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SXSW 2013 and the changing face of breaking through

SXSW 2013 and the changing face of breaking through

Another SXSW and another year where a startup failed to capture the buzz that launched Foursquare and Twitter into the mainstream so many years ago.  While I’m only referring to events of 4 and 5 years ago, the speed of innovation in today’s world makes that feel like centuries.  But it’s not just innovation that’s evolving rapidly – we’re also seeing accelerated evolution in the media mix that’s required to truly target an audience and breakthrough. As startups continue to flock to Austin in record numbers, the hope seems to persist that the...
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To scan or not to scan?  QR codes put to the test at SXSW

To scan or not to scan? QR codes put to the test at SXSW

This post was originally published to the Weber Shandwick Social Studies blog. We see them everywhere.  On buildings, in magazines, on business cards and more.  QR codes are more and more emerging as an element of the marketers toolkit.  So it stands to reason that on the ground at SXSW Interactive, the QR could should reign supreme… shouldn’t it? In reality, as 30,000 digerati descent on Austin the technology is being put to its ultimate test this week.  If an audience that prides itself on being on the leading and even bleeding edge of technology...
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Why 2012 will finally be the year of mobile

Why 2012 will finally be the year of mobile

This article was originally posted to the Weber Shandwick Social Studies Blog. “Next year will be the year of mobile.” Stop me if you’ve heard this statement before, but in 2012 it’s going to happen – though I’ll forgive your cynicism as it comes from a legitimate place. As marketers we’ve been hearing this is “the year of mobile” since American Idol brought SMS to the mainstream nearly a decade ago.  While this was a huge leap forward for the relevance of the mobile phone in our culture, it also represented a very different kind of mobile experience...
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Facebook may be “Big Brother”, but I’m not too scared

Facebook may be “Big Brother”, but I’m not too scared

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk in the news and on social networks about Facebook’s “evil” privacy policy.  Before you start worrying that Facebook is coming to take you down for your personal info – relax.  Take a deep breath.  Telling Facebook some things about yourself isn’t so bad. Once a novelty known as the place where “the kids” could “poke” ’til your hearts’ content, almost overnight, Facebook has now become the latest iteration of Big Brother.  And it’s not a difficult...
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Promoted Tweets: Should Twitter be “playing Google”?

Promoted Tweets: Should Twitter be “playing Google”?

By now you’ve heard the big news – Twitter has (another) business model!!  It’s always slightly amused me how venture capital money can build companies that can bring the internet to a standstill with announcements like “hey everybody – we have a plan to maybe make some of that money back!”.   And when Twitter announced Promoted Tweets, that’s exactly what happened.  It caused everyday Twitterati to gossip, quip and chatter.  It caused brands to ask questions.  It caused agencies to create “official...
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The business of Facebook and the new world of PR

The business of Facebook and the new world of PR

As many of you know, I took on a new role to begin 2010 at Weber Shandwick, heading up their Digital Communications practice for Canada.  I think the thing I love most about any new opportunity is that it gives me the chance to take on a new learning curve and a new way of thinking.  Perhaps the most prevalent example of this is the position of traditional media relations professionals in the new world of social media and digital engagement. After spending my days thinking on this position and working with colleagues and clients to position Weber in the Canadian space,...
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Checking in at SXSW and the location-based revolution

Checking in at SXSW and the location-based revolution

So I just got my first “swarm” badge for checking in on Foursquare, and I couldn’t be more excited.  For a while I rejected joining the Foursquare movement, but upon learning I’d be heading down to South by Southwest Interactive, I knew I’d have to jump on the Foursquare bandwagon (or Gowalla – I suppose they deserve a shoutout too). Excited to see its potential in action To begin this location-based adventure, I was lucky enough to travel down to Austin with some notable Toronto “agitators”, David Crow, Jay Goldman and...
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Introducing nitchCraft: Exploring how entrepreneurs connect with niche audiences through media and content

Introducing nitchCraft: Exploring how entrepreneurs connect with niche audiences through media and content

It’s an exciting day today at the nitchblog as I’m introducing a new feature this week that I’m calling ‘nitchCraft’.  Personally, I think it’s a clever title, but the jury’s still out! The idea behind this series is to explore the “craft” of niche as it relates to content in the digital and social media spaces.  To do this, I’ll be conducting (hopefully) fun and (potentially) informative interviews with a diverse collection of business owners, content creators and entrepreneurs who are using the interwebs to...
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Digital content brings out our creative best – why can’t digital content business models?

Digital content brings out our creative best – why can’t digital content business models?

I’ve been frustrated lately.  Over the last month I’ve sat on 3 panels filled with incredibly creative professionals.  I’ve traveled back and forth across the country meeting with some of the biggest players in digital in Canada and some of the coolest niche brands you may never have heard of.  I’ve worked as an industry analyst for two different industry funds, reviewing project concepts from some of the top digital concept producers in Canada.  Still, in the midst of all this incredible inspiration, at times, it’s been a frustrating...
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Why “facebucks” will change the world… if they don’t screw it up

Why “facebucks” will change the world… if they don’t screw it up

As everyone knows, twitter is “so hot right now” and facebook is “so over”. Well call me old-fashioned but I still have a lot more faith in Zuckerberg than I do in @ev and co.. I don’t really want to get into all my reasons (mainly because I’m saving them for another post) but I will say that for me, reason number one is that facebook is absolutely jam-packed with content. Content that’s very relevant to our lives and recommended to us by our friends. And with each evolution of the platform, they’re getting better at...

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