Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News
18Oct/120

WordCamp Vancouver 2012 Recap

Last weekend, we (Canadian Cloud Hosting - www.cacloud.com) had the honour and pleasure of sponsoring WordCamp Vancouver 2012 at the platinum level and we really enjoyed supporting such a great group of local WordPress enthusiasts including developers, bloggers, college professors and connecting with everyone who stopped by our table or engaged with us on Twitter.

If you stopped by to drop off a business card for our free raffle to win free hosting for a year but didn't hear from us, you can still benefit from being a participant. You can visit our site at www.cacloud.com and use our promotional code CACLOUDWP30 to receive an exclusive 30% off. But, you must act quickly before the code expires on October 31st, 2012.

Finally, we curated most of WordCamp Vancouver 2012 and whether you were on site or not, you can share this summary with your friends and tweet us at @cawebhosting if you'd like us to add any relevant online content like your own recaps. We had a lot of fun being a part of this event and up next, we have BuddyCamp notes to share with you, so in the meantime, you can peruse our own event photos through one of our Pinterest boards and/or our Facebook album. While you're there, feel free to "like" our page, you never know what awesome discounts we'll hand out in the future, so don't miss out!

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

11Oct/120

Social Media Week Vancouver 2012: Engagement, Authenticity, and Content

It's the fall...and it's time to get social!

Social Media Week Vancouver 2012

About Social Media Week 2012

On September 24-28, 2012, the Socialized team brought us Social Media Week Vancouver for the second year in a row. Social Media Week Vancouver in 2011 was a great hit and this year, they once again delivered another jam packed schedule including insightful talks and panels covering anything from crisis management, storytelling, business blogging, social media strategies to a media conference featuring Gary Vaynerchuck, social CEO's and their practices, even the Dragon's Den summit and more. This fall, 13 different cities across the world hosted Social Media Week, and as expected, the online and offline buzz generated created engagement, new connections, and lots and lots of discussions surrounding anything social media related throughout the entire week. I had the opportunity to attend several events and in comparing it with last year, I noticed some overlap and some emphasis on certain topics, which I'll share in three parts.

Engagement is everything. If you're new to social media, focus on engagement.
These days with the advancement of technology, consumers are becoming more verse with technology and the social media world and they turn to the internet to share their experiences with brands and not only do they do so, they also want to use these newer social media avenues to interact with their favourite brands and perhaps, other like-minded customers for exchanging ideas or simply to connect with one another. Many speakers and brand ambassadors mentioned that being a social brand was essential in order to have an open line of communication with their own customers, focusing on being available and engaging in a timely manner with inquiries, or in general discussions, using social media platforms to alleviate crisis issues or to be able to share the latest announcements without sounding too pushy. The consensus among several events was to be present, to listen actively and to be a participant - a two-way conversation, which as our own brand, we're a big fan of!

Authenticity makes you sound more human and more genuine. Use your human voice.
Being authentic was by far one of the themes that kept coming up over and over during that week. The message from speakers reminded us to interact as an individual, to let customers know who you were by showing customers that you were a real person behind a logo or a brand. To do this, it helps to immerse yourself in your company's culture, get to know your co-workers better, and let your voice on social media shine through. Trying to humanize a brand can sometimes be challenging, but that is why it's even more important to stay genuine when you're having conversations with your customer base, and remember that sometimes, mistakes can happen as well. This is social after all, and no one is perfect.

Content, content, content, it's all about content.
Last year, one component was for companies to be able to share their stories and this relates to this year's point: content. Many sessions emphasized the importance of having fresh content on your sites and especially, your social media sites. Customers are constantly looking for news, product announcements or overall content that will be useful to them and that could come in many forms like education, entertainment, etc. Creating frequent, new content can be difficult. One of the most interactive and useful tips during the business blogging session gave away some great takeaways through a simple customer service exercise. Customers come to you and ask you many questions, often times, they will be similar and redundant, therefore, instead of responding privately to that individual, you could turn those answers into a blog post and without too much effort, your content comes to you.

Social Canadian Web Hosting at Your Service

Here at Canadian Web Hosting, you'll continue to hear us talk about the community that we serve and our members vary across so many different industries and for us to be able to support so many of them is a true honour every day. We listen to our customers, engage with them constantly and as an online community, we appreciate that interaction that helps us understand their stories better as we continue to do business with them. Social Media Week reminds us that we're doing things right and both companies and customers are in this together as new media evolves in the future. In conclusion, if you're a current or a future customer, we want to connect with you.

