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Newsletter: Our site Re-design is Underway (Feb 25, 2018)

The Olympics are over (thank goodness)

As people stop being glued to their televisions at all hours of the day or night, their attentions will shift back to their own community, their regular lives. And to local businesses like YOURS, and like OURS.

Why Redesign?

We have been fortunate to use the same content management system since launch, but it finally need to be replaced. We are migrating our website(s) from a system that worked beautifully for the past 18 years.

The system was incredibly efficient, and it has helped us with multiple redesigns over the years: expanding from 6 to 30 cities, adding a mobile version, moving to responsive design, and lastly, adding the "Pinterest wall" look. It used object-oriented programming, and let us pre-compile HTML pages on a local PC to upload to our webserver. The server could speedily serve pages to visitors with a SINGLE file download, instead of compiling a lot of file sub-components on-the-fly.

But it just finally just stopped working. And the Calgary company that created it (bless their hearts) hit the Internet Graveyard about 15 years ago, so support was no longer available.

First Principles & Learning

The re-design process forced us to go to First Principles: What were we trying to do for users? How was our content going to be updated and published? It was NOT an easy choice. Those familiar with WordPress think it's easy. NOT when you have a hundred thousand pages to manage... How would your Pages menu work with that many files?

This past Fall, we converted our site, and our site. They were--for us--a much smaller 3,000 pages of content. We tested methodologies, coding styles, and identified efficiencies for the conversion.

New Best Practices. We are 18 years old now...

Since our sites have been around since 1999--longer than Google-- search engines "grandfathered" our sites on many site ranking criteria, for which new sites may be heavily penalized. With a new version of our site, the "grandfathering" was on the line, so we moved to today's Best Practices. We made filenames more meaningful, separating words with hyphens, and abandoning short-forms that sped URL typing, which hurt us in search results.

Old File Names (a sample!)

New File Names & Link (click to bookmark)











We made some of our directory names more descriptive:

Old Directory name

New Directory name (click to view)















Our process involves to review & recoding each of our 100,000 pages of content (across all 30 cities), so we have updated many along the way. We also have identified pages to improve, once ALL THIRTY cities are converted.

During our research, we identified potential programming changes, interface simplification, new features, and more. These are "big picture changes" which will also begin after all cities are converted.

Ad Tweaks on the Site

ADVERTISEMENTS are a bone of contention. For some users they are annoying, but they ARE what pays our bills. In the Fall, Google added several "in-content" and "responsive ad units" to allow sites to display more ads more often. Like you see when you are scrolling down Facebook's feed, or on those horrid ad-heavy "Clickbait" websites. They looked promising.

We tested those ad units and found many were SLOW LOADING (cookies!) and actually (a) slowed the site enough to reduce our Google ranking (go figure!) and (b) reduced the total ad revenues, so we got rid of them returning to in-the-margin ads, like before. Pages now load 20-40% faster than they did a month ago. (Google please reward us!)

Why are SOME Google ads so slow?
They often have multiple tacking cookies, files, or a pixel to verify that the ad has been loaded (and seen by a human eyeball, and therefore worth paying for). The advertiser may have one, the designer may have one, an ad agency may have one, and google certainly has one. Each one goes to a different server, requiring a separate HTTP REQUEST, each slowing down the website load time… and not surprisingly the ads effectiveness.
Furthermore, ads that have multiple images, or interactive graphics, or incorporate product pricing and availability from a database also go to different servers, and do not fully load until THAT server's work is done… it all ads up to a "moves like molasses" experience.

We're Almost Done!

All cities have some of the updated files & directories embedded in their content, and these communities are now full converted:






North York




Across Canada



Fraser Valley





St John's


More Coming Soon... And quicker!

We expect the other cities to be completed by first week of March!

Watch for the pace of change to accelerate after that time... Please stay tuned!

Registered Contacts Newsletter (Web Marketer's Edition): September 1, 2015

We have recently completed our RESPONSIVE DESIGN update of (accomplished without WordPress or JQuery) to speed the website to better support our ad-based revenue model. Watch for further improvements in coming weeks and months. Tip Sheet

It's a Faster New Listing Process

We have updated all of our forms, making events, coupons, and jobs postings easier.

We have also have added a number of new TEMPLATES (now 100 templates) for new listings. The templates (at the bottom of the Add/Update Profile form when ADDING a listing) pre-select categories for about 80% of all listings to speed the process. The most common templates are accessed by a single keystroke (D for dentist, R for realtor....) Tip Sheet

Quick keys port of Free Listings PROFILE form
Some SEO companies use a different Registered Contact ID for each listing, while others manage all their listing from one Registered Contact, so all their listings are accessible from a single login.

Update Your Client Photos/Logos

When links to client's website changes, the logos often disappear from the FoundLocally listing. Check that the logos are current. We have an uploaded that takes any size of GIF, JPG, PNG and resizes it to a fast-loading 250 pixel image.

We have learned that PHOTOS DO BETTER than logos for hotels, restaurant, and realtors. And they're more helpful to deciding among search results. Tip Sheet

Multi-Location Businesses

For those of you working with multi-location or chain organizations, see our blog post with tips for CLONING from a single listing using an Excel spreadsheet (great when more than 10 listings).

For everybody else, it's more efficient to create one listing, set the categories and upload a photo/logo, and THEN Clone it (use either the button or the pop-up menu on the upper-right of the Business Profile page). Then, just update the address & phone number! Tip Sheet

You can find all listings for a brand (or an address) using to look up your clients or their competitors, regardless of where on FoundLocally the listings are.

Each PHYSICAL LOCATION should have its own listing on FoundLocally, with either a top-link or a deep-link to the client's website. Adding news, jobs, events or coupons add further link-backs, and are streamed to our RSS feeds for even wider distribution. These items are quickly posted using the red What To DO? menu.

Adding Client Contacts

It's helpful to add a client contact (with their own login) so they can post operational items like news, jobs, events or coupons themselves (and you get to take credit for the web marketing impact) Use the Add/Updated CONTACTS in the red What To DO? menu

Adding Listings in Other Cities Across Canada

Web marketers are often not familiar with other cities, so we've added a tips sheet to help you figure out which city to add a listing into, using a table using a listing's postal code and area code to make this easier. Tip Sheet

Check out the LocalMap feature

We've updated the LocalMap feature which shows all FoundLocally listings on a Google map, in handy "layers" which group related features, like hotels & attractions, schools & libraries, culture & entertainment, shopping areas, sports & recreation.

LocalMap uses your device's GPS location. See, which is the top option on all local menus. Please pass this feature on to your clients so they can see the results of YOUR web marketing work! Tip Sheet

Further Updates

Our SEO & Web Marketing blog will continue to post good tips, and our Facebook page and Twitter Feed will also have links to articles we've found interesting or helpful on these topics.

