Archive for the 'featured' Category

This blog is hibernating

Things have been exceptionally busy these days with Entrinsic and other assorted goodness, so this blog since 2005 will be taking a little nap (for the time being).

Please visit my Magma channel for a bevy of interesting videos, or reach out to me on Twitter or email. Thanks!

SocialMediaWeekToronto & CaseCamp

Social Media Week Toronto is coming up fast week of February 1-5. As city organizer, I’ve been working with our dedicated volunteers and advisors to pull together a week of interesting activities for our local community. Visit the site and get in the know. Entrinsic is producing Toronto’s events.

CaseCamp will also be making an appearance during SMWTO. Stay tuned for details on speakers. I’m happy to say that this will be a return to the roots, with a smaller and more intimate event.

Upcoming: Entrinsic & CaseCamp

The last 7 months have been thrilling and super challenging. In addition to being a new dad, I’ve joined the ranks of entrepreneurs and, with my business partner Will Pate, have started a new digital communications agency called Entrinsic.

Looking back, I suspect that I have been hurtling towards this eventuality all along, and now that it’s here I couldn’t be happier. We have a narrow focus, blogging and corporate social media, and I’m humbled to be (or have been) working with great clients like the Museum of Modern Art, Staples, Massey Hall Roy Thomson Hall, SickKids Hospital, Aeroplan and Nokia. More news on Entrinsic to come later, but wait, there’s also… CaseCamp!

On September 16th, CiRCA will be hosting the 10th CaseCamp in Toronto and I couldn’t imagine a better line-up. All my Internet heros will be here, and instead of listing them all, I encourage you to read this post. Please, sign-up, it’s going to be amazing.

Stepping into Magma

Congratulations to Andrew, Jamie, Kenyatta and Ellie on the beta-launch of Magma.  I’ve just had to pry myself away from the screen after an hour of surfing, this site is seriously addictive, wow.

For the last 6 months my go-to site for Internet randomness has been PopUrls. I value a well done aggregator, and Magma takes the concept to the next level. Not only does it pull videos from across the web, it works in real-time so the freshness is near 100%. That, combined with filtering putting the best videos on the top, makes for a fantastic homepage experience.

I look forward to seeing the rollout of the social networking and measurement features, as well as how others take advantage of the API.

For reviews and screenshots visit TechCrunch and Dembot.

A CaseCamp Drinkup this Saturday

It’s been 14 months since the last CaseCamp, so in the interim, c’mon out to see friends and celebrate spring Saturday night! Facebook event / Eventbrite invite.

The Drinkup will be at Function 13 in Kensington Market, with a DJ and a freshly opened interactive art exhibit.  Doors open at 9pm.

We will be fundraising for SickKids Hospital, and if we can get things all arranged in time, announcing the next CaseCamp with some very special guests

ikonica | The heart and soul of branding in Canada

The bible for branding in Canada was just published and it’s called ikonica: A Field Guide to Canada’s Brandscape. It is a focused study on what makes Canada’s most successful brands tick – Four Seasons, BlackBerry, Cirque du Soliel, Umbra, Aeroplan, Roots, WestJet and many others.

What distinguishes this book in my mind (aside from the breathtaking graphic design by Mr. Paul Hodgson) is the thoughtful study of the linkages between branding and culture. Through understanding the values that make Canadian brands tick, we learn a little more about our national identity and ourselves.

I congratulate my long-time friend Jeannette Hanna and her co-author Alan Middleton on their outstanding new book.Read-up on ikonica in The Globe and Mail, Canadian Business, and MJ Braide’s blog. Or just live vicariously and head over to Indigo and buy it right away for some good summer reading.

CaseCamp a week later

Thanks to everyone who helped make CaseCamp Toronto 7 one of the best yet.  Volunteers (Michelle, Arieh, Tania, Kevin, Matt, Rahaf, Iris and Rachel) and sponsors (Thornley Fallis, comScore, Social Media Group, Pigsback, InterCom Search, Freshbooks, Tucows, NextMedia, Infopresse and Segal Communications), we could not have done it without you.

Thanks as well to our great presenters, participants and after party planners (Mark Kuznicki especially) for helping to catalyze such an outstanding community.  Photos are here.

This camp produced more online discussion than any before, specifically around the Story2Oh! case.  The core of the discussion has taken place here and here.  Having this much discussion is something that I find very exciting.  Woven into the fabric of CaseCamp is the mash-up dynamic of arts and business, it’s a place that showcases grassroots uses of social media like Spacing, Newmindspace, Rocketboom and Istoica with corporate cases like TD Bank, Petro Canada, Sears, BMW and WWF.  Obviously the goal is to foster discussion and take everyone to new places.

