Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Social Media Revolution 2011


 I love this video.  It is from and is part of the world's most watched Social Media video series; "Social Media Revolution" by Erik Qualman. Based on #1 International Best Selling Book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman. This is a shorter version that includes new social media statistics for 2011.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo - Let's Get Started

And so it begins. It is November 1st and that means it is officially National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month.

I am taking on the challenge. So what have I written so far? Nothing.... I am already begin and it has just begun.

I will be updating my progress as I go along and hopefully that will help keep me on track. Check in regularly to see how I do.


November 3,2011

So here is my update as day three nears an end. I have gotten off to a slow start. I have about 2000 words written. I was hoping to have more written but I am struggling to find time to write. That is often a problem. It isn't about finding the time it is about making the time. I hope to make up the word count over the weekend. Ideally, in order to finish, I should be writing about 1500 to 1700 words a day. I strive for that!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Social Media - Have a Plan

 So just this past week I decided that I needed to clean up my twitter stream. I used one of the easy tools to show me some of my stagnant twitter followers. I have more than 3500 followers and more than 3300 people that I am following. It can be hard to keep track of everyone. The other issue is that I kept hitting a limit to my followers and that was just irritating when I came across someone new that I wanted to follow so I needed to do a little house keeping. What I was amazed to find was some people, companies, twitter accounts that hadn't had any activity in months and even years. Seriously?

Why am I mentioning this? Well, today in the National Post is an article about Social Media and the importance of a game plan. Part of that game plan is knowing how to use social media, and keeping up with the relationship with your followers. Tweeting a few times when you first get started and then forgetting about your account is a sure way to get you unfollowed.

Check out the article, there is some great info.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Waitress vs bad tipper

This story has made the rounds on tradition and social media.. the waitress who posted the receipt of the bad, and might I say, rude tipper on her Facebook status. He left the bill, without a tip, and then said that she could afford to lose a few pounds. There has been lots of debate swirling about this topic, here is just one of the stories responding/reacting to the initial story  Canadian Family

There is no doubt that social media has an immediate impact on peoples lives. Before social media like Facebook and Twitter this waitress would have told friends and family who would have retold the story like dozens of times. And while everyone would be shocked at the rudeness of this customer the story would slowly peter out BUT with social media this story has taken on a life of its own, become viral. Now instead of dozens of people hearing it potentially tens of thousands or even millions of people will read about this story or hear about it from their social media friends and networks. And is that fair? Sure the guy is a jerk but does he deserve to have a copy of his signature and his name spread all over the world for everyone to see and to judge him? Some would say yes that now in this day and age it is just something that we all have to live with, that all of our actions could potentially be put on display for the world to judge with the invention of social media. Some would say no that he has a right to a certain level of privacy, that he was in a private establishment and should expect that his credit card information and is name and signature would be handled in a private and professional manner. Which is right? Or is there a right and a wrong in this discussion?

What do you think?

Social Media is Social

One the biggest keys to social media is the act of being social. Whether you are connecting with friends, customers, clients or businesses it is all about being social. It is all about communicating with each other. Why is that some of the most successful people in social media have the largest communities? It is because they are social, the interact with others.

I don't think the importance of the Social part of social media can be understated. It is about creating a community, about creating relationships.

How do you do that? There are lots of ways to go about this but for me it is all about interacting with others. On Twitter is it not just about talking to people but talking WITH people; engaging others, truly interacting with others, sharing stories, ideas, thoughts and responding to the stories, thoughts, and ideas of others.  I think being authentic is also important. Be yourself.

What ways do you connect to your community? How have you used social media to build a community?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing a Novel in a Month

Ya that's right I said write a novel in a month. Or at least as long as a novel. 50,000 words in a month. It is a crazy number of words to write in just one month, especially when you factor in a full time job, a part time job and kids. I first attempted NaNoWriMo back in 2009. To my amazement I actually finished. It was not easy and I almost gave up more than once. The last week of the challenge was where I made up most of my word count. Last year I attempted the challenge again but my second go around was not successful. So I am attempting the challenge for the third time this year. I am hoping to complete the challenge.

I was proud of myself back in 2009 when I actually wrote 50,000 words in the month of November. I was more than a little excited about the book that I created and also excited about the potential in the words. I have always wanted to be a writer, ever since I can remember I was writing. When I was a little girl I would make up stories that my friends and I would reenact and then when I got a bit older I would spend hours writing short stories and poems. I continue to work with those 50,000 words that I wrote back in 2009 in the hopes that I can actually turn it into a novel that other people would love to read. Isn't that what most (all) writers want. Don't all writers want to share their creations with the world? I still hope to one day get my book published.

