Archive for the 'Start-Ups' Category

Michael Nus, Holy Trinity of Happiness

in Personal Blog, Scholar, SEO, Start-Ups, Toronto and Web Designer

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Michael Nus in a grey suitMichael Nus is a bearded blogger with a big heart. Known as the gentleman blogger, his informative posts are chock full of philosophical meaning, commentary about staying classy, and SEO and Social Media advice. More than anyone else, Michael includes his friends and colleagues in his posts. He references the work of his contemporaries when recounting a previous night’s event or writing about the digital space. Familiarly referred to as “Nus” he blogs his crew’s collective memories of happenings in Toronto while always preserving a Holy Trinity of Happiness in his own life.

MICHAEL NUS, Holy Trinity of Happiness is all about keeping life in balance between three fundamentally different but important components – Love, Sustenance, and Expression/Creativity. (Please click the diagram below, it expands.) Social media marketers, PR professionals, and web marketing consultants that live by their wits, and work all hours of the day, could benefit from this handy life balance reference guide. Make no mistake Michael’s blog is about friends, marketing and tech events and group moments, but occasionally, now and then he’ll discuss how to enjoy life, and reference the Trinity chart below.

Michael Nus - Holy Trinity of HappinessA digital strategist, PR innovator, and experienced SEO/Web marketer, Michael Nus has been involved in social media since it was called “web 2.0.” Alumnus of the Columbia University Institute for Tele-Information, Michael co-edited a book about digital and physical distribution at the enterprise level by one of the world’s top experts on the subject. He has taken his journalism and tech background into the blogging world and the social web.

Michael has always been involved in social media marketing, but in his own words he says, “…it wasn’t until I met Mark Evans and Casie Stewart that I considered making personal blogging a habit to sharpen my skills in social media, marketing, SEO, PR, and coding even further. The notion was that anything I made that was my own I would naturally treat with care, so why not make my own blog?” Before that, here in Canada, he also worked for the BC Ministry of Education doing policy and data analysis and working on making information available to stakeholders across the province on the government’s digital entities. Projects like these furthered his nuanced education in marketing and strategy and he learned to be a proficient communicator in this space.

Michael Nus on Yonge St says 'Im not usually this creepy'. Michael finally pulled the trigger on starting his own blog after a cancer scare. He was online a lot back then, writing blogs for clients, and he decided that he wanted to share his own experiences with people. His approach is not to just report to his readers, but to bring them along with him through his realizations on his journey. Also, Michael doesn’t patronize people in his writing. He wants people to feel welcome to share his experiences. He expects folks to read his blog then interact with him on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and converse through comments.

Not surprisingly, the film Almost Famous is his favourite movie. He used to interview major musicians and he loved to create a friendly bond with them as the Music Editor for the Young People’s Press and various other music and entertainment publications. The plot of Almost Famous rang true to his own experiences in that part of his life. His favourite journalists are Lester Bangs, and Alan Cross. Remember Michael used to interview musicians, which is probably why he relates to both of these writers. His favourite book is ‘Still Life with Woodpecker’ by Tom Robbins. His favourite author is Hunter S Thompson.


Michael Nus - on Yonge St

Michael Nus shopping for vegetables for foodie blogToday he lives his life right out in the open for everyone to see and comment on. He’s definitely worth following as @MichaelNus on Twitter. People are going to be writing about him a lot more this summer due to a bold mobile web innovation that he’s debuting with his partner Chris Booker in June at Microsoft’s “Code your Art Out” competition as his first major entrepreneurial venture.

An active practitioner of strategic thought and what it means to the digital space, Michael optimizes value for the client.

Michael is organized and methodical, patient in sharing learnings in mentorship relationships teaching others to see what he sees. Extremely engaged in the digital community, he is currently establishing a panel of experts to create a universal definition of what a digital strategist does, how they do it and what their accountabilities are.

Michael’s dedication to the digital community continually grows high-level strategic thinking at both the micro and macro level by developing and executing programming. He’s also a capable speaker and has presented at Make Web Not War, Schulich School of Business, USguys, Social Media Week and many more. Michael is considered one of Toronto’s top 150 Twitter influencers, was the official blogger for Stella Artois during the TIFF, and has been featured in Rannie Turingan’s (@Photojunkie) 140characters.ca collection.

