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A Few Predictions for 2016

The annual predictions. What is in store for the world. Canada, British Columbia and Victoria in 2016 (this is satire)

1: Donald Trump sweeps the GOP nomination, wins the 2016 Presidential election and at the inauguration slowly peels off his face mask to reveal…… Stephen Harper. The case of the disappearing former Prime Minister is finally solved.

2: Trudeau wins every international People’s Choice awards, gets the swimsuit edition cover of Sports Illustrated and is only slightly disappointed when receiving ’best supporting actor’ trophy at the Oscars behind Gerry Butts and Katie Telford (who together win best director, producer, script writer…) for CBC’s ‘Behind the Scenes’ film on the swearing in of cabinet. In the follow up media scrum Trudeau says “ Hey, they feed the lines, I’ve got the abs’.

3: Use and possession of recreational marijuana becomes legal across the country. Canadian best online casino slots Taxpayers Foundation have a collective stroke over new line item on tax forms: an automatic rebate to everyone for ‘Munchies’. Save your pizza receipts.

4: B.C. Premier Christy Clark buys a Prius to ‘connect with the Greens’, and is immediately filmed running a stop sign. Though to be fair Ministers Rich Coleman and Bill Bennett were in the back seat yelling GO as they were late for a meeting with Petronas. RCMP have no comment.

5: Global news media finally implodes and completely gives up after Jeff Bezos declares ‘I lose less money blowing up rockets than maintaining the Washington Post’. Your mainstream TV news is now 24 hours of ‘that guy on Youtube from North Dakota with the latest conspiracy theory’.

6: As the arctic melts, Inuit are asking, ‘where the hell is Nestle?’ Why pump southern aquifers for bottled water when we have buckets of pure melting icebergs? Get it while you can folks, it’s a fire sale, won’t last.

7: B.C. Ferries dumps the entire comms staff and gives the public relations contract to their Twitter parody account.

8: Lynton Crosby gets a Knighthood … oh wait. that actually happened.

9: IS (or ISIL, ISIS ,,, whatever) rebrands yet again. This time as a lamb kebab chain. Gets a star rating from YELP for the spice mix. Internet shut down as a ‘facilitator of terrorism’.

10: Oil drops to $24 per barrel: every fossil fuel corporation suddenly goes geo-thermal saying, ‘ we know how to drill, we have the maps – sorry it took so long’.

Wishing everyone a happy 2016!


2015 Already? A Few Predictions

Hard to believe it is 2015. The past year has been one of upheavals internationally, nationally and yes, even locally. Who would have thought a relatively unknown jihadist group a year ago would have taken over so much Syrian and Iraqi territory sending a coalition, including Canada, back into Middle East conflict, or that in Greater Victoria a mayor with well over a decade in office would be out of his job by over 1000 votes. defeated by a complete political neophyte – that happened in Saanich, and was reflected in the City of Victoria. With all that upheaval in mind from the previous 12 months, here are some predictions for 2015. With so much in play in all levels of politics and media…

1: BC Ferries figures it is actually more economical under their financial projections to winch Vancouver Island 20km closer to the mainland to save on fuel costs. Then once again hedges oil at $120 per barrel for the coming year. BC Government heralds this as ‘enlightened management’.

2: SHAW Cable hikes fees another 10%, wonders why users revolt. Hires now ex- BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan as a consultant.

3: Pope Francis appoints a lesbian, transgender, atheist bishop as head of Opus Dei. Becomes a regular panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher.

4: Black Press finally buys out all latent print media in British Columbia, places Tom Fletcher as full editor in charge. Editor Tom immediately reserves all Op/Ed placements for the Fraser Institute – no one notices.

5: National Energy Board in a big ‘whoops’ accidentally releases pre-approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline dated August 2014. Subsequent followup…’ hey folks, look at our record, did you expect anything different?’

