Hello Miss Teenage Canada Regional Delegates from Blog Network Admin. We thought perhaps it might be time to add some fresh content to the Blog Tutorials here.

Its almost time for the big show…

Miss Teenage Canada

As each year develops, the Miss Teenage Canada Blog Network gets busier and busier (the official blog assignments will be coming down the pipe shortly so stay tuned) and in July the traffic spikes up right before the grand finale.

But of course we are always reading the blog entries, all year long. Its true we really start paying attention in March, April, May and June as the new Delegates introduce themselves. We really enjoy reading about each new delegate and seeing pictures of their surroundings, and learning about their regions – we hope you’ll all continue to use your blogs after the grand finale on Saturday July 23rd 2016 to tell the world your stories. You’re each building a unique legacy, and in the future, other Miss Teenagers from all across Canada but especially from your region will surely read your posts and be impacted by your journey.

Have you ever wondered what makes a good blog post?

There are a bunch of factors, the first of which is having a great idea. The best blog posts are loving handcrafted articles that transcend time (which means they are relevant next year, and the year after, etc)  The best posts are rare and precious because they are written by a young person and they communicate her thoughts and feelings and not just a lot of data and interesting information (which is also important). Writing great blog posts requires doing some research and we like to see delegates visit the setting or the location of the story and take pictures.

Length  – between 600 and 1000 words

Embed Original Photos and Videos even if you have to record the media on your phone – the iPhones today have great camera and Android phones are okay too but often its hard to get the media off the phone. Make sure you know how to do it before doing any ‘live blogging’.

Use original photos. Crop and touch up your best images to use in your posts. One or two is good, but three or four pictures are GREAT. Make sure you remember to add proper Image Titles and Alt Text attributes and even Captions if you dare (they can really mess up your formatting – TIP add them at the end, the last thing you do before you post).

Quotes – If you’re talking to somebody who is somebody then record a quote and either put it in quotes or use the block quote function and attribute it to them.

“Blogging is character building.”  Rob Campbell  Toronto SEO Expert

This is real citizen journalism, and its what people notice and what really good writers use to shape compelling arguments in their editorials, especially in opinion pieces (like good blogs).

Facts – Do some research. Find out cool stats and share them in your posts and its also standard practice to link to the source of the information if its rare and special and not so much if its common knowledge or Wikipedia page.

Promotions – After the piece has been published, its good practice to tweet the blog post’s URL (permalink) and add it to your Facebook page to widen your audience.  Be sure and include @TeenageCanada in your tweet, and we’ll be quick to retweet.

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Introducing the 2016 Miss Teenage Canada – Official Blog Assignment #1

Tell us why anyone should want to visit your city, town or region of Canada?

map of Canada

Every destination across our great nation has at least one special thing to offer the public that more or less defines that location. Its the one thing people say most when you tell them where you’re from… “Oh isn’t that where ‘X’ is?’ And you could substitute X for anything from a Big Apple monument alongside the hwy, to a Zoo for wild buffalo.

Here’s a picture we snapped at The EX here in our region, downtown Toronto.  This is a good picture to use to show you all what we expect here at MTC Blog Network Admin concerning this assignment.

event photography

The task requires the author create a lifestyle / travel blog post that highlights a popular tourist destination in their region, and please do put the name of the attraction in the blog post title (along with Assignment 1). Then follow a journalistic approach describing the best parts of the hot spot.

Where is the place exactly? Who owns the joint? What do people do there? How do they do it? When do they do it? and WHY?  The best blog posts have been well researched and share rare tidbits of knowledge and little known facts.  Give us the history of the area and be sure and relate any myths or legends that make the setting extra cool.

exploring tourist attractionsThe article should also have some personal accounts; how did the place make you feel when you last visited?

Also, and perhaps most important, what little secrets can you share? Being as how you live in the area you must have some rare insider knowledge of things like the maybe the best menu items? Or the best places to park your car? Or the best place to sit to watch a show, or the best deals on souvenirs or even drink specials. Spill the beans on the situation.

