Online Marketing Inside Out

Review: by Gregory West
Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ GroupOnline Marketing Inside Out
Member of Port Huron, MI Computer Group

Online Marketing Inside Out

by Brandon Eley & Shayne Tilley

Published by SitePoint Pty. Ltd.
Pages: 184
USA: $29.95 / CDA: $29.95

Nine dynamic chapters that guide you through your next “modern marketing campaign”. Chapter one explains how marketing is changing pointing out things you need to know before you begin planning your next promotion or campaign. You will learn how to make money from a website by page views, optimize the values within search engines (SEO) and how the main players in social media can help you go deeper inside the communities spreading the word of your company or product.

Even though email marketing has been around forever, it seems, this book sparks a new interest showing “many advantages” and the authors “walk you through every step towards a successful email marketing strategy”.

Having your own sales people working for you online is easy when you create an “affiliate marketing program” that is covered in Chapter seven. The advantages of having an “army of salesmen all over the world” promoting for you is explained in easy to understand terms in this chapter. This is followed in sequence with Chapter eight wherein you learn about the world of “online advertising” as you will be able to “plan, implement, test, and optimize” what you setup with your online advertising.

I really like the way this book is set out. The Table of Contents leaves nothing to imagination. The Preface wand Chapters have extensive headings that guide you through the various topics so that you can easily look something up and jump right in on that subject. For example, in Chapter two’s listing you will find headings such as: Press Releases. Then followed with sub-headings: Press Releases in the 21st Century, When to Write a Press Release, Stand Out From the Crowd and so on.

Every chapter tags your interest and keeps you coming back as a reference point for helping you develop your own online marketing campaign. This book is for those who “have a web site and…want to promote it”, or anyone else who wants and/or needs to learn this amazing subject of online marketing.

Even if you are already doing online marketing and feel fairly successful, this book will take you to the next level of expertise and guide you in directions you may have possibly passed by.


Capping the Internet Usuage

Money Grab

As Canadian Internet users, we pay one of the highest fees for bandwidth and it isn’t the world’s fastest either. Now the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) grants even higher costs that include Internet Usage Caps. Can you imagine that Ontario residents are told:

“For Ontario and Quebec residents, if you are lucky enough to have cable services not from Rogers you should be fine,”

Read this article then write your Member of Parliament today.

Canada’s Entertainment and Broadcasting Information 

New Internet Usage Caps Hurt Canadians
Posted by: Tripster on Sunday, January 30, 2011 – 09:07 PM (REPRINT)
C.R.T.C. “As you may have heard, Canada’s big ISPs are putting the squeeze on consumer internet usage by implementing new bandwidth caps with exorbitant new overage rates. Beginning March 1st many Canadian internet users are going to see their monthly Internet service bills rise significantly. What does it mean for you? And what can you do? Read on. 

Bell Canada lobbied the CRTC for new rules for independent ISPs who rely on their network to serve their clientele. Many years ago the CRTC rightly dictated that the telcos must allow independent ISPs access to the “last mile” so they can service clients. Essentially opening up competition in the broadband market to better serve Canadians, after all, the incumbent telcos received tax breaks and other help to build the network of wires that serve Canadian homes. It makes no sense to have each independent ISP run their own infrastructure to each dwelling.

This allowed small companies such as TekSavvy to offer services to their own customers, often with better bandwidth caps or unlimited usage policies. Rather than compete with this head on Bell decided to lobby the CRTC to implement “Usage Based Billing” (UBB), meaning that these competing ISPs can no longer offer better packages but must instead offer what Bell tells them to offer.

The result, customers of TekSavvy are now faced with a cut in their monthly cap, they are forced to match Bell’s cap and Bell has decided that 25GB per month is enough. So TekSavvy’s customers previously enjoying a 200GB or unlimited cap are now being switched to this 25GB cap. Sure they can buy “insurance” packages to give them more capacity but to get back what they had before their monthly Internet bill essentially doubles, and TekSavvy doesn’t get any of the money, it all goes directly to Bell. If you don’t buy the insurance, well, the overage rates are $2+ per GB.

In the past few months Canadians have had access to new online streaming services, Netflix Canada launched this past fall giving Canadians a great new option for enjoying entertainment, not only on their computers but also via Netflix ready devices such as the AppleTV, Xbox Live and Playstation 3 as well as a new line of Netflix ready televisions and set top boxes launching this year.

