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Meeting Amber Mac – My Spot On App Central

I recently had the opportunity to go speak about a product I represent called Shopcatch on App Central. For those of you unfamiliar with App Central, it’s a show that airs world-wide focusing on the latest and greatest in the phone applications and gadgets. During my visit, I got to chat with the ever-so-lovely Amber MacArthur (check out her site) and talk about the future of retail – particularly in the mobile space.

 

The experience was unparalleled and so much fun for me, mainly due to how kind and inviting Amber is. I have to say this was one of my favourite TV spots I’ve ever shot in my career with Shopcatch – and I definitely recommend following both App Central and Amber on twitter. Amber and the crew are consummate professionals, and churn out absolutely fantastic content.

The set was magical with all sorts of techy gadgets in the atmosphere. Being a closet geek, I was dying while watching as the hosts talked about all the latest and greatest in digital innovation. Amber was looking her best, while BFF Caron Court snapped photos with all the guests (see picture on the right). During our time there, everyone couldn’t help but comment about the Skinnygirl party at The Drake Hotel – we were living vicariously through twitter stream (yes, we’re all nerds). I’ll elaborate on my obsession with Bethenny Frankel another time.

 

I also took a blooper vid while I was there – Amber almost got hit by one of the gadgets they were showcasing!

 

To check out my interview (it’s episode 6.1), click here.

Have you ever watched App Central?

 

    Film Friday: GranataPet Foods foursquare

    I talked about this case study briefly when speaking about foursquare for a session I lead during Torstar Digital’s University program.

    For those of you who don’t know about Foursquare, it’s a location based mobile application and website that allows people to check in at various venues. A pet food company decided to utilize foursquare in an ingenious way, and made a little video to explain their campaign.

     

    At the moment, there’s plenty of great rewards to be had all over Canada on foursquare – and they’re not just for your pets. Definitely download this application if you haven’t already, and start rewarding yourself on your everyday travels!

    Do you use foursquare? Have you ever received something for using it? Let me know in the comments below.

      6 Fool Proof Tips To (Actually) Work From Home

      I know a lot of bloggers, freelancers, and even everyday corporate people (including myself) who have the luxury of working from home occasionally. If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home in your position – I’m sure there’s been times where you’ve wondered if there are ways to enhance your productivity. As you probably know, there are tons of possible distractions around you in the house (and a full refrigerator) – making it sometimes difficult to focus. Hopefully some of these tips below will help you get “in the (work from home) zone”.

       

      1. Be sure to shower and dress when you wake up.

      This may sound silly, but it really is necessity. Get out of those PJs, and into some fresh clothes – psychologically, you’ll be more prepared to work effectively.

      2. Set up a work station.

      Don’t you dare contemplate laying in bed – make sure you either move to a room that can work as a functional office, or set up a table in the kitchen.

      3. Make a to-do list.

      Put together a full list of the tasks and work that you want to accomplish throughout the day. You’ll be able to track your progress easier, and accomplish more with a step by step layout.

      4. Take breaks.

      Don’t feel guilty about it either. Make sure you take time to grab water, a coffee, and even step out for lunch. A stimulated brain is one that maintains diversity.

      5. Check-in with your co-workers, or colleagues.

      It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re all alone and working away. Be sure to get some human interaction in your day, and update others on some of your progress/offer your help (if you have the time). Engaging with others is key to keeping your mind focused.

      6. Make sure you’re always available during your working hours.

      Whether it’s through email or by phone, be sure that you are always reachable. Your co-workers will appreciate that you’re always around – and it makes it easier for everyone considering you’re not at your desk to consult throughout the day.

      Have you got any tips or tricks you use when working from home? Share them in the comments below!

       

        Facebook’s Changed: Are You Sure You Removed That Photo Tag?

        We’ve all been there: that moment when you receive a notification on your phone (or through email) that you’ve been tagged in one of your friend’s photos. A quick heart pang hits you – wondering what photo has been subjected to the entire online world. You log on to Facebook, and sure enough – the photo in question is a nightmare. Before calling your friend to cuss them out (even after they insist you look ‘fine’) – you need to remove the tag. But guess what? The Facebook tagging system has changed.

