Category: Web

What is Supercrawl? 

James Street Supercrawl logo

Source: supercrawl.ca

Started in 2009 by Hamilton artists and community leaders, Supercrawl was created to enhance cultural experiences including the arts, music, fashion, performance, crafts and food and build on the James Street monthly Art Crawl.  Over the past six years, Supercrawl has grown in popularity, going from a one day to weekend long block party.

This free event will take place on James Street North in downtown Hamilton and runs from September 11-13.

 

Fred Penner appeared at Supercrawl

Fred Penner Source: supercrawl.ca

What to expect?

Supercrawl is Hamilton’s premium block party with live music from local and global artists, food trucks and more.  As in years past, there will be four stages for viewing pleasure, showcasing the entertainment.

A family zone is available, filled with activities for young children and parents.

 

Music Lineup

Artists from Canada & US have been announced to perform during the two day festivities.  Indie rockers and Hamilton natives, @BlackRhinoRiot, @CorbLund, @daniellanois, @alyssaleclair and @Monster_Truck_ are among the 50 + musical acts scheduled to showcase their talents at Supercrawl 2015.

Monster Truck Source: supercrawl.ca

Online

To keep up with the festivities all weekend and share your experiences, check out Supercrawl’s social media pages.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Supercrawl

Twitter: @supercrawl

Instagram: supercrawl

And if you are attending Supercrawl 2015 or simply want to discuss it, join the conversation by using the hashtags #Supercrawl2015 & #HamOnt.

For further information about the music lineup, vendors and more visit http://supercrawl.ca

 

Sources:

http://supercrawl.ca

http://supercrawl.ca/music

I recently attended the WordCamp Hamilton 2015. For those of you who don’t know, WordCamps are community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users and developers.

This event had two tracks, one for beginners/bloggers/designers and one for more advanced developers.  Each track had seven one-hour sessions with an expert speaker sharing their knowledge and information on a specific topic involving WordPress.

I attended the beginners track, since I’m relatively new to the whole WordPress world.  When I began my new role as Communications Coordinator, my level of knowledge of WordPress was below basic. However, I acquired those tools and skills quickly, learning as I go.  In my position, knowing how to operate WordPress is crucial, as our company is a great supporter of WordPress.

I sat in on four presentations during the event, including:

  • WordPress 101
  • 10 Steps To Build A Better Site For Less Than $100
  • Getting Started with Child Themes, and
  • The Art of Pinterest for WordPress.

WordPress 101 by Shanta Nathwani

This first presentation gave a review of the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.  To get right to the point, if you want to run your business off of WordPress and own the domain, WordPress.org is the one to use.  WordPress.com is more for personal use, if you like to blog in your spare time.  WordPress.org allows you to do more with your site, modify themes, add plugins and much more.  If you have a WordPress.com blog and want to change over to WordPress.org, it’s possible, it just comes with a fee.

New Motto’s team of experienced web developers are experts at creating functional WordPress websites. From the initial steps of choosing your theme to bringing your final website live on the internet, we will develop a WordPress website that suits your brand and vision. Learn more about our web development services here.

Getting Started with Child Themes by Nick Adams

Now, like most beginners to web design and development some of the topics were a tad advanced for me.  For example, the Child Themes presentation, I thought it was literally about child-themed websites.  Boy was I wrong, it is a completely different term and concept.  “A child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality and styling of another theme, called the parent theme. Child themes are the recommended way of modifying an existing theme.” – WordPress Codex. To put it in simple terms, speaker Nick Adams used this example: Your Parent Theme is like your head. Your Child Theme is like a hat. Customizing the Child Theme is like changing the hat. Updating the Parent Theme is like getting a haircut.

When developing a WordPress website, New Motto uses a child theme to make certain customizations to your website. Making customizations using a child theme allows you to update your parent theme (for example, if an updated version of the theme becomes available) without the fear of those customizations being overwritten.

The Art of Pinterest for WordPress by Ruth Maude

The last presentation I attended was quite interesting, it was discussing how to make your blog post Pinterest-friendly.  What intrigued me about this topic was the fact Pinterest is so much more than it appears. Pinterest is not just for browsing do-it-yourself ideas, design, make-up, fashion or baking ideas.  Using Pinterest for your business is a way to build your reputation in a niche market.

You can integrate Pinterest into your WordPress website in a variety of ways, including verifying your website with Pinterest, creating a “Follow Me” button,  or displaying a Pinterest board in a sidebar widget.

WordCamp is very informative.  It’s a great way to meet new people who are either starting up or are in web development/social media. Whether you are a beginner or advanced learner/developer these sessions shared a great deal of knowledge.

