Archive for the 'Web Designer' Category

Anum Khan and James Rubec, PB&J Mag in different parts of Canada

in Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, Fashion Blogger, humourist, NWT, Photography, Toronto and Web Designer


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PB&J

Like the sandwich that is its namesake, this is a quick, tasty and unpretentious blog.  Its bulk – or the bread is in its commitment to quality content which chronicles local/world events and lifestyles in a down to earth tone. The protein - or peanut butter - is the hearty substance behind provocative articles like Three stories that prove racism is alive and well or A grave undertaking.  Last but not least, the flair – that’s the jam – of this online gem is in its entertainment and product reviews, recommendations and musings on the good old days, like When Tim Hortons took only cash.  Individually, the ingredients themselves are humble, but when they come together they create something that is nutritious, delicious and leaves you wanting more.

James Rubec and Anum KhanPB&J Mag is a lifestyle/ political/ social/ scientific/Canadiana blog that aims to “turn frowns upside down and get brains moving.” Founded by Anum Khan and James Rubec, both professional writers and marketers who have an aptitude for unique and buzz-worthy topics, PB&J is a general interest blog full of tips, recipes and useful information. The blog is uniquely Canadian: Anum, a coffee expert, lives in the heart of metropolitan Toronto, where she works as a social media marketer for Spark Internet Marketing Corporation in the biggest and busiest city in the country.  James, a photographer, lives several hundred kilometres below the Arctic Circle in Yellowknife, NWT, where he works in advertising for Kellett Communications Inc.

Anum loves cupcakes and James is into quilting; their interests and skills, which are alike and disparate simultaneously, fuse together to form a blog that is in turns funny, relevant and thought-provoking.

Yellowknife's Beer BargePB&J offers its readers insight into the diversity of Canadian geography and culture. For example, Toronto, often referred to as the New York of Canada, is a far cry from Yellowknife, which, situated so far up North, enjoys summer days where the sun never sets. “This isn’t the Yukon, the story isn’t about the Klondike gold rush that brought fools to stampede to their deaths for hope of riches,” James writes of the Northwest Territories. “It is a story of a community building something from nothing; on and under the hardest land in the world that was and is surrounded by untamed wilderness with winters that are maddeningly long and cold. If the story of the Yukon is about personal exploration and the great gamble that is life, then Yellowknife’s is about balanced risk and teamwork.” James’ posts about life in the NWT, such as Yellowknife’s Beer Barge, contrast between Anum’s coverage of events in the big city such as restaurant openings and Fashion Week. Writes James, “Cities have larger parties, with better beer served in bigger bottles, but they’ll never have an ounce of the unity that has been built in Yellowknife with gold, stone and heart.”

NHL lockout should be stopped by HarperIn addition to recipes from James and product review from Anum, you can count on PB& J to express opinions on politics in posts like NHL lockout should be stopped by Harper (“Why should the government stand by while important money for municipalities, charities and low-income workers is left idly sitting in the arguments of rich whining babies?”), Bruce Mau Design insults all of North America (“Canada has so much to do with Seth Rogen as the United States does with Michael Phelps. You can’t pin a nation on an individual as emblematic, you can only pin the nation on the individual as a factoid.”) and Republicans, Liberals and One Good Book (“I’m jealous of the power that voters actually have in America. I hope Americans feel lucky to be able to vote for their district attorneys, sheriffs and senators. Canadians are lucky if they have a chance to vote for someone once a year.”)

PB&J Mag offers both masculine and feminine perspective, urban and boonies, world news and Canadian content. Since both writers have a background in marketing, these two bloggers are great role models for people just starting out. There aren’t any gimmicks on PB&J; it’s good content on white bread to satisfy the soul.


