Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood.

Funny how the Photo Challenges have been on the same wavelength as me this week.

View of Hamilton at Night

View of Hamilton at Night


Fundraiser for HAAARP

Looks like there was actually a Gallery Function In WordPress and they just made it better. Thanks to this, I can now put up the infamous photos from the Fundraiser at Upper Gage Garage for HAARP that was held at the end of June. Enjoy and as always, blame Joey Coleman for this.

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.

Joey Coleman from his Facebook Page

#FF Stephanie McLarty

I’ve only known Stephanie McLarty for a short time, but we’ve hit it off right from the start. I met Stephanie at Startup Drinks in Hamilton and then again during Democamp in February, 2012 when I announced Women In Technology Hamilton. She approached me that night and said that she wanted to be a part of it. A few months later, when I did the launch, she was one of my sponsors and gave me the idea for one of my top 3 tasks for this venture. She is now part of my planning team and I’m really looking forward to working with her on this.

When she’s not out saving the world, she’s President & CEO of REfficient. They’ve just passed two years and still going strong. Please make sure that you follow this wonderful organization and the woman behind it, Stephanie McLarty.

Stephanie McLarty of REfficient

Stephanie McLarty of REfficient

#FF Michael Canton

One person that I have overlooked in my previous Follow Friday editions has been an amazing supporter of mine, is Michael Canton. I intend to rectify this today.

Michael and I met at Startup Drinks Hamilton back in the winter, either just before or just after I’d moved to Hamilton. I admit, I didn’t know much about video, nor did I really delve into it much with everything else on the go. At least I knew there was someone out there that I could turn to if I needed advice on it. I was starting my own consulting business and I know that this was not a piece of the social media that I was going to start to learn about at this stage of my game. He launched TechTalk4HamOnt and interviewed me during their first taping at DemoCamp Hamilton in February. I went for a job interview and they said that they even found a video of me giving an interview (it would have to be this one) when they did a Google search on me. They now could tell that I was able to present to people in front of a camera which was to my benefit. Needless to say, I know I need to improve on my video visibility and will be doing so in future.

Michael has always offered some neat little tidbits of information or leads about other people that I should connect with. He has amazing ideas and a wonderful eye for video. He has been a very strong supporter of my Women In Technology Hamilton initiative and has videotaped everything without charging a penny. He believes in it and that it is a great thing for this city. That’s enough for him. For those clients that I have that want to start doing video spots, podcasting, livestreaming and the like, I’ve given them Michael’s name first… always.

If you don’t already, make sure that you follow Michael Canton on Twitter and check out his many videos. Thank you Michael.

Michael Canton of Valley Town Media

Michael Canton of Valley Town Media

#FF Bill Beattie

As I mentioned in my earlier post about Jim Rudnick, I’ve found that the people in Hamilton have an amazing capacity to give of themselves. It may not seem like a lot to them, but to me, it has meant the world. Enter Bill Beattie.

I met Bill at my first meeting of the Hamilton Business Networking and Entrepreneurs Group back in November, just two days after making the decision to move here. I remember him being one of the first people that I spoke to at this meeting, along with his wife Arlene. Both were extremely kind and offered to help in whatever capacity they could. The house my family was moving into had already been arranged, so the need of an agent wasn’t in the cards, but I needed to start building my network in Hamilton and meeting great people like Bill and Arlene was key.

I was planning on moving at the end of December and needed to get quotes for moving companies. Who better than a real estate agent to give me some good advice on who to go with? I called Bill and he gave me the name of Mountaineer Movers who were a pleasure to deal with. I’d gotten about five or six quotations and I ended up going with the one he recommended and was not disappointed.

When I told him about my Women In Technology Hamilton initiative and that I needed sponsors for the event, he didn’t hesitate, even though he isn’t in tech, nor a woman. He just thought it was a great idea and that he needed to help out. Thanks to him and the other sponsors, I was able to have a great launch and we got it off the ground. Now the fun begins.

So get on Twitter and follow this fine man, Bill Beattie.

Bill Beattie

Bill Beattie

#FF Joey Coleman

I remember saying on more than one occasion that I’d love to hang out with Jonathan Goldsbie. Well I think I’ve found his Hamilton counterpart. Meet Joey Coleman.

In addition to being a journalist, Joey can be found at Thinkhaus or at Startup Drinks with Open Hamilton. Be preparted for a long and entertaining evening when he shows up, because he tells great stories. He’s always been a fountain of knowledge when it comes to local politics and history. I started following him on Twitter from the #HamOnt hashtag while learning about my new home. I then met him at Startup Drinks a few days later where I got a crash course in local municipal politics.

I really enjoyed attending Random Hacks of Kindness here in Hamilton to help the local installment of this international intiative. Joey has really enlightened me in the ways of open data and though I’m still learning, I’ve been a quick study.

Thanks Joey for putting up with me and enduring my never-ending questions. You can read his blog for stories including those from Hamilton City Hall or CBC Hamilton (which is always fun) and follow him on Twitter…NOW!

PS. I just found out last night that he and Roger Gillespie of the CBC are going to be on the dunk tank at Upper Gage Garage this afternoon to raise money for HARRRP. Roger’s on at 1 pm, followed by Joey at 1:20 pm. I wouldn’t miss this for the world!

Joey Coleman from his Facebook Page

#FF Jim Rudnick

I can’t remember exactly when I met Jim Rudnick, but I’m sure it was at Democamp, Startup Drinks or an event at the McMaster Innovation Park. Anyone who knows Jim will agree that this guy is everywhere in the Hamilton, Ontario region.

When I refer to the differences between Toronto and Hamilton, I say that people in both places are very supportive. The big difference is that people in Hamilton have the time to actually help. That’s not to say that Toronto people don’t want to help and not everyone is like that. Life in Toronto is just so full that most just don’t have the capacity. But I digress…

Jim has always given his time to advise me, whether it be on my consulting business or reaching out to his network to ask for support with my WITH Initiative. Best of all, he gets results! Thanks to his personal touch, I raised more than half of the money I needed to launch.

Jim is a mentor through the Innovation Factory and is helping so many entrepreneurs I’ve lost count. He keeps his ears to the ground on many of the goings-on and has even put my name forward for a few positions.

If you don’t know Jim, you can most likely find him at any tech event in Hamilton and of course, you can follow him on Twitter here. Thank you Jim.

Jim Rudnick of Canuck SEO and KKT Interactive

Jim Rudnick of Canuck SEO and KKT Interactive

#FF David Hills

I met David Hills at my first Hamilton Business Networking and Entrepreneurs Group event back in November, 2011. This was only a few days after the decision to move to Hamilton happened. I then saw him about a week later at a Bronzie’s Tweetup that I was attending through a friend of mine, Justin Baisden. We hit it off pretty well and we started seeing each other at similar events over the next few months.

One of my favsHe called me about a new meetup in January that I didn’t know about. A week later, he saw that I was attending another event that turned out to be one of his best sales nights. When I did my Social Media 101 presentation at Hamilton Business Networking and Entrepreneurs Group, I was able to rent his pico projector to present to a room full of potential clients. Most of my client base now comes through this group. If you haven’t seen this wonderful invention, you can see it here. It is the coolest thing and I know you will be amazed.

He has always been a great source for local connections and influencers that I haven’t yet met. If I ever need a sounding board for something local, he’s the first person I call. We now co-ordinate many of our events and check in with each other at least once week. We sometimes attend the same functions two or three times a week. I joke that his wife must get jealous of all the times we see each other. It is now a rare occurrence that people will see us at an event in our area without the other, much like a comedy team.

David has always been very kind to me and extremely supportive, including referring clients to me and singing my praises. I only hope I can live up to all of his kind words. Make sure you ask him about the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, especially for their upcoming Air Show and give him a big Follow Friday. You can find David on Twitter here. Thank you David.

Importance of Networking

Name Badge with your Twitter handle is a great idea

Name Badge with your Twitter handle is a great idea

Now, when I say networking, I’m not just talking about the “new” social media way of networking. I’m also talking about the face to face meetings. Gone are the days that everyone knows who you are only because you show up to every event. If you’re not online, you don’t exist. What I profess is a balance between the two. Life is about balance, your business should be too.

Many of the relationships that I have started, especially since moving to Hamilton, Ontario in January have been in person. When we made the decision in mid-November to make the move, I immediately hopped onto social media to see what was available here. I have friends out here, but few are in the realm I deal with in business. Two days after my family made the decision, I attended my first meetup: Hamilton Business Networking and Entrepreneurs Group.  I used the social media and technology aspect to find out the information and meet people in person. I wasn’t sure if the business model I’d been using in Toronto would work here, so I needed to meet people and talk to those that had been here longer than I.

One big difference between Toronto and Hamilton: both are willing to help, but Toronto people just don’t have the time or capacity to help all the time. The life is busy, never-ending, buzzing and tiring. By the time you come home and have dealt with your own stuff, you haven’t got the energy to help anyone else. In Hamilton, I’ve found that the capacity to assist others is immense. It could be a few emails on your behalf or sitting down for a coffee to discuss business or even pleasure. In Toronto, you might get to meet for coffee for 20-30 minutes. In Hamilton, it could be for an hour. That doesn’t mean that it takes longer, but the meetings are more meaningful and you have a chance to understand each other’s business, not just the current objective. I love Toronto, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve really found a second home in Hamilton and a big part of that is because of this meetup group.

I did a presentation to this group a couple of months ago (Social Media 101) and from that I have my entire customer base. More than 80% of them are members of this group, the other 20% have come from referrals in the group. I’ve had numerous discussions about whether the art of meeting people is dead or whether social media is not genuine, et cetera, and my belief is that they compliment each other. The conversation can start in person and then carry on over social media or vice versa. One of my teachers once said to me, “It doesn’t matter which path you take to reach the top of the mountain, so long as you get there,”. So if your goal is to increase your network and meet new people, why not increase the chances of that by getting on social media? Think of all the people you could reach with 140 characters on Twitter within a few seconds! About the same amount of time as a text message, less than an email and you can even attach a photo easily at the event you might be attending to show all your friends. Maybe they are interested in that even or what your involvement might be? The possibilities are endless.

Lastly, I want to add that social media should be done by YOU. Just like meeting people in person, if you hire someone to act as you, it’s not genuine. Why should I deal with someone who lies to me about who they are? I’m not talking about a large company that has someone do their social media as their job, but those individuals who have “ghost tweeters” and the like. If you want to get clients, be genuine, be honest and don’t be a ghost. Take ownership of your relationship.

If you want to see what I’m up to or where I’m going to be, check my events page here. Even if I can’t make an event, but I think it will be of interest, you’ll find it there. Hope to see you soon!