Blab Launches Business Babes Windsor

Business Babes Windsor

Entrepreneurship can be incredibly difficult. It can be stressful, tiring, exhausting, scary and often times, it can isolate you from friends and family who just don’t understand what you’re going through. It’s for this reason that I decided to start a small Facebook community where female entrepreneurs in the Windsor area can connect, network, educate and inspire each other on a regular basis. Members can share their entrepreneurship story, reach out for insight, promote events/promotions, ask questions, share inspiration, motivate others and just enjoy connecting with other women who understand their mindset and goals.

Business Babes Windsor is in its infancy right now, but it would be great to see more female entrepreneurs join up. Being a mentor is such a valuable experience and I’m a big advocate of helping others succeed. In my opinion, we rise by lifting others and this group makes that possible. Whether you’ve been an entrepreneur for years, you just started a business or you’re curious about what it all entails, this group offers the perfect casual backdrop for conversation and education at any level.

Supporting local is incredibly important to me so encouraging others to explore entrepreneurship by providing them with the tools, network and support they need is the best way to give back to Windsor. Small, independent businesses are what make every city unique and vibrant. Plus, at the end of the day, the world could use more dreamers and doers!

Facebook Launches Messenger Day To Compete With Snapchat

Big news from Facebook this week but it seems like we’ve heard it all before. Surprise! Yet another Snapchat clone has entered the social realm and so far, it’s exactly what I expected. While it offers stickers, the ability to doodle and other similar Snapchat features, the prospect of opening the “dark social” door and inviting in the Facebook world is not something I’m ready to do and I think many other people agree. Not only that, but it’s no secret that each platform has its own function/value so adding these Snapchat copycat features comes across as slightly desperate. There’s nothing wrong with trying to attract a valuable digital audience but loosing sight of your brand identity and straying away from your core offerings for the sake of keeping up with competitors is a whole other story.

Have you used Facebook’s Messenger Day yet?
Do you plan on incorporating it into your daily social itinerary?

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Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week!

During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Global Entrepreneurship Week is about celebrating the entrepreneurs who make our economy and our cities better. It’s about encouraging everyone to explore the opportunities entrepreneurship presents while connecting people with success stories and peers from around the world who share a similar mindset.

Although I may not be attending any big events or competitions this week, I’m happy to be reflecting on my decisions and my personal entrepreneurial journey. When I first dove into the world of entrepreneurship six years ago and began jotting down name ideas for what would become Blab Media, I had no idea what the future would hold. I started my business as a way to find a job within a market that didn’t offer me enough options. At the time, it was a difficult decision and I was honestly quite scared. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Ironically enough, I still have my ups and downs but that’s just how entrepreneurship works. Some days you celebrate and others you struggle but when you close your laptop at the end of the day, when you walk away from your desk and turn off the lights in your office, there’s this sense of accomplishment thats beyond compare. It’s knowing that even if you do fail, you’ve done something that most wouldn’t dare try. You’ve survived without a steady/constant income, you’ve worked ridiculous hours, you’ve sacrificed and you’ve had to pave the way for your own success. There is truly nothing comparable to the feelings that entrepreneurship evokes. It’s a fire in your soul that can’t be put out and I’d have it no other way.

 

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week to my fellow entrepreneurs and to all the inspired minds of the future #GEW2016

Blab Delivers Free Windsor Goodies To Deserving Windsorites

Last week Blab was out and about around Windsor with Rose City Sport & Social Club giving out lots of free goodies and smiles to complete strangers. We’d been working together on this campaign for over a month and from May 2nd-6th we were finally ready to hit the streets! Myself and two RCSSC team members set out to a variety of locations each day to surprise an unsuspecting individual with a Play Pack full of Windsor goodies that were provided by generous local businesses. The Play Packs included coffee from March 21st Bean & Leaf Cafe downtown, tickets to the Windsor Spits home opener game, passes for Urban Surf, a fresh rose from The Bourbon Rose Florist, tickets to see a MasterWorks performance from The Capitol Theatre, a John Max gift card, a cupcake from Sweet Revenge Bake Shop, EPIC Winery Passes from Tourism Windsor-Essex, Steam Whistle swag and a voucher for a free sign-up with Rose City Sport & Social Club all stuffed into a branded bag and tied up with balloons. How amazing is that?!

