This is the second article in my Toronto Is Awesome series. I would love your comments, thoughts and future suggestions for this series.
I thought of doing an introductory post for this series but thought otherwise. However, let me start off this post with an introduction of sorts.
No matter where you live, you’ve heard of our mayor here in Toronto: Rob Ford. He’s a polarizing figure to say the least. And most likely not someone people would be proud to call their mayor. Unless one happens to be part of “Ford Nation“. Now, I’m not a supporter of his politics or of him. Never have been. And I wish he would leave office or be kicked out.
To say that Toronto needs saving, or that we’re the butt of all comedians jokes, or that our amazing city is suffering irreversible damage is just plain lazy and wrong. Toronto has been and will always be the Brett Hart of cities: The best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be.
Toronto, in my opinion is what cities around the world want to be when they grow up.
So, for the rest of this year (hopefully everyday) I will write a quick blog post about why Toronto is awesome.
Clue #1: It has nothing to do with who our Mayor is or is not.
Hakka Restaurants! I LOVE hakka food. And Toronto is a city blessed with some amazing hakka restaurants.
My favourite is China Cottage in Scarborough. I love the variety of dishes and the flavour that stays no matter how spicy the food is. My favourite is the Hakka Fish. Order it. You will not be disappointed.
I continue to contribute to one of Canada’s top online destinations for business professionals: itbusiness.ca. My latest piece discusses the different types of businesses that I have had the pleasure of studying over the past few years in the digital space.
Please take a little trip on the interweb and read “Why Does Your Start-Up Exist?” I would love it if you could leave your thoughts, comments and share. Thanks!
Yesterday I attended a session that was part of this year’s Social Media Week – Toronto. I was a little underwhelmed at the presentation. It was 60% promotional and 40% thought leadership and knowledge.
One of the points I heavily disagreed with was the speaker’s claim (and by extension the agency he works for) that there are only 5 “secrets” to successful content marketing:
- rich media
- call to action
One could argue (and I would be in that camp) that these 5 are incorrect. And they are not even secrets. However, one things is missing: DATA. How can a professional or company claim to create successful content when they are not including the metrics and data to create content?
One of the most important things when creating content is to understand the brand and the consumer. And one of the ways we do this is understanding how people talk about a brand online (social and web) and how they behave on that brand’s website.
Without this knowledge, content that is created is only based on assumptions. We have access to barrels of data. We must use it for ourselves and for our clients if we really want to create engaging content that delivers any sort of measurable ROI.
The latest incarnation of The Art of Marketing hit Toronto earlier this month. Here are some of the highlights (from my notebook):
Creativity is breaking the rules of the real world to create something new and different.
Creativity doesn’t happen in the “real” world.
Do you roll over right after your “a ha!” moment?
Structural process helps deliver creativity.
Remember WHY people talk and share. Psychology > Technology.
Craft contagious content.
People communicate desired identities.
Make people feel like insiders.
Find the inner remark-ability.
Top of mind means tip of tongue.
If its built to show, it’s built to grow.
Really good stories are like Trojan Horses.
Be willing to get hit.
All media is now optional because the user is in charge.
The edges are where the growth is and happens.
Does your work matter?
Connection economy is where the value is created.
You can get a coffee anywhere. But you can only get a double double from Tim Hortons.
Jobs have been replaced by Art.
Without generosity there is no art.
You can’t predict virality because people are different.
Don’t be afraid to fail big.
Creativity is a renewable resource.
Twitter is a triumph of humanity not a triumph of technology.
On Friday June 7th I had the fortunate opportunity to sit in on a live taping of one of Canada’s legendary broadcast “couple”: Humble and Fred. For those of you not keeping track, I enjoy the whole podcast thing. I’ve hosted my own podcast called Social Media Show and I presently host a YouTube show.
Personally, I listen to almost a dozen different podcasts. One of my favourite podcasts (especially if I’m in need of a laugh) is Humble and Fred Radio. I recently requested (via Twitter) that someone should make my “dream” come true and help me get on the show. So Mike Boon, known to many as Toronto Mike, came to my rescue and pulled a few strings (Him and H&F apparently go way back).
