Don’t get fooled by LinkedIn

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Earlier last week news came out that former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson (both also current sprinters) tested positive for banned stimulants at the Jamaican championships in June.

In the middle of the subsequent investigation is Toronto-resident Chris Xuereb. Apparently, Xuereb was hired to help the athletes recover from injuries. How Xuereb was able to even obtain access to these athletes is now under suspicion too. At least by some.

Why? Well, on Xuereb’s LinkedIn profile it states that he was a member of the 2004 Argo Grey Cup Champions. (Xuereb’s account seems to have been shut down.) According to an interview with the Toronto Star, spokesperson Eric Holmes stated, “We have no employment record for Chris Xuereb, and I can confirm he was never employed by the club.”

Which brings me to my pain point: Don’t get fooled by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a great tool that allows people to network with other people based on their professional “resume”. However, one must do some extra “homework” before entering into any type of business/employment relationship with a person:

  1. While Endorsements seem to be the equivalent of the Like button, it is still important to see what people are recommending and how often they recommend an individual.
  2. Does their profile include any other contact information such as email, phone number, blog or other social media profiles? While not everyone needs to have a blog or Twitter account, there should be some other ways of connecting with an individual.
  3. Recommendations. Anyone worth their salt should have for than just a few recommendations. If your candidate has none: sirens should be blaring in your head.

These are just a few simple tips to help determine whether a person on LinkedIn is really who they say they are. How do you use LinkedIn?

thirdoceanTV: Social Wisdom with Laurie Dillon-Schalk

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A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to “interview” one of Canada’s top digital strategists and planners: Laurie Dillon-Schalk who is currently with DraftFCB’s Toronto office.  To be fair to Laurie, I think I learned more about the social/digital space during our conversation than the amount of awareness we might have generated for her and her work.

So, thank you Laurie for your time and your generosity. If you ever have a moment with her, don’t take her for granted.

The original post of our conversation (including notes) appeared on our social media agency website.

my blogging adventure continues

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For those of you who have been following me for the past few years or more you will know that a big part of my journey in social media and content marketing started when I was a contributor and Toronto Community Manager with Techvibes. It was a fun time in 2009/2010. I learned a lot and met a ton of great people.

Well, that journey continues with for the past year, I have been sending contributions to Canada’s technology and business publication. Recently, I was formally invited to participate as a contributor. Some of you may have even seen me re-post some of my articles here.

The focus of my submissions to will be the business implications of social media. So if you have any questions that you have or larger themes you would like me to cover feel free to ask me on my Twitter account.

In the meantime, I’m still actively building thirdocean into Canada’s premier social media agency.

Top 5 Business Apps for the iPad

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I haven’t used my iPad for too long. In fact, I’ve had it for under a year. When I first received it I didn’t think much of it. It had some cool apps but I was using it more for consuming entertainment than anything else. However, a business meeting I had a couple of months ago changed everything.

The person we went to see was impressed that we all had iPads at the meeting rather than mini sized laptops. Really? Impressed with iPads? Hey, he was in charge of the Canadian arm of a billion dollar brand. So who was I to argue. Since that meeting I have taken my iPad to every meeting. And in so doing, I’ve tried to use my iPad more and more for business.

Today, I present to you my 5 favourite business apps for the iPad. In no particular order:

Trello – We’ve been using this collaboration tool at our social media agency for the better part of a year now. Besides all the great features of the app, the iPad version comes with push notifications and multi-touch dragging.

Evernote – I’m sure everyone already knows about this app. Just in case you “forget”, go here.

LinkedIn – The go to app for staying connected to professionals in your network is available for you to use on the iPad.

HootSuite – I recently wrote about HootSuite. I’ve actually written a lot about HootSuite over the years so you know I’m a fan. Personally, HootSuite is my go to app for managing conversations for multiple brands across multiple social media platforms.

Dropbox – I’m not the biggest fan or user of Dropbox (I’m a heavy Google Apps user) but it has come in handy for me. It’s the best thing I’ve found to help me share presentations with clients and prospects.