KD Faustino, the girl with the messy hair in Calgary

in Alberta, Blogging, British Columbia, Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, Fashion Blogger, Personal Blog, Photography, style diary and Web Designer


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thegirlwiththemessyhair.com

KD Faustino is a fashion blogger and ‘style diarist’ based in Calgary, Alberta, who describes herself as ’a 20-something fashion buyer and social media extraordinaire who left her sunny tropical islander life in the Philippines to live in freezing cold Canada.’  She has a lot of energy and is a prolific blogger; only four months after her arrival her blog was named one of the top fifteen Canadian fashion blogs of 2010*.  Her effortless style and discerning eye for fashion, made her blog an instant hit.

The girl with the messy hair is a style diary that KD (Kristine Diane) Faustino started in April 2009, while still living in Manila, to chronicle her daily outfits.

“I blog today simply because it makes me happy,” she says. “As narcissistic as it may sound, I blog for myself. It might seem shallow, but there’s really no hidden agenda behind my blogging, just that dressing up and fashion makes me happy. The compliments/recognition I get, inspiring other people with finding their style and the perks from brands/designers are just a plus for me.”

Faustino is a social media professional, and works as Social Media Head for Fashion Night Out Canada, Fabricated, and a fashion buyer for Citizen’s Planet. Her expertise in social media is apparent throughout her blog, and she’s a PR natural: “I think what makes my blog (or any blog for that matter) unique is the individual behind the blog itself,” she says. “If you stay true to yourself, your style, why you are blogging, your overall brand–it will show. You have to come to terms with the fact that blogging can be a serious business but at the same time, still having fun while doing it!”

Hailing from the tropical Philippines, KD’s had to adjust her style (not just fashion-wise but lifestyle as well) to Canada’s often frigid temperatures. Her islander spirit has brought a fresh new style to Calgary’s fashion scene and she’s embraced the challenges along the way–and posed for many a picture featuring piles of snow in the background instead of a beach. “I live in Calgary and the biggest [influence] it has on my blog is the weather!” she says. “As silly as it may sound, that’s the challenge of dressing in a bipolar city (in terms of weather) like Calgary.

#1 Holts Muse KD Faustino“I think the best thing that ever happened to me due to blogging was being recognized for something that wasn’t meant to be recognized at all,” says KD. “When I started blogging I was just doing my own thing but then I started getting recognized and awarded [Top 15 Canadian Fashion Blogs*, Honorary Blogger of the Year in the 2011 Calgary Fashion Honorary Awards, Top 5 Best Overall Blog & Top 4 Best Personal Blog at the Canadian Blog Awards 2011, 1st Place Holts Muse by Holt Renfrew, MTV Blogger Looks we Love, etc.] by the industry and being on the same lists as the people I look up to, or just by random people in random places (which is more flattering, to say the least). What makes it special is the fact that I started this blog all by myself without the help of anyone–it is certainly my baby, something that I am proud of.” See two of KD’s personal favourite posts: http://www.thegirlwiththemessyhair.com/2011/06/crochet.html, and http://www.thegirlwiththemessyhair.com/2012/01/brown-hues.html. The worst part? “Definitely the haters,” she says. “But you know what they say, you know you’ve made it when you’ve got them.”

KD at workKD isn’t certain whether or not she’ll keep the blog going after her thirtieth birthday in two years. “The good thing about my blog is that I don’t feel pressured,” she says. “I am at this point in my blogging career where I feel like I’m not anxious to get anywhere. I can choose which events I want to go to or not, what brands I want to work with–I don’t need to be everywhere, unlike when I was starting. I must say, it’s a good place to be at. And who knows, maybe after 30 I’ll turn my blog around to a travel blog or something like that!”

In the meantime, however, KD will be focusing on maintaining the high quality of her blog. “The ideal blog for me starts with decent hi-resolution photos,” she reveals. “People tend to look at photos first and then they start to read if your photos are interesting enough. A short, constructive write-up with readable font is a must for me, too. Above all, [the ideal blog is about] keeping your stuff interesting and making people come back for more.”



Michael Nus, Holy Trinity of Happiness

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

blog banner, Michael Nus

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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Photo Finishes from Cobourg Ontario

in Canadian pop culture, niche blogs, Ontario, Photography, Scholar, Teacher, testing, Toronto, Tourism, visual arts and Web Designer

Picks of Canada, picks of images,

Jacques Surveyer is a writer, a web developer, and a very passionate photographer that lives and works in Cobourg Ontario. Years ago he studied photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto before getting an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) from the University of Western Ontario. With this background he found that blogging allowed him to ‘indulge his avocations’ while helping with his consulting business. Jacques is a skilled multimedia magician with a good head for business.

Photo Finishes / Picture That along with TheOpenSourcery.com are two very different tips and tutorials blogs that offer tactics and product reviews for graphics and multimedia processing people. These sites are core to Jacques portfolio as a developer, and they demonstrate to potential customers his expertise in many diverse programming and photo finishing subjects.

Jacques SurveyorOver time Jacques’ two original blogging websites have expanded into ten different blogs. He uses free blog web hosting sites to create multiple presences for specialized tasks. For example JavaScriptures is dedicated to some of the more interesting developments in JavaScript, as applied to lean manufacturing which is serious process to which he jokingly describes Java as the ‘gets-no-respect-like-Rodney_Dangerfield’ programming language.

About ten years ago Jacques Surveyer started blogging on a website platform that he made himself. He built his own blog from the ground up, and people did come, but more people came after he switched over to WordPress.

“WordPress with themes, plugins and a WYSIWYG editor was a vast improvement over my own homemade CMS.”

After six or more years, Jacques is still a WordPress devotee, even though he’s used Drupal and Joomla and has built projects for clients using both programming languages. But he’s quick to reason, “WordPress has stayed ahead of the curve with widgets, jQuery support, and automated updates of not just themes and plugins but also the blog engine itself”.  Jacques did all of society a favour when he weighed in on the classic debate, which is the best open source platform, Drupal, Joomla or WordPress? and in that post it becomes real clear that WordPress is this craftsman’s preferred software.

Jacques loves to take pictures and gradually his interest spread out into photography and travel destination review blogs. He created PixofDetroit, PixofToronto, and PixofCanada to host the photos and stories of his adventures abroad. Later he added commentary blogs like Takethe5th.com and Bookraft.com (his only active Drupal blog) so he could properly articulate his thoughts on government and society.

Then blogs started appearing all over the place. JavaScriptures and NearlyFreeWebsites are two examples which take advantage of nearly free blog software.  Consulting work and help for friends resulted in two gallery sites – ARTSurveyer.com and NeelsPlace.com which are efforts using Gallery blog software and Joomla respectively.

“As Free blog/CMS software has improved I have switched from doing custom websites over to using free blogs like Joomla and WordPress, Weebly and Wix for my nearly cost free blogging and broader web development work.”

Jacques Surveyer prevented from taking pictures of volleyball game on cobourg beach

Jacques’ popular PhotoFinishes blog dips into the political space too. Last summer the intrepid explorer wrote a terrific piece about how the officials at a beach volleyball tournament in Cobourg successfully prevented him from taking pictures of the participants in action, despite the fact that it was public space, with no photography ban signage posted, and no advertisements or precedents prohibiting photography are known.  According to Jacques in this article, the same thing happened at the Royal Winter Fair to his friend a year earlier.

When asked what he likes most about being a blogger, Jacques Surveyer admits that he covets traffic and feels rewarded when his sites grow popular. He recounts with satisfaction the time when his post on KeepanOpenEye debunked Steve Jobs contentions that Flash was slow and buggy, and received over 30,000 visits in one day – that was very gratifying. Also, the Fall Drizzle story on PixOfCanada which visualized the autumn colors in Ontario took in over 75,000 visits in the last months of 2010. To see a pictoral story getting that much attention was also very satisfying for this webmaster.

