacy in the workplace as you do on Facebook.

Probation: At least there was no jail-time.


Quality control: The opposite of 'freakish control'.


Quit: A popular strategy to avoid being fired.


Rank order: 'I'll have the sauerkraut and sardines on toast, please.'

Recruitment: Strategies used to gain workers necessitated by press gangs having fallen out of favour.

References: A list of people willing to lie for a prospective employee.

Resident aliens: Citizens of Roswell.

Resume: Someone else's life flashing before your eyes for a change.

Risk management: Management often screws up. You sure we should risk having some?


Safety meeting: The safest place at work is in a safety meeting eating donuts.

Self-employed: Cover story for the out of work.

Semi-skilled worker: An employee who can drive an 18 wheeler.

Sensitivity training: Learning how to tolerate a bunch of whiners.

Severance pay: Hush money paid to employees who have severed a limb.

Skill: A type of saw used to get severance pay (see above).

Stakeholder: Van Helsing in the Dracula movies is one example.


Team building: A process by which you blow smoke up employees' butts.

Telecommuting: The only acceptable way of working naked.

Time management: In Canada, it is known as 'McLean's management'.

Trade secrets: I'll tell you one if you tell me one.

Transformational leadership: Buzzwords associated with 'blah blah' and 'yada yada'.

Turnover: A tasty pastry with a fruit filling.


Unemployment rate: Most of the unemployed rate it as "sucky".

Unfair labor practise: Death squads for latecomers would be an example.

Union: Just another group telling employees what to do.


Validation: How to get your parking paid for.

Vision statement: 'We don't pay for prescription glasses here.'

Volunteerism: Activities employees waste their life on when not working.


Wage curve: If you have curves, your wage will be higher than if you don't.

Wellness program: Taking away that whole 'I'm sick!' excuse for absenteeists.

White-collar employee: Staff that is careful to wash their necks properly.

Workforce planning: Probably a mutiny.


Youth: Cheaper than experience but don't get between them and their phone.

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Passwordophobia; It's No Laughing Matter Tue, 13 Jan 2015 00:00:00 MST

The fear is real

Among the more recent entries to the lengthy list of phobias available to the common person, one of the newest and most prevalent is passwordophobia. It is a severely debilitating mental condition that affects us in our workplace, in our homes and even in our pockets, if that's where we keep Our Precious (AKA our smartphone).

What it is, Man

Passwordophobia is actually an amalgam of a number of fears that are all related to passwords. There is the fear of forgetting your passwords, fear of designing easy passwords to remember, which makes them easy passwords to hack, and of course, the very reasonable fear that the sheer number of passwords and passcodes that we are all already drowning in will increase exponentially.

The last fear listed isn't so much a fear as it is a recognition of a reality we are all facing.. We now need multiple secret sign-ons for our home computer, our work computer, our portable devices, our email accounts, our social media accounts, our bank accounts at ATMs.... heck, we even need codes for our car door locks and garages. With the advent of "smart homes" with computer controlled lights, fridges, ranges, etc, we may even someday need to have a password just to flush our toilets. (P00p#app3ns)

Advice on how to deal with passwordophobia abounds on the World Wide Web of intrigue. Unfortunately, expert advice for producing safe, memorable passwords can be confusing, as the so-called experts agree with each other about as often as my wife and I; with consensus being so rare, it is likely accidental.

So what are you going to do about it?

Passwords should be between 8 to 10 letters, say some security gurus, 10 to 12 letters, claim others, while still more recommend a 20+ letter monstrosity that takes longer to input than it does to do the task you're signing on to perform. Oh, and by letters, they mean both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and weird characters like ampersands, atpersands and the Character Formerly Known as the Number Sign which is now referred to as a hashtag, although apparently there is no corned beef involved in the making of it. (#falseadvertising?)

You got a better idea?

"Use free online random password generator programs to get super-duper secure passwords," claim a handful of Internet wonks. If you choose this option, however, you must ensure you trust the website with the password generator machinery not to harvest your password for furthering their own nefarious ends, according to others. What? Trust a random website on the net with my special secret codes? Are they crazy? You might be better off trusting "password wallet" apps.

Down with dictionaries!

"Never use a word found in the dictionary," advise many password pundits. Luckily, being a poor speller, most of the words I type aren't found in the dictionary, anyway. They are, however, terrifically hard to remember later. One would think keeping a Notepad file or Word doc with all of my poorly spelled passwords listed would be the perfect solution. However, password brainiacs maintain that a file with all your passwords on your computer's hard drive is a terrible idea, especially the password to your password wallet. If you get hacked, the dirty, rotten miscreants will find all your passwords. Next thing you know, they will be sending embarrassing, fake emails insulting your friends in your name and running up your Paypal bill buying stuff from Amazon and Kjiji.

To heck with low tech

Keeping your stash of passwords on a piece of paper under your keyboard may seem like the ideal, low-tech answer but is a major no-no, too, however, according to many. Sure, you think you can trust your kids with your Facebook password but next thing you know, you have posts appearing on your timeline which feature you complaining about having explosive diarrhoea or some other disgusting malady. In the password wars, you can trust no one.

