Starting Monday, 12 cities across the world will take part in Social Media Week. For those of you that don’t know what that is, I’ve been describing it as a sort of “unconference” – there is no central venue, and each city has a “producer” that helps coordinate events across the city. Any individual or organization can host an event – this will be VIA Rail’s second time hosting an event – as long as there is a social media theme.
Toronto is the only Canadian city taking part in the week-long celebration of all things social, and I’ll be there learning, sharing and meeting awesome people. Here are my plans – let me know if you’re at any of these events!
Monday, February 13th
Social Media ROI: Myth or Reality? 5:30PM at The Fairmont Royal York
In partnership with the Fairmont Royal York, VIA Rail will be presenting four thought leaders who will share their thoughts on social media return on investment. But first, there will be a pre-conference train between Montreal and Toronto the morning of the event. Invited bloggers and social media influencers will discuss a variety of topics as they travel on board a private car to Toronto. Check out #SMWTOROI for great insights and conversations throughout the day and into the night!
Be sure to come back later in the week for case studies, conference audio, photos and more!
Tuesday, February 14th
How to ‘Steak’ Your Claim as a Social Media Foodie – 7:30AM at The Fairmont Royal
A Valentines Day breakfast tweet up introduces The Fairmont Royal York hotel’s new Executive Chef, while a panel of Toronto culinary influencers (Suresh Doss @spotlightcity, Jamie Drummond @goodfoodrev and Rebecca LeHeup @OntarioCulinary) engage Valentines fork play and what makes compelling #foodie content.
Entrinsic Presents: Inside the numbers, an analytics forecast and review – 11AM at BMO Bank of Montreal
At a time when business users have easier access to metrics and on-the-fly reports than ever before – where deep analytics and metric-based reports are a drag and drop away – we all struggle to bring insight, context, and predictability to the data we receive. What do the numbers mean? And what do we do with them?
Thursday, February 16th
The Social Media Ref – 2:45PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
Join us as the Social Media Ref moderates in-depth discussions of different social media perspectives from key Canadian influencers – bloggers, journalists and PR pros. Two 18-minute competition-style panels will take on hot social media topics, with the Social Media Ref determining one collaborative solution for each panel.
Getting serious about travel blogging – 5PM at The Gladstone Hotel
A panel of representatives from the travel industry, the media, PR, travel writing and travel blogging will examine a variety of questions — all within the “empowering change through collaboration” theme of the conference. Hosted by Toronto Travel Massive. For more information visit Toronto Travel Massive.
Friday, February 17th
Entrinsic Presents: Bilingual brands in the digital space – 10AM at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Livestreamed here)
I’ll be part of the panel for this one, speaking with Amy Blackmore of Fringe Montreal and others about what it takes to run a bilingual brand in the digital space.
Just kidding. It was a productive weekend, and I did find some time to put on the thinking cap. Here’s a summary of some things that ended up in my notebook.
The Future of Community: A standard interview (or dating!) question is “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. If you were to have asked my this question 5 years ago, I never would have guessed I’d be a Community Manager. I’d even wager that there was no official title for managing a community 5 years ago.
Where will we be with social media and communities in 5 years? It’s hard to say. I don’t even know what the next big network will be, even though I experiment with them as they come up. Do you know why? Because I’ll be waiting for the community to show me the way. There’s no need to make a jump every time there’s a shiny new network or tool. It’s fun (and important) to experiment, but communities are made up of GROUPS of individuals. While one individual cannot dictate what’s next, a group of individuals that create a critical mass can. Seth Godin talked about this in his post “Guy #3“. I’ll be waiting for guy #3 to make an appearance and help lead the charge for his community – I’ll be right there working with him.
Bilingualism in Social Media: I work for a bilingual brand, and that means that my broadcast communications always need to be in 2 languages. I also need to be prepared to communicate with individuals in their language of choice. It can be a challenge when working on a tight deadline, when I have to rely on others for translated content, or when I’m trying to get someone an answer to their question in a timely fashion. Processes, procedures, style guides and more help keep the tone and manner of our communications consistent, both across various types of content and languages.
On a related note, I’ll be speaking about bilingualism in the digital space as part of stand-out panel at Social Media Week Toronto. There’s still some space left for any one who is local, and I’ll be posting a summary here for those who aren’t.
It’s Not All Business: That’s right, I actually do things that aren’t related to social media! This weekend it was paintball for a friends birthday. Of course, I started to try and draw some analogies, metaphors and general comparisons between paintball and work, but I was too busy trying not to get hit! It did help me remember that it’s important to always make time for our real-world relationships and interactions, as well as our personal interests. Not everything that’s online is important, and not everything that’s important is online.
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