Yet another boring Oscar party

Again if it wasn’t for Twitter and the fact that I had money riding on it, the Oscars could’ve easily been missed in my books.

Of the ten films nominated for Best Picture, I saw four of them (UP, Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds and The Hurt Locker). While in a perfect world UP should’ve probably won, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The other three were good movies, but nothing spectacular so I wasn’t rooting for any one in particular (just as long as Pocha- er, Dances wi- um, Fern Gu- ee, ah yes, Avatar didn’t win).

The biggest part of the Oscars, and really all award shows, is the length. I think it all started around 7pm and didn’t finish til after midnight. That’s just insane. No wonder less and less people are watching it each year; it’s not that they don’t want to know who wins, it’s just one long, boring self-pat on the back. This is just one more reason why Twitter is great I guess, because it made it all bearable with the hilarious commentary.

Here’s a complete list of the winners from last night.

What did you think of the whole thing?

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.

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?

Why all the fuss about Foursquare?

Recently I’ve hopped on the Foursquare bandwagon (add me!). When I get the opportunity I check-in to wherever it is I am (except home – who needs to know that?), I get points, unlock badges and even recommend places like restaurants if I want. It seems as though a few people are all up in arms about people pushing Foursquare updates to Twitter and Facebook. Why? I’m not sure. The only issue I can see is people not commenting on what they’re doing at “X” location. As with anything, you should add value by even posting a small comment.

Before Foursquare even came on the scene, people were tweeting about where they were at for a long time. All that’s added this time really is the link to their location which I’ve seen with the tagging locations for a lot longer. Foursquare has some great marketing potential as well, and it’s already catching on, so it’ll probably be here a while which means people should get used to it.

What are your thoughts on Foursquare, and do you think it’s here to stay?

Not really feeling the Buzz

Okay Buzz Lightyear? Pretty cool. Google Buzz? It may be too early to comment, but my first impression is that it has good potential, but I don’t see it taking on the big guns of the social media world.

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the idea of living in my Gmail instead of bouncing back from Twitter to Facebook to email (Hotmail/Gmail). I’m in a comfort zone with how I use my social tools and I just don’t see that happening. After the much-hyped release of Google Wave, I haven’t noticed anyone in my social sphere using it, so what’s different this time around?

So far it seems to me like a new version of FriendFeed, minus the Facebook integration. I’m on Friendfeed but most of the time it just sits there and acts as an RSS for my Twitter updates, simply because most if not all my contacts there are on Twitter. In the short time since I’ve added my Google Buzz profile it’s done the same, except I’ve also included Flickr and Youtube, should I update those accounts in the future.

Another point I haven’t really heard relates to my pattern of social media use. I like my boundaries.

  • Twitter is a free-for-all, where unless you’re a bot, follower-hoarder, or marketer/inspirational speaker of some sort, I’ll likely follow you.
  • Facebook is for friends and some acquaintances/contacts.. though I’m open to opening the criteria up a tad.
  • LinkedIn is purely professional, like a business card exchange.
  • Gmail is for my professional emails / Hotmail (or Windows Live Mail or something) is for personal stuff

Though it goes against the social media “rules” as it were, the boundaries are good for me. I don’t know how the rest of the online world will react, and only time will tell. I’ll give this one a try like I did with Wave, but if it’s one of those things that doesn’t make it easy for me to integrate into my day, then I’ll be perfectly happy sticking to what works.

In case you’re looking for more, I’ve added Google’s video on Buzz and the features it has to offer. What do you think it will amount to? The next big thing or the next big dud?

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