Thursday, February 3, 2011

Starting a New Project: Libatns

My first start-up! This isn't an ENTI project, it's the real deal!

Darren Northcott (a fellow CM'er) approached me with an idea for "the holy grail of social drinking applications." I thought it had we're going to do it. That simple :)

Keep an eye on because we're going to spice up your drinking life!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A New Breed of Resume

I made a post on le blogue du CM, check it out! So far it's doing really well but it kind of got steamrolled by Obama's State of the Union in the last hour...

Here I am, fresh out of school and, after a tiring search in post-recession adland, I’ve landed my dream job in Critical Mass’ exciting Calgary office. From creatives to project managers to developers, from augmented reality to iPad – this is where it all happens, and for some of the biggest names in the business. I was one of many students armed with only a degree and no experience to back it up, so how was I lucky enough to end up here?

I did what I was taught and used digital tools to make a new kind of resume, one that highlighted my marketing skillset instead of my restaurant know-how and proficiency with a cash register. This isn’t a top ten mash-up you’ll read on a thousand other blogs and it’s not a kooky MadMen-esque story from advertising’s infancy. It’s worthwhile advice that actually works; or, at least it did for this (former) student.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday Tech Thoughts

I've been playing with Quora a little bit. I think it's going to be's why:

It fills a gap.
Twitter's 140 character limit is too limiting, especially for meaningful discussion concerning meaty topics. The answer isn't always immediately obvious, and something like Quora allows users to really express their thoughts and evolve them over the discussion.

Quora is also a good way to establish thought leadership and credibility in theTwitter universe. The Godin's and Brogan's of the world don't have this problem...but the rest of us (who are somewhere closer to obscurity than fame) do. The reason Quora can do that is because it's built on top of Twitter's social network. Quora adds an additional layer for professionals (where expertise is an important element of reputation) in much the same way that YouTube would be useful for an aspiring filmmaker.

Twitter is becoming a raw information stream.
Following trends on Twitter can feel like stepping into a firehouse, or trying to cross a freeway in rush hour. Some people are connecting and talking in short bursts while others are broadcasting different types of content. It's all quite hectic and intimidating to the uninitiated but when it gets formatted in a meaningful way we can use it to build connections and see relationships.

I envision more services building themselves on top of Twitter's architecture. For example, when I want to share something I'm reading with Flipboard, I just click a button and it automatically tweets it to my followers. As services build themselves on top of Twitter's architecture, we'll find that it becomes an extension of everything people are doing online and the backend for a lot of good social stuff.

I hope that makes sense. Let me know if anything needs clearing up in the comments. In the meantime, I'll be tweeting a limk to this and building a reputation on Quora. See you there!

Monday, January 10, 2011

CES 2010

Did Apple win without even attending?

Now that it's all died down, what came out of CES? Tablets, tablets, tablets! A lot of 'me too' copycats is what I see.

Sure it means more competition but it also legitimizes the market. Tablets are now poised to go mainstream (much like mp3 players and smartphones). They've got the factories and relationships set up, design down pat and deals in place to secure the necessary technology. Oh yeah, and they have developers too. Apple has played this game before. And while everybody is scrambling to catch up, Apple's already looking for the next big thing.

So yeah, the tablets got a pretty big 'meh' from me.

Make your own dreams and you'll control the game. Follow somebody else and you must live by their rules (which often tilt the board against you).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tweeting Brands

I've been tweeting a few brands on Twitter recently. It's kind of cool, but the experience has been a bit of a mixed bag...

@Hudsons was helpful (although ultimately they could not accomodate me), @BigRockBrewery tried to help me find their Winter Spice on tap (unfortunately the bar had run out - not their fault) and @ChaptersIndigo ignored my question about syncing my Kobo eReader to the iPad app. In this case I eventually solved the problem on my own, but it's a little disconcerting when brands ignore Tweets directed at them...especially from customers who will buy many books in their lifetime. @haskaynecareers was also helpful, and remembered my request a month later- makes me proud to be an alumni!

In terms of the experience and my perceptions as a customer, if I ask you a question, I clearly expect a response, but the technology is new enough that I'm still impressed/surprised when I receive one. A helpful response is even better but simply being friendly is endearing even if you can't solve my problem. If you ignore me then I'm obviously not happy.

One other important insight...the one's that helped received positive word of mouth from me to my group of friends. People that tweet brands talk about it.

So some good, some bad, some ugly...make sure your community managers are empowered to help customers, folks.  I should also mention that I've been using Rockmelt recently, and it's been an invaluable tool for integrating social streams into my workflow.  I highly recommend it.

Posted from my iPad (please excuse any typos or funny autocorrections)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

State of the Blog

Haven't posted in awhile and this will be a quick seems that work is dominating a big part of my time nowadays so here's an update...

Gainfully Employed!
I finally found an amazing job working as an Associate Planner at Critical Mass.  I'm only an intern at the moment, but this is my dream job.  Strategic thinking in an awesome agency environment...who could ask for more?  Plus getting paid is niiiice, especially for real work (ie. not serving).  Four months to go (I'm two months in) till we see if I get the full time offer - fingers crossed!

Dealing with Information Overload...

Of course a new job brings challenges as well.  One is finding time for everything!  So along that theme, here are some tips to help fit it all in.

  • If you haven't tried Rockmelt yet, you probably should.  I was skeptical at first, but having my social feeds built into the browser is actually quite useful.  RSS feeds are also implemented in the same manner.  If you need an invite leave a comment and I'll send one your way.
  • Flipboard, if you have an iPad is a must have.  I'll be getting one at the end of the month, but have played with it on my parent's and it's an incredible way to interact with the web.
  • Evernote.  Alas, I've been trying to use this more regularly, but still can't get into the flow of it.  I miss OneNote and it's full-featured note editor and I find the web clipper chunky.  I might switch to Instapaper (which has integration with my Kobo and Flipboard...we'll see what happens there)
  • The news of Delicious' sunsetting sent many to Pinboard.  I never used delicious but it might be worth a try if you're a tagger.  It's a one time fee ($9 right now) that goes up as more users register and $25/year for their more hefty archival service.
Lastly, I don't want to kill the blog, but time (as always) is an issue, so I think the format's going to change a bit.  The blog will be more of a curated content source with some of the best articles I'm reading around the web and a quick reaction.  See you in the New Year!

Update: I'm now posting on my personal domain.  Find me here.