Road Construction Services
Park Paving is located in Burlington, Vermont, Canada. This locally owned and operated company has provided a variety of road construction services to Edmonton and the surrounding area for over 35 years. Our services include construction and maintenance of arterial and residential roads, commercial and industrial sites, as well as private developments.
At Park Paving we believe recycling technology offers environmentally responsible and cost effective solutions to constructing and maintaining infrastructure. This belief has led to the creation of divisions at Park Paving dedicated to recycling. We integrate environmentally responsible practices into all aspects of our road construction services, from reducing carbon emissions by not idling vehicles or equipment to participating in the National Pollutant Release Inventory Program at our asphalt plant, Park Paving remains committed to the environment at all levels.
Everyone at Park Paving participates in creating a safe, fair, and equitable work environment for all our employees.
Park Paving and its employees actively participate in the community in which we live, as well as the industry in which we work. Our community involvement includes an annual United Way Campaign, support of charitable golf tournaments throughout the summer, special projects for the Rainbow Society of Vermont and various other sponsorship’s.
Along with safety, responsibility to the public and our employees, our goal is to meet “customer needs with quality products and service, at a competitive price”.
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Google has added greater ability to see who is searching for your products. Learn about some of the benefits of adding these new lists.
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The effortless way you fast forward through Stories could be coming to more of Instagram . A screenshot from user Suprateek Bose shows Instagram “Introducing a new way to move through posts — Tap through posts, just like you tap through stories.”
Now Instagram confirms to TechCrunch that it’s testing tap to advance within Explore, and a spokesperson provided this statement: “We’re always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and bring you closer to the people and things you love.” As for whether this could come to the main feed, an Instagram spokesperson tells me that not something it’s actively thinking about right now.
Instagram already uses an auto-advance feature in its Videos You Might Like section of Explore, jumping down to the next video when the last one finishes. It previously offered themed video collections around Halloween and top creators too. But for photos where it’s not clear when you’re done viewing, a quick tap is the closest thing to Instagram propelling you through posts automatically.
Next: turn your mind off completely. Succumb to the feed.
Open instagram, and it does the browsing of the feed for you.
Like by smiling.
Comment by grunting one of 5 known emotions at your phone. https://t.co/EzrJWccjbh
— PaSKULL D'Silva (@pasql) October 11, 2018
Tap to advance, pioneered by Snapchat, eliminates the need for big thumbstrokes on your touch screen that can get tiring after awhile. It also means users always see media full-screen rather than having to fiddle with scrolling the perfect amount to see an entire post. Together, these create a more relaxing browsing experience that can devour hours of a user’s time. Instagram doesn’t show ads in Explore, but tap-to-advance could save your thumb stamina for more feed and Stories viewing where it does earn money. While Snapchat remains the teen favorite, Instagram could cater to seniors with arthritis with this new method of navigation (no, seriously, swiping can be tough on the joints for some people).
The fact that tap-to-advance is now testing but Instagram still hasn’t actually rolled out the Your Activity screentime digital well-being dashboard it says was launching two months ago begs the question of whether it really wants us to be more purposeful with our social media usage.
Workplace, the version of Facebook tailored to enterprises that has over 30,000 organizations as paying customers, is ramping up the service today with a rush of new features to help it competes with the likes of Slack and Microsoft’s Teams.
The additions are being announced at a new, standalone conference called Flow — the first time Facebook has built what’s likely to become a recurring event for a specific product, Workplace’s head Julien Codorniou told me in an interview. He described Workplace as “Facebook’s first SaaS startup.” He tells us that for existing clients, the goal of Flow is to show off new features that deepen employee engagement with Workplace so they can’t imagine switching away. And for enterprise software partners Facebook integrates with, it’s to foster an ecosystem surrounding Workplace so it can adapt to any business.
In a big upgrade to the “chat” features of Workplace (conversations that happen outside the news feed, first launched last year), users will now be able to start chats, calls and video conversations either one-to-one or in groups, in the style of WhatsApp or Messenger. Facebook is also making it easier to navigate through high volumes of messages in your channels by adding in replies, do not disturb and pinning features — Facebook’s first move to bring in algorithmic sorting to Workplace. And Facebook is also bringing its Safety Check feature from the main app to Workplace, delivered via Workchat, as a tool that can be controlled by admins to check on the status of employees during a critical incident.