If you want to listen to the show I was on, click here -> Karim on Humble and Fred Radio
Humble and Fred with Eileen. And My Adidas.
The Humble and Fred Studio with Humble, Fred and Eileen.
Humble (mostly) and Fred.
(Humble and) Fred.
“Let the madness take flight!”
A happy guest with Humble and Fred.
I presently am using a Windows Phone 8 powered Nokia smartphone.
One of my most used apps is courtesy of “The Corporation”. The CBC News app is my go to resource for all international, national and local news.
The stories are updated on a timely basis and include the following sections:
- Top Stories
- Photo Galleries
- World News
- National News
- Arts & Entertainment
- Technology & Science
As a partner with a Toronto-based social media agency I have the opportunity to interview the various personalities in the industry on a regular basis. The following interview first appeared on our agency blog last week. I hope you enjoy the conversation.
In our conversation we talk about:
- Social media and e-commerce initiatives at RealSports
- How RealSports adapts to work stoppages and impacts experiences at e11even, a casual fine dining restaurant at Maple Leaf Square.
- 0:19 – Karim introduces Gail
- 1:18 – Gail shares how she got into social media and what she’s learnt through her experiences
- 5:15 – Social media users’ expectations online and how it influences the relationship between the customer and the company
- 8:07 – Social media management through Gail’s personal Twitter account and it’s influence on the brand’s overall reputation
- 10:33 – The impact of work stoppages (hockey strike, NBA lockout, etc.) and how it was handled on social media on RealSports
- 14:30 – How to cater to different needs under one collective brand
- 15:40 – Using Twitter as a conversion tool to increase foot traffic and purchases
- 18:49 – What type of content resonates with RealSports fans
- 23:49 – How RealSports e-commerce platform impacts social media initiatives
- 25:33 – Working with a consumer popular brand and if it has made Gail’s social media efforts easier than it would for an unknown startup brand
- 27:16 – How has e-commerce at RealSports impact experiences at e11even, and how such experiences will come to the social media savvy crowds at RealSports. Gail also shares the pilot project for RealSports apparel that started last year – a thirdocean exclusive!
- 29:27 – Karim wraps up.
In 2011 we interviewed a number of Toronto entrepreneurs on what they would do if they were running Research In Motion. Later this week RIM will be publicly launching their new Blackberry 10 device. Many people have said this event will determine the future of RIM. Only time will tell.
Today’s edition of thirdoceanTV features some very interesting and unedited interviews with some of these entrepreneurs.
Who was right? Who was wrong? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!
Steve Hulford – File Mobile
Mark Reale – BNOTIONS
Jeremy Campbell – SpidVid
Ameet Wadhwani – OptMeIn
Andrew Peek – Jet Cooper and Rocketr
Greg Nisbet – Mediazoic (Greg talked about content partnerships. Here is a recent link he shared with me: http://www.newcanadianmusic.ca/buzz/item/134979/2013-01-28. Good call Greg!)
Note #2: The preceding post was first published on thirdocean.com/blog. thirdocean is a Toronto-based social media strategy and digital communications agency. I am a partner in this agency.
The team that produces the GROW Conference is bringing a piece of GROW right to Toronto. GROWtalks Toronto (http://www.growtalks.com/events/toronto/) is a conference built for startup teams and it will take place February 21st at Ryerson. There’s a great list of out of town and local speakers coming out for the one conference including Brant Cooper (Co-Author, Lean Entrepreneur), Laura Fitton (HubSpot), Dan Martell (Clarity), Kate Rutter (LUXr), Scott Kveton (Urban Airship), Danielle Morrill (Referly), and more.
It’s rare we get this many awesome out of town speakers at one venue and we’ve been told there will be opportunity to not only hear from these speakers, but also to ask them questions and to talk to them throughout the day.
Here’s a special $145 price for the full day event. Register here: http://growtalks-toronto-linkedin.eventbrite.com with discount code “linkedin”