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collaboraIT 2011

Susan Hurrell

May242011

Did you collaboraIT this past Thursday? More specifically, were you at the first every CollaboraIT 2011 conference, hosted by ICTAM and TRLabs – hosted by CBCOne radio personality Terry McLeod. The day was an investment in the ideas that are highly relevant to the ICT community in Manitoba – with breakout sessions on topics like e-Health, R&D commercialization, Digital Media (with our own Dan Belhassen on the panel) , and Adoption of ICT in Manitoba – plus several other panels.

There were two plenary sessions, one at noon and one to end the day. The lunch hour plenary/keynote presented Online Collaborative Visionary Michael Furdyk who delivered a rapid fire and densely packed presentation entitled “We’ve Only Just Begun: The Online Revolution and the Future of Your Business. Mark has created numerous collaborative online start-ups with a focus on making the world a better place (sounds trite but is true) through joint venture fundraising and online interactivity. It all started in 1985, with a Commodore 64 ... and the rest is digital history.

The final plenary of the day was a soft-spoken debate between some leading IT Academics, Government thinkers and Business Owners, exploring the ability of Manitoba’s Post Secondary Education Community to deliver skilled workers to the Manitoba and Canadian ICT community. Topics like retention, skill-set, attitude, demographic, impact of immigration/emigration, and the future of the province’s ICT workforce brought out strong emotions on all sides, and was quite engaging.

The Modern Earth Tweet Team was there, covering the event. Thanks to ICTAM and TRLabs for a great day, showcasing bold ideas for consideration by the ICT community.

Manitoba Marketing NetworkOnce again, it was my privilege to be asked to present a session hosted by the Manitoba Marketing Network. Last Thursday, over 70 people came out to learn more about how to use social media to promote their professional presence online.

While there are best practices to be sure – just the act of jumping in and doing something with the platform of your choice gives you access to a new communication medium that you can use to build your business. I talked about this in more detail at the recent QNET conference and we’ve also discussed it in our May Modern Earth newsletter.

I really enjoy “De-mystifying” social media (and all things internet) for groups of people who want to learn how to improve their online business marketing. Thanks to the Manitoba Marketing Network for asking me to come out and share my thoughts on this very timely topic that will help Manitoba businesses grow. If your company or association would like to discuss what social media can do for your business or you would like to book me to come out and speak to your troops, CALL us at 204-885-2469 or email us – we’d love to explore the opportunity.

Dan#mce_temp_url#

Were you one of the over 300 Winnipeggers that attended Wednesday’s 2011 QNET Excellence Conference? It has already been called “Winnipeg’s Destination Conference” event of the year, and the QNET team should be very proud of what they accomplished. It was our pleasure to be the Title Sponsor of the Event – as Modern Earth Web Design & SmarterU.com. In addition Dan Belhassen participated in the post-lunch panel discussion, and got to introduce the morning keynote speaker, Canadian online marketing visionary Mitch Joel of Twist Image and Six Pixels of Separation fame.

Mitch’s keynote address was the perfect start to the day, exploring the business impact and implementation of social media when done as a legitimate part of a strategic business marketing mix. Mitch was funny, engaging, insightful, and extremely blunt about the power that social media can wield in building a brand or boosting consumer interest in goods & services.

Breakout sessions on leadership and management, quality and effectiveness, workplace wellness, and board governance filled up the day’s agenda with 8 sessions exploring these vital areas of business development and awareness. In addition to the 35 speakers & panellists, over two dozen exhibitors provided a wealth of information for conference attendees.

While there were as few social media savvy participants in the crowd, conference streams were for the most part tailored for those who have never explored social media, and who are making the great leap forward from trepidation to exploration, to potential participation in using social media for business. Every component of the conference worked very hard to get everyone on the same page, and provide a basic understanding (which may have been slightly frustrating to those already social media savvy) of the benefits and concerns to address when diving in to social media for business.

The Modern Earth Tweet Team was there as well, putting the “media” back into “social media’ – providing a live stream of Tweets that captured the play-by-play of both the opening keynote, closing presentation by Dr. Dan Rosin, and the breakout and plenary sessions that filled up the day. By 10:00 am, #QNET2011 was the #2 trending topic in Winnipeg – and featured great insights from many conference attendees on the day’s events, as well as Tweets from those who were not in attendance, but wished they could be there and who found something valuable to retweet, or to comment on.

Congratulations to the QNET board and staff - you created a near flawless event. We were thrilled to participate, and are already looking forward to next year!