Hamilton’s 24-7 Live Local Journalist

Many of you may recall my post a few months ago about Joey Coleman in my #FF Series. Well he’s got a new project on the go and considering the donation levels and what you get in return, I’d say that it’s well worth it. I hope that you will all consider donating to this worthy cause.

http://www.indiegogo.com/hamiltonnews?c=home

Joey Coleman from his Facebook Page

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#FF RightSleeve

As usual, RightSleeve has outdone themselves. I was once again invited to their Swag 2.0 event in May. I went last year and had a great time. This year was no exception.

Ernie Whitt Autograph

Ernie Whitt Autograph – Notice the RightSleeve paper. 😉

For those that don’t know, Rightsleeve is a promotions company that has clients large and small, but all feel important. Last year’s event had more exhibits and suppliers, but this year I did a lot more networking. I’d been out of touch with everyone for a while, and this was a great chance to catch up. Either way, it’s a great event. Last year, I even met Ernie Whitt, former catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and got his autograph! Karim Kanji is still jealous to this day.

I’m not only impressed with the products they have (and give out!) but with how friendly and supportive they are. They do a lot of promo for many worthwhile events around town, including Third Ocean‘s XConnect panel discussions, which I try never to miss.

When I was working on getting my consulting gig off the ground, I got an invite from Mark Graham to attend. I was in no position to spend money with them, but he didn’t care. Their events are a great chance to network and are definitely fun to attend. Mark wanted to help out and knew that I’d probably spread the work of their good deeds. Well, it obviously worked and I’ve never forgotten his kindness. Every chance I get, I put their name forward and know they won’t disappoint. So please make sure that you add Rightsleeve to your feed and let them know if you have any promotional swag needs. They are definitely the best in everything they do.

Here are some examples of their work:

Rightsleeve Notebooks

No Rightsleeve collection is complete without their notebooks. Two black ones used. Started the red one on Labour Day.

Rightsleeve Cooler Bag and Water Bottle

Rightsleeve Cooler Bag and Water Bottle perfect for a day outing.

Rightsleeve Umbrella

They gave these out the first year I went and it is my favourite umbrella.

#FF DevTO

Talk about building a community from the ground up! DevTO is certainly a great example for how to do it right.

Me and Ginny at the first anniversary

Me and Ginny at the first anniversary

I attended my first DevTO just over a year ago at Richmond Day, which was their second event. I am on record as being the first female techie to attend apparently. There were about six of us, sitting around a computer where we were being shown by Chris Brooker how Epilogger was created. I’d seen it in action a few days earlier and was familiar with it, but it was great to hear the in depth development of the project. I had also just started learning WordPress, so I brought my first site to them in hopes they could help me understand one or two things about a problem I was having. They gave me some great direction and I was happy to report at their next meeting that thanks to the advice I received, I was able to resolve the issue. This next meeting had over 20 attendees, including quite a few women. This event was going places!

Over the coming months, they had more great presenters, including Wes Bos, Xtreme Labs and most recently, Paul Laberge of Microsoft and Sachin Monga Facebook. The venue changed from Richmond Day to the ING Café, with their One Year Anniversary held at CSI: Annex. The latest one was held at Polar Mobile. The beauty about the change in venue is that they keep getting bigger. They are making sure that they have room for everyone and are changing with the demographic.

Wes Bos showing off HTML5

Wes Bos showing off HTML5

Don’t think that this is just the place for developers! Oh no, this meetup is designed to be for everyone from marketing and HR to the developers themselves. They pride themselves on bringing everyone together that has something to do with developing and puts them in the same room with beer and pizza.

They have grown to have some great sponsors including Headstart Solutions with Sue Varty and Marc Roginsky, ThinkWrap and ThirdOcean with Carolyn Van and Karim Kanji. They have numerous giveaways from FITC and many other sponsors using an app developed by one of the founders, Nael called Twitter, Twitter, Chicken Dinner which picks winners based on your criteria for giveaways. Great little app that he designed after one of the other founders, Jo, brought the opportunity out. Jo hosts a lot of events and does a number of giveaways, so this was a great solution.

DevTO has only been around for just over a year, but their events are now selling out (they are up to 100 attendees) within minutes of them posting the event on the first Monday of the month. The events are held on the last Monday of every month and can be accessed here on Meetup.com. You can follow DevTO on Twitter and of course, each one of the founders is a joy to follow, so add them too (See below). Their next meetup is on Monday and I hope to see you there!

