There’s no bigger cop out than telling someone that you don’t have time to exercise or do anything. You make time for what is important to you.
We often forget such a basic necessity of life when we’re working long days (combined with your no doubt stacked social calendar).
I used to suck at sleeping. I’d watch TV shows or movies on my laptop to the wee hours of the morning, only to regret it when the alarm blares in the my face shortly thereafter.
From there, I’d usually nuke the system with a ton of coffee through the day to mask my sleepiness, only to regret this decision upon trying to fall asleep the following night.
It lead to a cycle of caffeine fuelled unproductivity.
Through the fall, i’ve high-fived my fellow running strangers all over Vancouver from Kits, DTES, to UBC, and the Sea Wall. I’ll run a couple times per week before work as well as one caffeine-fuelled long hangover cure of run a on the weekend.
My motive with #5Run is simple: bring joy to fellow runners and see if i can bring about mood changes. I wrote last year about bringing fun to running, but there’s something more important here.
If i can positively shift someone’s outlook on the day, i’ll take it. Unfortunately, this proves a bit of a challenge as Vancouver runners are a difficult bunch.
Runners represent a screenshot of Vancouver’s culture. There’s patches of awesomeness dispersed throughout the holier than thou choch-fest which plagues our city.
People visit or move to Vancouver and completely struggle to infiltrate social circles. I personally didn’t realize our cliquey international rep until a couple years ago. Now it’s clear, the inherent guarded social circles are glaringly obvious.
This extends to runners.
It’s embarrassing how guarded some Vancouver Runners are. Smiling at someone might garner a reaction that I visually violated them.
I’m determined more than ever to change status-quo for Vancouver runners – let’s call it a shakedown of sorts. I high-fived 29 keen eyed Sea Wall Runners on New Years Eve, and the reactions were mixed.
Instagram launches web profiles… shocker right? Many saw this announcement was coming and felt it was long overdue. The design is obviously influenced by their parent Facebook, with a timeline-esque rotating collage of pics for the cover image.
Overall it’s easy on the eyes as it should be, but instagram for web bring huge implications for brand marketers, Facebook, and ultimately the Instagram community. Let’s take a peak.
What made Facebook so popular at the outset were the photos. One could creep on scandalous photos from anyone’s profile safely and anonymously. Facebook became the ultimate time-waster for procrastinating students and workers alike.
As time spent on Facebook declines, crowds are favoring more photo-driven sharing sites like Tumblr (20 billion monthly pageviews), Pinterest, and obviously Instagram. Instagram web-profiles gives everyone immediate access to wider audiences. People will favour Instagram’s photo-rich layout over Facebook’s ad-driven, event-invite laden shit-show.
This is an interesting situation for Facebook. They own Instagram, so any success Instagram gains on the web is great, but at what cost? Facebook’s no longer the go-to for perusing images. I see this eventually diverting web traffic away from Facebook.
As you may know, I am in Toronto for Social Media Week. Being a crafty student, I’ve been creatively finding ways to minimize my expenses throughout the week. Here is a bit about my first two days of frugal living in an expensive city like Toronto.
The first move was buying a weekly transit pass, setting me back 36 beans. Considering it is a hefty $3 per trip, the pass will pay itself off pretty quick.
I’ve been to nine events so far, mostly at different venues. I’ve done a decent job of navigating through the city, only getting lost a couple times. Luckily the Torontonians are very receptive to helping naive visitors find their way.
The quality of the events has been pretty good. Some had engaging speakers with some great insight into the trends of technology and social media. Other speakers tend to push their company brand a bit too much for my liking.
One event in particular was a complete bust. I candidly sat through an hour long sales pitch for a product that the speaker continually claimed to not be associated with… Having heard the groans from others as we were leaving, I can say that we all felt practically violated after the painful lip service.
Complimentary food is a nice perk of some events. I use the term “some”, very loosely. Most of the morning events are sponsored by Chobani yogurt (I hadn’t heard of it either). I’ve personally taken down nine complimentary greek yogurt containers for breakfast over two days. Black Cherry is a palate explosion.
The rest of the food is pretty hit and miss. Some events leave a spread of pastries or fruit and some coffee, while others have a full complement of food. You will be happy to hear that I have only spent $8 on food through two days. Yes, I am that guy grabbing platefuls of fruit and dry muffins prior to the event.
One event in particular was a huge disappointment for eats. You would think having the word ‘lunch’ in the title of an event would foreshadow a hearty meal upon arrival. My hearty meal in this case was a bottle of water and some digestive cookies. The deception was cruel.
I have resorted to listening on twitter to prospect the food at each event going forward. I think this will allow me to plan out my meals a bit better for the rest of the week. I will let you guys know how that goes.
Do you have any tips for frugal living in Toronto? Anything I need to see before I leave?
Upon watching this interview yesterday with Evan Greene, CMO of The Recording Academy, I was impressed with their outlook on keeping the Grammys relevant throughout the year. They are “social.” The Grammy team keep up to date with industry happenings and attend music events year round to keep their brand relevant. They achieve this by engaging with the industry community. Clearly these guys get it, or so I thought…
It is not about pushing promotions online and through other avenues solely for Grammy night. It is a mind-set of reaching out and interacting with the audience that you are juxtaposed to. The Grammy brand has done decent job conveying an interactive and friendly culture by means of their presence at other entertainment events. This is smart. When Grammy night approaches, it is not about a big ‘one and done’ advertising and marketing campaign. They have built a loyal community of evangelists that identify with their brand. The event promotes itself through its steadfast community via social media.
Tape delay on the Westcoast? Is this some kind of a sick joke?
Yet again, the Grammys will air on tape-delay for the west coast. Everyone from San Diego to beautiful Smithers gets the shaft. This made me angry and confused. After watching the interview yesterday, having admired the Grammy brass for their interactive approach to promoting their brand and their night; I am dumbfounded by this lip service. Peddling your brand as a social innovator and preaching the value of community in interviews then turning around and dropping a bomb like this on your community is fraudulent.
Grammys are clearly not social. The west coast audience will have a blast getting updates and gossip flooding through Facebook and Twitter while they twiddle their thumbs. The whole experience of sharing hilarious moments, awkward speeches, and embarrassing slip-ups with your friends is destroyed. People want to share mutual emotions together. It taps in to our need to belong and desire for affiliation.
Tape delay butchers the essence of audience engagement and conversation for the west coast. Real-time interaction is what people crave with social media; the Grammys are making a huge mistake. No doubt this will tarnish their rep with everyone from social thought leaders to casual fans. People like transparency, not deceit.
Rant over. Enjoy your evening.
Do people still care about the Grammys? Anyone else feel that this takes away from the experience?
The other day I shared some of the new age self-education options that are out there. This will be a primer on my trip to Toronto next week for Social Media Week.
Hilarious hipster video was put out by the organizers of Social Media Week.
Social Media Week is a global event that takes place in several host cities from February 13-17. It consists of dozens of presentations, speakers and conferences on all things pertaining to technology, communications and social media. After the great experience I had attending a couple of events at Social Media Week Vancouver in September, I figured what better excuse to skip a week of class than go to Social Media Week Toronto (SMWTO).
My primary concern with investing time and money into an event like this is the added value. I have no doubt the content will be great and I will learn some useful skills. The other part of the value in my opinion is the relationship building.
I plan on using my newfound networking prowess to meet some movers and build some connections. For those concerned about my past business card fiascos, worry not, they are in production as I type. No longer will this guy be answering business card inquiries with embarrassing excuses.
The budget is another huge concern. I am a student with no income. However, with careful planning and frugal spending, I can make it work. The major expenses are: the event itself, accommodation and transportation.
The majority of events at SWMTO are free, friends were gracious enough to let me crash on a pull-out bed in their apartment and my flights are booked on Aeroplan miles. So far so good. Aside from a $61 service charge which Aeroplan was nice enough to sneak in to my ticket transaction, I will not have spent a dime upon my arrival.
Food is another concern. I enjoy eating good high quality food. Most of the events at SMWTO provide “light snacks and refreshments” before and after the entertainment. Not sure what that means, but I plan on taking full advantage of any complementary food; getting appie happy as much as possible. Perhaps even schmooze my way to a few lunch or dinner meetings.
I look forward to the coming week in Toronto. Aside from SMWTO, I am excited to re-connect with some good friends.
No doubt there will be some great stories for the blog as I continue to experiment with networking.
If anyone is in Toronto next week, drop me a line so we can meetup!
The prawn counter contest has come and gone. There were some close guesses and some not so close guesses. You should all feel happy with your efforts. I really appreciate those who took the time to vote.
No drum roll necessary. The magic number was 257. Congratulations to Kevin Laidman for the closest guess. Kevin guessed an ambitious 247.
The wheels are in motion for the Paella Bash. We will be tossing copious amounts of home-caught lingcod, mussels, the finest Italian sausage, chicken, fresh prawns and other random ingredients into the festive dish.
I will be documenting as much of the cooking process as possible.
Look forward to sharing the Paella cooking experience with everyone.
The cool thing about self-education is that it is a matter of choice. Everything rests firmly on the shoulders of the individual. There are no barriers to entry, applications or GPA restrictions. Desire and drive are two key necessities for mastery through self-education. Intrinsic motivation is an extremely powerful cognitive process. That is why self-education is 100% what you make it.
I wrote a bit in the past about my self-education efforts to date. These range from simply reading books to attending seminars and conferences on social media. Recently I have been getting a bit more creative with my education. I want to talk a bit about two different approaches I’ve been using in the hopes that some of you will be inspired to try them out.
Online Twitter Conversations
Twitter or social media may not be your thing. Hear me out.
If you have ever come across someone spamming your twitter timeline with a bunch of annoying random answers to questions followed by the same stupid hashtag, they are likely deep into a twitter chat. A Twitter chat is an online conversation hosted by an individual or company where a group of tweeters share insight on a pre-selected topic. The chat is structured by the host who provides questions, moderates and progresses the conversation from one question to the next.
The host often recruits an expert on the topic as their co-host. Free professional advice!
The chats take advantage of the hashtag search feature on twitter, allowing the conversation to be organized and followed in a linear fashion. The beauty of these conversations is the versatility. How else can a community of passionate contributors from around the world be assembled for an intellectual conversation?
There are twitter chats on just about every subject. You just have to do some digging and research to find the date and time.
I realize that some may see this conversation medium as impersonal and retarded. You are mistaken. I’ve been doing a few of these twitter chats per week. The diverse audience provides insight that you would never find in a real time conversation anywhere else.
A meetup is a group meeting organized online through social media on a specific topic. Like twitter chats, there are meetup groups for everything. Two weeks ago, I came across a message about a meetup called Internet Masterminds. Internet Masterminds is a meetup about marketing, social media, career and social networking. They have a guest speaker every week.
I showed up to my first #IMgroup meetup having no idea what to expect. Slightly less nerves while signing in compared to my last networking event. However, the nerves came roaring back when I was asked to make a quick introduction to the group. I have high threshold for pain, no fear of spiders or competition, but public speaking scares me. Public speaking in front of a group of 75 strangers is petrifying. I thought back to my grade eight public speaking class. Strike a power pose and make eye contact.
Somehow I managed to tell my story without too much stuttering. What a miracle.
I’ve been to two meetups so far. The most practical information I have learned about social media have come from these meetups. If you’re looking to learn about or meet people in an industry, a meetup is a perfect way to kill two birds with one rock.
The only issue with my self-education is my real education. Midterm week makes blogging tough.
Have you attended a meetup or twitter chat? Any creative self-education secrets for me? Post a comment!
I’ve been tossing around the idea of hosting a paella feast at my house for quite some time. For those who don’t know what paella is. Basically you combine rice, sausage, chicken and all the seafood you can find in one massive pan. Nuke it with spices (saffron), add some vegetables, generously garnish your plate then chow down. I was exposed to the palate pleasing experience of Paella at an early age. Boating with the family every summer in desolation sound, my old man would cook it for all our family friends. I was practically raised on this stuff.
The Perfect Day
Paella demands fresh and high quality ingredients. With the help of a few good friends, I decided to venture out on the water in my boat on Saturday to see if the ocean was in a giving mood. We set out in the morning with hopes to return with a full bounty. Prawning was the first order of the day. Four traps set in strings of two. Sig Hansen and the boys at Deadliest Catch would be proud.
While the traps were soaking, we dropped the fishing lines for a few hours. One undersized salmon was released.
Time to check the Prawns
Bout a three hour soak on our prawn gear, we couldn’t wait to see the fruits of our efforts.
How many prawns did we get? Closest guess gets an invite to the Paella Bash hosted by yours truly. It will be a magical evening of light-hearted conversation, extreme sarcasm and corny pop culture references. In the event that you cannot or do not want to attend, I encourage you to guess anyways. I will mail you leftovers!
- One guess per person
- Two ways to guess: Via comment on the blog or via comment on the Facebook post.
If you guess the exact number: bring three of your closest friends.
Otherwise, closest guess: You + 1
Second Closest: just you.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful Saturday in Vancouver. Can you?
Last updated by Connor Meakin at .