Posted on June 25, 2010 by Adrian Bashford
I got a very well organized and informative guide in the mail today called “What changes –and what doesn’t change– under the HST”, which may be one of the very few things I like about this new Ontario tax scheme.
Governments often use taxation to try and influence of buying behaviour of their citizens, so I thought I would take a look and see what behaviours the government is trying to change with the HST:
- Smelly Ontario – Apparently they want us to dry-clean less, with taxes going from 5 to 13%
- Drunk Ontario – Alcohol will be taxed at 13% instead of the old 17% (although they footnote that they will stop people from drinking so much with ‘other fees’)
- Lazy Ontario – Gym, athletic memberships, fitness trainers, hockey rink rentals, hall rentals, hunting licenses, fishing licenses and golf green fees will increase from 5 to 13%
- Ugly Ontario - Hair stylists, barbers and aesthetician services up to 13% from 5%
- Lawless Ontario - Legal fees will be taxed at 13% instead of 5%
- Cold (winter) and Hot (summer) Ontario – Electricity & heating bills to go from 5 to 13% tax
- Flooded and Electrocuted Ontario – Home visits by plumbers, electricians, etc. will go from 5-13% as will home renovations
- Digitally-divided Ontario – Internet access will now be taxed at 13% instead of 5%
- Wild Ontario – Landscaping and snow removal up to 13% from 5%
- Homebound Ontario – Hotel rooms (from 10%), taxis, campsites, domestic air, rail, boat and bus travel all up to 13% from 5%, as does fuel for your car, unfortunately you will have fewer magazines to read at home since subscription magazines also go from 5 to 13%
- Double-dipped Ontario - Remember that new car that you paid 13% tax on, well now the government makes 13% again –up from 5%– when you sell it used!
- Suburban & Condo Ontario – New homes over $400,000 will be taxed at 13% instead of 5%, and AFAIK can only be found in the suburbs or in condo dwellings. Real estate commissions will also be taxed more, at 13% instead of 5%.
- Scurvied Ontario – Vitamins up to 13% from 5%
- Stiff & sore Ontario - No reduction on Viagra tax, they are increasing taxes on massage therapy from 5 to 13%
- Entertained Ontario – Tickets for professional sporting events and movies will DROP from 15% to 13%.
- Alive Ontario - Death will cost you more, with funeral services taxed at 13%, up from 5%… sure as death and taxes.
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Posted on May 4, 2010 by Adrian Bashford
Using blogging as a marketing tool for a new business, I have put a lot of thought into the value of adding yet another voice to many that already exist online discussing a topic. The internet is not old, but to a great extent the though leaders for each discipline have already set up and staked their territory online. Some have used their credibility created offline and made a graceful translation online, while others have used this new medium to establish their thought leadership.
So what does this mean if you want to build your own audience in an established field?
With so many voices online and off, anyone with a casual interest in a topic is completely overwhelmed by the many opinions that are provided. One more voice can be very useful for deep discussion amoungst afficionados interested in the fine points of a topic, but only the most followed/respected in a field will get a large audience of the ‘casually interested’.
But there is an alternative to appeal to the mass audience: the digest.
The very challenge that faces the new blogger –the plethora of voices– can provide an opportunity. Those that don’t have the time to devote to a given topic, but still have an interest, can benefit greatly from the activity of a good online editor. One negative aspect of print publications was that they were barrier for writers and/or topics that didn’t fit with the editor’s goals. On the plus side, they did provide a service to the reader by selecting content that was relevant to the target audience, met editorial standards, and provided new knowledge to the readers. The same magazine or paper was unlikely to publish material that was poorly written, didn’t provide an opinion with supporting evidence, or repeated themes published in recent issues.
The online editor or ‘digester’ can still have great influence in a field by adding their own observations and by selection of content, but has to avoid misrepresenting content to avoid loss of credibility and authenticity, very significant keys to online success.
Consider becoming one less voice, and instead, an exceptional collector of content.
Attribution: I wanted to mention the article that triggered the idea for this post. It was an article entitled “Lessons Learned from Seth Godin” by J.D. Meier. I realized that, while the article provided some service for Godin afficionados –like myself–, it provided even greater value for those with a cursory interest in Seth’s areas of expertise, who would benefit from a very well done digest.
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