6: Christy Clark in a major announcement disbands cabinet. Places Rich Coleman as Minister of Everything, saying ‘look at the guy! He’s BIG – he can do liquor, gambling, LNG – all that great, wonderful, goochy stuff BCers love!!’.  Donate here…

7: As a surprise Christy Clark calls a 2 week 2015 fall session of the Legislature – one bill to be debated, making obeying stop signs arbitrary. ‘Just want to be prepared for 2017’

8: BuzzFeed buys out Black Press

9: Trying not to be recalcitrant, ISIS welcomes homosexuals and demands equal panelist time with Pope Francis on Real Time with Bill Maher

10: Jack Knox will have a better top 10!

Happy New Year!


2013 Predictions, or the Year of the Sneek

The 5th, or 6th year of doing a ‘Top Predictions’ blog for the upcoming year: inspired by the (ever expiring) Victoria BC Times Colonist journalist Jack Knox (@JackKnox), who annually regales us Islanders with his profoundly insightful prophecy. This year, a connection as the team at #YYJchat, of whom I am honoured to be a member, actually had our hero scribe as a guest – well done, we will never regain our reputations.

Looking over last year’s predictions jiggled the funny bone as a few made the zeitgeist – yep, Mayan Apocalypse certainly gained attention.

normal_happy_teaser_ad_copySo…. Here’s looking to 2013

1: Chinese year of the Snake: Snakes on a Plane….snakes in the grass…Washington State legalizes marijuana…B.C. in a big election…BC Marijuana Party wins! (stream of thought)

2: Social Media finally combines into an extremely useful, single platform called #PintYourFaceintoMyTube – marketers revel. Google adds a + version a month later.

3: Apple launches iPhone 6, 6.3, and a ‘mini-mini’ iPad (iPhone 4 revamped) all within 3 weeks, with midnight launches. Expectant buyer lineups combine and cause riots around the world.

4: US ‘fiscal cliff’ becomes a ‘cliff hanger’ lasting well into the the next Presidential election – which starts next week.

5: BC Ferries announces $50 million revamp of upper class lounges – though, these will be at terminals. Have a great meal, or 2 – even 3 – while you wait.

6: Lockheed introduces the F36, just to confuse Canadians.

7: Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece all apply to leave the EU and join the Canadian currency. Mark Carney has a giggle fit from London.

8: The Mayans were right, just a month off – it’s January 21st folks!

9: China notes buying and centralizing world iron/steel around Beijing is creating an earth magnetic wobble. Solution: buy these accredited sea sickness ginseng pills from our wonderful, safe and friendly factories.

10: In reference to #9, Harper notes Canadian potash exports help the global production of ginseng.

11: BC Premier Christie Clark goes for broke, and kisses a girl – though it turns out to be Katy Perry who crashed a fund raiser…even the NDP say ‘it could happen to anyone’. John Cummins …. ‘goddamn, why was I not invited?’ Jane Sterk kisses a sewage pipe, and that wins the election….

12: The Amazon cloud sever becomes sentient – John Grisham is forced into slavery to write novellas for Kindle.

13: 13th year of the new century: Blade Runner is looking like a soft landing!

and this is the year of the sneek: who gets your data?

Your comments, questions are welcome – have a great year.


Police Roadblock! Should you Post that on Social Media?

It is the  Christmas holiday season and the weekend where the first of the holiday parties start in business districts. Restaurants, hotels, bars love this time of year as so many harried workers and executives sign off from work for a night of eats, conversation and, well, drinks. Also the time when police ramp up their anti-drinking driving campaigns – yes, the road blocks are back. This is where social media, and frankly a conscience, matters both on behalf of the public enjoying a night out and the police who are there for public safety, and raising awareness.

However, a tweet from the Vancouver BC police department immediately raised my interest:

So, while Vancouver PD was asking people to send in photos and videos of the famous hockey riot, and then also asking the same audience to identify people from that material, they are now publishing a policy ‘don’t post’. This is the anti=thesis of social media, the ability for anyone at anytime to report on events happening in their lives. So, what if someone takes a photo and tweets – ‘Got stopped at X/Y cross road, passed the test – and kudos to Van PD on making our roads safe‘ vs ‘Hey folks – Roadblock at X/Y street, avoid the area‘? Either message increases awareness, and each is the same problem for the police department – identifying the location.

