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Toronto Bird Photo Booth is a Storytelling Exercise, A Friendly Match for Businesses

2014 Toronto Bird Photo Booth Business Challenge is the original bird ‘selfie’ portrait contest that was made back in May 2014 to showcase custom loyalty program software through storytelling, and is not a true photo contest, but more like a friendly match between businesses hosting the booth.

Emma from Spectacle Loves U aims Toronto bird photo boothWhat is the Toronto Bird Photo Booth? If you don’t know already, a bird photo booth is a feeder attached to a digital camera, triggered by a motion detector. Its a wonderful piece of technology that makes art to serve nature.

There are two cameras here – one is an iPhone 5C purchased by John Conn of Standard Telecom, office phones service in Toronto who hosted Week Three,  and the other is the WIngscapes BirdPro trail cam which is a handy back-up unit.

Would you like to host the Toronto Bird Photo Booth for a week on your GTA business property?

The rig is programmed to take pictures of any wild birds that land at the feeder. The idea is to see who has the best wild birds. Businesses hosting the Toronto Bird Photo Booth can enter their pics into the friendly bird portrait photo contest for prizes.
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SMOJoe launches Birds of Toronto, and now I chronicle developments on the blog and also write weekly Bird Photo Booth updates for Toronto is Awesome magazine.

Look below at this English sparrow that thinks its a terrifying huge hawk; its emulating some larger bird of prey as it tries to scare away another fellow from the feeder.   
Scary Sparrow 2Like any playground, It isn’t long before an even meaner House sparrow with a distinctive white stripe on his wings appears to scare everyone away for a spell. You’ve never seen these tiny birds up close like this! I’ve gained a new appreciation for these sparrows by seeing them so close and full of emotion, and I imagine these birds are reacting the same way humans would fight over a big pile of cash left in the street.

House Sparrow, Birds of TorontoThese birds really do have lots of have personality ! See again how white stripes simply refuses to share the bowl.

white strips at feeder dish, dominatesThis storytelling started back in June and the photography is getting better each week.

The Toronto Bird Photo Booth Challenge was on Bird Canada, last week. This story is where tech meets nature and the arrangement yields visually stimulating content. Each update chronicles the last host’s contributions, and features a new competitor’s story alongside their gallery of pictures.  At the end of the summer, Judges will review the best photos and reward the best ‘birders’ among the people who positioned the cameras . And there will be prizes. TBD

Smojoe SEO Show at Chalkers Pub 17 June 2014

Neville Pokroy and Rob Campbell at SMOJoe SEO Show 17 June 2014A really great Smojoe SEO Show was held at Chalkers Pub in Toronto on Tuesday the 17th June 2014 at 7pm as thirty people braved extreme thunderstorm alert, and severe weather to attend the inspirational web marketing event. They gathered in the dining area at the south end of the restaurant complex to soak up as much knowledge as possible for the $10 entry fee charged by Leeann Jenson the administrator of a popular Life After 40 Single Meetup Group. I joked that this evening was SEO for Singles with websites and that wasn’t far from the truth; the one complaint I got was that there wasn’t enough networking time!

Without any interruptions, not waiting on weather or late arriving attendees, the Smojoe SEO Show was performed live by myself Rob Campbell starting at 715pm. The ‘show’ starts by me explaining what we have to do today to get page one presence, and why and how we do it. Then, after a tiny break, I go around looking at everyone’s websites and we all together set about figuring out how we can help these attendees and their struggle for subject matter relevance and higher rankings.  Its quite fascinating if I don’t say so myself… and its starting to get some big name business attention from Bay St consultants and business growth authors and business marketing gurus of all stripes. Who doesn’t want to be first on Google for something. Neville Pokroy brought his business growth book along to this show and he gave away six signed copies to people brave enough to share their site’s meta data, and suffer the scrutiny of the crowd on stage at the front of the room.

Inside this SEO workshop attendees find new ways to help each other.  Everyone in the crowd becomes a little bit more SEO savvy and certainly more social media friendly as they quickly become aware of how to increase their reach and authority.  Glenda MacDonald live blogged SMOJoe SEO MeetUp 17June2014; she did a terrific job communicating the entire ordeal, blow by blow, with original pictures, on her blog.

The best part of the night was when people won prizes!  Dr Archer, Toronto Dentist at Archer Dental donated twenty travel toothbrush kits and mini toothpaste tubes which I gave away to people who asked intelligent questions and did the social media exercises to benefit other attendees’ websites and blogs.

