Category Blogging

Teens, Young Adults and Social Media

This week I was a guest on CKNW’s The Simi Sara Show, talking about Social Media and the effects it has on the employable futures of teens and young adults. The conversation covered a lot of varying aspects, but the gist of it was this: kids have no filters and it is up to the parents to guide them through Social Media as much as they guide theme through everything else a the grow up. Not an easy task, given that teens and young adults are notorious for not listening to their parents advice and will continue to do things that most of us parents would consider reckless.

After the show, I returned to the campsite, where my family and I were enjoying the great weather by the ocean...

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You Get to Cry Wolf Once

We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf too many times. He did it for attention and when the real wolf showed up, no one would listen.

Social Media has it’s own version of the story now, only you substitute “boy” with “brand” and “wolf” with “hacker”. There seems to be a move by attention starved brand marketers to cry “We’ve been hacked” when, in fact, it is they that are the hackers.

Following the Hack Pack

Earlier this year, Burger Kings Twitter account was hacked and branded up to look like McDonalds. While the company tried to figure out a way to deal with the issue and find out how it happened, they started to gain more followers (over 30,000 before the account was suspended)...

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Attention Parents! You Need to Look and Listen!

During my presentation on Cyber Bullying at Social Media Camp, I introduced a number people in the audience to, a website that has become very popular with youth. When you look at the site, you can see that pretty well all of the profile pictures, right on the main page, are very young. While the site makes itself seem of very innocent and secure, it is far from it. In a excellent article posted by Shelly Kramer, explains how this new environment is a nightmare for parents, as kids openly share a wide variety of details about their lives in a site that anyone can access.

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As Kramer points out, not only is a haven for sexual predators and pedophiles, it is ripe for Cyber-Bullying. I became aware of Ask...

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Politicians Can Learn from Mayor Nenshi

When Naheed Nenshi ran for Mayor of Calgary, many never thought he had a chance. Not well known beyond his academic work and civic politics editorials, no “real” political experience and a failed bid to win a seat on the Calgary City Council in the 2007 election. When he did run for the seat, however, he put a huge effort into running a campaign that leveraged the reach of Facebook and Twitter, as a means of engaging the voters. The key word here is “engaging”. Unlike his opponents, or most politicians, his streams were not filled with push messages, but rather genuine Q & A, as he reached out to the people of the City to truly grasp what their concerns were and share his solutions.

His conversations were genuine, his humour and intel...

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Educate About Social Media Rather Than Banning It

When the Vancouver School Board announce that they were creating a new Social Media Policy of the School District and that the were looking for some public input, I immediately started that convo on Twitter. Soon the Vice Chair of the School Board jumped into the convo and, eventually, I submitted my two cents in the mix (writing about it in an earlier post, too).

The more I look at Social Media in the world of education, the more I see our system (in North America), banning or demonizing the medium, rather than adopting it. I have to wonder why.

I understand that the education system is slow to adopt many new things, because they need to review, assess, plan and develop what ever needs to be added into the curriculum...

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Viral Happens

Recently a teen from Parksville, British Columbia, a small community on the outskirts of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, discovered what it means to have something “Go Viral“. In her high school yearbook comment she paraphrased a line from a Harry Potter movie; “Master has given Megan a High School Diploma. Megan is freeeee!” When she was interviewed about the quote, she stated that she couldn’t think of anything “inspiring”, but, being a Harry Potter fan, she decided to put something fun in, instead. She never excepted it to become a Social Media and Internet sensation.

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Within hours of posting the image of her picture and quote on her Tumblr account, it had 50,000, then 100,000 views. When it was shared on and Reddit, that nu...

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Anti-Bullying Education Starts at Home

For years we have been watching the ebb and flow of anti-bullying campaigns. Something horrible happens, such as the death of a child that is attributed to bullying, and the media/governments/education system go into full focus mode. Soon, however, it subsides and things plod along until the next incident happens and the whole thing starts again. The problem is, however, that the focus never changes and the real resolutions to the problem are never really found or addressed. Another new program is started to educate kids, another training session is set up for teachers and administrators, but the a significant piece of the puzzle seems to be avoided, all together; parents.

I am going to say something here that will be VERY unpopular...

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Procedure before Policy

With Social Media having such an explosive growth as a communications medium, it is not surprising that many businesses and organizations are only now starting to see and undertand the need to have a Social Media policy. The Vancouver School Board is only now starting to draft a Social Media policy for it’s employees, according to a recent CBC report, and this will certainly be one to watch as it develops.

Social Media in the workplace is a difficult thing. It is not something that an employer can “control”, because it is a public domain that is accessible from outside the confines of the office environment...

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Blogging for

Since November of 2012, I have had the pleasure of blogging about technology, apps and startups for This group of authors are true Social Media types, believing that there is no such thing as a Social Media Expert, Guru, Jedi or Ninja. There are just people out there who have a firm grasp on the idea that Social Media is about engagement, sharing, great content and being SOCIAL!

Here is my latest post on, about the revamped BETA of!

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Social Media Camp 2013

This month (May 2013) I attended my 4th Social Media Camp conference. Last year was my first year as a Social Media Coach for the camp and I was thrilled to be asked to return this year. This year I also had the pleasure to be a Speaker at the camp, sharing my presentation on Cyber-Bullying.

I love coaching at Social Media Camp. This year I had the privilege of working with people who were responsible for Social Media with companies like London Drugs and Discovery Honda, as well as working with corporations and government organizations like the Victoria Airport Authority and small team from the Regional District of Nanaimo. I also had the chance to work with a really cool start up company, from Victoria, called Rumble...

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