Fact is we are all journalists. That should not be hampered by any official body, it is a fundamental aspect of contemporary life that people have the ability to post the immediacy of situations via Twitter, allpokies.co.nz, Facebook – through status updates, photos and videos – using smart phones and tablets. For the Vancouver police department to even question that raises a more profound thought – why are they even raising the issue? Do they want control over Social Media accounts so nobody can post about certain operations?

Policing is built on trust, and certainly in terms of drink driving, speeding, cyclist and pedestrian awareness, the active road blocks; and further community awareness with school programs, community groups et al help. To ask the public NOT TO POST, to be controlled, and trying to control the public about raising that issue – well, that is simply a communication, and engagement, failure.

Recognize, no matter how large and powerful your organization, the public are far larger – and if they get their game up over an issue, you are beaten.

If you want the conversation, then let’s do it


Tony Clement and UBCM Fail the Authenticity Test – Public demands Better

Update: I will be on CFAX 1070 Am with host Adam Stirling at 11am Monday September 24th discussing authenticity in political social media and engagement.

You get on a tweetchat thankful for the opportunity to directly engage with a person who has the power to enact change, maybe who will even respond directly to your message and start a conversation – only to find out after the fact, it was a team. The message, or answer to a question, you might reveive (in fact most likely in the following case), was from a communications staffer.

That is the realization after The Winnipeg Free Press revealed Conservative Cabinet Minister Tony Clement was not the ‘Mayor of his own Town Hall’, in fact the majority of responses, accredited to him on his own Twitter account @TonyClementCPC, were via a ghostwriter: (Full article)

During an online chat on the subject of open government, the Treasury Board president, who is a prolific tweeter, had a ghostwriter doing most of the work for him.
Last December’s town hall made federal political history as the first live online chat to be hosted by a cabinet minister using the popular microblogging service.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper once took questions via YouTube, but that experiment was never repeated.
The subject of Clement’s town hall was the Conservatives’ recently launched open government strategy, a three-prong effort which seeks to increase transparency around the official workings of Ottawa.
Clement has been a vocal champion of the strategy, as well as for the increased use of social media by politicians to communicate with Canadians.
He’s regularly ranked among Parliament Hill’s top tweeters and lauded by social media watchers as having a natural touch with the technology.
But when it came to formally engaging with Canadians, bureaucracy ground his freewheeling ways to a stop.

Photo via National Post

Photo via National Post

As a founder and moderator of #YYJchat, I admire the guests who can keep up with an often frantic flow of public questions and comments, while keeping disparate topics alive, and responding with personality. However, as Tony Clement MP is the cabinet minister in charge of open government, and a champion of social media interaction between elected officials and the public, the perception he delegated the majority of replies from his Twitter account to others – albeit, his ‘voice’ or message intent – using a moderator flies in the face of authenticity.

There is no problem at all, in my view, of using someone else to do the actual typing work, as long as that is identified. There are well established Twitter protocols for handling such events such as using ^MW (an upper dash, with initials) to identify the responder. This is standard practice for corporate accounts, especially with customer service, to keep track of ‘who said what’. Clement’s team could also have easily used another Government Twitter account to respond to questions on the Minister’s behalf -which would have been more positive, allowing Tony Clement’s own posts to be highlighted in the stream.

The vast majority of people active on Social Media realize it is impossible for a single person to respond thoughtfully and directly to potentially thousands of questions and comments in a 45 minute, national, town hall. Being authentic, and open about WHO is responding is key – and we wonder why trust in governments and politicians is rapidly eroding.

UBCM 2012 – The Theme is Communications, but where is it?

The annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention is set to start Monday Sept. 24th in Victoria BC, with this year’s conference theme being ‘Communications’ (UBCM Theme Page). A great topic, and long overdue, but it begs the question – where is the communication?

Communications that are highly developed and ever changing is the way of the future. Through blogging or tweeting, community consultation via Facebook, or podcasts and online video of key announcements, there are more ways than ever to connect with the community.