SMOJOe SEO show, June 17Some of the sponsors attended the event in person and they brought products to give away to anyone who would help them get along, and link to them and say kind words so they can get more recognition by earning higher rankings on Google; just showing up with something in your hands to give away at the SMOJoe SEO show makes you more important in this life.

Here is Angelo Tramonti from Sarafino Olive Oil who offered up these exotic liquids as a grand prize for live bloggers – Glenda MacDonald won!

Rob Campbell performing SMOJoe SEO Show live at Chalkers Pub 17 June 2014We could have improved the impact by setting and tweeting a certain hashtag, and I could have passed around a paper blog resource sheet for people to write down their blog URLs and Twitter handles, and these are good ideas for next time

Overall, I think everyone had a great time at this unique event, and Leeann has already asked when I’ll be available to do it again.

The Emerging Retro Future Art Movement in Toronto

One thing about being the Ancestry Guru on WordPress is how it leaves me perfectly positioned to comment on the emergence of a Retro Future art movement on the internet.  Anyone who uses Twitter and subscribes to artists’ feeds is probably aware of how big the hashtag has become… And it just seems to be getting more and more popular in that medium.  Do you know what Retro Future even means?  Its art that depicts yesterday’s vision of tomorrow.  Clicking #retrofuture on Twitter will transport users to a thought-sphere of Retro Future art.

OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS at Galleries in Toronto.  Retro Future is red hot right now,

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Hashtag Gallery at 801 Dundas St W in Toronto is hosting a Retro Future Art Show scheduled to start at 7pm on Thursday July 3rd 2014.   Artists are invited to submit work in this theme that they wish to sell.  No painting will be sold for more than $300 – with the single exception being the Best in Show, which is the name of the game.  The show is curated by Graeme Luey, and seeks golden age sci fi glimpses of yesterday’s perception of the future.  There’s also particular quest to find a piece that will ideologically ennoble a cozy meeting room inside a boutique advertising agency in a historic part of the city.

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This piece above is from Toronto artist Ruth Wilgress and celebrates her vision of the future.

Retro Future is an emerging term used to applaud the more technologically primitive artist of the past’s vision of the future.  And it celebrates highly stylized art over accurate predictions.  The Jetsons would indeed be considered Retro Future, although probably the most pedestrian example of what are so many brilliant examples found on Twiiter or Flickr or PhotoBucket these days, or by doing a Google Image Search for Retro Future Art.

Red FLag Deals Thread about #GrowthHackTO which hosted the first ever SMOJoe SEO Show

The SMOJoe SEO Show was at Growth Hacking TO Meet-Up happened on Weds April 23rd at 243 College St. It started at 7pm and wrapped up at 10:30 pm. It was solid infotainment
http://www.meetup.com/Growth-Hacking…nts/174390812/
Growth Hacking Toronto This was a free Meet Up event and perfect for people who wanted to learn SEO rudiments so they could properly marvel at the most advanced new technology – it was fashioned for beginners and veterans alike, so both could come away with tips and new techniques for growth hacking to gain more users.
Someone was going to win a coffee maker courtesy of Vigorate Digital ecommerce software which really is a growth hacking tool chest filled with custom digital marketing solutions, pin code loyalty programs, online auction software, and easy to install photo contests templates etc . Growth hackers want more users.

Cristian Contreras is the face of Growth Hacking in Toronto.

What is Growth Hacking?
A marketing practice with an absolute focus on growth – the discipline encourages marketers to use advanced methods, tools, and best practices to grow user base or data, content or customer reach. Growth hackers often use resources that weren’t available in the traditional marketing repertoire a few years ago, and very often they made these tools themselves. The quintessential growth hacker is the coder who writes script to collect content and customers from larger more unwieldy corporate websites – ie like how Airbnb fed on Craigslist.

The second part of the show is a live diagnostic and content publishing festival whereby people in the room win prizes from an office coffee solutions company that is sponsoring the event. Don’t miss this unique educational evening – it will be like nothing you’ve seen before or likely to ever see again – stay tuned here for updates on how it evolves and what happens and why .

Every participant who is willing to play along, tweet, blog and do Facebook updates right there in the room is eligible to win bags of free coffee, and somebody is going home with a brand new office coffeemaker.

