Category Archives: canada

One of Canada’s Most Influential Women in Social Media?

I’ve been nominated as one of Canada’s Most Influential Women in Social Media in a poll run by Dave Forde, whom I know from the Toronto technology scene. It’s a little odd thinking about that, because I’m nowhere near the likes of Amber MacArthur (popular geek television / videocasting personality), Leesa Barnes (who made it onto a worldwide list of female social media luminaries), and Sandy Kemsley (prolific Enterprise 2.0 blogger well-known for her comprehensive live-blogged conference notes). Me? I’m a recent hire figuring things out and posting notes along the way. =)

I’ve stumbled across influence by being in the right place at the right time, maybe. My story is now woven into IBM’s story about social media, and we’re helping other large companies figure things out as well. I’ve given numerous presentations helping people figure out what Web 2.0 means for them and for their company, facilitated workshops for generating, developing and prioritizing initiatives, and done a fair bit of hand-holding to get people over their concerns. All of that is pretty cool, come to think of it, but what I’d like to do is make it possible for other people to do even cooler things.

Thinking about this poll on Canada’s most influential women in social media, I realized that I didn’t consider myself any way equal to all these role models I have here and around the world. =) I also realized that I had a pretty good idea of a future me that would feel perhaps at home in that list. So here’s what I think “influential” looks like for me:

  • I would organize regular events that brought together interesting people and helped people connect. These events would include workshops on social networking, storytelling and presentations, quarter-life crises, lifehacking and productivity, happiness, geek growth, personal finance, and other topics I’m interested in or passionate about.
  • I would also build a bit of infrastructure that would help transform the networking aspects of these events: sign-up pages with more details, aggregators to bring together people’s blog posts, business card prints and other in-person networking aids, active matchmaking both online and offline, and so on.
  • I would be one of those people that people mention their projects and ideas to in the off chance that I could recommend people to talk to, books to read, and sites to check out–because I would. =) In order to do this, I’d find ways to more effectively capture information to support a somewhat fuzzy associative memory. (It’s _so_ frustrating to know that you’ve seen something before that people will like, but not be able to find it again!)
  • I would help lots of people to figure out what their passion is, deepen their skills, and share the results with lots of people through presentations, new and existing businesses, and other good things. I’d do that by asking people, helping them connect and make things happen, and helping them find a forum or opportunity where they can talk to other people.
  • I would have a big archive of things I’ve thought about and shared with others so that I can pull useful resources out and give them to people.
  • I would build systems to make it possible for other people to do this kind of awesomeness as well. =)

So that’s what “influential” looks like to me. I’m not there yet, but I think I can get there. =) I can learn how to hold external events, and gradually get into the swing of it. I can keep blogging and summarizing interesting resources, gradually refining my collection of resources. I can keep tweaking my addressbook, and someday I’ll build systems to help other people try this out. =)

Stay tuned.

Canada and Web 2.0 conferences

A colleague asked me about Web 2.0 and social networking conferences in Canada, so I figured I’d post it here too. Here are the big ones I know about:

Any really cool ones I missed?

First accumulated snowfall

When I opened the door this morning to freezing rain and accumulated
snowfall on the ground, I nearly turned around and walked back in. W-
gave me a big warm hug, which is good because sometimes I have very
few other reasons to put up with this weather.

The subway was packed packed packed, and I left my lunch bag on the
eastbound train. =(

Time to dust off the parkas and bring out the toques. Winter is here.

Not everything is gloomy. I’m looking forward to toasting my toes near
the fireplace and warming my lap with, well, a computer. ;) It’s time
to bake lasagna and make hearty soups, time to fill the house with the
comforting aroma of chocolate chip cookies when J- is out and peanut
butter cookies when she’s in. I’m looking forward to tobogganing down
the slopes of High Park, too. I guess that’ll be my winter
sport—that, and enjoying hot chocolate!

I still think the Philippines does Christmas better, but at least
winter gets a little bit easier to manage each year…

I really want to work out this working from home bit.

Random Emacs symbol: apropos-mode – Command: Major mode for following hyperlinks in output of apropos commands.

Took the IELTS

Canada’s skilled worker point system includes points for language
proficiency, which can be proved either through a letter or through a
standardized test. I decided to go for the standardized test so that
it wouldn’t be a potential hiccup in my application. The most
convenient option seemed to be the IELTS. I did that test today.

The IELTS wasn’t difficult, although the writing section was somewhat
tiring. I had just enough time to do a little composition and
revision. I’m reasonably happy with the quality of the essay that I
wrote. The speaking test was a lot of fun, too. The questions asked
happened to be related to a topic that I’d read a lot about lately, so
I not only had a strong opinion, but the facts to back it up. ;)

W- and I enjoyed joking about the test preparation. A website I
checked out last night advised strategies such as using “high-quality”
words in the essay portion in order to impress examiners. “Apropos”
was one such “high-quality” word proposed by the website. Although
I’ve been teased about my vocabulary before, I don’t do it to sound
educated, and I refuse to use the word “utilize” when “use” is fine.
We had much fun making up sentences with lots of buzzwords and jargon,
though! (Should be good preparation for IBM! ;) )

Random Emacs symbol: c-nonlabel-token-key – Variable: Regexp matching
things that can’t occur in generic colon labels,

Work permit on its way

A CIC official called me two days ago to clarify something on my
application for a post-graduate work permit. When we cleared that up,
she told me that my work permit should be done that day. Yay! I’m
looking forward to getting it in the mail. Of course, that probably
means less time to work on my book, but it’ll be good to work. =)

Random Emacs symbol: ccl-encode-euc-tw – Variable: CCL program to encode EUC-TW encoding.

Okay, I can solve that

I think I can deal with the temporary resident visa through mail.

Now the only thing I need to figure out is whether it’s
damn-the-cost-we’re-flying-home, or whether we can find something that
works out better…

Random Emacs symbol: bbdb-legal-zip-codes – Variable: List of regexps that match legal zip codes.