Award Winning Social Media Promotions

Blender was for­tu­nate to be part of an amaz­ing team that was rec­og­nized at the 2014 ICSC Shop­ping Cen­tre Awards for two adver­tis­ing cam­paigns.

Our cam­paign won gold for Spring Style Find at West­shore Town Cen­tre. Blender, work­ing with social media mar­keter Cre­at­ing Excel­lence, designed a Face­book “inter­ac­tive gam­ing expe­ri­ence.”  Our app was mobile friendly and existed in a social media con­text to encour­age cus­tomers to con­nect with West­shore and share the con­test with each other.

Spring Style Find — West­shore Town Cen­tre

West­shore Town Cen­tre launched Spring Style Find, an in-mall and online inter­ac­tive gam­ing expe­ri­ence. This cross-platform con­cept meshed the iconic Price is Right with the idea of hav­ing cus­tomers guess the cor­rect prices of prod­ucts from the Cen­tre. Spring Style Find was a real win­ner with a 6.95% increase in sales, an addi­tional 25,000 shop­ping min­utes and an esti­mated 8,900 store vis­its to search out cor­rect prices and an aver­age store visit per shop­ping trip that increased from 1.5 stores to 4.9!

(more…)

author:

Amazon Glacier cost calculator

backup with amazon glacier and Arq3 - photo by kaet44

Recently I sug­gested using the Ama­zon Glac­ier data stor­age ser­vice for cre­at­ing an online backup of your impor­tant data.  I said the ser­vice was inex­pen­sive cost­ing me under $10 after 50 days.  Wong Liang Zan cre­ated a cal­cu­la­tor through which you can fig­ure out var­i­ous costs you might incur if you use Ama­zon Glac­ier.

To use:

  • open the cal­cu­la­tor
  • choose a data cen­ter (Ore­gon)
  • add a backup size in Giga­bytes (200GB — this is pretty huge, or look how much of your hard drive is used)
  • enter a dura­tion in days (365?)

You can also test some sce­nar­ios like a retrieval to see how much that would cost.  Using my sam­ple num­bers the cost for the year was $24, and the retrieval would be $30 for a 24hr trans­fer.

Glac­ier Cost Cal­cu­la­tor

If you haven’t read them already you can learn more about Ama­zon Glac­ier in my blog posts off site backup with Ama­zon Glac­ier and 50 days with Ama­zon Glac­ier backup.

50 days with Amazon Glacier backup

backup with amazon glacier and Arq3 - photo by kaet44

Ama­zon Glac­ier and Arq 3 com­bined allow for off-site com­puter backup solu­tion. In Novem­ber I posted about my first impres­sions back­ing up with Ama­zon Glac­ier client Arq 3 .  Nearly 2 months in it seems like a good time for an update of my con­tin­u­ing thoughts on this off-site data backup solu­tion.  You can read more about the ser­vice and my ini­tial setup of the soft­ware in my pre­vi­ous post off-site backup with Ama­zon Glac­ier .

Glac­ier is just like it sounds: S-L-O-W.  The process of upload­ing my ini­tial com­plete backup is still in process and has been for 50 days, almost con­tin­u­ously.  There are of course lots of fac­tors includ­ing my house­hold inter­net upload speed.  And it is a lot of data, 165GB to date accord­ing to Arq.  Although I could have sim­ply pointed Arq at my hard drive to back it all up, I chose to pick and choose what I thought was most crit­i­cal and incre­men­tally add to my backup.  Based on the time it has taken I strongly rec­om­mend this approach — get the impor­tant data backed up first!

Test­ing your backup is crit­i­cal.  I ini­ti­ated a file restora­tion of a backed up 6MB file, which Arq reported I could expect the file to be deliv­ered in 4 hrs.  The file arrived as promised within min­utes of the 4 hours.

Glac­ier being slow can­not be fairly con­sid­ered a crit­i­cism as it is adver­tised as exactly that: Glac­ier.  What Ama­zon is offer­ing is low cost data stor­age.  To date I have spent less than $10 in fees, the major­ity being upload trans­fer charges. For instance for the month of Decem­ber while pop­u­lat­ing my backup:

81.266 GB $0.81 ($0.010 per GB / month)
76,613 Requests $3.83 ($0.050 per 1,000 requests)

All-in-all I am very happy with the Arq 3 and Ama­zon Glac­ier redun­dant cat­a­strophic backup solu­tion.  I’ll con­tinue to run Time Machine as a quick access local backup.