Promote Your Work Better

When you report your web marketing effort, let your clients know that FoundLocally is part of their success. We help with your link-backs and your organic success, and importantly help you keep your out-of-pocket costs lower for you and your clients.

Let them know they can post coupons, news, events, and jobs, saving even more money.

And of course, make sure YOUR LISTING is optimized (see link at top of email), and that your About Us, Products/Brands and Environmental fields are keyword rich (but don't abuse your listing's business name!) Review the categories (we do update these periodically) so they reflect your full range of services (this improves findability!), and that your logo is up-to-date.

Mark Ruthenberg
General Manager & Editor-in-Chief

Subscriber Newsletter: May 28th, 2014

FoundLocally Redesigns its Mobile website, adds LocalMap feature

May 28, 2014 Calgary, AB: Media Inc has redesigned its mobile version of its website, making its various features more accessible with fewer actions. LocalMap in iPhone

City Mobile Site: []

Each of the local sites has improved menus and navigation, and offers:

Many content pages have been reworked to provide better information to users, making it accessible with a few taps instead of lots of scrolling.

The FoundLocally Local Map Feature

LocalMap is accessed by a button on each community's Home Page, as well as from every page within a community's website.

City Mobile LocalMap: [http://m/] (no longer a separate map, as of July 2015) City Tablet LocalMap: [http://Winnipeg/ /LocalMap]

Using the smartphone's GPS location, the Localmap provides a person context for wherever they are. A realtor can see what schools, stores, and restaurants are close to a house they are showing. A traveller can see restaurants, sports/fitness facilities, and attractions that are close to their hotel, or conversely, what hotels and restaurants are closest to their highway off-ramp. And, unlike a lot of "restaurant guides," includes fast-food and coffee franchises in its search results and maps, great for families!

The functionality of LocalMaps is also embedded into neighbourhood descriptions and maps in the Shopping >Homes & Gardens > Neighbourhoods section of each web site, enabling realtors and home shoppers to compare prospective neighbourhoods and their features, and the Travel > Nearby section, which shows travel-worthy communities nearby, to help plan your out-of-town excursion.

FoundLocally maps build on Google Maps technology by adding layers of data from FoundLocally's database of businesses, community groups, and other features. The layers that can be shown for each neighbourhood include:

Mark Ruthenberg,'s General Manager, says "we made a strategic decision three years ago to not force users to buy or download apps, but provide a ‘device-agnostic' website, which will work with leading smartphones and tablets." This made our business more efficient by eliminating the need for different app versions for Blackberry, iPhone, Android, Microsoft, and iPads. About 40% of FoundLocally's web traffic is now from mobile devices.

Subscriber Newsletter: May 12th, 2014

We continue to make some updates to FoundLocally, that will make the site more useful:

For those who like their Social Media:

So we have expanded our Facebook and Twitter content to create a page for each FoundLocally community, rather than just bundling the posts into the FoundLocally Facebook & Twitter pages, the way we've done since 2009.

This means you now get Winnipeg-specific updates and links...

Please LIKE the Winnipeg Facebook page
Please FOLLOW our Winnipeg Twitter feed

We have already been updating these pages for a couple of weeks, so you can preview the kind of updates we are posting there. We invite you to not only Like or Follow the pages, but to Post a Rating and comments on the Facebook page for your community!

You are also welcome to post community photos to the Facebook page you are following.

Better Info for More Useful Local Maps

People are telling us they like our neighbourhood & nearby maps ( and the way they layer all sorts of information in our database onto the Google maps. We have always had great small business, shopping and restaurants, as well as travel attractions & accommodation.

We are now adding a lot of non-business info, like Public Transit, Emergency (like police, fire, and hospitals), and Schools. Over the past two weeks, we added 10,000 schools across Canada. We are also in the process of moving our extensive editorial information into the database, so it can be displayed in the maps.

This will make Winnipeg website's maps more useful for home-shoppers checking out a new neighbourhood, and for travelers looking for interesting or familiar features. Each map features several "layers":

FoundLocally is the FIRST to put this much information about a neighbourhood or community on a single map.

The default layer changes if you are viewing in the Travel/Nearby section or in the Homes/Neighbourhoods section (or in or content), but all layers are accessible at all times.

Featured Content

Seasonal content of interest are:

Check out our Related Websites

Be sure to check out our related websites, which also take advantage of the update maps: for travel across Canada this summer, and for home shopping & neighbourhoods across Canada, and, with tips for businesses & community groups looking to raise their online profile.

By the way, how many of you are using/liking the Popular Links menu and the Local Weather , now on the right side of all website pages?

Mark Ruthenberg
General Manager & Editor in Chief

March 13, 2014 Business Newsletter

We've made a number of improvements that affect EVERY Business Listing, including security, maps, logos/photos, and ratings & reviews.

Maps Improved

New listings now automatically compute the latitude and longitude ("lat-long"), so you show up on our Google maps. Ditto when you move, and/or update your address. Home-based businesses, choosing not to show their address, are opted-out from Google maps.

TIP: For best results, put your suite number at the end of your address.

Check your map location after completing your Profile page, by clicking on the Maps link in the grey stripe. You may return and overwrite the lat-long if Google's geo-location gets your address wrong (or if your physical address is different than your mailing address).

For your business listing, the Maps menu (in the grey stripe) shows your business, and you can also see other nearby FoundLocally listings. Share with your friends & neighbours!

Logos Improved

Every listing that links TO A WEBSITE can display a clickable logo or photo. You can link to a website, a blog, or a Social Media page (you pick the best one!)

Logos or photos are now automatically resized to fit inside a 250x250 pixel box while being uploaded. If your logo is really wide (or if you upload a website banner), it will display 250 pixels wide, just not very tall.

CLICK to upload your logo or photo

TIP: for some businesses, a photo of your store or product, or your face maybe better branding than a logo.

TIP: if your current photo or logo looks "fuzzy," your originally uploaded image was really tiny & got re-sized larger. Just upload a larger version (at least 250 pixels) of the image.

TIP: If no logo displays in your listing, you MUST provide a web address to link to, for the logo to be displayed.

If your FoundLocally listing shows the default "CLICK for more info" blue circle (see above), you should click the Update logo or photo link below it, login, and upload your own logo or photo from your computer

Password Security Strengthened

There has been a lot of media attention on security breaches and personal information. While we don't store or disclose personal information, we realize that weak security has a negative impact on everyone.

Therefore, we are proactively requiring better passwords for managing your business listings. Our Registered Contact page now includes a Password Strength Indicator to coach you on better passwords. The Login pop-up and Login form have wider fields for stronger & longer passwords.

