Category Archives: HuffPost Canada

This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published June 3, 2011)

Social Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, June 3, 2011
Metro section

Tweets can come back to haunt you

I was the victim of my own carelessness earlier this week when I tweeted that I’d received a nice e-mail from Orin “Hatch”, the bandleader and musical director for Canadian Idol after I’d written a commentary for HuffPost Canada about Canadian reality television and mentioned the show.

For you political buffs out there, “Orrin Hatch” is actually the Republican senator from Utah. Over the years, I’ve been involved in several media training sessions that have used one of his television news interview clips as part of the training. If you say “Orrin” (or “Orin), my mind automatically goes to “Orrin Hatch”.

Unfortunately, the e-mail I received was actually from Orin Isaacs – not Orrin Hatch. Orin Isaacs was the musical director and bandleader for Canadian Idol and was kind enough to send me the kind words about the commentary I wrote for HuffPost Canada. The brain is a funny thing. Even when you’re certain you wrote something down correctly, it’s always best to double and triple check.

Subsequently, my erroneous “Orin Hatch” Twitter post was retweeted by one of HuffPost Canada’s editors, obviously quite pleased with some positive feedback being received by one of the website’s bloggers after only a week out of the starting gate. (HuffPost Canada launched last week.)

This is one of the dangers of Twitter. When you make a mistake and it’s retweeted to thousands of people before you can correct it, you not only embarrass yourself (and trust me, I was mortified by my error), but you also embarrass those who retweeted you believing that what you wrote was accurate. Credibility can take a hit.

I removed the erroneous tweet right away and rewrote it to ensure that “Isaacs” replaced “Hatch” and reposted it. I also advised the editor who retweeted it that I’d erred in order to give him a chance to delete his retweet. (Clear as mud, eh?)

If you make an error on Twitter, be sure to advise the people who retweeted your erroneous post so that they may have the option of correcting or deleting the error. It’s only fair. Don’t just assume they saw the correction.

Ah, the joys of social media. My joy of getting a positive e-mail from one of Canada’s most successful musicians quickly turned to embarrassment due to my own error and then it started getting spread by others. Moral of the story: double and triple check everything you send, especially when you’re mentioning others. Thanks also to the Facebook friend who pointed out the error to me. Making stupid mistakes in social media can be a credibility killer. It’s always best to own up to them immediately.

Featured YouTube channels

Here are three YouTube channels for you to check out. This week’s channels are all related to goal-setting and success.

Success Magazine: This is a great channel that features motivational and self-improvement videos from some of the world’s most renowned success coaches and entrepreneurs. Subscribing to this channel is a must for anyone interested in goal-setting, positive thinking and entrepreneurship.

John Maxwell Team: John Maxwell is one of my favourite motivational speakers. What I particularly like about him is his stance that you can’t please everyone and that trying to do so is the kiss of death for any entrepreneur or leader. Five days per week, he posts a short motivational clip series called “A Minute with Maxwell” based on one word, i.e. “goals”, “selflessness”, etc. Always interesting and they’re only a minute long, so they’re quick and easy to listen to!

Better Life Media: This channel features video playlists by a variety of inspirational success coaches, authors and mentors, including Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, Denis Waitley, Les Brown and Jim Rohn.

YouTube channel inspiration dies

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new Moncton-based YouTube channel called A Journey through Cancer that depicted some of what channel inspiration Harley Marr and his family had been going through since his hospitalization several weeks ago.

Harley was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer a few years ago. He and his family – including his wife Jenn and children Ali and Joel – decided that they would work every day to make a difference instead of just sitting back and being victims.

Harley died on May 27 – one week after the last video was posted. The last video is very sweet and shows the family taking their dog Rocky to visit Harley in the hospital. Harley was so happy to see Rocky and watching them together just warmed the heart.

I want to pass along my personal condolences to the Marr family and thank them for sharing some of their very difficult and emotional journey with us through YouTube. I had only met Harley a couple of times but felt like I knew him through the videos.

Donations in Harley’s memory may be made to Harley’s Heroes, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life team organized by his wife, Jenn.

This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published May 27, 2011)

Social Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, May 27, 2011
Metro section

Huffington Post arrives in Canada this week

Boasting more than 1.5 million readers from Canada, the Huffington Post news and blog site has decided to expand to Canada and was expected to launch earlier this week.