You can't take it with you

It is furthermore not recommended that you maintain your password list in your purse or wallet, either, just in case they get lost or stolen. This is because the thieves will not only swipe all your cash, credit cards and Blockbuster membership card, but also use your passwords for evil intent; tweeting stupid things under your Twitter handle for example or signing you up for Candy Crush or World of Warcraft.

It's the leet you could do

There are experts, too, who advise people to swap out numbers for letters to make hacking more difficult. Known as "leet-speak" this is a form of Internet shorthand which includes using, for example, the 0 for an o, 3 as an E and 4 instead of A. Thus, 'password' could be spelled '94$$w0rd'. The only problem with this method is that, according to other Internet security professionals, bad guys know about these popular substitutions, too, as does anyone who is into texting. Thus, they have already programmed their hacking software to accommodate those who use this password-production strategy. Nice try, though.

The security of a life sentence

A few of the password wunderkind suggest that if you want an inscrutable, unhackable password, the thing to do is pick a sentence that holds meaning in your life and then use the first letter of each word in the sentence to create it. For instance, using the sentence, "My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them," would become "MfpdbIdnptwt". Then, mixing in numbers for letters, it may then become "Mf9d8!Dn9Twt". Now throw in a few of those weird characters to create "M#f9d*8!D^n9{Twt" and you'll be safe as can be. No one will be able to access that account, not even you, since trying to remember M#f9d*8!D^n9{Twt is just not going to happen unless you save it on your computer or write it on a note to be stuffed under your keyboard which we already decided was like the 11th commandment not to do.

You wanna mix it up?

To make matters not just worse but virtually impossible, almost all the password pointy heads say that you must never use the same password for more than one purpose. This means you not only have to remember "M#f9d*8!D^n9{Twt", without the help of any crib notes whatsoever, but you have to recall a similarly incomprehensible string of characters for every password protected application in your life. Just trying to wrap your head around this plan makes becoming a Luddite, or embracing the Amish lifestyle, look pretty attractive. There are few passwords needed to drive a horse and buggy.

Once more with feeling

So, let's recap what we have learned about what the experts have said about passwords, bearing in mind other experts have disagreed with some element of every point that is listed:

  • Make it long. The longer it is, the harder it will be to hack. Or remember.
  • Consider using random password generator software. Only randomly, however.
  • Don't use any words found in a dictionary. Unless it is an Esperanto dictionary. Nobody understands Esperanto.
  • Do not keep a list of your passwords on a hard-drive. Too easy to hack.
  • Do not keep a list of your passwords in your wallet or under your keyboard. Too easy to find. Maybe consider renting a safety deposit box; but only if you trust your bank, of course.
  • Swap out other characters for some of the letters. Don't use popular substitutions. Throw in some dingbats for good measure.
  • Turn a sentence into an acronym, then swap out characters until it is completely unrecognizable. Start over with a different sentence for every password. It's okay to cry during this exercise.
  • Repeat this process every two weeks or until you decide you'd rather be hacked than come up with one more *&^*@#$^* password. This is the ultimate effect of passwordophobia.

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Website Tales: My First Online Purchase Wed, 7 Jan 2015 00:00:00 MST

Following a lifetime of a lack of trust concerning online shopping, last week I decided to violate my inviolate personal commandment against the practice. (I find life easier when commandments are viewed more as guidelines).

I must tell you I'm no "Netscape Newbie". I know stuff. I've learned, for example, that Netscape is the number one browser choice for finding a better browser. I have even deduced how to use iTunes; that omnipresent yoke of Apple despotism so well known to every iProduct user, though, admittedly, it required almost a year of my wretched life to accomplish. I can usually stumble my way around most websites, an essential ability in the new millennium that is almost as important as knowing your way around a debit machine.

Still, I'd avoided such sites as Amazon, Kjiji, eBay and all the other craigslists of websites where they try and sell you stuff, but I really had my heart set on having an eBook experience on my ten kilo, coal-fired iPad 1.0. This required me to break my vow of Internet "sell-abacy".

I located the site, and the book I desired, quickly enough. Mayan Calendar Girls does stand out, one must admit, and I gleefully placed the electronic tome carefully in my online "cart". Thanks to my lifelong lack of luck, I ended up with the cart that had a wobbly online wheel.

"How will you be paying?" the prying site demanded to know.

After much consideration, I chose the "Paypal" tab. I'd created an account the month previous but then had chickened out before completing the transaction I'd set it up for. I'd reasoned that it was better to confide in just one company's hard drive with my Visa info rather than two. Upon reflection, this might have been where I went wro... wr... may have slightly erred.

I clicked the "Paypal" option, and instantly it was pop quiz time, or rather, popup quiz time. The window displayed on my monitor insisted that I recall the password I'd invented made up all those weeks ago but never used. I cycled through a list of various old favourites without any appreciable effect. Finally, in frustration and defeat, I clicked the "If you're a dolt who forgot your password, click here" button.

Another pop-up advised further instructions had been sent to my email inbox. Accessing my Hotmail account (hard to believe it was THE email service back in the day) the next step on the treasure hunt was revealed just like the pop-up promised. This surprised me as pop-up windows, I've found make car-curbers appear honest and forthright.

I clicked and was immediately whisked to a "forgetful dummies go here" window which allows one to alter their password. After dozens of passwords had been rejected for being too long, too short or not pleasing enough to The Deity in Charge of Online Security, I eventually hit upon a password that satisfied the Paypal machinery.