If you attended Social Media Week Vancouver, what other trends did you notice? Please share your comments.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

9Oct/120

Canadian Cloud Hosting Sponsors WordCamp Vancouver and BuddyCamp Vancouver 2012

WordPress is a free and open source blogging platform used by millions of users across the globe and many organizations use it as their content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. The WordPress community is such a dynamic crowd and we’re excited to announce that this upcoming weekend through early next week, Canadian Cloud Hosting is sponsoring WordCamp Vancouver and BuddyCamp Vancouver. Bloggers of all levels and developers should consider attending these events. Both events are welcoming and even designers or other enthusiasts can participate if you want to learn more about WordPress, you'll be welcomed to join us since the format caters to different levels of expertise, so don't feel intimidated.

WordCamp Vancouver

WordCamp Vancouver 2012

WordCamp is all day conference mainly focused on WordPress, split in two tracks: 1) users and 2) developers. Unlike other conferences, this event is affordable to all and you'll be able to meet, share, and most importantly, learn from a knowledgeable line up of speakers and connect with them and other attendees. The event will be on Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 8 am to 5 pm at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. Tickets are only $25 and part of the line up for users include Tips to Grow Your Professional WordPress Business, Demystifying SEO, How to Make your WordPress Site Mobile Friendly, and for developers, they include Calm and Simple Code With Purpose, Mistakes I Made using jQuery, and How to Avoid them, and Interacting with External APIs. The full schedule will provide you with all the details, so that you can plan out your day ahead of time.

BuddyCamp Vancouver

BuddyCamp Vancouver 2012

For those of you who are more familiar with WordPress, you most likely have heard of BuddyPress, an open source social networking software package (owned by Automattic since 2008), a plugin that can be installed on WordPress to transform it into a social network platform. It is designed to allow schools, companies, sports teams, or any other niche community to start their own social network or communication tool. These two-days are geared towards a more advanced audience, split in two tracks as well: 1) education and 2) developers. BuddyCamp will bring all of the community benefits as WordCamp and a chance for even more collaboration on their hack day, on the second day. The event will be on Sunday, October 14, 2012 from 8 am to 5 pm and Monday, October 15, 2012, from 8 am to 2:30 pm (hack day) at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. Tickets vary from $10 to $35, including a live stream option and part of the line up include The Future of BuddyPress, Community Building Tactics for BuddyPress Sites and UBC Blogs and the BuddyPress Experiment. The full schedule will provide you with all the details.

Our Ongoing Community Involvement

This weekend will be a fun filled packed event of connecting, learning, and collaborating and we're proud and honoured to be a platinum sponsor for both WordCamp Vancouver and BuddyCamp Vancouver to support the WordPress Foundation and to show our ongoing commitment to give back to this thriving online, global community. Also, don't miss out on your chance to hear Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress on Sunday, October 14, when he speaks at the first ever BuddyCamp Vancouver and we'll even be raffling off some great prizes too at both events. See you there!

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

5Jul/120

HostingCon 2012 in Boston, MA, July 16 – 18

About a year ago, our team enjoyed having the opportunity to attend HostingCon in San Diego, California. In less than a week, this year's conference is going to be held on July 16 – 18, 2012 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Centre. This is always an exciting and very anticipated conference as it is the premier conference and trade show for the hosted services industry in North America. Per their site, "the conference features 52 educational sessions across 3 full days presented by more than 100 speakers and panelists, including numerous industry thought leaders and trend setters. More than 1,800 people from all areas and niches of the hosted services industry are expected to attend the conference." This is always a jam packed conference!

Allow us to do some of the homework for you and highlight three of the many speakers including some interesting tidbits related to them for your knowledge:

1. Noam Wasserman: Professor, Harvard Business School
Wasserman is a professor at Harvard Business School where he teaches an MBA elective, Founders’ Dilemmas, for which he was awarded the HBS Faculty Teaching Award and the Academy of Management’s 2010 Innovation in Pedagogy Award. In 2011, the course was also named one of the top entrepreneurship courses in the country by Inc. magazine. In March, he published the book The Founder’s Dilemmas: Avoiding the Pitfalls that can Sink a Startup. A recent Forbes article reviewed that "Wasserman’s book brings analytical rigor to the crucial “people choices” that company founders make, showing that many common choices are the riskiest. Much as systematic Moneyball data analysis uncovered the inadequacy of scouting methods alone, Wasserman’s data provide fresh insight into founders and start-ups." You can follow him on Twitter at @noamwass.

