One aspect of my job I really enjoy is that I get to experiment. Part of my role as the head of business development for Yellow Pages Group is to manage Traffic and Distribution which is about generating 3rd party traffic to YellowPages.ca. This gives me the liberty of working with most of the major Canadian online brands. Being a number’s guy also gives me the ability to clearly see what does and what does not work in the marketplace and how users react.
Although I can’t share specific numbers, I often like to ask people’s opinions as to what integrations they like or dislike. Many times the correlation between what people perceive as the best type of integration is consistent with the performance of an integration. Other times, what people believe is the best integration may not be the one that produces the best numbers.
So for today’s poll, I have 3 integrations of YellowPages.ca on major players in Canada, CBC.ca, GlobeandMail.com and TheWeatherNetwork.com. My question, which integration do you prefer?
The poll is located below the examples with the associated links.
CBC.ca on the My Region Page
Contained within CBC.ca is a section called MY REGION. This is an aggregated view of all the news, weather and information about your particular market. At the bottom of each of the MY REGION pages is a “What’s Nearby” section. If a user types in a search query, they are redirected to the “What’s Nearby” page on CBC (powered by YellowAPI.com) or if they click on any of the hotlinks, they are redirected to YellowPages.ca.
Check out the Montreal My Region to play with it yourself. Here is a snapshot of the integration:
Globe and Mail
For the Globe and Mail there are 2 integrations. One integration is part of their main search navigation, options there for Globe users include search for NEWS, QUOTE (this is stock quote), WEB, BUSINESS (this is yellowpages.ca) and PEOPLE (this is canada411.ca). The second integration is located on their content pages, on the right hand side, where a user has access to mini-search brick that contains, BUSINESS, PEOPLE and DEAL search.
To see a working example, check out the REPORT on BUSINESS Section on Globe and Mail to test both of the integrations above. I have also included a screenshot.
The Weather Network
Contained on every city page on TheWeatherNetwork.com is a YellowPages.ca search with links to popular categories. Of course everything is geographically relevant to the user so all clicks go to the appropriate place. The brick is located towards the bottom of the page under long-term forecast.
You can see a working example on the Toronto Weather page details. Here is a screenshot.
Now to the poll question, which integration of YellowPages.ca do you prefer?
According to ComScore in November 2010, the top 10 web properties in Canada (in order) were: MSN, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Wikimedia Foundation, eBay, Ask Network, Sympatico, Apple and Yellow Pages Group.
Out of this group 9 of these properties existed back in 2001. Facebook was the only one that did not exist, so for Facebook, we go back to 2006.
Here is the visual of Canada’s Top 10 Web Properties from 10-years ago:
Facebook – Note 2006 is the first image
Finally, some very popular Canadian websites that are due an honorable mention:
The Weather Network
Images are screencaps taken from WayBack Machine.
2010 was a pretty incredible year at Yellow Pages Group. As the head of business development I get the pleasure of being on the cutting edge of looking at technologies and seeing what is emerging. I also get to travel lots (which has pros and cons), which means that while on the road I rely heavily on communication devices to stay in touch and to make life easier.
My main communication device is my iPhone. I also have an iPad, which I use extensively while in the US by dropping in my AT&T Sim Card. Usually during a discussion, I get asked 2 common questions about my communication tools:
1) How do you like the iPhone?
2) What apps do you use?
How do you like the iPhone?
For the most part, I like it. Our company uses Microsoft Exchange Server which allows me to easily sync my email, calendar and contacts. My iPhone is a business phone so access to email is critical. The downside is the battery life. I am currently using a 3GS (I have not upgraded yet to the iPhone 4) and the battery is weak to say the least. For the most part this is not that big of an issue – there are usually plugins everywhere, including Air Canada which has a USB plug in the seat back TV which you can use to charge your iPhone, however, there have been times when I have been caught without a charge. If you plan to use the iPhone for business here are some power recommendations:
1) Also carry your cables – the USB with power plug. Wrap this up and keep it on you.
2) Buy a USB lighter adapter for your vehicle – buy a small travel one to take with you in car rentals
3) Buy a backup batter charge – I have the Kensington Mini Battery Pack, this little charge has saved me a few times, will give you the needed boost to get your through until you can find a plug
What Apps do you use?
I have a lot of apps on my iPhone, however, for this top list, I have decided to break it down to into 3 categories – 1) apps I use weekly, 2) apps I use at least once per month 3) other apps I like and use, but not as frequent.
1) Apps I use weekly
First let me start with the pre-installed apps that come with the iPhone – the eight that I use weekly, in many cases daily are,
Now for the downloaded apps:
WeatherEye by The Weather Network
If you live in Canada, Weather is a critical event. If you travel as much as I do, weather is a tool that helps you plan. I like this app for 3 reasons: 1) interface is attractive and easy to use, 2) lots of information provided, current, short and long-term and 3) the ease of flipping from one city to the next.
This is one of the ultimate business applications that is installed on every computer I own and all mobile devices. The repository of information that I use on a daily basis to make the decisions I make.
This could be an entire blog post itself, but let me boil it down to 3 main reasons why I use FourSquare (BTW – I do check in almost everywhere I go with foursquare – follow me). Reason #1 – more so in the US, but checking in allows me to see popularity of this application and watch grow patterns in terms of what people are using it for, #2) connecting with people – for business FourSquare allows me, especially at conferences, to see who is around that I need to connect with and to broadcast that I am around and for personal, foursquare has connected me with friends when our paths cross, and #3) deals – mostly in the US, but checking in can unlock discounts.
Great little app for tracking your calorie intake, use it daily.
#2 – Apps I use monthly
There are lots, so here a rapid fire:
DropBox – sometimes you just to access a file on the go
Globe and Mail – keep current on news in Canada
YellowPages.ca – the ultimate business look-up tool. For a deeper review, check out my blog post – New YellowPages.ca Application Available
Awesome Note – integrates with Evernote and is used as a task list – the notification feature is what I really like
What’s On? – Great for hotels, punch in the area code/zip code, select the provider and have access to tv schedule
AccuFuel – Handy app for tracking your gas milage
Air Canada – checkin to your flights and get notified of changes, killer
Skype – for the most part works great, however, if a super critical phone call, don’t rely on Skype
TED Mobile – I always take some time to listen to the latest speakers
#3 – Other apps I like
RedFlagDeals and ShopToIt – two great Canadian shopping applications for deals and product inventory
WebEx – if you need to jump on a presentation while in the cab, this gives you access – although screen size can be a big problem. The iPad version is killer though
Units – need a conversion in a pinch?
Shazam – spent a lot of money buying music from iTunes because of this app.
Flixster – killer movie application, will give you a sense of what you are in for and whether it is worth the money
What’s your favorite applications?