I then returned to the site to purchase the book, although my enthusiasm for downloading reading material was significantly reduced. I was consoled somewhat by telling myself I was just on a challenging learning curve that would ultimately become second nature to me, like driving or understanding my wife's jokes.

With my shiny new password, I again located the book and once more moseyed to the e-cashier (using the wobbly-wheeled cart I'd suffered through previously, apparently) and clicked the "Paypal" button. Typing in the new password, I was disheartened by the website's distinct lack of trust in me.

"We could not confirm you are the account holder," scoffed the pop-up message that had appeared.

"The link provided has now expired," chortled another. It provided a couple of options. I could either make another attempt using the same information or try to reset my password yet again.

I chose the latter option and returned to the laborious purchasing process to try my luck. Once more I was callously denied.

"Please ensure you have entered your password and email address correctly. If unable to log in still, please read the Troubleshooting Guide below," said the smarmy window. "Make sure you've spelled your email address correctly, (I had) and that the password and email address match exactly. (It did.) If you experience any problems, click HERE."
I clicked HERE.

"The link that was sent to you has expired," explained another pop-up. "I'm sure I told you this the last time you attempted this operation."

Okay, so maybe it didn't quite use those exact words, but that's how they sounded in my head.

According to Einstein, doing the same thing over and over with the expectation of a different result is a sure sign of insanity, still I persevered. Einstein's observation is clearly not applicable to computers where doing the same thing often results in wildly varying outcomes. It's sort of similar to those USB cords. The small squarish metal tab won't go in the hole so you turn it over, but it still won't slide in so you flip it again whereupon it immediately goes in the hole.

Suddenly, my spirit soared heart with joy and hope, not being connected to my brain and all. I was now eyeing a new window! Not that this one was much more help than its legion of disappointing predecessors, but it was a window I hadn't seen yet at least. Even in my momentary joy, I noticed the tone of the message was decidedly frosty.

"We emailed it to you again," it read curtly. It had the voice of a testy spouse. "We sent another email to your inbox. Click the link contained in the email to enter a new password."

"But we've been over this again and again!" I snarled at the monitor with predictable results; namely, sweet tweet.

That's when I noticed beneath the smarmy pop-up was another, slightly more conciliatory message.

"You still didn't receive our email?" it wondered. "We can verify your account details by telephone. For the contact number click HERE.

I was mad. I did not wish to click HERE, or HERE or even THERE. By this time, I decided was not going to click any place Paypal said I should click. Paypal, I'd concluded, was no pal of mine.

Once again I began jumping through the book-buying hoops. I vowed not to be vanquished by this new nemesis. This time, I ignored Paypal's tantalizing tab and clicked the "credit card purchase", button instead. I was compromising my long-held resolve but I didn't care. I wanted to send a message to the head of Paypal. ("PP Head", I called him in my imaginary conversation).

The Visa transaction proceeded mostly painlessly from there and soon, I was fingering through my latest acquisition.

I've decided not to let my frustration with buying the "eBook" influence whether I prefer tablet text to reading hardcopy books. The fact the book's cover picture features a rather well-endowed Mayan lovely makes me think it may have possibilities after all.

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Five New Year's Resolutions For Your Business in 2015 Wed, 31 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

With the year-o-dometer turning over, it may be a Very Good Thing to look at our personal inventory of issues and try and improve ones self incrementally with a resolution or two. The same could be said for your business. Here are some suggestions for corporate resolutions that will make your company healthier, happier and more profitable in the year to come.

1. Engage completely with social media

When it comes to social media, many companies are mere dabblers. They may indeed have a social media presence but that doesn't mean full engagement. Tweeting promotional posts a couple times a day or even a couple hundred times a day (both bad ideas) does not equate to a genuine social media focus.

Social media is about branding; sharing the image of your company you wish to reflect. The only way to accomplish this is to first define what the image you feel is appropriate for your company, develop consistent messaging that reinforces the 'personality' of your brand (i.e. professional, whimsical, comical, folksy, casual) then push your branding sparingly while networking in the medium. Social media works best when it is nurtured, not forced; think conversations, not monologues.

2. Pay attention to the grumblers

Every business has its Negative Nancy's. Even Winnie-the Pooh had Eeyore in his working group. However, as much as some employees like to grumble and snipe, what they are crabbing about can be revealing. They may very well be giving voice to what the more circumspect, reasonable staff members would like to say but do not.

Paying attention to the whiners does not mean solving every whine, but instead is more about being aware of the complaints out there. Some may actually be easy to solve or serious enough to apply resources too. Never discount the rumblings out of hand as they can grow and grow into something bigger that you may have trouble defeating. Leaders who turn a deaf ear to worker's woes lose a valuable information stream about their company's internal workings.

3. Focus on retention

Competent business leaders and HR specialists know full well that a revolving door in staffing is counter productive and counter profits. It is far cheaper to pay a little bit better, do a little bit more for your people and engage them a little bit more closely than your competitors. New workers cost you money until they are fully trained. Newbies can even negatively affect productivity by taking away seasoned staff for teaching and by making rookie errors that can be quite costly.
Job one is finding out if you have a turnover problem or not. If your rate of turnover is higher than the industry standard, you really need to look deep into why this is and make real changes. Your accountant will thank you for it.