Bonus points for bloggers who can make videos at the location and host them on YouTube and then embed them into their blogs by copying and pasting the embed code (in the html editor) into the blog post.  That’s advanced.

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2013 Miss Teenage Canada Blog Network, Assignment Number Three

signature towel, personal towel, monogrammed giftImagine that you’re a marketing company executive in charge of creating a thirty second television spot for Signature Towels to market their personalized towels which is one of three products they need help making more findable on the internet.

Create a VISUAL TREATMENT and CONTEXT that is simply a blog post with pictures explaining what you would do for 30 seconds (which is a long time in TV) if we gave you the budget to film a TV commercial.  Please explains exactly what your ad agency would do if you won the job and the $250K  budget to shoot a TV spot with actors and cameras and sets etc – tell us your plan, and use pictures to set the tone.

What is your big idea?  What amazing piece of creative marketing do you envision that will win your ad agency the job?  Judges are on the client side asking to see a treatment and hear (read) your pitch.

I was trying to imagine what I might do if I was challenged like this … for a custom embroidered towel company? What are the options? And then I came up with the idea of trying to capture a typical Canadian beach scene…  That catchy song by the singer ‘Tiffany’ is playing in the background.. “I think we’re alone now. There doesn’t seem to be any one around…”   then the camera finds a personalized towel on Echo Beach far away in time… and its a mystery… where is the person that owns this towel?

this is Dreamstime stock photo, personalized towel on shingle beach . typical Canadian beach is uncomfortableA typical Canadian beach is not white sand and palm trees and light blue water, but rather uncomfortable gravel and cold shale like this rock strewn lake front. Its a lonely desolate place that’s frozen nine months of the year.  Imagine finding a personalized towel in this barren moonscape.  A personalized towel says someone cares and it would be so out of place here, so iconic and unforgettable when imaged here…

What kind of people would bring a signature towel to this kind of beach?  Is that a bath towel or a beach towel? or is it a personalized golf towel?

That would be the setting of my commercial, and I would go on and on for another 800 words showing barren landscapes and hanging the personalized hand towel off dead trees and making a ‘fashion-in-the-wilderness’ type  surrealist art piece. But you know I reckon the sponsor would probably prefer something more mainstream… What have you got?

Links to sponsor – pick one target only and make a hyperlink; make the words link to the URL,
1) make the word ‘personalized towels’ link to http://www.signaturetowels.com/Hand-Towel-p/0670.htm
2) make the word ‘personalized golf towel’ link to http://www.signaturetowels.com/Personalized-Golf-Towel-p/0680.htm
3) make the word ‘personalized bath towel’ links to http://www.signaturetowels.com/Personalized-Bath-Towel-p/0620.htm

PICK ONE ONLY – Do not link out from your blog to two or three products but rather just pick and focus on one target.

monogrammed towels, plush towel, cottonSignature Towels is famous for making high quality monogrammed towels that are perfect gifts because they convey a personal touch – like they are from someone who really cares about the recipient.

Signature Towels embroidered items are perfect for weddings, and make truly exceptional house warming gifts and graduation presents.

Put together and present to us readers and Blog Judges a 1000 word written TREATMENT of your creative idea to sell this custom towel personalization service and include pictures of actors (with towels?) sets, ideas, recreations, or magazine ‘look book’ clippings to convey the mood, or settings or a significant plot point in your narrative TV commercial – it has to be at least 30 seconds long and that means about 15 good ideas because two seconds is a long time on screen. We want a breakdown of the spot – a pitch that you might show a creative director or brand manager. Lets see how well you can show and tell your creative ideas.

Put the name of the Featured Product in the Title of the Blog Post (ie.,  My Skydiving Spot for Personalized Bath Towels at Prairie Town) and put that same product name in the keyword tags.

Its time for you to have a monogrammed bathrobe just like a big shot TV executive !