Jacques Surveyer, yellow leaf road, pixofcanada

Blogging has been good to Jacques, because he’s a new breed of storyteller, a free thinker with real knowledge to communicate.  When I asked him if he’d  do anything different a second tine, he noted that he wished he’d switched to open source or free blog software sooner, and he wished he had taken the time to improve his JavaScript skills earlier. “Skills in JavaScript and CSS make such a difference in the proper styling of a blog.”

This Cobourg Ontario blogger just loves being creative, inventory management and building platforms that push the envelope of the technology.  “The revenues are enough to pay the freight but not much more. But telling photo tales and being able to add my two cents on Toronto, or World scene is both fun and soothing to the spirit.”

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Phronk in London Ontario

in movie reviews, Ontario, Scholar and Web Designer

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Phronk is an innovator and has been since June 2000.  He’s friends with Dead Robot, Mod Superstar and Raymi the Minx; these four bloggers are the Southern Ontario social club. They link to each other in their blogrolls, and comment on each other’s posts, and share unflattering pictures of Stephen Harper…

But Phronk has the most colourful and compelling voice. His blog is surprisingly original, and very readable, and most of the art on display is his own. It’s true Raymi and Dead Robot sometimes borrow his artwork to spice up their posts.

Mike PhronkPhronk writes this about himself,  “I’m a guy who lives in London, Ontario, doing various things, such as going to school (I’m a graduate student in psychology), going to work (I teach people and do science) and many other things. I really enjoy doing activities that are fun and eating things that taste good. I have a wonderful family, friends, and a dog. Bees make me nervous. That’s all there is to me.”

Actually there’s a whole lot more to Phronk than that. A quick scan of his domain shows that he has boundless passion in multiple genres. For example,  last fall he detailed the London Zombie Walk and his comment box was full after profiling the most listened to albums of 2008,

Google superconductorPhronk.com is good for funny cat photos, and ‘ugly cakes’ especially ‘toilet cakes’ which are edible cakes shaped like toilets (with yellow jello and candy bars in the center). And let’s not forget about the vanilla chocolate cake that looks like overflowing cat litter boxes (my personal favourite).

Phronk documents lobster flavoured potato chips and good Google daily logos, exceptional movies that went straight to video, or straight to awesome as he puts it,  and look at this early masterpiece Halifax Holiday photo post. Here he writes, ‘I snap a random vacation picture, post it on my blog, and one of the people in the picture manages to find it. It’s made even more incredible by the fact that everyone involved is as anonymous as can be.’

You get the feeling he’s just goofing around, but writers know its a lot of hard work. Pretty much everyday this author explores something new. Most frequent topics include “life, music, movies, TV, psychology, philosophy, science, parapsychology, skepticism, technology, video games, horror, books, writing, news, stupid internet stuff, and whatever else comes into my head. It’s all pretty self-indulgent, really.” 

There’s a lot of Phronk to read – visitors should journey back to the year 2000 just to see how it all began. Phronk artAfter a post listing his favourite movies, and another promising to make his new blog the repository for all his best stories, readers are treated to a very unusual sasquatch thriller wherein the monster appears on the highway and rear ends the car Phronk is test driving with a car salesman…

Some final wisdom from Phronk:

Contemporaneously should not be a real word.

Only semi-retarded emo kids post their crappy art to their blogs. Do you like the art? Check out Phronk’s scrapbook, phronk.tumblr.com

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Schmutzie in Saskatchewan

in Blogging, Personal Blog, Photography, Saskatchewan and Web Designer

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Schmutzie pumpkin pin portraitSchmutzie is a female thirty something ‘personal blogger’ that lives in the Canadian Prairies. She makes her home in Regina, Saskatchewan and lives there with her husband, The Palinode.  Schmutzie describes herself as “an atheist, a photographer, a writer, a website designer, a knitter, a feminist, and a thirty-something non-gender-specific, biological female post-hysterectomy in a heterosexual marriage who spends eight hours a day in a beige cubicle.” And that bio should be enough to make anyone curious.

Schmutzie’s Milkmoney Or Not Here I Come is over five years old now, and it looks better than ever. The site was born in August 2003, and I believe the name is truly representative of her spirit, both then and now.

This website’s archives make fantastic reading, and that’s because Schmutzie is a gifted writer that’s just masquerading as a blogger. Her November 4th entry The Girl Who Came From Love is proof positive, this woman can write literature.

Schmutzie on Twitter photoCuriously, although she has already battled and survived cancer, Schmutzie still smokes cigarettes. She considers the subject closed for discussion, but I notice there’s lots of smoking / anti smoking chatter on Schmutzie’s Twitter, where she has over a thousand followers. And I should also link to Schmutzie’s StumbleUpon address as that’s actually how Canada Blog Friends came to notice her entertaining stories.

Reading Schmutzie’s blog is a privileged smart girl glimpse into a tight circle of friends.  Girls, that are friends, that tell each other true stories that are sometimes unbelievable. In recent post, Some Things Just Aren’t Meant To Be, Schmutzie relates the sad tale of an ex boyfriend who believed she was poisoning his food. And here’s a classic self reflection post where Schmutzie wrestles with the stigma of being publicly identified as a blogger; this woman is shy and doesn’t like the label.

Schmutzie on EtsySchmutzie is a web designer by day, and a random blogger at night that writes about whatever she liked, or disliked, on that particular day. So maybe she’ll start the week with a thoughtful piece about cancer survival, and on Friday highlight her latest additions to Etsy, moving through multiple genres rather seamlessly and redefining her ‘personal blog’ with every shared experience.  The quality is consistent, so although you never know what you’ll get with Schmutzie, you know it will be good.

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Temporarily Me in Toronto

in Blogging, Fashion Blogger, Mom Social, niche blogs, Ontario, Personal Blog, Toronto and Web Designer

temporarily me blog bannerSamantha is a 27 year old married mother-of-two that works in the construction industry. During the day she (sometimes) wears a hard hat, coveralls and steel toed boots on downtown Toronto construction sites. But at home, in the evenings, she gently constructs beautiful social nets – she blogs and builds pretty web buttons that bind together a potent roster of rookie moms.

Designing TemptationTemporarily Me is the blog portal associated with a design shop called Designing Temptation. This is a textbook design firm / blog model and the synergy is obvious and powerful. But look closer, there’s more going on here. Go back to Temporarily Me and check the links page and see buttons for Mom Pack, Blogamama, Mom Blog Network, etc and of course Blogher. Suddenly I understand; this author is a participator, and she is so positively charged by the ‘mom genre’ networks that she has hit on an innovation and started her own club! Her husband is a commercial roofer, and now she uses her design skills to weave her own network called Being a Rookie Mom Ain’t So Bad. This is styled as a photo challenge, but Samantha will be the first to tell you its really just another great way for young moms to share pictures and socialize.

Upset cat is Tempting MamaSam is ahead of the curve in social networking, and her techniques are worth studying – her Tempting Mama Twitter account now has 380 followers, due in part to the brilliant avatar. One thing I noticed right away is how her blog incorporates lots of popular social networking buttons. Her Stumble Page is focused on motherhood, but assembled from lots of diverse source material.

When it comes to actually writing her own signature brand of Temporarily Me daily content, Samantha is very prolific and demonstrates good time management skills. Common themes include sleep deprivation and coffee appreciation, and experiences surrounding a summer of motherhood. I chuckled when I read in July about her taking a week off to have a 2nd baby, and promising an immediate return to readers one week later… this doesn’t sound like a rookie mom to me!

SamanthaOkay now the real reason why I love Samantha – she puts it on the line. She is genuine and open and writes from the heart. I remember reading the post she wrote back in January under her blog’s Marriage tag where she opened up about her own marital problems. I marveled at the honesty and the bravery of her self documentation – she had the courage to step out from behind the façade and face reality in confessional writing that becomes the ultimate public self exploration. The next day she started dismantling the facade and her readership helped.

Coming from broken homes, we have both witnessed parental fights, resentment and divorce. Over the past eight years, we’ve unintentionally fallen into the same pattern. Recently, our marriage has consisted of a constant barrage of verbal assaults, emotional abuse and constant reminders of the others faults.

This post caught my heart. It impacted me and now I will never forget this author, and her story. It compels me to follow her on Twitter and bookmark her prodigiously – she has opened up a new genre to me. Sam begins that landmark March 11th, 2008 post by saying that although the subject is taboo, she found the courage to write this by reading Mama Loves ‘the post I might delete later’ which encourages people who are suffering social discomfort to write about their plight. Mama Loves and Samantha both believe that taboo topics are finally seeing the light of day because of blogs. And so Temporarily Me is evolving into a wonderful animal. Because of her own hardships, Sam is the perfect host for a blog based social network that provides information and emotional support.

Being a rookie mom aint so bad

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Social Capital Value Add

in Ontario, Scholar, Toronto and Web Designer

Social Capital Value add Michael Cayley is a web entrepreneur that studies culture and communication and prognosticates on the future of social networks. Those of us who read the scraps of wisdom he leaves lying around in his posts hope to profit by actualizing his ideas.

Michael Cayley goes white water raftingMichael Cayley met Rob Campbell (that’s me) on Sept 4th 2008 at Timothys coffee shop in the Carrot Common on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. We spoke for two hours. After the meeting I walked away with a profound new understanding of social media, and a bold new vision of the charitable future of Canada Blog Friends.

Social Value Capital Add is one of the most prophetic and important blogs in Canada.  It contains a lot of graduate level ideas, and I find myself cross referencing terms and rereading phrases… Yes the material is rich like good chocolate cake.

Here’s the skinny: the world has changed since broadband has become more popular than dial up. All of mankind’s corporations have moved online, and all of us individuals too. The way we do business has changed and is still changing as findability becomes pivotal to success.  In short, the Internet business world has outgrown contemporary business valuation models. And I say this not from a venture capital ‘how much will I make from this deal?’ perspective, but also from a risk management ‘why are we not making our bottom line anymore?’ stand point. The enterprise 2.0 age needs better social value metrics; the role of the corporation could change dramatically as profits are spent developing positive social capital.

On October 24th 2007, Microsoft bought a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 Million and that placed the valuation of Facebook at $15 Billion or thereabouts… and I say wow. But tell me how did they arrive at that number? The SCVA outlines the fundamental precept that ‘understanding how and why messages are transmitted electronically from one person to another is a source of power and value’.

Michael Cayley, a Principal at Context Creative, has just been published in the Change This manifesto along with other web gurus and visionaries Seth Godin and John Kotter – Leading Change, The Heart of Change. Andrew Abela, a PhD, consultant, and the New York Times best selling author Vince Poscente.

Michael Cayley bio picMichael announced the publication of his SCVA work in a quirky piece of writing entitled How did this dog get in the boardroom? which I interpret as a metaphor for how hard it is for corporations to pick the perfect logo, tagline, and image in the age of memetic brands. How do you make your message resonate in an online world filled with user submitted media? And of course the dog is barking for change.

The Social Value Capital Add has been proposed as a guide to new investors and corporate mangers alike. The theory is an extrapolation of traditional brand management that Michael hopes will bring talent and resources to the undervalued social components of online business.

Get Michael Cayley’s SCVA ebook http://socialcapitalvalueadd.com/share-the-scva-ebook/

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Product of Newfoundland

in Newfoundland, Photography, Tourism and Web Designer

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Robert Hiscock lives in Gander, Newfoundland and writes a perfectly styled East Coast music and culture blog that’s peppered with beautiful original photos. The text is direct and confident as Robert blogs with purpose and a good sense of his own importance.