         

        No need to panic yet….

         

        What to do next:

         1. Locate the photo that you’re tagged in on Facebook and enlarge it.

        You’ll see this option on the upper right hand side to ‘Remove’. The fact is: this will only remove the tag from your timeline, not the tag as a whole.

        2. Hover over the image until the toolbar appears underneath it, and click ‘Options’.

        Upon clicking, you’ll see there’s an option to ‘Remove Tag’. After clicking it, you’ll get a little menu that asks you what you want to do with this picture. Here’s where you can take revenge on your friend and claim harassment, or simply remove the tag. Hope this helps you take control of the tags you can’t bear to live with on Facebook, and tell me what you think about this system in the comments. Should it be less hidden/easier?

        Until we meet again, evil photo.

        Oh! And remember: if a photo is really bad, call up your friend – and get them to delete it. It could come back to haunt you.

          Getting The Look (And Job) For Less! – Guest Post by Robin Edwards

          About Robin Edwards: Robin is a self-proclaimed shopaholic who absolutely loves scoring the BEST deals around town. She’s a gorgeous mom & media maven who has her finger on the pulse of “what’s what” in the social media landscape. I first met Robin on twitter while community managing for a company called WagJag – she really helped me out with some promotions I was executing over the holidays. Later, I moved over to Shopcatch - and had the pleasure of consulting Robin on a number of projects (not to mention sparking a true admiration for her, and her extensive knowledge of retail and social media). I’m proud to call Robin a friend, so naturally I sent her an email asking if she’d be open to writing a bit about finding clothes for job interviews and the corporate world. Once again, Robin has delivered – enjoy this great post about getting the look (and the job) for less!


          Looking for a new job usually means the joyful process of interviews. While you should dust off your resumé, you should also polish up your wardrobe, since making a good first impression is a key part of nailing the position you really want. Being sharply dressed and well-groomed can be almost as important as previous experience and the number of degrees under your belt, or at least could fool them into thinking you look the part.

          What you need to purchase to outfit yourself perfectly doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and all the pieces that you need are those that should be an essential part of your wardrobe regardless of where you work. Think of them as the basics – pieces that will take you from work to a date to jury duty.

           

          Image Source: http://www.HM.com/ca

          For Guys:

          Guys need a nice pair of dress pants, a crisp dress shirt, and a stand-out tie. If you’re interviewing for the Vice President of International Corporate Banking, a jacket would definitely be appropriate. Check out the choices at H & M, where you can find a veritable rainbow of men’s superbly cut dress shirts for a mere $29.95, as well as jackets that range in price from $49.95 to $149. And you can easily pick up a nice designer tie at Winners or Marshalls that will only look expensive.

          I love the Banana Republic Factory Store for finding really well made career clothes at incredible pricing. Sign up for their emails and you’ll receive a welcome discount offer as well as notification of upcoming sales events. And I always check out the clearance section where you can score some amazing deals.  Last week I found men’s suit jackets that were regularly $179 for a mere $39.99.

           

          For Girls:

          Image Source: http://www.gapcanada.ca

          Girls can go with pants or a skirt, just follow some of the same rules. Basic black or gray bottoms and the ubiquitous crisp shirt. Check out the Gap for their ‘perfect shirt’ for $49.50, which offers a beautifully tailored fit and a quality which will last for years. Jazz it up with some bold jewelry or a bright scarf.

          Don’t be afraid to shop in places you may never have thought of to score some great basics at unbelievable prices. Walmart has a fantastic selection of career dress pants and basic shirts from their George™ line, with a variety of pants in modern cuts available from as little as $20.

          One of the most important things to make sure of before you leave the house – check that your shoes are clean and polished if necessary. One of my little tricks to spiff up a pair of black shoes is to grab a Sharpie marker and colour in any worn spots, just a couple of dabs of ink can make a huge difference. My mother always said you can tell a person’s pride by the way the care for their shoes.

