Insightful

11 Wicked sources to stay updated on Social Media

There are way too many places to get information these days, it’s overwhelming. In order to stay on top of the game and know what’s going on in the world, it’s really important to read as much as you can about your industry. Mine happens to be social media, marketing and advertising. My last post detailed some tips about how to consume information, now I’m going to focus on the sources I use to be the most up-to-date person you’ll ever meet. I spend hours each day reading anything I can get my hands on. Not only about my industry, but things that are completely unrelated. It helps my personal brand, at work and even when I watch Jeopardy! I’m going to reveal some of my sources,but remember this is the tip of the iceberg.

Here is the list of some of my favourite sources to get the latest & greatest information about marketing, advertising, social media and business:

Mashable

This site was cited at Social Media Week as the most important source for any person new to social media. They do post a lot of fluff, but if you can wade through that, it’s a valuable source for social media and tech news.

Social Media Examiner

Great daily articles about the social media world, but beware it’s very sales oriented towards their success summits.

Smartbrief on Social Media

A great newsletter that grabs the most important headlines of the day and brings them to your inbox.

Under the Influence

A homegrown podcast on CBC Radio about marketing and advertising. with Terry O’Reilly as its host. The most informative half hour of my week. New episodes every Sunday.

TechCrunch

Another tech blog, great for coverage of the newest technologies and apps.

Forbes

Information and inspiration about the world’s biggest brands and idea makers.

TED Talks

Videos from the super expensive and exclusive TED Conference. They range from design to business and marketing. All very informative and inspirational.

Inc.

Great articles on startups, business strategies, tech, marketing and ton’s of other things.

Ad Age

The advertising industry bible. A must read to keep abreast of the latest campaigns, strategies and ideas

Marketing Magazine

The Canadian version of Ad Age, a great overview of Canadian agencies and accounts moving around. It’s nice because most of the other trade magazine focus on the U.S. budgets and statistics, where this gives Canadian stats.

PR Daily

Focused on public relations, with articles about writing, spelling, grammar and other related topics. Great source for social media crisis management.

As I said before, it’s a lot of work to stay updated with these sources. The payoff is worth it: you’ll be better at work, and more importantly with your personal brand. Look for my next article detailing what that is and how you can manage it. Remember, things change very quickly and news breaks fast. These sources are a great start, but there are many more. Now that I’ve shared some my sources, what do you recommend I add to the list? Comment below and tell me!

New Year, New Adventures

As I sit down to write my very first blog for 2012, there is so much happening behind the scenes in my life. At this point, I cannot discuss in detail. But give me a week or so and you’ll know exactly to what I’m referring to. I’ve been attempting to stay sane after being home for just over a year now. The urge to pack up my life and take another grand adventure seeps out of my pores 24/7. I’m happy to FINALLY be working in advertising and getting experience with social media. A few years ago if you told me I’d be getting paid to be on Facebook and Twitter all day I would have laughed in your face. At times, I truly feel there is an unseen force guiding me in the direction I’m meant to be. Two years ago the job I’m doing right now didn’t even exist, and 2012 is going to be a year of massive change for companies and the way they use social media. It’s a good career to be working in, with lots of prospects down the road. Other than finally getting a job, 2011 was a tough year for me. But for every part of 2011 I didn’t enjoy, I did learn and grow a lot because of my experiences, so it wasn’t a total write off. And I do remind myself that at the end of the day, I’m better off than 99% of the world, so I’m very thankful for that. Here’s a very quick recap of  my 2011.

I was unemployed for a bit and applying like mad to advertising agencies, I got a few calls and interviews. Interview A was for an internship at a really shady web marketing firm. I told them thanks but no thanks. Interview B was for another internship that I bombed in the interview mainly because the person interviewing me didn’t really click with my personality. Odd considering I can get along with almost anyone. I then had two interviews for real jobs at BIG, MASSIVE, advertising agencies in downtown Toronto. The first was for a media assistant position, which I knew was totally unqualified for, and went to the group interview for that. Had to talk about myself to the group and write a geography and math test. Ended up not getting that to no surprise.

I had forgotten I applied at Apple Retail while still in Florida, and they gave me a call in February. I went on a group interview (very similar to Disney), followed by an interview with the store manager. I got hired, went through 4 days of Apple Brainwashing and started at Apple Square One shortly after. I only lasted 2 months until I decided it wasn’t for me. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy getting screamed at in person and over the phone because people’s products didn’t work. this was 85% of the job. This coming from someone who has worked at Disney and Shoppers Drug Mart and has been in almost every possible crazy customer situation. I met with the store manager and told her why I wanted to leave and she was great and fully understood.