Password Strength Indicator

While 8-10 character passwords were acceptable a decade ago, we've made room for 12-40 characters, enabling userIDs to be your email address, combined with a hard-to-figure-out "pass phrase". We recommend a mix of upper-lower case letters, numbers, punctuation characters, and at least 12 characters.

TIP: Create a pass phrase you can remember, but is not obvious, like Business started by John in 1976 (but don't use this!).

For businesses with weak passwords (qwerty, password, or one of 10,000 baby names, for example), your passwords will be upgraded to something more secure.

If you forget your password (or if it doesn't "work") we`ll send you a secure Reset Password E-mail to reset it to one you can remember. If you've forgotten your user name, we'll send a Username Email back to your email address.

Business Listings Improved

We've improved the display of business listings, so FoundLocally visitors can access all your information. Your customers can now use their Facebook Login to post their Ratings & Reviews. They display the commenter's name, so reviews will have greater honesty & transparency. This should reduce/eliminate anonymous malicious reviews, that businesses cannot reply to. Users are also limited to one review per business.

Facebook Login for Reviews

This should also eliminate "review spam" by business owners or their web marketers. You may no longer transcribe customer reference letters (often with fake e-mails and phone numbers, since those were not included in written references). Customers must now post their own review themselves using their Facebook account.

TIP: Use the Ratings & Reviews option (once logged in) to invite satisfied customers to post a review!

Other Listing Bells & Whistles

With your FoundLocally listing, you can also post News announcements, upcoming Events, Sales or Coupons, and Jobs (or volunteer) openings. Post these using the red What To Do? menu in the white stripe, after logging in.

We appreciate all your suggestions over the past year, to help make a stronger business promotion tool!

Mark Ruthenberg,
General Manager & Editor-in-Chief

FoundLocally Subscriber Newsletter Feb 14, 2014

Over the past month, we have made a number of major improvements to

Content has a cleaner appearance

The left side of the page now shows JUST the information you are looking for, with dramatically less clutter. We've moved menus (and ads) to the right column. You'll find the sub-menus for Popular Links, simplified context-sensitive Business Searches, and local Winnipeg Weather.

Maps Improved

Click on Maps in the Grey stripe menus, to see a wide range of maps which show local details and business locations in the Travel>Nearby and the Homes>Neighbourhoods sections, along with appropriate community descriptions. When viewing a business listing, now the Maps menu option displays the business location, as well as other businesses & features nearby.

Business Listings Improved

We've made several improvements to our business listings. New listings (once approved) automatically are displayed on our Google maps. For privacy reasons, home-based businesses may opt out.

You can now post Ratings & Reviews for any FoundLocally-listed business, using your Facebook Login. They will display your name, for greater honesty & transparency. This prevents anonymous malicious reviews, and reduces/eliminates "review spam" by business owners (or their web marketers).

Facebook Login for Reviews

Mobile Site Enhancements

More and more users are using their smartphones or tablets to surf on (and affiliate sites, and So, many improvements are being made.

The home page has been simplified, local ski reports and movie show times one click away... what most visitors use each week.

The local site has been streamlined, Popular Links are quickly accessible, and business listings have been made more useful & interactive.

The Movie Listings are more visual, with movie posters, star ratings, show times, and with the capsule movie review/summary a click away. Filter by movie or theatre on Movie Show Times. And, on the Movie Reviews, click on the poster or movie name to display all its showtimes!

We appreciate all your comments over the past year, which have helped us to make more useful for even more of you!

Mark Ruthenberg,
General Manager & Editor-in-Chief

July 1, 2013: Canada Day Newsletter

This past week, FoundLocally's servers were affected by the flooding in Calgary. We operated the website off back-up files, but we were not able to support uploads & updates to the listings.

We are now back to normal.

Check out some of the great content we have on our site:

What Else We've Been Up To

We have done a major redesign of to streamline site content [full story] and speed-up the website. We have added a lot of functionality to the maps, integrating neighbourhood maps with our business listing database, so visitors can discover businesses, shops, and services in their neighbourhoods, or ones they plan to visit.

We hope you (and your friends) enjoy our efforts.

We have two additional websites: for those travelling across this country; and for information about neighbourhoods, real estate, relocation, and home mortgages.

The MovingInCanada site has undergone a major redesign [full story], bringing the maps up to our new standards (and for Winnipeg, we added a lot of nice neighbourhood detail). The Trans-Canada site will be completed shortly (work was interrupted by efforts dealing with the recent flooding)

Please like/follow our pages on Facebook or Twitter for updates and news. We have one for FoundLocally, one for MovingInCanada, and one for TransCanadaHighway (we posted up-to-the-minute updates during recent disruptions caused by Alberta flooding)

In Conclusion

We hope you like our changes, and we thank everyone for their support over the years.

June 29, 2012: FoundLocally says Bilingualism is dead in Canada!

FoundLocally Adds Translation

At Media Inc, we've long been asked about making our websites bi-lingual, so we're excited to announce we've added omni-lingual translation to all our websites. Statistics Canada says there are almost as many non-official language speakers as there are French speakers. Now, FoundLocally's websites are available in not only French, but a total of 57 languages, adding innovative programming to integrate with Google's Translation capabilities.

These languages are now supported on all FoundLocally websites: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bengali, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, and Yiddish. It not only translates, but displays the content in the correct foreign keyboard/fonts.

Translation has been added to [], the popular [http://TransCanada] travel site, and the [] real estate & relocation website, as well as the mobile versions of each (perfect for accessing from your smartphones!) which together attract one million visitors a month.

FoundLocally on Social Media

You can now also follow us on a variety of Social Media to bet your latest updates

website Mobile Facebook Twitter RSS Pinterest
FoundLocally View the Mobile version of Join the Facebook group Join our Twitter feed FoundLocally's local RSS feeds Follow us on Pinterest
TransCanadaHighway View the Mobile version of Follow us TransCanadaHighway Facebook Follow TransCanadaHighway on Twitter Subscribe to  RSS feeds of TransCanadaHighway's News postings Follow us on Pinterest
MovingInCanada View the Mobile version of Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to  RSS feeds of MovingInCanada's News postings Follow us on Pinterest

We have also added the AddThis features, so you can post or share any page of any FoundLocally site to your pages Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any of 330 other social websites or link-sharing websites. Look for the word "Share" or an orange "+" sign at the top of the web pages.

Thank you for your continued support.

Nov 23, 2011 Newsletter: New Look for

We have just launched a new version of FoundLocally, designed to be both easier to use, and faster-loading. We thank you for the many suggestions made by our million visitors a month, which were incorporated into this update.