We called ourselves the Day Makers and I can honestly say, we did a fantastic job of making people’s days a little brighter. Seeing people surprised, smiling and happy made all the hard work worth while. CBC even joined us to surprise a teacher who was nominated at Sandwich West Public School! Although the whole experience was amazing, the highlight for me was when the team and I were walking down the street and spotted a young girl giving her Subway lunch to a homeless man. We just had to pass on the kindness so we caught her at the street light and made sure she knew that what she did for that man did not go unnoticed. She was on top of the world!

In a city that can be so full of uncertainty and negativity, it was nice to go out and spread some happiness. After five full days of adventure, photos, smiles, excitement and genuine happiness, I can honestly say the campaign was a success but we couldn’t have done it without all the donations from our amazing business sponsors so thank you very much for your kindness. A big thank you also goes out to Rose City Sport & Social Club for spreading the love. I’m a firm believer that together we can lift up this city one surprise/smile/good deed at a time!

-Katie

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Will Facebook's New Reactions Feature Help Or Hinder Social Communication?

This morning as I scrolled through my seemingly endless Facebook News Feed, I had a chance to check out the new Reactions feature that is now available when you hover over the “Like” button anywhere on the website. Reminiscent of Buzz Feed’s Reactions, the new option lets you express how you feel about a friend’s update with a pre-selected emoji that is assigned to a specific response (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry). While the selection is small to start, I’m sure the options will continue to grow once Facebook has a chance to test it out and see how users respond.

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan. I find that real, genuine interaction on Facebook is already so difficult to come by and that giving people another way to opt out of actual conversation isn’t exactly a step in the right direction. There seems to be a delicate balance between simply “Liking” a status and becoming a legit internet troll these days and I don’t think these reactions are going to help. You know when you post something and in your mind it’s the funniest, smartest, happiest, most insightful thing you’ve ever said? You start imagining all the interaction, engagement and conversation it’s going to generate and in the end it falls flat with 25 “likes” and one comment from your Grandma that consists of three poorly selected emojis. That entire situation seems all too common these days, especially on Facebook where people confuse interaction/engagement with a hollow “like” on your status or photo. It seems that as time passes, these networks are becoming less about genuine action and more about social image. Or maybe I’m just too much of an emoji-snob? Who knows!

What do you think of this new feature? Do you think it will add value to your every day interactions on Facebook or will it only make communication on the platform worse?

 

Facebook Reactions Fetaure

McDonald's Launches Social Media Site To Answer Customer's Food Questions

If you’ve ever wanted to ask McDonald’s a question about their food, now is your chance! The fast-food giant has just launched a social media based site that allows people to connect through Facebook or Twitter and post their question publicly on the site. Each question shows details including the person’s photo, their location and once the question has been responded to by McDonald’s, the answer is easily accessible. If the question has yet to be answered, you have the option to “follow” it so you can be notified when the answer is provided.

McDonalds social media food questions

There have been a lot of questions about the quality and cut of beef they use for their burgers, some questions about their eggs, size portions etc. Some questions are answered with videos or photos and others with just a simple paragraph of text that, fortunately, doesn’t read like an automated bot.

So far we’re really impressed with the speedy response time and the overall look and feel of this new site. Seeing a big brand like McDonald’s integrate social media into a project like this is exciting. It’s always great to see companies using social media to help solve different problems or gaps in their marketing campaign. This is an instance where other mediums simply could not offer what social media brings to the table. Check it out if you get a chance and let us know what you think. Would you like to see more companies using a social media based Q&A service?

Open Up Your World With Social Discovery Apps

We are surrounded by people we don’t know on a daily basis, but what if those ‘strangers’ really aren’t as unfamiliar as we thought? A new breed of apps, categorized as “social discovery’ or ‘ambient awareness’ apps, has been generating a lot of interest. These apps enable you to connect with people based on your current location, relationships and/or common interests.

Apps such as Highlight, Sonar, Glancee, Banjo and Kismet work across social networks by combining check-ins and geotracking with social media platforms like Facebook to provide profile information of people within a close proximity. Keeping in mind that all apps work slightly different than one another, their main objective is to connect you with people based on location, relationships and similarities. Depending on the app used, locations are tracked either by the app itself (using gps tracking) or through check-ins and status updates. When a connection and/or friend is close by or within a set perimeter, your app will notify you with a ping or alert. You are then able to view their profile and connect with them through the app.