This year I am hoping to write another 50,000 words. I am already thinking about what I am going to write about. I think this time around I will write up a profile of characters and plan out a story line. I think it will really help me flush out the story and help the words to flow.

Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Social Media Rules

There have been a number of stories of the past few years about employers using social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter, to check on their employees or potential/prospective employees. It is one of the golden rules about social media, once you put it out there it is out there forever and that means you shouldn't say anything online that you wouldn't put on a billboard or say to someone in person. Whether right or wrong some employers were in fact lurking online to check up on people.

Well, now one province is stepping into the discussion with some rules. British Columbia's privacy watchdog says social media should not be used to help organizations make background checks. The issue came to the attention of Elizabeth Denham earlier this year when leadership candidates for B.C.'s New Democrats were asked to supply their log in information so the party could check for possible embarrassing photos or posts.The party told Denham it asked for Facebook passwords after an NDP candidate had to withdraw from the 2009 election because controversial pictures of himself were shown in the media.

Denham has issued guidelines that show the risks of using the information, such as inaccuracies and collecting too much personal data. She now expects organizations to adopt the guidelines so that there are standard practices that comply with privacy obligations.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Any advice or tips to add?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm All Tweet'd out

So I am going to admit something here. I am feeling a little online/social media fatigue. Can you believe it?

I have been feeling like it is all just a little much. Staying on top of Facebook friends updates and birthdays, checking Twitter mentions, updating my Linkedin profile, updating my blog, checking email, responding to email.... it can all be so overwhelming sometimes. So I was glad to read a recent piece on 
AMotherWorld  talking about the very thing I have been feeling lately.

The article reminded me that it is also important to pay attention to all the things in real life... all those real life friends and family. And of course Me. I have been forgetting about me.  I need to do things for myself ...things that make me happy in my every day life. It is all about perspective... getting some and putting things into perspective.

How do you balance your online and offline worlds? Do you every get tired of living life online? How do you unplug?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I recently got the chance to ask one of my fav designers and tv hosts some questions about work and motherhood. Sarah Richardson seems to have it all and do it all effortlessly. Check out my article at Urbanbaby & Toddler magazine

**first posted March 25, 2009 at

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I just stumbled over this site. I am loving it and learning a lot.

Check it out!

**first posted August 8, 2008 on

Writing...and writing... and writing

 So I am going to try it again this year. What are you going to try you say? Well, I am going to try to write a novel in a month, or at least 50,000 words in the month. It is all for National Novel Writing Month. I will start on the first day of November and finish on the last day of November. I have a few ideas that I am excited about so check back here often over the course of the next few months and of course during the month of November. I will be update the journey as I prepare and write.

This is how I felt after I finished NANOWRIMO  the first time! **posted Dec 3, 2009 on my other blog

So I have been absent lately. There is a reason, it isn't because I was being lazy, just the opposite actually. I found out about this thing, it is a writing challenge. November was dubbed National Novel Writing Month. I have long dreamed of writing books, novels, children books, you name it. I have spent my working career writing but nothing as interesting as a novel. I write news. So when I heard about this writing challenge I was intrigued. So I registered.

What did I register for you ask? Well, the challenge was to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. It is considered the equivalent of a small novel. A whopping 50,000 words. A lot right. Right! It is a lot of words for anyone but when you factor in the fact that I am a Mom to two little girls, a wife and a full time radio news journalist and freelance magazine writer it is a seriously huge amount of words. I wasn't sure how I was going to find the time to write but I committed to doing it. I was up for a challenge. I love to write and heck I needed to put my money where my mouth was. I have long said I wanted to write a book, so what was stopping me. NOTHING. So, I just started to write.

It was hard. I found it difficult to get things going but once things got rolling the story just flowed. For a while anyway and then real life started to creep in. The writing stalled as my other responsibilities were calling. As the month continued I realized I was quickly running out of time. There was a deadline that was fast approaching, 50,000 words by midnight EST November 30th.
The last week of November was on top of me and I was no where near being done. I was only at about 20,000 words. I needed to haul ass. And I did. I got to work and just let the ideas flow, I would have to worry about quality later. It was all about quantity. I was worried that I wouldn't get it done but I did. Thirty thousand words in a week. Amazing.

It was hard. There were days that I struggled with what to say, or what to write rather. It was hard to make the time to just sit at the computer, uninterrupted and just write. I loved doing it but there is no doubt that writing a novel is work. There are a lot of people who say they have always wanted to write a book, but that is certainly easier said than done. It is hard work.

What now? Well, I have a few other things that need my attention, things that I was ignoring while taking on this writing challenge. And then? I will revisit what I wrote and continue on the journey to write a novel. I will keep you posted

Friday, September 23, 2011

Old post - Another Find


In my quest for knowledge, about stuff in general and blogging in particular, I have discovered another great resource. Tina Su is a successful blogger, which is great but her blog/website is a great resource for life in general. Check it out and you will see what I mean. It is great reading!

**first post August 15, 2008 on

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Old Post - Things I Love Thursdays


I found this blog. It makes me smile. I discovered her after finally signing up for twitter.

She has this thing called Things I Love Thursdays. WHAT A GREAT IDEA.

*first posted November 6, 2008

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hockey or Election Coverage?

October 6th there is a provincial election in Ontario. It is also the opening of the NHL Season and the first game of the season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. A real conundrum for some people. What to do? What to do?

Well, according to an online survey done by the Toronto star a vast majority of Star readers will be watching the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and perennial rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, followed by the Vancouver Canucks playing host to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hockey is king in a hockey town.

It got me thinking. Does this mean people don't care about politics and the election? Or is it just that people don't care about the Election coverage that every single news outlet in Toronto will be airing?  I think a bit of the first and a lot of the second. I think the poll results should really speak volumes to newsrooms everywhere about how they package election results. Do viewers/audiences really want hours and hours of results?

I think the answer is NO! In the day and age where people, many people, turn to the Internet - Twitter, Facebook, Google + , email,  smart phones - to get all the news that affects their lives I think this idea of hours of packaged election results coverage, with numbers, multiple reporters, analysis and multiple news anchors is getting old, fast. I think there is a need to give election results but it needs to be in a prettier package - a package that is more efficient, has a faster delivery, more information and less fluff and filler.

Old Article, New Post

As I have mentioned, I am a freelance writer as wells as Mom and Radio News Editor. This is a link to an article I work for ParentsCanada magazine. Check it out.

**posted March 27, 2008 at 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who I am ....

I hope through this little piece of the Internet to show you who I am, the work I do and industry that I work in.

I have been in broadcast media for about 15 years. I first started at a little multicultural station here in Toronto called CFMT, currently known as OMNI. I was able to really get my feet wet with the crew at CFMT. They let me learn, grow and make lots of mistakes. It is also where I met someone who would become a great friend and mentor. He was (and still is) a great writer and was kind enough to teach me what he knew and that is a very special thing in this business. Often times people are afraid to show newbies the robes, afraid to teach someone what they know, afraid to share their lessons, tips, tricks and advice with the new kid on the block but my friend Terry Auciello took me under his wing and helped me become the journalist I am today.

After CFMT I moved up the ladder, landing a job at CityTV in the newsroom. I was hired as an assignment editor and I was more than a little thrilled. It was the newsroom to be in. It was full of great talent, people who were skilled, smart, edgy and talented (yes, I know I said it twice but I wanted you to know how I feel about the folks down in that newsroom). CityNews was a leader, was a trailblazer and was copied but never duplicated. I was able to learn a lot from the folks there and I was able to move up quickly. Soon I found myself on the writing desk, writing news copy for CP24, the all news channel, and then CityNews at 6 and 11. Before long I was producing news on CP24 and then I became the news producer for the weekend CityNews at 11.

I worked with some fantastic people in that newsroom, meeting some people who will be friends for life but it couldn't last forever and before long I was off having babies. I left the news business to have a family. I was away from the newsroom for nearly three years. I returned to broadcast news and found myself working in radio, a foreign beast for me. Not long after my short stint in radio news I landed a gig at CBC, working in the Newsworld newsroom ( now known as News Network) on the morning show. Getting up at 2:15 a.m to be at work for 3:15 a.m. can kill brain cells if you do it for too long and so that was a short gig. I lasted a year before I realized I was turning into a zombie so I returned to radio news, becoming the evening show editor at 680News, Toronto's all news radio station - the number one radio station in the country. And that is where you will find me five nights a week....listen closely and you will even hear my name every so often!

I hope that in the space I can talk about my work, about the work of my broadcast friends and colleagues and about all things media!
So this is something I have been thinking about for a long time. This is going to be a place to talk about all things media... traditional, social media, citizen jouralism...any thing and all things media.