My Social Strategy

December 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am never relaxed until I can control the clutter or organize the noise around me.  So when it comes to building a social network, I need to prioritize and organize all of the great tools out there.

Main reasons to prioritize: to get the most out of the internet; understand the many features and discover how to best use.  I like to think organizing social media is similar to organizing my home or office.  Each application has a different role and used right can help in so many ways — i.e. time management, business opportunities or meeting new people.

Tweets that I’ve come across that help breakdown social networking:

  • Organize, personalize and contextualize – @entmagazine (Entrepreneur)
  • Facebook is the mall and Twitter is the street – @jimbryson
  • Facebook is your image. LinkedIn your resume. Twitter your personality – @meaghery

Here is a quick run down how I use some of the tools out there:


  • My personal news feed for work, sports, music
  • Often RT articles I find for sharing or to reference/read again later
  • A great way to stay on top of publications that I like


  • For family and close friends only
  • Try to keep this area separate from work
  • Share personal pics, videos of family (integrate with my MobileMe account)


  • My business network
  • Keep fresh as a CV, use community to show what I am about
  • Search for business ideas, leads
  • Ongoing education tool (my Personal MBA)

WordPress (Blogs)

  • Use my blog to call out topics found in Twitter or digital news
  • Post fun ideas from friends in Facebook, other communities
  • Use as my hub for everything:

Other tools that I am using:

  • Meetup – finding new communities
  • Yammer – log for private work
  • Ping – social outlet for my music

Crazy how the above only scratches the surface.  Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube or even RSS feeds are other tools that I use or test with my social network.  I will be integrating these (and others) into my strategy in the near future — perhaps using a platform like Gist as well to help keep everything on track.

Excited to see how things will change or converge for us in 2011!

Happy New Year, Craig

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My Top 10 Gift Ideas

December 1, 2010 § 2 Comments

This entry is a special one for the majority of my blog readers — Shel, Mom/Dad — as we get ready for the Christmas gift giving season. Or if you happened to stumble upon me, this list may give you some ideas for that special mac/music/sports enthusiast in your life.

So here it is, my top 10 gifts this Christmas…

Tech Stuff:

Geneva Sound SystemsClick here for the ultimate ipod/iphone amplifier.

Apple TV – It’s only $119 ($99 in the US).  Nice device to easily stream Netflix and iTunes around the house.

Apple’s Battery Charger – Another inexpensive Apple gift idea.  Read here for a review in a recent Mac|Life.

DVD/CD Ideas:

ESPN 30 For 30 Box Set, Vol. 1 – This collection will be perfect to have around the house as my kids get older and start asking questions about Terry Fox, Muhammad Ali or the Gretzky trade.  Awesome stories not to forget and to look back on as years go by. (Excited already for Vol. 2)

The Remastered Shakespeare My Butt… – A must-have CD for anyone that grew up with the 90’s Toronto (or Canadian) music scene.  Click here for a great review via

Drive-By Truckers Austin City Limits DVD/CD – Many say the bands best documented live performance to date.  Looking forward to DBT’s next new album due out in early 2011.

Book Ideas:

(Shel – hope you found the links useful)

Of course this list is for fun, most important thing is getting everyone together over the holiday season. Nothing beats Christmas morning with my kids and then getting together with our families.

Here’s to a great holiday season!

Open Leadership

November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Charlene Li

If you work as a digital consultant or handle social media projects for a large company, then Charlene Li’s Open Leadership is a must read.  Like Seth Godin says:

“Buy two copies of Charlene’s new book, one for your boss and one for you.”

While reading this I often flashed back to past co-workers or bosses who would truly benefit from the many tips featured by Charlene.  Not to mention the case studies that can easily be applied in the sports and event marketing industry.

Section I

The first section of this book is a great resource for building strategies on how best to use Facebook, Twitter, your blog or any other social media platform — and most importantly, how to measure results to know if your program is working.

The cost saving benefits provided by social media stands out especially.  Great diagrams are shown in areas such as market research, being ahead on customer service or how – implemented correctly – social technology can save you big time on your bottom line.

Section II

The second part ties in strategy learnings and benefits of being open with a structure to follow that helps get your company on side.  The social media guideline check list alone is a tool that should be referred to regularly.

Section III

This section was my favourite as Charlene investigates who makes strong open leaders, why and how to become a good open leader yourself. Many social technology experiences are described from a variety of business leaders including Brian Dunn, CEO at BestBuy, Michael Dell founder of Dell and Howard Schultz from Starbucks.

In close,

  • Favourite line: Be open, Be transparent, Be authentic
  • Key message: Leadership is about relationships, and because social technology is changing relationships, leadership has to change.
  • Follow: @charleneli

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Almost Missed Doctober

October 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

We live in a great digital age!  As many new Dads can relate, it’s really hard nowadays to stay on top of watching your favourite sport — especially during great times of the year like October;  NFL’s underway, excitement for the new NHL/NBA seasons, plus the start of postseason baseball.