Interestingly, as soon as Netflix announced their intention to launch in Canada, Rogers Cable announced lowered bandwidth caps within days of the announcement. It seems very coincidental timing wise doesn’t it? While Rogers set their cap at 60GB per month Bell has gone even further and set a 25GB cap. It’s also quite interesting that the 3 major ISPs adjusting their Internet usage caps are in fact the same corporations who happen to own most of the broadcasting outlets in Canada and also own the largest cable and satellite companies. What better way to kill the competition by making them prohibitively expensive for consumers to use.

To give you some idea of what 25GB means to you, if you watch one HD movie each week you will have used up more than half that cap. If you purchase a game from an online digital distributor such as Xbox Live, Playstation Network or Steam you can easily eat up half your capacity. If you watch YouTube HD you are eating up more of that capacity.

The kicker is with the speeds of the internet connections available today you can use up your entire months allotment of data in only a few hours. This sets Canadians back immensely on the world stage. At a time when more Canadians are turning to the net our ISPs are attempting to neuter our usage or profit from our over usage. Canadians use the internet more than they watch TV these days.

What Can You Do?

The fact is it costs less than a few cents, in most cases less than a penny, for an ISP to move a GB (gigabyte) of data. They plan on charging many times the cost of transferring this data and profiting off consumer usage by only offering low capacity levels from the start. This is not about stopping network abusers, it is about profiting off the average consumer family, we doubt there are many families out there who can remain below the low 25GB monthly allotment of data.

So, what can you do? Sign the petition available at, over 140,000 Canadians have already signed this petition.

Contact your local Member of Parliament, Industry Minister Tony Clement, your local council, your local media and anyone else you think can help.

And if you experience a bill or warning due to usage, speak with your money and move your account away from Bell, Rogers and Shaw. If possible move all your services away from them, hurting their bottom line can work, especially if it will have a negative impact on their stock prices. Even if you’re stuck with the same caps at a small independent ISP at least you are sending a message, and helping these independents survive to help consumers fight this battle.

For residents in the Maritimes, Eastlink have stated they do NOT intend to charge UBB.

For residents in Manitoba, MTS may be your best bet.

For residents of Saskatchewan, SaskTel have announced they do NOT intend to charge UBB.

For Alberta and British Columbia residents, Telus are your best bet at this time, especially if you are in an Optik capable area. Telus provides 250GB of data per month for the same price Shaw only gives 100GB. Note, there are no guarantees with Telus of course due to their close ties with Bell Canada, but it has been said that they do NOT intend to follow their lead by drastically reducing customer internet caps.

For Ontario and Quebec residents, if you are lucky enough to have cable services not from Rogers you should be fine, if your only choices are Bell or Rogers then please choose an alternate independent ISP such as TekSavvy.

You can also hurt them by cutting back on specialties on your cable or satellite services and using alternative telephone services such as VOIP (providing you can get a decent internet connection that is!).”

REPRINT: Tripster on Sunday, January 30, 2011 – 09:07 PM

It’s time to fight back Canada.


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Your Parents Now Have a Laptop? Good Luck!

Santa Brought Your Parents

A Laptop! Oh No?

By Gregory West

Don’t read any further, unless you need to “Teach your parents well…”

I have always enjoyed seeing people get computers for the first time. Although it is hard to detect the look in their eyes: horror or excitement.

My first computer was in 1972, it was the size of a house, well not really, but close. It was a beast of a machine, an IBM 360 located in the data centre where I worked as a keypunch programmer. My first home computer was in 1984, a Mackintosh desktop, much smaller but not easier to use. It had no help buttons as it came with an extra box of instructional manuals. I couldn’t call others for help because hardly anyone had a home computer back then. Some people still experience huge learning curve with their first computer.

Your parents and/or grandparents may get their first computer from Santa this year…look out!  Your life will never be the same. Guess what they probably know where you live. They know your home and cell phone number. They even have your work phone number. They may have mastered the art of texting. You cannot escape from the proverbial: “How do I do this?”

I know people who literally hide. They screen calls. They turn out lights and read from the reflection of their computer screens or light candles fearing a drive-by from parents. All in an effort to evade the constant cry for tech help from relatives who want to learn but cannot figure it out alone.

Sure, we must admit it is fun at first. Seeing them slowly getting the gist of how to send and receive an email. The look in their eyes when they perform their very first Google search. This is all well and good, and even sort of healthy. But when you leave them home alone, that is when it starts. The constant queries begin like this:

Parent: “HELP me.”

You: “What did you do?”

Parent: “Nothing, I didn’t touch a thing. The computer won’t do anything.”

You: “Did you reboot the computer?”

Parent: “Do what?”

You: “Restart your system.”

Parent: “Do I unplug everything?”

You: “Never mind, I’ll be right over, AGAIN.”

It won’t stop here with one visit. Now they really start seeking you out…STOP! Wait a minute. This is our parents we are talking about. The ones who asked Santa for that computer, the same one we talked them into asking Santa. Now it is our moral duty to stand up and be counted, to come to their rescue. We are like super sons and daughters. But how can we accomplish this almost impossible task and keep our sanity?

Never fear, Google is here. Google realized this is a massive problem for many siblings and most just don’t have the time to help and designed free training videos.

Introducing: “Send your parents A TECH SUPPORT care package.” from Google. No, this is not a scam, it for real. As of this writing 13,999 parents have received this care package. Ok, I can hear the questions: ”What is it”?

Google’s TECH SUPPORT is your “saving grace”. And to be honest, you might just learn some tips and tricks yourself from these videos. Here’s how it works:

There are five categories: BASICS – WWW – COMMUNICATION – MEDIA – FINDING INFORMATION. Within each category you find real help video topics in the BASIC as Copy & Paste, Screensavers, Backgrounds, Make Text Larger or Smaller. Others such as in the WWW, as Upgrade Your Browser, Make Strong Passwords, Make a Bookmark etc. All-in-all there are 37 training videos produced by Google to assist in learning basic computer to digital photos, sound, and much more. Each video is very easy to follow along and learn at one’s own speed. One I really like is the “How to Unsubscribe to a Newsletter” sent by email subscription. It is easy. You send your parents the training video that matches their problem or program they want to learn.

I call this new GOOGLE TECH SUPPORT a “Post Christmas” must have for everyone. I will be within these 37 videos even you will find something you didn’t know or have forgotten how. Best of all, it is free with no scams attached.

For peace of mind go here to check out Google’s new TECH SUPPORT video training:


Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College.
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new
Community Computer Training Centre at:
This is free and open to the public as a community service. Learn at your own speed.

Gregory can be reached at:
For more tips visit his Blog:



Internet Explorer 9

CLICK ABOVE for download

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

Note: This article will appear in First Monday Magazine next month…

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

By Gregory West

As a computer consultant and instructor I get asked which type of computer is a good deal and one that will last. As I explain the pros and cons of various computers, I know that they are in for a major change, and very soon computers will be a thing of the past.

We are now racing towards one of the most drastic changes in computer history. Welcome what I coin as: CLOUD COMPUTERS. We have all heard of the “Cloud” that exists on the Internet. Simply put, a “cloud” is a program where you store things such as photos (Flickr or Picasa), and videos (YouTube or Vimeo). Of course EVERYONE knows that you can store these on Facebook as well which is also a “cloud” program online.

I know, enough of the mumbo-jumbo computer talk and let’s get to the point.

Google is soon to announce its online operating system. This means you will not use your computer to use programs such as Word or Excel etc. These will be offered free in the new Google operating system. Soon there will be no more need for Microsoft’s XP, Vista, Windows 7, or even Apple’s Snow Leopard. It also means no more complicated computer systems. It will be somewhat like your TV and it will “just work”. You MUST watch this video: <> to see how it works.

No, Google’s new online operating system will not replace Apple or Microsoft systems just yet. However, this is a start to a very interesting future that is quickly unfolding before our very eyes. This new online operating system idea will virtually change the need for a computer. All we will need is a device that has a browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. These will connect you to your online computer system.

Just think, many of us have been doing this for sometime now and not paying much attention…When you go online with your Smart Phone you are using a “Cloud Computer”. It can only get easier and better and less expensive. A full report on how this works is found here: <>

George Orwell predicted 1984 as the year of “Big Brother” and I say that 2011 is the year we see “Cloud Computers”…I can’t wait.

Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new 
COMMUNITY Tech School at: <;. This is free and open to the public as a community service.

Gregory can be reached at:
For more tips visit his Blog:


One CLICK TV Guide Magic

One CLICK for TV Guide

Enter your Postal Code, CLICK and you have the current TV Guide for your area. It is that simple. But wait, there’s more (there always is isn’t there LOL): Now you can even search for shows and movies on the same site…

Enter your personal Postal Code and CLICK … Sorry only in Canada!


Excellent Find Feature