Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our mailbox rental is cheaper than PO box

Our mailbox rental is a greater alternative to the regular PO box rental. A lot of the times, post office boxes only receive letters. If you have parcels sent to PO boxes, they usually charge you for storage and the size of it. With our service, we’re able to receive parcels of any size (as long as they fit through our doors) and letters without cost. You don’t have to wait in line to pick up your oversized packages or letters.

And then there are always the unexpected customs and duty fees. Parcels with any customs or duty fees are always left uncertain at PO boxes – will they be received or paid for?  Overweight packages are not received by PO boxes either. Not to worry, we pay for this when it arrives and invoice you. This way, you are not losing any business or any important shipments that end up costing you more money.

With our packages, you have the option of having your mail forwarded to you at a very low cost. For longer sign up terms, you receive a higher discount.

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Why we're better than a PO box (tag: PO box vancouver, mailbox rental vancouver, mail forwarding)

Here at The Network Hub, we provide a wide range of services that cater to small business and entrepreneurs; from phone answering service to temporary and short-term office space to meeting room rentals. One of our most popular services is our mailbox rental.

With our mailbox rental, you are given a real street address, not a PO box. This means you can use your new business address to register and incorporate. And we’ll let you know once your official documents have arrived through our email notifications. Unlike a postal box rental, we let you know what has been received and who it is from, so you can save yourself a trip if you are checking for mail – you know exactly what you have in your mailbox.

When you publish the address on your business cards and website, clients are able to see that your business is in a commercial downtown location, not a residential area or post office. These days, everyone is using Google street view to see where you are. So, you can show them a downtown office. 

Our mailbox rental includes reception service between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. When your potential clients or current clients come in to speak to you, they are greeted by a receptionist at our office. They’ll see offices, a meeting room and waiting area. We let you know who came in and email you with their message. Since we are actually an office, you are able to book out our meeting room to meet your clients, or rent a workstation to finish your work.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

What The Network Hub looked like in 2006…

Let’s turn back the clock a few years… in 2006 my partners and I were all in university.  John and I were both attending SFU and Jay was attending UBC. School wasn’t the only thing on our mind, we were also juggling clients from our web company – building databases and designing network infrastructure between classes was normal since we’ve been doing it since high school. Between coding/designing/managing/school we were desperate to connect with other people who can understand our struggles and can celebrate our successes with us.

The three of us had a vision to make a space that is a fraternity house for people who work for themselves but not by themselves. We scraped together all our savings, took on extra projects and worked part-time jobs on top of school work to make The Network Hub happen because there was no IFs or BUTs, it HAS to be done.  Whether it was coming to the space after school to help the contractor in order to speed up construction or staying late to paint or sleeping on the floor because we were too exhausted to go home because school was about to start again, we did whatever it took to get the job done.

This is how it all began… the before pictures and then the in-progress pictures!

343687702 0a026400a8 b 2 What The Network Hub looked like in 2006…

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4651681363 b656a97fd5 b What The Network Hub looked like in 2006…Picture by talented Jeremy Lim for Freelance Camp 2010

4651679037 ae74c7df7d b What The Network Hub looked like in 2006…Picture by talented Jeremy Lim for Freelance Camp 2010

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

So you got high Klout score… so what

imagesCAH2YXH3 150x150 So you got high Klout score... so whatWith the emergence of social media “experts” popping everywhere and some are aggressively flaunting their Klout scores to intimidate their potential clients and friends, I feel the need to do a breakdown of how this works.

Here is a little bit of a preamble, I appreciate Klout and I have advised some of my friends to use Klout as one of MANY  tools out there to analyze how they are doing on Twitter.  It is a good tool if you genuinely are interested in authentic engagement but Klout isn’t perfect, nothing is.  If you really want to, you can game Klout to get a high score.