To stay connected with all the latest WordCamp news follow them on Twitter: @WordCamp and for more information and upcoming WordCamp conferences check out: https://central.wordcamp.org. If you would like to read more about the speakers, I’ve included the links to their presentations under Sources, below.

Check out the free swag we also received.  Who doesn’t like receiving free stuff?

FullSizeRender

Photo Credit: Jennifer Hanhan

Thank you WordCamp Hamilton for a very informative day! I learned a lot of new things and some things I still don’t understand. 😉

I also connected with new individuals, bloggers and developers who shared their experiences as well.

Looking for help with WordPress web development for your business?

CONTACT NEW MOTTO TO GET THE CONVERSATION STARTED

Sources:

https://central.wordcamp.org

http://www.shanta.ca

http://www.slideshare.net/nickadamstv/getting-started-with-child-themes

https://learnwp.ca/art-pinterest-wordpress/

You’ve heard about the breakout musical artists that found fame online (for more information on that, read Shawn Mendes and Walk Off The Earth find music success using Social Media),  but they are not the only ones.  A few other individuals have achieved success by posting online tutorials about beauty/makeup/fashion, comedy sketches and other content and videos as well.

YouTube and online stars and series have grown in popularity so much, that they have their own community and fans.  Award shows like The Webby Awards and events like DigiTour and #YouTubeFanfest now exist to celebrate this growing community.

The Webby’s

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honouring excellence on the internet.
Since their creation in 1996, The Webby’s reflect on the growth of the internet and honours excellence in five major media types.

  1. Websites
  2. Interactive Advertising & Media
  3. Online Film & Video
  4. Mobile Sites & Apps
  5. Social

“The Webby Awards is the internet’s most respected symbol of success.  Receiving nearly 13,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide.”

DigiTour

DigiTour is an event that brings your favourite YouTube and Vine stars to you via the world’s first all ages social media tour.

The tour features Hayes Grier, Aaron Carpenter and many more.

The 19-city tour makes a stop in Toronto on June 13, 2015 at Echo Beach. Click here to see the schedule. http://www.thedigitour.com/

YouTube Fanfest

YouTube Fanfest brings YouTube’s biggest superstars from around the world together on stage for unique live shows.

This year’s event took place May 2, 2015 at Yonge & Dundas Square in Toronto and included:

  • Free showcase featuring 12 YouTube stars
  • Hosted by YouTube funny lady Jenna Marbles
  • Also appearing Bethany Moto and more
  • Each star has over 1 million subscribers
  • 3 hour red carpet event
Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

As the popularity of online stars grow, so does the possibility of global fame through viral videos. Individuals post their content online hoping to build a niche following and expand from there, whether they are a musician, actor, talent scout, or expert.  The fans who may discover these individuals play a major role in spreading the word through e-mail, online forums and social media.

The uses of the online world are expanding everyday, becoming the norm for individuals to enjoy TV shows, movies, listen to music, and many more everyday activities.

As you can see, there are now award shows and events to honour and recognize the online community; but despite growing popularity they have not yet trumped more established media award ceremonies such as the Oscars or Grammys.

These online events have yet to create as much buzz or recognition as the more-historic Awards shows broadcasted on primetime TV. The Webby’s is not a “must-see” event for the masses…yet. However it may just be a matter of time before we all tune in to honour online media achievement in addition to feature films and music artistry.

Are you working on a concept for your viral video or social media campaign?

 

Sources
http://www.webbyawards.com
http://www.thedigitour.com/
http://www.youtubefanfest.com

While using search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! is not complex, the factors that determine the search results are.  Looking up something on the internet may seem simple enough, but there are many factors that determine how the top search results are ranked or indexed, for example, Google uses over 200!

When you are searching the internet for specific information, the search results that appear depend on the wording and phrases being used in your query.  As a result, websites attempt to generate content to match what users are looking for.

For example, if you search for “the best chocolate chip cookie recipes”  or “where is the best place to eat in Hamilton?” the search engine will pick up on the keywords and direct you to the sites that best match your search (in it’s humble opinion).  The more trusted, optimized, and popular the site is, the more likely it is to be in the top search results.

chocochipcookies

Photo Source Google Images

 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization”.  SEO is the process that affects the visibility of web pages in a search engine’s natural results.  SEO best practices and tools are used in website content and branding.

Reasons why companies use SEO on their website:

  1. To direct and build online traffic to the site
  2. To be in the top search results for their industry
  3. To increase their reputation, recognition and/or popularity

The three things above can be achieved by:

  • Improving the website’s interaction with users and search engines
  • Making it easy for users to find content
  • Offering quality content and services

 

How SEO works?

SEO is about improving how a web page is ranked and indexed.  One of the principal ways of achieving this is by having content match the keywords being searched.  SEO-optimized web sites utilize strategy, technique, tactics and finesse.

Why is SEO Important?

The importance of SEO optimization is it can improve the search engine ranking and visibility of your website and have a profound effect in determining the impact of your online presence. Embedding SEO keywords and best practices into your website is a necessary step.

If your website contains interesting content, it will increase your recognition and credibility.  Once the website has garnered traffic, the main goal is to keep visitors coming back to the site.

Continuing to promote the website may bring frequent visitors. By adding new quality and useful content, updating regularly, it will keep users interested and engaged and improve your SEO as search engines will identify your site has new content (which is one of the many factors considered).

Four, among the many, ways websites can optimize their web pages are:

  1. Optimize URLs
    include keywords in URLs
    less than 100 characters in length
  2. Title Tags
    include keywords in title of the web page or post
    less than 65 characters
  3. Heading Tags
    include keywords in headings within the content for better SEO results
  4. Keywords in Content
    use keywords throughout content of web pages
    include variations of keywords

Good SEO allows your site to be among the top ranked, top viewed and gain a good reputation – meaning you have a website that is trusted, reliable, and often updated with fresh and quality content.

Is your website gaining as much traffic as it can? Is it’s content out of date?

 

Sources

http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
http://www.seoworks.com/how-seo-works/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/02/20/the-9-on-page-seo-elements-you-need-in-2014/
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/70897?hl=en
http://www.whatisseo.com/

TAH_3

Source: Lou Molinaro

The other day I got to chat with Lou Molinaro, co-owner and promoter of Hamilton’s live entertainment venue, This Ain’t Hollywood.  We spoke about the success of local artists, Hamilton’s music scene and how social media factors in to the success of the venue, events and the artists who play there.

After leaving his previous job due to creative differences, Lou and his business partner, Glen Fulman found their own space.  In April 2009 a space for a new live entertainment venue was acquired and in June of the same year, This Ain’t Hollywood opened.

TAH_4

Source: Lou Molinaro

Local Arts & Community

This Ain’t Hollywood contributes to the local art scene, taking part in the art crawl each month on James Street North.  Every art crawl, a new/different artist will display their art at the back of the club.

Although the majority of the events that take place at the venue are 19+, Lou and his team ensure they don’t forget about the younger music fans.  Every Sunday they showcase an event for all ages, for artists to get a taste for performing in a live venue.  Lou creates relationships with young performers, so in the future once they (and their fans) are 19, they know where to play.

Social Media

I asked Lou about the importance of social media and having an online presence. In regards to their social media accounts, they have hired an individual who manages This Ain’t Hollywood’s Twitter and Facebook page.  Since Lou has been in the business, social media has changed the dynamic of promoting and marketing events.  He revealed that it has allowed This Ain’t Hollywood to reach cross border audiences, resulting in an increase of fans from Buffalo and Detroit coming to catch shows in Hamilton.

Marketing/Promoting

Marketing/promoting shows at This Ain’t Hollywood is a mix of old school promotion (print and posters) with the new school marketing of social media. Local artists are hired to create posters for upcoming shows.

“Hamilton is a city that has a lot of street traffic,”  said Lou, who mentioned the location of the posters is always strategically planned.  At the same time the posters can be seen, the local artist ties into the promotion of their artwork and/or show through social media.  CFMU student radio station at McMaster University, is another outlet where Lou promotes events at This Ain’t Hollywood.

Lou also shared a story about booking Monster Truck shortly after opening the club.  The show was a Monday night and they were promoting it heavily because it was a Monday and not on a weekend.  The show was a double bill with Monster Truck opening up for Mick Jagger’s son James Jagger and his band Turbogeist.  The success of the event and response Monster Truck received from the local crowd was amazing.  Monster Truck has since found positive recognition in Canada and across the globe.

Artists and Social Media

When it comes to promoting artists through social media, Lou suggests it’s a balance: “As much as we want to promote every show, sometimes it can be overkill. We don’t want to flood people’s social media feed, [to a point] at which they won’t stop and read our post.”

Terra Lightfoot, Lee Reed, Hachey The MouthPEACE  and Monster Truck are great examples of how social media can help spread success.  Social media is great tool for helping and supporting artists with upcoming album releases and shows.  It allows the artists to enlarge their fanbase and interact with their followers.

Lou emphasized that he embraces social media, as he believes it’s an important means of promoting, communicating and encouraging audiences to talk about and review the show.  He enjoys going home after a show and seeing all the videos, pictures and comments posted online.

Music Trends

This Ain’t Hollywood is not one to simply follow a trend for the sake of doing so.  The artists they book are from all genres of music.  Lou believes this variety is crucial in reaching a wide range of music fans.  Lou also believes in quality music, therefore he often pushes for more quality sounding artists than the most recent hit sensations looking for a stop on tour.  This Ain’t Hollywood isn’t about what artists will be the next big thing, its about supporting local artists, music and the community.

TAH_1

Source: Lou Molinaro

Hamilton’s Music Scene

Hamilton nourishes their artists.  With better known ones often taking newer or younger artists on tour with them.  What sets Hamilton apart is they don’t shy away from their originality.   Lou mentioned he’s seen a migration of artists coming from Toronto, which is making Hamilton’s music community more confident.

Don’t count out Hamilton as one of the leading music cities in Canada.  Artists and others in the music industry have taken notice of Hamilton’s music scene, which is growing, but also not afraid of offering something different.

Hamilton is becoming a true music community,” said Lou as he also noted there are seven venues in Hamilton that showcase original live music. “Not trying to be trendy or create a scene, we are community; this is how it will be in 5, 10 years time…Doing things our way!”

This Ain’t Hollywood is located at 345 James St. N. Hamilton, ON.  For more information and upcoming events check out their website http://www.thisainthollywood.ca/.  You can also follow and like them on Twitter and Facebook.

Vinyl Records, Cassette Tapes, CDs, MP3s, Online Streaming, which digital age of music were or are you a part of? All of them or just a few? The way music lovers listen to their favourite tunes has not always been the way it is today.

The Digital Age of Music

Boom-Box

Courtesy of Google Images

Thanks to the evolution of music technology, music has become more accessible and delivered on a number of different platforms over the years.

Before the popularity of MP3s and online streaming, the luxury of listening to music was not as simple or portable.  The evolution of music technology Radio and the introduction of FM was the first form of music technology. If you wanted to listen to music, you could only do so via the airwaves.

By the 1950s FM radio became mainstream and through RCA the cassette tape was born. In 1983 cassette tapes overtook vinyl as the most popular medium.

In the 1970s and 1980s we saw the advancement of music mediums.  Sony invented the Walkman and the Discman was introduced. The Walkman and Discman were devices that made it possible to listen to music on the go.

The CD became increasingly popular, overtaking the use of cassettes, and the 1990s saw the emergence of MP3s. MP3s are a compressed form of audio data. The 1990s introduced us to the world of MP3s and online file sharing.  However, the 2000s was the true era of MP3s. With the rise of MP3s, CD sales started to decline.

boy_listening_to_music

Courtesy of Google Images

Apple released the iPod, a palm-sized hard drive based music player, with the iTunes store launching in 2003.  Since the release of the iPod in 2001, Apple is one of the leaders in the digital music technology today. An innovator in music players, Apple has introduced many makes and models of the iPod since its debut.

From 2005-2008 the trend of posting music online gained popularity. YouTube and  Soundcloud were founded.  YouTube has helped launch the careers and discovery of artists like Shawn Mendes, Walk off the Earth, The Weekend and Arctic Monkeys.  (To learn how social media helped some of these artists grow their audience, read: https://newmotto.ca/shawn-mendes-and-walk-off-the-earth-find-music-success-using-social-media).  Soundcloud allows potential and established artists to embed their music easily on shareable pages. Viewers can then stay on that artist’s website or channel and listen to their songs directly from it.

Spotify, a social streaming service, started in 2008. Allowing listeners to stream music from their desktop, phone and tablet.

2013 and beyond is what can be branded the “age of streaming”. iTunes is at the forefront of the music shopping, with two-thirds of worldwide music purchases made through the app. Music streaming revenue also grew and online radio continued to compete with traditional radio.

  • 30% of music consumers use online streaming, with 1/5 of them paying for it.
  • Spotify has over 50 million users streaming music online, with 12.5 million subscribers.

Although some of these musical formats may not be a popular choice anymore, there are music lovers who enjoy keeping the old ways of enjoying music alive and have a collection of vinyl records or still go out and buy a physical copy of an album.

If the stats and numbers are any indication, traditional music listening technology is disappearing and becoming less available. Listening to music is moving into and potentially beyond the digital online streaming world. From vinyl to cassette to CDs to MP3 to online streaming, we’ve seen quite the evolution of music technology.

