Jan 04

Web Development & Content

I recently helped an Edmonton psychologist by developing her website, including writing and editing all content, using the WordPress content management system.

You can view the completed website here.

Doris Ryan Web screen

I believe that each of us can achieve emotional healing and wellness as well as have an amazing life by changing our minds about our blocks to health and love.   As your Psychologist, I am committed to guiding you through this process through active listening, positive affirmation, setting realistic goals and finding positive solutions.  I work with teens, adults, families, couples and seniors using a variety of methodologies tailored to meet your specific needs.

Oct 16

Web Content for Alberta Family Podiatry

Alberta Family Podiatry offers foot care and treatment solutions including foot surgery, diabetic foot care, foot clinic procedures and custom orthotics in Calgary, Alberta.  I created web content for their website including a very education-focused section on common foot problems and treatment options.

Web content was written for search engine optimization, including headers, titles, meta tags, meta description with proper images and linking.

Here are some samples from that website:

About

Alberta Family Podiatry is dedicated to creating a welcoming atmosphere, comfortable experience and providing quality services for patients seeking a foot and ankle care in Calgary.  Our podiatrist Dr. Fitzner and support staff know that every foot is unique and are focused on individual patient care.  We will educate you on your foot condition, proper foot care and your options for treatment and podiatry services…..read more.

Custom Orthotics

Orthotics are devices placed in your shoes to help improve foot and leg alignment, and/or cushion pressure areas of the feet.  Foot alignment is very important for healthy foot function and the natural balance of your body…..read more.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is caused from a variety of problems that affect the way the Plantar Fascia functions.

Several factors can trigger Plantar Fasciitis which including:

– High impact activities
– Moderate to severe weight gain
– Improper footwear

The thing to remember is that these are potential triggers, not typically causes on their own.  It is the way that our feet respond to these stresses that cause Plantar Fasciitis. When we walk and stand, the Plantar Fascia tightens to help hold up our arch and pulls on our great toe joint to prepare it to bend as we roll forward on our toes….read more.

 

Oct 16

Web Content for Canterbury Foundation

It was my pleasure to work with Canterbury Foundation by developing and editing web content for their new website:  www.canterburyfoundation.com.  My Grandad lived the last 8 years of his life at Canterbury and I have personally seen how they improve the quality of life for seniors in Edmonton.

Here is a sampling from the website: 

Welcome to Canterbury!

Canterbury Foundation has given the “Promise of Home” to Edmonton seniors for over 40 years.  We offer three retirement living options, a variety of healthcare services, recreational programs and a wide range of amenities.   All of these things contribute to providing a home where Edmonton seniors can experience a high quality of life, feel comfortable, safe and part of a vibrant community.

Our three seniors’ accommodation options allow a seamless continuum of care, so residents can stay in a familiar environment and age-in-place as their needs for support and assistance change.  We are proud to be a preferred choice for seniors’ housing and care and are strengthening our position to offer enhanced facilities, services and amenities to meet the increasing demands of a growing senior’s population.

Residents of Canterbury will benefit from meal services, housekeeping, laundry services, around-the-clock Registered Nurse availability as well as a wide range of recreational programs and activities to meet their social, mental and physical needs.  In addition to the high-quality independent living, assisted living and supportive living options, plus services and care; the staff team at Canterbury is passionate about their work, the residents they serve and enhancing the quality of life for seniors in their community.

Welcome to Canterbury.  We look forward to sharing with you the “Promise of Home”.

Canterbury Newsletters

I also assist with developing copy and content for the Canterbury Newsletter and editing their Year-in-Review documents.  You can find samples of those here:

Year in Review

Newsletter

Canterbury Social Media

I manage social media marketing for Canterbury Foundation.  Currently they have an active Facebook and Google+ page.  Here I am able to interact with family members of Canterbury residents, supporters, community members, staff and organizations that serve seniors in Edmonton and Canada.

I have developed and will be implementing a 5-week Facebook campaign leading up to Giving Tuesday on December 1st.  This campaign will share success stories of how donations of time and money have improved the life of residents, give recognition to Canterbury’s supporters and recruit future volunteers and donors.