4. Be proactive concerning workplace harassment

In light of the number of recent high-profile harassment cases in the House of Parliament and at the CBC, it is important to remember that impropriety can happen anywhere, in any industry. The best way to manage this reality is to establish policies and protocols for dealing with any concerns or complaints and be prepared to handle them in a fair and non-judgmental manner until all the facts are in. This will save you from potential headaches, bad press and perhaps a lawsuit. This site may be a good place to start.

5. Give up on free

Who doesn't like getting stuff for free? Unfortunately, in business, free stuff is often a case of 'you get what you pay for'. Free organic reach in social media, for example, is every marketing wonk's dream but the reality is that for real reach, you have to pay to play, whether with Google, Twitter, Facebook or any other platforms. You wouldn't expect to get free newspaper ads, why do you think buying social media ads is any different? Whether it is text content or dynamic images for your website, or even the website itself, free is fraught with peril. Google dings you for duplicate content, you can be sued for using unpaid for pics and hidden costs that occur from "free" websites delineated here make "free" a four-letter word. In the long run you're far better off to pay the going rate for whatever your company needs.

Rome wasn't built in a day and it is usually unwise to make too many changes all at once but it certainly behoves us as individuals and companies to try and improve every year. Consider selecting just a couple of initiatives and work on those, saving more changes for when the current initiatives have become part of your culture. Don't try to do everything but whatever you do, don't try to do nothing.

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Edmonton website design company boasts small city advantage Tue, 30 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

The cost of doing business is built into the price of every product and service offered in the marketplace. Firms who fail to properly factor in overhead costs into their pricing models will likely go bankrupt. After all, it can be argued businesses don't pay their rent; ultimately, their customers do.
The goal then, is for smart businesses to find ways to reduce their operating costs. This would allow them to be more competitive than firms with higher overhead. One way to lower that overhead is to reduce lease costs for office space. Luckily, this is easier than you might think, but you have to think small, as in smaller city. Let's look at the math.

Expensive Neighbourhood

Once you've digested the fact your clients pay for your office costs, consider this figure; $47.05. This number as it represents the average cost per square foot to rent office space in Calgary currently. That makes it the highest average rent in Canada. Of course rent-wise, the provincial capital, Edmonton, is quite close behind their rivals down the QEII, as well, with rates almost as astronomical.

Quite the Contrast

Now compare that $47.05 number with another figure; $13.92. That is the average cost per square foot in Leduc, a small, vibrant city just mere minutes south of Edmonton. In fact, it takes less time to drive to Leduc from Millwoods, in the south of Edmonton, than it does to the capital's downtown core. The absolute most expensive office space currently advertised in Leduc goes for 21.49/sq ft. Many lease properties, however, are being offered in the $10.00 neighbourhood; a neighbourhood much easier to afford.

Pay for talent, not for rent

What this means, of course, is that if you buy a service from a vendor in Leduc, a website design company with many Edmonton-based clients, for example, that company can charge considerably less than its big city competitor just on the difference in rent they pay. If you're leasing a 2000 sq ft office at 13.92, you're looking at a monthly bill of $2320 in Leduc. Compare that to the Edmonton/Calgary example of $7840 per month. That's a lot of rent that website customers in those municipalities are being asked to foot the bill for, with no appreciable increase in the quality of service. An office, after all, is only a box with four walls. For the client, it matters little where the website designing and coding functions are being done. Do you really want to contribute your hard-earned money to someone else's ivory tower or invest it in your website?

Close to the action; far from the stress

Besides drastically reduced overhead from savings in rent, there are other advantages to doing business with companies in smaller centers. In less populous places, there is a more laid back approach to business that is not possible in a million-plus metropolis. This is because if you're not paying exorbitant rental rates, like in Edmonton and Calgary, you can afford to be far less pushy in your marketing than someone who has to try and cover almost $8000/month just in lease payments. The reduced need for high pressure tactics make dealing with service providers in smaller cities much more enjoyable; simple to find, free to park at and easy to deal with. The lack of high pressure tactics also attracts excellent staff; ones who appreciate a slower, more genteel lifestyle and a more relaxed setting than they could ever find in the major centres. No gridlock. No rush hour. No costly parking fees. No wonder it is easy to attract top talent to smaller centres.

Being a part of something great

Another advantage to using businesses not located in a big city is the feeling of satisfaction one receives when realizing companies in smaller cities often have a connection to their municipality not always present in larger areas. These businesses sponsor local teams and events, join the Chamber of Commerce, put floats in the annual parade and contribute significantly to their community. They are true corporate citizens and recognize no company is an island any more than any human can be. Sadly, in the Edmontons and Calgarys of the world, it has to be about the all mighty dollar if a company wants to keep their head above water. It's hard to argue with the math.