What are your favourite iPad business apps?

the (in)complete list of coworking spaces in Canada: part two

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As our social media agency was getting off the ground I wrote about coworking spaces in Canada. In fact I wrote that piece while “incubating” our Toronto-based startup in coffee shops in North Toronto. As we’ve grown we’ve spent most of our time in coworking spaces in Toronto. And thus, I think I understand the importance that these spaces play in the growth and development of Canada’s future businesses and business leaders.

The following is a my updated list of coworking spaces in Canada. It is, as the title suggest, an incomplete list. Please keep the list growing by adding locations in the comments section.

British Columbia: SwitchCube in Abbotsford; HiVE in Vancouver; cowork penticton in Penticton; The Network Hub in Vancouver and New Westminster.

Alberta: unit b in Edmonton; CoworkYYC in Calgary; AcceleratorYYC in Calgary.

Prairies: The Two Twenty in Saskatoon; *Upcoming in 2013: New Media Manitoba.

Ontario: Foundery in Toronto; The Creative Space in Barrie; Camaraderie in Toronto; Coworking Space Toronto; Longbranch  Executive Centre in Toronto; ThreeFortyNine Coworking in Guelph; The Hackernest Coworking Shared Office in Toronto; *Currently closed: The Work Republic in Toronto; Colab in Toronto; kowork London; 3rd Rail Society in Stratford; Project RHINO in Toronto; 10Carden in Guelph; Centres for Social Innovation in Toronto; The Code Factory in Ottawa; treehaus in Kitchener; CoWorkative in Richmond Hill; Spark Box Studio in Picton; Bento Miso in Toronto; Beach Business Hub in Toronto; CO:WORK in Toronto; Locus Quo in Toronto; Network Orange in Toronto The YMC in Toronto.

Quebec: Abri.Co in Quebec City; Station C in Montreal; Ecto in Montreal; Exeko in Montreal; la banque in Montreal; Jelly in Quebec City; RPM Montreal; Notman House in Montreal; nexus montreal; Comunoloft in Montreal; 6cent1 in Montreal

Maritimes: Common Ground in St. John’s; The Hub in Halifax; Coworking Cape Breton; The Hub in Mahone Bay; Queen Street Commons in Charlottetown

Know of places I’ve missed? Please share in the comments section. Thanks!

HootSuite vs Buffer

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Earlier this month I conducted a non-scientific analysis comparing two social media publication tools: HootSuite and Buffer. To set the stage here are some facts:

  • The social media agency that I am a partner of is a paying HootSuite client.
  • I use HootSuite (not just for business) to publish to a variety of platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • I use HootSuite to publish in real time as well as push out scheduled messages.
  • I have used the free version of Buffer (sparingly) to send out scheduled tweets.

I scheduled 10 identical tweets on both platforms between the dates of Monday, March 4 2013 – Wednesday, March 6 2013.

HootSuite’s schedule engine heavily loaded the tweets on Monday. Buffer scheduled 4 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday. Here are the results:

  • 4 tweets from HootSuite had no clicks.
  • HootSuite’s analytics (unless I’m missing something) didn’t share how many RTs or mentions the tweets received.
  • The 10 tweets sent through HootSuite’s scheduled feature received a total of 33 clicks; the highest tweet received 14 clicks and was about Toronto’s Community Managers.
  • Every tweet sent through Buffer received at least 1 click.
  • The average tweet sent through Buffer received 6.5 clicks.
  • The most popular tweets each received 12 clicks (Toronto’s Community Managers, Co-working Spaces in Toronto, and an interview with Gregg Tilston of Flight Centre).
  • The Co-working tweet also received 1 RT and 1 mention.
  • In total, the tweets sent through Buffer received 2 RTs, 1 mention and 65 clicks


Use Buffer to send out more than 4 scheduled tweets at once. The platform will ensure they are spread out evenly. What will I do? I will continue to use HootSuite. Scheduling has benefits (as seen above) but I also place a high level of importance on engagement, monitoring, moderating and searching for conversations and topics. These are things that provide me with personal and business value.