Combined with chasing after the kids — new school pick-up routines, skating and swimming lessons, I am finding it very hard to keep track of when certain games start or who is playing when?  Problem solved with a web site my friend sent to me: or also known as RUWT?!

RUWT?! is a simple site that I joined during the summer.  What it does is just what their tag line states; Get instant classic alerts when the games get good!

When visiting the site you are asked to create a profile then pick one of the three alert frequency packages.  I signed up for the ‘starter kit’ to catch big moments from MLB/NHL games. With that I receive EPIC alerts which means I get emails when; Games only get to EPIC if they’re instant classics. We’re talking No-Hitters and 6OT epics. (Other RUWT?! options: alerts sent when a game gets ‘good’ or ‘hot’).

The service hasn’t let me down — case and point, this week’s performance by Doc Halladay.  With Game 1 being a late afternoon match-up in Philly, too much was happening around the Johnson Household to remember that the MLB postseason was underway.  But then an alert hits my iPhone, I see —

RUWT?! Alert MLB: Reds vs. Phillies (EPIC)


Reds: 0
Phillies: 4
Bot 8


HOLD IT!  Stop everything … isn’t Doc on the mound?!  I quickly snuck away to the nearest TV, turned to Sportsnet and witnessed the final moments of sports history. Thank you RUWT?!

My ‘Most Valuable Twitters’

September 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

For this entry I thought it would be fun to call out favourite people I follow via Twitter. So here you go — highlighted below are my Top 3 Most Valuable Twitters taken from my Lists that I watch inside TweetDeck.

List 1. Leaders (Newsmakers from digital business)

1.  @fredwilson – love his blogs, MBAMondays

2.  @incmagazine – great updates, alerts and tips

3.  @digitalroyalty – social media advice, news from special events

List 2. Tools (Digital tools that help with everyday projects)

1.  @the99percent – making ideas happen

2.  @maclife – all things apple, tech news

3.  @37changes – great use of twitter for managing clients

List 3. Sports Biz (MVP’s from the sports business world)

1.  @darrenrovell1 – king of sports business news

2.  @sports20 – love Pat’s 2.0 summits, growing a great community

3.  @sbjlizmullen – best insider for sports negotiations, agent news

List 4. Sports

1.  @twacklesports – pulse for sports headlines

2.  @the_real_nash – more than just basketball

3.  @patrickmcenroe – loved following during US Open

List 5. Hockey

1.  @real_espnlebrun – great insider coverage across the NHL

2.  @walsha – life of a hockey agent

3.  @panger40 – miss working with Panger

List 6. MyMusic

1.  @genesimmons – doesn’t tweet often, fun stuff when he does

2.  @drivebytruckers – favourite band right now

3.  @themahones – still going strong after all these years, travelling the world

Other Notables:

Hey Ping, Check Out Twackle

September 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m the first to say “its easy to criticize”, especially with a first time web site launch. However when its Apple debuting a new product, first thing you look for is cutting edge technology from their highly publicized product launches.

So when Ping was released this week as part of iTunes 10 I thought; perfect something similar to the sports social twitter tool, Twackle — but for my music. Unfortunately though in this first version, Ping misses some key ‘wow’ tools in its debut.

First thought, why not fully embrace the music community already used by artists in Twitter? Instead of following a new Jack Johnson page, integrate with Twitter’s verified account @jackjohnson. From there build around special iTunes features like artist news, concert listings and follow friends.

Other ideas for Ping:

  • Allow users to post/share own music news to fully build a social platform
  • Allow me to share my Ping page outside of iTunes
  • Let me create my own (iTunes DJ) playlists for followers to preview
  • Provide a lyrics search integrated with iBook

Like everything else Apple tackles they will eventually get it right. Too bad though Ping didn’t launch with a little more inside hype to help this new platform catch more buzz with users.

Looking forward to the upgrades!

The Book of Awesome

July 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Recently I completed The Book of Awesome. A book comprised of short stories/observations taken from a web site that author Neil Pasricha created —

I knew it would be a quick read, so I tackled it before starting my list of more business focused books. After reading it I wasn’t sure about posting a review. For me, it’s a book that I will always have around; to pick up and refer to for a smile down the road.

However when completing, I learned the sad news that someone I had worked with and admired passed away after a long battle with cancer. Right away I recalled the entry by Neil titled; Smiling and thinking of good friends who are gone. A description that for sure captures my thoughts of Mike Brown.

I had the great fortune to work with Mike over the last 5 years. The last 3 years specifically growing WG Authentic via Wayne Gretzky’s official web site; Mike was someone I always looked to for advice or bounced ideas off of in many situations.

My best memory of Mike though will be from Wayne Gretzky’s 2010 Fantasy Camp — an event Mike organized each year. I stood with Mike during one of the games as he watched his son play in the tournament.

With Mike’s health in decline, it was moving to see how much he took in that game and how he enjoyed nothing more than seeing his son skate on the ice. Something that I will always remember as I begin to watch my kids grow and participate in many different things.

Being able to work closely with Mike Brown. AWESOME!

For more on The Book of Awesome: