Tag Archives: The Weather Network

The 9 iPhone applications that I use every single day of the year

Looking back at 2012 I received a lot of questions regarding what apps I use on my iPhone. Like everybody, I have my list of favorite applications but as I reflect on 2012 I started thinking about which apps I use on a daily basis and are now part of my daily activity. That list is much shorter than apps that I like.

I have broken this blog post into 2 sections. The first section covers the applications that I use every day and yes that means 365 days per year. The second section covers applications that I are my favorites and help me solve specific problems but do not fall into the 365 days per year usage category.

For the purposes of my top list I am not including the default apps of Mail, Message, Calendar and Clock that I use daily.

5 Additional iPhone Apps that I use everyday of the year

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FourSquare

What I like about it: Foursquare is my historical view of places I have been. I use it daily to help me solve 3 specific use case; 1) it helps me remember some of the great restaurants I have been to and which ones I want to go back to in the future, 2) I use it to discover new restaurants that I want to visit based on my friends checkins/tips as well as the foursquare community and 3) it is always fun to save some money by taking advantage of FourSquare specials.

My tip for new users: there is an option in FourSquare to share your checkins on Facebook and Twitter. I recommend that you don’t post all your mundane regular checkins but instead reserve it for travel locations and unique places you visit. This way you don’t upset your friends or followers.

Some data points on my FourSquare usage. If you check out my tripsQ page (http://tripsq.com/darbysieben) – you will notice that as of this posting date I have travelled 481K kilometers. Other data points, I have been using FourSquare for the past 1060 days and have compiled 5507 checkins during that time.

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Waze

What I like about it: Crowdsource traffic conditions and turn by turn navigation. My use cases; 1) when at home keeps me up to date on travel times and gives me recommendations if I should change my regular routes, 2) when I travel and rent a car my go to app for turn by turn directions and the ability to accurately predict my ETA to my location and 3) when I take a taxi this app keeps the cab driver honest and has saved my money in the past when taxi drivers want to take me on a different route.

My tip for new users: Carry a charger in your car. This app, if you run it all the time like I do, drains the battery just like any turn by turn / map navigation app for the iPhone. Second find a good spot to mount it in your vehicle. I am lucky as both my vehicles allow me to mount right behind my steering wheel.

Some data points on my Waze usage. I started using it everyday in Q3 of this year. So far I have posted 122 alerts for other drivers and have racked up 8810km’s in driving data.

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Zite Personalized Magazine

What I like about it: This app keeps me up to date with all the industry news that I require to do my job as well as personal interests that I want to stay on top of. My use cases; 1) its my primary news feed – nuff’ said and 2) is the primary tool that I use to populate my twitter account twitter.com/darbysieben.

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Google Chrome

What I like about it: I do a lot of searches and viewing of websites on my iPhone. For me, Google Chrome is much better than the default Safari browser. My reasons for stating this; 1) syncs with my Google account so that I can move from desktop to iPhone and have my search history/bookmarks move with me, 2) search within the URL browser – I hate the fact that on Safari you have a website URL entry and then a separate search entry box and 3) faster – although I don’t have any concrete numbers to validate this, it appears to be faster.

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Facebook App

What can I say about facebook; it’s always nice to stay up to date with friends and family.

Here is a list of other apps that I use regularly and solve specific needs.

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There’s Something About Weather; It’s Time to Get Hyperlocal

Like most Canadians my life is greatly influenced by weather. Knowing the forecast helps me make decisions on what I need to wear, what to pack when I travel and where to select a vacation destination. On the business side, I have always been fascinated with weather because it is one of those really boring businesses (nothing sexy about it), has high user frequency and is a pretty decent way to sell targeted advertising.

In fact, after I sold KS2 Solutions in 2005 I almost joined Pelmorex (known for TheWeatherNetwork.com or MetroMedia.com) to head up their sales in Western Canada. I ultimately decided to join Yellow Pages Group in early 2006. In January 2010 I ended up striking a partnership between YellowPages.ca and TheWeatherNetwork.com, read the post here – The Weather Network add Local Search and YellowPages.ca adds Weather – A Deeper Look at this Partnership.

Bottom line – weather has been an important part of my business and personal life.

