School is starting to wind down. After a brutal week, I managed to get through the last two term papers of my illustrious UBC career. Classes end next week. One final separates me from freedom. My amateur hour undergrad is almost over. What happens next? That right there is a loaded question.
Soon I will be free from the burden of painful lectures, trivial exams and papers that I can barely get through reading in order to edit.
The so called freedom brings a future of uncertainty. The ability to use school as a scapegoat or excuse for why you haven’t accomplished anything yet is gone.
My amateur hour is almost up; the big bad real world beckons. This is great because now I can focus on the things that matter. Leading the charge is my internship at HootSuite.
The terms of my internship are 24 hours or three days a week. I will say that I look forward to every day I get to spend at work; I love it.
Work days I wake up giddy, much like a crew of pre-pubescent girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Days on campus have been brutal compared to days at the office.
The relief of classes ending means I can spend more time learning (wow that’s ironic). I plan on showing up to work every day, whether they like it or not. Why? I love it.
I have some exciting things on the go, my co-workers are awesome and I want to make the most of the opportunity.
At the end of the day I want what everyone else wants: fulfillment. I have a voice (perhaps a quiet one), I feel like I have something unique to contribute. I want to share. Basically I want to put myself in a situation to help people and inspire change.
Anyone miss being in school?
I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about goal setting. I remember back in CAPP class, we had to go through these garbage goal setting exercises that made me cringe. What a waste of time.
If anything, that experience deterred me from wanting to set goals. To be honest, since then the only goals I’ve set are in sport. I guess because sport consumed most of my life.
It never crossed my mind to think about lifelong personal goals until recently. What do I want to do? How am I going to do that? These questions scare the shit out of me.
This is when I started to think big. I’ve come up with some lofty goals that I won’t share now… They are ‘need to know.’
What I will say is how I am going to get there. Creatively working my ass off and investing my time and resources on things I care about and can control.
I’ve developed an interest in building communities around a brand. Social media is an amazing tool in this process. About six months ago, I made the decision to master social media. What the hell does that mean? I’m not sure either.
Nonetheless, I got on my grind reading everything I could all day until my eyes wouldn’t stay open. See you later school. I had a burning motivation to learn and felt like it was only a matter of time.
Here is a snippet from an interview I did with Chevrolet at Social Media Week in Toronto in Feb, 2012. Fast forward to 1min 39 seconds.
After the Chevrolet social media presentation, I was offered the chance to do a quick interview. Clearly they were looking for a cushy sound byte relevant to the Chevy brand, so I played the game because I wanted to get on Youtube.
This was also a great opportunity to get comfortable in front of a camera.
Hope this provides a few seconds of entertainment.
Since KONY has fizzled out, Dollar Shave Club (DCS) has jumped into viral relevance. It starts with an unexpected tagline: Our Blades Are F***ing Great. Right away, we are caught off guard. At the time of writing, the DCS Youtube video has about 3 million views in six days.
Here are five reasons why Dollar Shave Club is killing it online:
At the end of the day, DSC is providing a useful service that is apparently in demand. People always run out of razors and they will always be used.
Since DSC is the hip new thing. The masses will flock at sharing with their networks that they just drank the DSC Kool-aid.
The cult like following which Dollar Shave Club received looks easy – it is important to remember that it’s not simply about posting on Youtube.
Creating a viral hit involves a ton of strategic help. To get initial eyeballs, there’s likely a ton of hustle in getting websites and blogs to publish the video.
Has anyone see a more creative use of a leaf blower?
This is the first of a few posts on the relationship between social media and real life.
A question causing discussion is whether mobile social networking is sacrificing real-life relationships. The ‘mobilize everything’ trend is everywhere.
On days I ride the bus to work, I would say 70% of people are buried in their phones and/or have headphones in. I would guess that other 30% don’t have phones to begin with (this is a generalization).
Of course, I am as guilty as everyone else riding the chariot. I check news sites, emails and twitter; all with a podcast firing. I personally feel like this type of behavior can be acceptable in public settings if you are riding solo.
If this dips into more direct social settings, the slope gets slick. The extent to which we are foregoing face-to-face interaction for mobile companionship is a huge concern.
MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle makes a good argument (in her TEDxTalk) that we are sacrificing real life conversations by using social media. The way we interact online creates unrealistic and distorted perceptions social relationships.
Life has been super busy since I started interning at HootSuite. I am working Monday –Wednesday-Friday. Mondays and Wednesdays I head straight from the office (love saying this) to practice at UBC. These end up being pretty long and exhausting days The Renaissance Man wouldn’t have it any other way.
The scheduling works out pretty well given that all my classes are on Tuesday and Thursday. I’ve been able to manage everything pretty well… Up until midterm season kicks around. Case in point was last week when a midterm came up. It was brutal getting home from work / practice at 7:30 then having to eat something and head to the library.