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A Christmas Wish From Your Friends at INM Tue, 23 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

Our Yule Log Blog
What an exciting twelve months these last ones have been
As the curtain is drawn on 2014.
Our nation is thriving, our business is too,
Our blessings are many while our troubles are few.
Our place in the world is safe and secure.
Our wilderness pristine, our water is pure.
Do you know what we think is our one greatest blessing?
We'll tell you right now to keep you from guessing.
The aspect of life that we treasure most dearly
Is the new clients and friends that we have made yearly.
For business is more than just making dough.
Making contact with people is important you know!
Our friends are what make our work lives worth living.
And we offer the following in the spirit of giving.
"To our customers and clients; we really need ya
Here are the season's best wishes from Industrial NetMedia"

Ten Tips For Better Small Business Search Rankings Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

Mac has a small 'craft' soap company he calls Soapy Sales. He makes high quality cleansing bars with luxurious scents his customers love. Many of his customers buy his soap for gift giving rather than personal use, however, because it is pricier than mass-produced soaps. Mac sells his soap at craft sales, farmer's markets and recently, has bought a website from a reputable web design company to market his products to a wider audience. At first, Mac was excited about the prospects of having a website. He realized with this window to the world, instead of reaching hundreds of people with his marketing efforts, he could reach millions, maybe even billions.

Striking a balance

Although Mac rightly insisted on keeping control of the reins on his website, he knew web design was something he knew nothing about. That was why he left many aspects up to the professionals. Mac, however, was wise enough to ensure the site was set up by experts who could teach him how to maintain his own pages once it went live on the Internet. He knew full well he didn't have time to learn how to build the site but felt he could spare the time to keep it up on his own.

That first Google search

To see how his website was doing, Mac 'googled' the word 'soap'. To his surprise, none of the first set of 'hits' of the 22,400,000 he encountered, had anything to do with soap as he understood it, other than paid advertisers. He knew he'll never beat out those Olay people but was shocked that most listings for soap had nothing to do with, well... soap. He found lots of stuff about "Simple Object Access Protocol" and even information on an old sit-com, but as far as personal hygiene products, not so much. He never did find his site listed, it was buried too deeply.

Unfortunately, Mac failed to grasp one of the essential truths about a website. It is only as effective as the promotional and marketing efforts that go into it. As well, Mac didn't grasp that ranking in search engines doesn't just happen. Effective search engine optimizing is an ongoing activity, not something you do once and walk away. What Mac also didn't know was what he could do to improve his positioning and increase the promotion of his products. Here are ten tips to help Mac maximize the potential reach of his website and sell more soap.

Ensure your professionally designed website can be updated often.

Just as the mantra of real estate sales is 'location, location, location', the SEO version is 'Update, update, update.' Google's web-crawling spider-bots, much like squeegee kids, love change. If they get bored, (the bots not the squeegee kids) they won't return to your site and your rankings will be hurt. Also, the chances are that if the bots find you boring, so will your human visitors. Embrace change!

Insist on your website having a blog page.

One thing Mac has that the masses do not, is expertise in soap manufacturing. A blog is a great way for Mac to share that expertise and establish himself as an authority. If the blogs are interesting and well promoted, they will get read and people will more likely believe in his expertise,,, as well as his contention that his soap is superior. Also of equal importance is that writing regular blogs is an easy way to have something new on your site on an ongoing basis. (Remember Rule Number 1!)

Engage with Social Media as much as time will allow.

Mac believes there are few enough hours in a day as it is and therefore none to spare for the time commitment social media sites demand. In this view, he is as incorrect as when he thought soap with the aroma of runny cheese might sell. Social media is his surest bet to promote his product and increase sales. How else can he tell people around the world what great soap he has and where to find his website? The reality is that a website may be Mac's best marketing vehicle, but social media is the engine that runs it.

Have a photo gallery on your site.

People love the visual impact that photographs and other graphics provide. On websites, pictures paint far more than just a thousand words. As well, much like having a blog system, a photo gallery is a fast, simple and effective way to make changes to your website to attract Google's algorithmic army. Pictures of healthy, attractive men and women would probably work quite nicely for Mac.

Include links to sites from which your customers will get good value.

Another SEO technique is to link your site to other sites with information of interest to soap-minded people, such as, 'The History of Soap', 'How to Make Your Own Soap' or 'The Latest Fad; Living Life Soap and Shampoo Free'. The goal is to get other sites to link to yours because of the quality content.

Prioritize your site's landing page and contact page.

All of Mac's webpages are important, of course, but two are paramount. Number one is the page visitors will see first; the landing page with the offers his marketing thrust use as 'bait' to attract customers. The second is the page that allows his customers to contact him. It is vital for Mac to realize that any links, content or pages that aren't directly supportive of the landing page offers or that doesn't directly urge visitors to go to the contact page are a distraction to the customer and counter-productive to capturing leads.

Avoid features that slow the response time of your site.

When Mac accidently found Soap, the TV show, on Google, he thought it might be funny to feature a video snippet of the program for his site. Unfortunately, features such as video tend to slow down how quickly a webpage can load. The slower the load time, the worse your SEO.

Use Tags to Influence your SEO.

For our friend, Mac, it is imperative his tags, titles and text are directly geared to shout 'GREAT SOAP FOR SALE!' It is equally important, however, not to overdo it as Google will penalize Mac if he tries to use the word 'soap' too often. Knowing how much is enough or more than enough is vital.

Employ the strength of others in areas you're weak.

