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.
Put a small team together to whip up a beautiful little HTML presentation of our key products and services ... which doubles as a mini sales force automation tool which sales reps can use with clients to customize solutions and build quotes.
The kicker? It works both online and off, for all those times when reps are out of WIFI and 3G range.
Last year we were rebranding Canpages. I led the phase of the project where we defined who we were and what we wanted to be.
DDB Canada led us through their process for rebranding, including answering 10 key questions. This is their slideshow, but most of the messaging is mine.
After this phase - done in mornings and evenings while at SXSW - I handed the project over to our marketing manager, Cathy Greer, who had been on vacation, and Colin Osing, our Director of Marketing.
Wrote and exec-produced a video ad for Canpages to run on Canucks.com on the NHL network. The video highlights Canpages' mobile apps ... focusing on what users can do and why they should care.
This is the best kind of project: fun, cool, exciting, collaborative, and most of all, creative.
Part of my role at Canpages is to manage our mobile apps. One of my first projects was to complete production of our Android and BlackBerry apps to complement our existing iPhone app.
Our apps enable mobile search on the go ... virtually instant access to any local businesses or services, with a great voice search interface. Plus of course, you can check on traffic cams, do a reverse lookup, and find people ... everything you need to find the perfect je ne sais crois in your neighborhood.
Get our Canpages apps here
As part of our partnership with Intel - and at their request - we customized and released 2 apps on the Intel AppUp store for Atom-powered netbooks. EasyBits Quick is a quick launcher, and EasyBits KeyGo is a typing game.
I worked with Intel to select the applications, then directed our developers in customizing them for the AppUp environment.
The goal for us was simply to support our partner Intel as they are working to establish their app store. We then exhibited them at the Intel booth at IDF 2010 and the first-ever Elements conference.
After almost 2 years of building technology for 1:1 computing in schools as EasyBits Software, we spun off a new company: EdSys Educational Systems Inc.
I led a team of designers, web developers, and Flash developers in releasing our first site, edsys.com.
The site showcases our product portfolio and key strategic partner, Intel, and features a dynamic front page that provides almost a full-screen window into our most important software suites.
I was invited to join the board of DiverseCity, a registered charitable organization in BC that serves the needs of the immigrant community.
DiverseCity is a unionized organization employing over 150 people with an annual budget around $8M: all focused on helping recent immigrants to Canada become independent, connected, and empowered in their new country.
The nomination was confirmed at the subsequent AGM, and I'm enjoying the opportunity to help people and learn more about our culturally diverse communities.
After 5 years and many courses and more papers than I care to remember, I'm finally finished my master's degree in educational technology at the University of British Columbia.
It's been a real challenge completing this master's degree between fairly heroic work schedules, travel, family, home, and other aspects of life in the 21st century ... I'm happy and proud of the accomplishment.
I'm also very pleased with my final grade: slightly over a 4.0.
At the request of our partners in Portugal, I wrote an article on the future of educational technology which was translated into Portuguese, and published in PCGuia, a leading Portuguese tech mag.
Fortunately, if you don't read Portuguese, I've re-published the article in the original English on Scribd as well as on my blog, Sparkplug9.
Released the golden master of the Inspirus suite of software to Intel - software that our teams have been working on for over 18 months.
Inspirus is the default user interface of Intel's windows-based Classmate PCs for schools. The CMPC enables 1:1 laptop programs in education, and Inspirus customizes the operating system for educational purposes.
I worked with Intel's leadership in Shanghai, California, Portland, Cairo, and Ireland, and our teams in North America, western and eastern Europe to deliver this suite of 5 significant applications to Intel on-time and golden quality.