Let’s say I stop at my local coffee shop and check-in. My app will notify me if a friend, connection or someone with similar interests is at the same coffee shop or within the area. Let’s just say a classmate of mine is at that same coffee shop, my app will ping me with a notification that they are at the same location as me. This information is retrieved based on their check-in (Ex: Foursquare) and their profile relation to me (Ex: Facebook friends). I can then choose to engage in conversation with them via the app or find them and strike up a conversation in person.
What are the benefits for users?
1. Tells you what your relationship is with someone at the same location, event or check-in spot (ex: you follow them on Twitter, you have a mutual Facebook friend, etc)

2. Helps you find like-minded people to connect with at the same location, event or check-in spot (ex: you both like a certain band, or both share the same religious beliefs, etc)

3. It’s a virtual venue to meet and engage with people similar to you

The current debate is whether or not these apps will catch on or become accepted by social media and smart phone users. Some people may not be ready to accept this new form of locating, meeting and engaging with strangers. The other factor to consider is the issue with safety or security. Is an app of this nature safe for people to opt-in to and is it invading your privacy? We assume only time will tell as the app grows in use and popularity. Will you be checking out social discovery apps?

Social Booking Site Pinterest Gains Momentum

Jessica was immediately addicted. She spent hours pouring over recipes and ogling adorable pet photos. It took some convincing, but she finally encouraged me to check out the social bookmarking site for myself and since joining I haven’t looked back.

Pinterest prides itself on connecting people all over the world through things they find interesting. It’s a social bookmarking site focused entirely on visuals. Users create a profile with as many custom “boards” as they want. These boards help them organize their interests (pins). To simplify things, your profile is essentially like a bunch of bulletin boards and whenever you come across something of interest online, you can “pin it” to the board of your choice and keep all your favourite things organized. After using the service I can honestly say that bookmarking based on visuals is a lot more appealing and fun than simply dropping a link on your toolbar or in your online folders and finding it months later buried in the clutter.

Pinterest

As a marketing tool Pinterest offers value for a variety of reasons. When users join and create a profile, they are given the option to add a “Pin-It” bookmarklet to their toolbar which allows them to add pins to their boards without even browsing the Pinterest site. This bookmark allows users to grab any photo from any site and attach it to a board on their profile. Anytime someone “pins” something from your site, you can gain thousands of potential new site visitors depending on the size of the users Pinterest network. It all comes back to positive word of mouth!

Local Windsor business Intimate Weddings has found some serious value in Pinterest. The husband and wife duo maintain an abundant source of all things wedding related on their website and are extremely impressed with Pinterest as a marketing tool. The platform allows them to share photos and wedding inspiration with hundreds of women online. It’s a place for them, as a business, to interact with brides-to-be and it promotes transparency. People like knowing that a business is made up of real people with real opinions and Pinterest helps Intimate Weddings connect with women on that personal level.

Just as Facebook offers “like it” buttons and Google+ offers “+1” buttons, Pinterest offers a “Pin-It” button that can be placed on any website so visitors can pin the content and share it with their network on Pinterest. Naturally the site can’t come close to Facebook or Google in terms of the number of users, but it’s a growing trend that will take the web by storm sometime soon. The site has already garnered interest from industry professionals and is sure to make a big splash in 2012. Check out the site for yourself and see what all the hype is about but don’t forget you’ll need an invite from a current user in order to join!

The Future of Social Media: Top 5 Predictions for Social Media in 2012

Social Media played a prominent role in 2011 – not only proving its worth from a business and marketing prospective, but also emerging as a driving force in worldwide social and political movements. Social Media promises exciting new changes and even more success in 2012!

5. Social Goes Mobile
Nearly 50% of consumers now equipped with Smartphones, making it impossible to deny that these devices will prove to be the next phase of social networking activities. The power behind the mobile social movement lies in the capacity for smartphones to track where consumers are, who their friends with, and what’s nearby. Social mobile efforts in 2012 will focus on tracking what and where consumers are purchasing.

4. Twitter Supports Brand Marketing
Twitter’s release of business-friendly features will continue to drive this medium as a pivotal tool for brand advertising. Twitter continues to prove its ability to spark viral movements, increase word-of-mouth, and promote link sharing, making it a highly effective platform for spreading brand messages to consumers. Simplicity and effectiveness are the key strengths driving the increased integration of Twitter into traditional advertising campaigns. In 2012, brand advertising methods such as television commercials, will begin to integrate Twitter tags to push consumers to the site.

3. Television Programming Integrates Social Networking
Television viewing has naturally adopted social media activities, with many viewers already tweeting, texting, or calling their friends to discuss the shows they are watching.

In 2012, expect more shows that ask viewers to vote and interactive through their social networks, adding a whole new layer of content to traditional media. The launch of the new network, Get Glue, the TV equivalent of Foursquare, allows users to “Check In” to their favorite shows in order to collect stickers that tell the world what programs they like. Social media integration into our TV viewing habits will continue to gain popularity as the ratings for fully integrated programing becomes available.

