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.

Saving and exporting contacts from Gmail

contactsI had a client recently ask me to help export contacts that she had on one gmail account and add them to another gmail account.  She was having problems with the formatting and I said that I would do it for her and then send her the instructions for future.  So while I write out instructions for one person, why not help a few?

Exporting Contacts

At the top left of Gmail you have your Google logo and below that the Word Gmail.

Using the little drop down triangle go to your contacts.  If you have your contacts organized into folders and only want to export one of the folders, click on that folder.

moreOnce you are in the contacts section (and in the folder you want to copy, but that isn’t definitely needed) you will want to click on the more tab.  Click on Export…

This will open a new window that will ask you if there is a particular group of contacts you want to export (so if you forget in the first step, you can do it here).

export gmail contactsIf you are exporting your contacts to go to another Gmail account, then you may as well choose the Google CSV format.  However, if you are doing it just to save them or import them into another program, then choose Outlook CSV.  Basically it is just a special Excel sheet that you are creating.

Click Export and it will save it to your downloads folder (or wherever you have set to download files to).


groupThis is very similar to the last step.  If you want to create a new Group.  Be sure to be in the Contacts section of Gmail and highlight all the contacts you have.  This allows the Group icon to show up on the top menu.  Click on that icon and the drop down will show any groups you already  have as well as new groupthe create new button.

Give your group a name and click OK.  Make sure you are in that group before you do the next step. This way the new contacts are automatically put into the new group you have just created.

Now you are ready to import that group you saved earlier.  Go to the more section again, and this time choose Import.

You will need to browse to wherever you saved the CSV file and then click import.  It will import all of the contacts you had, and if you already  had a few of them in your contact list, it will list them and ask if you want to merge them.

importingYou now have your contacts moved from one Gmail account to another.  Hope this helped!

Stop texting and driving

A headline in the Toronto Star on July 9th said Half of Grade 12 students say they text and drive: Ontario survey

Almost 50 per cent of Grade 12 students who drive and more than one-third of all licensed youth in high school say they’ve texted while driving.  You are twenty times more distracted and likely to get into an accident while texting.

A great YouTube commercial about driving and texting  by Punch Films won an Emmy for this spot  created for the Illinois Secretary of State.

New device detects drugs in drinks

Technology is great when it starts to empower people, rather than just make companies money.  Here is an Indiegogo campaign for a small battery operated device that, when dipped into a beverage, can detect whether your drink has been drugged.  It’s called the pd.id. (personal drink ID).

It is small (it looks like a USB device), is reusable, can identify in some cases the actual drug and you can use it on it’s own (it has a green and red light that light up after it has “read” your drink) or with a smart phone.

For more information and to back this campaign (until August 29th, 2014) go to Indiegogo.com.

Native Advertising

Apparently, the new way to get to the top of the heap in SEO (and get people to read your posts/site etc) is through something called Native Advertising.  I attach a video below.  Basically you don’t let it look like an ad and you offer something for your potential prey client for free.  I’m not sure if that is the next new thing or something you should be doing in all your posts, Facebook posts and Twitter feeds.  80% value and only small 20% or less in actual selling.

Here is an example, but as we all  know.  Cats can sell anything.  They are the great marketers.

More on CASL for July 1st

The website for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) writes that most small businesses don’t really know whether they are affected by the new legislation that starts tomorrow, on Canada Day.

A new member survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) this week, only 15 per cent of small business owners are fully aware of CASL’s requirements, and most (62 per cent) have taken no steps to comply.

They go on to say that it is best to be proactive and get the permissions you need and paperwork to back it up to be fully compliant with the new law.  Companies like Mailchimp and Constant Contact have templates to help get Express consent.

Read Broad new “anti-spam” law confusing, challenging for small business and Does your business Does your business send emails?

New CASL Rules

typewritingAre you suddenly being bombarded with companies sending you emails asking you if you will continue to get their emails?  This is because the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) takes effect on July 1st.  The thing is, rules about sending emails to customers has been with us in one form or another for a while.  What’s different now is the mention of penalties.

There are three parts of the legislation that you must have as a requirement for sending out emails to customers.

  • obtain user consent
  • provide an unsubscribe mechanism and
  • maintain accessible contact information (in other words, allow people the ability to change and alter their contact info)

The big difference now is the need for Express Intent.  This means that the company must disclose why they want the information and for what company, and the user then can decide whether or not to give it.  Up to now Implied consent was how marketers got their mailing lists.    And you can be on a list because you bought something from that company in the last two years.  Made an inquiry about a product or service in the last two years, and donated money to a charity in the last two years.

If you are a company that has a mailing list that you have grown over the last few years, by all means send a message to your users asking them to re-commit.  But you can also point out in your next mailing that you only use their information for the purpose of the newsletters you send to them, and that they can unsubscribe at any time if they wish.  Constant Contact (and I imagine the other big players like MailChimp) have some tools to send out confirmation messages to your mailing list if you want to confirm that you are complying with the new law.


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.


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