#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. ­čśë

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



INSANE Graphic Shows How Ludicrously Complicated Social Media Marketing Is Now – Business Insider

INSANE Graphic Shows How Ludicrously Complicated Social Media Marketing Is Now – Business Insider.

INSANE Graphic Shows How Ludicrously Complicated Social Media Marketing Is Now - Business Insider

#FF Alex Blom

I’m borrowing an idea that my friend Alex Blom started a couple of years ago. Instead of just listing #FF’s (Follow Fridays – A practice on Twitter where people recommend who everyone else should follow), he started doing a weekly blog post dedicated to a single recommendation for Follow Friday. So it’s only fitting that I give my first one in this series to him, not only for the idea, but because I was his first too┬á(Minds out of the gutter, if you please. It’s pretty full down there already). It is still ranked second in Google when you use my name as the search term, ranking over Twitter and Facebook. The only one that’s beating it currently is LinkedIn.

I met Alex just over 2 years ago at Product Camp, held at the Ted Rogers School of Management. I attended a session for beginners in Product Management and he had made some comments on Twitter that I thought were of interest. I joined him during the lunch break and we discussed the session at length. I hadn’t really used Twitter all that much and my account was still locked down. ┬áHe’d had difficulty locating my profile and that was why. This was one of the biggest and best lessons I learned about Twitter vs. Facebook. Don’t lock Twitter down. It defeats the purpose. We had a great conversation and started meeting up regularly after the camp.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that the majority of what I┬áknow┬átoday about social media and marketing is from his┬átutelage. I’ve picked up a few things since then, but I would not be where I am today without his lessons. When I got hired on the mayoral campaign in Toronto and was told to help the candidate improve his tweeting, I didn’t know what to do. Alex gave me some pointers so that I could at least steer the candidate in the right direction. A year later, I was hired on another political campaign as the social media co-ordinator. Now, I have a successful social media consulting business and have multiple clients.

Today, I can still call on him if I need help or if I need a double check on what I’m doing. I highly recommend that you all follow him on Twitter and read his blog. ┬áThank you Alex Blom, for helping make me into what I am today and letting me borrow your idea.

Social Media Presentation to Hamilton Networking Group

Here’s the presentation that I gave last night at┬áHamilton Business Networking ┬áand Entrepreneurs Group’s Networking Mix & Mingle last evening. I got a lot of positive feedback on the presentation and had some great questions. I’ve edited the second to last slide from last night based on my discussions with some people after the presentation. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did delivering it. If you’d like the link to the video where I got the screen shots from, please see my post from yesterday. Happy Tweeting!

#DevTO – Part 1

I attended the second #DevTO session held at Richmond Day. I read a tweet about it and though it might be a good way to network and meet some new people. I knew some of the people involved more than the event itself, so though I wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew it would be great.

This particular time, I was the only woman out of 6 people; four organizers, one presenter and me. It was marketed not only to developers specifically, but also to anyone who has an interest or deals with developers. I’ve done a bit of coding in my time and work as an IT Generalist, so I deal with developers, designers and more acting as a translator between the technical types and the business types.

An event like this helps me understand what developers face and perhaps help my clients by asking the right questions the first time, hence saving time and becoming more efficient.

At the first one I attended, I had the privilege of hearing Chris Brooker present Epilogger from the developer’s perspective. I’d seen their short presentation at Code Your Art Out a few days earlier, but it only scratched the surface. In this more intimate setting, I had the chance to ask more questions that helped me understand what difficulties they faced, why certain pieces were chosen and why others weren’t as well as what the process behind it was. It was also helpful to Chris to get feedback from users and developers alike, to provide more functionality and get ideas on how to solve some of the problems that they might have encountered so far.

I’d also recently signed up for #LadiesLearningCode (another post coming on that one soon). I went to their brainstorming session later that week and found that many of the women there were in a similar situation to myself. I thought many of them would probably appreciate something like #DevTO, so when I saw the invites come up for the next one, I started “marrying” the two hashtags together. Next thing I know there is a waiting list for the next #DevTO! I’m not sure how many spaces were filled because of my actions, but it came out of nowhere!

I’ll post more on the next #DevTO tomorrow, but in the meantime, Make sure you follow @DevTO_ca for more updates and register for the event here. At last check, they only have 5 spots left. Did I mention that they provide beer and pizza? ­čśë

My Fun Saturday – The Teaser

It was definitely a busy day yesterday. On Friday I just chilled out knowing that it was certainly going to be a whirlwind on Saturday. And I was right! I got full use out of my metropass!

My day started out with a great event at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was intended to get feedback from the public about the Gallery. I’ll be posting more on it tomorrow, but you can certainly follow the discussion on Twitter by watching the hashtag #AGOChat. The photos from that event are posted here. I know that Rannie will certainly have wonderful photos posted from the event soon. As a thank you, we walked away with some pretty cool swag. Definitely setting the bar on that one!

My Andy on his first day out

After finishing at the AGO, I rushed over to the Liberty Noodle for the HTML5

Barbecue. This was done jointly with the Toronto Google Technology Users Group which I attended two weeks ago where I won my Andy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there until it was almost finished, so I won’t have much on that except to say that it was a packed room and a great bunch of people. Even after the presentations were done, there were some great discussions and of course cool swag. ­čśë You can follow the Yorkville Media Centre for more details on this, the #TOGTUG group and of course, AndroidTO coming up in October.

I’ve posted the photos from the Stella Artois Block Party here. Please feel free to tag at your leisure. This was another great event where I got to see some old friends and meet some new people that I might have seen on Twitter, but hadn’t had the chance to meet in person. Many thanks to @StellaArtoisCAN for throwing this great event. Follow the hashtag #BlockParty from last night to see some craziness.

I’ll be writing on these topics more in the coming days so stay tuned!

People are too dependent on technology: agree or disagree?

People are too dependent on technology: agree or disagree?

I agree. On coming up to the cottage this weekend, I felt compelled not only to bring my Blackberry, but I also brought my camera (which is handy at the cottage), my digital voice recorder, my iPod and my laptop. I figured I could get some writing done (as I am doing sitting in peace and quiet in cottage country). Catch up on a few blog posts that I’ve been meaning to write, some I have written and just need to transcribe to electronic form. Catch up on some emails that I’ve been meaning to write and clear my head. For me, that means detaching from the network and start with a semi-clean slate on Monday when I reconnect. My Blackberry does get reception up here, but I’m keeping it on silent and only using it if I need to get something off my head, like an idea I’ve just had.

In general I know that I have become much too dependant on technology. Sometimes to a point where all of it just makes my job harder to do and I spend more time trying to fix it or to find a better way of doing it than if I just sat down to do it.

A few years ago, we had the massive blackout on the eastern seaboard of North America. Friends of mine were jonesing for their cell phones to work. I was actually impressed with myself because I didn’t feel the need for my cell phone nor the internet. I made sure my family and close friends were okay and life was good. The barbecue still worked and food was defrosting, so we had friends over who didn’t have very good ventilation in the summer and we all ate together. We found things to keep us busy, but we connected with each other. I mean really communicated with each other face to face.

I know that I can actually detach myself for a weekend, maybe even more. I only keep up with everything because it will be less to deal with when I come back. Besides, writing these is fun. So vacation mission accomplished.

UPDATE: Of course I couldn’t upload this while on vacation, but I managed to go through all day Saturday without turning on the laptop, except to view some photographs I’d just shot. You’ll see those soon too…

Top 5 Celebrity Tweeps I’d Like To Meet

I decided to do something a little different for Follow Friday. These descriptions and reasons are a little bit longer than a tweet, so I decided to make a post out of them. I started with a neat short list and then there were so many that I had to break them up and even extend them a little. Some I may some day meet, some never. But what if we don’t have dreams what have we got.┬á I will have a few more lists in coming weeks but for now, here is my list of celebrities I’d like to meet in no particular order.

Stephen Fry on TwitterStephen Fry (@StephenFry) – I have always loved his work, with and with out Hugh Laurie. I watched an interview with him recently while he was in Toronto by Jian Ghomeshi of the CBC (@JianGhomeshi) and part of it dealt with his view on Twitter. I highly recommend you go and watch it. He seems like a real and amusing human being.