CaseCamp needs to be a safe place where people from various communities and industries can feel comfortable sharing their work, exchanging their ideas, asking questions and getting into healthy debate.  It’s not good for the community when the dialogue turns sour, when it gets personal, when there’s swearing on message boards and collegiality disappears. I urge everyone participating in this online debate to keep it respectful.

Looking ahead to the next camp I think we’re starting to have an issue with size.  I find that community events don’t scale very well and that the tone of CaseCamp has changed from when it was a 150 person event.  If anyone has any ideas as to how we can work to get back to that smaller group feel when we’re a 500+ person group, please email me.

Last, congrats to Mark Aronson for winning a pass to the Interactive Marketing Conference, I’m working on getting everyone into the CaseCamp LinkedIn group so please be patient, and check out the amazing line-up at Mesh!

CaseCamp Toronto 7!

All, I’m thrilled to announce the next CaseCamp on April 29th at the super hot CiRCA club downtown.  As always, CaseCamp is free to attend, bring friends!  Register on the wiki or the Facebook event so we know how many to expect.

This time, the cases are:
1) – Boxing Day 2007 and growing their online community. RFD has made the jump from being exclusively online to now advertising on the TTC, Derek is going to talk about this   strategy too.

2)  TD Canada Trust – Key learnings from their Facebook initiative, The Money Lounge.  Presenting will be Sue McVey, VP Strategy Planning.

3)  Jill Gollick – A television screenwriter who is evolving TV scripts to live on social networks.  Her case will be Story2.Oh!, a weeklong romantic drama that had an audience of thousands and ran on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and other social platforms.

4)  The Radiothon Diaries – The strategy, program, and metrics behind the videoblog for the Hospital for Sick Children.

Many thanks to our sponsors – Social Media Group,, Segal Communications, comScore, Intercom Jobs, Thornley Fallis and Freshbooks.

Introducing The Radiothon Diaries

Each year in partnership with Astral Media the SickKids hospital puts on the worlds largest Radiothon.  Three stations, Newstalk 1010 CFRB, 97.3 EZ Rock, and 99.9 Mix FM broadcast 12 hours a day for three days from the hospital, interviewing patients, families and staff, all with the objective of raising money.

This year, I am part of the team at Segal Communications that has added a new twist to the event.  We’re filming a daily videoblog capturing stories and moment from the SickKids atrium, and sharing them on YouTube, Facebook and a variety of websites.

Below are the two most recent diary entries. These videos are made to be shared, so please, send them to your work associates, friends and family.  And if you’re moved to donate, well, that’s a good thing.

Part 2 – SickKids Radiothon DiariesShare on Facebook

Part 1 – SickKids Radiothon DiariesShare on Facebook

Welcome Lila

On February 2 my lovely daughter Lila was born at 7 pounds 11 ounces.  Iris and I (along with the rest of our family) immediately fell completely in love with her.

Lila was born with a heart defect called transposition of the great arteries.  My deepest thanks go out to the brilliant and caring staff at Mount Sinai and Sick Kids hospitals who gave Lila a tremendous amount of care from the moment of birth, performed a flawless surgery, and are now helping her (and us) through these last stages of recovery.

Thank-you to everyone who has been emailing and calling over the last week, your support has meant the world to us. Iris and I can’t wait to bring Lila home and introduce you all to her.

Harvard Business Review Breakthrough Idea: Toronto TransitCamp

I’m thrilled to announce the publication of an article I co-authored with Jay Goldman and Mark Kuznicki in the February 2008 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Our article Sick Transit Gloria, part of the Breakthrough Ideas of 2007 feature, demonstrates through the Toronto TransitCamp case study how Web 2.0 culture and tools can be brought to bear to affect change in an organization. This model of engagement is particularly relevant to organizations interested in benefiting from deeper relationships with stakeholders.

My co-authors and I recognize that while our names appear in the byline of this article, the ideas and the event itself were created and inspired by a group of local community participants and peers, and global thought leaders. We would like to acknowledge those contributions and inspirations here:

Our friends who helped make TransitCamp happen: Robert Ouellette, ReadingToronto; Tim Shore, BlogTO; David Topping, Torontoist; Matt Blackett, Spacing; Adam Giambrone; David Crow; Bryce Johnson; Joey Devilla; Madhava Enros; Michael Glenn; Misha Glouberman; Julia Breckenreid; Ryan Feeley; Kieran Huggins; Andrew Moore; Kevin Bracken & Lori Kuffner, Newmindspace; Rannie Turingan, photojunkie; Patrick Dinnen