The digital age of music has made it infinitely more accessible. Having an online platform has made music easily accessible to download and share music with a wide range of people. With the internet easily accessed by the touch of a button, users can receive digital content on the go, on their mobile or MP3 devices. Music being online has given individuals a quick, easy and user friendly way to listen to, enjoy, and discover music both old and new.

Do you have content you need to make more accessible to your online audience?
Contact New Motto today to see how our team can help. >>

 

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2015/01/07/music-tech-ces/ 

http://www.vh1.com/music/tuner/2013-10-03/10-artists-discovered-internet/

In 2015, the JUNO Awards found its way back to Hamilton, Ontario.  This was the fifth time in JUNO history that Hamilton had the honour of being the host city.  Hamilton also hosted the JUNO Awards in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001.

About the JUNO Awards

The JUNO Awards is an annual event that takes place to honour and showcase the best in Canadian music.  They were introduced in 1970, it wasn’t until 1975 that the awards were broadcast live.  After 21 years, the JUNOS left the city of Toronto and hit the road.  Since then, a new Canadian city hosts the event each year.

JUNO Week

The JUNOS is not just a one day event, it’s a full week.  Leading up to the big show on Sunday, many events were taking place in and around Hamilton.

(Click on the hashtags below to see the conversation on Twitter.)

SirusXM Juno Awards Kick Off

The Sheepdogs, Tokyo Police Club and Say Yes officially kicked off the festivities with a live show at Hamilton’s historic Liuna Station.

JUNOfest

JUNOfest is a two-night music celebration that is part of JUNO Week 2015 that will hit more than 15 venues across the city.  JUNOfest is chance for the public to attend live shows from established and upcoming Canadian artists.  This event is an excellent promotional tool for local business.

JUNO Cup

juno_awards_hamilton_2015_hockeyJUNO Cup is a charitable hockey game, where NHL greats and Olympic athletes face off against Canadian musicians.  The JUNO Cup was first introduced in 2004.  This fun game is something you won’t see anywhere else.  Where else but the JUNO Cup can you see former Maple Leaf Gary Roberts cross-check Canadian rocker Chris Crippin? #JUNOCup

JUNO Fan Fare

juno_awards_hamilton_2015_shawn_mendesJUNO Fan Fare brought the masses to Limeridge Mall.  Fan fare is an opportunity for fans to meet their favourite Canadian artists.

Artists like Shawn Mendes, Arkells, Lights, Sam Roberts and Dallas Smith, just to name a few, all took part.

Twitter and Instagram were buzzing with photos of fans, the artists and lots of selfies!  #JUNOFanFare

 

JUNO Red Carpet

The red carpet is one of the most exciting element of any awards show.  Whether you are lucky enough to be part of it in person or watch it on television from home, it’s the place where all your favourite celebrities arrive.  I got to experience the red carpet live up close and personal.

juno_awards_hamilton_2015_red_carpetThere was a strong effort to build the red carpet’s online presence.  Reporters were using selfie sticks during their interviews, while showcasing the crowd. A Vine 360 cam captured the full head to toe look of the artists.  Fans were also involved, tweeting their photos from the red carpet using #JUNORedCarpet and #JUNOS.  JUNO TV live streamed the whole event for viewers at home.

2015 JUNO Awards

Before the show kicked off, a slideshow on two video screens displayed how the audience stayed connected through the entire event using social media.  Photos and videos from all the JUNO events were being shared on the JUNOS online pages.  A montage video featured a look into the beauty and history of Hamilton.

Social media was the source of determining which artist took home the TD Canada Trust Fan Choice award.  The fan choice awards is powered by voting through Twitter and Facebook.
Live tweeting from many radio, TV and online media outlets, took place during the event.

@TheJUNOawards updated their Twitter page throughout the broadcast, posting videos of the night’s performers.  #JUNOTV also hosted a backstage lounge, where they interviewed the night’s big winners.

Smartphones were being used more than digital cameras to capture the moment.  By being able to use a smartphone, individuals could post/share their content in real time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

In addition to the internet and social media platforms buzzing with information about the Hamilton-based event, the JUNO Awards were beneficial to the host city in a number of ways, such as:

  • Increasing tourism
  • Promoting local businesses
  • Increasing revenue for local businesses
  • Supporting local musicians

All in all, the 2015 JUNO Awards was a very memorable event and had a great online presence to help add to the conversation.

–Jennifer Hanhan, Communications Coordinator, New Motto Inc.


Are you considering how you can use social media to help promote your next event?
Contact New Motto to learn more.





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