Given the lack of spare time Mac has to spare for marketing, it is simply smart business to outsource the aspects of his website he lacks expertise in. Whether it is in the design of the site, writing the text and blogs or enhancing search optimization, there is no point in Mac wasting hours doing what a professional can accomplish in minutes. This is an area where a 'do-it-yourself' mindset may be the entirely wrong approach.

Give visitors a reason to bookmark your site and return often. In Mac's case, having ongoing promotions on certain aromas, printable coupons and feedback tools might increase revisit rates. One example of the latter could be a poll regarding what new scents to offer next. This would encourage customers to contact you with their email address which in cyberspace is worth real money as it allows you to identify individuals who are your best target market.

Thanks to Mac slowly, but regularly updating his site to reflect these ten tips, he has finally begun ranking on Google where he can actually see his site's link and monitor the effects of any other tweaks he makes. He may never make page one for just the word 'soap' but then again, neither did Dial, or Zest or Irish Spring. When, however, he googled 'hand made craft soap', he found himself ahead of those other guys because he narrowed his focus and helped his potential customers find him.

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What is Panda 4.1 and Does it Even Matter? Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

Recently, the company known as God... I mean, Google, updated their electron-based algorithmic droids, their 'algo-bots' to once again tweak how their SEO ranking systems work. The company claimed that the reconfiguration was designed to boost the websites that have original, high quality content against those that regurgitate content found on numerous other sites. The stated goal was to reward small to medium-sized websites that contain rich, informative content, as well as to increase the usability of the search engine for a world that loves to 'google' stuff.

Since understanding Google's all-powerful algo-bots is the Holy Grail of SEO gurus, the search optimization community immediately weighed in on the effects of the switch. Reading the myriad of "expert opinions" regarding the initiative, it seems the winners and losers were a great deal different than what Google had foreseen. Content that was supposed to be suppressed as "thin" or lacking originality and fraught with reprints, such as song lyric sites and medical advice sites were definitely adversely affected. The sites that ranked much better following the change, however, were most curious. They included such sketchy web places as Pirate Bay, which appears to encourage copyright invasion, and a vast array of extremely naughty porn sites which I now have to explain to the boss why I visited.

Ultimately, the reality is that, although there are some SEO techniques that are universally accepted as having a positive ranking effect; using all your tag fields properly, for instance, there really is only one sure way of getting noticed by those web-crawling spider-bots. Forget them. Ignore them. The most important thing you need to do to maximize your organic reach in any search engine is to ensure your site has high quality, original content updated regularly. If you make your website as interesting, user-friendly and fun to visit as you can, the bots will do the rest.

For the number crunching enthusiasts in the crowd, here is a comprehensive list of the winners and losers of Panda 4.1 out of the gate thanks to Hopefully we won't get beat up for publishing second-hand content by the bot police.

Domain - Loser Before After Change in % 16383 3413 -79% 118771 25197 -79% 12268 296 -76% 13225 3229 -76% 69354 18376 -74% 13232 3788 -71% 29365 8781 -70% 30848 93937 -70% 14161 441 -69% 20351 6537 -68% 16769 5503 -67% 18226 5995 -67% 27476 9058 -67% 12258 4136 -66% 10037 342 -66% 20907 7337 -65% 13373 4826 -64% 42679 15697 -63% 14849 5729 -61% 12547 4907 -61% 18403 7235 -61% 23006 9779 -57% 10756 4611 -57% 14067 6277 -55% 11265 5149 -54% 17244 8208 -52% 16944 8077 -52% 118017 56735 -52% 20178 9736 -52% 17264 9016 -48% 30739 16266 -47% 30493 163548 -46% 25357 13969 -45% 47733 26383 -45% 21172 12141 -43% 18047 10553 -42% 17652 10448 -41% 19472 11624 -40% 25339 15152 -40% 286956 172836 -40% 43295 2674 -38% 48603 30085 -38% 47279 2932 -38% 26622 16609 -38% 22762 14246 -37% 18965 1192 -37% 34385 21638 -37% 33042 21012 -36% 24599 15775 -36% 33412 21799 -35% 76279 50134 -34% 30014 1977 -34% 1251213 827093 -34% 42565 28358 -33% 110818 74347 -33% 190251 127762 -33%





Domain - Winner Before After Change in % 2632 38231 1353% 135 68372 406% 8963 42916 379% 17209 71434 315% 6839 27876 308% 8563 32957 285% 30624 109148 256% 6431 22864 256% 10727 38068 255% 2813 89573 218% 11818 37065 214% 11809 34631 193% 2571 67457 162% 21679 55059 154% 42806 104764 145% 11606 28319 144% 12242 28062 129% 11868 27195 129% 36738 76969 110% 18519 38775 109% 19836 41088 107% 79499 164323 107% 25874 52886 104% 25303 50326 99% 24262 47482 96% 120733 212827 76% 23559 40897 74% 36201 59205 64% 25973 41246 59% 34511 53817 56% 137257 21076 54% 28288 43284 53% 105715 160152 51% 100684 149017 48% 53907 77933 45% 45185 65237 44% 117933 168931 43% 121742 171708 41% 49936 70185 41% 180553 252922 40% 153512 213758 39% 70386 97103 38% 53221 73249 38% 44614 60412 35% 95757 128887 35% 104606 140213 34% 157693 208496 32% 18069 238733 32% 2124356 2774647 31% 50578 65093 29%