See and

New Look for website as of 11/23 2011

Search Box Moved (1)

We have tightened up the look and feel, by putting the Search Box at the top-left of every page. Searches for the five most relevant website content pages as well as any business listings that include the search word or phrase.

Navigation & Menu Stripes (2)

We have cleaned up the site, so instead of the tabs, all commands are in the black, gray, and white stripe at the top of the screen.

The black stripe includes a red Add Free Listing button (to register & add a listing) and a Login button (to update an existing one, or post an event, job, news, or coupon).

The grey stripe includes the main content features, drawing attentions to Events, Jobs, Coupons, News and Reviews posted in our community. The options change slightly when viewing a business listing (you'll see a Profile option instead of Home)

The white menu includes context-sensitive options, as well as:

The new action/menu stripes have eliminated most of the site's tabs & buttons. Once logged in, the What To Do? menu is added to the white stripe.

Please let us know if you have other suggestions to make the new site more efficient for you.

Social Media Integration (3)

Each page now has icons (in the gray stripe) that link to subscribe to the FoundLocally newsletter, Twitter Feed, Facebook Page, RSS feeds, or check our web marketing blog.

In the upper-right corner of the content box (in the middle of the screen), are smaller buttons to "like or recommend" a page to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN (or over 300 social media sites), or just print a page or email it to a friend.

Smartphone versions of all FoundLocally sites (4)

Over the past year, we released a mobile version for each of our websites. Our smart phone versions display exactly the same content, but reformatted for a smaller screen

Now you can access this info on ANY smart phones. When Googling on your smart phone, content marked "Mobile Version:..." takes you directly to the smart phone-formatted page

March 1 , 2011 Newsletter: Add a Photo or Logo to your FoundLocally listing

You can vastly improve the effectiveness of your FoundLocally listing by embellishing it with your logo or a photo.

Usually the logo works best, but some might have more success with a photo. Especially restaurants, accommodation, or personal services businesses.

Until now, you had to post a URL for the logo on your website, which was easy enough for web designers and web marketers. NOW anyone can post a logo or photo from your computer using a handy Image Upload form on your listing (click the above link).

All you need to do is

If your logo or photo appears chopped off, the image uploaded (or linked) was larger than 250 pixels. Resize or crop the file using your photo/image editing software, before re-uploading it.

You can still post a website URL for the actual logo or photo, the old-fashioned way, by editing your PROFILE.

If logo does not display...

Your logo displays as a clickable link to your website. If no website was specified (maybe you haven't updated your listing in a while), no logo is displayed. To fix this, select "Update Profile" from the Administrative Action menu. Then link to your website, a specific web page, your Facebook page, blog, or Twitter feed (pick one!)

Other common errors:

In these cases, resize the photo, or re-save in a web-friendly file format, and re-upload it.

All else fails, e-mail us the photo. Click REPLY to this email, and attach the photo or logo to your e-mail, and we'll re-size it for you.

FoundLocally mobile version now in "beta"

We realize pretty well everybody has a smart phone, and have been working diligently to create mobile version of our websites. We expect to launch our new mobile version shortly (still doing some tweaking), but we want to let you preview it at, from where you can access various communities and the most popular information. Or go right to at

You can use the JUMP feature to return to the desktop version of the website (and when we "launch", the JUMP feature on the desktop website will let you bounce to the mobile version of the same page).

Give us feedback! The MENU link at the top links to the Feedback link at the bottom of each page.

December 10, 2010 Newsletter

We have made some changes to the website of interest to the many visitors of our website and our community directory.

More Interactive Content

We have added interactive content to the home pages of major sections, to display the most relevant--or most recently posted--items for that section:


New Features

City Home Page

upcoming events, updated web pages, new listings


new listings, ratings & reviews, news, savings

Shopping & Malls

new listings, ratings, events, news, coupons/sales

   Homes & Gardens

new listings, ratings, open houses, news, savings/sales

   Cars & Transportation

new listings, ratings & reviews, news, discounts/sales


events, news, savings/discounts

   Dining & Restaurants

new listings, ratings & reviews, news

   Sports & Fitness

upcoming sports events

Business to Business

new listings, new web pages, ratings & reviews, business events, news, savings/discounts

   HR & Jobs

recent job postings


new listings, updated web pages, ratings, events, news, discounts/coupons


new listings, updated web pages, ratings & reviews, savings/discounts

Now, these most-popular FoundLocally site sections can change daily, with each new business or community group posting. As well, the feature-specfic tabs across the top also highlight the most recently-posted items.

Ski Reports

Early snows have meant many ski & snowboarding hills and resorts have already opened, or are about to very shortly See theregularly updated snow condition reports which are easily inked from thecommunity Home Page and the Sports & Fitness section home pages

Oct 20, 2008 Newsletter: Programming Changes on our site

Over the past few months we have seen increasing intrusions and attacks by hackers, who typically attempted to inject links to virus distribution servers into our web pages or our database. One serious attempt last week was caught within 10 minutes, and we not only restored our database from backups, but we locked our data from any updates while our programming was updated to prevent similar malicious intrusions.

This was no minor task since we have 176 input and search forms in various places around our website. All forms now block entry of HTML and SQL (programming) commands. These changes have been posted, and you can again post new or update your community and business listings, post ratings & reviews for businesses, and provide site feedback. If you get a warning message about something you've entered we hope you'll understand.

More importantly, we missed interacting with you and receiving your feedback last week.

Events Calendar for Local Teams

You can checkout the many local events in our interactive events calendar. Just click on the Events icon or label at the top of any page and select the date you wish to view (you must allow pop-ups in your browser). You an also look 3 days (a weekend) ahead or a whole week ahead.

For fans following their favourite sports team(s), or those planning parties to coincide with game days, or plan charitable fundraisers or events to avoid conflicts, we have the local teams' schedules linked on the Home Page's "Sports & Recreation" section, and on the Sports home page. One click displays the entire season ahead. See or

Local sports teams & leagues and local arts groups are welcome to add themselves to our community directory, and post their events, games and performances (please let them know there is absolutely no cost!) We appreciate your support, and look forward to you visiting our site, and sending us your comments and suggestions.

Movie Listings, Reviews & Rankings

FoundLocally's movie listings have long been a popular place to check out the local movie showtimes. The Showtimes are linked for our Home page ("Top Links") and from the Movies & Entertainment home page. We have made a number of changes to improve their usefulness:

June 20, 2007 Newsletter: Ratings & Reviews added

We have just added a new feature for all FoundLocally Listings: Ratings & Reviews. Consumers can now post ratings (from 1 to 10) and reviews of any restaurant, store, or professional service. You can now post a great review for all your favourite spots, and share your experiences with others. (Or complain about that ones that weren't so stellar).

