Help program speakers and topics for Third Tuesday

Third TuesdayWho would you like to hear from at a Third Tuesday social media meetup? What topic would you like to hear discussed?

One of the great things about Third Tuesday is that we can program the speakers and topics to respond to the interests of you – the Third Tuesday community. So, I’m asking for your suggestions of the speakers and topics that you are most interested in and that you think other members of the Third Tuesday community would also be interested in.

Have you seen someone speak at a conference who absolutely blew you away? Have you read a book that gave you new insights into social media, community, search and the future of our online life? Is there a blogger who is writing great content that should be shared with others? Is there a company, organization or person who is using social media in a creative and cutting edge way?

Your suggestions will guide the programming for the winter sessions of Third Tuesday. So, please have your say and let me know who you think we should invite.

And thanks to our sponsors – CNW Group, Molson Coors Canada, Rogers Communications, Radian 6 and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts – we’re able to bring these speakers not just to Toronto, but also to the other Third Tuesday cities across Canada. Already this year, we’ve brought Shel Israel to Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. And just last week, we were able to bring Katie Paine to Ottawa.

So, who would you like to hear from and what would you like to discuss at Third Tuesday. Please offer your suggestion as a comment below or a tweet to @thornley.

Windows 7 Review. There's a lot to like.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that I endured a serious case of #VistaFail. Microsoft Windows Vista began to install a service pack on my notebook – and then it crashed. And it kept crashing. Ultimately, I was forced to reinstall the operating system, losing data in the process. (This happened while I was on the road and unable to back up my data.) Then, the ultimate insult. The morning after I got my computer up and running, as I was shutting it down to leave my hotel room, I received another unasked-for message that Windows was installing updates. Not just one update, but 32 updates. And, as always, the helpful onscreen message warned me not to shut down my machine.

windows7Enough is enough. Happily, this last #VistaFail occurred on the morning of October 22 – the day that Windows 7 went on sale. So, I took myself off to the nearest Future Shop and bought two copies of Windows 7 – one for my notebook and one for my desktop (Did I mention that my desktop also was struggling to install the same set of patches?)

So, now I’ve been living with Windows 7 for several days. And I’d like to share what I think of it.

The Good

Wow. I love the new Task Bar. The Windows 7 version of the Task Bar allows me to pin to it the programs that I use most frequently. And instead of individual icons for each open document, I see only the program icons. If I want to see individual documents, I only have to hover my cursor over the program icon in the taskbar. A popup window appears above the icon showing miniature versions of each open document. Hover over a miniature version and it appears full size on your display. Click on it and it opens for editing. With the new Windows 7 Taskbar, all my favourite programs and open documents are right there where I can see them.


Windows 7 is fast. Much faster than Vista. This shows up when I boot up. But it is much more dramatic when I open programs like iTunes. With Vista, it could take as much as a minute when I plugged my iPhone into my PC before iTunes opened. With Vista, it now takes less than 5 seconds. Goodbye time wasted waiting for tasks to complete.

Finding files and programs. Windows 7 search function is vastly improved over earlier versions of Windows. Want to change opening folders and files to single click from double click, but you can’t find the right place to do this in Control Panel?  Simply search the term “single click” in the Start button search and you’ll be provided with a link directly to the Folder Options screen in which you can make this change.


Even better, Windows 7 makes it much more simple to find files spread across folders on your hard disk and on external hard drives. They’ve added “libraries”‘ of your documents, music, pictures and videos. What’s the difference between a library and a folder? A library will display documents, pictures, music or vidoes that you have saved anywhere on your computer. Want to add the contents of an external hard disk to be displayed in your libraries?  You can easily add a folder to a library from a drop down menu in the folder. Find your files easily regardless of where you stored them.


Home Networking is made easy with Windows 7. A new feature, HomeGroup, enables any user to set up a home network to share folders, files and printers with other users. A very nice, overdue feature.


The Not So Good

I discovered that I couldn’t do a simple upgrade from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional. I had to do a much more time consuming clean install of Windows 7. More time consuming because I had to restore all my drivers and reinstall all my applications. That was a full day lost. I can’t understand why a simple upgrade from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional isn’t possible. The only advertised differences between Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate is that the latter offers Bitlocker data encryption and the ability to switch between 35 languages. I don’t need either of those features. So, I purchased Windows 7 Professional. It wasn’t until I had the disk in my computer hard drive that I received a message that I couldn’t upgrade from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional. My first #Windows7Fail. Another Microsoft “Gotcha.”

