Tavanberg's monthly round-up of ideas
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Hello friends,

It’s midsummer already? How did that happen? We’ve been trying to make the most of our summer downtime in Toronto, enjoying the parks, sampling new restaurants and expertly dodging Pokémon Go players. Here’s hoping you're sipping on a cold drink and kicking back, at least a little – wherever you are. If that happens to include camping, we worked with Sobeys to compile these easy recipe ideas to stretch your repertoire beyond s’mores and hot dogs. (Not that there’s ever anything wrong with those.)

Now on to some of this month’s must-reads.

Headlines that snag the most traffic
Consider the true case of two New York Times headlines posted for the same story online (readers saw either one version or the other, aka A/B testing): “$2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Trump” vs. “Measuring Trump’s Media Dominance.” If you suspected the one heralding the hefty price tag fared best, you are totally right. This post tantalizingly lifts the curtain on the outcomes of some recently tested headlines, but stops short of drawing conclusions. (New York Times)

The Tumblr/Buzzfeed connection
Tumblr is a Cinderella among social media platforms: it works hard but isn’t invited to the ball. Parent company Yahoo has been raked over coals for mismanaging it; Tumblr brings in, on average, less than a tenth of publishers' social media traffic; and it’s little loved among content powerhouses. That is, with the notable exception of Buzzfeed. In February 2015, a Tumblr photo reposted on Buzzfeed dazzled the world with “The Dress” – the gold or blue or white or black frock no one could agree on – which brought the site a whopping 28 million views in a single day. Tumblr is not a traffic driver, but Buzzfeed still cultivates its presence there to reach a unique and tight-knit community not readily accessible on other platforms. (Digiday)

Eat. Drink. Smartphone
Canadians and food culture and smartphones go hand in hand, according to recent stats compiled by Google’s data wonks. Some 28 percent of us snap pics of food at least occasionally, and 55 percent of smartphone users take advantage of mobile technology to decide where to eat. Plus, 30 percent of Canucks who use smartphones for food and drink inspiration say it’s their main cookbook. (Think With Google)

What food readers want
Food Network Magazine does a quietly expert job of culling just enough from its celebrity chefs to give it gloss while maintaining its identity as a solid source for speedy weekday dinners and lengthy weekend projects alike,” says the Washington Post in an article about editor-in-chief Maile Carpenter. Her magazine has 1.75 million print subscribers and the secret sauce is a winning one: short on niche ingredients like sumac and long on crowd-pleasers like ground beef. (Washington Post)

15 hidden Snapchat features
First off, this crazy statistic: There are more than 150 million daily Snapchat users, many of whom might not know about the hidden features released in March (it’s a notoriously unintuitive app, after all). For instance, you can use multiple filters at once, resize emojis and send voice messages. (Hubspot Blog)  

Summer in #the6ix
We love wandering around the city when it's so hot out, we forget windchill even exists. Here’s our TO summer bucket list:

• Do as the New York Times does: Head to King East for a paleo breakfast at Impact Kitchen, then rebalance the universe by indulging in a banana cream eclair at Roselle. (Pick up a few of their buttery, melt-in-your-mouth caramels for the road.)

• See Hamlet or All’s Well that Ends Well at Shakespeare in High Park, or rent a canoe near Old Mill subway station and paddle the Humber. (Kat made it to Asian night market Night It Up! in Markham this weekend and highly recommends you add it to your calendar for next summer.)

• Follow Globe and Mail dining critic Chris Nuttall-Smith’s summer eating suggestions: check out Union Station’s outdoor food market; sample the wares at Crown Pastries, a new Syrian bakery on Lawrence Ave. E.; and stock up at the Cheese Boutique for lush cheeses perfect for summer picnics. (One day we'll finally brave the queue at Bang Bang, too. Anyone up for a morning meeting that ends in ice cream sandwiches?)

Copyright © 2016 Tavanberg Communications Ltd. All rights reserved.

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