To review a business, go to their listing page, and click on the Post a Rating & Review icon to add one. Anybody can post reviews, though a business's Registered Contact is prevented from reviewing their own business.

We'll do a quick review for appropriateness & language, and activate the reviews--typically within a business day. Everybody can scan recently added reviews at Where one or more reviews exist (and the Ratings tab is blue) an average rating is calculated.

For the football fans, we've also posted the CFL home games schedules on the site...follow your favourite CFL team, linked from their city's home page.

June 5, 2007 Announces New Features for online travel itineraries

FoundLocally/com Media Inc, publishers of the popular website, Has announced a number of new features in its online itineraries for the "longest national highway in the world," running 7,821 km (4,860 mi.) from end to end.

The site has posted details on over 3500 points of interest along the highway. Itineraries include helpful overview information to help with planning and enjoying your trip. Unlike other travel sites focused on just the cities, this site integrates history & First Nations, geology & geography, flora & fauna information on (no "www" needed!). Now you can be the Travel Trivia champion your next Canadian vacation!

The Trans-Canada is broken into forty handy 150-250 kilometre segments, between major communities with gas, services, and accommodation. Travelers can plan their routes by combining 2-4 segments per day of travel, depending on sightseeing, breaks with children, road conditions, or changing daylight hours.

We have added additional useful features to our

  1. Overview info with key geographical, geological and natural features.
  2. Zoomable Google™ map, with satellite image, to get an environmental perspective.
  3. An elevation chart so you can see the hilliness of the terrain, handy for bicycle trips
  4. Each itinerary point has a pop-up close-up Google™ map for trip planning.

Segments are nicely "daisy chained" from one to the next, for virtual trip planning. The site includes major "branch" points like between Hope and Kamloops BC, talking the Toronto detour, visiting PEI, or taking one of two ferries from North Sydney to Newfoundland.

Local travel and hospitality operators wishing to be included in the travel information should add themselves to their closest site's free community listings, at

April 5th, 2007 Newsletter

Thanks for the Survey Feedback!
We received a lot of great suggestions from many of you. And realized two things: we're doing what you like (good info, quickly accessible), and can improve in some areas (cleaner look, easier navigation).

We're rolling out new site "look & feel" offering a number of new user features and a cleaner appearance. See It's using "Web 2.0" Style, with nifty icons, a bolder look, and brighter colours. We've been around for 7 years, and as users have gotten more experienced with the Internet. As a result, we've cleaned up many forms, and are working our way through the site's content (let us know if you see something, using the "Feedback" link on that page). We've also added an "Out of Business?" link for the business listings so you can help us cull inactive businesses (since our listings are free, we don't have a billing system check for this, like the -UGH!- phone company). The new tabs in business listings are content-sensitive : if a business did not post news, jobs, events or coupons, those tabs will be greyed-out, saving users time. We've also added an explicit link to our Canada-wide home page, since many users weren't away we had similar content for other cities.

Added Value for businesses

With just under a million monthly visitors and great advertiser support, we can generously provide FREE LOGOS & LINKS to all businesses and community groups. This was a $200/year value until now. We've always had free listings, with jobs, events, coupons and news, but our survey told us that businesses thought these features were only included in the paid listings. We realized, that with our advertising revenues, we could afford to offer this feature to all. Now, posting jobs, news announcements, events & coupons on FoundLocally can now improve your Google PageRank, by increasing the number of links from FoundLocally. Ask your web designer! With the new content-sensitive tabs in listings, Registered Contacts for listings can see if they have posted all information to our site, as "grey" tabs turn to "blue". New listings click on [Add Free Listing], existing users can click on [ Login]

Our programmers are busy working on adding more new features identified in our survey. We'll make more announcements as new features get added.

Enjoy the Long Weekend ahead!

Mark Ruthenberg
General Manager

January 20, 2007: Launches Mississauga Community Portal Media Inc. has just launched a new community information portal catering to Mississauga and the suburbs just west of Toronto. The 7-year-old company now has 23 sites servicing major cities and communities across Canada from Victoria, BC to St John's, Nfld. FoundLocally sites consistently attract more than 15 million visitors a year. Media Inc. has just launched a new community information portal, catering to Mississauga, Brampton and the Peel Region in Ontario's Golden Horseshoe region. The Mississauga site also includes lots of information about and relating to Toronto's Pearson International Airport, including the hospitality businesses, some of which are actually situated in the neighboring Etobicoke area of Toronto/

This adds to existing sites in the Toronto are, including (Oakville, Burlington & Halton),, (Niagara Falls & St Catharines), and (Barrie, the Muskoka Region, and Georgian Bay from the Bruce Peninsula to Parry Sound.

FoundLocally's portal sites provide comprehensive information about each community including travel, entertainment, shopping, neighborhoods, sports, education and government. They are an excellent trip-planning resource for both business and leisure travelers. Site visitors can browse about a thousand pages of background information, photos and maps about each community, and popular resources like weekly ski reports, movie show times and golf courses listings.

The sites also include a useful business directory where visitors can search for businesses by name, category, or location. The free business listings are entered by businesses themselves and they provide descriptions, contact details and other marketing information. is a popular marketing tool for small businesses often run from a home phone or cell phone, and therefore excluded from the phone directory. And once registered, businesses can post jobs, events, special offers and news announcements as part of their listings. This service is free and well suited to those businesses without a web site. Local businesses in the Mississauga area may add themselves by going to and clicking on "Free Listings." The site earns its revenues from traditional web "banner advertising" and optional "Logos & Links" in the business directory, which combines a web site hot-link, placement priority before free listings, and logo placement on all listing pages, for a small annual fee. Significant discounts are given to non-profit groups, and to organizations with multiple establishments. Communities now covered by the portal include: Victoria, Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Okanagan-Shuswap, Banff & The Rockies, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, Barrie-Muskoka, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Oakville-Halton, Mississauga-Peel, Ottawa-Gatineau, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, and St John's.

Mark Ruthenberg
General Manager

FoundLocally's December 21st 2006 Newsletter

We wish all our visitors and subscribers a Happy Holiday and a safe and prosperous 2007!

What to do

Over the holidays, we will be updating our Ski Reports daily. Our Movie Listings are always up-to-date with the current holiday releases at, as are our Video / DVD Releases for those who want to buy or rent their entertainment.

Updated Computers, Software and Consumer Electronics

As well, over the last while we have updated our entire Business section of the site, with updated information on computers & software , as well as consumer electronics, with lots of shoppers guides, how-to tips, and technical info for no-technical people. This should help with your last-minute holiday shopping, or with help you wisely use those very popular Gift Cards at lot of people are giving and receiving this year, and make the most of the electronic gift you have received.