Aug 10

Royal Oaks Video

Welcome to Royal Oaks!

This is a promotional video for the Royal Oaks development and their new showhome in Leduc County, Alberta.

Writer/Director:  Amy Hancock

Camera Operator/Producer:  James Cadden

“Discover a natural retreat, luxury living and a welcoming community at Royal Oaks, just 5 minutes south of Edmonton, Alberta! Watch to view the neighbourhood and our latest executive lifestyle show home.”

Jun 02

Website for South Cariboo Counselling

I recently worked on a website for South Cariboo Counselling, located in 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch, BC.  This project included administering web hosting and domain registration, choose and editing a WordPress template, creating all menus, pages and content.

Have a look here:  www.southcariboocounselling.ca

Website for South Cariboo Counselling

Jun 02

Sunset at Laurel Point

Blog article written for The Admiral Inn

The Admiral Inn is located in downtown Victoria, on the Inner Harbour just a few blocks away from Victoria’s key attractions. Walk along the harbour towards the Fairmont Empress Hotel and you’ll pass by the BC Parliament building and grounds, the Royal BC Museum, and all the activities happening in the harbour. That path will also take you to Thunderbird Park and the wonderful shopping and dining areas that make downtown Victoria such a vibrant place to be.

Walk in the opposite direction and you’ll be standing on Laurel Point. The Laurel Point path leads directly from our doorstep and goes around the historic point towards Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a short but very beautiful walk. You will see luxury yachts, tour boats and even float planes as they come and go from the Victoria Inner Harbour. It’s also one of the best places walking distance from the Admiral Inn to watch the sunset.

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Laurel Point has an interesting history as well. Located right at the entrance of Victoria’s Inner Harbur, the peninsula has always been a welcoming point for watercraft and passersby. In fact, the First Nations of the area used this very site for potlatch ceremonies hundreds of years ago. It was once called Dead Man’s Point and it was a gravesite where many Songhees chiefs were buried.

The photo below is from www.firstnations.de shows wooden figures in protective shelters surrounded by arbutus trees.  Unfortunately, like all First Nations gravesites in central Victoria, this one was vandalized and looted by settlers and quickly disappeared.

Enjoy this special area and take the time to sit on one of the many benches along the Laurel Point path and watch the sun sink beneath the land on the other side of the channel. A variety of bird life will add to the show of nature as yellow, orange and pink shoot across the sky and reflect on the calm evening water. It’s a relaxing and beautiful way to end your busy day in Victoria. The view is just as pretty on your walk back to the Admiral Inn!

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If you want to check it out during the day you can walk along the If you walk along the Laurel point path all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf in about 15 minutes from the Admiral Inn. This place is a very unique marine destination and unique to Victoria, BC. Come during the day when all the excitement is happening and you’ll find yummy restaurants, food kiosks, unique shops, eco-tour adventures and some curious harbour seals too! Wander down the docks with an ice cream cone and check out the cool float homes. Walk further and buy fresh fish right off the dock from a commercial fishing vessel.

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Apr 08

Why Consumer Reviews Can’t be Trusted

Blog post written for RenovationFind.com

Word of mouth has always been the most effective marketing tool. We are more likely to purchase a product or service if it has come highly recommended by someone we know and trust. The online world has taken hold of that word of mouth strategy and businesses are leveraging online reviews from consumers to increase their bottom line. It’s reassuring when we read multiple positive reviews about a company we’re about to invest in, but how many of these reviews are legitimate? Which online reviews can we really trust?

Reality of Fake Online Reviews

A search engine company called BrightLocal conducted a Local Consumer Review Study and concluded that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The study showed that 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of local business and 39% of those do so regularly. This proves the importance of online reviews in purchasing decisions.