Once I’d installed Windows 7, it turned out that Windows 7 drivers are not yet available for each of my Dell computers. The Dell download site offered Windows 7 drivers for my enterprise-class Latitude E 6400. However, it did not yet have Windows 7 downloads for my Vostro 400 desktop. Given that the Vostro line is targeted at small businesses that don’t have dedicated IT departments, that was disappointing. Hopefully, Dell soon will offer drivers for the entire Vostro line.

Home networking. My home computer is on my office domain. And Windows 7 won’t allow me to set up a home network with other users in my family. Instead, I’ll have to ask my son or daughter to  so that I can access files and printers remotely.

The Bottom Line

If Windows Vista is your current operating system, run, don’t walk, to your nearest store and get a copy of Windows 7. If you’re still using Windows XP, I think that you’ll find the user experience of Windows 7 more than justifies the upgrade.

Bonus Tip

The experience of using Windows 7 is quite different from Windows XP and Vista. You can start using it straight out of the box and discover new features serendipitously. But you don’t need to do this. Microsoft offers an outstanding set of introductory videos. I found several particlarly helpful, especially

Getting Started for tips on how to use the new Taskbar, the “jumplists” of recently or frequently opened files, and how to easily arranged windows to take all or half of your display space.

Find your files for tips on how to use Libraries and Search to quickly find files and programs.

Sharing files with HomeGroup to see how easy it is to set up a home network and share files and printers.

What’s your experience with Windows 7?

Are you using Windows 7? What’s your experience with it? Are there features you’re finding useful? Are you encountering problems? Share your experience by leaving a comment.

Proving PR Works

The Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms (CCPRF) is holding a series of thought leader breakfasts to explore topics of importance to organizational communications and public relations. (disclosure: I’m currently the Chair of the CCPRF.)

This morning, the CCPRF brought togetherin Toronto a group of top level corporate communications executives to discuss best practices in communications measurement. The discussion was led off by a panel of measurement experts: David Alston from Radian6, David Scholz from Leger Marketing, Jacqueline Taggart from Watson Wyatt and Alan Chumley from the CPRS Measurement Committee.

What follows is the highlights of the Twitter coverage (hashtag #CCPRF) of the discussion that I captured using CoverItLive. Enjoy.

Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms: Measurement

@DoctorJones gives a teacher something she can use for life

DavidJones 091017At the most recent Third Tuesday Toronto, MeshMarketing organizer Mark Evans donated a ticket for us to give away to one of the attendees. We decided to offer it to the person who gave us the best tweet about why they wanted the ticket.

And the best tweet came from @DoctorJones:

“Buy a man a mesh ticket, he’ll learn for a day; Give me a ticket and I’ll give it to a prof who can teach social media for life.”

So, we took him up on his offer.

Now, David has followed through and passed the ticket along to Andrea Tavchar, a Professor in the PR program at Humber College.

Good move, David Jones.

Third Tuesday Toronto explores Social Media and Customer Reviews

ThirdTuesdayTorontoWhere do you look for advice when you are considering whether to buy a product or service? If you’re like me, you’ll probably search for customer reviews on specialty Websites or, event better, you’ll reach out to your online friends to find out who has experience with the product or service and what they think of it.

Customer reviews married to social media are changing the way that many people make decisions.

At the next Third Tuesday Toronto, four well-known entrepreneurs will share what they have learned building and working with customer reviews and social media. We’ll hear from Ali De Bold, co-founder, ChickAdvisor Inc., Pema Hegan, co-founder,, Brian Sharwood, president,, and Stuart MacDonald, CEO and founder, and

Special thanks go to Eden Spodek, founder of, who suggested this session and put the panel together. Eden also will moderate the discussion.

You can register online to attend Third Tuesday Toronto. I hope to see you there.

One more thing: As always, we’re grateful for the ongoing support of our Third Tuesday sponsors: CNW Group, Molson Coors Canada, Rogers Communications, Radian6, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Their support is allowing us to program great speakers not just in Toronto, but at Third Tuesday across Canada.

Katie Paine removes the mystery from measurement

Katie PaineKatie Paine earned her reputation as one of the foremost experts in public relations measurement. So, when social media emerged, it was a natural step for Katie to begin to explore the best ways to measure social media. And she has emerged as a sought after speaker on how to measure the right things in the right way.

