On my walk home from lunch this past Tuesday, I ran into Chris Campbell from CTV Windsor while he was speaking with some passersby about the death of Robin Williams. Being a huge fan myself, I offered to provide some commentary for the news story and was lucky enough to be featured on Tuesday’s 6pm news segment! Below is the link to the clip and if you skip to 11:28, you’ll catch me talking about my favourite Robin Williams movie! -Katie
As part of the Youth Retention Task Force, Blab Media is proud to announce that the task force has received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for $105,500 that will be used to fund an 18-month pilot project that was designed to connect youth with job opportunities in Windsor-Essex. As part of this pilot project, the task force has also created a full time contract job that will provide one well-qualified young person with a valuable employment opportunity.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza were on hand to announce the funding and meet the members of the task force.
The Windsor Star
By: Monica Wolfson
January 2nd 2013
The women behind startup Blab Media do a lot more than just talk.
St. Clair College graduates Katie Stokes, 24, and Jessica Apolloni, 26, have spent the past two years pushing area businesses into the digital age.
The women met while working at an insurance agency and urged their employer to explore accessing customers via social media. The women spent their lunch hours planning a social media company.
Months later, Stokes’s contract ended and she spent her days drafting a business plan and creating a website. They launched the company in October 2010 by sending white pumpkins painted blue, the company’s colours, to contacts at St. Clair College and in the media. Initially, Stokes worked full time while Apolloni kept her graphic design job for the first six months.
“It was scary, really, really scary,” Apolloni said about quitting her job to focus on Blab Media. “I was about to turn 25. If I don’t do this now, I’m never going to do it. I’ll have a family, a car, house, responsibilities. I needed to do this now while I could afford to take the risk.”
Blab Media gets many of its clients through referrals and from the networking. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until it moved into a bricks and mortar office that the client list tripled in one month. That could be one indication why it’s been challenging to get clients to think outside the box and do a cheap social media marketing campaign rather than a traditional approach.
At times creating a website and using Twitter and Facebook to promote a company can be more successful than leafing cars in a parking lot, Apolloni said.
Richie Keirouz hired Blab Media to help him launch RichBody, a personal training service that provides customers with diet, exercise and moral support. Stokes and Apolloni worked with him to design his website through which he has found most of his 18 clients.
“They’ve been great in helping me out,” he said. Stokes was especially good at providing website content that reflected his thoughts, Keirouz said.
Success has brought new surroundings. Blab Media recently moved into the Canada Building at 374 Ouellette Ave. There is room for expansion as the company grows.
While the women live with their parents, they bring in enough revenue to support themselves.
“There was never a time when we had no clients,” Stokes said. “Now we have the most clients at once that we’ve ever had.”
The biggest challenge they face is their youth.
“It’s hard for (potential clients) to accept because we are younger we know something they don’t,” Stokes said. “When we go to networking events, people ask if I’m a student. Business is still a boys club. It’s hard to break that barrier.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series about those in their 20s and early 30s finding a place in the local workforce.
To see the original article click here
It’s hard to think back one year ago to the day we first launched our website and started this whole adventure. In the past 365 days our lives have completely changed for the better. We have met so many new people and become so much more involved in the community. We have worked alongside some amazing businesses and we’ve gone from working in our own homes to working out of an office downtown. Being tenants at The House has been a great experience so far. It’s the perfect atmosphere for our business and it’s refreshing to be around other entrepreneurs with the same passion and ambitions. We now officially have a door sign and our outdoor signage is on its way so needless to say we’ve settled right in!
We have some great clients and we’re even taking on interns this spring from St. Clair College! It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come in so little time and we have so many businesses and people to thank for helping us get to where we are today. So far it’s been a journey but we’re so excited for the future of Blab Media! Heres to the next year and many more successes to celebrate in the future!
Just last week the National Hockey League announced it’s new policy that will regulate how players, coaches and other league stakeholders will use social media. Because of the complexity of professional sports and all the speculation riding on each game, the NHL has implemented some strict new rules within this policy that will allow them to better control things from within the organization.