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The Many Reasons You Can't Afford a 'Free' Website Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

A kid came to my door the other day with such a deal; free puppies! They were cuter than a bug's ear, or indeed any other part of an insect you could name. (Who, after all, has ever seen a cute Lepitdopteral thorax or set of mandibles?) Despite their soul-rending plaintive whines and heart-melting puppy-dog eyes, I let logic make my decision. This was no free offer, despite the entreaties of the 8 year-old scam artist on my doorstep. The small factoid the wee lad was hiding from me was that these puppies may not cost anything at the outset, but according to the Ontario Veterinary Medicine Association, the cost of caring for a "free" dog is over $2000.00 a year. "Free" kitties are only slightly less expensive at a whopping $1500.00 per annum. Over the cost of the life of the pet, you can be looking at between $20,000 to $40,000. Pretty expensive investment for a free commodity, although some might argue it's the only true way you can actually buy love.

Free websites can cost even more than free puppies

Now consider one of those "free" website offers that are ever floating around in cyberspace. In many ways, they are about as free as those puppies were that landed on my doorstep. I was certainly taken in by the thought of something so valuable, a well-laid out, attractive website, being priced so low. In fact, I even "bought" one back in the day to promote my writing career. It was a real learning experience and the first thing I learned is that it was a long ways away from being free.

Stupidity may be a factor

The problem is that, at the time, I was a freelance writer; long before I had joined a team of website development experts.  Therefore, in order for me to get a decent-looking website, the first thing I had to do is to spend hours and hours on a difficult learning curve trying to become proficient at something I'm certain I will never be all that good at doing. Sadly, it was just as I tell my wife when she wants me to do plumbing work in the house, "My talents lie elsewhere".

The learning curve for me was so troublesome, in fact, that I actually hired a consultant to help with my website design education. The lady was a real pro and did help me a lot... for a fee. When I proved to be a terrible student, she eventually gave up on me. Ultimately she generously laid out the site for me which she hadn't agreed to do, then cashed my check and blocked all my emails. Although I had a pretty good looking, operational website, at first, ever since it went online, it has been going seriously downhill. One can't neglect a website and expect good results any more than one can neglect a pet.

How will you be paying: cash, credit card, debit or precious time off your finite life?

Figuring that a fairly decent average wage for a guy my age and life situation is, say, $25.00/hour, after a month spent trying, failing, fiddling and cursing, not to mention paying my consultant, I estimate the first 30 days of website ownership probably cost me about $500.00 in time and cold, hard cash. Factoring in the constant updates and extra education I still needed, I anticipated this "free" website, over the course of a year, could cost me thousands of dollars. My time, as discussed, is not free and the work doesn't come even close to qualifying as playtime. Website design is real work.

There's more? What the SEO are you talking about?

Unfortunately, depending on the purpose of your website, your mounting costs have yet to be capped. There are still other considerations that could definitely have a monetary impact on you. If I am selling a product, for example, I would have to factor in the cost of lost business because of a whole litany of reasons. For example, take SEO. Until recently, I thought it stood for Social Entertainment Options. How can I possibly get decent Google rankings when I don't even know the jargon, never mind the techniques that enhance it?

Is your site driving profits or driving customers away?

I should also factor in the cost of poor graphic design. Experts can tell you where to put images for greatest impact, how far your text should go down the page and how to phrase things for the most persuasive effect. Large, hugely successful companies know the value of effective design and invest a lot of money into it. Poor design, however, confuses customers and can drive them away just as surely as cramming them into the trunk of your car and speeding off.


There's a reason people pay for Marketing courses

Another cost that "free" sites fail to mention is that their offers do not come with any marketing expertise. If you are putting up a site with no marketing savvy, rather than a sales tool, you will only be the owner of an Internet footnote. Let's be clear; knowledge and understanding about effective marketing strategies is not information one is born with. That's why they offer it in college and university courses. Like so much in life, marketing expertise is often a case of you get what you pay for.

Do you want to sell a product or be a product?

One vital issue that must be brought forward when dealing with "free" is the cost to your personal, professional and system security. There is a saying in cyberspace that if someone is offering something for free, YOU are likely the product. No one does anything for nothing; therefore you have to ask yourself how companies offering freebies make their money. More often than not, the price you're paying is the information the company is mining off of you through your "free" site. They may even be stealing your customers right out from under your prose.

It's like buying a car with no motor. Or headlights. Or steering wheel. Or windows...

Lack of functionality is also an added cost that must be factored in when comparing "free" websites with their paid counterparts. If commerce is your goal, do the webtools available through your provider give you all the elements you require to run a successful web-based business? Do they have features such as a Shopping Cart, Blog Space, a Product Catalog, Customer Login, Private Area, Lead Capture capability, a Newsletter system, Photo Gallery, Ad Manager, Traffic Analytics, Customer Service, Cool Sliding Graphics, Job Postings, Job Applications, HR Integration, Testimonials, and is Mobile Responsive to boot? The latter is of grave concern since Internet analytics show that the majority of users who will be viewing your site will not likely be on a desktop computer. The majority will access your site through a tablet or smart-phone that can mash up your graphics like you'd thrown them in a blender. Then who will you be selling to? Picasso? Salvador Dali?



What? You mean there are yet more costs to consider?