Katie will be sharing her expertise at the next Third Tuesday Ottawa #TTO. I asked Katie to give me a preview of what she’ll be talking about. She replied:

Social media measurement doesn’t require new standards or new methods, just a new mindset. How the best measurement tools today are some of the oldest. Relationship surveys, content analysis, correlations and statistical analysis have all been around for decades, and we really don’ t need much more than those.

What we do need is a new way of looking at measurement – from a functional perspective, not a tactical perspective. It’s not about measuring what you do – those individual campaigns, or tactics, or gimmicks you happen to be using. But rather about measuring why you exist. What’ is your function within the organization, and how are you contributing to the success of your organizations objectives.

Each communicator must face the fundamental fork in the road. Are you doing social media for sales? For reputation? For cost avoidance? For crisis management?  Once you’ve decided the reason, then measurement becomes quite simple.

Third Tuesday OttawaThis sounds like an interesting perspective on measurement. I’m definitely looking forward to attending to hear Katie elaborate on it. And, of course, we’ll keep at least half the time available for Third Tuesday attendees to ask questions and discuss Katie’s ideas.

We’ll also have a bonus at this month’s Third Tuesday: a demo of Google Wave. A lot of us have heard about Google Wave, but relatively few of us have had a chance to use it yet. Come and see what all the fuss is about.

One other thing is special about this month’s Third Tuesday Ottawa: the time. We’ll be holding the event at 7:30 AM on October 23. We’ve been able to book Katie on her return from speaking at the MeshMarketing conference in Toronto on October 22. And a Friday evening event just didn’t seem like it would work. So, for this one time only, we’re making Third Tuesday Ottawa a Social Media Breakfast (Hat tip to @bryanperson and the real SMB Ottawa organizers, @sylc, @ryanAnderson and @roblane).

If you’re interested in attending, you can register online for this month’s Third Tuesday Ottawa.

Thank you to our sponsors

Of course, we wouldn’t be able to book a great speaker like Katie Paine to come to Ottawa without the support of our sponsors: CNW Group, Molson Coors Canada, Rogers Communications, Radian6, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. You make it possible to bring smart speakers together with Third Tuesday participants across Canada.

Social media best practices for non-profits and the public sector

Jay Moonah closed the Managing Social Media conference with a presentation focusing on how non-profits and government organizations can make effective use of social media.

I’m capturing the highlights of the session from the Twitter stream using the #CdnInst hashtag and posting them here using CoverItLive.

Click on the CoverItLive window below to see the Twitter discussion of this session.

Jay Moonah

Integrating Social Media with Traditional Media

Parker Mason is a long time blogger and Twitterer. He’s also Product Support Manager at CNW Group. So, he’s well positioned to be able to comment on integrating social media with traditional media relations. And that’s the topic of his session at the one of the Managing Social Media conference with a session focusing on how Ford has used social media.

I’m capturing the highlights of the session from the Twitter stream using the #CdnInst hashtag and posting them here using CoverItLive.

Click on the CoverItLive window below to see the Twitter discussion of this session.

Parker Mason

IT Security and Social Media

The greatest hurdles I’ve encountered to the use of social media in the enterprise have been legal and security concerns.

Kevin Lo and Stewart Wolfe covered the IT security issues in their session at the Managing Social Media conference.

I’m capturing the highlights of the session from the Twitter stream using the #CdnInst hashtag and posting them here using CoverItLive.

Click on the CoverItLive window below to see the Twitter discussion of this session.

Kevin Lo and Stewart Wolfe

Copyright. The Elephant in the Room?

I’ve long grown accustomed to the principles behind Creative Commons copyright. Sharing is encouraged within boundaries defined by the creator. However, traditional “rights restricted” copyright law still governs most of the world.

Pina D’Agostino, Director of the Intellectual Property Law and Technology Program at the Osgoode Law School, provided an overview at the Managing Social Media conferenceof the key copyright issues for social media applications and the need for guidelines and policies to ensure that intellectual property rights are respected.

I’m capturing the highlights of the session from the Twitter stream using the #CdnInst hashtag and posting them here using CoverItLive.

Click on the CoverItLive window below to see the Twitter discussion of this session.

Pina D’Agostino