One of the most-talked about updates is the implementation of the “social media blackout.” This period will take place from two hours before game time until all post-game interviews are completed. This means that all NHL affiliates won’t be allowed to post on any social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, whether it’s about hockey or not. This blackout period may seem strange and unnecessary but in reality it’s very similar to quiet periods that companies must adhere to around financial announcements etc. The NHL is taking this policy very seriously. Last year multiple players and franchise personnel were fined for tweeting during blackout periods.
The document states that players will be held accountable for posts they make on social networks to a similar standard that they would be for any other public statement. The premise behind the policy is to prevent players from putting their teams at a disadvantage or trying to win an advantage with information that’s false. It also prevents people that are betting on the game from receiving any non-approved information that could contradict the NHL’s league rules.
Traditional media outlets are no doubt happy about these changes because this gives them the advantage. It allows them to pick up the stories before they get broadcasted digitally on platforms like Twitter so expect to see a change in how/when information is shared online.
The implementation of this policy will no doubt make for a difficult transition but there is a lesson here for business of all sizes. It’s important to implement a social media policy so your employees are clear on the guidelines and the consequences should they choose to stray from those guidelines. It’s an easy way to keep everyone on track and eliminate any possible confusion. If things are laid out clearly from the beginning, there are no excuses in the long run for misconduct. Take the necessary steps to ensure your company is protected. The information is available, you just need to find it. Take time to research policies and best practices and compile something that works for your business. In the long run it’s all about creating a policy that suits your needs and can grow with your business in the future.
For a month now we’ve been planning out the details, putting together Ikea furniture, organizing our belongings and counting down the days until we officially became a tenant at The House. After much anticipation, the day has finally arrived! Today is our first day in the new office and even though the last month has been a whirlwind, all our hard work has finally come together. We’re excited to bring social media to downtown Windsor and we’re hoping to contribute to the revitalization of the area!
The House itself has a lot of character and charm so it wasn’t difficult for us to settle in. With a little paint and some new furniture and accessories, we were able to transform the space into a new home well suited to our eclectic and colourful personalities. Take a look at the before, during and after photos to get a better idea of our transformation and let us know what you think! If you’re interested in discussing social media or you just want to say hi, feel free to stop by.
Making the transition from home office to real office has been an adventure so far! As of August 1st, Blab! Media will be an official tenant at The House on the corner of Elliott and Pelissier downtown! We’re really excited that we finally have a place to call home! If you’ve never heard of The House before, it’s a social experiment that was originally launched by four local entrepreneurs. Over the past year it’s grown to be an innovation and collaboration hub that is quickly becoming a popular spot for creative-minded individuals.
Owners Rino Bortolin of Rino’s Kitchen and Shane Potvin of Spotvin Design are inviting the community to come out today between 2pm and 8pm. Chef Bortolin is celebrating the opening of a pub component to his restaurant, Rino’s Kitchen, and designer Shane Potvin (Spotvin) has completed two years in business. Blab! Media will be at The House all day mingling with old friends and making some new friends along the way and we’d love for you to join us! There will be live music in the garden, food, and some great local art on the walls featuring Sandi Wheaton’s recent Art Gallery of Windsor photography show: Promised Water / Promised Land. Coincidentally, The House is also looking for tenants to fill two hardwood-floored offices, and if you’re interested, you could be our new neighbours!
Be sure to stay tuned for more office updates and don’t miss your chance to catch a sneak-peek of Blab! Media’s new home! We love visitors so come on out and celebrate with us!
If you’re a Mac user, yesterday was a big day and chances are you’ve already spent a few hours exploring the new software update that included the App Store feature. Basically this means that you can now download Angry Birds on your computer as well as your smart phone…oh and there’s other apps available for download too. The store is very well organized and the concept is exciting because it means the world of apps is progressing even further, stretching from smart phones to personal computers. If I didn’t already have a Macbook, I’d want one now, and that’s exactly what Apple was hoping for, increasing consumer demand for their product and keeping current users happy with the ability to extend game play and app usage to another platform.
