March 27 – 31


This week was about tie-ing up the loose ends. Final reviews on the newsletter and the videos handout.

I also drafted a stand-alone page on our non-English resources (to reach new Canadians or international readers), and creating a plan to do a content audit to help us with our website redesign and transition.



Some of the audit reading:

Visualization inspiration:

I’m refreshing my desktop publishing skills, and has a wealth of resources to browse and work through, available through the VPL.



Saw Angels of America (pt 1) this weekend – I had somehow missed all stage and screen productions until now. It was written 25 years ago, and set about 30 years ago, but the central themes stand up very well.


We’ve got mail

We’ve moved to a new mass email system very recently, replacing an old system that was not being updated anymore by the company. I had advocated for this move, arguing that we’d get better data and that our emails would be sent out faster. I knew I was right, but what a difference! Our last email went out in five minutes instead of eight hours to start with.

The number of subscribers on our email list will go down – and that’s okay.

We’re able to track bounces now, and most importantly, we’ll be able to clean our list regularly of email addresses that don’t exist. It will become a smaller list, but with people who are interested.

March 13- 17

Weekly work update:


Drafted the new videos handout. The addition of 5 new titles and the upcoming transition means that we have to rethink layout, organization, and the inclusion of additional information. This one had to be an additional four pages (or one 11 x 17 folded in half of course).

Drafted my section of the Board report, which requires one of my favourite tasks; exploring the online stats (video, website, social media) to see what’s going on. I found some huge increases in video stats (due to more marketing in social media, our newsletter and some test GoogleAds), and significant increases in the website visits, unrelated to the video increases. These are in part because news of the transition means that people are curious, but also some impressive increases in acquisition due to social media, AdWords and newsletter mentions of different products.


Non-work focus has been divided in applying for jobs, self-motivation, and reading a novel.


A massage to open up my diaphragm so I can work on my breathing. Terrible sleeps this week.

Increased awareness

We increased awareness of the Autism Videos @ ACT project this year. Comparing Jan 1- March 10th 2016 to Jan 1- March 10th 2017:

  • 250% increase in videos played (users clicked “play” 3,700 times)
  • 309% increase in video finishes (1,800 users watched to the last frame)
  • 191% increase in the number of hours of videos watched; (users watched 22 days and 7 hours of video)

The old platform was too many clicks,so we replaced that in January with a much simpler platform. I’ve also been increasing marketing through our newsletters and social media, and that’s paid off.

Giving myself a gold star for this one.


A year in the Yukon

When I was younger, I spent a year in the Yukon, working for what was then called Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. What started as a three month co-op term was renewed until we hit the maximum. It was a transformative year for me. I loved living up north; the city transformed in the spring time, I learned to cross country ski, and I lived in a cabin without heating or running water.

I had studied First Nations at school, doing the Arts One program at UBC with a focus on First Nations history, practices and tradition. But being up North personalized both the challenges and the deep history. There are actual negotiated treaties (self-governance agreements) with First Nations in the Yukon, unlike the lands I sit in right now. I learned much about the diversity in communities there. I knew intellectually that cultural groups are well, different. But then to see how different communities reckoned with self-governance and a changing relationship with DIAND (now INAC) made my understanding of First Nations more uncertain and more complicated (my mother used to say that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know, and she was right).

That was where I first did media management, making sure that the journalists got access to specific elders and spelled names correctly at a ceremony with the Minister, and that photo ops were arranged. And the drudge of the weekly ads we had to purchase as part of land transfer (?), and the value of newsletters, even if everyone claimed not to read them.

And I saw the Northern Lights.


March 4- 10

I follow many blogs and website via the magic of RSS and Feedly (RIP Google Reader). And one of the writers does a weekly sum up of work, school and readings. I see the value in that; it’s easy to see gaps over accomplishments and to miss how disparate interests and directions can tie together.

So I am, without remorse, stealing his idea.

First of all; this week was the always important International Women’s Day.

The rest of all;


  • One video up
  • Another nearly done
  • Emails and associated Facebook posts.
  • Draft Board Report, figuring out the Case of the Increased Visits

Next week; create a draft videos handout with updated content.


  • IABC Special Interest Group meeting for health care communicators. This was my first meeting and it was a talk by the director of digital engagement at a local university on choosing technology and managing campaigns. A group of attendees that clearly have many links and connections.
  • Visualization lies: 


Yoga which made my thighs jelly and a gym workout that nearly broke my hips (and a new goal; unassisted chin-ups).

Updated my fathers book blog:

Who is our audience?

The autism community. In B.C., specifically.

That narrows it down, but not by much. We are working on the development of a new website at work because at the end of June, a contract we’ve had with the Ministry of Children and Family Development for 12 years is terminated. As this was 3/4 of our product, and a significant source of traffic to our website, we need a considerable re-think.

Who will our audience be? The autism community, but more internationally.

I know. It just got WAY bigger. But. If you remove the very B.C. specific service we provided, and look at the information and online training that we provide? We know there are huge gaps that the autism community in different provinces, states, counties and countries are facing. So who are we looking to reach in this global community?

  • parents seeking high quality training and information resources so they can help their kids.
  • community professionals without autism training seeking to provide better supports for kids with autism.
  • community professionals with autism training who are seeking informal (and sometimes formal) professional development

What are some of their characteristics?

  • Mostly English speakers (we do have some information in Chinese)
  • Parents will come from the entire range of education and income
  • Most will  be seeking information that can be applied (less theory)

I would guess that the first two users are looking for specific topics (choosing an intervention, help with toilet training or puberty), whereas the third more likely to browse.

Step two – what do we want them to do on our site? What’s in it for them?