Updated Radio & TV information

Our Media section (in Business-Communications) now includes all updated information about local radio stations (including addresses and phone numbers) so you can request your favourite songs to be played over the holiday-New Years break. We even have links to the latest TV program listings online (also handy when you need to check from school or office).


Mark Ruthenberg
General Manager

December 12, 2006 Newsletter

We have done significant improvements to our Restaurants & Dining section, and have researched and added hundreds of restaurants to our database, each with a review and fully searchable. See

We have reviewed and updated our Top Five Listings and even added a few new categories with our recommendations, or based on suggestions from our visitors. Now, all of our Top Five lists link to each restaurant's listing in our database, so you can see more restaurant info and if desired, display a map.

We've now linked the Top Five lists right on the Dining home page, to make our information more accessible, and added one-click listings to list all local restaurants serving a particular cuisine.

We wish to remind our visitors about the functionality of our Restaurant Search at (which works like all other FoundLocally search forms) where you can search by cuisine and part of town, even filter by 3-character postal code prefix and other restaurant attributes. We even give you the ability to list all restaurants with a name, or all restaurants on a particular street! Try doing that with "411" directory assistance....The cuisine searches are always accessible as a pull-down list in the top-left corner of any page in our Restaurant section!

We welcome feedback on our Top Fives, recommendations for new themed Top Five lists, and also appreciate everyone's suggestions for new restaurants to add to our database, using the Restaurant Feedback Form at . You can also suggest changes to our descriptions and categories for our restaurant listings, and especially appreciate a heads-up when on has gone out of business (they don't usually tell us, and since our listings are free, our billing system won't flag them for us, either). You can use the "Send Feedback" link on every page of our site, including a restaurant's listing. Newsletter October 23, 2006 Launches Hamilton and Oakville Sites Media Inc. has just launched two new community information portals catering to Hamilton and Oakville-Halton in Ontario's Golden Horseshoe region. We now have 21 sites servicing major cities and communities across Canada from Victoria, BC to St John's, Nfld. consistently attracting 12 million visitors a year.

The site covers the City of Hamilton as well as communities around it from Brantford south to Lake Erie. The site covers the Halton Region and the municipalities of Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Georgetown, all of which are considered 'bedroom communities' in the Greater Toronto Area (''GTA'').

These two sites double the number of FoundLocally communities covered in Southern Ontario, adding to, which covers the Niagara region on both sides of the Canada-US border and, which covers the vast cottage country around Georgian Bay from the Bruce Peninsula, through the Trent-Severn Waterway, up to the Muskoka Lakes region.

If you have friends and colleagues in these communities, please let them know they can use our site for information, as well as add their businesses or community groups to our community directory.

Mark Ruthenberg
General Manager

October 6, 2006 Newsletter

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our site visitors and newsletter subscribers a Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Local Sports Featured on FoundLocally

The Fall marks the start of the Canadian hockey season (and the winding up of the Football season). We have the schedules for the major local teams, linked both on te right side of our local home page and on our Sports section. Each team's entire season schedule on one page, with no flipping page to page.

If you are involved in a team or league, you are welcome to do the same for your organization. Click on Free Listings to register, and add the team or league. After adding one game, use the CLONE button to quickly add additional games! You can post an entire season quite efficiently.

Major Email List Cleanup underway

If you do not want to receive these emails, we include an UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom of all our e-mails. Click it, enter your e-mail address, and you are removed.

We are cleaning up our lists, and removing all emails that have the following:

If your Name (see the very top of this email) fits any of these patterns, please RE-SUBSCRIBE. Your current email subscription will be automatically cancelled by our software, and only by re-subscribing with a real name, will you continue to receive these. THIS WILL BE YOUR ONLY NOTICE!

Mark Ruthenberg
General Manager

April 12th, 2005 Newsletter

FoundLocally adds Mapping to Business Listings

We have added mapping to the listings information, using the address to pop to the appropriate MapQuest map for that business. It should be noted that since some businesses have posted two addresses, for example:

  • street address & mailing address or post office box,
  • street address and driving directions, or
  • street address and shopping mall name Click on the "Map It!" feature beside the street address to generate the appropriate map.

    The map is in a pop-up window so you can still review the other business information on your FoundLocally screen while checking the map

    Golf Season is Upon Us!

    You can check up the latest and most complete golf course listings online at

    If you are thinking about taking a golf vacation anywhere in Canada, we have links to FoundLocally golf listings across Canada, and you can even use the links at the top of the page to book your accommodation. Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager

    Previous FoundLocally newsletters:

    March 18, 2005 Newsletter


    I am proud to introduce to you our new web site for the Niagara Falls area, our first in Southern Ontario. I invite you to visit our web site at This site is unique, compared to all other resources for the region in that it covers both Ontario & New York sides of the Niagara Region.

    Like all the other FoundLocally communities, it also has about a thousands pages with photos, maps, and details about shopping, business, travel, sports, entertainment, and local information. In the Niagara site, we also include information about golf courses, wineries, the historic Welland and Erie canals, the Bruce Trail, and the unique geology of the region. When thinking about Niagara Falls, why look anywhere else? now provides content for other cities (from west to east): Victoria, Fraser, Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Banff & Rockies, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Ottawa , Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax and St John's. See these at


    If you are planning your summer vacation, think of There are two recently added features of interest to our visitors:
    1) FoundLocally sites now include links to hotel reservations, making it convenient to planning your travel arrangements Our Hotel Search in each city is the best filter anywhere for finding the right hotel, with the features you really want, whether it's a pool, room service, even if they allow travel with pets. There's a handy search by area on most Travel section pages for each community.
    2) The site has a handy downloadable PDF route itinerary for those planning to travel across Canada. It's the first part of an upcoming book based on the web site, and we welcome your feedback. All we ask is that you provide us contact information so we can let you know when the book is our. We are already seeing almost 200 downloads a month!


    If you know a small business, like one run from home, or an independent contractor growing their business from their cell phone, FoundLocally is perfect for them. Unlike with the Phone Company's directory, they do not need a business line t o get listed, and unlike the Internet search engines, they don't even need a web site. It's the best of all worlds! They can click on "Free Listings" on any page to begin promoting themselves on our site.

    Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager

    December 7, 2004 Newsletter

    We are getting lots of feedback from our visitors, making lots of suggestions for improving our site. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed like Santa must be this time of year, and it is certainly challenging trying to reply to everyone, not to mention work on the enhancements themselves.


