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Hi everyone,

Just a notice to say that you should not open an email you got from me this morning with “Salutations” as the subject line.

My gmail account was compromised. Sorry about that.

Take it easy.



Top 10 Vinyl Memories

Apart from a brief 2 year stint when I moved back home in between jobs and before getting married, I have been out of my parents house for over 20 years. It took ’till today to be reunited with my records. At the last minute, I was able to arrange for a friend to pick up and deliver three boxes containing a snapshot of my life. How great to take a look through and remember that time.

I must admit that I was pretty scornful of my husbands desire for a record player. I mean, who listens to records anymore? But you know what? He was right to want one. It’s a real trip to put one of those old warped pieces of black plastic on the turntable and hear that sound. You know the one. A bit scratchy, with the odd skip… And whenever anyone comes over for dinner you can guess what happens. Just like in 1980, everyone ends up in the “record” room spinning their favourites. Maybe this kind of entertainment isn’t quite dead yet.

Going through those old records, here are my top 10 memories:

  1. First ever album purchase, Bat Out of Hell – Meatloaf.
  2. First concert, The Cult at Masonic Temple in Toronto.
  3. Dancing around to Sweet Transvestite, Rocky Horror Picture Show before I know what it was about.
  4. Watching Blue Peter, Don’t Walk Past at a high school dance.
  5. Jon Cryer in Pretty in Pink, dancing around a used record store to Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding.
  6. Herb Albert and the Tijuania Brass playing at my parents parties.
  7. From the where are they now file, Thijs van Leer lulling my father to sleep in his chair.
  8. JD Roberts (yes that’d be John D. Roberts) and co-host Jeannie Becker on The New Music – for some reason reminding me of The Boomtown Rats, I Don’t Like Mondays.
  9. Performing the entire soundtrack to Grease with Shelley Day in our family room.
  10. Rockin it out to AC/DC, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

I guess it won’t be so bad heading to the Great Glebe Garage Sale to pick up a few more LPs in a few weeks.

In case you were wondering, the first one I put on? “The Early Beatles: Eleven of Their 1964 American Hit Recordings“. Turns out it’s worth about $200 today. Good stuff I say. But please, don’t tell my husband I said so.

How Canada’s Political Leaders are Using Twitter

Given my recently announced addiction, I thought I’d look at little more closely at how the Canadian political leaders are using Twitter. The answer surprised me.

They kind of aren’t using it all.

Since the beginning of the week here’s how it breaks down:

  • Harper: total 9 tweets including 1 @ reply, the rest stand alone tweets
  • Ignatieff: total 4 tweets, all stand alone
  • Layton: total 5 tweets, all stand alone
  • May: total 9 tweets, including 1 retweet, 3 @ replies, 9 stand alone

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, even if it is the real deal tweeting (which I doubt) I suppose they don’t have a lot of time to be getting into conversations with people. But isn’t that kind of the point of being there?

Can’t help but think what it would do for a party to entertain the idea of really engaging with the great unwashed. Even if it’s just for an hour along the lines of #b2bchat. It just might allow people to get to know them a little, maybe even like them.

Maybe they need a little help with what to tweet about. Jason Wightman has a few ideas about that in “11 things Canada’s political leaders should tweet about”.

Would you jump into the conversation if the leaders were more engaged on Twitter?

Photo Credit: Nyoin

How Twitter Made Me a Political Junkie

That’s it, I’m addicted.

To politics that is. Why now? Two things really:

  1. There’s an election going on in Canada (in case you didn’t know)
  2. Watching it unfold real-time on social media is quite something

I’ve always been interested in politics, I have always voted, but I have never really followed election campaigns per se. I was one of those people who would watch the debates and read those newspaper articles comparing the policies of the parties the day before the vote. But that’s about it.

This time is different. Tucked under the covers every night in the dark, there I am scrolling around Hootsuite on my iPhone watching who said what to whom on Twitter.

Here’s a sampling of tweet’s from last week.

It was pretty hard to choose which ones to put up. I picked these because I think they illustrate best why I’m enjoying this so much.

Them’s fightin’ words!

It’s like the debates, but in print and I can consume it for 1 min or two hours whenever I like.

In the old world we would never know how reporter @RosieBarton might personally feel about comments from @SenatorJake. We’d never see @SenatorFinley get mad and quit answering questions. And we’d never see party leaders like @M_Ignatieff, @pmharper and @jacklayton throw barbs at each other and see how each responds. It’s crazy.

You should check it out, seriously. It doesn’t mean you have to start tweeting yourself. You can just sign up, and start following who you want. Search the hashtags #elxn41 and #cdnpoli and see what you find. Or you can check out the public list I’ve started on my Twitter page. It’s still small, but is a good starting point if you want to stay up late with your smart phone reading about politics.

