Are you stalking me?


Social Media Success Summit 2011


I had an amazing time at the Social Media Success Summit 2011.  I learned a ton and met alot of great tweeps during the month long webinars.

In one of the last sessions I was having some fun with a fellow attendee:  Eli Ingraham.  I had to leave early due to a daycare pick up and was whining in my usual fashion about how hard it is to leave my computer, when I was learning a ton and having a great time.

Me:  must…. break away… from… computer…..  and go……. soooo…. hard……. #smss11

Eli:  NOOOOooooo! dont;t goooooo! RT @LaurindaShaver: must…. break away… from… computer…..  and go……. soooo…. hard……. #smss11

Me:  @EliIngraham child standing alone at daycare with Tshirt: My mom is a social media addict & abandoned me. #smss11

Then… we got an outsider piping in, who was not part of the session:

xxxx_xxxxx_xxx @eliingraham @LaurindaShaver HA!  That is a fantastic shirt idea!

I didn’t think much of it, so I decided to continue on….

Me:  @eliingraham tshirt:  #smss11 stole my mom. Please being her back. #smss11

JackiJames@LaurindaShaver @eliingraham tshirt from down under: #smss11 stole my sleep! I can’t get it back 🙁

Eli:  excellent! party is at your house! RT @JackiJames: @LaurindaShaver @eliingraham tshirt from down under: #smss11 stole my sleep!  #smss11

All in the fun… but then xxxx_xxxxx_xxx came back:

xxxx_xxxxx_xxx:  @eliingraham @LaurindaShaver I know a guy #shamelessplug

I dismissed it at the time, but it kinda bothered me.  I have never met Eli or Jacki, but we were joking in the context of the summit.  This guy appeared out of no where and interrupted the conversation.  Its kinda like you are in a party, standing around with people having a discussion about a specific topic and some guy interrupts the circle with an out of context statement.

There are many reasons why this outsider’s tweet felt wrong:

  1. It was obvious he was just searching for the word “T shirt” and jumped in without any context.  If you are going to speak up, you need to listen first.  Understand what is going on and then jump in.
  2. He was a stranger who wanted to sell something to me.  Not build a relationship first or even add value to my life.  Its a twitter cold call.
  3. I never heard from him again.  Twitter is not a drop in and drop out kind of platform.  You need to be consistent in your relationship building.
  4. Frankly, it felt creepy.  Like I was being stalked by my words.

What do you think?



How to Learn About Social Media (3 of 3)


In Part 1: Absorb of this 3 part series, I introduced you to MY MISSION:  taking my social media knowledge, experience and learnings to the next level.

In Part 2: Create, I explored how through creating you are actually learn.

So, now its Part 3.  Using Networking as a tool to learn more about Social Media.

  1. Absorb

  2. Create

  3. and now….Network!!


So, what is the big deal about networking anyway.  Let me tell you about how I got my current job.

I was laid off in October 2008 by Rogers TV.  Great bunch of people and I was sad to go.  I was riding the first wave of layoffs in the recession.  I immediately took care of some personal things and then hit the ground running January 2009.. I was going to find someone who could use my brain.  … and well… pay me.

And what did I find?  NOTHING. ZILCH. ZERO.  Budgets were frozen.  More friends got laid off.  It was not a great time.  I did the basics; applying to job posting online, but was not getting traction.  What was missing in my search?  Answer: the ability to know someone, who knows someone so that I can find opportunities and be recommended for them.

Then one day in July 2009, an old acquaintance, Tim Williams, found me on LinkedIn.  He was a producer that I worked with in my YTV days.  In our first exchanges I asked him to “Hire me.  Or all a friend and get them to hire me”.  I was half kidding, but he responded, “I just might have something.”  He is VP of Product at videoBIO and now I’m a Director.