Founders:

The DevTO Team: Nael, Jo, Kevin and Chris

The DevTO Team: Nael, Jo, Kevin and Chris

Joallare (aka Jo): @clickflickca

Chris Jones: @jonezy

Kevin Kelly: @kevincodes

Nael El Shawwa: @naelshawwa

#FF WordCamp Toronto

I’ve been slowly learning WordPress over the last year or so. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but I don’t know everything. I’ve just registered for WordCamp Toronto at the end of this month. They have less than 30 tickets available for their “End User” WordCamp, which is meant for beginners and intermediate users. Topics will include migrating from .com to .org, which one do you choose for your site and even a little bit of theme stuff (which is what I’m looking forward to most!) If you ever wanted to know more about WordPress this is for you. For you developers out there, there will be another camp in November that will be just for you. 😉

For more information on WordCamp 2012, click here. Follow WordCamp Toronto

WordCamp Toronto 2012: I'm Going... Are You?

WordCamp Toronto 2012: I’m Going… Are You?

#FF Malvern Red and Black Society

Continuing my Back To School theme, I decided to take a look back a little farther than post-secondary and go back to high school. All the talk of Back To School shopping and visiting the school during the timetable pick up make me almost want to go back to high school…almost.

Malvern Collegiate Institute is one of few high schools in the Beaches area of Toronto. In 2003, it celebrated its 100th anniversary and shortly thereafter the alumni association was founded: The Malvern Red And Black Society. No one or rather very few people actually knew what this organization did. Red and Black are the school colours and the Black Knights are the sports’ team names. There was usually a photo in the year book with that title, but what better way to honour a 100 year old school but with a name from within the halls itself. And so it was born.

In 2004 the Charter was signed and we started to build the database of members. From the reunion, we gathered around 2,000 names and after cleaning it up and adding a few more, we are now over 3,000 members strong.  Some of the members date back into the 30’s and 40’s even to this day and enjoy getting our printed newsletter, Musings (coined after the name of our yearbook, the Muse) that we put out twice a year.

Malvern was a great school even if I didn’t know it at the time. I still have friends that I made at that school and they are among the closest I have. There is such a wealth of information and heritage at this school, everything from the World Wars to famous people. Some of the notable Malvernites include Norman Jewison and Down With Webster. Next year, Malvern will celebrate its 110th Anniversary and the Malvern Red and Black Society is planning the next reunion. We’ve also just relaunched the new website this week! So make sure you check that out too. In the meantime, check out the Malvern Red and Black Society on Twitter for the latest updates on the reunion, Remembrance Day Ceremonies, archives and more!

Malvern Collegiate Institute Cenotaph Restored in November, 2011

Malvern Collegiate Institute Cenotaph Restored in November, 2011

#FF Back To School Edition

For those that are starting out or returning to the Ted Rogers School of Management to study Business Technology Management (formerly known as Information Technology Management) at Ryerson University, make sure you follow these important people:

1. Women in ITM (WITM): This organization is dedicated to supporting women within the BTM program. They welcome both men and women to many of their events, but focus much on encouraging young women to not only enter the technology field but to remain in it, especially past first year. Some of their past events include Networking Bootcamps, Computer Hardware Workshops and panels on Breaking The Glass Ceiling

2. ITM Students’ Association (ITMSA): This group is dedicated to the BTM students at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. Like WITM, they have some great programs such as their networking night and the Apprentice program which looks great on a resume. Make sure you check out what they have planned this semester.

3. ITM: This is the official Twitter account for the School of ITM at Ryerson University. They are just getting started, so bear with them as they find their way around.

4. Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM): The twitter account for the Ted Rogers School of Management which houses not only the BTM program, but the Business Management, Retail Management and Hospitality and Tourism. They give information not only about the individual schools, but about goings on in the building itself, as well as the other organizations in the school such as RUBAA

5. RyersonU: The official twitter account for Ryerson University. Check here for information about the university, interviews, and events around the entire university. This is a must for every RU student and faculty.

Have a great school year!

Ryerson University

Ryerson University

 

#FF Silicon Halton

One of the best networks I’ve connected with since moving to Hamilton is Silicon Halton. I found them through another meetup that I attend regularly and have been very happy with not only their meetings, but with the community itself.