Follow #GrowthHackTO and Rob Campbell is @roberrific on Twitter. Last edited by Arob; Apr 16th, 2014 at 11:43 AM.

People are talking on Twitter and adding voices to the discussion about Growth Hacking on Smart Canucks and we’re expecting some contributions to this beautiful post about GrowthHackTO on Free Ads Planet.

Then after weeks of planning IT WAS SUDDENLY HAPPENING..
Toronto is Awesome ran this picture on Sunday April 20th,

There are still quite a few seats left and even if you don’t reserve a spot or get ticket you should just come anyway because you’ll probably get in – some of the people registered have already said they cant come in the comments at the side of the Meet-Up page . .

Rob Campbell and Jane Wang of MyHealth Sphere dot ca
UPDATE – The event was a big success. Jane Wang won the charity choice SEO spot in a heated race between eight contenders!  She volunteered her domain and won the crowd’s sympathy.

Edwin Frondozo

https://twitter.com/drgnmeme/status/459148906295615488/photo/1

After Jane won, we all took a whack of pictures and then endeavoured to use them in our homemade media; at this point we all went to work optimizing her health apps domain and her intriguing game Health Challenger. Its cool. She’s helping people get healthy and that’s a great cause.

You can read more in a terrific blog post about it courtesy of Dan Wood, http://seohowto.ca/2014/04/seo-growth-hacking-session/ and he wrote that while sitting in his chair in the audience . Dan’s a real smart guy. and Cristian Contreras wrote here,
http://growthhackingtoronto.ca/seowinnerhealthapps/
Jane Wang a start-up health apps designer takes paper from the bowl

Cristian was blogging at the front of the class in front of the audience, who were dropping off more and more every minute . aha  ah well live blogging isn’t the most exciting thing to watch at ten pm.  I dont take it personal. The audience dropped from fifty to less than twenty souls watching in the second half of the show – it was exciting for me. Maybe this should be a daytime event. A weekend workshop.

The grand finale, the draw for the office coffee maker – the ticket was pulled from the popcorn ceramic bowl by Jane Wang.

Smojoe – Rob Campbell holds the Bowl for Jane Wang who picks David Woogan, to win the coffee maker . .

Dan Wood sitting in the audience did a tremendous courtesy by listing the process and order of things necessary to achieve page one rankings. He writes, “…in a simple form these are the steps:

  1. Choose a keyword that will have a valuable return for your website (or your client).
  2. Take original photos and host them on trusted websites (Flickr, WordPress)
  3. Devise creative, interesting stories that relate to your product/service in some way and get this article published in the best, biggest, most trusted magazine or newspaper or other publication that you can
  4. Bookmark this article on social bookmarking sites and social media
  5. Write secondary articles and publish those on other sites. Use the same photos from their original source
  6. Bookmark and interlink those with the original article.

What he left out was the secret ingredients that I don’t tell anyone. Dan went on the record how I compared my modern day existence to a 14th century troubadour who goes from tavern to tavern and sings about heroes and highwaymen who pay him to make their exploits more well known , so they are feared , respected and paid tribute or presented with big opportunities. Its the same today online – the more famous and important you are in a particular  category and have earned links in articles, blogs and forums etc, the more likely your URL will show up on pg1 in searches done by needy townspeople.  So a modern SEO practitioner is a digital troubadour.

Assembling New Maid of the Mist Tour Boat in Niagara Falls Canada.

Without too much fanfare, Hornblower Canada’s new Maid of the Mist tour boat arrived at the Niagara chasm in mid January 2014. It new tour boat, maid of mist, Niagara fallscame in pieces. The vessel was shipped here by truck and had to be assembled on shore. This is the latest and most state- of -the- art example of a prefabricated water vessel that can be built on site and thereby eliminate more expensive sailing and towing expenses. Plus the spectacle of building such a large vessel on shore in the shadow of a frozen waterfall in the background has perhaps added to the news bubble surrounding the birth of this new local tour company.

The Niagara Region enjoys approx 14 million tourists per year and that makes this area one of Canada’s busiest tourist destination wherein there is a single tourist attraction commanding the public’s attention.

Assembling New Maid of the Mist Tour Boat in Niagara Falls Canada.

Assembling the new Maid of the Mist Tour Boat in Niagara Falls Canada. The prefabricated hull and pilot house and various other nautical bits arrived by trucks which were unloaded in January in the Niagara River chasm, beside the frozen water system, in the middle of the first polar vortex of 2014.