Here is how you game Klout:

1) Engage with people who have high Klout scores, people like @hummingbird604 @jason_baker @kempedmonds @vancitybuzz and ignore people with low Klout score

2) Ask controversial questions or ask for RTs, for example “What do you think about #charliesheen?” or “I love iPad 2, RT if you agree.”  BONUS: If you exploit trending topics and tag people, it increases your score even faster because it forces people to respond.  As an example, “What do you think about #charliesheen? @hummingbird604 @vancitybuzz @kempedmonds @jason_baker

3) Run contests on Twitter, pony up a few hundred bucks.  Heck even 50 bucks will get people excited.  “Win $50 bucks, just RT to enter”

4) Campaign people to follow you and make them feel guilty if they don’t.  BONUS: Once they follow you, you unfollow them because you score higher if you have more followers than followings

5) Tag everyone in your tweets so you get on their radar in order to achieve #4, for example “Nice to see you tonight @hummingbird604 @vancitybuzz @kempedmonds @jason_baker @more influencers”

You don’t have to add any particular value and still have high score because Klout relies on an algorithm that most definitely take into account of reach, amplification and network.  If your “network” are people with high score – well it thinks you are somewhat of a big deal.  Begging for RTs give you amplification because you are reaching other people’s network, it doesn’t take into account that you are paying for this reach with contests or because you applied social pressure by tagging people making them obligated to response. If you follow a few influencers, pressure them to follow you and engage in conversation with you then you achieve a high true reach score.

There are people like @hummingbird604 @vancitybuzz @kempedmonds @jason_baker who have achieved high Klout scores because they genuinely engage, they care and they provide value for their followers and you can tell from their interactions on Twitter.  Then there are those who game Klout to flaunt, intimidate and make other people feel inferior which is NOT the purpose of social media.

To them I say, “You can game Klout but you can’t game people”

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Tool Tuesdays: What time is the best time to tweet?

One of the big questions right now in social media is what time is the best time to tweet?  There are a few ideas out there.

Guy Kawasaki mentioned in his blog post, “Looking for Mr. Goodtweet:  How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter”

Tip 9: Repeat your tweets. Try this experiment: take your most interesting tweets (as measured by how many people retweet them, perhaps) and post them again three times, eight to twelve hours apart. I used to think that people would complain about repeating tweets, but I’ve never had a complaint. My theory is that the volume of tweets is so high and most people check in at about the same time every day, so people don’t notice repeat tweet

Read more:

Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s social media scientist did some studies and found,

I noticed that retweet activity tended to peak around 4pm EST, suggesting that this might be the best time to tweet a blog post for maximum potential retweet reach.


When I looked at retweet activity over the days of the week, I saw that they peaked later in the work week, specifically on Friday.

Read more:

This all make sense but for social media to truly be social, I think the goal is to engage with my followers and a blanket approach is a good starting point but to really create a relationship, it has to be customized to my own followers.   That’s not to say I don’t tweet on Friday at 4pm EST and repeat the good tweets so more people can see it.  I believe in the Dan Zarrella’s science and Guy Kawasaki’s practical experience, I would never ignore hard evidence but I also want to make sure I understand MY own followers.  In comes, Timely which is aptly name for a service whose sole function is to schedule tweets for maximum impact.    It’s pretty simple when they break it down on their front page, so simple it provokes a DOH why didn’t I think of that and did that myself kind of reaction.  The magic is in the simplicity of Timely.

You add your tweets, it schedules to tweet out the tweets according to the time it thinks will produce the most impact – impact is defined as increase in retweets, mentions and followers.  The science of it is it analyzes your past 199 tweets and figure out the best time slot, it learns as your following grows.

timely Tool Tuesdays: What time is the best time to tweet?

Timely does absolutely produce results it promised – there is an increase in retweet, mention and retweet per tweet.  My only problem with Timely is, if it schedules consistently the same time I might miss out the opportunity to reach out to new followers to build relationships with people who operates outside of the time frame that yields the most impact.  I don’t solely rely on Timely, I use it to tweet quotes mostly.  I read and share all my links mostly live.   Even just figuring out what time is your most optimal times to tweet is very interesting, if it’s just for the sake of knowing but I believe in knowing what times to tweet also tell you a lot about the followers that engage you.