Besides the multitude of costs already listed, there are many more factors that can lose you money, fail to make money you should have made, or outright costs you money, These would include:


  • Cost of not having a home page that tells your visitors what you sell, how to get it and why they should do business with you. There is a whole science behind effective landing pages. If you don't know the science, you may as well open your windows to allow the winged dollar bills to fly out.
  • Cost of not knowing what to do after having a new website up and running. If you build it, they won't just come on their own. There is, after all, no successful product ever developed that didn't require at least some promotion to make customers aware of its existence.
  • Cost of having competitors ads on your website. Most, if not all, "free" website hosters demand their site users have ads on your pages of the hosting company's choosing. This takes away greatly from your professionalism and depending on the ad, it might even rob you of customers.
  • Cost of having a slow website. Free websites are hosted on crowded server farms. Google penalizes slow websites and will send less traffic your way. Slow websites are not just infuriating but downright painful to navigate. Surely your customers have enough irritation and frustration in their lives.
  • Cost of paying your nephew or to get 'the cousin of a buddy's former roomate who can do it cheap cheap' to help you fix your site, if you can actually get them to answer their phone. You might have to block your number or borrow a friend's cell phone to call them.
  • Cost of eventually having to build a professional website after wasting your time working on the free one. For a small fee, they may even line you up with a counselor to help you move past the remorse of the bad decision to try a "free" website provider in the first place.

So, can you afford free?

In the end one needs to be realistic about your website needs. Are you a professional business person or just a hobbyist with time on your hands? If you are on the net to make money, you must accept there are always costs. However, if you have trouble filling your day with things to do, a "free" website might just be what you need. Either that or a free puppy.

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Introducing Our New, Improved Website Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

Classy, Quick, and Quite An Eyeful

We're not talking about the latest Hollywood starlet or a '57 Chevy convertible, we are referring to our brand new website masterfully produced by the creative minds at Industrial NetMedia to showcase our company. Bathed in cool blues with great use of a dynamic rotator above-the-fold display, the Home Page is visually stunning and instantly captivating.

Look Out Below!

Below the fold you will see that a precision scalpel has been applied to the clunky, wordy text of past iterations and what remains is slick, readable and eminently engaging. With convenient tabs highlighting the company's strengths such as Web Design, Database Programming, Branding and Marketing, the page delivers a model that swiftly directs you to exactly where you want to go.

Services With a Smile

A glimpse at our Services Page will show the continuation of the home page dynamism with lots of short blocks of texts alongside easy to find link buttons leading to the various services provided by Industrial NetMedia. In no time at all, you can get a comprehensive overview of all the ways INM can help your business prosper in the Internet Age.

What Have We Done For You Lately?

Check out our Portfolio Page to see a selection of the latest websites we have built for some of our clients. See what we've done, what you like and what you'd like to see on your own site when you make your first foray into cyberspace.

Get With the Program

A trip to the Products Page will provide a panoramic view of the great line of business-centric software that has been proprietary produced by INM. We have available a litany of software such as HR Director, ShiftShaper, SafetySpot and many more off the rack business hacks for Alberta businesses; particularly the oil gas and alternative energy industry. If you have a business, we have a product you need.

You're in Good Company

Learn about our company and the things we hold dear on our Company Page. See how we endeavour to be a great corporate citizen with our community efforts. We even offer discounts for non-profits and small businesses; both of which combined, are the threads that hold the fabric of Alberta society together.

The Blog Driver's Waltz

A peek at our News Page is an entertaining trip through our blog library featuring information and opinion on business-related topics that speak to Business Managers, HR Directors, Safety Supervisors and others in a firm's head office hierarchy. Take a stroll through the published pieces and you'll be sure to discover new information that will help make your business better.

Get a Contact High!

Here's our Contact Page so you can get the high points of our products and services. Let us start on your new website today! Inquiries are always welcome and estimates are always free.

New Blogs Abound in the World of INM Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 MST

It is an exciting time at Industrial NetMedia as we have had an explosion of content grace our sites. There has been a renewed effort to share our expertise and opinions with our current customers, potential clients and the world at large in a number of areas.

Our very latest is a timely piece about how management can maximize the team-building opportunity presented by the annual company Christmas party in an HR Director blog, "Managing the Annual Christmas Party". Check it our for valuable insights into doing it right no matter what the budget.

Another recent addition to our SafetySpot blogs is an article concerning the "Top 10 Terrific Reasons Your Company Needs Safety Training Software". If you don't have this software, you won't want to miss the blog.

If your HR department is tired of the revolving door represented by serial onboarding, here are  a baker's dozen of tips to prevent your best talent from looking for greener pastures. You can thank us later.  It is called, "13 Terrific Tips For Improving Retention" although, sadly, it won't improve your memory.

We also have a revealing article about the health risks of working shift work and what can be done to soften the body blow throwing your circadian rhythm out of whack delivers. The blog is entitled "Negating the Effects of Shift Work"  and has been shared by more Facebook users than any other of our posts.

Last, but certainly not least is a humorous article written for the HR field that shows a fanciful history of the HR profession from 4 Billion years ago to the present. The piece which actually does have real facts contained within, albeit well hidden, is sure to entertain. You're sure to enjoy "HR Timeline From 4 Billion BC to Present".