    We have now integrated the hotels listings on our site with the same global reservations engine and competitive pricing the airlines and travel agencies use. You can now not only search our listings in the travel section, but also check room rates and reserve your room right from our website! We have also integrated this feature with our sister site for all hotels in each of the provinces and territories, and with our ski reports, ski hill listings & golf course listings for those planning a sporting vacation. See our hotels search at


    The ski season is now upon us, and if your favourite ski hill is not yet open, we are pretty sure it won't be long before it is! We have all the latest weather and ski reports posted each Friday morning (for those of you who want to start their weekend early!) at


    We continue to improve our dining search and have added the major chains across Canada, including casual dining, fast food, food courts, and the popular coffee & donut chains. We continue to invite all other restaurants to add themselves to our Free Listings, and for consumers to nominate their favourite establishments for a themed Top Five List using our online form at


    We have evolved in the past few years from being just a "community information site" to also having a great business directory, with many businesses and community groups not found in the phone company's directory. The other directories require a business phone line (typically $40 per month) to be listed, whereas FoundLocally welcome everybody. In recognition of the ever-improving depth of our Business Directory, we changed the link at the very top of our home page to "Business Searches" which links to a listing of all of our Search forms at


    We have developed User Guides (brochures?) for specific audiences of our web site, including Teachers & Students, Government & Politicians, and for Brand Managers and Chains. They provide tips for getting the most out of FoundLocally's web site. These are linked in PDF form from each city's home page, but are also viewed from our About FoundLocally page at We encourage you to pass these on to those you know could benefit.

    Please use the Feedback Formon any page of the web site to contact us with your suggestions Thank you again for your support over the years.

    Mark Ruthenberg,
    General Manager

    September 8th Newsletter

    We are celebrating a doubling of traffic since the New Year, and are now able to accelerate the pace of content and feature development on our site based on user feedback:

    1. We have made the SITE CONTENT SEARCH more prominent, by putting it on the major section pages (Local, Business, Shopping, Recreation and Travel) by placing it above the most popular links lists on the right side of those pages. See

    2. With all kids back in school, our updated School Calendars link to School Trustees contact info and e-mail addresses (in Local - Government section) which also links to area school boards. See

    3. In recognition of concerns about "spam", businesses considering a Logo & Link can now use a "contact us" web link instead of an e-mail address. Users can bow choose to show their e-mail address or web URL or display a choice of alternate text ("visit our web site").

    4. To raise the visibility of organizations that support our Logo & Link advertising, the Search Results page will now display their logos and business Descriptions. Of course our advertisers are also listed first, before the usual alphabetical order Free Listings (of course, Free Listings, continue to be free!). See

    5. To help many local businesses grow effectively, FoundLocally has negotiated a Limited -Time One Year FREE Subscription to InnerSell. InnerSell is a unique online sales lead exchange platform, and is used by thousands of sales professionals and businesses to exchange timely information on the needs of motivated buyers. Subscribers (you must subscribe yourself, it's not automatic!) to InnerSell learn of sales opportunities sooner, influence a buyers' choice, and as a result get higher prices, higher close ratios, shorter sales cycles, and more loyal customers. Learn more at Joining InnerSell via Found Locally gets you a one year subscription (A $295 US value) for FREE! You must subscribe by September 30, 2004 to take advantage of this introductory FoundLocally subscriber pricing.
    I wish to thank all subscribers, community groups and businesses that have supported our site over the past five years, and appreciate all your comments that help use make our site event better.

    Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager

    June 28, 2004 Newsletter

    1. Today is Voting Day!

    It is the right & duty of every Canadian citizen to vote today, so if you want a say in how this country will be run, head down to your local polling place. If you are eligible to vote but not registered (and have not yet received a voter's card) head down with your photo ID, along with proof of citizenship and residence. For information about what the parties and candidates positions are, see our Elections coverage at

    Following the election, we will post election results to our site. We will update our listing of Members of Parliament at in FoundLocally's Local - Government section as soon as contact information & office assignments are made in the House of Commons (typically, this takes them 3-4 weeks). You can contact the newly elected (or re-elected) MPs in your area, and e-mail them with a single mouse-click!

    2. Re-launch of

    We have had a lot of feedback on our sister web site about the Trans-Canada Highway, based on the 30,000 people a month who currently visit it.

  • Community information for all the towns along the way, to increase its value as a tip planning tool.
  • Significant content for towns & cities in Quebec, which do not yet have coverage at this time.
  • Route itineraries in 200-300 km segments to facilitate trip planning, and put eastbound and westbound distances (in both miles and kilometres) on the same page
  • For a limited time, a printable PDF version of ALL of these itineraries, for you to take on your tip (please provide us feedback!)
  • Information and itineraries for getting to & from Toronto, Canada's largest city, which does not lie on the Trans-Canada Highway
  • Integration with relevant searches (for hotels, etc) better with the site information.

    3. Stronger Feedback Form

    Due to the level of spam we receive, we have removed our email address from our site, linking to our Site Feedback form instead. This form tells us what page on the site you are emailing us from, so we can react quicker to your suggested changes. We get 30-50 such messages a day and invite your feedback for continuing to improve our web site. See

    Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager

    June 4, 2004 Newsletter

    June 28th is the next Federal Election, and we have provided all-round information about the parties, the candidates and the leaders. We have also linked to each party's platform on their web sites, and the major news organizations. This information is linked from the Home page for each FoundLocally community.

    We have also done a major improvement to our sister site, adding a lot of content about neighbourhoods across Canada, as well as "Quick Lists" of all the phone numbers and web sites you'll need when moving to (or in) a city. Also, if you, a friend, or colleague are in the relocation industry (home builder, realtor, mover, mortgage lender, property manager, etc), you should add yourselves to FoundLocally's free listings. You will be found on the site as well as on

    Last but not least, the much anticipated Harry Potter Film, "Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban" is out. Check out our weekly Movie Show times at .

    Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager

    FoundLocally Newsletter May 14, 2004

    FoundLocally.Com Adds St John's, Newfoundland Tourism & Community Resource Site At 500 years old, St John's Newfoundland is Canada's oldest city and now's newest community information web site. This brings to four the number of Maritimes communities covered by 5 year old, which now attracts 6 million visitors a year with its coast-to-coast coverage.

    Our St John's site has everything you expect about the capital of Canada's easternmost province (properly called 'Newfoundland & Labrador'), including where to stay and eat, and what to see & do. The site has thousands of pages with photos, maps, and info about living in and visiting St John's and area. This one-stop web site is a total resource of information for students and businesses, and is suitable for all ages. Content areas include shopping, business, travel, sports, entertainment, local information & history (even a Newfoundland dictionary), all without spending needless hours searching and surfing. Visit our new web site at

    Our Travel-Nearby section includes info about all the communities in the Avalon Peninsula as well as around the province. See

    The site has content for other cities (from west to east); Victoria, Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Okanagan, the Rockies, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury Ottawa, Fredericton, Charlottetown and Halifax See these at, as well as our sister site

    Mark Ruthemberg
    General Manager February 25, 2004 Newsletter

    Whenever movies are released in the middle of the week, as with week wit the much heralded Mel Gibson production "Passion of the Christ", we update the movie listings, as we have today. FoundLocally is your best source for movie information!