In the photo above you can see the men wrestling to get the pilot house locked into place. They are following a plan set by the boat’s manufacturer and followed by the foreman who came up from the factory to oversee the assembly. The Pilot house component of the craft would be very sensitive as its where the Captain of the ship and the river pilot sit and navigate the craft.  As this vessel is far more technically sophisticated than previous boats, one can only assume that this metal pilot house box will be stuffed full of sensitive electronics and other nautical instrumentation.

Fishfinder Sonar for Smartphones Amazes Anglers at Hunting and Fishing Shows

Its official. The FishHunter portable sonar fish finder which uses Bluetooth wireless technology to broadcast its own submarine survey straight to your smartphone is finally available for sale on the internet.  Get one delivered for $229, plus tax and shipping, and that’s a bargain price considering a lot of smart people spent thousands of hours making this rig work…  Read more about the science behind the sonar chips in FishHunter on Fuel Ghoul.

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Its a little known fact that fishermen don’t actually use fishfinders to find fish, they use sonar to study lake bottoms or riverbeds looking for suitable structure preferred by the species of fish they hope to catch. More advanced anglers select hard-to-hook game fish and go looking for the underwater terrain they know these creatures habituate.

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Fishhunter becomes their whistling eyes (and ears) under the water. Ever wondered what lies below the muddy reflections of your favourite fishing hole?  Now you can find out as you survey the lands below the surface of the lake and that makes fishing even more interesting, if perhaps a little less relaxing…

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FishHunter comes complete with the industry’s best fishing app that has an onboard Fish Species Database which details the preferred living conditions of over 150 different types of fish alongside bait suggestions and tips for catching them.

One thing I’m definitely going to pay more attention to is the Moon Cycles app that charts nine different phases of the moon, dates to show proper times for Solunar Fishing. This is a very interesting theory that’s almost 100 years old now and hasn’t been disproved yet – the logic states that when there’s a full moon you’ll catch more fish. I’ve always wanted to test that theory, and now this app makes it real easy.  Next time I’m catching lots of fish I intend to check the moon phases and see if its a new moon or a full moon.

Got Maps? FishHunter is an interactive Fishing Atlas. Users can harness GPS systems to pinpoint their catches on marine maps loaded with memory and social sharing features, as they log details for their own continuous improvement.  Also be sure and check out the FishHunter photo contests for exclusive access to great prizes and emerging community events.

These portable sonar devices for smartphones will change the sport of fishing!

Here are pictures of the sonar in action at the Outdoorsmens’ trade show in Denver Colorado

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The device was warmly received by the primarily American audience of hunters and anglers, and a great many units were sold here… but in general the media has been slow to cover this cool innovation.

One story that introduces Fish Hunter sonar for smartphone is on Tumblr, and from a popular Son of a Beekeeper who uses some of the same pics as this post. Also there’s a lovely article on Quazen about FishHunter sonar for smartphones, and how they’re sure to make fishing more of a spectator sport.  That piece postulates that this portable sonar device will be the hottest toy at the cottage in 2014, and I wouldn’t doubt what its true. The set-up sure stopped a lot of people at this recent trade show.

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Do you live in Ontario? You can add your two cents to this discussion about portable fish finders on Ontario Outdoor Magazine.

Or you can register and join in this discussion about FishHunter sonar fishfinders on Fishing Fury forums.

Spinrite, Perfect Knit, Supplies for Knitting, Buy Yarn in Listowel Ontario

Thanks to internet shopping nobody has to drive seventy two miles west to Listowel Ontario when you can buy knitting supplies online but if you do happen to find yourself in the Queens Bush region of Ontario you could travel and shop at the Spinrite Factory Outlet Store which has all manner of coloured wool including button and bows and zippers and satin linings and hundreds of paper pattern books and thousands of balls of yarn for sale.  Here’s a nifty Urban Exploration discussion forum post offering a secret glimpse inside the Spinrite wool mill in Listowel Ontario.

dying wool at Perfect KnitListowel locals have been dying wool for half a century or more. Look here at the Victorian Era wool dying machines that occupied the buildings in the late 1800s.

Read about John Binning the Founding Father of Listowel Ontario on Dumpdiggers; he’s outlined along with mills on the Maitland river and the settlers of the Queens Bush.