As local governments explore the potential of these tools, the basic questions of good governance remain: are we hearing what the community is saying, and does the community hear what we are saying?

This year’s Convention theme is around communication. Whether it’s with local residents, other levels of governments, or our teenager at home, this year’s focus will be on improving these relationships by examining how we relay our messages and how we receive feedback.


So, where are the public events? The Tweet chats, G+ Hangouts, Facebook interaction and live events seeking public opinion on how the public and local government can best interact? There is nothing on the UBCM website, or through their social media accounts. It seems a huge opportunity has been missed by the organizers of UBCM to create interactive events, inviting the public for their ideas, comments and questions – and use that feedback as part of a resolution.

In that light, #YYJchat (See Victoria Wave for details on future and past chats) has decided to dedicate this coming Tuesday’s chat to UBCM, with an extended two hour format, and live from the Bengal Lounge (@TheBengalLounge) at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, next to the Victoria Convention Centre. Since YYJchat began in May this year we have brought MPs, MLAs, Mayors, councillors and more to the local and regional ‘Twittersphere’, providing an opportunity for authentic engagement with the public.

We will be joined with primary guests City of Victoria Councillor Shellie Gudgeon (@ShellieGudgeon) and local business owner Derek Sanderson (@The Island IT), and reaching out to UBCM delegates to join us, share their thoughts on the conference, and what it means to be a politician in the Social Media age.

#YYJchat will begin at 6:30pm and finish at 8;30pm – we welcome your comments and questions to the guests. Just follow the hashtag, and join in.

Follow @YYJchat for updates. Moderators and organizers are Susan Jones (@SusanJones), Kyle Schembri (@KyleSchem) and Mat Wright (@MatVic)



Are Your Followers Fake?

As social media platforms tout the number of users as a value of their overall worth, the fact many ‘followers’ and ‘profiles’ are fake is illustrating a growing issue with spam and advertising analytics. In July the BBC set up a fake business ‘Virtual Bagel’, began advertising on Facebook, and determined that a large majority of likes came from South East Asia and were most likely fake accounts or bots. Another company, Limited Press, ran analytics on their own Facebook advertising alleging more than 80% of likes were fake.

Facebook itself was forced to reveal in company filings that 8.7% of over 955 million profiles broke rules in some way – duplicate profiles, misclassified accounts and undesirables – those who use accounts solely for spamming.

Newsday reported an analysis on Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney gaining more than 100 000 Twitter followers in one weekend, most of whom were fake. Twitter has yet to publish numbers on percentage of overall fake vs real users, but Tweet spam is a continual and growing headache for many users.

As social media platforms rely almost solely on advertising for revenue, their value to advertisers diminishes dramatically when companies discover ‘likes’ and clicks on paid links are worthless.

Do you have Fake Followers?

A new service, Status People, will parse your personal and business Twitter accounts for fake users, and give you a percentage report. While it is not an exact science the algorithm has some guiding principles, and becomes more accurate as more users check their followers:

“Spam accounts tend to have few or no followers and few or no tweets,” the company writes. “But they tend to follow a lot of other accounts.”

You can then use a system like TwitCleaner to identify fake, bot or inactive users that you either follow, or follow you, and clean up your account.


Twitter is the News

There is no doubt Twitter has altered the broadcast and news gathering culture of media organizations, but what is behind the 140 character system that aligns so well with ‘news’?

Maclean's Magazine TwitterA reason for posing the question is noticing how some news papers and broadcasters are dedicating sections solely to Twitter trends and headlines, others incorporating #Hashtag streams into programming. Recently Maclean’s Magazine – a weekly Canadian print publication covering politics, business, and news – began a daily online article: Daily Headlines via Twitter using Storify to curate top headlines from a number of news organizations.

Next, take a look at a basic search for ‘Twitter’ on the Guardian UK newspaper website. For July 28th, almost all the top headline stories, from the latest Olympic updates to news from Syria, and the passing of actor Geoffrey Hughes have a direct reference to Twitter in the articles, clearly demonstrating the short message service has inordinate influence as a news gathering tool for journalists. Likely because it so quick and responsive, reporters can easily grab relevant content to boost just about any story: a quote, comments, updates etc.

