Rob Cottingham's blog

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That was the year that RSS

2009: a social media retrospective in cartoons

2009 retrospective

Here's a New Year's treat from Noise to Signal: the past year's social media high- (and low-) lights in cartoon form. Enjoy!

(You can find the individual cartoons at Noise to Signal's new home. And not to worry - we'll keep posting the most social-media-y of Noise to Signal here on

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A great next step for a terrific member of the SoSi team

Channing moves on to National PR

Channing head shot

In the dying days of last winter, Alex - who was sifting through applications for our social media strategist position - showed me one that filled her with unbridled excitement.

The cover letter was written extraordinarily well (and believe me, you don't appreciate quite what a treat that is until you've posted a job opening). And the resumé - a decade of non-profit program and funding development; launching a sexual health education project for Montreal youth; promoting human rights in Europe; writing a kick-ass blog - was stellar.

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Google Apps + Manymoon = productivity and customer satisfaction

Google profiles Social Signal's project management process

Social Signal regulars will know that we've (and by "we", I especially mean "Alex") put a lot of effort into finding the perfect solution to our project management needs. We've tried web apps like Basecamp and Remember the Milk, desktop apps like Daylite... but nothing has met all of our needs.

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Warm hearts vs. cold feet launches "Got socks?" drive

If you've ever accidentally soaked your shoes in a puddle on a freezing day, you'll appreciate how miserable the experience can be... and how desperate you can be to get to your home, school or workplace to change into a spare pair.

When you're living on the streets, though, it's more than just discomfort. Cold, wet feet can quickly become agonizing to walk on - adding a big barrier to finding a job, food or shelter for the night.

And I'm going to let Kate Dugas from take it from here:

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Social Signal 2.0 - or is that 3.0?

The next step in Social Signal's evolution

Social Signal logo

Since we launched in 2005 - a social media firm at a time when the term "social media" had yet to be coined - we've evolved constantly. No big surprise: this is a field that's changing rapidly too.

Last month, we told you we were refocusing on capacity-building: helping other organizations, agencies and individuals to make the most of social media. We expected that would mean we'd support our clients through trainings and Concept Jam strategy workshops, while reaching a larger audience through blogging, cartooning and other media.

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Drawing conclusions

Lessons from cartoon-blogging at the Real-time Web Summit

October's cartoon-blogging at the Real-Time Web Summit was a well-received experiment in innovative event coverage. The response was overwhelmingly positive, the Twitter stream showed people appreciated the added dimension to the event, and the organizers were more than pleased.

Now, two things:

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Congratulations, lakes and!

Thanks to everyone who suggested their favourite cartoons!

A week ago, I asked if you'd lend me a hand choosing which cartoons I should start with as I begin offering limited-edition prints... and you responded with dozens of suggestions.

Thanks so much - it isn't going to be easy to choose! But what was easy was picking a name at random... and lakes, of the Chilean tech blog, will be getting his pick as a snazzy print. (Kind of cool to send the very first one off the continent!)

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Measure your social media influence with Influ-a-rama-matic Pro 2.0! (beta)

Tangled measuring tape

Are you eager to track your social media influence? Desperate to boil down the complex intricacies of human interaction into a single number? Of course you are!

But you're also probably sick of getting results that suggest you could be doing better if only you had more followers... retweeted more often... wrote more interesting blog posts... or, y'know, really worked at it.

Well, my friend, do I have the social media measurement instrument for you. Carefully calibrated, precision-coded and guaranteed accurate to .025 microScobles, the Influ-a-rama-matic Pro 2.0 is nothing less than the greatest web application in the history of humanity.

Take it for a spin!

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Help me choose Noise to Signal limited-edition prints (and win a print for yourself)!

Ever since I started drawing Noise to Signal, people have asked me if it's possible to get a print. I've finally gotten around to looking into that question - and lo and behold, making prints turns out to be perfectly feasible.

So I'm going to start selling prints of Noise to Signal cartoons. And I'd like to do it in two ways.

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Have tablet, will travel

Almost-real-time cartoon blogging at the Real-Time Web Summit

I'm at the ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit in Mountain View, CA today - and so is my trusty Cintiq, and some phenomenally smart people.

Over the course of the day, I'll be cartoon-blogging from the conference. You can catch it at ReadWriteWeb and here at Noise to Signal.

Comments always welcome!

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