A Canuck In The Machine

Mark Relph - Senior Director - Startup and VC Team

July, 2008

  • A Canuck In The Machine

    MLS.ca gets a make-over. Welcome Realtor.ca

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    CREA launched a new interactive version of the MLS.ca site called REALTOR.CA.   This is a welcome improvement to a site that every potential home buyer has likely used.  Realtor.ca uses Virtual Earth (yes, that’s 2 major wins for Virtual Earth this week in Canada – 3 if you include ASK.COM in the US) and overlays the listing data onto the map.  I have been looking for a home for months and this is something I have been waiting for!

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  • A Canuck In The Machine

    411.ca & Virtual Earth

    • 1 Comments

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    Today 411.ca announced their new site design, along with the integration with Virtual Earth.

    411.ca Enhances Local Search Experience For Canadians
        Microsoft Virtual Earth and Facebook-sharing among options on new website
    
        TORONTO, July 2 /CNW/ - 411.ca, Canada's local search engine, has
    unveiled their newly re-vamped website to help Canadians connect with local
    businesses and people more quickly, easily, and accurately.
        New features were created with feedback from many of the 2 million
    Canadians who visit the site each month. The enhanced services enable the
    thousands of businesses that advertise with 411.ca to provide more detailed
    and customized information about themselves, making a stronger impression on
    potential customers and generating more qualified leads.
        "It's all about making local search easy for Canadians," said Stephen
    Curry, President and CEO of 411.ca. "At 411.ca, we provide an easy and
    intuitive tool for consumers, while giving our business customers the best
    value for their advertising dollars... online, mobile, SMS - regardless of the
    channel, we are continually looking to strengthen that connection between
    consumers in buying mode and businesses that serve them."
        As the only local search engine in Canada to provide consumers with a
    single search box function, 411.ca lets users find what they are looking for
    quickly and simply. With intuitive keyword filters and category options, users
    get the most accurate information every time.
        411.ca worked with a number of partners to introduce new multimedia and
    interactive elements to the site, further simplfying the search process while
    providing a more robust consumer experience. No matter what the business is -
    local or national, an independent retailer or large chain franchise - the new
    features allow merchants to provide a much richer image to customers.
        Local businesses now have the option of video ads that add flair and
    personality to their directory listing. 411.ca and video production group
    PixelFish have created a video integration service that is impressive enough
    for large companies, at a price that any business can afford.
        With the save-and-share function, users can quickly and conveniently send
    their search results to friends via text message and various online platforms
    including Facebook pages or Outlook(R) calendars. This business information
    save-and-share feature is provided by online tool developers AgendiZe.
        Providing another layer of user convenience is the addition of
    interactive maps and directions through Microsoft(R)'s new Virtual Earth(TM)
    mapping software. This feature automatically appears on every page, to better
    assist customers with their search results.
        "As evidenced with the high Web traffic on www.411.ca, consumers want the
    ability to find accurate information as quickly and easily as possible," says
    Mark Relph, Vice President, Development and Platform, Microsoft Canada Co. "In
    addition to providing access to real-time information, 411.ca is providing
    Canadians with a more engaging and valuable user experience by integrating
    detailed and immersive mapping services with the Microsoft Virtual Earth-based
    platform."
        A less visible new feature is the significant expansion of 411.ca's
    client services team, allowing business customers to refine their advertising
    space as often as they like with help from a dedicated account manager. As
    Canada's local business search engine, 411.ca's goal is to continue innovating
    and providing users with the search tools they need, while offering high value
    results for local businesses.
        "As a small business owner, I really appreciate cost-effective ways to
    reach my local market," said Mac Nosewicz, owner, Yorkville Limosine Ltd.
    "411.ca offers choice and value to Canadian businesses - and because they are
    local, they understand the area I am trying to reach. They make it so much
    easier to gain exposure in the Greater Toronto Area by reaching customers who
    are looking for exactly what my business is about!"
    
        About 411.ca
    
        411.ca is all you need(TM) in Canadian online search. More than two
    million visitors use the site each month to find information about businesses
    and individuals in Canada. The company features over 1.3 million businesses
    and is home to thousands of advertisers. With offices in Toronto and Montreal,
    411.ca is owned and operated by 411 Local Search Corp(TM). For more
    information on 411.ca, please visit www.411.ca.
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