It seems somewhat disproportionate as Twitter has around 150 million active users compared to Facebook’s 900+ million, yet Zuckerberg’s platform is nowhere near as mentioned as a source, or even as a news story itself unless discussing its share price. A news search on Google for “Twitter Olympics” shows 10800 news items compared to “Facebook Olympics” at 127.

Alan Rusbridger, Editor in Chief of the Guardian UK: posted fifteen points on “Why Twitter matters for media organisations” in November of 2010. Nearly two years later, are they still appropriate or actually reinforced, can others be added?

Point One:  It’s an amazing form of distribution: No doubt, and even more so now as the user base has extended from around 60 million in 2010 to 150 million today. Twitter (and yes, Facebook and Youtube) have profoundly impacted, some even argue inspired, the Arab Spring and now a necessary communication tool for politicians.

Point Two: It’s where things happen first: Or, where news is reported at all. The now 18 month uprising in Syria illustrates how citizen media can equal, even trump, traditional journalism in places where accredited media are denied access by authorities.

Point Three: As a search engine, it rivals Google: Yes and no these days as even Google has given in to including Twitter profiles and sometimes tweets themselves into results. Social is becoming even more integrated into operating systems and search.

Point Four: It’s a formidable aggregation tool: Where Twitter excels over other search engines – even those within the likes of Facebook and Youtube – is that the aggregation itself is user generated. A #Hashtag can be created by anyone, used and posted to by anyone. It turns search on its head from the realm of mathematicians to a crowd sourced function.

Point FiveIt’s a great reporting tool: Such an obvious statement it’s not even worth bothering to comment, except to say journalists and editors must be vigilant on specious tweets and deliberate misinformation.

Point SixIt’s a fantastic form of marketing: Yes, certainly with a growing user base news organizations can directly broadcast both breaking news and more nuanced opinion, to a far larger audience. The problem is twofold: journalists themselves, especially those who grabbed a Twitter user name before many organizations had a brand policy, are in a position to take their followers to another ‘brand’ – and – it is a flat platform. The audience decides who has authority on any given issue. Quite often the most re-tweeted posts are not from news organizations, but citizens directly involved in an issue or event.

Point SevenIt’s a series of common conversations. Or it can be: In fact, Twitter is about the conversation which is why chats surrounding a #hashtag are one the most popular and powerful features. This is where news organizations are getting it wrong, with only a few notable exceptions. Al Jazeera has daily open chats on topical issues, The Guardian has experimented with open editorial – ‘make your own newsroom’ idea, and CBC has a weekly Wednesday Politics chat. For the most part however, the majority of publications and broadcasters are not utilizing discussion features, to the detriment of their own organizations.

Mainly due to the fact no one in Greater Victoria BC had plugged into the concept of a regular Tweetchat, the group at Victoria Wave (of which I am a founder) decided to start our own. In many ways, #YYJchat is a news source on its own with weekly guests – politicians, community leaders, experts – and topical to the region. One wonders why news organizations are not taking advantage of chats and #Hashtags to reinforce their community credentials and brand image.

Point Eight: It’s more diverse: As with any social media platform the greater the number of users, the more diverse the opinions and focus. However, unlike Facebook which is the ultimate walled garden, Twitter does allow non user viewing through search apps and widgets – then again, you still require an account to participate.

Point Nine: It changes the tone of writing: Many would say to the detriment of any language, yet ultimately what Twitter has done to journalism and writing of any form is to highlight the necessity of brevity.

Point Ten: It’s a level playing field: Which goes back to my #7 point – a level playing field means news orgs have to take the initiative and not be afraid to experiment.

Point Eleven: It has different news values: This point from Alan Rusbridger was one of the most poignant. Twitter (and other platforms) highlight trending topics, which often are the goal for publicists, marketers and political parties. One could say ‘Twitter trends are the new SEO’. An open platform, where the crowd is determining what is topical, can force editors into ‘follow the audience’ to maintain online ratings – create a quick article or blog post that fits a trending topic simply for the retweet value is not uncommon.