2. Social Feedback Sparks Global Change
The Occupy Wall Street movement shed significant light on social media’s capacity for rallying the masses. Consumer reactions to political, social, environmental, and economic challenges are felt in real-time through the social feedback and link-sharing ability of site such as YouTube.

Be prepared for the major political campaigns of 2012 to depend heavily on social networks and the power of social feedback. Political candidates will turn their attention towards building their political platform from their social platforms, meaning we’ll be forced to sit through less annoying television commercials, while our personal opinions will be considered more valuable than ever before.

1. Google+ Gains Clout
Although most people still aren’t sure if Google+ resembles the social structure of Facebook or the idea-driven architecture of Twitter, the New Year promises to see a rise in popularity of this particular form of social media.

More users are already signing up for Google+ and the term is officially the second-fastest rising search term of 2011, proving that the future is bright for this part-social network and part-social search initiative. Get ready to watch Google continue to blend the Plus platform into its other offerings, particularly through Gmail and toolbars, in the effort to help users incorporate Google+ into their daily social networking habit.

The Top Five Social Media Epic Fails Of 2011

5) Ashton Kutcher Supports Paterno
In November of 2011, there was a media uproar over the Penn State sexual abuse case involving long time head coach Joe Paterno. When Ashton received news of Joe Paterno’s termination, he was quick to fire the tweet “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #no class as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste” without the full knowledge of the situation. Kutcher was attacked via twitter for his tweet and later deleted his post once he realized the full extent of the controversial mishap. Unfortunately, even after apologizing for his uneducated comment, the damage had already been done and the viral backlash was too much to handle. Soon after, Ashton posted a blog announcing that due to the recent events, he would be turning over his social networking presence to his management team.

Word to the wise: When you are a prominent figure in the public eye, social media posts can be crucial. Know before you post!

4) Chrysler Disses Detroit Drivers
A New Media Strategies employee in charge of Chrysler’s social media mistakenly posted ““I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f*#!ing drive” on the companies twitter account @ChryslerAutos. Although the employee’s intent was to post on his own personal account, the results were damaging. Consequently, the employee was fired for the mishap and New Media Strategies was also let go from further working with Chrysler.

Word to the wise: When you are large scale company, it’s vital that you investigate who it is you hire to run your social media. The destruction of one mistake can have a huge impact on your company.

social media epic fails 2011

3) Alec Baldwin’s Twitter Tantrum
Alec Baldwin was recently kicked of an American Airlines flight for playing on his smartphone while waiting for departure. He turned to twitter to vent and posted such tweets as “’Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing “Words With Friends” while we sat at the gate, not moving” and used the hash tag #theresalwaysunited. Alec additionally vented his frustration on a guest appearance on SNL, where he further poked fun at the incident. Numerous comments and media blasts were sent out in reference to Baldwin’s inappropriate behaviour on the air craft by fellow travelers. Alec Baldwin’s Twitter account has since been deactivated.

Word to the wise: Inappropriate or controversial social media content can be damaging to your reputation, so be careful when it comes to venting on your Twitter or Facebook accounts; it just may come back to haunt you.

2) Weinergate
In May of this year, Democratic United States Congressman Anthony Weiner was caught up in a sexting scandal, in which he sent a sexually suggestive picture to a 21-year old college student who was following his account. The link was deleted short after it was posted, but it had already been captured by fellow tweeters. Although he denied it was him in the photos and claimed his account was hacked, he was still pressured to resign from his position as congressman.

Word to the wise: It’s crucial that when someone holds a prominent public role or position, they should be ethically conscious of their online personal activities.

1) Charlie Sheen Not Winning
We were all bombarded at the beginning of 2011 with Charlie Sheen and his public sanity breakdown. As a result of a radio interview with The Alex Jones Show where Sheen lashed out at producer Chuck Lorre, he was later dismissed from his spot on the hit television series Two and Half Men. Sheen further fired back by posting a malicious Youtube video directed at Chuck Lorre, along with many other public displays of hatred towards the Two and a Half Men crew. He additionally took his insanity to Twitter and Youtube where he continued to post various bizarre, threatening and in-your-face content.

Word to the wise: It is likely that your employers are either watching or are aware of your social media activity. Be aware of the appropriateness of your posts and who they are directed at, because material on your personal accounts can be extremely damaging when it comes to your job and future career.