No answer at the Canadian Do Not Call Registry

Today is the first day of the new Canadian Do Not Call list. Our chance to get back at the obnoxious, persistent, call-at-any-time telemarketers by signalling that they do NOT have our permission to call us ever again.

Obviously, I’m not the only person trying to register on the Do Not Call list. On several successive attempts, I was greeted with this message.

No answer at the Do Not call registry

Clearly, the registry’s operators underestimated just how many of us really, really want to stop being interrupted by telemarketers.

But, if like me, you want to reduce the number of unwanted interruptions on your residential or cellular telephone line, you can try your luck to register online with the national Do Not Call list. Hopefully, by the time you try, you’ll be able to get through.

Oh. Of course, the registry does offer the old fashioned way to register by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889). But when I called, I received only a busy signal.

Oh well. I guess the Do Not Call registry doesn’t really want us to call after all.


Hurrah. Success. Finally, on day 2 of the registry, I was able to register my home and cell numbers on the Do Not Call list. Now, telemarketers have until November 1 to remove me from the list. I’m looking forward to the sound of silence.

The best Websites built on WordPress?

WordCamp Toronto 2008I’ll be speaking at WordCamp Toronto on October 4. The theme of my session is “Blogging as a Cornerstone of Social Media.” Blogs are far from a spent force. In fact, blogging is being incorporated into an increasing number of Websites. And often we may not recognize that this has been done.

WordPress is being used as a platform and content management system for Websites that have embraced the concepts of conversation and interaction with community.

WordPressI’d like to include examples in my presentation of the smart Websites that are built on WordPress.

On Sunday, I asked on Twitter for examples of the best use of WordPress as a publishing platform. I received several responses.

  • Dave Cree, @clearpath_SEO, pointed me to the site for recently launched Propel Magazine, which is built on WordPress using the revolution theme. If he hadn’t told me it was built on WordPress, I would not have recognized it as such. A slick, clean, functional design.
  • Rob Cottingham, @robcottingham, said that the DreamHost Status site is built on WordPress. It’s not a very pretty site, but it’s a slamdunk use of the technology to stream info to a community of users and enable people to comment back.
  • Ryan Anderson, @ryananderson, sent me to look at the Ottawa Fringe Festival Website, which is built on WordPress. (And then later he told me it was built by 76design, my design shop. I didn`t know that. I guess I should pay closer attention to what we are working on.)
  • Ferg Devins, @molsonferg, told me that the Molson in the Community blog is built on WordPress. I like the way they incorporate a Vlog into their conversation.
  • And David Jones, @doctorjones, told me that Hill and Knowlton is using WordPress for social media newsrooms and releases. He didn’t have a live example to point me to on Sunday, but said he might have something live by the end of the week.

Now, I’d like to ask the same question of the people who visit Pro PR.

So, if you are reading this post, please tell me which Websites built on WordPress that have most impressed you.

I’ll do another post following the presentation detailing the examples I use and identifying/linking to the people who suggested them.

Thank you for helping me with the research for this presentation.

Niall Cook is speaking at Third Tuesday Toronto and Ottawa

Third TuesdayNiall Cook, author of Enterprise 2.0 and Hill and Knowlton‘s Worldwide Director of Marketing Technology, will speak at both Third Tuesday Toronto on October 7 and Third Tuesday Ottawa on October 8.

Here’s the description from the Third Tuesday sites:

Enterprise 2.0: How social media will change the future of work

Social media has taken the Internet by storm, generating an unprecedented level of audience participation in corporate communications and marketing that were previously tightly controlled.

Niall Cook is Hill & Knowlton’s worldwide director of marketing technology and author of Enterprise 2.0, one of the first books to explain the impact that social software will have inside companies.

Join Niall as he introduces this emerging landscape and the key concepts that make up ‘Enterprise 2.0’. Using examples from well known companies in different industry sectors, he will illustrate how to apply enterprise 2.0 thinking to encourage communication, cooperation, collaboration and connections between employees and stakeholders in your own company.

This will be a rare chance to meet and talk with a social media expert from the U.K. You can register online to attend Third Tuesday Toronto on October 7 or to attend Third Tuesday Ottawa on October 8.

(Thank you David Jones and Brendan Hodgson for booking Niall for us.)

Join us at an Informal Third Tuesday Calgary Social Media Meetup

Third TuesdayBrendan Hodgson and I will be in Calgary to speak at a Canadian Institute Conference on Social Media on September 24 and 25.

The prior evening, September 23, we’re planning an informal Third Tuesday social media meetup. We’re hoping to meet folks from Calgary who are interested in talking about the evolution of social media and how Calgary communicators, developers, marketers and designers are adopting and adapting it to serve their needs and those of their communities.

So, if you plan to be in Calgary on September 23 and you’re interested in an evening of discussion with others who share your interest in social media, register to attend at the Third Tuesday Calgary meetup group.

UPDATE: Kate Trgovac will also join us. She’s in Calgary on September 23 to present a day long workshop on social media.

Terry Fallis' "Best Laid Plans" ships to bookstores

Terry Fallis tells us that the McClelland and Stewart edition of his Leacock Award-winning novel, The Best Laid Plans, has now shipped to bookstores.

The Best Laid PlansI read Best Laid Plans in the original self-published edition. Here’s what I had to say about it on the Chapters site:

I read Terry Fallis’ Best Laid Plans in the original self-published edition. And it left me with a smile at every sitting, from beginning to end.

Terry’s protagonist is the noble idealist that we all wish actually would populate the halls of power. Come to think of it, as a long time friend of Terry, there was a lot of Terry in his hero. Terry for PM?

Terry has written about something he knows well. As a one time political aide, he writes about the political machinations with an insiders eye. And he brings out the humour and fun for us all to share.

The only problem with the book? It ended. So, time for Terry to write a sequel. Maybe our hero should find himself in the Canadian Embassy in Washington as a representtive of the newly elected government?

The Best Laid Plans. A great, entertaining read.

The Best Laid Plans was a thoroughly entertaining, laugh out loud read. And thanks to McClelland and Stewart publishing it, you can share in that fun. Order your copy from Chapters or Amazon.

Other posts about Terry Fallis’ journey into Canadian publishing fame

Terry Fallis won the Leacock Medal!

Terry Fallis talks about what it meant to be shortlisted for the Leacock Medal

The Best Laid Plans joins some impressive company

Meet the AideRSS team at Third Tuesday Toronto

AideRSSSince launching in July 2007, Waterloo-based AideRSS has been generating positive buzz among bloggers and analysts.

AideRSS’ PostRank algorithm provides bloggers and readers with a means to identify the content with which others have become most engaged. This saves readers time, enabling them to filter for only the most engaging content. It also helps content authors to focus on content that their readers want to have.

Now, Third Tuesday Toronto participants have a chance to meet and hear from the people behind AideRSS. Ilya Grigorik, Co-founder and Chief Technology Office, Jim Murphy, VP Development, and Melanie Baker, AideRSS’ Community Manager,  will speak at Third Tuesday Toronto on September 16.

Third TuesdayIlya, Jim and Melanie will talk about how they are building a company around Ilya’s PostRank concept. Melanie will talk with us about the approach she has taken to building and sustaining a community of users. And Jim and Ilya will give us insight into their plans for future growth and innovation.

I’m very big on AideRSS. I think that PostRank could well supply a significant piece of the social media measurement puzzle. And I’m looking forward to this session.

If you happen to be in Toronto on September 16, register online to attend Third Tuesday with AideRSS. Third Tuesdays are always a great place to meet and talk with others who are interested in new developments in social media. And the session with AideRSS will give us a chance to talk with the people behind one of the most promising Canadian social media startups.

Thanks to our Sponsor, CNW

As they have for the past year, CNW Group is once again underwriting the cost of the sound system. This is our largest cost item and CNW’s support enables us to keep Third Tuesday a free community-based event. Thank you CNW!

Read these posts for more background on AideRSS

Melanie Baker talks about the role of community manager at AideRSS

AideRSS’ Journey from Founders’ Dream to Professional Leadership

Ilya Grigorik explains PostRank

AideRSS’ PostRank Measures Engagement

AideRSS at DemoCampToronto14

BlogOrlando – Pulling back the curtain on the mistakes I've made

BlogOrlandoI’ve been told that the best kind of presentation is one that tells a story with which the presenter has some emotional involvement. If that’s true, then the session I’m leading at BlogOrlando should be a good one.

Josh Hallett has just posted the session description. It reads:

You’re enthused about social media. You see its potential to change the way you and your company relate to your customers, your industry and those who share your interests. And you want to seize these opportunities. So, what do you do?

Joseph Thornley asked himself this question in 2005 as he decided to launch Thornley Fallis and 76design into the world of social media. He will talk about the approach he and his company adopted. What worked? What didn’t? What mistakes did they make? What lessons did they learn? Now, Joseph’s companies are reviewing and revising the way they integrate social media into their existence. Call it Social Media 2.0. How are they changing their approach in the future?

In this session, you’ll gain insight into the do’s and don’t’s of bringing social media to your company. Profit from Thornley Fallis’ and 76design’s experience to gain insight into the pitfalls that you can avoid and the best practices you can adopt.

If you’re anywhere near Orlando on September 27, come out to BlogOrlando and watch me bare my social media soul.

Seriously, Josh has attracted a roster of topic speakers, including Jake McKee, Phil Gomes, David ParmetDavid Alston, Paula Berg, Spike Jones, Chris Thilk and Leah Jones. They’ll be leading four tracks of topical discussion about social media, community, journalism and marketing/PR.

Blog Orlando. Well worth attending.

Google Chrome Day Officially Declared

Google ChromeNetwork television may have to counter program against blockbusters like the Olympics, the election of a U.S. President or the Super Bowl.

But blogs are not like network television. There’s no need to fill a complete schedule. So I’m not even going to try to compete with the wave of coverage of Google Chrome that’s coming across the blogs I read.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more posts about the first round of Third Tuesday social media meetups for this autumn plus my views on other lower profile, but equally deserving social apps like BackType.  But in the face of all the attention that’s being focused on Chrome, why waste good topics by posting today?

I concede. It’s officially Google Chrome Day.