Point Twelve: It has a long attention span: More so than most would think. In Canada the #Hashtags #TellVicEverything and #HarperHistory still resonate, and are searchable for an archive. This simple function, grouping messages around a tag, beats any searchable query on any other platform.

Point Thirteen: It creates communities: Yes, and relevant to many previous points, with an emphasis that news organizations are not taking advantage of this essential nature of Twitter. Editors and broadcast/publication owners might feel it is not their duty or function to create and maintain Twitter communities – yet they are broadcasting into them, and quite often seek comments on articles and opinion pieces (a blog is a community of sorts). Instead of complaining that social media is taking away an audience, while using published material, news organizations should be taking it on and creating the community – you can’t own a hashtag, but you can be the first to use it.

Point Fourteen: It changes notions of authority: In a much more problematic way now than in 2010. Certainly aggregators like Huffington Post filter and add to mainstream media posts – the bug bear of early social media to traditional media, and now largely discounted as an issue. What has occurred is a confluence of both highspeed mobile access to the web, and simple, equally high end, production. An iPhone, with the right apps, is a media production platform rivaling professional studio output from only a few years ago. Yes, it does take skill to create a video with appropriate context – a blog article with authority – an interview that hits the facts, but this is now in the hands of citizens, and as individuals gain audience, they gain authority. For better and worse.

Point Fifteen: It is an agent of change: Or an agent of the status quo, depending on who owns the trend at a particular time.

No doubt Twitter has radically altered ‘News’ as we know it – and it will become more profound as the platform gains more users. There needs to be a balance however between profit motive editors chasing trends for the potential audience value, vs allocating resources to reports that have community impact.

As always your thoughts and comments are valued and welcomed



Victoria Police Take to Twitter for Canada Day

One of the most difficult jobs is changing the communication culture of an organization, especially a police department. There is a natural resistance not only over legal barriers, but the ‘vision’ of what policing and community engagement actually means.

Update: analytics have been crunched regarding the #VicPDHelps Twitter hashtag for Canada Day – 123 tweets generated 314,345 impressions, reaching an audience of 75,099 followers within the past 24 hours via @Org9. Total network reach, which includes secondary level ie: ‘friends of friends’ is an estimated reach of 105 000. Considering the population of Greater Victoria is around 376 000 (source CRD), this illustrates the potential of social media to engage the region.

CHEK News Video

This is #YYJChat In Real Life!

Victoria Police Constable Mike Russel with #YYJchat

It is so refreshing to witness the Victoria BC Police Department experiment with Twitter on Canada Day. Creating a Hashtag – #VicPDhelps – as a non-911 means for people to note problems or concerns while tens of thousands gathered in the downtown core to celebrate the national holiday.

Mike Russell, the Victoria Police officer behind the Twitter handle @VicPDCanada, along with the department’s communication team, has moved online engagement from a staid press release broadcast, to putting a personality into the ‘handle’, making real connections, and proving that taking the time for online conversations can have real benefits.

Mike has reached out to the community. He has presented at the largest conference in North America dedicated to social media, Social Media Camp, and did a full hour on #YYJchat taking questions from the Greater Victoria online ‘crowd’.

On Canada Day, with an expected record number of over 50 000 people flooding into the downtown Victoria and Inner Harbour area to watch concerts and the fireworks, police communication changes. Crowd sourcing issues, nipping problems in the bud before they get out of control seems elemental, but can only happen if the community trusts the people behind both the badge, and hashtag.

In this case, it seems to have worked. The night is not over, but up to midnight, it is quite obvious the local community was well aware of the Victoria Police Twitter initiative, trusted it, and was willing to offer leads and assistance.

The problem for Victoria Police now is the future. Once a hashtag permeates a community, it can take on a life of its own. Using #VicPDhelps simply for special events, during set hours, might not be possible. Integrating Twitter, and other social media platforms, directly into 911 call centres and non-emergency, but reactive, communications, will be a challenge.