My latest venture into weather is an investment in a new Montreal based start-up that is taking precipitation forecasting to a hyperlocal level, called SkyMotion Research. You can learn more about the company at SlideShare. They recently had some write-ups in popular blogs, check them out here:

TUAW –
Sky Motion for iOS lets you know what weather is coming on a very local basis

The Verge –
Sky Motion’s up-to-the-minute weather tracking app comes to the web

Mobile Syrup –
SkyMotion launches mobile web app to predict hyperlocal precipitation

Currently the application is iOS based with an Android version coming soon. See screenshot below which was a short-term forecast at my office in Calgary. You can download the iOS app here. You can also play with the online version at SkyMotion’s website, just enter your address.

SkyMotion

I can definitely say that I am not alone when it comes to the importance of weather. Exactly how big is the weather market in Canada? Here are some stats you might find interesting.

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[POLL] Best Integration of YellowPages.ca – CBC, Globe & Mail, or The Weather Network?

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:

CBC Integration of YellowPages.ca

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.

NOTE: there is also a mobile integration on the Globe and Mail iPhone Application, you can see screenshots here.

Globe and Mail Integration of YellowPages.ca

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.

The Weather Network Integration of YellowPages.ca

Now to the poll question, which integration of YellowPages.ca do you prefer?


The Weather Network add Local Search and YellowPages.ca adds Weather – A Deeper Look at this Partnership

On January 7, YPG issues the following press release – “Yellow Pages Group Partners With The Weather Network And MétéoMédia to Provide Local Weather on YellowPages.ca“.

Greg Sterling did a commentary on the integration on this website, titled, “Weather An Engaging Add for YPG” in which he goes on to say, “This seems like a very small thing: Yellow Pages Group Partners With The Weather Network and MeteoMedia to Provide Local Weather on YellowPages.ca . . . But it has some interesting potential to drive more frequent usage of the site.” Some interesting discussion on this post – check it out to read all the comments.

I thought I would show some integration from both a YellowPages.ca and a TheWeatherNetwork.com perspective. The deal itself is actually a two-way deal – having The Weather Network integrated on YellowPages.ca and YellowPages.ca integrated on The Weather Network.

From a YellowPages.ca Perspective:

Let’s assume that a user was conducting a Dentists in Vancouver search from the home page of YellowPages.ca.

Dentists in Vancouver on YellowPages.ca

On the following search results page, you will notice above the map – it gives you the current weather conditions within Vancouver.

Dentists in Vancouver Search Results Page with Weather on YellowPages.ca

If you want a longer term view of the weather, simply click on the “Forcast” and you will see the weather for the next 24-hours.

Dentists in Vancouver Search Results Page with Extended Forecast on YellowPages.ca

From the press release, “The addition of local weather forecasts on YellowPages.ca™ is another feature within our online environment that will help consumers make better decisions, when looking for local information,” said Nicolas Gaudreau, Vice-President, Digital Media, Yellow Pages Group. “We are thrilled to partner with The Weather Network and MétéoMédia to continue providing Canadians with useful and locally relevant information.”

From a TheWeatherNetwork.com Perspective:

TheWeatherNetwork.com itself is one of the true local players in Canada. If has every city and town in the country in which you can your weather forecast from. Under this deal, they have added YellowPages.ca to each of these local pages to make it easier for their users to get local business information.

Located just below the Weather News on each of their city pages (the following example is for Weather in Vanvouver) you will see the integrated YellowPages.ca search with some popular link categories.

Weather in Vancouver with Local Search provided by YellowPages.ca

Let’s assume that you clicked on Restaurants on The Weather Network, you would be redirected to the following page. Notice the search box, you can enter any local keyword in there for results page on the city in which you are viewing the weather in.

Restaurants in Vancouver from TheWeatherNetwork

What These Means for Local Businesses

This extends the reach for all local businesses listed on YellowPages.ca with one of Canada’s Leading Online Properties. TheWeatherNetwork.com is one of the top 25 online properties (according to ComScore MediaMetrix) in Canada and now businesses are either one click or one keyword away from potential consumers.

Tell Me What You Think

If you are interested in working with YPG Canada on these types of integrations, please feel free to connect with me. As Director of Business Development, these types of integrations are just a part of my teams deliverables. Connect with me via LinkedIn-Darby Sieben and I will respond with my work email address and next steps in the discussion.

If you have comments on this integration, please feel free to post a comment.