          Always carry extra gum or mints with you. There is absolutely nothing worse than speaking to someone and having to inhale their latte breath or remnants of the extra onions you got on your sub at lunch, but never, EVER chew gum during the interview. And NEVER wear flip flops – unless you’re interviewing at the Head Office of Havaianas.

           

          Don’t Forget!

          And don’t forget the most important thing to wear – CONFIDENCE! With enough of it, you’ll be sitting in the big corner office in no time at all, and your assistant will gratefully polish your shoes for you.

          To follow Robin on twitter, click here.

          To read Robin’s blog, click here.

           

            5 Sites I Recommend – Casie, Fourth Floor, Lena & More!

            Over the lifespan of my time on the ‘interweb’, I’ve encountered a few sites I really think are worth looking at. If you have some time, and want to do some discovery work – look no further, these are sites for you!

             

            1. CasieStewart.com

             

            Nope, there’s no relation (besides maybe being members of IAA – Internet Addicts Anonymous). Casie is always on the cusp of digital – constantly sharing her perspective about product/conference/more. Her image heavy content is always a pleasure to sift through, and you can literally get LOST in her site for hours, so have some fun!

             

             

             

             

            2. ListenToLena.com

             

            A social media expert, lifestyle blogger, and mom. Lena always is able to take relatable experiences and share her insights with the world. She also has a great perspective on new products – and some sweet giveaways!

             

             

             

             

            3. OnTheFourthFloor.com

            This blog is run by rock-it promotions. The entire staff is dedicated to highlighting the best in lifestyle, fashion, digital, and more. Each day marks a new and exciting post into the world of this PR firm, and they continue to churn out great content for their readers! Definitely worth checking out, if only for the DIY tips.

             

             

             

             

             

            4. BunchFamily.ca

             

            A fab site for the foodie in me. I can always count on Bunch to serve up some delicious content, along with some family fun. A big shout out to Bunch recently for their coverage on LGBT parenting – this topic is often sifted over by some family-oriented sites, and Bunch makes a real effort to provide their perspective. Definitely a fun place to look for the whole family.

             

             

             

             

            5. 12Most.com

            The name says it all. The 12 Most ______________ – articles that are all based around lists of 12. From professional to ridiculous, it’s always fun to just explore what this team of bloggers have come up with each day. Caution – you will spend a LOT of time looking around on this page!

             

             

             

             

             

            Also, I mentioned yesterday that I would be posting video of the FourPin+ presentation I gave today. Sadly, the video on my iPhone did not produce the quality I would’ve liked – so I’ll be posting an updated narrated version of the slides from yesterday. Look for that in the near future!

              Understanding Foursquare and Pinterest: FourPin+ Slides

              As I mentioned yesterday, I have the pleasure of speaking about Foursquare and Pinterest tomorrow for Torstar Digital’s University program! I’m taking this opportunity to provide you all with a sneak peek at the slides I’ll be presenting with. Have a look, and enjoy the case study videos! Tomorrow, I’ll have a video of the presentation for you to enjoy and learn with! Thanks for checking in, and let me know  if you have any questions about the deck below!

              Also, keep your eyes peeled over the next 24 hours for a guest blog post from my dear friend, @shopwithrobin! She’ll be providing some great insights on interview attire!

              Download the FourPin+ presentation here.

               

                E-Reading Trends INFOGRAPHIC

                So many of my friends have purchased and use Kindles daily to consume their novels and reading materials. I came across this INFOGRAPHIC today, and thought it really explained some of the disruption within the marketplace :

                20120618-213110.jpg

                Do you own an e-reader? How often do you use it? If not, do you plan on buying one? Share your thoughts in the comments!

                  The Importance Of Pinterest

                   

                  On Wednesday, I’m teaching a seminar on Pinterest for Torstar Digital’s University program. Because of this, I’ve revisited marketing tactics for the innovative, image based social pinboard, and I thought I’d share with you some key ways that you can use Pinterest effectively for your business, your brand, or even yourself!