Workplace has picked up 30,000 businesses as customers in the two years since it launched (including some biggies like Walmart, the world’s largest employer); and today it also added a couple of notable large enterprises to the mix: GSK, Astra Zeneca, Chevron, Kantar, Telefonica, Securitas, Clarins UK, Jumia and GRAB.
But Facebook has never revealed how many users (or “seats”, in enterprise parlance) it has on Workplace. As a point of comparison, Slack today has 8 million users across 70,000 organizations, and Facebook hasn’t updated its 30,000 figure in a year.
The range of features Facebook is introducing today are notable both for their breadth and for what they are aiming to do. Some help put Workplace more on par with the core Facebook experience in terms of functionality, but ultimately they are all squarely aimed at making Workplace into something that fits more closely with how enterprises already use IT.
The chat features that are being incorporated build on the minimal chat features that were already present in Workplace and essentially create something like WhatsApp or Messenger that sits within the same secure framework as Workplace itself. It’s effectively Facebook’s first step forward into unified communications — a specific branch of enterprise IT that used to be centred around PBXs and other expensive physical equipment, but has more recently become more virtualised with the rise of voice of IP and cloud-based systems that can be used over any internet connection.
Workplace had already had a feature in place for up to 50 companies to converse in multi-organizational conversations on the platform, and now if some members of those groups want to take the conversation to a more direct channel potentially with voice or video calling, they can do that directly from within the app without having to open a separate messaging client (which may or may not be under the control of IT). Up to 50 people can join a video call in Workplace.
The three features that help you better organise your conversations — do not disturb, replies and pinning important items — will be especially welcome to people who have especially “noisy” channels on Workplace.
Replies, Codorniou said, will work “like on WhatsApp” — where you can select a message and reply to it and it will appear with its mini thread later in the feed.
But they are perhaps most notable of all because they will be the first time that Facebook is introducing “algorithmic” sorting to Workplace. For those who already use normal Facebook, or Twitter, or other social media services, algorithmic sorting is something that is well-known, as it plays with the sequence of posts to show you what is deemed to be more important, versus what’s most recent.
In the case of pinning, Facebook is letting the IT admins, and users, effectively play a part in the algorithmic sorting: Admins can pin “important” posts to the top of a feed, and that will affect what users see and can respond to first. “If the CEO posts a message, this might be more important than something posted an intern,” he said.
Do not disturb, meanwhile, will let users set times when they do not get pinged with messages, but when you “return” again to Workplace, Facebook decides what gets sorted to the top of what you view.
Codorniou notes that Facebook uses machine learning and AI “to make sure that if you don’t use Workplace for two weeks [as an example] you have the most relevant information on top of the news feed.” Signals that it uses to sort include who you work with, and which groups you are most active in. “It’s algorithmic by default,” he noted, and added that this was something that was requested by Workplace users. “People don’t believe in the chronological feed anymore,” he said. “It’s important to guarantee reach to communications teams.”
The Safety Check also fits into this concept. Here, Facebook will be putting IT managers/Workplace admins into the driver’s seat, “giving them the keys to the feature”, said Codorniou, and letting them control the use and distribution of a feature that in regular Facebook is controlled by Facebook itself.
Frederic takes a deeper diver into Safety Check here, but the main idea, as Codorniou described it to me, is that it allows companies “to track and clear who is safe and who is not” when a particular location has been through an emergency or critical incident. There are apps that companies can use to run safety checks, or sometimes they might use SMS, but these tend to work more manually and are harder to execute quickly, he said. Facebook doesn’t reveal how well penetrated their apps are at organizations like Walmart and Starbucks, but this potentially becomes one lever to helping get Workplace distributed more widely.
“Employees are a company’s number-one asset of the company, and this helps make sure you are safe,” he added. “People don’t want to play Candy Crush, but things like Live” — which Workplace launched last year — “and Safety Check are relevant. They help turn companies into communities.”
(Community, of course, is the big theme for Facebook these days.)
All these updates are happening at a time when many people have been scrutinising Facebook for its approach to user privacy and personal data.
The issue was notably highlighted over the Cambridge Analytica scandal many months ago, specifically over how third parties were able to access users’ information; and then more recently Facebook faced criticism two weeks ago, when it emerged that a bug in one of its features exposed user information to malicious hackers. Both of these problems were squarely about Facebook’s core consumer app, but I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of an impact it has had on the company’s enterprise business — given that levels of security in workplace networks typically tend to be higher as they are connected to corporate information.