You can find programs like iPhoto and Keynote as well as apps that appeal to musicians, graphic designers, fashionistas, serious gamers and everyone in between. Apple has now pinpointed a very specific sector of the market that they, for the longest time, did not have control over. Why would I go to Best Buy and purchase a computer game for anywhere from $20-$40 when I can purchase something very similar (if not exactly the same) right from my house and pay $5-$10? Once again Apple dominance has exerted itself but it seems to be a serious benefit to the consumer. It’s always nice to have a choice and now I do.
After exploring for a while I’ve come up with a few recommended apps. First off, Twitter is a must-have and not having to log in online makes me very happy! I’ve never been a fan of tweetdeck or hootsuite, I found they gave me nothing but problems in terms of functionality so this is a breath of fresh air! Second, I love the simplicity and effectiveness of Caffeine. Anyone who frequently gives presentations or watches videos on their computer will understand how convenient it is to have a switch in one spot to disable the screen from fading or the computer from sleeping/turning off. Lastly, Booxter looks like an excellent way to keep track of your books, movies, music and comics. Any collector can appreciate the simplicity and the organization this app offers.
Will the app store translate well to personal computers? Will users participate? Is this just the beginning? There’s no way to know for sure what the future holds but there’s also no denying the power of the app! I for one am very excited to see what possibilities lie ahead and exactly how much computer memory I can consume with download apps.
Technology has taken the inevitable leap towards a younger target market and experts are urging parents to monitor and limit their children’s usage of electronic devices. These young children are growing up alongside parents who blog on a daily basis, share family photos on Facebook and are constantly connected through their mobile phones so it’s no wonder that their habits are becoming contagious.
A recent study conducted by Research Now for security company AVG found that 84% of Canadian children have an online presence by the time they are two years old. More than one-third of Canadian mothers posted photos of newborns online and another 37 percent said they’d posted sonograms of their as-yet unborn child. What’s even worse? Eight percent of Canadian moms had given their baby a social network profile on a site like Facebook.
While these behaviors are most likely stemmed from good intention (ex sharing photos with family and friends that live far away), no one is sure what it means for the children with profile pages and photos floating around online before they even turn five. The rate at which technology is holding parents and their children captivated has educators and parenting experts worried.
How many times have you been to the mall and seen an eight-year-old girl with a cell phone? How many of your younger cousins or siblings have their hearts set on an iPod Touch for Christmas? Realistically, technology is becoming more user-friendly and companies are realizing that children are the wave of the future. Imagine presenting a child with an iPod at a young age; that child will be much more likely to remain brand loyal for the rest of his future purchases because of his early influence.
The problem, according to Professional Parenting founder Judy Arnall, is that the research on the effects of this technology on children is not available yet, it’s happening too fast to be studied. Of greatest concern to the Calgary parenting educator are the hand-held, portable devices such as the iPod Touch, or the Nintendo DS.
The iPod Touch has thousands of downloadable apps that preach developmental pros for children such as teaching them to count, spell, add, or even learn a new language. This new direction combined with the device’s overall appeal and popularity is proving to have a big influence on parents who want to believe that the devices are educational and beneficial. Many experts worry that these devices are seductive to the point of children preferring them above all else. Technology can be very addictive and marketing techniques/campaigns make certain devices seem seductive to the public, which is where the problem takes root. Toddlers are growing up with the belief that an iPad is as indispensible as Lego bricks or Barbie dolls.
There is no doubt that these technological learning devices have a place in a child’s routine but experts say they can’t be the only option. The fact is that children learn best when they engage all five of their senses but screens limit that experience to hearing and sight. Parents need to limit usage and ensure their children have human interaction and a hands-on-environment that welcomes brain growth and development. As for the social network pages one can only hope that parents can strike a fine balance when it comes to sharing content about their children online.