During the time at Apple, I got an interview for an account management position. I had 5 different interviews: Human Resources, 2 Account Managers (separate), another Account Manager who flew from NEW YORK CITY to meet me! And finally the Account Director on the phone from NYC. After the excruciating wait to find out my future, they went with the other person. Mainly over a bit more experience. To say I was crushed is an understatement, but I got over it.

I decided to head out to Calgary for the summer and try working out there. I packed my car, drove across the U.S. and Canada and arrived at Craig’s house. The living room became my bedroom, and we spent a great deal of time drinking, laughing and having a great time. Sadly, I couldn’t find work out there, but did apply for an advertising agency here in Ontario and ended up getting hired there. After 6 weeks in Alberta, I packed up again and drove home. I’ve been here ever since and am glad to be working in the advertising industry. My life isn’t that exciting at the moment, but I know it’s just a lull. Everything goes in cycles, and I’m in the part where it’s just about to reset.

I’m headed to Florida in a week to see some of my best friends and have 9 days of adventures. I also started a blog, Theme Park Canuck, to showcase my blogging skills and passion for theme parks. It helps keep me busy, creative and inspired.

I’m not sure what’s in store for me in 2012, but signs point to awesome.

P.S. Something I want to start doing is a recap of the notable events each week. Mainly because I’m lazy and bullet points are faster 🙂

Highlights of my week:

  • The return of my favourite blog ever, The World According to C-Mac. A great friend of mine took a tiny break (a year and a half to be specific) from writing her fantastic, hilarious and inspirational blog. Even if you don’t know her personally, it’s a great read.
  • Planning my Florida adventures. I leave on Saturday and couldn’t be more excited to visit great friends, have some awesome adventures and be in my happy place.
  • Discovering the television show Shameless when I was sick this week. So good I watched 13 episodes in 3 days. It’s about a totally F-ed family that shocks after every turn. Starring William H. Macy as the screwed up dad.
  • Secret project in the works. Please stand by.

 

Skating like a Pro

Worst quality photo ever, thanks Blackberry!

When I was a kid, I skated a lot, but lost interest around age 13 or 14. Fast forward to 2005, I was in Chicago and they had an outdoor rink and free skate rentals. Hockey skates that is. I was a little apprehensive, never having even tried on a pair of hockey skates (that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say I have a photo of myself as the Pumpkin from Cinderella somewhere that has never seen the light of day!) Getting on the ice was a bit rough. This was the only time I had skated in over 13 years. Being out of practise for such a long time was a little scary, but I knew that I must still have some skill. I spend a lot of time rollerblading in the warmer months, so I knew I could at least keep my balance. I got to the arena, laced up my skates and hit the ice. It was a little scary, seeing that the 5-year-olds zipping around the ice looked like seasoned pros. I was a little intimidated, mainly because I assumed I would fall flat on my ass the second I hit the ice. I’m glad to say I was wrong. Once I hit the ice, I also looked like a seasoned pro as I whipped around that arena. The lesson: Quiet your inner critic. If you think you can’t do it, your setting yourself up for failure. Give  yourself the benefit of the doubt that you can do the things you set your mind to. Also, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve done something, you can always jump back in if you have the right attitude. Thanks to taking this small chance, I may actually enjoy winter a little bit more this year!  Have you ever tried a hobby or sport again after many years of not being involved? What was the outcome?

Quarterlife Crisis or Happy 25th Birthday to me!

The Good Old 25
I’m sitting here at my internship at The Agency on my birthday. Shockingly I am working on nothing! Another unproductive day that is crushing my soul. I wish I had something to work on as I would love to contribute. Whatever….And if the window to fill my time sheet in pops up one more time…I swear this PC is going out the window! I am now officially a quarter century old. Twenty-five. Wow. I mean, it’s not old, but it’s not young either. What had I planned to accomplish by now….well that’s another story to tell. I am almost finished school, yay me. I am getting real world experience amidst the worst recession in my life. Awesome! And I get to move to Florida in September for another year to decide what I want to do with my life. Is there a deadline for that? Sorry for rambling….but I have so much swimming through my brain right now. I’m reading an article about quarter-life crisis. I feel it may be hitting me as we speak. The sense of being lost, yet I am a motivated and intelligent person. The sense of lonliness, yet I have 431 friends (at least according to my Facebook profile, and we know how accurate that is!). Anyways, I’m hoping in the next few months to gain some insight and clarification into what I want. Where I am supposed to be and what my purpose is. If you can tell me, that would be great!