Welcome

Looking for Good Wireless Internet?

August 8th, 2012

~340 words = ~1.5 min. reading time
Reason for reading: To get a discount code for an Internet solution that might work for you!

I am constantly being asked about who we use for our Internet Service Provider (ISP) services so, after sending out many individual e-mails explaining the answer (and offering a discount code too!), I thought I should simply post the information here and save myself some time! :)

If you’re located outside the regular service areas of Telus and Shaw in Alberta, and you’ve been struggling unhappily with poor wireless or satellite Internet connections or (heaven forbid!) dial-up (in which case you have our heartfelt sympathy!) then you might want to check out this solution.

Pondside has operated as a business using dial-up in the form of 14.4, 28.8, and satellite (both one-way and two-way), then on slow ‘high-speed’ wireless, and finally on some really consistently great wireless!

Our experiences with other companies were such that, at first, the service and speed of upload and download were fantastic. However, as they began to over-subscribe to users, the speed died, problems arose and customer service waned.

Enter MCSNet into our lives! We’ve been with MCSNet for almost 2.5 years and have no complaints :)

So, if you’re looking for a new Internet Service Provider, get the discount code below and check out MCSNet.

First you’ll want to check their coverage map or call MCSNet and ask if they provide service in your area.

They offer packages for both residential and business. This is a good place to look for your wireless Internet package options.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, try going to the MCSNet homepage.

…and the part you’ve been waiting for… A discount code for their services:

0ZPDDCYJ

(That first character is a zero.) You need to make sure you enter that code into forms or tell them about the discount code BEFORE they do the installation.

I hope this helps anyone with poor Internet service to get what they need! I’ve heard they apparently have other packages that aren’t announced on their pricing page so ask to make sure you get what you really want.

Happy surfing! :)

Sylvia Schneider
President, Pondside Digital Media

Tribute to a Great Woman and Defining Influence

October 11th, 2011

~1329 words = <6 min. reading time
Reason for reading: to learn more about the person who helped define who I am and how I think.

This is a longer blog-post but I won’t apologise for that.

One of the many reasons for this blog is to help you learn more about the person behind this company. At the risk of over-sharing (you don’t have to read this if you don’t want to), I’m going to let you know more about a person who greatly influenced who I am today; my mother, who recently passed away while I was out of the country.

This past Friday was a beautiful start to the autumn weekend, perfect for a Canadian Thanksgiving! It was the best weather we’d had since returning from vacation.

The whole week prior had been sort of gloomy, foggy and it not only matched my mood but made it easy to focus on my task at hand; preparing for my mother’s Celebration of Life service. No distractions.

Together with my siblings, in-laws, and the grand kids, I really focused on the task of making my mother’s Celebration of Life as memorable as possible and a true representation of the person she was in life.

My mother was a most amazing person. (I’m not the only one who says this.) She was one of the most honest and ethical, hard-working and persevering people you could possibly imagine. Her Celebration of Life included an eulogy by her eldest, memories from her grandkids, a DVD to music (created by us) of pictures from very early in her life to the week before she passed away, a reading entitled ‘The Ideal Wife’ (which everyone agrees she was), sung musical tributes by Sherwood Park’s own Bella Rouge, and also a tribute from me.

I will share with you now, what I shared on Friday.

“My mom was many things and ‘set the bar high’ at everything she did.

“My mom was a gardener, she had tremendous flower beds. She could keep them looking great long after first frost. She shared her secret with me. After a frost, get up and hose down the flowers before the first rays of sun hit them. It works!

“My mom was bold and adventurous. I would like to have known her as a teenager. She told me about how she used to hike up to the top of Mount McKay and back. That sounds like something I would have done. She quite purposefully had two children at an age that was, in those days, entirely unacceptable. She learned to drive at about age 48 – not sure many people learn at that age now, never mind in ‘those days’. She was pulled over by an officer once; he wanted to commend her on her driving.

“Always an innovator, when her two youngest children were sick more often than not, she learned about allergies (a very new topic in those days) and, despite the quiet ridicule from others, she persisted and pursued treatment for her children and made their lives much better for it.

“My mom was a leader. She wasn’t the type to be domineering at a public event but she was the type that wouldn’t let something go if she believed it should be handled in a certain way for a positive outcome for everyone. She proved that when she led the charge against converting the local school to a greenhouse and, instead, it was turned into a centre for the local seniors.

“My mom had tremendous observation and foresight. She could see what others couldn’t or chose not to see. As if she had a crystal ball, she could usually project the outcome of her observations and, in doing so, predict the future. She often predicted what was going to be happening with the economy long before it hit the news. I asked her how she knew and the answer I received was, “I’ve lived long enough and experienced enough to know this.” I learned to pay attention to her observations and insights for to ignore them was usually folly!

“Despite there being no budget for it, my mom would do as much as she could to help us pursue our interests. She knew I was passionate about horses but we couldn’t afford for me to own one. One alternative was to let me work at the track for a brief time. This is how it went down. We would rise and leave at 4:00AM, breakfast in hand, and she would take me to Northlands Racetrack – there was no easy drive across the Capilano so this required going downtown and around. She would drop me off at Northlands where I would help the grooms, walk hot horses, etc. Then she would pick me up again at 7:00 to get me to my school in time for track practice at 7:30. No small effort!

“Always willing to try new things, when she was in her seventies, we once convinced her it would be fun to go down the waterslide. (What were we thinking?!) She didn’t go a second time. I think once was enough for her. In her eighties we introduced her to Wii bowling. She had an absolute blast! :-)

“Mom always loved to learn. Although my mom had a sharp memory throughout her life, due to her short term memory loss in her end-years, it wasn’t always easy to come up with things to discuss. Yay Internet! Mom would mention places from her past that were special to her, we would look it up on a BlackBerry and the conversation would begin! We learned a lot. Sometimes when we talked, we’d read about something none of us knew anything about. There’d be silence for awhile and Mom would expectantly say, “Well?” I’d look at her and say, with uncertainty, “Well, what, Mom?” She’d reply, “I thought you were looking that up on that thing of yours.” :-)

“Speaking of communication, in her nineties, we set Mom up with a Facebook page so the grandchildren could communicate more easily with her. We explained the concept to her and she thought it was a good and interesting idea. Just so you know, her Facebook statuses were all crafted by her and I learned tremendous patience while I waited for my mother to word her status ‘just so’. I wasn’t allowed to translate it in an approximate way. “That doesn’t sound like something I’d say.” She wanted everyone to know it was coming from her. Sometimes one update would take a half hour to produce!

“Listen up grandkids; you’ll appreciate this! Did I mention my mother was very astute? Facebook, in its wisdom, made some suggestions for friends for my mother. Always wanting her to be in charge of her profile, we asked her if she knew any of these people and whether she would like to add them to her friend list. She was a little puzzled by the recommendations. “Why would it suggest these people as friends?” she asked. We explained that these were friends of her friends so the Facebook program thought they might also be her friends or people she’d like to meet. Her reply? “Wow. That sounds like a real marketing racket!” My jaw dropped! I was stunned by her instant grasp of implications for this new media! By the way, shortly after, Facebook began rolling out ‘friend marketing’ in news streams.

“Always when we left we’d each give Mom a kiss on the cheek and she would kiss us in return. I’d say, “Love you Mom.” She’d reply, “Bye-bye dear. Love you too.”

“I love you Mom. Thanks for the legacy. You were a great mother and a wonderful grandmother. You’re definitely a tough act to follow.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a great day and, for your own benefit, reflect for a few moments on things you can be thankful for :)

Sylvia Schneider
President, Pondside Digital Media

Award-Winning Group that Pondside is Proud to be a Part of

March 9th, 2011

~650 words = ~3 min. reading time
Reason for reading: to learn about a business group we’re involved with that might also benefit you, whether you’re a business or individual.