This is a grass roots organization founded by Chris Herbert and Rick Stomphorst in 2009 dedicated to creating “a thriving community of people in technology that live and/or work in Halton region”. (Silicon Halton website) Couldn’t have stated it better myself.

Though they have a pretty sturdy rule about having their members live and work in Halton, they are extremely welcoming and do not let their friendly fence get in the way of making connections. In addition to their Peer-to-Peer groups, such as SEO, Big Data and CEO, they also have an open meetup every month which anyone can attend. The format is simple yet effective: One or two presentations, meet your member which are shorter presentations done by the members of Silicon Halton to let people know what they do, and then an open floor for anyone to tell the group about anything, including events or initiatives.

Last night, they had their inaugural Demo Night, so I’m sure we’ll see a post very soon to wrap that up. Their next monthly meeting is on September 11, 2012 and they are having a panel on “SMB Business Disaster Planning – What’s Realistic?” and I highly recommend attending.  Silicon Halton has been very good to me and I know that there are more good things coming. You can find them on Twitter @SiliconHalton so follow along!

Silicon Halton

Silicon Halton

#FF Dames Making Games

I was introduced to this group about 8 months ago by my friend Alex Bethke. Having just started Women In Technology Hamilton, I thought it was important to find other women doing tech things, no matter where they were.

Dames Making Games is dedicated to teaching women, regardless of what their professional background is, how to make their own games. They run sessions a couple of times a year and tomorrow night is the Show and Tell from the latest session, Jeuxly. They will be running this again in the winter and they call it Jamuary. Brilliant naming.

They are also looking at trying this formula out in other areas including Europe. I’ve even volunteered to be one of their guinea pigs to run this from a distance. Will keep you updated on that project as it goes…

So, if you’re not doing anything tomorrow night come out to their Jeuxly Show and Tell. Even if you can’t, please give Dames Making Games a Follow Friday on Twitter.

Dames Making Games

#FF Girl Geeks Toronto

I know I’m a little late on this one, but figuring they have their event this evening, I thought it might be okay.

Girl Geeks Toronto is a spin off of Girl Geeks Scotland and was started a few years ago. Over the last year, I’ve gotten to know the team running this pretty well and they have been extremely supportive of my WITHamOntinitiative. They’ve just relaunched their website and it looks like it’s off to a great start after a hiatus of about a year or two.

Girl Geeks Toronto

Girl Geeks Toronto

I attended their FITC lunch and had the chance to sit near Stacey Mulcahey, one of the few women speakers they have in addition to Pearl Chen. I was in the running to win a lunch with her from FITC, but I got it just the same thanks to GGTO. 😉

Every month gives something a little different. It’s not just about programming or the IT field. Last month, I saw presentations including from Sacha Chua who told us of the app she designed to manage her wardrobe. Not necessarily what colour works best with what, but how many times have I worn it and when was the last time? Now you can really tell what you did and didn’t wear during the season and what has to go! Being a fashion-challenged person myself, I think this might be helpful to me. I’m still waiting to hear when this is going to be available to the public. I always learn something new. I’m not about to go out and nab the next thing they present, mind you. If I did that with every event, I’d never leave my house!

If you do want to leave your house today, I highly recommend that you check out this one. Here’s the link for tonight’s event if you can make it and of course, follow my girls here on Twitter.

#FF Julia Merlini

Julia and I have known each other for about 10 years. She’s quite a bit younger than I am, but we get along great. A few months ago, she mentioned something about getting onto Twitter and how she wasn’t sure how it worked. I gave her a few pointers, but the biggest one: Jump In.

She attended a few events that I dragged her to and when the time came for her to attend her own through Twitter, she wasn’t sure that she should go. I urged her to attend and she hasn’t stopped since.

You will usually find her sharing some fashion Instagram photos of her funky boots (she has quite the collection), or some beach photo. She does a great job of it and has even helped me out on a fashion dilemma or two. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to the party ending of a conference and she was the one who said: “You’ve been at all the seminars, why shouldn’t you go to the party?”. I knew there was a reason I kept her around. 😉

She’s heading off to San Francisco this fall for a new adventure in her life, so you guys better keep an eye on this dynamo. Look after my #grasshopper, Jules Merlini.

Julia aka. Jules in Fleurs

Julia aka. Jules in Fleurs