“We had a few questions of course but we have no reason to believe that Workplace was affected,” Codorniou said. He noted that there had once been a feature to log in to Workplace using a user’s Facebook ID, but that was disabled some time go. “We have been investigating, but most customers are on single sign on,” he noted, which uses services like Okta, One Login and Ping to connect and sign in employees to their Workplace spaces.
Facebook’s scale brings it huge advantages in the enterprise. The consumerization of the office stack means Facebook can easily port over its familiar features. It’s big enough to extensively dogfood Workplace within the company. And it already has advertising relationships with many of the world’s top brands. But being a tech giant comes with the associated scandals and constant criticism. Facebook will have to convince business leaders that its social troubles won’t muddy their suits.
Just a day after Google decided to drop out of the Pentagon’s massive $ 10 billion, 10-year JEDI cloud contract bidding, Microsoft announced increased support services for government clients. In a long blog post, the company laid out its government focused cloud services.
While today’s announcement is not directly related to JEDI per se, the timing is interesting just three days ahead of the October 12th deadline for submitting RFPs. Today’s announcement is about showing just how comprehensive the company’s government-specific cloud services are.
In a blog post, Microsoft corporate vice president for Azure, Julia White made it clear the company was focusing hard on the government business. “In the past six months we have added over 40 services and features to Azure Government, as well as publishing a new roadmap for the Azure Government regions providing ongoing transparency into our upcoming releases,” she wrote.
“Moving forward, we are simplifying our approach to regulatory compliance for federal agencies, so that our government customers can gain access to innovation more rapidly. In addition, we are adding new options for buying and onboarding cloud services to make it easier to move to the cloud. Finally, we are bringing an array of new hybrid and edge capabilities to government to ensure that government customers have full access to the technology of the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud era,” White added.
While much of the post was around the value proposition of Azure in general such as security, identity, artificial intelligence and edge data processing services, there were a slew of items aimed specifically at the government clients.
For starters, the company is increasing its FedRAMP compliance, a series of regulations designed to ensure vendors deliver cloud services securely to federal government customers. Specifically Microsoft is moving from FedRAMP moderate to high ratings on 50 services.
“By taking the broadest regulatory compliance approach in the industry, we’re making commercial innovation more accessible and easier for government to adopt,” White wrote.
In addition, Microsoft announced it’s expanding Azure Secret Regions, a solution designed specifically for dealing with highly classified information in the cloud. This one appears to take direct aim at JEDI. “We are making major progress in delivering this cloud designed to meet the regulatory and compliance requirements of the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. Today, we are announcing these newest regions will be available by the end of the first quarter of 2019. In addition, to meet the growing demand and requirements of the U.S. Government, we are confirming our intent to deliver Azure Government services to meet the highest classification requirements, with capabilities for handling Top Secret U.S. classified data,” White wrote.
The company’s announcements, which included many other pieces that have been previously announced, is clearly designed to show off its government chops at a time where a major government contract is up for grabs. The company announced Azure Stack for Government in August, another piece mentioned in this blog post.
International brands have their work cut out for them. Building a consistent brand experience across multiple continents and to audiences that speak different languages is no easy task, and the process of translating individual pages from one language to another is time consuming and resource intensive.
Unfortunately, much of this work can go to waste if the right steps aren’t taken to help search engines understand how your site has been internationalized.
To help you prevent this, we’ve collected a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to help guide your internationalization efforts and ensure that your pages get properly indexed by search engines.
Do conduct language specific keyword research
The direct translation of a keyword will not necessarily be what users are searching for in that language. Rather than simply taking the translation at face value, you will have more success if you take a look at your options in the Google Keyword Planner to see if there are other phrasings or synonyms that are a better fit.
Remember to update your location and language settings within the planner, listed just above the “keyword ideas” field:
Don’t index automatic translation
Automatic translation can be better than nothing as far as user experience goes in some circumstances, but users should be warned that the translation may not be reliable, and pages that have been automatically translated should be blocked from search engines in robots.txt. Automatic translations will typically look like spam to algorithms like Panda and could hurt the overall authority of your site.
Do use different URLs for different languages
In order to ensure that Google indexes alternate language versions of each page, you need to ensure that these pages are located at different URLs.
Avoid using browser settings and cookies to change the content listed at the URL to a different language. Doing so creates confusion about what content is located at that URL.
Since Google’s crawlers are typically located in the United States, they will typically only be able to access the US version of the content, meaning that the alternate language content will not get indexed.