One of the most popular news websites in the world, it was recently purchased by AOL from founder Ariana Huffington for US$315 million. It recruits bloggers to write for it at no cost, assuming that the prestige of writing for the invitation-only Huffington Post is suitable compensation. While some disagree with this practice, it’s obviously working and provides an extra level of exposure and legitimacy to some of the more unknown bloggers that they may have otherwise not been able to achieve.

Are not exposure and prestige a form of payment? Of course they are. And, of course, you need to have a “day job” to pay the bills. There’s nothing wrong with writing content for exposure. Done correctly, it will lead to bigger and better things – and be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

And, since it’s all entirely voluntary, if writing for non-monetary compensation doesn’t sit well with someone, they simply don’t have to do it.

Notable YouTube channels

Jimmy Kimmel Live! (youtube.com/jimmykimmellive) – Kimmel’s YouTube channel is updated often and carries many of the comedy bits and interviews from his popular and irreverent late-night talk show. What’s even better, they realize the power of social media by allowing embedding of the videos in blogs, news sites, etc. This is often frowned upon by television networks that still haven’t clued in to the fact that there are millions of people out there willing to advertise and promote their shows for free. This is especially easy when using the YouTube platform. Kudos to them! (Subscribers: 200,000 )

The Royal Family (youtube.com/theroyalchannel): Yes, even the Royal Family has a YouTube channel. While the channel’s administrators did not previously allow embedding, they seem to have had a change of heart and realize the benefits of allowing others to post videos to blogs, etc. If you missed the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, you can see many of the highlights there. Also featured are various visits by Queen Elizabeth and other members of the Royal Family. (Subscribers: 120,000 )

Ricky Ficarelli (youtube.com/RickyFicarelli): Ricky is a talented 17-year-old drummer who plays drum covers of popular songs. What’s the big deal, you may ask? Well, watch one of his videos to find out! He knows how to play to the camera and the video quality and editing are excellent. And he’s darn good! There aren’t many young celebrity drummers out there, but Ricky is certainly going to be one. (Subscribers: 62,000 )

Notable tweeps

If you don’t know what a “tweep” is, it’s someone with a Twitter account. Here are a few locals you may want to follow:

@jonnabrewercbc is the new Twitter account for CBC Radio Moncton’s news director Jonna Brewer who reads the news every weekday morning on Information Morning. Also on Twitter is the show’s host, Dave MacDonald (@cbcmacd).

@CapitolMoncton is the new Twitter account for Moncton’s Capitol Theatre. It is updated regularly with news and upcoming events. Casino New Brunswick also has a Twitter account that is updated regularly: @casinonewbruns

@davergallant is the Twitter account for Dave Gallant, a local social media consultant. Dave is always tweeting lots of useful information and statistics regarding social media. If you want to learn more about social media, you should definitely follow Dave’s account! You won’t regret it and you’ll learn a lot!

Finally, were you a fan of The Waltons television series? If so, you’ll be pleased to know that Gramma and Grandpa Walton have their own (tongue-in-cheek) Twitter accounts: @GrandpaWalton and @GrammaWalton. Quite entertaining!

Twitter buys TweetDeck

If you’re a serious Twitter user, you likely rarely use the actual Twitter website, opting to use a third-party application such as TweetDeck or HootSuite. According to a news story posted to PCWorld (www.pcworld.com) earlier this week, Twitter has finalized a deal to purchase TweetDeck for $40 million.

I’ve tried both TweetDeck and HootSuite and can honestly say that I don’t see the attraction to TweetDeck at all. HootSuite seems much more powerful and versatile. However, Twitter’s move is strategic since there are more users on TweetDeck than any other third-party Twitter application and their aim is controlling their users. Makes sense!

If you’re not on Twitter, it’s a bit of a phenomenon that many users don’t actually use the Twitter website. They tend to use other more powerful platforms that allow for scheduled tweets, automatic link shortening and multiple on-screen feeds to manage their Twitter experience. The actual Twitter website is rudimentary, at best. If that’s all you’re using to manage your Twitter account, I can assure you that you’re selling yourself short. I would definitely suggest moving over to HootSuite or TweetDeck.

I hope the purchase of TweetDeck doesn’t mean that HootSuite will be strangled.