Rick Mercer on TwitterRick Mercer (@RickMercer) – Here’s some Canadian content for the day. Love watching his show, “The Mercer Report” on CBC. Also had the pleasure of watching him host “A Night of The Stars” for the Toronto Association for Community Living one year and he is a hoot. He is to Canada what Stephen Fry is to England.

George Stroumbulopoulos on TwitterGeorge Stroumboulopoulos (@Strombo) – I’ve just recently started watching his show and I’m ashamed that I haven’t watched it much before now! He is an incredibly great interviewer and seems to be a really nice guy all around. I’m sure that if I met him in a bar somewhere, I’d be starstruck and he’d just take it as it comes.

John Cusack on TwitterJohn Cusack (@JohnCusack) – He has some really weird tweets sometimes, but as an actor, I love what he does. One of my all time favourites of his is “Say Anything”, but this post is even based on one of his movies where the term “Top 5” is used many times, “High Fidelity” which is my second favourite.

Nathan Fillion on TwitterNathan Fillion (@NathanFillion) – Really interacts with his followers and seems to have the whole Twitter thing down. He sends a lot of pictures through Twitter of the set that he might be working on, introduces celebrities that are new to Twitter and just loves what he does.

Honourable Mentions:

Tim Roth on TwitterTim Roth (@TRHooligan1) – Always liked him as an actor, but really got hooked on him in the recently chopped “Lie To Me”. I adore the fact that he used his real accent and the part really seemed to be how I would imagine him in real life. His tweets are really interesting discussion starters and his pictures of either New York City or his eye are different than most you might see. The only thing is that even though he has almost 4,000 followers, he’s not following anyone else. So, he’s got to pick up his game a little.

David Krumholtz on TwitterDavid Krumholtz (@DaveKrumholtz) – Just recently joined Twitter but has a really fun time with it. Love watching him start to get the idea of how to use Twitter. Loved his role in “Numb3rs” and currently going through by seasons now. He’s a nerd cutey.


I know I’m late in posting this, but given his recent successes, I figured the window might be open long enough for me to get this one down.

A few weeks ago, I decided to skip my usual Monday routine and attend #MexiTO at La Mexicana (@LaMexicanaResto) on Yonge Street. This was the first of Jo’s events that I had attended, though we had met a couple of times before (See my post on #HoHoTo and the follow up).

For $15, we had all-you-can eat tacos, a selection of appetizers and desserts. You could pile whatever you wanted on the tacos from refried beans, to chicken, to veggies. Did I mention that it was $5 margarita night? I highly recommend the mango flavour. ­čśë

In addtion to the meal and environment, we were also treated to a pinata! There were some videos and photos, but I apologize for not taking more myself. And no, my Sensei will not be seeing any of my poor performance. Last, but not least, we were also given samples of El Jimador tequila along with some cute swag, including a shot glass, key chain and mini shaker.

Of course, the company and connections that were made that night were too many to count, so I must thank Jo for putting us all in touch. This is what Twitter is all about. Make sure you keep an eye on this guy! Now you all know why I jumped at the chance to attend St. Louis! Check my post on that here.

My biggest #FollowFriday goes to Jo (@clickflickca).

Grab a sentence from the nearest…

Another challenge from the #PostADay2011: Grab a sentence from the nearest….

QI: The Noticeably Stouter Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd & John Mitchinson

QI: The Noticeably Stouter Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd & John Mitchinson

The book I picked randomly from my bookshelf was: The Noticeably Stouter Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd & John Mitchinson based on the successful British series, QI with Stephen Fry (@StephenFry on Twitter). I picked it up in England two years ago on a trip with my mother.

I opened it to page 203. Under “What’s the ‘sport of kings’?”

The third paragraph, second sentance is: “Everyone from ryalty to schoolboys joined in: there were even cockpits in the palace of Westminster and on Downing Street.”

The “bonus” from this challenge post was to come up with the next sentence that is completely unrelated. The only thing I can say is that Stephen Fry would certainly come up with something better than I could ever do.