Canada remembers legendary Canadian broadcaster Knowlton Nash

Over the weekend, the broadcasting world has lost a legend : Knowlton Nash.

I often listened to Knowlton Nash on CBC’s The National – though not by choice at the beginning. Back then, I was still in elementary school and would fall asleep listening to my dad watch the news. Looking back, I’m not sure if this was irresponsible parenting – letting a kid stay up so late…on the flip side though, we were watching CBC so maybe that makes it ok…?

I spent some of my day today reading tributes on Twitter, looking through CBC archives for early footage and strolling down memory lane… I wanted to see those early newscasts to see if they were in fact the way I remember them to be. I wanted to see if his voice had the same effect. Would it still seem familiar? Indeed it did.

Reading the tributes made me really proud to work in broadcasting – specifically for the CBC. Sometimes in life, you encounter people who have so much passion that it spreads. This is what Knowlton Nash did. His passion for journalism, people, Canada and behaving ethically seems to have had a fundamental effect on many of us who work in the media industry today.  Many, like myself, have been touched by his drive and determination without ever having actually met him. With the industry shifting as it is, it’s becoming harder and harder to identify other’s who are as authentic as Knowlton Nash. I hope that we can all channel our “inner Nash” as we take on the digital world and make sure that we don’t lose what’s truly important – our voices and our ability to think critically and make our minds up after examining the information.

To read my post on CBC/Radio-Canada’s corporate blog, you can visit it here.


Steve Pratt leaves CBC Radio

Major sad face today. This morning I woke up to see Grant Lawrence’s post about Steve Pratt leaving the organization after a decade of leading the way at CBC Radio. His official title is/was: Director of Digital Music.

While I never reported to Steve and I don’t even work in the same province as him, I can honestly say that employees everywhere felt the impact that his leadership had on the company at large. He embraces all things digital and (at least from my perspective) welcomes change. Being the Social Media Advisor for Corporate, I really appreciated how much he understood the social world. When I first started working with CBC/Radio-Canada I have to admit that I a lot of my job involved me pitching/selling the idea of social media to folks throughout the organization…while many were able to appreciate the theoretical opportunities that social media offered, many were too scared or worried to get their feet wet. To those who were a little harder to coax, I always used Steve as an example and often found that this helped bridge the gap.

Here’s Steve’s feature from CBC/Radio-Canada Works that I did a couple of years ago… Here’s an excerpt…looks like he took his own advice! Best of luck with your Content Strategy Consulting Practice.

StevePratt_25759What advice/tips would you give a student who wanted to follow in your footsteps and have a similar career?

“My best advice is to start doing what you want right now.  Don’t wait for someone to make you an offer. With today’s tools and technology, anyone can start doing the work they love before they are offered a job to do it.  We have hired many of best people because they were already blogging, podcasting, or broadcasting about music and doing a great job.  Their passion turned into a hobby, which made it easy for us to see that they knew what they were doing and could do a great job at CBC. The other piece of advice I would give is that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, put all your efforts into being a pro-active problem solver.  The world has too many people who complain problems and too few people who solve them.  The people who jump in with a solutions-oriented mindset are worth their weight in gold.” – Steve Pratt

Teaching the broader benefits of social media to future business leaders (via FP)

Social-Media stampsFor those interested in the evolution of Executive MBA programs that have a strong emphasis on Communications, I encourage you to read Denise Deveau’s article that appeared in the Financial Post.

Similarly to many other digital media courses, the focus used to be on media relations and marketing. As our Communications toolkit expands, the focus has now shifted to a broader view of communications where we are challenged to be more strategic and use the tools that best fit our needs. According to Deveau’s article, executives are being taught to let go of the need/desire for control. This is definitely a must when it comes to working with social media.

My favourite excerpt from the article comes from an interview with Daniel Tisch, president and CEO of Argyle Communications: An equally important aspect is assessing both the good and the bad sides of social media, Mr. Tisch explains. “Rather than relying on PR to do the listening, managers need to learn how to turn their employee base into an army of listeners, and identify the risks and opportunities that go with that. We talk a lot about that now.”