If you missed it I encour­age you to read my first post, off-site backup with Ama­zon Glac­ier , where you will find my ini­tial impres­sions dur­ing setup and the first few days with Arq 3 . (more…)

Blender welcomes Genssante

Employee Group Benefits   Individual Medical Health Care Insurance

Blender is happy to wel­come new client Genssante. Blender will be doing their ongo­ing main­te­nance and updates.  First task — update the web­site using php script­ing to make main­tain­ing it eas­ier and cheaper.

Thanks to client Mark Rosen­garten (markrosengartenmd.ca) for the refer­ral.

another wordpress website

Wordpress based website built by Blender Design

Another assign­ment for Cre­at­ing Excel­lence, small busi­ness mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist.  Cor­ner Equip­ment needed a web­site that vis­i­tors could nav­i­gate quickly, that was easy to main­tain, and that search engi­nes would pick up and list.  Because of the client’s expe­ri­ence with Word­Press there was no ques­tion it would be our plat­form of choice.  Word­press is the most straight­for­ward CMS (Con­tent Man­age­ment Sys­tem) avail­able, and because it is enjoy­ing recent pop­u­lar­ity there is no short­age of exten­sions  and sup­port.

Blender cre­ated a cus­tom theme based on Cre­at­ing Excellence’s design.  Care­ful atten­tion was taken to ensure the web­site gen­er­ated would be friendly to search engi­nes.  An SEO strat­egy was part of the early design process.

One inter­est­ing fea­ture of the Cor­ner Equip­ment web­site is the pro­cess­ing of images attached to items in the inven­tory.  Pic­tures are uploaded by the site owner and auto­mat­i­cally resized for dif­fer­ent pur­poses, lit­tle or no out­side pre­pro­cess­ing required.

Visit Cor­ner Equip­ment

Preparing to Launch On Trac

Long time client Gary Mitchell of GEM Com­mu­ni­ca­tions wanted his web­site re-branded and updated.  On the top of his list of require­ments was a con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem and an SEO friendly design.  You can check out the pro­gress at OnTracCoach.com.  Watch for a more in depth launch announce­ment here…

Massage Therapy on Dunbar ~ Website Launch

Massage Therapy on Dunbar - Benefits of Massage

Blender recently launched Mas­sage Ther­apy on Dunbar’s first web­site.  This brand new busi­ness just opened and need a web­site to help intro­duce them­selves to the Dun­bar neigh­bour­hood.  Owner Vicki Bell was referred to Blender by long time client Shel­ley Hilliard of Hilliard Design — thanks Shel­ley!

Vicki was on a tight bud­get so we focused on sim­ple straight for­ward func­tion­al­ity.  Search Engine Opti­miza­tion (SEO) was a pri­or­ity, as was cross-platform com­pat­i­bil­ity.  Fea­tured tech­nol­ogy was jQuery used in the tran­si­tions dur­ing page loads.

The Mas­sage Ther­apy on Dun­bar web­site is fea­tured in my port­fo­lio, and you can visit it online at massagetherapyondunbar.com.

Blender (we)blog Launched

Website Design Build Host | Blender Design

Blender has expanded its web­site to include a (we)blog.  The blog will act a plat­form from which Blender will share news and infor­ma­tion with vis­i­tors, to Face­book, and to Twit­ter.  Posts top­ics will include web­site launches and hi-lights, Blender Design news, and gen­eral web design indus­try news and infor­ma­tion.

Built on the Word­Press blog­ging and con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem (CMS),  Blender designed a cus­tom tem­plate based on the blender web­site so that the blog would mesh seam­lessly with our exist­ing con­tent.

The blog also serves as a tech­nol­ogy demon­stra­tion to show clients how Word­Press can be inte­grated into a web­site.

Hello world!

Wel­come to Word­Press. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blog­ging!

For test­ing pur­poses I needed an exter­nal link.