Join the CATA WIT BC  Breakfast club in Vancouver for a session about building your personal brand in an online world. To be held at the Segal Graduate School of Business on May 5th, Jennifer Barron from High Road Communications  will discuss the ins and outs of using social media-including best practices as well as pitfalls to avoid-as a way to build a personal brand that best promotes you. Tickets for this event  are $15.00 and include a continental breakfast.
I’m sure that many of you App developers out there are already aware of this, but the Province of BC is holding a contest challenging software developers to create web and mobile applications  that build awareness and inspire action to reduce carbon pollution, announced Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap.
“Bringing together British Columbia’s data resources and the creativity of the software community opens up the potential for people to see climate change in entirely new ways,” said Yap. “The great prizes and support of our sponsors will give us web and mobiles apps that educate people about climate change and help motivate them to reduce their own carbon footprint.”
The launch of the “Apps4Climate Action ” contest coincides with the creation of the Climate Change Data Catalogue , a data warehouse populated with provincial climate change data. The catalogue will house climate change data sources in a centralized location, giving software developers a one-stop access point to over 500 data sets and supporting documents to brainstorm, design and populate their applications.
“This is a terrific opportunity for us to take a new approach and use new technologies to engage citizens and help increase British Columbians’ awareness about climate change,” said Citizens’ Services Minister Ben Stewart.
The contest has more than $40,000 in cash and prizes spread across five categories: best mobile app, best web app, people’s choice, best of B.C. and overall best app. The submission deadline for the “Apps4Climate Action” contest is July 15, 2010, and the public is encouraged to register to vote for the People’s Choice award for their favourite app until Aug. 20, 2010. Contest winners will be announced mid-September 2010.
“SAP is proud to be a gold sponsor of the Apps4Climate action contest,” said Kirsten Sutton, managing director of SAP Labs Vancouver. “We believe we have a dual role with sustainability, as exemplar and as enabler. Internally, we have set our own aggressive goals to reduce SAP’s carbon footprint, and we also believe that our solutions can help identify real opportunities for positive climate action.”
Contest sponsors include: Microsoft Canada Inc , SAP Canada Inc. , Analytic Design Group , David Eaves Inc. , Netscribe Communications , TELUS Corporation , Harbour Air Ltd . and Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre .
“At Microsoft we’re committed to developing technology that helps consumers and businesses reduce their environmental footprints,” said Barb Berg, director of the western public sector of Microsoft Canada Inc. “We are delighted to participate in the B.C. government Apps4Climate action contest, a very innovative contest to help encourage developers to create new green software applications and solutions for B.C. citizens.”
For a contest of a different flavour, Ben & Jerry’s  is holding a Canada-only competition to name their newest offering. A combination of vanilla ice cream, fudge covered waffle cone pieces and a fudge swirl, the flavour has been temporarily named We are Waffling, until Canadians share the humour and wit they’re known for.
“We are excited to see some amazing suggestions,” says Shoshana Price, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Manager. “We want to empower our fans and give them the opportunity to show their creativity and wit, as well as their good taste.” 
Starting April 19th, Canadians can serve up their own name on a virtual pint on the “Ben & Jerry’s Canada ” Fan Page. Ben & Jerry’s fans can view and vote on their favourites at a gallery of pre-selected pints on the “Ben & Jerry’s Canada” Fan Page between July 2nd to July 16th, 2010. The winner, to be announced in late July, will win a year’s supply of the soon to be re-named We are Waffling ice cream, enjoy the thrill of seeing their name on pints of Ben & Jerry’s across Canada and earn eternal bragging rights among friends and acquaintances.
Ben & Jerry’s We are Waffling in most grocery, drug and convenience stores across the country now. The winning name will start replacing We are Waffling on Ben & Jerry’s pints in the Fall of 2010. Plus, in order to ensure that Canadians have an opportunity to taste We are Waffling and make an informed name nomination, Ben & Jerry’s teams will be sampling the flavour in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal throughout the month of May.
Kelowna – Club Penguin  and its millions of animated penguin inhabitants are going green. On April 22, 2010, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the popular children’s virtual world will launch a special online party and new ways for its players to exercise their passion for making the world a better place.