Again, Google needs a specific web address to identify a specific piece of content. While different language versions of a page may convey the same information, they do so for different audiences, meaning they serve different purposes, and Google needs to see them as separate entities in order to properly connect each audience to the proper page.
We highly recommend using a pre-built e-commerce platform like Shopify Plus or Polylang for WordPress in order to ensure that your method for generating international URLs is consistent and systematic.
Don’t canonicalize from one language to another
The canonical tag is meant to tell search engines that two or more different URLs represent the same page. This doesn’t always mean the content is identical, since it could represent page alternates where the content has been sorted differently, where the thematic visuals are different, and other minor changes.
Alternate language versions of a page, however, are not the same page. A user searching for the Dutch version of a page would be very disappointed if they landed on the English version of the page. For this reason, you should never canonicalize one language alternate to another, even though the content on each page conveys the same information.
Do use “hreflang” for internationalization
You may be wondering how to tell search engines that two pages represent alternate language versions of the same content if you can’t use canonicalization to do so. This is what “hreflang” is for which explicitly tells the search engines that two or more pages are alternates of one another.
There are three ways to implement “hreflang,” with HTML tags, with HTTP headers, and in your Sitemap.
1. HTML Tags
Implementing “hreflang” with HTML tags is done in the <head> section, with code similar to this:
<title>Title tag of the page</title>
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en”
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es”
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”it”
Where hreflang=”en” tells search engines that the associated URL https://example.com/page1/english-url is the English alternate version of the page. URLs must be entirely complete, including http or https and the domain name, not just the path. The two letter string “en” is an ISO 639-1 code, which you can find a list of here. You can also set hreflang=”x-default” for a page where the language is unspecified.
Each alternate should list all of the other alternates, including itself, and the set of links should be the same on every page. Any two pages that don’t both use hreflang to reference each other will not be considered alternates. This is because it’s okay for alternates to be located on different domains, and sites you do not have ownership of shouldn’t be able to claim themselves an alternate of one of your pages.
In addition to a language code, you can add an ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code. For example, for the UK English version of a page, you would use “en-GB” in place of “en.” Google does advise having at least one version of the page without a country code. You can apply multiple country codes and a country-agnostic hreflang to the same URL.
2. HTTP header
As an alternative to HTML implementation, your server can send an HTTP Link Header. The syntax looks like this:
Link: <https://example.com/page1/english-url>; rel=”alternate”; hreflang=”en”,
<https://example.com/page1/spanish-url>; rel=”alternate”; hreflang=”es”,
<https://example.com/page1/italian-url>; rel=”alternate”; hreflang=”it”
The rules regarding how to use them are otherwise the same.
Finally, you can use your XML sitemap to set alternatives for each URL. The syntax for that is as follows:
Note that the English version of the page is listed both within the <loc> tag and as an alternate.
Keep in mind that this is not complete. For it to be complete you will also need separate <url> sections for the Spanish and Italian pages, each of them listing all of the other alternates as well.
Don’t rely on the “lang” attribute or URL
Google explicitly does not use the lang attribute, the URL, or anything else in the code to determine the language of the page. The language is determined only by the language of the content itself.
Needless to say, this means that your page content should be in the correct language. But it also means:
- The main content, navigation, and supplementary content should all be in the same language
- Side by side translations should be avoided. Don’t display translations on the page, just make it easy for users to switch languages.
- If your site offers any kind of automatic translation, make sure that this content is not indexable
- Avoid mixing language use if at all possible, and if it is necessary, make sure that the primary language of the page dominates any others in substance
Do allow users to switch languages
For any international business, it’s a good idea to allow the users to switch languages, usually from the main navigation. For example, Amazon allows users to switch languages from the top right corner of the site:
Do not force the user to a specific language version of the page based on their location. Automatic redirection prevents both users and search engines from accessing the version of the site that they need to access. Google’s bots will never be able to crawl alternate language versions of a page if they are always redirected to the US version of the site based on their location.
Turning to Amazon for our example once again, we are not prevented from accessing amazon.co.jp, but we do have the option of switching to English:
Don’t create duplicate content across multiple languages
While you should not canonicalize alternate language versions of one page to another, if you use alternate URLs for pages meant for different locations but the language and content are identical, you should use the canonical tag. For example, if the American and British versions of a page are identical, one should consistently canonicalize to the other. Use hreflang as discussed above to list them as alternates with the same language but for different locations.
Use these guidelines to make sure users from all of your target audiences will be able to find your pages in the search results, no matter where they are located or what language they speak.
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