I started vaping when the technology was first developed for commercial use. I guess I was an early adopter. It was when I read the Firefly vs Pax vaporizer review that I decided to really up my vaping device to the next level. I have tried pretty much every flavor or at least a few in each class. I like some of the real candy-like flavors. Some have a real odd taste though. I seem to be fond of anything with banana flavoring in it. I also like a few of the tobacco flavor mimics. They are not exactly like my favorite brand of cigarettes, but the flavor is so close that it is comfortable. ...continue reading Vaping Technology Has Really Come a Long Way SInce Those First E-Cigs Hit the Market

When I decided to learn more about gout, I honestly did not expect to find all of the information that I did on it. I was just hoping to understand this form of arthritis more because my husband was diagnosed with it a few years ago. Seeing him struggle with the outbreaks though was very hard! I wanted to make him feel better, but I honestly did not know what to do. When a friend told me that you could check here and gave me the website that has a lot of info on gout, I was so appreciative.

I was really excited once I started reading the articles, because they were not just basic articles explaining what gout is and why it occurs. ...continue reading His Gout is Much Better Now

Getting enough fiber was never an issue before the diets of people changed when processed foods became the bulk of what people eat. Now our dogs, when they were in the form of recently domesticated wolves, lived on meat. The alphas would eat the stomachs of their prey and get more fiber and nutrients due to the stomach contents of the prey. Now, with all of the breeding and interbreeding, dog digestive systems get quite upset. Add in processed dog foods and there is now a need for beneficial fiber for Rover's tummy to feel better.

Today's dogs would drop over if they ate like their wolf ancestors. When a wolf makes scat, you will find bone, hair and all kinds of stuff in it. ...continue reading Plain Pumpkin Puree is a Doggy Favorite

I talked to the guy who does the house inspection this morning. He had written up a report and talked to a plumber in plumber in Essex county NJ that he knew and did business with. Of course I did not need the guy to tell me that the bathroom on this place is a total disaster area. I needed to know if if could be fixed and if it could be fixed at a price that made sense. If you have an unlimited amount of cash or the ability, then anything can be fixed. That does not mean it makes sense to do it. Of course you can see that when some jerk crashes into your car and something happens like the frame gets bent. A car can look like it has relatively little damage to it, stuff that a body shop could fix no problem, but if the frame is bent it is going to be a total loss.

Of course any car that is relatively old can easily get more damage than it is worth. I used to have a car that was probably worth around 25 hundred when I bought it and the only reason I used it was that it had a trailer hitch and a big engine that could pull a trailer. So I used it on the weekend to pull my boat. One weekend some teenagers hot wired that car and took it out for a joyride. It ended up in a ditch and after that it was a total loss because by then the car was probably worth around 15 hundred dollars. You can do that much damage with a key if you are determined to be a jerk. The same sorts of concepts work on houses or anything else you could have.

