My Blog Mentioned at Vancouver ChangeCamp

June 20, 2009

Though I don’t always tend to this space as much lately–mostly thanks to Twitter, which has stolen away most of the precious few moments that I devote to this sort of thing–it was a nice surprise to hear that at today’s Vancouver ChangeCamp a post from my blog was referenced during one of the sessions. Very cool.

The post was one about the BC Government’s new Spark! collaboration site.

Sounds like it was a good day in Vancouver. Would have been great to be there, but instead I followed along via–what else?–Twitter. The hashtags #vcc09 and #vanchangecamp kept me informed and up-to-date.

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Talking Twitter at TED

February 28, 2009

Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, was on the TED stage talking up his booming business. He’s a little nervous, but overall the presentation is decent and informative–not exactly one of those stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks TED talks, but interesting nonetheless. I really liked how he used great visuals to support sample tweets; would make Garr Reynolds proud.


Another Conference I’d Love to Attend (But Likely Won’t)

October 10, 2007

A blog I follow, Pro PR, has turned me on to a new conference: the Canadian Institute’s Social Media’s Conference. Just a quick glance at the agenda for the conference points to a number of items that would immediately pay dividends at my office. Best practices on employee blogs; using social media to attract top talent; how to monitor social media; implementing social media to improve internal communications.

This last one is of particular interest as our organization moves forward with our intranet redesign project. The intranet manager for the National Research Council (NRC) will be talking about using social media to add value to employee communications. The NRC is featured in the most recent Nielsen Norman Group top-ten government intranet competition and is a site we’ve used many times in the early days of our project as an example of a highly regarded intranet. It would be fantastic to learn from their intranet manager directly, especially given the resistance within my organization at considering anything that has even a whiff of “social” media. The word “social” is the big problem and most discussions on this topic need to be couched in safer words, code-like. I imagine the NRC would have had some similar challenges–they are federal government after all–so to pick the presenter’s brain could be worth the price of admission alone.

Unfortunately the conference isn’t cheap–they never are–and is in Toronto. Two big negatives. But, anyone could swing a 15% discount off the ticket price thanks to Joseph Thornley of Pro PR. In a nice use of the very tech the conference will discuss, if you send Joseph a request through Facebook he can get you the discount.


Cardinal Mark Ouellet Speaking in Victoria on Saturday

September 13, 2007

I’m proud to be a part of an upcoming talk being given in Victoria by the Primate of Canada, Cardinal Mark Ouellet. The free talk is being hosted by St. Andrew’s Cathedral parish and its theme is the Eucharist and the family.

As a director on the board of the Edith Stein Society, a registered non-profit, I’ve played a role in bringing the Cardinal to town. As well, I will be the official photographer for the event. It promises to be an informative, if busy, weekend. More info on the event was available on the Edith Stein Society’s website, but the site is now unavailable. However, the details live on in Google’s cache for anyone interested.


MESH Conference Schedule Announced

May 7, 2007

The mesh conference is all set with the announcement of their schedule. A few of their sessions look intriguing, particularly “Pros vs. Amateurs” led by Jon Dube. I’d really like to hear Jon speak as he’s quite the pioneer and new media expert. “The Future of Public Relations” also looks good, among others.

I had some doubts that this conference would grow into something worthwhile–billing yourself as “Canada’s web conference” only invites extra scrutiny–but seeing this year’s lineup makes me wish I were a little closer to Toronto.


National Post Columnist to Speak in Victoria

April 28, 2007

St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Victoria is hosting guest preacher, speaker and National Post columnist Fr. Raymond Joseph de Souza on Friday, May 11th at 7:30 pm. The topic will be “The Church and the Influence of the Canadian Media.”

This promises to be a very interesting talk, from a very compelling, intelligent individual and writer, and I’ll definitely be there.

The following is from an advertisement from St. Andrew’s Cathedral:

Fr. de Souza was ordained to the priesthood in July 2002 and currently serves as Chaplain at Newman House, the Roman Catholic Chaplaincy at Queen’s University. He also teaches at Queen’s in the Faculty of Education and the Queen’s Economic Dept. His area of specialization is Catholic social teaching. Fr. de Souza writes for a number of publications. Principal among these is the National Post, where he is a weekly columnist. He also contributes to the National Catholic Register and he serves as the editor of Religion & Liberty.

In addition, his work has appeared in well known publications such as L’Osservatore Romano, First Things, The Messenger of St. Anthony, the Ottawa Citizen and The Calgary Herald.


New TED Better Than Ever

April 18, 2007

TED logoIt’s a goal of mine to one day get to a TED conference. I’m not sure how just yet–it costs a fortune to attend, but I’m a hopeful person. In the meantime, they have updated their website and have added even more free content from their renowned conferences. Their blog has the text of a story on the redesign from Monday’s New York Times. If you’ve never checked out TED, do yourself a favour and have a look around. Their new site is quite attractive with a clever homepage interface that serves up stories as a visual tag cloud that you can organize based on preset parameters. If you enjoy ideas, you’ll love TED.

I’ve been listening to TED podcasts since they were first offered online. They are particularly fantastic for long road trips when you can do nothing else but drive and give yourself over to the presenters. But they obviously work equally well in non-driving environments! Just be prepared to want to really listen, to set aside whatever you’re working on and surrender your focus. It’s an inevitability. The sessions are thought provoking and challenging, and often humorous. One of my favourites is Sir Ken Robinson’s talk where he wonders if schools kill creativity. A great quote from his presentation:

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original.”

This quote has more and more relevance to my work environment every day. But that’s another post. For now, enjoy.