mardi 27 novembre 2007

Dell @ Third Tuesday

Marquez vos calendriers : Richard Binhammer, directeur des communications d'entreprise de Dell, sera à Third Tuesday Ottawa et Toronto les 3 et 4 décembre 2007.

Info ici

Dell is a prime case study of a company that took its lumps through social media. In the summer of 2006, the company was hit by two social media crises: Jeff Jarvis’ Dell Hell meme over his unhappiness with the company’s support service followed by exploding batteries on YouTube

Dell also is a prime example of a company that adopted social media as part of the response to its problems. The company launched Direct to Dell, a blog where real employees talk about Dell’s products and services and answer questions and issues raised by people in comments or in posts on their own blogs. It has buttressed that with a program of blogger relations, reaching out to bloggers to get to know them and become part of their community. It also has launched Dell IdeaStorm, a site that allows consumers to make suggestions to Dell and then enables the community to vote for or against these suggestions.

source: Joe Thornley, Pro PR

Si tout va dans le sens souhaité, dès le mois de janvier vous n'aurez plus à vous déplacer en territoire ontarien pour profiter de Third Tuesday. On se croise les doigts.

Loving Facebook

Today, I'm loving Facebook. I used it to touch base with the step-sister of the childhood friend I'd been wondering about for years. We had dinner together in Ottawa last night and it was a blast.

J'espère te revoir bientôt, Bri.

Thanks Mark Zuckerberg.

lundi 26 novembre 2007

Podcamp Ottawa

Thank goodness for people like Mark Blevis and Bob Goyetche. For podcasting 'newbies' like me, Sunday's Podcamp Ottawa was a godsend.

I missed Charles Hodgson's session on Wordpress, but got a ton of great info from the roundtable discussion that followed. I also really appreciated Bob's Audacity demonstration and picked up a couple of tips that will certainly make my life easier.

A couple of interesting things came out of the discussions, including the possibility that a podcasting wiki be developed, which would include a step-by-step basic guide to podcasting. I would LOVE to have my hand held through the basic process just once, then go off to tweak and explore new techniques afterwards. As a non-instruction-reading-non-techie, I find it can be daunting to try to figure software out by myself and having a clear and basis step-by-step process to follow to the letter would definitely help bring my confidence levels up.

As a bonus to the day, I met a lot of really interesting people and have a few potential podcasts on my radar. Can't wait to see them come to life.

So thanks, Mark, Bob and Charles (and our host, the NAC), for a great ... encouraging ... event. Cheers!

samedi 17 novembre 2007

Blogue du Jour :

Vers la mi-mars 2008, les Jeunes relationnistes de la SQPRP présenteront le 3e colloque annuel Parle, parle, Jase, jase. Le thème cette année? Les relations de presse.

Nous sommes en pourparler; il se peut que j'offre une conférence sur les médias sociaux. Si oui, je parlerai certainement d'un certain Lyle J. Dennis, qui a lancé son blogue,, il y a à peine quelques mois. Ce nouveau citoyen-journaliste se voit déjà invité aux conférences de presse de GM au même titre qu'un journaliste des médias traditionnelles.

Lors d'une entrevue accordée à Chuck Squatriglia de Wired Magazine, Dennis dit qqchose de très révelateur:

Q: Did you expect to have that much impact? To get the world's largest automaker to not only read your stuff but to call you and invite you to meet with them is an impressive feat.

R: I think the most important thing this shows is we are in a new world. We're seeing the democratization of the media. It's come to the point where anybody who's got half a brain and has a passion about something can make a difference through the Internet. To me, this illustrates that. Like you said - I've now got the attention of the world's largest automaker, and who the hell am I? I'm just a guy in his room writing on his computer. I'm nobody.*

Quant au journaliste, il serait apôtre du Long Tail : has just a few thousand regular members, but they'd all walk into a Chevrolet showroom tomorrow and buy a Volt.*, selon Technorati :
Authority: 98
Rank: 68,166

Pas fou, ce Bob Lutz. En passant, le Chef de la direction de GM tient lui aussi un carnet ...

*source: Wired, 16 novembre 2007

jeudi 15 novembre 2007

Interview of the day : Chris Anderson

Like hundreds (dare we say thousands?) of PR consultants, I too waded into the debate on PR practices launched by Chris Anderson of Long-Tail fame.

Anderson follows up this week through an interview with Brian Pittman of Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog that's worth a read.