As I invest more time and energy into work, the burden of school lurks in the background, like this guy. I am stoked to be graduating at the end of April, but I wish it was over now. School feels like an unnecessary weight on my burly shoulders at this point.
The blog has taken a bit of a hit as well. My ambitions were to post three times per week. This is clearly a bit of a stretch at this point. Bi-weekly posts will suffice for the time being.
Midterm season is over; term paper season is in full swing. Time to see if my blogging prowess transfers to writing research papers.
No excuses, play like a champion.
I wanted to let people know about an online newspaper I started. I call it The Social Shaker Daily. Those who read my tweets may already be familiar. The Social Shaker is a collection of amazing articles I read on a daily basis. I felt like it was a good way to share the type of stuff I read while I eat breakfast or when I should be doing something productive. The paper puts everything into one page rather than tweeting and sharing links all day.
I setup The Social Shaker through http://paper.li/. This is a pretty cool site that lets you build and completely customize your own online newspaper. The site automatically collects the best trending articles from twitter every morning.
The content is largely pop culture, sports and social networking with some reality TV sprinkled in (because reality TV is amazing).
The Social Shaker is best served with a piping hot beverage. My hope is that people find it useful and entertaining compared to the boring mainstream newspapers out there.
I need your help!
Are people remotely interested in this sort of thing or is it a waste of time? If you have any suggestions or feedback for the type of articles you would like to read, please get in touch via comment and let me know.
Last week, I started interning at HootSuite. For those unfamiliar, HootSuite (Vancouver tech start up) is a social media management dashboard. It lets you use and manage all your social networks from one page.
How did I get the internship?
Seizing opportunity combined with some fortunate timing (luck) and help from some amazing people. Three weeks ago at the IMgroup Meetup, I got the chance to hear HootSuite’s VP of Community, DaveO speak about five unique days in their company’s history. Each day represented a defining event for their company. The stories resonated; I admired their transparent and unique outlook on everything from day to day business to crisis management. I was drawn to their gritty hustling culture.
I put myself out there. At the Meetup, everyone gets a 30 second elevator pitch style intro to the group. I broadcasted my aspirations for an internship. My announcement was met with smiles from the crowd that turned to laughter when Dave responded with: “you can’t spell internet without intern.”
I sent Dave a message the following day asking if he wanted to go for coffee. He obliged and we met later that week. I had no idea what to expect, but I received some great advice from a few friends and family. I wanted to cover my bases, so I printed off my dismal resume and cover letter just in case.
I made my way to the given address expecting a coffee shop. Instead, I got the HootSuite offices. Damn! I was fiending coffee as always, what a cruel trick. I walked in, stumbled through a stack of 15 bikes and a friendly dog. Dave was sitting where you would expect a receptionist to be.
We talked for a while. The word internship kept coming up, but I wasn’t positive he was offering it to me until the end when he made it clear. I was ecstatic.
Moral of the story
Social networks are driving hiring decisions everywhere. Be cognisant, but most importantly, be yourself! Deception is not sustainable. Why waste time convincing anyone you are something you are not? This applies not just to employment but to everything. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
I am now taking names at HootSuite three days a week. I just have to figure out how school, sports and blogging fit in.
If anyone has some time management suggestions, I would love to hear them.
Everyone is #Pinning these days. By everyone I mean women. According to Google, women make up 82% of it’s daily visits. Talking to people over the last few weeks I’ve come to the following consensus: Pinterest is a cult, those already pinning are super active and engaged in the site. Then there is the lay person not on the kool-aid, who either hasn’t heard of it (where have you been?) or perceives Pinterest as a cesspool for wedding ideas and interior decor.
The gender divide was a bit confusing for me at first given that men are thought to be more responsive to visuals. Thinking back to the amount of pointless garbage in the form of pictures that girls (not all) post on Facebook, the light finally came to me.
The only thing I can come up with to explain the gender difference is what I call the ‘scapbook syndrome.’ Have you ever seen a guy with a scrapbook? Pinterest is the hip new way for women to construct their visual scrapbooks on an easy to use platform. The bulletin board style layout of Pinterest makes it pretty easy to amass a visual highlight package.
Not just for the Martha Stuart fan club
For the bad rep Pinterest gets with the male population, I find it useful and fun. The food section is great for ideas and recipes, the humour section is decent and the sports section is a complete free for all. If you like infographics, the tech section is great. Stay away from the fitness section; I’ve yet to come across a page littered with so much misinformed crap.
Pinterest is growing on a massive scale and is already firmly established in the social media landscape.
Want to get started? Check out this beginner guide.
Do you think Pinterest can become as popular as the social media giants?