    We have also updated our design for, which is mostly cosmetic (but wow!), but has built in a number of features enabling us to post updates to our site more efficiently.

    We remind everybody involved with a community group, school, non-profit, club, association, or church, that you can have your organization added to our site's free listings and can then post your various events & fund-raisers as well as your ongoing volunteer opportunities. Another community service from Just click on "Free Listings" to begin.

    Thank you all for your support.

    Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager

    FoundLocally Newsletter for October 27, 2003

    We have had a lot of feedback over the past two months on the new functionality added in mid-July, and many of, quite frankly, found it overwhelming. We went back to the drawing board and looked at ways to simplify how people use our site, and made a couple of major changes.

    Until now, there was no clear path for organizations updating their listing. For them, we have added a Login button, which also works for those who have posted resumes. We have also removed the "commercial" for Logos & Link advertising for those logging in. Businesses and community groups can use the Login button to post their events and jobs/volunteer opportunities, and even have their password emailed back to them.

    We have been inundated with spam and virus e-mails (which recently spiked at 5200 messages in a single day). Given how well we are spidered and registered with major search engines, we're not really surprised, but enough is enough! We have transferred out contact us email links to our existing feedback forms, which are directed to the right FoundLocally staff, and answered on a daily basis.

    Since people tend to post their resume once but come back for jobs listings more often, we mingled these two functions into one button.

    As a courtesy to our faithful subscribers, we have made the Unsubscribe function more explicit in our Subscribe process, and will add a link to it in our emails. We are also able to send formatted emails, with fonts and colours, as opposed to the plain text ones until now. We promise we won't get too fancy, to keep the emails quick to download and to read.

    We have lots of great seasonal content in our Recreation-Festivals section, with Halloween information & tips for costumes and parties at

    Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager's September 10, 2003 Newsletter

    We have just re-launched our web site, with not only a new look & feel, but also with a new focus.

    When we launched this domain four years ago, the idea was to develop a Canada-wide travel-focused site. It would also create awareness of FoundLocally by cross-promoting the two sites as FoundLocally expands to new cities, primarily along Canada's major east-west highway. now gets significant traffic because of its excellent general information about the country, including the recent addition of route itineraries.

    We have re-designed our site to be more visual and to focus on the Trans-Canada Highway itself. We get lots of feedback from visitors and will continue to make significant additions over coming months, focusing on trip planning.

    We've had a lot of e-mails from cyclists, and want to add cycling-specific information to this site. Things like hills, roadside camping, cycling prohibitions and detours. If you have anything you'd like to suggest, we'd love to hear from you!

    On another note, local travel & hospitality businesses and groups that are listed in FoundLocally are automatically included in travel listings on TransCanadaHighway, so if you are not yet listed, please do so. Or let someone who should, know about it. Click on "Add Free Listings" in to begin.

    Mark Ruthenberg
    General Manager's July 14 2003 Newsletter

    We have made a number of important changes to our site, indicated by our new colours.

    We have hundreds of images per city, many of which are not used on the site. These are now available for our visitors to view. You may use these images for educational or non-profit use for FREE, as long as we have a photo credit and a link to For commercial use, please email prior to use us for permission. They are linked in our left-hand menus under Local-Local Photos.

    We have added over 200 new categories to our business listings, based on feedback & what businesses have noted in their "Other" fields. We have added these categories now to all pop-down lists and search forms. All Internet-related categories are now in the Communications section, reflecting today's Internet prevalence.

    This new feature makes it easier for community groups and businesses to post similar events to our site (for example, fundraising dinner at church each Monday, singer at a bar each Wednesday through Saturday, etc). To post an event, add your organization to our free listings, and post all your events. You can add events as far ahead as you plan, but can only clone 6 month's events at a time.

    We have expanded our Sports & Fitness section, adding skateboarding and ringette, as well as water polo, tennis, squash, racquetball, badminton and mini-golf. We have now the best listing of skate parks in Canada, handy for those who are travelling. We invite all those offering activities in the above sports to add themselves.

    Our sister site,, has added "hot sheets" of key phone numbers and web links when moving for things like utilities, motor vehicles, health care when moving. For Quebec info, we've even linked it trough GoogleTranslate so that French pages display in English! You can look up this info for any major city in Canada, at

    Part of our quality control is to have a person review each listing for completeness, accuracy and appropriateness (ie, is it "local") With ever-growing volume of new listings, we wanted to clear the backlog faster, and helping new listings promote their events. New listings now get an auto-email and we expect shortly to respond to most new listings within a day.

    Thank you again for your support.

    FoundLocally June 20th 2003 Newsletter

    We are undergoing significant changes to improve the site dramatically for all users. Our site receives 10,000 visitors each day, which has changed the way that we -- and our visitors -- perceive our web site. Please let us know what you think of the changes, using the Feedback Form linked at the top of any page

    We realize that only a small proportion of our digital photographs get displayed on our site, and that few visitors grasp the range of editorial content (almost a thousand pages per city). We're showcasing these two elements into a magazine-like look on key pages of the site (Home, Local, Business, Shopping, Entertainment and Travel). We'll keep all the familiar quick links to key content on those pages, but move them the right.

    The site search (at the top of each page) is getting over 4000 keyword searches a day, and is now split into two to speed it up. The first search scans local businesses (using the Name, Description and Products fields), and a second "tab" repeats the search on web site content. This halves search times, and showcases local businesses and community groups that have provided us their information. Businesses may want to update their Description and Products/Brands to improve your search visibility. Click on "Add Free Listings" to add or edit your listing.

    Please help us update our various Top Five lists for restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Which do you think are worthy of a "Top Five" ranking. A couple of guidelines: a) use a common "theme" b)provide a one-line reason for each business in the list and c) tell us how you want your name to be published (or not) as the author of the list. Use the Feedback Form.

    The Resumes will now be made accessible to ALL registered businesses and community groups, not just the Logo & Link advertisers. Job seekers will get noticed by a broader audience and this helps businesses and community groups find the best people faster. You can post or update your resume for both paid or volunteer positions using the "Post Your Resume" button at the top of any page.

    Advertisers have requested we add the ability to send third party advertiser emails to our newsletter subscribers. While this will provide a significant revenues for FoundLocally to support our mostly-free service, we want to make it an OPTION for our subscribers, who will receive no more than 2- 4 emails a month from third parties. We will also ensure the list is carefully monitored for potential abuse. PLEASE re-subscribe as your "donation" to FoundLocally!

    Mark Ruthenberg

    * Please view our privacy policy