Businesses see online reviews as a gold mine. It’s obvious that increased online ratings equal increased sales for any business. Businesses know this…even the bad businesses. The truth is that businesses generate fake reviews. In fact, we have seen job postings for freelance writers to write positive reviews for a business and even negative reviews for their competitors. Freelancer posting sites like Fiverr.com is full of advertisements offering to write online reviews. Ad postings on Craigslist show businesses offering to pay $10 a review for willing applicants.

Study finds 50% of consumer reviews are fake on home reno review site

TrustedPros, a home renovation directory and review site, has discovered and published the fact that in some Canadian cities nearly 50% of renovation companies on their site were posting fake reviews. The culprits at the top of the list were moving companies with 63% posting fake reviews. Close behind are floor refinishers, duct cleaning companies, locksmiths and commercial contractors.  Read more about their findings.

TrustedPros stated that they reject 30% of all reviews that come in because they didn’t pass their validation method and were deemed as deceptive or fake. They have a checklist of suspicions that is gone through with each review and technologies exists that run reviews through an algorithm that checks IP addresses and certain key words believed to be used in fake reviews.

If the manual procedures and technology exists to FIND fake reviews, don’t you think those fraudsters are using the same technology to get their review passed the system?

Some businesses are not so bold as to hire someone to post fake reviews. Some use little manipulation tools to encourage consumers to rave about them online. A common practice would be to offer incentives like gift cards or free products if customers will write positive reviews for them. Most people would write a positive review in exchange for a free tablet or dinner for two at a fancy restaurant.

It works in reverse as well. A company that gets a terrible review will suffer major consequences. Some businesses plant fake bad reviews against their competitors. Whether they’re paying someone to do it or doing it themselves, it happens and it happens often. Read this story where a business found out that the same negative reviews were copied and pasted on Google Reviews for his competitors as well! So can you trust that the negative reviews are truthful either?

There is a clever website called reviewskeptic.com.  Developed by Cornell University, this site allows you to put in the review and it will be able to tell you whether it is fake or real.

Finding Companies you can Trust on RenovationFind.com

RenovationFind.com is NOT a review site. We do accept consumer reviews on the companies listed in our directory but we do not share them. Consumer complaints are monitored. We investigate and validate the legitimacy of the complaint. If companies on our site do not maintain a high-level of customer satisfaction and do not uphold our other stringent accreditation standards then they are removed.

The companies on our directory have all been through a background check. We use a third party organization to complete legal and financial background checks and we continue to monitor their legal situation and credit to ensure they are still meeting our standards.

We also check their business license, insurance, provincial worker’s compensation coverage and whether they are a member of the Better Business Bureau. All of these efforts ensure that the businesses listed on RenovationFind.com are trustworthy, good companies that offer high-quality products, services and exceptional customer service.

When you find a renovation company on RenovationFind.com you can consider it a personal, unbiased and truthful personal recommendation from us to you

 

Apr 08

Quitting Smoking: Now might be the best time.

I had the pleasure working with the University of Alberta Hospital’s Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine to created this patient educational video. The video highlights the importance and benefits of quitting smoking before surgery.

Writer/Director: Amy Hancock
Camera Op/Producer: James Cadden

Feb 05

How to Use LinkedIn to Grow your Small Business

CN-Logo

Article written for the Coffee News Newsletter

How to Use LinkedIn to Grow your Small Business

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You probably have already set up a LinkedIn Profile.  You connected with some people you have in your network and then, likely, have just left your page laying dormant on the site.  Using LinkedIn to promote yourself and your small business can be very beneficial and even lucrative.   When used properly, LinkedIn can help you gain leads, generate real business, meet others in your industry, and create a forum for collaboration with like-minded business people.

Here are some tips to help you utilize LinkedIn to grow your business:

Complete your personal profile.

Half of the profiles on LinkedIn are no complete.  That means they are not showing up on a LinkedIn search and should someone actually find your profile it will look incomplete as will your products, services and credibility.

It is essential to list your past work experience; include any major projects or successes, and education.  You want to look like the well-rounded, well educated, industry expert that you are!  To show up on more LinkedIn, and even Google, searches try to incorporate a mix of relevant keywords people might search for regarding your industry in your profile.