Deadline for this assignment is July 7, 2013

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2013 Miss Teenage Canada Blog Network Assignment Number Two

niagara falls dinner at the skylon towerEvery city or town in every region of Canada has something special that intrigues people for some reason or another. Everywhere you go in this land there is something beautiful or historic, or in some way unique and memorable to behold.  There’s a special place inside the borders of every region of Canada. Please describe the place in your hometown that brings in tourists from miles around to see or do or experience something they will never forget.  This is the place that puts your region ‘on the map’ and as the cultural teen ambassador, here’s your chance to do your duty and describe its appeal to any would-be visitors that are reading your blog.

This is the 2nd blog assignment and it asks Miss Teens to become ‘citizen journalists’ but instead of tech bloggers, here they must become travel bloggers and to write an honest review of their experience at their own region’s tourist hotspot. Put the name of the hotspot in the title of the blog post. You must take pictures and use at least two images of the venue in your post – also you could make and embed a video…?

To thank the sponsor, simply write ‘Thanks Niagara Falls for sponsoring the Miss Teenage Canada 2nd blog challenge’ and you will be entered in the #2 contest for prize.

Here is an example of embedding video in a blog post,

The best travel Travel Blogs start with who, what, where, when and why the author visited the place and the best blogs have lots of pictures and maybe even some video? The best travel blogs have magazine quality pictures that go from wide to close – wide perspectives from the air, or from the road, and then medium and then close on food and drink – show parking lot perspectives the general public sees from the road and then move in closer and closer to finally dwell on a human and his or her hands on plates of food in the kitchen at the center of it all. Skylon Niagara Falls tourist attraction elementThat’s the format for the travel blogs that we like to read.

Make sure and thank the sponsor  http://www.skylon.com under the keyword text ‘Niagara Falls’ or ‘Niagara Falls attractions’ or ‘Niagara Falls restaurants’  – or simply write ‘Thanks Niagara Falls for sponsoring the Miss Teenage Canada 2nd blog challenge’, and you will be eligible for prizes and commendations on July 20th (including a 1 day 1 night sightseeing trip to Niagara Falls! * or $500 if unable to accommodate)

The Biggest Tourist Attraction in Canada is Niagara Falls

So is Niagara Falls Skylon Tower Canada’s foremost tourist attraction – tied with CN tower?, but the , and one talented travel blogger and her best friend will WIN a trip for two plus two parents (four people total) to visit this World Class attraction and stay for a night at Holiday Inn by the Lake (two rooms)  the day AFTER the pageant in Toronto.  They will enjoy free transportation to and from Niagara Falls to Toronto International Airport (if required, or any portal) plus a  superb evening meal by the window of the Skylon Tower to see and remember forever Canada’s most breathtaking natural attraction as it rotates past diners outside the windows of this famous revolving restaurant.

The challenge ends July 3rd 2013.

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2013 Miss Teenage Canada Blog Network Assignment Number One

tiocoat flat roofExplain what makes a green building? Show us one good example of a green building in your town. There must be one? This is a tech blog assignment for green citizen journalists. The challenge ends July 3rd 2013   There are amazing prizes (five or more professional digital cameras for bloggers plus a grand prize TBD) for the top blogs courtesy of Tiocoat flat roof, and other sponsors.  Link to sponsor Tiocoat . com in your blog under the word ‘flat roof’ or ‘white roof’ or ‘rubber roof’ as sponsor of blog challenge only (you do not have to look for flat roof or white roof examples), just write about green buildings of any description, perhaps a greenhouse? or that green mansion where you cut the grass one summer?

What is a Green Building? What’s The Greenest Building Around?

Tiocoat is coolest white roof solution for flat roof

As energy efficient building practices become more mainstream, terms like “green building” and “LEED certified” have become a part of the common lexicon. But what does it all mean? Despite our growing familiarity with these terms, most Canadians do not fully understand the key components that contribute to the energy efficiency rating ? of a commercial or residential building.

Your task is to explain to everyone ‘what is a green building?’ and then show us an example of an energy efficient structure in your town or region. Sponsored by Tiocoat flat roof solutions this company makes a white roof or rubber roof coating that is guaranteed for the life of the building.  If every building had a white roof the whole world would be cooler.  Also green lawn care with sustainable equipment adds to a property’s environmental footprint.

How do you know what makes a building ‘green’?

white roof in Toronto

Green Star is a comprehensive, national, voluntary environmental rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings scale ; the ‘greenness’ of a building seems to be determined by adding up the active and passive methods that the building uses to conserve energy and subtracting any places where it wastes energy.

REQUIREMENTS Each post should have two pictures explaining the architecture and exploring at least two different facets of energy conservation. Beyond the obvious examples of green retrofitting, like a whole array of microfit program solar panels and overflowing rain water collection buckets, look for the hard-to-spot innovations like intelligent thermostats, automatic blinds on windows, high tech basement flooring and insulated wall panels and stuff that you wouldn’t even think about unless you went looking for them. Even a row of shady trees could be considered a positive innovation. These improvements add to the environmental rating of ‘sustainable building’ and help make it ‘green’.

Readers of your blog will want details on recent breakthroughs in building design or new Space Age materials technology.

green building, garden terraces, solar energy building, greenhouse, glass steel building, living spaces

If you report that a local building has been built with some kind advanced polymer bricks on the outside of its walls, we readers (and sponsors, and blog judges) will want to know why the bricks and mortar are so advanced. What makes them so special? Explain the science to us.  Do you have anything in town like this? This building is the world’s foremost example of ‘rooftop planting’ . What green wonder do you have in your town?

Look for innovations inside and outside the featured structures. What about new style sunrooms, and the space age glass in the panes?  There’s advanced glass that has been developed with built-in sun shades and other silicon soda blends now have selenium inside so they harness the sunlight and collect solar energy!  Other types of glass are bird proof and make bird friendly building materials which is another form of environmental conservation.

green building of the future


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Hello Miss Teenage Canada Delegates from across Canada in 2013 MTC Blog Network. I’m Robert Campbell or Smojoe   Here’s me beside Katrina Hayden a speaker at 2012 Mentor night and VIP guest at the 2012 grand finale pageant event at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto. On behalf of the admin and sponsors let me say, welcome to the 2013 MTC Blog Network; its official, you’re in the army.

Its a fact that when all delegates work together they become a powerful blog army and its my challenge to find Canadian businesses that want to use this symphony of teen voices to make change and tell their business stories on the web, across the nation.  So I especially encourage all 2013 Miss Teen bloggers to activate the social media sharing buttons on the bottom of their sidebar bio boxes.  Use the Facebook, Twitter etc buttons and employ whatever else you can find as social media amplifiers to widen content dissemination. Authors please do keep writing on these blogs and continue to use your assigned blog domain after the pageant event in July to preserve a living legacy of your tenure as 2013 Regional Delegate in the Miss Teenage Canada organization, right up until December 2013. The content you create will never be deleted, and so its very possible that you will show your daughter this web blog one day, and she might even show her daughter this copy, many years from now.

Zack Werner Judge at 2012 Miss Teen Canada WorldRight now is an exciting time that gets more and more thrilling each day leading up to the moment you all meet each other in Toronto in mid July. Before that life-changing week in Toronto there will be a series of challenging blog assignments.

Prizes will be dispensed on stage in July as part of the stage show for the lucky few overachievers, but its important to remember that each teen competitor’s blog is worth 10% of their final score in the pageant.  Even more important to remember is that learning how to blog and make proper HTML web copy with pictures and text (and video embeds?) is probably the most important skill a young person can have in the workplace.

This year on July 20th 2013 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto we’re going to find out who did it best.  Read about last year’s Blog Network and the efforts of the social media queen Danica Cox and the 2012 Miss Teenage Canada pageant event in general on this hub page. full of original pictures and text detailing the rise of Megha Sandhu. Also examine this Distillery District blog post about an impromptu scavenger hunt in July 2012 in which many local businesses donated prizes.

Miss Teen Canada Blog Challenges

Everyone knows Marshall Mcluhan’s mantra, ‘the medium is the message‘ and this is perhaps never more true than in a Miss Teenage Canada Regional Delegate’s web blogs.  These are the voices of the future. The storytelling is fresh and original;  I am proud to be a 2013 Blog Judge.

BLOG JUDGES along with Christi Woolard whom I hope will also post a few words about herself here.

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