I hope you find Timely useful, if you have used Timely let me know your experience.  If you are going to start, pop back in at some point and let me know how it went.

Note: These are tools I have used for a substantial amount of time (> 2 wks) and have found useful for me, this is not a paid post and paid is defined as money, swags, free dinner, t-shirts, pens, free coffee, gift certificate… absolutely nothing!

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A Colourful Discussion on Being Green

garden 300x200 A Colourful Discussion on Being GreenLast week, a diverse group of community leaders from the South Asian, Filipino and Chinese communities gathered at city hall for a roundtable discussion with the goal of making Vancouver the Greenest City in the world by 2020.

The discussion was moderated by two media professionals from the local Filipino and South Asian media – Marieton Pacheco of Balitang Vancouver Filipino TV news and Tarunnum Thind of OMNI TV. Representing the city were Deputy City Manager, Sadhu Johnston and Greenest City Planner, Lindsay Cole.

I attended the meeting as a representative of Tulayan (Bridges), a Filipino cultural group, along with my co-organizer Rafael Aquino (@ayoslang) and some friends from the Filipino community, @NicoleIgnacio and @LMHVancouver.

Preet Bal and Manmeet Poonam Sandhu from Sandhog Creations Society spoke about their successful efforts in making the Vaisakhi parade greener. A model that can easily be adapted by other cultural events in Vancouver and the rest of the lower mainland.

The input from the diverse group of young and old community organizers was refreshingly frank and insightful.

It was pointed out that the contributions of minority communities are not generally acknowledged whenever there are discussions about making Vancouver a greener city. For example, the idea of growing vegetable gardens in the backyard is already a common practice in the homes of recent immigrants. Buying in bulk, a common practice with immigrant families, helps reduce the amount of packaging waste that is thrown out. Using all parts of an animal in their dishes is a common practice in Asian cooking, a practice that makes better use of available resources and reduces waste.

A rather glaring ommission that was pointed out is the lack of minority faces in the marketing materials printed by the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City campaign, thus neglecting the contribution of the minority communities and perpetuating the perception that these goals do not include them. It was agreed that acknowledging the contributions of the minority communities would be a good first step in bridging these communities’ efforts with the city’s Greenest City goal.

Another strong feedback from the group was that it was very important to appeal to immigrant communities on a more practical level. For example, the majority of recent immigrants are simply unable to afford higher priced organic food. As well, third world country immigrants may not be as familiar with the idea of recycling, and educating them on the practical monetary incentive of returning used bottles would be better received.

The roundtable talk felt a little short given the amount of issues and ideas that were being discussed, but I also came away hopeful knowing that everyone involved will bring back the same idea to their respective groups – that together, we can accomplish more by working towards the same goal.

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Events in Vancouver: Fashion’s Night OUT

logo Events in Vancouver: Fashion’s Night OUTIt’s cold, it’s rainy and it feels better to be hiding under a blanket at home than to be outside BUT there is an event worth getting OUT for!  Fashion’s Night OUT is presented by The Bay at White Space in V Lounge on March 8.  It indeed it will be a night to remember with cocktail reception, silent auction, live DJ and gift bags with a fashion show presented by The Bay.

The wonderful thing about this event is that 100% of the proceeds will go to Out in School.  Out in Schools is an amazing organization that facilitate discussions with youth on bullying, homophobia and stereotypes.  Vancouver is a tolerant city that embraces diversities but with the recent incidents of gay bashing and violence, there is much we need to do through education of our youths about tolerance.

Watch this video from Ellen DeGeneres about tragic suicides among gay teenagers due to bullying 

“These kids needed us. We have an obligation to change this. There are messages everywhere that validate this kind of bullying and taunting and we have to make it stop. We can’t let intolerance and ignorance take another kid’s life.”

Ellen DeGeneres is right, these kids do NEED us and we have an OBLIGATION to make a change. Join me and others who want to stand up and says NO, we will not lose our children to intolerance and ignorance.

Grab a ticket and show your support, purchase your ticket here at

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