Friday, 22 February 2013


“Since the nominees were announced on January 10, there have been over 912,000 mentions of the Oscars/Academy Awards across social media platforms.” – Jason Boies

That’s an unprecedented number.  And the show hasn’t even been broadcast yet! 

I think we can all agree that social media play a key role in the success of any global event and, for that matter, of most forms of entertainment, and the Academy Awards telecast is no exception.  Social media is dominating the Oscar buzz this year.  People have taken to Facebook and Twitter to cast their votes for the night’s leading categories and to discuss their views on how Seth MacFarlane will fare as the event’s host.  Here are some numbers courtesy of Sales Force Marketing Cloud:

And then there are the Twitter jokes.  Twitter is a great place to share derisive remarks and entertaining thoughts, and the Oscars is one event that never escapes unscathed.  Here are a few guffaw-worthy examples from last year’s show for your reading pleasure:

My Damn Channel, @MyDamnChannel: If Tom Cruise still looks this young in another 10 years, I'll try Scientology.
Joel West, @IAmJoelWest: Next year instead of watching the #Oscars can I please read the book?

Marc Maron, @marcmaron: My gf just asked if Kermit had 'work' done.

Rob Kutner, @ApocalypseHow: Anyone who wins for ˝The Artist˝ should have to give a speech purely in gestures and title cards.

Are you going to join the party and tweet your way through this year’s Oscars?  For those of you who are reading this in the U.S., there’s even an official Oscars® app available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android and Kindle Fire.  For those of us in Canada, we’ll just have to make do with our Twitter accounts.  Enjoy the show and happy tweeting!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Million (Okay, Not Quite a Million) Great Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Canada

Valentine’s Day is this week.  What are your plans?  How will you and your significant other be spending the day – or night?  Or, are you unattached and do you just plan to kick back or spend it with friends?
Here are some suggestions on where and how to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year at various Canadian destinations:                                    

In Toronto and the GTA:
Here’s a twist – why not combine Valentine’s Day with (a belated or early) Halloween?  On Thursday Feb. 14 & Friday Feb. 15; Thursday Feb 21 - Saturday Feb 23, 2013 you can catch “Dracula – A Love Story” at Casa Loma.  Brant Theatre Workshops is bringing Bram Stoker’s Dracula to the stage just in time for Valentine’s Day.  The Valentine’s Day show tickets include a glass of champagne and a chocolate fountain.  Sounds like fun – my two favorite things:  chocolate and a good scare!
Speaking of Casa Loma, a Valentine’s Day brunch is being served on Sunday, February 17, along with a self-guided tour of the famous castle.  This could spell romance, or you could take the whole family for an early Family Day celebration.
For more information and tickets to both events, here’s a link:

Or, if you prefer to take a walk on the wild side. The Toronto Zoo is offering a night of fun and food:  "Join us for a delicious evening of food and fun as we learn the fine art of romance as observed in the animal kingdom."

In Ottawa:
Why not spend a traditional evening with a romantic dinner and live entertainment?

In British Columbia:
For eleven ‘creative’ ways to spend the day and night in and around B.C., including a romantic forest stroll and a mountain-top dinner, check out this site:

In Calgary:
Museums, galleries and theatres!  Ever been to Calgary’s cultural district?  Valentine’s Day events and festivities abound in the area.  Here’s a link to some great ideas:

In Edmonton:
The Edmonton Journal has been kind enough to provide an online Valentine’s Day feature that will give you ideas for not only things to do and places to go in and around the Edmonton area, but recipes, gift ideas, sexy ideas, relationship rescue advice and more…

And, to cap off this post, here’s a corny little Valentine’s Day joke…

Mike walked into a post office just before Valentine's day; he couldn't help noticing a middle-aged, balding man standing in a corner sticking "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them.  Then the man got out a bottle of Chanel perfume from his pocket and started spraying scent over the envelopes.
By now Mike's curiosity had got the better of him, and so he asked the man why he was sending all those cards.  The man replied, "I'm sending out 500 Valentine cards signed, 'Guess who?'"
"But why?" asked Mike.
      "I'm a divorce lawyer," the man replied.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!!

Friday, 8 February 2013

What’s Your Social Media ‘Personality’?

“Just finished dinner – pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni!”

“On my way to a doctor appointment.”

“Just started reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

“Am on chapter 10 of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Sound familiar?  We all have at least one Facebook friend that posts every time they eat lunch, bake cookies or change their kid’s diaper. 

Know anyone who can’t help but post movie and television show spoilers?  According to an infographic by, 36% of people surveyed are guilty of doing just that. (The infographic is included below.)

We all have a personality type when it comes to posting on our social media sites and our overall social media ‘behaviour’.  Some of us are lurkers, some of us are opinionated posters and some of us (you know who you are) are stalkers (are you telling me you’ve never checked out an ex’s Facebook page?). Some of us make it easy for stalkers to garner information pertaining to every nuance of our lives and some of us lock our accounts up tighter than a drum. 

And, a very interesting observation:  Some of us are completely different on our social networking sites compared with how we are in person.  It’s easy to be more vivacious, animated and extroverted while behind the cover of the internet, isn’t it?

Without further ado, here’s a great infographic (Source: Social media image via Shutterstock.)
that helps define and describe some of the different social media personalities.  How many of these people are your “friends” on Facebook or are following you on Twitter?  Do you recognize yourself among any of these personalities?


Friday, 1 February 2013

How to Leave an Impression with Each and Every Blog Post

There is a monumental amount of blog content swirling around out there.  Some of it memorable, and some, not so much.  The success of your business is tied to your ability to to craft a compelling message and deliver it in a way that will inspire your clients to act. How do you make your content stand out and resonate with readers?  How do you get your blog post to leave an impression?  Here are a few tips:   

1.       Don’t write for you – write for your audience.  That is, know your target audience and create content that you know will be an asset to them .  Pretend that one of your clients is sitting in front of you and write as though you’re speaking to that person.  Answer questions that are frequently asked by your clients.  Post content that is relevant and keep your audience in mind at all times when writing.  Think:  How can your posts benefit them?    

2.       Write with a “human quality”.  Although the term ‘business blogging’ sounds like the equivalent to dry and dull content, it doesn’t have to be.  Keep it informative, yes, but not boring.  Don’t be afraid to allow your humanity to seep through.  In fact, be daring and lighten it up.  Use lots of humor – use language that will strike an emotional chord and move your readers.  Make a connection with them from a human standpoint.

3.       Keep it clear and concise.  People seek out blogs (especially business blogs) to learn something – to be informed.  Stay on topic when you write.  If you start to ramble and go off on tangents, your readers will be nothing but confused and start to wonder what they were trying to get out of your post in the first place.  Oh, and they probably won’t be back to catch a second act!

4.       Mind your grammar!  Bring back shades of your fifth grade teacher?  Sorry, but proper grammar is an integral part of blogging.  No one is going to take you seriously if you can’t string a sentence together.  If you’re not sure how to spell a word or of the correct usage of a word, just “Google” it.  A thesaurus is a wonderful thing! 

And, don’t forget to proofread & edit – not just once, but twice.  If a sentence sounds a bit off to you, read it out loud.  Sometimes that can clarify things.

5.       Use images for visual stimulation, to break up the text and to drive your point(s) home.  Looking at a page with a bunch of text on it can be painful on the eyes.  Using one or two well-positioned images can be an effective way of not only breaking up the text and making your post more aesthetically pleasing, but of reinforcing & depicting what you’re writing about.  And, an image doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture.  If you’re citing statistics, include a graph, a chart or an infographic.   There’s no law against making it colorful!