2. Liam Eagle: Editor-in-Chief, Web Host Industry Review
Eagle has worked as a contributor to the Web Host Industry Review since its inception in 2000, and as editor since 2003. Through the WHIR, Liam spots Web hosting trends and offers opinions on the industry-wide impacts of major developments and the motivation behind big announcements. He recently interviewed Philbert Shih from Structure Research and one of his compelling questions was how international markets were affecting the hosting business. Shih's answer, aligned with a recent survey from the Uptime Institute, stating that, "International markets are the next frontier of opportunity. It is about addressable market and opportunity. International markets are also crucial because the business has gone global. Organizations have global audiences and the infrastructure has to keep up." You can follow him on Twitter at @liameagle.

3. Ditlev Bredahl: CEO, OnApp
Bredahl is an Internet and hosting industry veteran, with more than 15 years’ experience leading hosting and technology companies. Ditlev has an MBA in International Business from the European Institute for Public Affairs and Lobbying in Brussels, and a degree in Economics from AAU, Denmark. You can follow him on Twitter at @ditlev. From his feed, you'll notice that he's approachable and he even shares random pictures nearby his current home in the UK as shown below. How about that for an ice breaker, eh? You can thank us later.

The comprehensive list of speakers provides all of the biographies on each of them. Finally, if you're new to this conference, or would like a reminder on how to make the most out of HostingCon, you can read five tips on their official blog. Whether you are on site in Boston or not, anyone can follow the event live online on Twitter by searching the official hashtag #hostingcon, connect with their official handle @hostingcon and when you do, we invite you to tag us @cawebhosting. If you're an avid Facebook user, you can check out our photo album from HostingCon 2011 on our Canadian Web Hosting Facebook page and don't forget to like us. We love all of our social fans!

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

26Jun/120

Northern Voice 2012: Various Blogging Perspectives including Resources (Day 2 of 2)

We recently blogged about the first day of Northern Voice 2012 conference and this brief additional post briefly covers the second day on Saturday.

Morning Sessions: Blogger's Brain, Pinterest and Social Panels

One of the most active morning sessions was led by Doug Blackie talking about the blogger's brain. He started off by sharing a stat that 73% of bloggers were under 35 years old and that there were roughly 45,000 bloggers in the province of British Columbia. Bloggers are story tellers that show their own personalities through their own blogs. He reminded everyone to be mindful on how you blog. Some common pitfalls mentioned were: consistency, accuracy, brevity and authenticity - once again, this keyword popped up. In another room, Taylor Loren spoke on Pinterest and emphasized how as Pinterest users, "you are what you share." Moreover, retailers are now finding a great use of this new platform by pinning their own products visually, driving online traffic to their own sites. The overall usage statistics are skewed depending on the country that you're looking at. Pinterest is still a platform to watch especially in the online and traditional retail industry. Meanwhile, Mike Vardy shared his thought on better blogging productivity (we'll share some resources for you later in this post), the other sessions covered a panel on social media, social change and politics and finally, a panel on owning your beauty.

Taken by Northern Voice participant Jason V. (@jmv)

Afternoon Sessions: Evolution of Personal Voice, Blogging and even, Gaming

Shane Birley kicked off the afternoon with a very energetic and entertaining session sharing his earliest memories in his own personal blogging journey. He talked about his process and how his own voice had changed over the years. Soon after the keynote, Peter Armstrong talked about lean publishing and the similarities with creating a startup. He walked us through his software and how user friendly it was to use. In the cinema location, we overheard the recurring theme of authenticity come up again and how blogging had to remain authentic, or else, your own audience may start feeling disconnected with your published content. Finally, Mikhail Gershovich discussed the benefits of gaming and how it could be applied in education or even, in real life situations. Some of the benefits in high gaming usage included better communication, learning how to be more initiative if one is nominated as a group leader and so on, and so forth.

5 Articles for Better Blogging

To finish off, here are some articles that you may find interesting and relevant to this conference:

Special Offer for Northern Voice 2012 friends

Northern Voice 2012 Exclusive Offer

As previously mentioned, we're offering a special offer for all of our new Northern Voice 2012 friends including participants, speakers, organizers, volunteers and even the sponsors including with a free hosting migration for up to one domain and we'll even offer you up to 50% off on any hosting for up to a year. So, what are you waiting for? You can learn more about us at Canadian Web Hosting, and to take advantage of this offer, you can either leave a comment below or reach out to us through our social media channels like Twitter at @cawebhosting and/or via our Facebook page.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru