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Insights into the Online World

We wanted to congratulate our client, The Third Quarter Project on the article in the Winnipeg Free Press on Thursday, May 24th. Regular readers of the Modern Earth Client Spotlight blog may remember the original post back in May, 2010 called “Make Skills Count” that announced the launch of this exciting initiative to reconnect older workers to employment opportunities. Their site has been re-designed since the original launch – which is a good business practice for any business after a year or two – as viewer behavior can inform a more user friendly online experience.

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce should be so proud of this very successful initiative that reaches out to 14 rural communities nationwide and is now being expanded. We feel privileged to be part of this, as their web design partner, and are grateful for the opportunity to work with them to strengthen the national business community with a website that helps connect Canadians to employment opportunities.


Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of being invited down to the Winnipeg Free Press News Café in the Exchange to take part in a live chat about Google+ along with local social media strategist Erica Glasier, and GigaOm’s own Mathew Ingram (formerly of the Globe & Mail).

So what’s Google+, anyway?

Launched in early July, Google+ (or Google Plus, depending who you ask), has been touted largely as a competitor to reigning social media content magnets Facebook and Twitter. It’s certainly got a lot of their feel - profiles, photos, news feeds and relationship management are common across all social networks.

However, as discussed during the chat, some of the features that define Google+ clearly make it a new kind of tool, perhaps not a direct competitor to established platforms. Google+ ties in with many of Google’s other services, such as Gmail, Picasa and Google Profiles already - and has the potential to involve even Google’s productivity tools such as docs and calendars in strong ways. The potential not only for communication, but direct collaboration, is really what makes Google+ stand out from the crowd.

The guests asked some great questions!

On a lot of chats like this, viewers either remain quiet, or ask about the business advantages of a given platform. People are often seeking how-to ideas, so they can use new tools such as Google+ better. This live chat, however, had few of those moments. Instead, guests asked the panel for reasons to move away from Facebook and Twitter towards Google+. They expressed concern over “yet another” new community, more privacy concerns, and how to make Google+ interact with other networks to reduce effort.

I believe this is a sign that social media, as a whole, is maturing. When people stop asking questions about the mechanics of a web service, and begin to focus on its real value in their lives - not as business people, but as themselves - it shows a level of understanding and acceptance that’s really encouraging.

Check out the full chat transcript for more in-depth chat about Google+. Thanks again to Lindsey Wiebe and the WFP web team for hosting the chat! It was a lot of fun, and I hope to see and participate in more of this kind of dialogue in the future.

Opinions? We have them Dan Belhassen on CTV News March 30 2011 - 3 Keys to Going Viral- hopefully based on solid business experience and some good entrepreneurial sense.  It is always an honour to be asked what I think about various hot topics in the news.  Yesterday was a double header of media inquiries about two very different topics.

I received a visit from CTV news reporter Laura Lowe, who wanted to talk about "what makes a video go viral" - as she is covering the current federal election and we've had various political leaders speaking in town recently.  You can find out the three keys to going viral by watching  the full video piece on CTV's website - which has all the social media options to help their news coverage go viral.  

Winnipeg Free Press

I also got a call from Martin Cash at the Winnipeg Free Press, to talk about recruitment challenges facing Winnipeg tech companies.  We are proudly Manitoban, and most of our team are graduates from Red River College or other Manitoba post secondary programs - we love home grown talent.  But when I do the math, 10% of our workforce are "new Canadians" - recent immigrants to Manitoba.

The workforce is changing, and the way we recruit is changing with it.  Read Employers Reaching Out for the full article.  We are currently growing our team again, so if you or someone you know is looking for work in the tech sector, please check out our careers page.