On being nice:

People who said there was a more generous and nice way to respond, like writing them individually, well … they're right. That would have been nicer, but also impossible for me to do. More important: It wouldn't have changed the game. It wouldn't have focused people on this issue. So, I guess I have to say, "Guilty as charged." The goal wasn't to be nice.

Is it my imagination or is Chris talking directly to me? Actually, I wasn't the only one to suggest that a kinder approach could have been nice, in a good karma kind of way. Albeit time consuming, I give him that. Maybe a template response is the answer. In his case, he could simply reply with a link to his blog posting.

Then again, maybe Anderson is right and a drastic wakeup call is a more effective solution to get us out of our lethargy.

Judging by the attention his post has received I suspect that, unfortunately, he's onto something.

At the very least, comms profs will be able to hold this article up high in the air to drive home their argument on the value of good research and solid media relations. PR virgins are already nervous about picking up the phone to call their first journalist. If this blog post doesn't have them quaking in their boots, I don't know what will.

Hopefully the same conversation is going on in the boardrooms and around the water coolers of PR agencies everywhere.

News of the Day : Blogger admitted to journalism union

The National Union for Journalists (NUJ), the union for journalists in Britain and Ireland, has admitted its first full-time freelance professional blogger as a member.

The blogger in question? Hull university student Conrad Quilty-Harper of tech blog Engadget.

Now this comes on the heels of an article penned by NUJ new media representative Donnacha DeLong, entitled Web 2.0 Is Rubbish, so the cynic in me suspects this might just be a PR move. All that said, it still represents a significant step in the evolution of bloggers / citizen journalists. Especially coming out of a union that's celebrating its centenary this year.

An excerpt from the contentious article here, just to give you an idea:

(...) what's wrong with it? Isn't increased participation and feedback from our "users" -- readers and viewers -- a good thing? Of course it is, but the problem with Web 2.0 is not how it introduces these elements to the media, but how it's seen as replacing traditional media. Professional media provide users with something that we need to fight to retain – truly authoritative content. (...) There are those who claim that Web 2.0 democratises the media. It would make everyone equal, yes, but should they be? It’s like saying anyone can play for Manchester United.

Nice blog, that Engadget. Check it out. Mr. Quilty-Harper's postings are interesting, and I'm intrigued by the Clockwork Laptop, but I have a special place in my heart for this article, personally. When does Joshua Topolsky get his union card?

Social media training : Dave Fleet's new wiki

Have I mentioned that I think Dave Fleet is a really clever guy? I met him at a Toronto Geek Dinner in August and have been following him ever since.

Dave has turned a fantastic idea for social media training into a collaborative wiki, where public relations professionals interested in dipping their toe into the social media space can benefit from the expertise of those who have been experimenting for awhile and are willing to share their key learnings.

Dave's slogan : Using Social Media To Create Social Media Training

It has just launched, and I've entered the fray with preliminary contributions to the Blogger Relations and Social Media News Release sections of the wiki. I'll be watching these pages and others to see how they develop over time.

The podcasting section is of particular interest for my learning curve, in case anyone out there feel like contributing ...

mercredi 14 novembre 2007

Dear Rockers : an exercise in online mea culpa

The incomparable Darren Barefoot has a new project on the go. Dear Rockers (a.k.a. Paying back musicians five bucks at a time) aims to free us all of the guilt we bear for downloading or otherwise pirating music.

Many of us own music that we didn't pay for. We don't feel guilty about shafting the record company, but what about the musicians themselves?

Here's how it works:

1. Pick a musician
2. Write them a letter
3. Scan or photograph the letter and send it to us
4. Send off the letter
5. Enjoy your new, guilt-free life

Darren must have been raised Catholic. As was I. Here's my contribution:

Dear Gipsy Kings,

In October 2006 (strikeout) 1996 I received a mixed tape from my then boyfriend, who was a Californian god. I specify, because it’s the only excuse I have for being seduced into accepting a non-purchased gift of your music. I enclose 10$ : that’s 5$ for my sin and 5$ for Surfer-god Tom’s. Thanks for the memories.

{heart} Michelle

If you look at the top centre of that photo, you can almost make out the tiny head that is Tom's portrait among the dried flowers and plane ticket. My, my, was he ever lovely. Thanks for the memories, Darren.

Tod Maffin (for Gowan), Julie of Boot and Blade (for Imogen Heap), Tanis of Boob Tube (for New Pornographers) and Monica of Your dose of lunacy (for Billy Joel) have already joined in the fun.

Now if I could just find a stamp ...

mardi 13 novembre 2007

The power of social media

So here's the power of social media :

17 minutes ago, David Jones of Inside PR and PR Works posted this in Facebook
David Jones is feeling special for loaning money through before Bill Clinton told him to today. 17m ago

11 minutes ago, I posted this in Facebook
Michelle is checking out 'cause David Jones told her to. 11 minutes ago

2 minutes ago, I ended a phone coversation where I told my best friend about

1 minute ago, I added the banner to my blog.

5 seconds ago, I finished my blog post about

Now I'm heading back to to put my money where my mouth is.

Facebook app of the day : BC Hydro's Green Gifts

Have you noticed that zombie, vampire and werewolf attacks are on the decline in Facebook? As the platform gains maturity, and users begin to tire of useless applications or become suspect as the result of increased awareness of privacy issues, usage takes a nosedive. I suspect that users are becoming more discriminating and that, shortly, the applications they add will be a truer reflection of theirs values and concerns.

If that happens, it's good news for apps like Rob Cottingham's Green Gifts. Working with its client, BC Hydro, Cottingham's Social Signal has come up with a free Facebook app that comes with a message : you can send a friend an energy-saving 'Power Smart' tip every 48 hours, along with a personalized note.

And, if you're a BC resident, you're even eligible for a prize.

Factoid of the day : According to Green Gifts, BC Hydro is working towards electricity self-sufficiency in B.C. by 2016.

Mia Farrow in Second Life

Mia Farrow's avatar looks remarkably like her. Someone did a pretty good job. Ms Farrow, actor and UN goodwill ambassador has become one of the most vocal activists condemning the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region. She joined the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Conscience in taking the cause into Second Life.

Video here

The event took place at a virtual replica of Our Walls Bear Witness - Darfur: Who Will Survive Today? the powerful, outdoor photography exhibition highlighting images of the Darfur crisis by leading photojournalists as projected onto the exterior of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, around this time last year.

It's interesting to see not only how Second Life is being used to hold seminars, press conferences, album launches and other meetings between people from around the world, but how it's being used as a tool within a communications strategy aimed at mobilizing the global community around a cause that seems easy for most of us to ignore. I'll have to delve into Second Life a little more to understand how these events are promoted, but even sitting on the outside and looking in, it's easy to see the potential.

I've brought the question of an Olympic boycott in support of Darfur to Facebook. French and English groups are now open to the global Facebook community, with links to online petitions, resources and first-hand testimonials. Promotion has begun within my own network, but I'll soon be taking steps to bring the group to the attention of others I feel might be moved to increase its visibility and get the viral effect going.

vendredi 9 novembre 2007

Peter Greenaway in Second Life

Peter Greenaway in Second Life? Unless he was pulling Jian Ghomeshi's leg on Q today, the British filmmaker etc. extraordinaire is planning an event in Second Life. He declared (again) that cinema is dead and sees SL as its future, particularly because of its interactive potential.
More to follow?

To enjoy the Greenaway Q interview, go here - it's about 2/3 of the way through.

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Rent it. Love it. Then keep an eye out for what Mr. Greenaway is planning on doing with it in Second Life.

I guess I should roll up my sleeves, find the patience to dress my avatar and start exploring Second Life properly before Greenaway's project launches, because I'm going to want a front-row seat in _that_ theatre.

FacebookCamp Montreal post mortem

Whew. What a crazy couple of weeks. Non-stop action. I'm more than happy to spend the last half of Friday evening quietly reflecting on the sweet success of Wednesday night's Facebook Camp Montreal.

The doorman's clicker-thingy said 213 people were in attendance - since there were about 50 bodies in the space before he started his shift, I'd say we had over 250 Facebook maniacs streaming in and out of the SAT that night. Great turnout.

I was the guard-dog .. erm .. timekeeper for the marketing stream presentations, so couldn't make it over to the developer side of the venue, but I hear their presentations were really interesting.

Highlights for me definitely included Eric Bolduc's presentation of ratsdeville's use of the Facebook space ... not only because Eric is a close friend whose project I support through PR strategic advice that included his introduction to social media platforms like Facebook, but because he did a great job with the 5 minutes he was given. Not only that, but Eric managed to coin the evening's catch phrase : Facebook is the blog of my blog. Like Thane Calder said later on in the Future panel, there's something really insightful about that comment that has some interesting implications. As Eric's presentation demonstrated, his use of Facebook is definitely having a terrific impact on his blog's traffic stats.

