Learn about social media from the experts

What do you get when you bring together Microsoft’s Barnaby Jeans, Tucows’ Leona Hobbs, Yahoo’s Hunter Madsen, Dell’s Richard Binhammer, Scotia Bank’s Michael Seaton, Iotum’s Alec Saunders, ReInvent!’s Kate Trgovac, Cognos’ John Blackmore, BMW’s John Cappella, along with over a dozen other top corporate marketers, bloggers and podcasters?

Canadian Institute  Conference on Social MediaSimply the best conference on social media that Canada will see this year.

The Canadian Institute asked me to chair this conference and I had the opportunity to offer input on the panelists and sessions. I’m very pleased with the final program and I’m looking forward to attending the conference and hearing and talking with all of these great speakers. You can see the conference agenda online or download a PDF version of the social media conference brochure.

If you’re planning to attend, I’m able to offer a 15% discount off the registration fee to clients, colleagues and Facebook friends. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, head over to Facebook and send me a message that you’re a subscriber to my blog and that you’d like to attend the conference.

CNW Group and Society for New Communications Research support Third Tuesday social media meetups

Third TuesdaySocial software, social media and social networks have given us the ability to seek out like-minded people and form online communities of interest. And we are doing this in ever increasing numbers.

But as good as online communities are, they have not dampened our desire for face to face meetings. In fact, online communities frequently whet the appetite for more face to face meetings. The evidence of this is everywhere. It’s in the turnout to spontaneously organized geek dinners, social media breakfasts and all types of other gatherings. It’s in the success of sites like meetup.com and upcoming.org that help people to organize face to face meetings. And for me, it’s in the success of the Third Tuesday social media meetups.

Since a group of bloggers and podcasters started the Third Tuesday meetups last year, the events have grown and grown. Today, Third Tuesday Ottawa has over 200 members and Third Tuesday Toronto has over 500 members. The Third Tuesday Facebook group we started in August has already attracted over 200 members. And this year, the Third Tuesday concept has been launched in Vancouver.

Of course, there are unavoidable costs – even for a free community event. We don’t pay our speakers. They all donate their time and expertise for the common good. However, there are still costs for sound systems and meeting space. And anyone who has organized something like this knows that the organizers can be left holding a big bill at the end of the event.

CNW GroupSo, we’re just delighted that CNW Group will provide us with financial sponsorship. This is very important. We make every effort to keep our events simple. CNW sponsored our special pre-Mesh Third Tuesday last spring. And now they’ve indicated that they will help us with additional events this season. That’s a real weight off the organizers and makes it possible for us to concentrate on attracting top speakers.

And that’s where our second sponsor comes in. The Third Tuesday organizers have tapped their networks to attract a great roster of speakers, including Stephen Taylor, Michael Geist, Jon Husband, Paul Wells, Anthony Williams, and the Mesh conference organizers, Mathew Ingram, Mark Evans, Rob Hyndman, Stuart MacDonald and Michael McDerment. We’re starting off the season with three great speakers.

Society for New Communications ResearchBut it’s still a challenge to get top speakers from outside Canada. And that’s important to ensure that our horizons and perspective continues to broaden. This season, we’ll be helped in this by the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR). SNCR draws on the talents and expertise of it’s fellows to commission original research and articles regarding best practices, current developments and the evolution of social software and social media. SNCR has offered to help us gain access to leading speakers as they make their way through Canada.

These sponsorships will provide a solid foundation to enable us to continue to stage great Third Tuesday events. I want to recognize and thank both CNW Group and SNCR for their support. They will really help us to keep Canada’s social media meetup going.

Darren Barefoot launches Third Tuesday Toronto season

Darren BarefootDarren Barefoot will open the Third Tuesday Toronto season on October 15.

Darren’s 1100 Stacies presentation was one of the highlights of this year’s Gnomedex conference. His message about building pyramids for good is a call to action that should be heard and heeded by technology folk everywhere.
Darren is a principal in tech marketing firm Capulet Communications. He’s also a driving force behind the Northern Voice conference. Last year, he brought smiles to a lot of faces with Get a First Life.

Although he hails from Vancouver, Darren currently lives in Malta. He’s one of the top notch line up of speakers at Profectio’s Word Up! conference on October 16. But good guy that he is, Darren agreed to speak at Third Tuesday on the prior evening, October 15.

Register to attend Third Tuesday Toronto on October 15 to hear Darren. And the bonus is the great group of attendees who come out to these events. You’re sure to find interesting conversation with others who share you passion for social media and community building.

Related content:

Darren’s thoughts on his talk at Gnomedex

Video of Darren’s Gnomedex presentation

Darren Barefoot talks about building pyramids for good

Third Tuesday on Facebook

AideRSS unveils new recommendation engine at DemoCampToronto14

Do you have enough time every day to sift through all the posts on all of the blogs and newsfeeds that you’ve subscribed to? I don’t.

AideRSS offers a solution for newsfeed overflow. It filters your newsfeeds and presents you with a feed of only the most highly rated articles culled from all of your subscriptions. You can view this on the AideRSS site or import the feeds filtered by AideRSS into the FeedReader of your choice. The AideRSS site supports the most popular readers, including Google Reader, Bloglines, NewGator and others.

Since its launch in July, Waterloo, Ontario-based (the home of RIM) AideRSS has generated much positive coverage.

AideRSS’ Chief Architect, Ilya Grigorik, and Chief Marketer, Kevin Thomason, gave the attendees at DemoCampToronto14 an advance peek at a new Recommendation engine that will be added to AideRSS in the next few weeks.

After the presentation, I recorded a short video interview with Kevin Thomason. He provided an overview of AideRSS and then talked about the coming Recommendation feature.


I also captured the DemoCamp presentation on film. Ilya’s preview of the Recommendation feature starts at 2 minutes and 50 seconds into the video.


More men should attend Toronto Girl Geek Dinners

Last June, I attended the first Toronto Girl Geek Dinner organized by Maggie Fox. I was the only man there. And that was a pity.

The goal of the Girl Geek Dinners is “to make technology accessible and interesting to all age groups and all people, particularly women.”

During the course of the evening, I heard lots of interesting points made by smart people who were both knowledgeable and keen about technology and its application to real world problems.

But I also heard lots of questions and discussion about how to break through the male-dominated tech culture. It was clear from the conversation that the glass ceiling persists in many tech organizations. And many of those organizations are run by … men!

Now, I’m old enough to have entered the work force when the workplace culture really did resemble that portrayed on Mad Men. But the world has moved on.

Every male executive I know today wants to build an organization that will attract and retain the best women. We’d be stupid to do anything else.

But that doesn’t mean that we’re always successful. And we can only benefit from being part of the conversations with women as they relate their real world experiences. We can learn both about the mistakes we are making and, if we’re smart, we can learn how to eliminate those mistakes.

I plan to attend future Girl Geek Dinners. And I’d encourage other male executives to do so as well. Not only will we learn a lot about the experience of women in business and technology, but we’ll also get to hear some top notch speakers.

Tonight’s speaker is Leila Boujnane, the CEO of Idée. I met her at the June dinner and recorded a brief clip with her. Have a listen.

UPDATE: I came down with the cold to end all colds and decided not to spread it around at the dinner. So I had to miss the event. However, Kyra from PR Girlz was there and posted her impressions of the event.

Mitch Joel at Third Tuesday Ottawa social media meetup

Mitch JoelMitch Joel is bringing his Six Pixels of Separation podcasting and blogging goodness to the Third Tuesday Ottawa social media meetup.

Mitch will kick off this year’s Third Tuesday Ottawa season on September 25. Be ready to share in the latest thinking about marketing, social media and web 2.0. Mitch is always interesting and thought provoking.

Mitch is in Ottawa to deliver an all day IAB Canada course on social media and Web 2.0. Happily for us, Mitch is genuinely committed to developing Canada’s social media community and skills. So, he agreed to spend the evening before his course with us.

Third Tuesday OttawaJoin us on September 25 to meet, listen to and talk with Mitch Joel. I can guarantee you’ll learn something new and you’ll meet one heck of a solid, gregarious guy.
Click over to the free registration on the Third Tuesday Ottawa Social Media Meetup group.

After you’ve registered to attend, visit the Third Tuesday Facebook group and join other social media enthusiasts from across Canada as we build our community.

Posts about previous Third Tuesdays:

Third Tuesday Vancouver launches with Tod Maffin

Third Tuesday VancouverTod Maffin will be the kick off the Third Tuesday Vancouver speakers series with a talk titled “Swarm Communications: When Good Buzz Goes Bad.”

If the Internet is like a swarm, then sometimes good buzz can quickly turn into bad buzz and you can get stung. Tod will introduce your delegates to both the swarm culture and both the danger and opportunities in blogs and podcasts. Features everything you need to master Tod’s S-W-A-R-M system to respond to negative buzz online.

Tod Maffin speaks at PABI’ve seen Tod speak several times. Each time, he’s been funny, engaging and informative. Tod is also one of the moving forces behind Third Tuesday Vancouver. And his appearance is sure to signal that the Third Tuesday Vancouver series is sure to be worthwhile.

So, if you’ll be in Vancouver on September 25, click over to the Third Tuesday Vancouver site and register to attend this session. Not only is it free, but you’re guaranteed to meet lots of people who share an interest in the potential of social media for communications, marketing and society.

Disclosure: Tod’s production company, Foursevens, is an Associate of 76design. But don`t let that stop you from coming out to see him at Third Tuesday Vancouver!

UPDATE: We have a Third Tuesday group on Facebook. If you’re on Facebook, join the Third Tuesday group to hear about speakers and participate in discussions before and after the events.

Posts about previous Third Tuesday speakers:

Linkworthy – Microblogging and Social Media Awards

Introduction to Microblogging and Tumblelogging

LinkworthyIn the past year, a number of social media platforms have been added to the standard blogging platform. Twitter, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Facebook and others are specialized to do one thing very well or to provide a place to bring together and share multimedia content from a variety of sources.

Confused by what is going on with all these new platforms? Well, Eric from Internet Duct Tape provides a great overview of the most popular of these new platforms along with their strengths and weaknesses. Read her his post and you’ll have the info you need to decide if one of these is right for what you want to do.

Recognizing the Best Uses of Social Media

Society for New Communications ResearchOne of the recurrent themes that has emerged at the new media conferences I’ve attended this past year has been the need for more case studies of companies, organizations and individuals who are demonstrating excellence in their use of social media. Todd Defren tells us that the Society for New Communications Research is accepting submissions for its annual awards for excellence in new communications. A great reason to put your hand up and let the world know about how you’ve used social media in the past year. Click over to Todd’s post and follow the links for more info on the awards.