A Few Changes

Well we’re finally ready to re-launch the blog for the company I work with, Pensante Inc.. You’d be surprised how long it took to make it happen. It’s quite a relief to get it going. I’ll be a contributor, along with my colleagues, to bring you practical marketing strategies for small business with emphasis on technology B2B and start-ups.

The first post is from one of our writers, David Wegenast, bringing you some tips to build effective messaging in your marketing. Hope it gives you some good ideas to start fine-tuning.

What this means is that I get to change this blog to reflect a bit more of my personal interests. I’d like to think that will make it more interesting, but I’m making a rather large assumption that you’ll find the life of a work-from-home-Mom-of-2-year-old amusing. I think it’s hilarious but then again, I don’t get out much.

I’ve got some work ahead to re-define a few things. For one, I’m pretty sure the name has got to go. I’ll likely continue to talk about social media in all it’s wonderment, but it will be more than that. I also have to work out what I want this thing to stand for and revise the description accordingly. Weighty things indeed.

Anyway, I hope you like it. I think I’m going to have more fun doing it.

So Who Are You Anyway?

So I just read a post from The Anti-Social Media which asks “Is there a Place for Swearing in Social Media?“. The editorial is borne out of a couple of posts by Jay Dolan, about the recent s.n.a.f.u around Chrysler firing an employee for using f!#$ in a tweet. In his article he reacts to someone’s statement that “it’s wholeheartedly inappropriate to swear online” arguing that people (not brands) have every right to say what they like.

I wonder about this. One the one hand social media is supposed to be all about being yourself. In that sense I agree with Jay 100%. If you are someone who swears a lot why pretend to be someone else?

On the other hand, there’s probably no question that if you do swear a lot, you are probably going to offend some people sometimes. So I guess the question becomes; are you prepared to accept that you might turn people off by being yourself? And do you want that real you to be the permanent face you present to the world?

For me personally? I think not. Mind you I’m not the biggest swearer in the world, except when I hang around with my old boss. So I suppose it’s not much of an issue in my case. It would also probably be pretty weird to the people that know me if I suddenly started cursing up a storm plus I’d likely come off as a fake in writing.

I really enjoy Jay’s blog, he seems a funny, no bullshit kind of a guy and I hope he keeps doing what he does. It works for him. And if I wanted to hire someone to tell me the no-nonsense, unvarnished truth about things, I’d probably hire him. Hopefully that’s exactly the personal brand he was going for. And I guess that’s my point.

What picture of yourself you want to portray?

Photo Credit: Gregg O’Connell

I know that brands and companies shouldn’t be swearing. That’s just asking for trouble. But people are different.

Have a Tweet-plan?

One of my big questions about Twitter when I started to use it was: “What do I say?”. So I dig some digging and put together a list of ideas which I keep in a post-it note stuck to my computer. When I sit down to tweet, I review this list and try to check off a few (not necessarily all) of the items each day. Someday, once I get the hang of it, I hope I won’t need the list anymore. I also keep a few “principles” in mind when I think about Twitter. This keeps me in the right mindset, Twitter it is a rather peculiar place especially, at first.

Remember this from the point of view of a business. A personal twitter account is a different kettle of fish in my view – anything goes. And I should add that for as many blogs out there talking about this, there are even more reader comments with differing points of view. This post, is supposed to just give you an easy way to start – cause that’s what I felt I needed. There are lots of different ways to go about it and you can find your own way.

Here are my main sources, please do check them out. These guys have way more expertise than me.

What Should You Tweet About? from TwitTip

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business from Chris Brogan

What to Write on Twitter from Joel Mark Witt.

Twitter Principles

  1. Be yourself
  2. It’s more about others than yourself
  3. Look for and read tweets from influential people in your space
  4. Variety is good, too much of one thing – bad
  5. It takes time to get anywhere
  6. Activity breeds activity
  7. Try to add value

What to Tweet?

  1. Ask a question.
  2. Share a link
  3. Retweet/point out something interesting
  4. Answer the question “What has my attention today?”
  5. Tell people something about you as a person, not a business
  6. Address somebody’s tweet with your own reply (@username)
  7. Say something thoughtful: Wish someone happy birthday/holiday
  8. Send a direct message to someone
  9. Connect people you know on Twitter

There are a few things I didn’t include, but I’ve seen used. “Quote someone famous” is one, “Thank someone for a retweet” is another. I personally think the latter can mess up an already busy twitter stream and the former is just plain annoying. So I don’t go there. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t though. Go for it, if that’s your cup of tea.

I’m curious. What’s your tweet plan?