I also really enjoyed the Future panel, with Thane Calder, Sébastien Provencher, Martin Lessard, Bruno Boutot and Sylvain Carle. One thing that stuck with me was Sébastien's reflection on the impact a social media platform like Facebook will have on the Web of the future : like him, I remember a pre-Mosaic web and have known for a long time that the Web can be an interactive platform that goes well beyond dating and gaming sites. But now, Monsieur-et-Madame-tout-le-monde are cluing in to that reality and the Web will never be the same.

There are two ages of the Internet - before Mosaic, and after. The combination of Tim Berners-Lee's Web protocols, which provided connectivity, and Marc Andreesen's browser, which provided a great interface, proved explosive. In twenty-four months, the Web has gone from being unknown to absolutely ubiquitous.
A Brief History of Cyberspace, Mark Pesce, ZDNet, October 15, 1995

Social media is still pretty new to Montreal marketers and I think that was reflected in some of the panel discussions Wednesday night. Some are treading carefully (if at all) on new ground, while others are willing to start getting their hands dirty by experimenting.

PR people, be aware : marketers might still be skeptical about social media, but if their presence (and your general absence) Wednesday night is any indication, they're well on their way to getting cozy with it and will be quite capable of guiding their (your?) clients into the space sooner, rather than later. So how about it? Are you ready?

I'm getting there, thanks in large part to events like FacebookCamp. It was great to be involved in the organization of this first edition. Thanks to the other members of the organizing committee for inviting me on board : Sylvain Carle, Sébastien Provencher, Thane Calder, Geoffroi Garon, Tanya McGinnity and Antoine Girard.

À la prochaine!

mardi 6 novembre 2007

FacebookCamp Montréal demain à la SAT

FacebookCamp Montréal :

le mercredi 7 novembre

18h à 22h+

à la SAT (St Laurent entre Sainte Catherine et René Lévesque)

Entrée gratuite pour 200 personnes

Programmation disponible sur Facebook ici

YULNews : présentation disponible

Denis Canuel, fondateur de YULNews, a eu la gentillesse de rendre sa présentation BarCampMontréal3 disponible à tous ceux qui n'ont pas pu assister à l'événement en fin de semaine.

Allez jeter un coup d'oeil à la présentation et découvrez en même temps le blogue.

Fini la convergence?

dimanche 4 novembre 2007


J'ai participé hier au BarCampMontréal3 - un très bel événement organisé par une bande de malades qui passent des nuits blanches à s'assurer que tout se déroule à merveille.

Je n'ai pas pu assister à toutes les sessions, car j'y étais principalement pour assurer les relations de presse de mon client, The Code Kitchen, qui profitait de l'événement pour lancer sa plateforme de marketing par courriel, CakeMail, mais parmi celles qui ont particulièrement retenu mon attention:

CakeMail (naturellement)

Laurent Duperval et la présentation 101

... et YULNews: présentation que j'ai raté, à mon grand regret. Mais au moins YULNews est maintenant sur mon radar. J'ai bien hâte de connaître la suite et me suis inscrite pour un test beta.

Merci donc à Sylvain, Simon, Evan, Heri et les autres. J'espère que la fierté d'un travail bien fait puisse vous récompenser pour les heures que vous avez investi dans l'organisation de l'événement.

vendredi 2 novembre 2007

Third Tuesday à Montréal? Un pas de plus.

Généreux, ce Joe Thornley. Il s'est déplacé d'Ottawa hier soir pour rencontrer une dizaine de montréalais intéressés à lancer un chapitre de Third Tuesday dans la métropole. Ces rencontres, toujours avec conférencier, ciblent tout particulièrement les professionnels en communication. Ça nous permet de belles occasions d'échanger avec des pairs s'intéressant aux médias sociaux. Je pense que le timing est excellent, car la profession au Québec se réveille de plus en plus au phénomène et commence à s'intérroger quant à sa pertinence.

Le comité qui se formera aura un peu plus de pain sur la planche que les autres villes qui y participent déjà, vu nos réalités linguistiques. Mais quel beau problème : j'imagine le plaisir que nous aurons à puiser dans un bassin international afin de dénicher nos conférenciers potentiels.

À suivre.

Merci à tous ceux qui se sont joint à nous hier.

J'en profite pour ajouter le blog collaboratif à mon blogroll et de saluer Nicolas Cossette, qui y contribue de façon régulière.