Lithium acquires Klout…c’est l’amour in the world of content management

Klout-StyleFor the last little while, I’ve been falling out of love with Klout. As a Canadian user, the Klout Perks were nothing to write home about. Also, I found the interface overcrowded with items that I just didn’t need from Klout (like content management). As an expert social media user, I already have my faves when it comes to content management tools. What drove me to Klout was the appeal of getting a numerical grade on how I was doing in terms of my social media usage and influence. I loved the grid that shoes where you rank in relation to your network…

Fast forward a bit…and today I received an email from Klout letting users know that they have been purchased by Lithium Technologies. According to the email from Joe Hernandez (Founder and CEO of Klout), “Lithium powers many of the most vibrant communities online for leading brands like Spotify, Skype and Sephora. Together, we can do more to help you share your passions, measure your impact and grow your reputation…Lithium shares our passion for empowering every person to understand and maximize their impact online.”

The future for Klout and Lithium will be interesting to see. There will surely be a big push for improving the their content management offerings. My hope is that this will enable the duo to surpass the other products currently on the market…

Looking ahead for Canadian Television

Shortly after the Canadian Screen Awards, TV Guide published 10 Things about Canadian TV we should be celebrating. This couldn’t have come at a better time, as Canadians were coming off of a high from celebrating Canadian talent and productions.

Canadian television has come a long way and I full heartedly agree with the authors when they say that we still have a long way to go. While studying television production, my heart would ache every time I would hear a friend say “that looks Canadian” when talking about a TV show. What they really meant was, “that looks like a low-budget” production.

One of the first things that you learn when studying and working in the production field is how to stretch your budget and pool your collective resources. That’s partially why the “it looks Canadian” comment bothers me so much. I know that amazing things are possible – even with a low budget. I’ve seen it done. I’ve even had the honour of working on a few of these gems…

We’re in the midst of a very exciting time for media, here in Canada. Companies are being forced to rethink their business models and everything that we once knew to be true is being challenged. I like to compare this to builders and the first time that they created the open concept floor plan. It’s time to put our imaginations to the test and push ourselves and our industry so that we all come out of this stronger and smarter.

To all Canadian producers, behind the scenes professionals, talent and students: Think of this as your daily pep talk. Go out there and create magic! In the spirit of Canadian TV (#cdntv) I invite you to send me your favourite Canadian productions (TV/Film) and I’ll add them to the list below!

Favourite Canadian Productions:

  • Flashpoint
  • 19-2
  • Rookie Blue
  • Polytechnique
  • Beachcombers
  • Bon Cop, Bad Cop
  • Big Brother Canada (updated)
  • Incendies  (updated)
  • Gabrielle  (updated)

(Update ) LinkedIn – Who’s viewed your profile

So after what feels like a kazillian years, I finally received a note in my inbox about LinkedIn’s update to the analytics available in the “who’s viewed your profile” section.

At first glance, it doesn’t look that interesting or informative…but then again, I’m a wee bit boring on LinkedIn when it comes to sharing with my networks. I reserve most of my activity for group participation. I’ll keep exploring these new functions…

linkedin update

My favourite food shows…

I’m a foodie. I wasn’t always this way, but over the last decade my passion, appreciation and curiousity for food and wine has grown. I always appreciated beautiful looking (and tasty dishes) but thanks to television, I’ve transformed from just being a consumer to actually creating it.

In honour of Recipe to Riches being relaunched tonight, I thought that I would share some of my favourite food programs with you:

- Come Dine with Me (UK): While I’ll settle for the Canadian version, the UK version is my favourite. In case you’ve never heard of it, the show follows 5 strangers as they host a dinner party for the group. After the host wines and dines them, they secretly score the dinner party and that is how the winner is decided. Before the dinner party, you spend the day with the host as they prepare their food and run into all sorts of mishaps that happen to all of us!…Aside from loving the humour of narrator David Lamb, I also enjoy seeing a different style of cooking & entertaining along with the more traditional home layouts. It was through Come Dine with Me (UK) that I was first introduced to Bannoffee Pie and the famous Pavlova.

- Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bags: These two ladies are hilarious and the chemistry between them reminds me of myself and my husband in the kitchen. Every episode, the dynamic duo test out recipes from a specific cookbook. They usually havea few hours to prepare a series of dishes before the guest judge (who is a professional chef) arrives to critique the meal. The objective of this is to determine which cookbooks are worthy of joining your home library. Throughout the show you also get lots great tips from the guest chefs and product reviews.

- MasterChef & MasterChef Junior: Competition show for home cooks…This is a fantastic show where the highlight (in my opinion) is really the diversity and growth of the homecooks throughout the process. I’ve had my favourites, I’ve shed some tears and I’ve learnt a lot! The Junior’s edition was equally amazing – can you imagine cooking up these restaurant quality dishes while standing on a stepstool?

- Hell’s Kitchen: Say what you will about Gordon Ramsay, but at the end of the day it’s an entertaining show. Although, I’ve since given up eating meat (for the most part…I’m not sure if it’s possible to give it up completely having a Trini mother and Greek in laws…who are great cooks) he did teach us how to make beef wellingtons perfectly. I haven’t yet tried making rizzoto…it’s a little too scary for me but I know it’s just in my head…

- Recipe to Riches: Love the concept of this – although I never really watched the show before. Tonight it will be relaunching on CBC, so I’ll do my best to check it out. What I love about this show is that consumers can actually test out the products and buy them at Loblaws!….such a great idea!!

Feel free to send me your food show recommendations and/or recipes!! Looking at Pinterest always makes me so hungry and apparently so does writing about food shows!…

LinkedIn increases insights available in “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section

One of the greatest features of LinkedIn (in my humble opinion) is the ability to see who has viewed your account. Apparently, LinkedIn is in the process of rolling out analytics for the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section. This will enable users to differentiate the various types of users that have viewed your account (recruiters, industry, position, etc.).

Updates to accounts apparently started yesterday – not sure if this was just in the US though since I have yet to see the updates reflected in my own account.

Has your account been updated yet? What do you think of the changes?

Viral videos – your ticket to being cool (and the demise of book clubs)…

This is a pretty bold statement and I have absolutely no facts to back it up (as of yet) but I bet that I could write a whole thesis on how Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z are embracing sharing/socializing via technology rather than old school (physical) contact/communication…

So back in the day, there was this underground culture of book readers who got together to discuss books…I’m probably going to annoy a lot of people when I write this, but based on stereotypes back then these groups were predominately composed of snobs, cat lovers and people who smell like mothballs…Then they sort of fell off the grid for a while…Then in 2012, Oprah launched her book club then all of a sudden books and discussing books were cool. People wanted to consume the next “BIG HIT” book to hit the shelves before the general public.

So, let’s fast forward a few years and think about technology and human social behaviour now. We (speaking generally as human beings in North America) still have a desire to consume the next “BIG HIT” before others. We want to be in the know. We want to be cool. Plus, it’s no secret that many of us have an underlying desire to feel included. Instead of books (and current affairs) being the general currency for interpersonal connections, our digital generation is now turning to viral videos to aid in the pursuit of acceptance and belonging. Think about the content of your “water cooler” discussions…! Viral videos take a lot less time to watch than say reading Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude…plus if you don’t like them, you don’t feel like you’ve wasted so much time. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this, but we tend to have shorter attention spans and are less patient as a society.

With viral videos, you feel like you got a good deal. In the span of a few minutes, you can be transported into a story that can change your perspective on life…okay, maybe I’m being a little melodramatic…but in all seriousness, it can make your day seem a lot less shitty. Now I realize that there are many exceptions to this, because there’s a whole group of people who look down on the consumption and sharing of viral videos…but in the end, chances are if you fit into one of these groups, I probably wouldn’t want to hang out with you…<no offence though>… With everything going on in the world, it’s important to lighten up from time to time and have a laugh…shed a tear…hug a puppy…and dance…

PS: Hope I didn’t offend too many people…may all of my 3 readers accept my apologies ;)

PPS: Just had to add that I actually do belong to a book club…and none of us smell like mothballs…but there may be a few cat lovers…

PPPS: Here’s a video for you to share with your family, before your next family gathering…in hopes that it will spark discussion and bring you closer together…!

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