Morale of the story?  I had spent 7 months networking online.  My LinkedIn profile was complete.  I was actively tweeting and I was reaching out to people to offer my help and seek opportunities.  And at the end of the day, SUCCESS.  It was through online networking with someone I knew that gave me the right opportunity.

So what are my plans on NETWORKING to learn more about Social Media?

1.  Online Networking.

  • Find the key players and reach out to them on their blogs.  Contribute by adding your ideas and opinions in the comments that truly add value.  Just saying “Hey, great post” doesn’t cut it.  Its important to follow popular influencers, like Chris Brogan, but its hard to break through and a get a response sometimes.  Therefore, be sure to include up and coming influencers in your outreach.  These are people who are in the space, are obviously adding value and making a difference, but have yet to break into Ad Age’s Power 150. Its through these relationships that you will grow.
  • Expanding my connections on LinkedIn.  This is great because most people keep their LinkedIn info current. You always are able to stay in contact, even if their contact info has changed.  Find old friends, connect to new friends.  Keep your circle expanding.
  • Contributing to LinkedIn groups and the Answers section.  I can help and meet some great people along the way.
  • Reach out to people on twitter.  Retweet them.  Reply to their comments.
  • Once you found someone interesting anywhere online, find their other online touchpoints.  Their blog, their facebook page, their Linkedin account.  Connect to them there too.  If you make the effort, add value and are genuine, you will find great success in return.
  • Find other online social tools.  Flickr for pictures.  YouTube for video.  Third Tribe Marketing for education and forums. Etc.
  • Cross Promote.  If you wrote a blog post, tweet about it.  Tease your content on your facebook page.  Update your status on LinkedIn.  Leverage the value of each platform.

2.  Network in Real Life.

  • Conferences are GREAT.  Can’t afford to go?  Volunteer!  That’s what I did when I was unemployed.  I volunteered at Mesh and Canada 3.0.
  • Join your local associations.  I belong to WIFT and Interactive Ontario.  Both have a ton of great networking events.
  • Local Meetups.  I love going to #TTT.  That’s Third Tuesday Toronto.  At the last one I heard a great presentation from Mitch Joel about Personal Branding.  He stuck around and signed his book “Six Pixels of Separation“.  (a great read BTW)
  • Tweetups.  I have yet to attend one, but my buddy Kelly May has sold me on the concepts and I’m taking the next opportunity.
  • How about sending an email to an existing contact?  Ask how they are doing.  Invite them to lunch.  Not only is it important that you make new friends, but its even more important that you stay in touch with existing friends.

Ok.. I’m sure I didn’t cover it all.  What are you doing to network?  Throw your ideas in to the comments.  Would love to hear them.

Social Media (non) habits


In my avid twitter reading, I came across this new twitter follow list site:  TweepML, Share Groups of Twitter Users.  (I wish I could remember who tweeted it…sorry I can’t credit you)

I was interested in the list Top 250 Technology Influencers on Twitter.

So, I signed up, entered my twitter account and within minutes, I had effortlessly added many tech gurus to my list.

Easy right?

Well.. not so much.  You see, I’m a creature of habit.  (yes, human.. although there are days my friends who argue against it).  And when I go through my daily, habitual reading and responding on twitter I had all these new faces and tweets.  Normally I would follow a person here, or there.  Like, someone I met at #blogchat or someone who was recommended by another.  But, when there was tons of new people, it felt like an entirely new feed.

My response to all these new faces?

I swore.  Yet another new thing I have to get used to.  Do I really need all these new faces?  Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Within minutes (should have been seconds).. but within minutes,  I caught myself.  What the hell am I complaining about?  In the last 2 years I have moved from being  TV person only to a social media sponge.  I have tried 3 million new things, learned so much, and met so many great people.  All from constantly trying new things.

So, why am I complaining?

Because trying new things all the time takes a lot of effort.  Humans recognize patterns and fall into habits, because it requires alot less energy from us.  By venturing into something different, an unknown, we need to be conscious, aware and learning.  What a thrill and a pain all at the same time.