The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. The seven Prizes, plus The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, are presented annually at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prize Gala in April.
The BC Book Prizes Society needed a website re-design that would feature the vast extent of archived information on previous years’ prize winners and finalists. In addition, the Society wanted a website that would allow for greater interaction between finalists and BC communities.
Client Quote
Liesl Jauk, Executive Director, BC Book Prizes says:
“You guys absolutely rock! I can’t believe how great our site looks. I keep going back to look at it. Gawd, I love it.”
BC Book Prizes’ previous website lacked usability because it was a series of static HTML files with limited navigational aids, which hindered visitors’ ability to find new and archived content.
In addition to needing a robust site with better navigation and search functionality, the Society recognized the need to have a more interactive component to the site. BC Book Prize finalists tour the province meeting with community members and promoting BC writing but the previous website did not offer a way to gather feedback.
Boxcar Marketing spent time talking with the BC Book Prizes Society about the goals of the site and the operational side of managing the Prizes. Together, we prioritized our goals and determined our internet marketing strategy.
BC Book Prizes wanted to create a site that:
Celebrates the achievements of BC writers and publishers.
Highlights the great activities and tour destinations of the BC Book Prizes tour.
Allows for interaction between finalists on tour and members of the public.
Extends the promotional opportunities for BC Book Prize finalists by using social media tools, such as Flickr.com.
Reduces website administrative time.
By developing the site using Expression Engine, a great content management system for websites, we were able to design a content architecture that accommodated the vast amount of information on prizes from 1985 forward, as well as decrease the administrative time needed to maintain the website.
We created a blog for the Tour, allowing authors on tour to interact with libraries, schools, media and the general public in advance of their appearances and post-tour. Communities who are not on the tour route can also follow the tour virtually and interact with the finalists.
Because Expression Engine is a content management tool, we were also able to develop an online mechanism for gathering prize submissions (approximately 400 per year) and handling online event registration, all tasks that were previously done by mail and fax.
Design/Development: Custom Website Design, XHTML/CSS Coding, Content Management System.
Our Team: Joslin Green (Design) and Shadow Box Creative (ExpressionEngine Development).
FILLMEIN Boxcar Marketing improved the site navigation structure to make content easy to find. We used colour to break-up text-heavy content, while maintaining the corporate colours. We also developed back-end workflows to reduce manual work to maintain the site and integrated social media tools such as Flickr and ConstantContact.
The BC Book Prizes website is now a true showcase for BC Book Prizes’ authors and publishers. Information is clearly displayed and visitors to the site get a complete understanding of the extensive work the Society does to celebrate BC writing.
The website launch coincided with the March announcement of the 2008 Prize Finalists and the feedback from the community was incredibly positive:
“The new site looks amazing!”
“Congratulations on the new website. It is superb! While there’s lots of information, this site has ‘fun’ written all over it. Good going.”
“Love the new site design.”
In 1 month since the site launch, the BC Book Prizes’ combined online and event activities generated substantial interest in the site, especially the author On Tour blog.
Visitors to the On Tour blog left 50 comments on 70 articles.
Activity on the BC Book Prizes site is seasonal: interest increases during March and April when the finalists are announced, the author tour starts and the winners are announced.
Web statistics are not available for previous years for comparison, but we can see that traffic increased 450% from January (pre-announcement of finalists) to April (announcement of winners).
BC Book Prizes offered the following numbers:
How big was it? Here are a few quick stats.
Total number of events: 64 (not including the Soiree and Gala)
Number of communities visited: 27 in two weeks
Number of events in schools: 47
Number of schools that will receive a $500 library of BC Book Prize titles for their library: 24 (thanks to the support of donors)
Participating finalists: 17
Combined honoraria and per diems going directly to these artists: $18,040
Estimated combined number of kms traveled, by air and by land: 8,300 (that’s about the equivalent of driving to Ottawa and back)
Estimated total combined audience of all 64 events, plus the gala and soiree: 4,350
Largest non-school audience: 96 at Books and Company in Prince George
Combined number of books sold at 15 public events: 178 (not including Soiree and Gala)
Treacherous white-out conditions encountered while traversing the Kootenay Pass: 1
Magnetic van signs lost or stolen: 5
Short stories, poems and blog entries inspired by this experience: an ever-growing figure, we’re sure.
Lessons: Creating a site for users with various security access and technical abilities requires creative thinking.

As follow up to my presentation at the BC Library Conference I have compiled a list of resources and key articles to help librarians interested in improving their understanding of the web. If you have additional recommendations please provide them in the comments as this is certainly not a complete list but rather a place to start.