I’ve been wanting to blog about a this wonderful group that Pondside is a part of and there is no better time to do that than now!

Before I do tell you about it, let me just say that I was asked to join BNI back when I first started my business in 1996. If I hadn’t been such a ‘noob’, if I’d had more business knowledge and business savvy, that might have been the key to ‘rocking my business to the top of the charts’! As it was, I was not a smart, business-savvy individual at the time and I declined the offer. Probably for the best as I likely would have been swamped with more business than I could have properly accommodated at that time and my business may well have failed!

Fast-forward to 2009, at which time I have many more business smarts, some employees to help with the business, and an understanding of what to do if (heaven help us) we get too much business! I decided to take up the offer of business acquaintance Greg Douglas and check out BNI again and so began my journey as a member of an award-winning group of business associates, the Park Power Connections in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada!

So, what’s BNI you ask. BNI stands for Business Network International. Their motto is ‘Givers Gain’. This is something I’ve always believed in too.

BNI, to me, is a group of serious, business-minded individuals that are committed to growing their business and helping one another grow their businesses too. It’s true that the cornerstone of BNI is based on giving referrals to one another but I get so much more from this group. I get the opportunity to practice going out and speaking in front of people, meeting new people, learning about their businesses, learning who they are; if I have a business problem, I know there’s a group of people I can call on for some help with ideas to resolve it. There’s a wealth of expertise in our group! I know that if I run into a personal situation where I need a business to help, if there isn’t a business in our group that does that sort of thing, chances are that somebody in our group knows somebody who knows somebody and that is the strength of BNI. BNI members’ relationships are built on trust; a trust that is gained through getting to know one another, getting to know about their business, getting to depend on their opinion of who would be a good referral for your needs. I know when I run into someone who needs one of our members’ services, I can feel confident passing along their name.

I don’t know if I just happened to fall into the best BNI group or, if together we have made it the best BNI group but at the first annual BNI Alberta North Awards Night the Park Power Connections were awarded BNI Chapter of the Year!

I extend the invitation to anyone in Edmonton and surrounding area to contact me if you’re interested in attending our chapter meeting to see what BNI is all about. I’d be happy to bring you as my guest. (Heck, contact me if you need a service! Chances are I know somebody who knows somebody who knows… well, the network extends a long way! :)

(Just in case you’re wondering whether it’s worth the drive, one of our members, David Swinburnson, has a 45 min. drive each way to get to our chapter meeting for 7:00 AM He thinks it’s worth it!)

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a great day and, for your own benefit, do take a few minutes to learn more about BNI here.

If you’re already in BNI, let us know which chapter and/or your feelings about BNI.

Sylvia Schneider
President, Pondside Digital Media

Making New Year Resolutions Easier to Keep

January 1st, 2011

~500 words = <2 min. reading time
Reason for reading: to learn about something that might make 2011 an even better year for you.

You’ve reached the end of another year …survived… whew! …but if you could do it aaaallll over again, you’d do it differently – right? So much better!

…and so the New Year resolutions begin.

I promise to …a), b), c)… I promise to do this, do that, etc., etc. How many of your resolutions make it past the first month; maybe even to the end of March (if you’re really persistent)?

Dealing with the Web and dealing with code makes people like us think a little differently and I’m really happy that, last year, I started thinking differently about my resolutions.  I’m a REALLY persistent person but I just couldn’t make those resolutions last.

Last year I began to think, “What if, instead of making statements and promises for resolutions… what if I just picked a few keywords that have meaning for me? It would be way easier to remember!”

I had been feeling like my life was out of balance so, I began to think about the kinds of words I would need to consider to bring some balance back into my life.  I came up with what I called my five ‘f-words’ ;-) So, my keywords in 2010 were family, fitness, financial, forward and fun. At the end of each day, I asked myself if I had spent time in each of those areas and if not, I thought about how the next day might include an activity that would help support that missing area. Oh, by the way, the hardest keyword for me to fulfill was ‘fun’.

The nice thing about having keywords, is that you can make lists of activities you could do to help fulfill each keyword, and add to those lists whenever you think of something.  So, if at the end of the day you haven’t fulfilled a keyword, go to your lists and pick something you may not have thought about that will help you fulfill your resolution.  It’s kind of like having a ‘buffet’ of options to choose from instead of having to face the same entree over and over again :-)

So, here we are in 2011! …hmmm… not sure what my keywords for this year will be but I really want to keep my old ones – they were a great help to me! So, I guess I’ll try adding two or three more; I think five more would be overly ambitious.  Maybe I’ll evaluate at the end of each day but give myself until the end of each week to accomplish something from all of them.

Not sure what keywords I’ll be using for 2011 but I do have some in mind;  I’m sure I’ll nail them down by the end of this weekend.

As usual, I hope this post has been helpful to you and maybe to your business.  Leave a comment to let us know if it has been, and what your keywords are for 2011.  Happy New Year! :)

Sylvia Schneider
President, Pondside Digital Media

Do you have a vision?

November 8th, 2010

602 words = <3 min. reading time
Reason for reading: to learn how our company started and learn how important your vision is to us

One question I’m often asked, especially once people realise how long we’ve been in business (…and especially once they learn that my Web skills were self-taught) is, “How did you ever get started in this business?”

The story is interesting enough that my (at this time) twenty-something son stated that it’s such an interesting story that it should be on our site. (Okay, anyone with young adult children knows that they don’t ‘compliment’ openly, …it must be truly impressive, so here goes!)

In the early 1980s, my husband and I moved to a ‘remote’ area to raise our family; an area that: had shared phone lines (often referred to as ‘party lines’), was a long-distance call to anywhere (except your neighbours’ ) …am I beginning to sound prehistoric yet?… and, of course, there was no public Internet yet as most people didn’t even know it existed. I felt totally out of touch with the one thing I was very passionate about – horses.

I would call long-distance to the nearest tack shop in Edmonton and ask if anyone had posted any horse events on their bulletin board (cork-type, on the wall, not electronic!) Those days I often wished there was one phone number people could ring up and find out about everything happening with horses.  Of course there wasn’t, but I kept that thought in mind.

Fast-forward to 1995, my current job had disappeared and I needed to find another that would work well for my circumstances (i.e. far to travel, young kids to care for); everyone was yappin’ about the Internet.  All I knew about ‘the Internet’ was that it had something to do with computers and I didn’t care for computers at all!  Unfortunately, that word ‘Internet’ seemed to come up around our house over and over again.

During the summer of ’95 we went on vacation. Sister-in-law says …blah, blah, blah Internet… Internet!?  There was that word again and, this time, from someone outside our house. Hmmm…. ‘What the heck is the Internet?’ says I. Upon hearing what the Internet was I suddenly realized that this was my vision, my ‘one number to call’ for everything happening with horses!

Because of my passion for horses and things equine, I learned how to turn on a computer and, through reading and learning on-line, how to develop Web pages (…yes, it WAS a very steep learning curve!) ; I eventually started Alberta Equine …On-Line, an on-line ‘magazine’ which has grown to the Canada Equine …On-Line network of sites.  Shortly thereafter, I founded Pondside Web Productions and the Pondside story continues.

What does this mean to you and why should you care?  If you have a vision for something you’re passionate about, keep it in mind and, even if it isn’t the right time for it, eventually it may be!

You can see that we have the tenacity to get things done. I’m passionate about more than just horses! Along with my team I’m passionate about Web and Internet solutions and love learning about other businesses too! Did you know, if you share your vision with us, there may be a Web or Internet solution to help achieve it?

Here’s a quote by Charles M. Schwab I first heard through Twitter as passed along by Anthony Robbins:

“A person can succeed at almost anything for which they have unlimited enthusiasm.” – Charles M. Schwab

Give us a call! We’re enthusiastic and would love to help you succeed!

Sylvia Schneider
President, Pondside Digital Media