Archive for “August, 2011”

Social Media Roundup for August 26th, 2011

August is certainly not a quiet month in the tech and social media worlds. This week was a busy one. On the 24th, Steve Jobs, again, successfully announced his latest “mind-blowing” product called “iQuit”… but I think everyone has already seen this news in their feeds and across the front pages, so we won’t spend too much time on that subject!

On the social network front, Facebook and Twitter both made announcements this week.

Lets take a look at Facebook first:

Facebook has made some significant changes to its privacy settings. Users now can now share to specific people or groups, essentially increasing user control over who see what.


They also updated their location services. In addition to the existing Places check-ins, users can now add location information to wall posts and photos.

Facebook Location


Here’s a list of the major improvements.

  • The privacy settings are moving toward individual post windows and profiles.
  • Users are gaining the ability to approve tags of themselves in others’ posts and photos.
  • All tags will include an attribution of the person who did the tagging.
  • Places no longer require physical check-ins, so people can add locations to posts, even from the desktop.
  • You don’t need to be friends with someone to tag them in a post or photo.
  • You don’t have to like a brand to tag it in a post or photo.
  • Facebook has changed the word “everyone” to “public” in privacy settings, for clarity.
  • You can customize privacy, or visibility of information, on a post-by-post basis.
  • Users can edit the visibility of individual bits of content anytime after they post.
  • The changes don’t affect mobile users, at least not for now.

Speaking of Twitter:

Twitter has begun its new photo sharing feature to its users. The new photo service allows users to attach photos with their tweets, which could pretty much replace the similar functions provided by 3rd party vendors such as TwitPic over the past years. It means that users can now generate richer content on Twitter than merely text. But on the other hand, the new function makes Twitter feeds resemble a Facebook wall post, which has always allowed users to share many types of media content.

Twitter photo

Are we forgetting about Google+?

Last week at a Social Media Today Webinar, Our CEO Maggie Fox presented some of the latest stats of Google+ as it approaches its two-month birthday. Instead of going into detail on people’s reaction to functionally, I think it is better to let the numbers do the talking.


  • 74% of Google+ users are male

Top 10 Occupations of Google+ users

  1. 10.05% Software Engineer
  2. 10.77% Designer
  3. 13.57% Developer
  4. 24.56% Engineer
  5. 4.88% Writer
  6. 4.23% Web Developer
  7. 3.67% Software Developer
  8. 3.05% Programmer
  9. 3.05% Photographer
  10. 2.79% Artist

Google+ has gained over 25 million registered users in about two months. But the question is, how many active users are there?  Or let me ask you this, when was the last time you checked your Google+ account and saw new feeds from anyone of your circles?

It is not hard to recognize that some of the latest changes Facebook and Twitter made align to the aesthetics of Google+.  So do people really need Google+ if other platforms are offering the exact same services? I think we are all still looking forward to see what Google will do next in the social space battle.

On Joining Social Media Group

A few months ago, I invited Leona Hobbs to speak to a group of students in a program called “Next Steps” for women entrepreneurs at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management’s Initiative for Women in Business, where I am a program consultant.  Although I had known Leona and Maggie for some time, I had never heard either of them speak, and was blown away. Leona’s rating from students was off the charts, and I started to pay much more attention to what was happening over at Social Media Group (my office was a block away). We had explored working together on projects in the past, but this was the first time that I got a really good sense of how grounded, practical and strategic the SMG approach to social media strategy, execution and content really was.

SMG was an ideal partner for me to have an “interesting conversation” about aligning our skill sets and businesses.

I had been working on client strategy and execution around digital communications content for about 15 years, most recently for a boutique digital communications agency I co-founded, called Experience Media, with a focus on e-learning, stakeholder communications and digital communications. With a client base that ranged from financial services, telcos, government and not for profit, we worked on a variety of large, long term digital communications projects, many of which were moving towards integration into a social media environment. I was personally ready to transition into a new role, and professionally ready to embrace the migration of content into the social media environment.

A few short weeks after our “interesting conversation”, here I am, and ready and excited to do what I’ve always loved doing – working with clients to integrate digital technologies into their businesses, in a way that is grounded, makes sense, and maximizes the client’s ability to meet their strategic goals and business objectives. Since my start online in the 1990’s, my role on a digital project has always been to make sure the solution allows clients to make the best of new technologies, but is grounded in the realities and goals of their business. It was like that when Web sites moved from IT departments to marketing departments, and it’s like that with social media now. At the end of the day, digital communications solutions have to solve real world business problems, and are proving to do it beautifully.

I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Social Media Group as Group Head, Client Strategy and Innovation!

@socialmedia2day Webinar: Inside Google+ w/ @MaggieFox

Tune in Tuesday August 23rd at 12pm EST / 9am PST to the exclusive, live webinar from Social Media Today focusing on Google+.

Many have argued that Google Plus could become a viable competitor to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media platforms. It is undeniable that Google is a force to be reckoned with, but when it comes to maintaining social media platforms, Google has yet to prove its ability to sustain interest and growth. (Remember Buzz? Wave?)

This Social Media Today webinar features two leading authorities on social media marketing and search engine optimization. In a conversation moderated by Social Media Group CEO Maggie Fox, panelists Debra Ellis and David Amerland will discuss the future of Google Plus as it approaches its two-month birthday.

To register for the webinar, follow this link.


Social Media Group's time off policy in the news (again)

Our time off policy is the gift that keeps on giving in terms of media interest and coverage. An interview with Maggie was featured on the front page of the Toronto Star, so we’ve had a flurry of interest and discussion (including a piece on the national edition of Global Television News, video below). We’ve also had many people declare that they’d like to work with us. We’re always on the lookout for incredible people to join our team; please check out the Careers area of our site to learn more.

When we decided to offer uncapped paid time off last year, it wasn’t for public relations value. It was because we wanted to have a time off policy that made sense in the context of our work. We’re knowledge workers, so to be at our best we know that we need to be well-rested and focused. We work hard. That work is exciting and engrossing but it isn’t easy.  We work with our incredible clients in social media marketing, business process transformation, conversation research and analysis and measurement. We spend long hours in front of our laptops, travel many miles on client business (over 300,000 since 2009 according to Tripit) and drive ourselves to be strategic and creative while doing the hard work of applied innovation.

We also eat our own dog food. We counsel clients who are working to scale social media inside their operations to embrace a culture of employee accountability instead of control. I know that I personally would have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning if we didn’t walk the talk ourselves.

Having administered this new policy for the past year, I can honestly say that it works and that our people make use of it weekly and respond with professionalism. Our time off policy has become part of our DNA and I hope more knowledge-based organizations adopt this approach.