LinkedIn will automatically generate recommended skills to include when you type in your professional categories.  Use these words as LinkedIn changes them frequently according to what is trending online in that industry and having them in your profile can be beneficial.

Create a Company Page.

Where your professional and personal page can be about your skills and experience, your company page is your opportunity to showcase your products and services.  Include relevant keywords or phrases in your company description to optimize your LinkedIn and other search engine results.

Include as many products or services that you can, make sure the proper contact information is on your page and that it’s well decorated with a professional profile picture and header image.

Make regular posts with your Company Page.

Keep your LinkedIn Company Page alive and active by regularly updating your status.  This is not as time consuming as you think.  You can updated it with what is currently happening in your company or industry, link to interesting articles and use other content to generate more ‘likes’ and followers of your content.

If you get more engagement with your updates, even your 2nd and 3rd connections (followers of followers) will start to see it on their networks.

Join in conversations, groups and share ideas!

LinkedIn is full of industry specific groups.  From creative writers to web designers, safety advisors to silk screen producers, HR consultants, book keepers, child care providers and more!  This gives you an opportunity to share ideas and to network with like-minded people.

To find a group access the Groups Directory through the “Network” link on the top of your LinkedIn homepage.  Select “Groups” and you will be brought to a page that will allow you to search for specific group categories.

You can even start your own group and specifically aim it to attract customers.  Being the leader of a group can help you become a leader on LinkedIn within your location in your area of expertise.

Request recommendations from employees and customers.

LinkedIn has a function that allows others to give a recommendation to your Company Page.  Ask your employees and your best customers to take the time to recommend you.  These are like referrals, and word of mouth marketing is still the most effective.

Getting started!

Being active on LinkedIn will help your business expand its network, generate new contacts and leads, improve your credibility and search engine optimization.

Need more help?

LinkedIn offers free training webinars through the help centre.  Click here to learn more!

Jan 07

Energy News for Solution 105

A blog post I put together for Solution 105

Alberta Reaches All-Time High Electricity Demand Due to Cold Weather

cold weather alberta

Photo from CTV Edmonton

It has been very cold outside since 2015 arrived last week.  Extreme cold warnings were issued throughout the province and most of us stayed huddled indoors waiting for the wind chills to blow out of town.

This cold winter weather pushed electricity demand in Alberta to a new all-time record on Monday, according to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)  The Edmonton Journal reported on the organization’s findings.

“Average demand for the period from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. was 11,169 megawatts, eclipsing by 0.3 per cent the previous record of 11,139 MW set Dec. 2, 2013.”

Temperatures have slowly been on the rise, reaching a balmy -18 degrees on Tuesday evening.  Mid-week temperatures promise to return to their seasonal highs of -8, however blasting winds will make the outdoor air feel more like -20 degrees Celcius.  On Monday the temperature lows, not including windchill, reached -21.9 C in Edmonton, -20.1 C in Calgary, -31.6 C in Grande Prairie, -25.9 C in Fort McMurray and -21.0 C in Medicine Hat.

The extreme cold temperature warnings remained into effect in the northern communities of Bonnyville, Peace River and Fort McMurray into Monday evening.  More people used electricity to keep warm, factoring into Monday’s high demand peak.

According to a spokesperson for AESO, other factors included Christmas lights, household appliances and more people using electricity in offices and workplaces after the long holiday break.

Edmonton has been rapidly expanding, welcoming an average of 30,000 new residents per year to its city limits.  The expanding energy sector in other areas of the province has seen similar increases.  This swell in the population means a swell in energy use.  The Edmonton Journal article stated that AESO said Alberta was on track for a 3.5 percent increase in electricity demand last year.

It takes energy to keep warm in the winter and energy to keep cool in the summer.  We are remembering the peak demand that occurred in July last summer.  Alberta set a new summer demand record at 10, 419.  Read about that in this blog post “Hot Temperatures Result in All-Time High Electricity Demand in Edmonton

Makes you miss summer, doesn’t it?

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