How Twitter made me addicted to the Olympics

About a month ago, if you had asked me if I was going to watch the Vancouver Olympics (#van2010), I most likely would’ve said ‘no way, I don’t really care for them anymore.’ Let’s just say my opinion of the Olympics has been changed a full 360 degrees – thanks in large part to Twitter.

It all started with the opening ceremonies. Everyone I’ve talked to (who’s on Twitter) says reading the stream is what made it the most entertaining. Snark was out in full force that night and I’m pretty sure I was in pain a couple times from laughter. My tweets started off nice enough, then kind of degraded in to snarktown. Here are my first 5 and you can see where it went from there:

Another big part that Twitter played in my enjoying the games was the camaraderie. It’s not like I don’t experience this every day online, but when a good chunk of my followers are taking part in the same thing, I felt like I was in a bar and sharing the experience with everyone, minus the beer and deafening noise. It was great to see the flood of reactions to gold medal wins or terrible goals given up by Canadian teams.

My tweeting experience was capped off by watching the final game and event of the Olympics, the Gold medal win by Team Canada downtown at a bar with people I’ve quickly become friends with through Twitter. It was a great experience and an amazing ending to it all.

This is the first time where social media has really had a chance to shine during the Olympics and to be honest I don’t know how I’ve survived watching them without it. I can’t wait for London so we can do it all over again.

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PodCamp Toronto: the recap

I’ll cut right to the chase and say this year’s PodCamp Toronto (#PCTO2010), my second time, was a great experience all around. It’s one event I’ll continually look forward too and it keeps betting better and better. Here’s a quick rundown of my highlights from the event:

The organizers and other volunteers that worked for a long time to put on this event that just seems to get bigger and bigger the longer it’s going, now in it’s fourth year. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment on top of their other responsibilities so a big shout out to them.

Those who showed up (over 900) made it even more clear that this event is the primo social media get-together in the region (maybe the country?). Along with Tweeps I’ve met before, I met a few more that I’ve chatted with for a long time, and met new ones that I look forward to tweeting with in the future.

Great presenters & presentations – An unconference like PodCamp is a strange beast. It’s has to be geared toward an audience that’s extremely familiar with the subject matter and one that may just be figuring things out. I like to consider myself in the former category and the sessions I went to were very informative and engaging. I didn’t get to see all the sessions I wanted, but thankfully presentations should be available to watch, and many are on slideshare. Here are a few sessions I enjoyed:

  • Dave Fleet presented “Integration, Integration, Integration: Communications in the New Social Media Ecosystem”. He went through ways companies like Molson are combining social media with traditional public relations, and succeeding. The audience was engaged and there was a lot of interaction, which is what you want out of a PodCamp session.
  • Brad Buset discussed how we manage to share essentially our lives online, but manage the security risks involved with it. His session “Defaulting Privacy: Personal information and the social web” was relaxed and a great first presentation – I see many more to come in the future. (PS. If you were there, sorry about turning the lights off and on!)
  • “When Social Media Becomes Unsociable” with Miranda McCurlie and David Bradfield discussed how companies handle negative perception online. They provided great examples, from personal experience to large companies. As with Dave’s  session above, the audience was engaged and interaction was plenty.
  • On Sunday I sat in on “Twitter and Dating: tips for dating 140 characters or less” with Jeremy Wright and Melissa Smich. It was clearly the fun session and a good break from the others. They went over the do’s and don’ts of Twitter dating, or #Twating, including unacceptable pickup lines, which I wish for the life of me I could remember because they were hilarious.

Did you make it out this weekend? What were your highlights and why?

Going to PodCamp Toronto? Here’s where you’ll find me…

This weekend I’ll be heading down to Ryerson University to PodCamp Toronto (#PCTO2010), the go-to social media unconference in the city. There are so many sessions to choose from but I’ve narrowed it down and here’s where I plan to be:

Saturday

10:30-11:45 – A live recording of Inside PR. (Hosted of course by: Terry Fallis, David Jones and Martin Waxman.)

1:15-1:45 – The Inside Scoop on Social Media Analytics (Hosted by Aubrey Podolsky.)

2:00-2:30 – The Social Web, Crisis Response & Reputation Rejuvenation in the Automotive Industry (Hosted by Christopher Barger.)

2:45-3:15 – Defaulting Privacy: Personal information and the social web (Hosted by Brad Buset.)

4:15-4:45 – When Social Media Becom Unsociable (Hosted by David Bradfield and Miranda McCurlie.)

Sunday (Should I make it out as planned)

10:45-11:15am – Community Management and the future of communications at companies big and small (Hosted by Erin Bury.)

11:30-12:00pm – Hack Your Workflow for Productivity and Creativity (Hosted by Leona Hobbs.)

Are you making it out to PodCamp this weekend, and if so what sessions do you plan on dropping in on?

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