The following is an edited Storify of Canada Day using posts from @VicPDCanada #VicPDHelps #YYJCanadaDay and #YYJ

Note: the hashtag #VicPDhelps monitoring time was 4pm July 1st to 2am July 2nd. The Storify has posts to midnight July 1st


Twist My Rubber Arm….

Hoyne Beer with Empress Food

Hoyne Beer with Empress Food

When the Fairmont Empress (@FairmontEmpress) in Victoria BC sent a DM (direct message) tweet with an invitation to come down and try out their new Hoyne Honey Hefe – made by Hoyne Brewery, using Empress Hotel’s own honey – my response was ‘Twist my rubber arm’. The Fairmont Empress is a Victoria: no, let’s be clear, a world wide known hotel (and way out of my price range) and having known Sean Hoyne from his years as brewmaster at Canoe Brewpub, the match was made.

Not knowing the format for the meeting, I arrived at the Empress Hotel with no set ideas, and was truly pleasantly surprised at how Angela Rafuse (@HotelGoddess), and the Empress staff had created an intimate, small gathering. Angela is an executive at the hotel and, in her words, wanted to get the word out on how they made the connection with Hoyne Brewery. So what better way than asking a few people who can get the word out through social media, and make a personal connection.

This is what other local businesses and organizations should be doing. There are so many local people with blogs, on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms and with influential networks. The mindset of tasking resources and spend solely towards traditional media is rapidly changing, and frankly the approach by Fairmont Empress staff is refreshing. While the participants – Mike Dewolfe (@dewolfe001), Susan Martin (@suziezed) and myself know each other, we rarely connect in real life – and Angela gracefully offered an opportunity for all to share…. that is the key, an opportunity for serendipity.

The food was fantastic, and perfectly matched to compliment Hoyne’s Brewery beer. As good was sitting at a table, on the Empress verandah, overlooking Victoria’s amazing harbour and openly discussing all sorts of issues: creating a relationship. Well done Angela – you have reinforced what others should see – make the connections…


Mike Dewolfe and Susan Martin

Mike Dewolfe and Susan Martin






Taking #SMcamp Lessons to #Saltspring

One of the big takeaways from Social Media Camp in Victoria BC this weekend was ‘don’t piss off the #YYJ tag’. Inevitably it happened as nearly 700 ‘savvy’ people from all around Victoria, BC – and well beyond – , with speakers like @Chris Brogan and Erica Ehm @YummyMummyClub exciting all the attendees, and we wanted to share. Yes – so Twitter was full of conference notes and pics on Twitter with the #YYJ tag, and it filled the stream. So, apologies Victoria BC…we promise to do it again.

When you teach you learn: and that is evident at this convention. Being a panelist or presenter is a privileged position no doubt, but I was frankly stunned, and delighted, at the direct feedback, questions, and experience from delegates that enriched the entire weekend. There are no ‘Social Media Gurus’ or ‘Experts’ – there are people with experience, and the best know that asking questions is the best way to learn. So thank you to everyone at Social Media Camp, I learned, hope you did as well…

On Thursday June 14th I will be on Saltspring Island, at the invitation of the Saltspring Chamber of Commerce. Title of the presentation is “Tips, Tricks and Tools”, and many of those will come from learning at Social Media Camp… Yes, kudos to Erica Ehm for quantifying, Social Media is a Cocktail Party!

June 14th – Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast – Social Media and Your Business!

Join us for this Salt Spring Chamber Breakfast Networking featuring guest speaker Mat Wright who will be discussing social media and how to use it to create success in your businesses.

Thursday, June 14th from 8:00 am to 9:30 am

Location: The Clubhouse Restaurant at the Salt Spring Golf and Country Club – 805 Lower Ganges Road

$19.00 for members, $24 non-members and guests

Full Breakfast Buffet (including tax and gratuity) and Great Prizes!

Register by calling 250.537.4223 or email chamber@saltspringchamber.com