“Our players constantly ask for ways they can improve the virtual world of Club Penguin and the world at large, and we like to encourage that spirit of global citizenship and giving back,” says Lane Merrifield, co-founder of Club Penguin and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “Children today are far more environmentally aware than ever before and they truly want to make a difference. It’s important that their experiences on Club Penguin reflect and reinforce those ideals.”
The Earth Day party will allow the kids who play Club Penguin to work together to make good things happen in the online community, and will include the launch of a permanent recycling depot and community garden, which players will be responsible for maintaining. In addition, players will have the opportunity to help plant and nurture a community tree, which will become a permanent fixture on the virtual island’s snow-covered landscape. In an effort to further promote sustainability and encourage environmentally friendly behavior, Club Penguin will also offer suggestions on things kids can do in the real world.
“We hope by taking an active role in caring for the virtual environment of Club Penguin, where their penguin avatars live, work and play, the kids will realize they have an important role to play, and they’ll take those lessons into their home communities and find ways to make a positive difference in the real world,” says Merrifield.
The 2010 Earth Day party is just one example of Club Penguin’s ongoing efforts  to motivate its players to help change the world. A portion of the proceeds from each Club Penguin membership purchase supports organizations working to improve the lives of children and families around the globe. The annual Coins for Change online giving campaign lets players vote on where some of those donations go, including to environmental causes. Club Penguin also supports kids or schools who want to help a village in one of the world’s poorest regions with a matching gift program, and sponsors a free speaking tour and leadership program to empower elementary school students.
Continuing along with Earth Day-related announcements, the Electronic Recycling Association  will be expanding its operation due to the overwhelming support from corporations and individuals, as well as overwhelming request from charities for free computers and laptops. In addition to its existing sites in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, ERA is proud to announce the opening of these new locations:
Montreal – 514.500.0574
Ottawa – 613.800.3885
Barrie – 705.999.1245
Dartmouth – 902.982.4069
Victoria – 250.999.0883
ERA has established partnerships with End of Life recycling companies in these cities, and will ensure useful and working computers are not destroyed and melted down, but rather reused, and given to the charities and less fortunate. If you or your organization is currently using a recycling or smelting company in any of the mentioned cities, you are advised that now your old computers, laptops, servers and networking equipment can be given a second life through reuse at ERA.
ERA is a non profit organization that collects older laptops, computer, servers and electronic for reuse, refurbishing, donation to charities, non profit organization and less fortunate. ERA is the only non profit organization that donates computers and laptops at absolutely no charge back into the community.
Stratford – Attendees at the upcoming Canada 3.0 2010 forum  May 10-11, which is organized by the Canadian Digital Media Network , will enjoy improved cellular connectivity following concerted effort to make Stratford one of the most connected places to live and work in Canada. This city, renowned for artistic creativity, manufacturing and agricultural leadership, has wasted no time in reinventing itself for the digital era.
“The City conducted research and concluded that a technology-enhanced community is critical to future economic success, and as the host to the Canada 3.0 2010 forum and the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus , we need to show leadership to communities across the country,” said Stratford Mayor Dan Mathieson. “Ultimately we’re working to make Stratford an example of how Canada can move into the digital economy and create jobs and opportunities.”
A number of strategic initiatives were undertaken to drive Stratford’s digital leadership foray:
– worked with Festival Hydro Services Inc. to implement a downtown core WiFi ‘hot- spot’ for leading-edge business connectivity and serving the Waterloo Stratford Campus using latest technology
– enabled vastly improved cellular connectivity working with Bell Canada and Rogers Communications for the Rotary Complex, the facility that houses Canada 3.0 forums
– sponsored social media seminars to help businesses and residents understand how to leverage networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
– plans to deploy within months WiFi-based smart meters for hydro customers that not only meet but surpass Ontario standards by also providing WiFi communications services throughout the city – making the entire city a WiFi hot-spot
“Stratford has gone digital thanks to the progress made in the last year, and we expect the Canada 3.0 forum will enjoy a level of connectivity needed for all Canadians,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, which is organizing Canada 3.0 2010 with the Waterloo Stratford Campus.
One of the influencers for digital improvements in the city is the Waterloo Stratford Campus which is dedicated to research, education and engagement in the digital media sector. With students arriving this fall, the Waterloo Stratford Campus will be developing talent needed to support the digital media sector in future.
“The WiFi connectivity implemented in Stratford’s downtown core will enable our students and researchers to utilize the latest technology in the creative and technical projects undertaken at the campus,” said Ken Coates, Dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo. “We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to collaborate with the City to enhance digital initiatives here.”
Coates says the progress made in connecting Stratford demonstrates that the Canada 3.0 2010 ‘Moon Shot’ — targeting all Canadians to be able to do anything on-line in time for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 – is actually attainable. The Mayor supports that objective adding “it’s all about making communications mobile and being able to connect — whether it’s from a cell phone, laptop, or a smartphone — from the office, home or the local hockey arena.”
If you’re like many Canadian women, you may find that you have lost touch with your female friends. Perhaps you`re new to the city, single, married, a new mom, or sending your kids off to University – whatever your life stage may be, the one thing that remains constant for women is the need to connect with girlfriends. The question then becomes – Where do grown women go to make new friends?
Faced with this same question at various stages of her own life, Jeanette Harrietha, noticed that while there were many sites offering dating and professional connections, very little existed in the way of women`s online social networking. By creating Where Women Connect , a free women’s friendship site, Harrietha has begun filling this underserviced niche by bridging the gap between online connections and offline fun. The site provides women of all ages and stages of life with a forum for connecting with other ladies that live locally, share common interests and most importantly, want to expand their circle of friends.
Having launched the site in Toronto in October 2009, Where Women Connect has been growing ever since. When Harrietha noticed women from other parts of Ontario, and Canada joining the site, she knew it was time to start spreading the word so that all women could also enjoy this free and simple way to make connections and meet new friends.
“The site is really taking on a life of its own and evolving with the needs of its members”, says Harrietha. “While some of the women are connecting through our Activity Board for coffee nights, movie outings, and more; others prefer to use the site’s member search and emailing system. More than anything I`m just really excited to see the positive impact the site is having on women`s friendship.”
The site’s diverse membership includes women in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties that bring a broad range of experiences and interests to the site. All these women share the common goal of finding a place where women can connect with other fabulous, friendly women.
And if those women are Blackberry users, they can now use Tungle Corporation’s  free Tungle.me scheduling application  built for RIM’s Blackberry smartphones. Tungle.me addresses a common hurdle faced by business users who must organize or attend meetings – finding a time to meet. This challenge is often exacerbated by participants who are telecommuting, working within other organizations or located in different time zones. 
Tungle.me makes it easy for professionals to schedule meetings across organizations, calendar systems and time zones by eliminating costly double bookings and the endless back and forth of finding a time to meet. As a result, Tungle.me drastically improves productivity and efficiency, especially because it syncs with Outlook (with or without Exchange), BlackBerry Calendar, Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Entourage for Mac and Lotus Notes. There is also a Tungle.me app available for the iPhone .
“Tungle.me for BlackBerry may be our most anticipated version yet, with a large percentage of our user base carrying a BlackBerry to manage their professional lives while on the go,” said Marc Gingras, founder and chief executive officer of Tungle. “That is certainly the case with business users who rely on BlackBerrys to manage critical business activities.”
BlackBerry users can take Tungle.me with them wherever they go and:
* Create, send and receive meeting invitations
* Share calendars with other Tungle.me users
* See others’ free/busy status at a glance to know if they are available to meet
* Sync calendars and contacts
“Just as the BlackBerry has transformed the way people use email, Tungle has revolutionized the way they set up meetings,” says Pierre Donaldson, Partner, JLA Ventures & BlackBerry Partners Fund. “We are excited that 41 million BlackBerry users in 140 countries now have access to all of Tungle.me’s productivity features and I’m looking forward to setting up my own meetings with this breakthrough scheduling application.”