If there were slowlanes.

Today is Internet Slowdown.  If you are visiting my site on September 10th, you may have seen a pop up telling you that this is how long this site “could” have loaded.

Cable companies want to throttle, or slow down certain sites that are in competition with their own business, or to make you pay more to “un-throttle” them.

Don’t let them do it.

Visit Battle for the Net’s site and sign up to join in the fight, and find out more.

Businesses waste no time in using “real time” news

You have to be fast, but when something comes up in the news that captures everyone’s attention, many companies are starting to jump on the bandwagon to catch some of the fame.  When Luis Suarez was recently given a four month ban for biting an opponent, Netflix IN and McDonalds used this new for free publicity.  Netflix tweeted “Don’t worry #Suarez, four months is plenty of time to devour House of Cards.  One bite at a time.”  and McDonalds tweeted “Hello @luis16suarez, if you are hungry come have a bit of a big Mac”.


The reward for companies being up to date with their social media skills is getting noticed for free!  This is called Digital Ambush Marketing.

Workopolis is great at these types of ads in the paper.  Using events that are capturing everyone’s imagination immediately that these things happen, they look timely and often make you laugh.  Here is one:  I think it needs no explanation.

Heartbleed – how it works, what to do

By now, everyone has heard of the Heartbleed Bug and how it is affecting security all over the world.

Heartbleed explanation - from xkcd.comHow does it work?

Here is a comic that explains how it works.  It basically asks for various responses from your computer, and then tricks it by asking for something like Hat, but telling your computer that Hat has 500 letters, and your computer responds by giving the word hat, and then the next 500 characters after wherever it finds the word hat.  It then hopes that it gets some good information that you have, that comes after the word “hat”.

How to protect yourself.

Lots of Social Media companies, banks etc are contacting customers about changing their passwords.  Here is a great article from Mashable that gives those companies responses.  If in doubt, ask!


If you have many, many passwords and either use the same password or have many and find it hard to remember them all, there is a company called Lastpass as LastPassword (you’ll ever need).  You can get a free version or an affordable version at

Check sites you use

If you want to check individual sites to see if they have been affected, you can use this tool here.

Telling your artist story

From Brennen McElhaney’s website

I’m always trying to tell artists how important it is to keep their sites up to date, write something about themselves to bring people back to their sites.  In community sites (for studio tours and galleries) I try to tell them that if they want the gallery or their studio to be noticed, they have to bring their audience back to read what they are up to.  But all to often I hear “I don’t know what to write”  “No one wants to hear about what i do”

Here is a great article that illustrates exactly what I tell the artists I work with.  Write about what moves you, where you do your work, show them your desk/studio/workstation.

Here is an article describing an artist that has done just that.  Using images and a few words to convey where he works, what surrounds him when he creates his masterpieces.  Here is his website.

YouSendIt changes their name

You send it, the program that allows you to send larger files than most of your internet providers will, has changed their name to Hightail.  They felt that their name was holding them back.  This new name gives them a sense of speed, of motion.  It makes me think of old westerns when you had to “hightail outta here”.  But it is a good name.

They launched a new user interface just a month or so ago, in which you were able to drag files over instead of browse for them, which actually was a big improvement and made the process a bit faster.  I’m sure they will be launching other services as well, and perhaps their name wouldn’t entirely make sense if that is the case.

I’ve used this service for years and it has been great when sending files to people before clouds were anything other than fluffy things in the sky.  And I still use it because not everyone knows how to use dropbox or wants to set up an account so that I can send them something.

YouTube Videos of 2012

Well, no furry animals this year in the top ten videos on YouTube.  But some of these will make you wish there were!

    1. Gangnam Style – no, I don’t get it either
    2. Somebody I used to know – cover band from Burlington got a record deal from this parody.
      1. But you have to check out these two parodies.  The first a Star Wars version of the original Gotye song (which I loved) and here is a parody of the parody.  It’s quite funny!  By the Key of Awsome. (I’ve posted it below)
    3. KONY 2012 – a serious video about Ugandan Warlord Joseph Kony.
    4. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae & Justin Bieber
    5. Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney – Epic Rap Battles
    6. A dramatic surprise on a quiet square. – push button to add drama
    7. Why you asking all them questions? – why are people watching this video?
    8. Debstep Violin – Lindsey Stirling – Crystallize – beautiful images and music.
    9. Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen – a Dad finds his daughter rant on Facebook.
    10. Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128k’ – Mission Highlights

Bring back the talking dog, I say.  Bacon flavour?

Here is one of the funnier videos I liked, below. You don’t have to even have seen the video it parodies.

Newsletter is published!

When I am very busy, my client’s get their work done first.  It makes sense.  So I haven’t published a newsletter for a couple of months.  Doesn’t help me to promote my business, but I think working hard is promotion enough.

But without further ado, my October Newsletter is available here.  If you want your copy when it is first published, consider signing up for my newsletter with the link at the sidebar.  I don’t sell or give away my contact list to anyone, and it is safe from any spam.  Enjoy!

Bell and Astral Media

Telecom giant Bell has announced plans to take control of Astral Media, one of Canada’s largest media companies.1 Owning more media content creates a profit incentive for Bell to push content that it owns or restrict access to other content it doesn’t control it gives Bell a stranglehold over the media content we consume and delivery of our daily communications.

As Carlton University communications professor Dwayne Winseck says:  “Those who control the medium shouldn’t control the message”  It would been the control of distribution and content until one roof.

An example of how Bell can control the message:  A few rival telecom firms are running expensive ads to defeat this deal.  But Bell’s TV network waited 26 days to show the ads, and gave in just a day before the CRTC hearings began in Montreal.  This shows their already huge power over content and distribution.

Go to STOP THE TAKEOVER, to vote against this going ahead.


References:  Ellen Roseman, The Toronto Star and Stop the Takeover, Open Media, saynotobell

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