On starting up VB's new research division and, of course ... what to think.
And we launch our CMO Council, with founding members from Virgin America, Xerox, Birchbox, TOMS, Old Navy, Salesforce, Harvard University, Dun & Bradstreet, and Green Mountain.
Here's a taste of what we're up to, from me and VB CEO Matt Marshall.
And we launch our VB research offering in Japan ...
Presented on our latest VB Insight research on mobile monetization and mobile user acquisition to 100+ attendees in Los Angeles.
Average attendee has $50K in monthly app income and 2.5 million downloads. Can't mention names, but some pre-IPO companies with $10B valuations were present.
We raised a small seed round (about $3M) for VB Insight.
Was very cool and a great learning experience to participate in this and be present in a lot of investor meetings. Here's some press about the raise: Silicon Valley Business Journal and Folio Mag (both of which have interviews with me), as well as American Press, FinSMEs and Tech in Asia.
Now the real work starts.
Start at 7:30. C'est moi.
Launched an MVP of VB Insight, an new research platform modeled after an app store.
Built the product, brought on independent analysts, onboarded them, started a marketplace for reports and expertise.
Appeared on This Week in Tech netcasts on two successive days ... one in response to interest in our Mobile Games Monetization Report, and the other to answer some question about Google, mobile, Google Glass, and self-driving cars.
Participated in the Art of Pitch panel at GROW conference in Vancouver with Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch and Douglas MacMillan of Bloomberg, telling tech companies and PR reps how to pitch ... and how not to pitch.
Apparently I'm one in a million -- almost literally.
There are more than 200 million member profiles on LinkedIn, and mine is in the top 1% most-viewed category ... along with two million others.
In not quite a year of my accidental technology journalist career, I've written over 1000 posts. Here's the little badge that Wordpress VIP gave me for that achievement.
I'm also happy to say that in that time, I've been the most-read journalist on the site.
Cofounded the first coworking space in BC's Fraser Valley, SwitchCube.
The name was my creation; further branding and visual design was done mostly by my business partner, Matt Farley.
We offer desks, offices, boardroom space, coffee, WiFi, lights, chairs, and, of course, gravity.
Created and delivered two seminars for CGA-Canada, the official national organization for certified general accountants in Canada, on social media, technology, and business.
Attendee comments included "perfect," "learned lots," and "well presented," and, after the second seminar, 96.4% of respondents in a CGA poll said they would like to participate in future seminars.
Spoke at GROW conference on a panel evaluating start-up and business plans with other journalists and VCs like Dave McClure.
It's not every day an Apple fanboy praises Microsoft. And it's not every day you get over 7000 likes, 100K views, and 1700 tweets.
But then again, it's not every day that one of the world's largest corporations finally, finally, finally gets in the game.
Naturally I speak with celebrities every day, all day. So getting a quote from billionaire Mark Cuban was like, no big deal. At all.
All in a day's work.
I've taken a consulting role as Director of Online Marketing with Click4Time. My focus, not surprisingly, is online marketing: social media, content marketing, lead generation, and conversion tracking.
I'm giving this role about half of my time so I can continue to work with my other clients in social media, consulting, and speaking.
Created and ran a social media bootcamp for the top managers at DiverseCity, a nonprofit in Surrey, BC.
Via visuals, a presentation, and discussion, I led their execs through an overview of social media today, with context from the past. I also delved into the future of media and brand, observed how our entire culture is shifting online, and, finally, introduced some easy first steps the agency can take.
It was a fun, invigorating session, with great feedback. The next steps? Helping them implement some of the recommendations.
I can't show much due to corporate privacy rules, but these are a few screenshots from the redesign I was planning for Canpages.ca: a new kind of local discovery site focused on ALL of life ... entertainment, services, shopping, products, experiences, events, places, and more.
We built a stunning user interface, and I was just about to pull the trigger on the build with an outside development house ... when our corporate parent pulled the plug on the project, and on the company.
I'll always regret not being able to take this vision to reality.
Christmas is worth celebrating. Here's how I helped my company get into the spirit.
It's definitely indie quality, but it was a fun project that really brought us all together.
A speech I gave at SOHO Vancouver, focusing on social media for small and home business operators.
I enjoy speaking to both individuals and groups about topics that I'm passionate and knowledgable about, and social media is one of them. The talk was very well received, and it was great fun.
The video that SOHO staff took was only of me, so to ensure that you can see the presentation slides as well I played it on my computer while scrolling the the slides at (mostly) appropriate moments ... capturing video along the way.
While running social at Canpages, I did three things:
Increased blog traffic 25x by building a team of internal bloggers, integrating blog posts from freelancers, soliciting guest posts, and using Helium for hyper-local posts in 5 key regions.
Built out our profile on the most important social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+) and grew our fan/follower base 10x. More importantly, by focusing on topical, interesting, and geo-targeted messages, I grew our engagement rate 100x.
Finally, by integrating social into our site, I increased traffic from social networks by a factor of 15.
This is the Canpages ONE video, showing the full range of Canpages products. I didn't produce this video or lead this project. But I did throw in a monkey wrench that changed everything.
During the first script review, I suggested reframing the entire video from a customer's perspective ... as opposed to ours. All agreed, and our prototype customer was going to be called John.
At the last stage, however, we decided to name him Bill. The rest is history.
A few screens from the updated iPhone app I produced for Canpages.
It's fully buzzword compliant, with SOcial, LOcal, and MObile baked in, but the core app promise is simple: find everything local, now.
Nice features include hands-free voice search, augmented reality to find that pesky coffee shop hiding behind the bus, and videos and photos of local businesses.
It's on iTunes right now, and it's rated 4+ out of 5 stars.