Friends and inspirations: Alec Saunders, Iotum; Amber MacArthur; Alex Lowy; Andrew Baron, Dembot; Anthony Williams; Arieh Singer; Audrey Carr, Between Us; Austin Hill, Billions with Zero Knowledge; Ben McConnel and Jackie Huba, Church of the Customer Blog; Bianca Goldman, A Wee Bit Skint; Bonnie, Ernie & Rachel, GreatCycling; Brian Oberkirch, Like it Matters; Cambrian House; Chris & Jessie, Istoica; Chris Anderson, The Long Tail; Chris Messina, FactoryCity; Colin Henderson, The Bankwatch; Colin Smillie; Cory Doctrow, Craphound; David Eaves; David Gray, Communication Nation; David Pritchard; David Weinberger, Everything Is Miscellaneous; Doc Searls; Don Tapscott; Elspeth Roundtree; Eric Goldman, Napoleon’s Gambit; Ev Williams, Evhead; Greg Wilson, The Third Bit; Guy Kawasaki, How to Change the World; Harold Rheingold; Hugh MacLeod, gapingvoid; Iris Glaser, Tailor Communications Design; Jason Kottke; James Bow, Transit Toronto; James Cherkoff, Modern Marketing; Jeannette Hanna & Jeff Howe, crowdsourcing; Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine; Jeremiah Owyang; Jesse Hirsh; Jevon MacDonald,; Mike Beltzner; Joe Clark; John Battelle, Searchblog; John Moore, Brand Autopsy; Johnnie Moore; Joseph Thornley, Pro PR; Karen Quinn Fung; Kate Trgovac, My Name is Kate; C.C. Chapman; Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users; Kelly Seagram; Kenyatta Cheese, Braintag; Lawrence Lessig; Lee Goldman; Lee Odden; Leila Boujane, Idee, Inc.; Lloyd Alter, treehugger; Maggie Fox, Social Media Group; Mark Dowds, Mark Evans, A Canadian Take on the Web; Mark Raheja; Mark Surman, commonspace; Martin Cleaver; Matt Mason; Matt Mullenweg, Photo Matt; Matthew Dewall, Maybe Sorta Kinda; Matthew Ingram; Michael Anton Dila, Torch is Wicked; Michael Lenczner; Michael O’Connor Clarke; Michael Geist; Michael Seaton, The Client Side Blog; Michelle Perras, Shot From the Hip; Mitch Joel, Six Pixels of Separation; Nicholas Carr, Rough Type; Nikki Goldman; Om Malik, GigaOm; Peter Francey; Phil Hood;Richard Florida; Riccardo Cambiassi; Rob Hyndman; Robert Scoble, Scobleizer; Ryan Coleman Found in Translation; Saul Colt, The Smartest Man in the World; Scott Beale, Laughing Squid; Sean Howard, Craphammer; Sean P. Aune; Sean Wise; Seth Godin; Shel Israel, Global Neighbourhoods; Steve Munro; Steve Rubel, Micropersuasions; Stowe Boyd, /message; Stuart MacDonald; Sulemaan Ahmed; Tara Hunt, HorsePigCow; Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld, Techcrunch; Thomas Purves; Tim O’Reilly; Todd Defren, PR Squared; Tom Davenport, Make IT Matter; Tom Williams, the $5 philanthropist; Tom Peters; Will Pate; Yochai Benkler

CaseCamp Vancouver 3!

Many thanks to Cinci Csere for taking the torch from Joy and Kate and planning the third Vancouver CaseCamp (on Facebook).

CaseCamp is a free unconference on social media and communications, for Cinci, “CCV3 2008 is about producing fresh ideas to create an open discussion environment where people can feel supported and comfortable.”

Some great presentations already in the hopper, including MTV, Future Shop and Twitter.  Mark it in your calendar for Feb 20.  Add yourself into the wiki or  Facebook event page, and become a Facebook Fan of CaseCamp.

Founders and Funder$

David Crow and Jevon MacDonald are hosting ‘an evening of socializing and dinner for entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists’ entitled Founders and Funder$.

A prescription for the Toronto Web 2.0 scene that’s needed filling for some time. Way to go gents, and thanks for being the community catalysts.

This summer launched a contest to create 30-second shorts about our city, with judging by panel and YouTube views. I’m proud to say that our Garden video won first prize with Boytech coming in third. HTO didn’t place, but was great fun making.

I’d like to thank the entire team, which included Matt, Clea, Iris, Brenton, Jamie and Arieh, for their amazing creativity and contributions to the project. This was all volunteer, and I think the work is fantastic.

Visit the site to see all the videos.

A double relaunch!

Today, December 17, marks two exciting announcements that have been a long time in the works. First, this blog is finally back online after an unfortunate crash. Thanks Patrick for the fantastic dev job!

And second, I start my new job as Director of Social Media at Segal Communications. I’m looking forward to a new crop of clients and diving deep on developing branded communities in Facebook.

2008 is shaping up to be an exciting year, until then, stay warm!