Rob Cottingham's blog

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Elections Canada, you're going about this all wrong

Want to stop election-night tweeting? Appeal to online culture

Hi, Elections Canada. We go back a long way, you and me. I'm the kid who had your colour-coded riding map masking-taped to my bedroom wall.

So let me offer some friendly advice. You want to stop people from tweeting election results from Eastern Canada before folks in Western Canada have had a chance to cast their ballots?

Then don't use section 329 of the Canada Elections Act. The full weight of the law is way too blunt an instrument.

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A tale of two pachyderms

How a big push and a little help can convince people to change

Switch elephant

This is the story of how one elephant drove us to make a change... and another elephant, courtesy of Switch authors Chip and Dan Heath, showed us the way.

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Good evening, my fellow tweeps

Five ways to use Twitter to make the most of an election debate

Twitter election debate

Let's be honest: election debates are usually pretty awful for voters.

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"There was a non-profit from Kent..."

Heart and Soul program puts poetry into grant-making

CTK Foundation logo

If part of your job with a non-profit organization is to chase grants, then you may have found the proposal-writing process... well, a little dull at times.

That's especially true if you're applying for support from the kind of buttoned-down funding source that favors turgid, lifeless prose over imagination or creativity.

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Rent-a-crowd 2.0

"Persona management": how automated fake profiles threaten the heart of online community

Robot hands on computer keyboard

There's a reason social media analysts and practitioners harp so much on authenticity: it's one of the underpinnings of the "social" in "social media".

Online community works because of our relationships with each other; those relationships can only happen when you feel as though you know the person you're dealing with. Not everything or even most things about the person, but something true... and something significant enough to let you build a certain level of trust. Discover the other person has misled you about who they are or about their motives, and trust dies.

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Toolbar and internal linking make WordPress upgrade compelling

WordPress logo

If your site uses WordPress software (as opposed to the hosted site), then you may have heard about the latest upgrade, released just today.

Version 3.1 offers the usual range of improvements - faster this, debugged that, more secure the other - but at first glance, two new features stand out from the pack.

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The King's Tweet

One Oscar nominee has special relevance for social media. And it isn't The Social Network.


The offi­cial Oscar nom­in­a­tions are out, and there’s a movie up for best picture that has a lot to say about social media and the online com­mu­nic­a­tions revolu­tion sweeping the world.

The Social Network? Hell, no. I’m talking about The King’s Speech.

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How to feed iGoogle

Adding an RSS feed to your iGoogle page

I've been teaching social media fundamentals in the UBC  and Emily Carr University continuing studies programs for nearly two years now. Early on in every course, I show students how to use iGoogle (and similar services) into a social media dashboard, displaying the latest results from online searches, must-read blogs and other sources.

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Welcome to Weneda. Here's how to leave.

What's the strategy behind your communication vehicle?

Ever feel like you're working for a firm called Weneda Communications?

You know what I mean. You have an endless stream of people knocking on your office door and saying, "Hey, Weneda Facebook Page." Or "Weneda blog." Or "Weneda YouTube channel."

(At least Weneda has changed with the times. A few years ago, it would have been "Weneda leaflet" or "Weneda newspaper ad.")

Thing about Weneda Communications is, they're great at production. They know how to crank it out. They're just not terribly strong on why.

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Social (yawn) media

Do Pentagon shifts signal the mainstreaming of social media?

Two back-to-back stories on Wired’s Danger Room may well presage a change in the way organizations approach social media.

Unfollowed: Pentagon Deletes Social Media Office:

Social Signal on...

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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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