Have you ever run across this?  What do you do to stretch yourself everyday?


Networking Observations


Tonight I attended the WIFT Alumni Reception where current, past participants and faculty of any WIFT-T program was in  attendance.

I had the pleasure of taking WIFT’s Career Transition program.  It is designed to help persons, like myself, who are looking to transition from one industry to another.  I have moved from Television to Online Media.

Some interesting observations about networking.

  • I received a “network card” instead of a business card.  What a great idea!  This card not only has basic contact info, but had a tag line that positions this person clearly in your mind.  “Over 20 years in Broadcasting and Television Production”.  It goes on to list 10 positions that this person has held.
  • The attendees I spoke with didn’t have updated LinkedIn accounts.  One person had 2 accounts.  I think that would be confusing for anyone searching for her.  I suggested that she pick one and invite the outstanding connections to move over.   Make that one profile as best as it can be to promote yourself effectively.
  • Some attendees were using other people’s successes as benchmarks of their success.  I find this odd, as the only true evaluation of success is the end goal of what you want and the small steps you take to get you there.  Don’t use others to measure yourself against.
  • A fellow classmate who has gotten a videoBIO has received amazing feedback.  So happy to hear that.
  • Twitter is not widely used by the group.  It reminds me how the TV/Film group and the online media group are two very separate industries.
  • The Spoke Club has an awesome patio. Too bad it was a wee bit cold.  I’m still shivering!

What was the most impactful observations from your last networking event?  I’d love to hear them.

What are you really bringing to the party?


A friend told me a story about introducing two friends. Guy#1 was at the beginning of his career and Guy #2 wants to be in the same field.  So picture the scene…  3 guys sitting at a pub, having a drink.

My friend to guy#1: “So..  Guy #2 is interesting in pursuing a career in your field.”

Guy #1: “Really…  are you nuts?… stupid hours, no reward and killing unknown trees in paperwork.” [they chuckle]

Guy #2:  “I have a few questions.  What school did you go to? What degree do you have? How exactly did you get your first job?  How do you sleep at night?  How many trees exactly?  Can you introduce me to your boss?  Any hot chicks at your office?  What do you get paid?  Can I get off early on Fridays…………”

As he continues to talk non-stop, without a breath, guy #1 turns to my friend and gives that look: “Who the hell is this guy?  Does he ever shut up?  and most importantly, why did you invite him?”

Bad SOCIAL media.

Do you know anyone like this?  [insert virtual nod].  In particular, have you found this guy/gal online?  I mean, just because the social part of social media is easy doesn’t give you the right to be annoying and frankly, disrespectful.  Its the person who jumps online and asks for info / help / advice, but never stops to think to return the favour.

But… here is the hard question.  Are you this guy/gal?

Ok… maybe not as annoying, but when you go online are you just there to get something or are you actually giving too?  Remember, this is SOCIAL media.  Basic, polite manners are required here too.

When was the last time you answered someone’s question on twitter or LinkedIn?

  • Question from Mark Evan’s @MarkEvans tweet tonight “Aside from RIM and the carriers, who are Canada’s the most interesting wireless companies, particularly start-ups?”
  • Answer from Mark MacLeod’s @startupcfo tweet “@markevans Metranome ( – led by ex RIM guys. Doing amazing things with mobile video (full disclosure: client)”

When did you reach out randomly and offer to help?

When did you offer a sold piece of advice?

  • Mari Smith’s @MariSmith tweet tonight “For your new Facebook Page, try changing your calls to action to, “Join us on Facebook” or “Write on our Facebook Wall.”

When did you simply say thank you?

  • Jason Fall’s @JasonFalls tweet today “I don’t say this enough: I’m honored people come to hear me talk at events. If you have before, or will soon, thank you. Means a lot.”

When did you pass along some link love?

Ask yourself, what value do you bring to the party?