Product of Newfoundland is the first and best place to find out what’s happening in the province. Go here to read about local rock bands (especially Hey Rosetta), folk singers, comedians and other culture makers in and around St Johns.

About Robert, I know from his profile that he was born in 1976, and that would make him 32 years old. He grew up in the tiny community of Happy Adventure, in northeastern Newfoundland, and then earned three university degrees from Memorial University. Now he works as freelance writer, and owns a splendid golden retriever named Jake.

Robert Hiscock

Robert is also a successful local photographer who supplies images to the BBC, EnRoute Magazine, MUNTO.ca, Anglican Church of Canada Website, and various calendars, magazines, and newspapers including in the Newfoundland Herald. Suffice to say, Robert Hiscock’s Flickr Gallery is filled with breathtaking landscapes.

On his homepage, Robert writes this signature text:

I don’t need last names to know who Debbie and Toni-Marie are and I can find my way from Happy Adventure to Misery Point in the fog. My morning comes a half hour earlier and any day without ‘RDF’ is good. I’ve seen a mummer, tasted toutons and the image conjured by the word Dildo might be different for me than you because I’m a product of this place.

Product of Newfoundland

That’s a terrific statement and very compelling. Suddenly I want to read everything this guy writes. Robert makes interaction possible with a Facebook Group and a MySpace Page.

After scrutinizing Product of Newfoundland, I’ve found posts detailing traditional Newfoundland cuisine, folk song lyrics, and local poems. Robert writes about street festivals and art exhibits, radio plays and sporting events. Last May he reviewed a bath supplies shop in Lawn called Down by the Sea Store that makes and sells its own ‘fisherman’s soap’.

Two weeks ago, Robert reviewed Kenneth J Harvey’s novel Blackstrap Hawco which is ‘said to be about a family from Newfoundland.’ Some of Robert’s work carries place names like Milltown, Gaultois, and St. Mary’s. There’s even a Joey Smallwood t shirt for sale in the site store – this writer is proud of everything that makes him a product of Newfoundland.

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Dead Robot in Downtown Toronto

in Blogging, Ontario, Personal Blog, Photography, Toronto and Web Designer

Dead Robot

A signed scream by Dead Robot

Ted is a 43 year old fountain of wit. He’s a good photographer, and a skilled graphic artist.  A barrel chested weekend warrior, this robot is very much alive. He writes with a sharp keyboard, and a keen eye on queer happenstance, local Toronto events, arts and culture. His blog explores web development Toronto new technology, gadget fetishes, web innovations and games.

Dead Robot is an existential personal blog, and by that I mean it has existentialist themes like alienation, dread, and bad faith. There’s an overall ‘reduced to nothingness’ feeling that affects readers, both in the visuals and the text. The name of the blog, and the banner image plant existential thoughts in my brain, as I perceive old technology and broken dreams fermenting fresh new insights into life. Please understand, this blog is Fine Art simply because it’s excellent – every post is carefully concocted and cleverly styled (and often reinforced with good original photos) to make readers question social rituals.

blogger Ted from Dead RobotTed understands that he’s playing a role as Dead Robot, and while keeping an eye on the grand prize of changing the world, he writes about current events and bad corporate behaviour and whatever unpleasant things his caustic wit might colour and could change. He’s a keen observer and transcriber of all that he witnesses. He commonly blogs about the small details he stumbles upon every morning and the events and businesses that affect him. Trips to a Toronto dentist and behind the scenes photos of Toronto Gay Pride parade. This example, published Thursday Sept 4th, 2008 after he witnessed the repetitive abuse of a local food service worker. This post subtly reminds readers of the infectious nature of our emotions, and the healing power of kind words.


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