                   

                  “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.” (source: About Pinterest)

                  A picture represents each unique pin. Popular subjects include recipes, memorable blog posts, craft projects and more. Once a post is pinned, others can see the pin and follow a link to the original source. The ideal scenario is that your pictures (ie. pins) will be re-pinned and shared by others!

                  First off, a quick video that shows some of the key info about this buzz-worthy network!

                   


                   

                   

                  Isn’t it crazy that Pinterest generates more referral traffic than Google+, Youtube and LinkedIn combined?! Here’s a few first steps that you can take to get a piece of the Pinterest action:

                   

                  Make Your Site Image-Friendly

                   

                  Whether you’re blogging, or just enhancing your current website – make sure to have lots of images that are able to be re-pinned! Why? This will ultimately bring you more referral traffic (not to mention make your site a prettier place to visit) while people are looking through the infinite images on Pinterest. A big shout out to some of you readers who have already started pinning my images – THANK YOU!

                   

                  Get The Browser Add-On

                   

                  When using firefox, google chrome, or even explorer – you can download a simple add on that allows you to easily right click on images and share them on your pinterest boards, etc. Find more information on where to download these add-ons here.

                   

                  Place Your Pins On Your Site!

                  This one seems like a no-brainer. I’m using pinterest for the business I market for (Shopcatch), and am in the process of building out Embrace Disruption’s pinterest page (stay tuned). There’s plenty of widgets out there that you can place on your sites/blogs/profiles that will help you drive up your follower number, and also your traffic numbers by displaying snapshots of photos you’ve recently pinned.

                  ***UPDATE!! You can now FOLLOW EMBRACE DISRUPTION on PINTEREST by clicking HERE.

                   

                  Get Your Comment Skills ON

                  Another really important piece to the Pinterest puzzle is engaging. As with any kind of relationship, it’s a give and take! Make sure to comment on others’ pins – and really do the job of listening and viewing other people’s content. This may take some time, but is a guaranteed way to get people ‘pinterested’ in you!

                   

                  If you’ve still got questions – don’t fret! After my presentation on Wednesday, I’ll post the slides for you to look through for more info. Also, there’s some real crossover in terms of promotional strategy that you can employ from the Twitter Engagement post yesterday.

                    Ask Embrace Disruption: Twitter Engagement

                    Earlier this week, I opened up the option to submit your anonymous question – and I would answer any and everything that comes my way.

                    One of the first questions mailed in is one that I encounter more often than you’d think, so I thought it necessary to start here:

                    “How can I get my twitter following to engage more with my brand?”

                    To be honest, there’s no “right” answer to this question, but there are some suggestions I can provide you with to hopefully spark some conversation.

                     

                    On the content side of things, I think the most important thing to remember here is that when representing a brand, you should not always be in “sell” mode. Tweets should be treated as a conversational tool, and if done properly can develop a more rounded personality for your brand. It’s important that when tweeting, you treat each one as though you were writing a headline on a national paper. Stay relevent, and always ask yourself if what you’re about to tweet would interest you if you saw it.

                    There are ways to really build out your content and make it “must-see” writing. Some of the basic guidelines around building out engagement involve sharing relevant and interesting articles, but also reaching out to your audience and participating in their conversations. It’s important to not only be a broadcaster, but additionally a fantastic listener. Some of the best twitter presences will often engage a lot based on the content their followers are sharing and really listen to what others are saying. It’s important to remember that even from behind the facade of the computer, all these tweets are coming from real people. Finally, if you’re still struggling – there’s always contesting. It’s an easy way to get the ball rolling – and everyone loves the chance to win something (no matter how big or small the prize value is). I will caution that although it can bring great success, contesting should not be your sole strategy to engage with an audience on twitter – it’s more of a complement to your everyday content.

                    I hope this spurs some creativity when you approach writing your tweets in the future, and thank you so much for writing in! For more insight on twitter, have a look at “Follower Count Is Wrong: 5 Steps To Measure Online Influence Properly”.

                    Do you have a question you’d like answered? Click here to submit one!

                     

                     

                     

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