Online Marketing
1. Underwire Newsletter: Full Support for Non-Techies
I have to recommend the Boxcar Marketing newsletter because many of the tips and advice I provide are for my publishing-related clients and arts organizations. Read the blog to get a sense of the content—Google Analytics, How-to, Social Media Tips, Email Marketing, Measuring Success—and sign up from there:
2. 6 Facebook Metrics Marketers Should Be Measuring
I'm a big believer in setting goals for social media, measuring success and making improvements.
3. Measuring Social Media
Another good article on measuring success of social media.
4. Tod Maffin
Tod's blog, email newsletter, Facebook page and training sessions are a handy way to become well versed in the web.
5. PR Tips to Get Press
This article has some great tips for startups pitching their products but as libraries implement products and digital services, this advice holds for writing press releases and pitching media on covering those products.
Retail Displays, Advertising & Merchandising
6. Use other social media tools to search for ideas
Search "library display", "book display", "window shopping", "infographic", "library poster", "vintage library poster" on Pinterest for ideas to implement in your library or for links to share on other social media platforms like Facebook.
7. Canadian Retail Industry Training & Resources
Look at retail industry magazines, guides and newsletters for ideas on store layouts, retail displays, effective marketing, and customer experiences. Libraries are similar in that you want visitor loyalty, brand recognition, smooth checkout processes and good online/in-location experiences.
8. Retail Displays
The below link includes a free ebook on how to attract customers with displays. I haven't read the ebook but a quick glanceat this article shows there are some practical pieces of advice here.
Email Marketing & Writing for the Web
9. Copyblogger.com
Great site with info on how to nail the opening of your blog post, email subject lines and other super tips for writing for digital consumers.
10. Google Think: Reports
Look up industries like Restaurants and Retail (customer loyalty, capitalizing on walkby traffic, visitor experience), as well as Education and NGOs for movement building and technology opportunities.
Mobile & Web Design
11. Google Think Report on How Mobile Is Changing the In-Store Experience
Applicable to libraries: searchable catalogues, smartphone apps and web-friendly experiences.
12. Mobify
An adaptive platform for developers to create fast, responsive websites. Especially good for ecommerce, but applicable to library checkout as well.
13. A List Apart
Great site for design nerds. They publish great articles and books on various aspects of web design, content, user experience and have good resources on responsive web design. http://alistapart.com/topic/responsive-design
14. The Perfect Web Page
Infographic-style article on the components of a perfect web page.
15. Conversion Rate Optimization
SiteTuners is the best! Get a few key landing pages assessed with the ExpressReview. The assessment will give you clear guidelines on how people interpret and likely use your landing page and how to improve it.
http://www.sitetuners.com/small-businesses/ Analytics
Analytics & Data Reporting
16. The Difference Between Web Reporting And Web Analysis
If you like data, you'll love Avinash Kaushik.
17. Best Web Metrics / KPIs for a Small, Medium or Large Sized Business
18. Luna Metrics Blog
Strong, reliable information on analytics, SEO and metrics for success.
19. Seer Interactive
Great SEO agency and excellent materials. Look for Wil Reynolds presentations on YouTube.
Big Thinkers & A Little Bit of Everything
20. Seth Godin
Lots of good info and insights into turning strangers into friends and friends into customers. Visitor experiences, customer insights and other goodies.
21. Karen McGrane
Think like a magazine, or rather like a magazine who is following Karen McGrane's advice. So think like NPR. Great video to watch, excellent, forward-thinking approach to data and the web. Metadata geeks, this is for you!
22. PaidContent.org
Lots of articles related to books and technology, good videos from their conferences on web matters, publishing and technology.
23. NextMedia Aggregation of Articles
Nextmedia aggregates articles related to publishing, lots of ebook and occassional library articles.
24. FreshGigs.ca
Not just for job hunters, this blog offers lots of posts related to particular types of jobs, but also lots of solid guest posts, interviews and tips for social media management.
25. Digital Book World
Digital Book World articles on "library" to stay in the know on major developments and stories about US libraries mostly.
26. iMedia Connection Articles
Lots of good articles on online marketing, including sure-fire ways to boost customer loyalty, and six tips to make great video.
27. Booknet Canada and TechForum
Look for their blog posts and videos from their conference. Here's an applicable one on library technology challenges and the New York Public Library. http://www.booknetcanada.ca/blog/2013/4/26/spotlight-bibliocommons.html
28. Slideshare
Like the suggestion to search Pinterest for retail display ideas, you can search Slideshare for presentations on online marketing, libraries, edutech, publishing, ebooks and and other library-related keyword phrase.
Online Marketing Training
29. Online courses at Lynda.com
Learn at your own pace online.
30. Internet Marketing Conference
A big conference on marketing, various cities. Useful sessions.
31. 3-Day Web Conference for Smart Web Marketing
Any traning or conferences run by Capulet are excellent.
32. 20 Best Marketing Conferences to Attend in 2013
The year is almost half over but these conferences run annually and I agree that they offer strong content.
33. Talk to Boxcar Marketing about Staff Training
Boxcar Marketing offers tailored training sessions in online marketing. Half-day or full-day sessions cover topics like Advanced Google Analytics, Building a Marketing Strategy, Managing Social Media and other online marketing related subjects. Submit your questions or areas of interest in advance and I'll tailor the session to your needs. See what others had to say about my sessions. Contact details here.