Rob Cottingham's blog

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Get the social media basics from Social Signal

Alex and Rob to teach Introduction to Social Media at UBC

UBC logo (250 px high)

One of our favourite things about working in this field is the chance to pass on what we know, to see what happens when people start to grasp the potential of social media... and to see what they do when they run with it.

So I'm delighted to announce we'll be teaching an introductory course in social media this September at the University of British Columbia. The course runs for three Wednesday evenings at UBC's downtown Robson Square campus, from Sept. 9 to 23. Tuition is $375 plus GST.

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Time is money

Just because there's no price tag doesn't make you aren't paying for it

Hourglass: time is money

It happened again today. Every time an online service like Twitter or Facebook hits a roadbump, or stops working altogether, there's an outcry of protest from its users. Then, just as quickly, comes the backlash: "How dare you complain about a FREE service?"

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Law and Order: Social Victims Unit

Some Twitter "crimes" are anything but

Twitter jailbird 2

Twitter's no different than any other hot social-thing-of-the-moment: if you're just getting into it, you'll find lots of people out there with advice on how to use it (including us).

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Aug. 4: Come for the open house. Stay for the amazing story of "Houston. It's Worth It."

Randy Twaddle on authentic brands from user-generated content

HIWI logo

We're having our first open house next week... and we're thrilled to have one of the coolest people we know as our featured speaker. If you're interested in building authentic brands, destination marketing or user-generated content, you'll want to join us.

Because you'll get to meet Randy Twaddle, one of the partners behind ttweak. They're the Houston, TX marketing firm that came up with a brilliant - and completely unofficial - campaign to promote the city.

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Hang in there...

Eight more hours, blogathoners!

(blogathoners in athletic gear) Dammit. Pinky cramp.

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You go, blogathonners!

24-hour blogging marathon raises funds for charity

Marathon runners

Blogathon 2009 is here.

Starting on Saturday at 6:00 am, nearly 200 bloggers from a number of cities - Vancouver prominent among them - will be posting to their blogs every half hour for 24 hours. They'll be raising money for a wide range of charities; so far, nearly $27,000 has been raised.

Here in the Vancouver area, Rebecca Bollwitt is serving again as the rallying point for local participants. Many of them will be gathering at Workspace in Gastown, where she's sponsoring a tweetup for the duration.

It's a terrific event. So tomorrow, give a thought over the course of the day to those bloggers (especially as the wee hours approach!) - drop by their blogs and leave a comment, and maybe make a donation via their widgets.

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Social media in the mountains

Event - July 26, 2009: Alex speaks on leadership and dialogue through social media

Whistler Forum logo

This weekend, Alex will speak to the Whistler Forum for Leadership and Dialogue, a group that brings leaders from around the world together to promote civic engagement and collaborative leadership. She'll then be joined by a panel of respondents for an open conversation.

It all promises to be fascinating stuff, and if you happen to be in Whistler, do check it out - guests are welcome to attend for a small donation.

Here are the details:

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Google Reader: the first social newsreader?

Google Reader logo

Think of a social network, and you probably think of something like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace or Bebo. (If you're especially old-school, or Brazilian, you might think of Orkut.)

Either way, you're thinking of a capital-S, capital-N Social Network. You join it as a social network, probably with the initial intention of connecting with people.

But some social networks can kind of sneak up on you. You think you're there to do something purely solitary, but then something happens...

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Into online community and GoreTex? Do we have the job for you.

Job posting: site animator for

The Big Wild site masthead

One of our favourite projects has been The Big Wild, a site where people who love Canada's wilderness can share stories, connect with each other and take action to protect our big wild spaces.

We worked with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Mountain Equipment Coop, the site's founders, to make it more engaging and easier to use, and for the past four months, our own Aaron Pettigrew has served as the site's animator - encouraging contributions, promoting the site and ramping up participation.

Now The Big Wild has reached the stage where it's ready to hire an animator on their own. And for a conservation-minded social media type - someone who feels just as at home wrangling blog posts and Flickr photos as they do sleeping under the stars a day's hike from the nearest human settlement - this just might be your dream job.

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Sure you have a great document. But do you have a dancing caribou?

Social media can give new life to old communication vehicles


For organizations with a strong policy orientation, turning out documents and reports is a pretty integral part of their existence. And often those reports are valuable contributions to the dialogue.

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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