Michael Nus, 140 Characters event photography by Rannie Turrigan

Michael Nus’s own mixed blood comes from a rather exotic cultural background. His mom was born to Italian parents and taught him the value of independence. His father was a humble Hungarian and he inspired Michael to be an entrepreneur and do great things with his life before passing away in 2005. He feels like he’s on the path to greatness now, and that journey started with his father.

Michael majored in political science with a minor in criminology at the University of Victoria, and was creating web content as early as 2000 when he worked as Online News Editor for Metroland News Group during his studies at Seneca College in their Computer Technology program. Back then it wasn’t called blogging, rather journalists would submit their pieces and their content was subject to the pen of editors like Michael before being published online and in print.

Michael Nus on bass guitarWhile at Metroland, Michael encouraged writers to alternate between hard news style reporting and first person “Gonzo” journalism with a healthy dose of feedback from readers. This was something of a foreshadow before blogging appeared on the scene to usher in a new age of journalism where readers are just as involved in the news as the writer. When he’s not blogging or helping clients and friends with their SEO or digital strategy, Michael likes to relive his days as a rock singer in a touring band by putting paper to pen. He’s a lyricist/songwriter, karaoke junkie and a closet chef. You can search his blog for his foody forays into the culinary arts for bachelors in his NusGourmet section.

Torontoites will sometimes catch glimpses of Michael around town whether it be appearing on stage (Joey DeVilla’s blog) playing the electric guitar alongside Raymi the Minx on drums and Sean Ward on keyboards and vocals or co-organizing events like Tweetgasm, Star Wars Day or Movember fundraisers. Last fall he worked with Sean Moffitt on successfully executing Movember’s Toronto’s digital fundraising campaign in which played a part in helping Prostate Cancer Canada raise $20M for their cause! He plans to do it again this year and looks forward to the fun.

Michael Nus on Queen St W with mirrored sunglasses“Michael writes that the best thing about his blog is that it gives him a reason to be somewhere, to be expressive and make great memories at special events or even when casually lounging with friends. The greatest reward, above all else, according to him,  is when a reader tells him how much a post inspired them to do something positive. It’s for that reason that he strives to write quality content for his readers without exception.

Relatively new to Toronto and this city’s populated event blogger scene, Michael was quick to make friends. His frequent blogging, playful and curious nature, entrepreneurial spirit, and respect for his peers and readers has earned many thousands of tweets, retweets, trackbacks and other digital accolades. He makes a point of honouring his commitments and keeping his word. He muses that, “if people can’t count on you, how can you count on yourself? If you only do what’s good for you, you wouldn’t know what’s good for you.”

Stay tuned for a relaunch of MichaelNus.com and for the unveiling of his startup in June!

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Erin Bury’s Random Musings in Toronto

in Blogging, Ontario, Start-Ups and Toronto

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Erin Bury

Erin Bury is a twenty something year old blogger who writes with confidence and originality. Her blog posts are insightful and thought provoking. She stands out in an age of repeaters, because her writing is easy-to-read and uniquely informative. Less than two years after graduating from Carleton University in Journalism, and after interning at some mid sized tech firms, Erin became the Community Manager at Sprouter a social networking site for start-ups and entrepreneurs. In 2008 she became the voice of Sprouter, connecting fans and the world to the website. Today she has helped define what it means to be a Community Manager, and indeed she has become the quintessential example of this new vocation, perfectly harmonizing her personal identity and her firm’s business agenda.

Erin Bury’s Random Musings is the first and best place to learn about this young person’s life and what its like to be on the ground floor of an internet start-up.  She blogs about time saving software, VIP events and social gatherings, and PR and marketing in Canada. She has herself sprouted an amazing career, and now leads sessions at Podcamp Toronto, North by Northeast, Net Change Week and more. She’s frequently quoted in the press about Community Management and social media for small business, and her tweets and quotes have appeared in the New York Times, AOL Small Business, Forbes, CNN, MSN News, and on CBC.

Erin Bury is a tech writer at BlogTO and a columnist at Women’s Post, and she has written for other publications including VentureBeat. She’s one of the co-organizers of Twestival Toronto, and one of the founders of GenYTO .  She can be found on Twitter at @ErinBury and of course she has lot of followers. It just so happens that Erin was once retweeted by Oprah Winfrey.

Erin Bury retweeted by Oprah Winfrey

Erin Bury uses Tumblr, and her blog archives keep getting better with age. Unlike the other ‘minimalist’ bloggers that choose Tumblr, (for its ease and simplicity) Erin fills her domain with long copy posts full of original pictures and text. Her entries usually garner lots of comments because they’re chock full of great insights from a detail orientated author who’s not afraid to share her perspective on popular issues. Her valuable asides and comments make the material more interesting, and more valuable.

When asked why Erin chose to blog on Tumblr she writes,

“Sure, the simple blogging platform has its downsides – it’s notorious for going down and losing your posts. But I love how simple it is – I always describe it as a blogging platform that my mom could figure out in five minutes. It’s easy to share text posts, videos and photos, and there are tons of beautiful free themes to choose from. But the best part of Tumblr is the social aspect – you can follow other Tumblr blogs, and quickly reblog other people’s posts with your comments. If you’re just getting started with blogging I highly recommend it. “

An image search of Erin Bury yields many wonderful portraits from Sprouter related events.

Erin Bury, community manager at Sprouter

Sprouter Logo

Erin Bury loves her job and her life working with Sarah Prevette at Sprouter, because she gets to utilize her passion for technology, networking, community building and web 2.0 enterprises. Her role involves social media strategy, PR, customer service, writing and speaking, organizing and attending events. And at times she’s the office secretary, and then out in the public eye at night she becomes the media spokesperson for the company, discussing everything and anything Sprouter.com

Erin helps students get sprouted too…

This blogger has a penchant for helping students get started, and she even helps them land their first jobs in the industry. Erin amplifies the voice of students and represents them positively whenever she can.

In one of her many online biographies, Erin writes that when she’s not organizing events, writing, or working you can find her hanging out with friends, playing guitar, attempting to cook, reading, or watching her favourite TV shows which include, The Biggest Loser.  She also spends lots of quality time with her boyfriend, Kevin Oulds.

Kevin Oulds, Erin Bury Michael Nus describes Kevin Oulds and Erin Bury as the Ken and Barbie of Toronto’s social media scene.  He nailed it.

It was great to watch these two work together in October 2010, when @KevinOulds entered an online contest held by Sauza Tequila that was designed to promote their new Sauza Sin shot (tequila with cinnamon and orange) by pitting it against the classic lemon-and-salt Sauza shot, and getting entrants to represent either side.

Tequila Revolution - Kevin Oulds

Kevin won the prize, and some of the details emerge in a terrific blog post by Erin Bury on how to win a campaign style online voting contest where she writes about the experience of campaigning for votes on Facebook and Twitter. She describes the fine line between persuading and pestering, and she documents how the competition took over their lives. Erin admits she grew obsessed and gives several helpful tips to anyone else ‘campiagning’ for such a prize. Some of her wisdom includes going offline to family and friends, be creative with incentives for your supporters, and whenever possible try not to be too annoying.

Erin writes this about her ‘tweeting up’ Kevin’s campaign,

I had over 7,000 Twitter followers at the time, and if every one of them voted for him just once we’d have it in the bag. Well guess what – I learned the difference between a follower, aka someone who once clicked follow because your profile looked interesting, and a FOLLOWER, aka someone who pays attention to you and is willing to take a second out of their day to help you. There were so many amazing people on Twitter who took the time vote, but there were thousands more followers (and spambots) who didn’t. A big network does not equal a big impact on votes, which I learned the hard way (by the way, thanks to everyone who did vote!)

Last month, Erin wrote about how she was approached by Dentyne gum to be a Kissing Ambassador and, together with boyfriend Kevin Oulds, conduct a Valentines Day survey regarding Canadian attitudes toward kissing in public. They got on Canada Am, and it was pretty significant success; Dentyne sales probably rose nationally.

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