Headlines for Thursday:

  1. Do one nice thing (55 words)
  2. How to proactively network (247 words)
  3. The power of proactively networking (931 words)
  4. Thinking about responsibilities: glass, metal, or rubber? (198 words)
  5. Why the Philippines? A story that needs to be told (225 words)
  6. Why I love OpenBC - a new business networking site (370 words)
  7. Making friends in unusual places (822 words)
  8. Of BarCamp and conversations (348 words)
  9. Meet up at Shoeless Schmooze! (277 words)
  10. A fountain pen again (107 words)
  11. Awesome! One of my favorite authors just started blogging! (253 words)

Work on research


Met 23 people

Bruce, Daniel Charles, Shane D'Costa, Emily, Greg A. Fitz, Clara Fong, Jay Goldman, Harvey, Kai Fai Ho, Iris, KC, Charles McCulloch, Jamie McQuay, Joshua Meles, Naomi, Helen Overland, Wayne Penney, Simon Rowland, San, Colin Smillie, Solomon, Le Quan Truong, Perry Wong


1. Awesome! One of my favorite authors just started blogging!: 00:52

Tim Sanders, author of "Love is the Killer App", has just launched a blog: http://www.sanderssays.com . "Love is the Killer App" is a book that I enthusiastically recommend and even give away to other people. Given that I'm on a grad student's budget, that's quite a strong statement. ;) I know so many people it describes so well, and I want to be the kind of person it envisions.

I'm really looking forward to listening to Tim Sanders at the Power Within event on September 13. How can I go about connecting beyond the anonymity of a general-admission audience? I would love to have a longer conversation. I'm good at mingling with diverse groups and would probably find a way to fit into the VIP lunch if I could talk my way into it, although I might need help convincing them to let me in. I know I'd have interesting conversations. Hmm. Coffee? Dinner? I'd be happy to be squeezed into a meeting with other people--all the better, actually, because then I'd get to meet other cool people.

I wonder if anyone on my LinkedIn or OpenBC is linked. Hmm, there's a leadership coach named Tim Sanders at Yahoo!, but he has only one connection, so that's kinda odd. Not on OpenBC either.

*boggle* I have more LinkedIn connections than Keith Ferrazzi, who's actually just three degrees away - but he's not open to Introductions or InMail, so I'm going to have to do this the old-fashioned way. Let me ask Erwin Oliva...

2. A fountain pen again: 00:58

Essence du Papier called me recently to tell me that the Waterman I'd been pining for had arrived. I headed over there to pick up the beautifully patterned red fountain pen, an exact replica of the one I'd misplaced.

I will keep it with me always. Well, not always. Apparently, you can't take pens on international flights. How broken is that?

With air travel being such a pain, I'm starting to think that the terrorists have won.

But I have a fountain pen again, so all is right with the world, and I can once again use my pretty writing-paper to keep in touch in style. =)

3. Meet up at Shoeless Schmooze!: 01:10

The end of summer so let's have a been (or two) and hook up with some friends and make some new ones...


August 31st, 6:00 PM tillŠ.

We had a great turn out the previous times this was held. Lots of great conversations and business connections, and all around good times were had! So let's do it one more time!!

I've gone back to the management at Shoeless Joe's and they're going to give us a deal on beer ($3.50) and throw in some food. A great environment to talk about what's going on in the technology, marketing & PR and all things that impact it, or just kick back and have a drink and talk what ever on your mind they even throw some finger food.

Where / When:

  • Shoeless Joe's - 401 King Street W (King St. & Spadina Ave) (Map)
  • August 31st

What to bring:

  • Lots of business cards
  • Loonies - we've got $3.25 beer & wine (not including tax & tip)
  • Lots of great ideas and things to talk about

Who will be there: This is open to anyone to anyone who's looking to network, socialize, schmooze and connect with other business minded people from any sectors; but chances are you fit into technology, marketing, public relations in some way shape or form.

What next: Would love to know if you can make it ­ hit me up on email or leave a comment on the blog or reply to the email if you can make it.

Dave Forde
Profectio - Bringing together Canada's connected community -
Personal Blog - www.profectio.com/forde

E-Mail from DAVE FORDE

4. Of BarCamp and conversations: 02:00

People who have never been to a BarCamp probably have no idea what to expect from this un-conference. In fact, I get the feeling that the BarCamp *I* go to is very different from the BarCamp that everyone else goes to, even if we're all going to BarCampEarthToronto.

I think my way is cool, and I think you should try it out. =) Here's what I get out of BarCamp and why I think it's tons of fun.

For me, BarCamp is all about conversation. I start with the assumption that as a whole, everyone else knows more than I do about anything I want to talk about. My sessions are not presentations, but roundtable discussions. I'll structure them a little bit to give people something to work with, like the way I talked a little bit about Enterprise 2.0 or shared some of my networking tips. The value of the session doesn't come from me, though, but from the participants.

My job is not to tell people answers, but to share a few stories and ask lots of questions. I turn Q & A onto its head by saving more time for questions than for speaking, and asking more questions than I answer.

This also allows me to adapt to people's interests on the fly. In the middle of hallway conversation, I've said, "Hey, I'd love to have a larger conversation about this," run off to find a marker, and then added the session to the grid. I think it's okay not to be an expert on something just yet, to not have a slick well-rehearsed presentation.

I think this is so much more fun than treating BarCamp as a self-organizing series of traditional presentations. I'd rather say, "I feel like talking about ____" and see who else wants to.

Conversation. For me, BarCamp is all about starting conversations. It's fun following up with people, too. Just finished a BBQ with a few people I met at BarCampEarthToronto - that was great fun!

I'll blog about this more when I'm more coherent, but yeah. Conversation.

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5. Making friends in unusual places: 11:53

There is a reason for all things, and there turned out to be a very good reason why I found myself asleep this morning. I had been planning to wake up early and do some work at the lab, but I realized that I left my phone charger somewhere, so I decided to leave my phone off--so, no alarm clock.

Instead, I woke up this morning to the unmistakeable sound of thickly-accented frustration. I stepped out of my room--sans glasses, in my hurry--and found one of the maintenance staff wondering out loud what on earth she was going to do with all the dishes in the sink, as they needed to do their pre-move-in cleaning. I nodded and agreed that they were under a lot of pressure, and added that maybe last night wasn't the best night to have a party. Then I rolled up my pajama sleeves and worked along with them.

I was glad to help, especially as just a little effort on my part could relieve the two maintenance people a great deal of stress. They needed to be able to clean the surfaces, but maintenance had gotten so much flak from residents about stuff being moved or moldy food being thrown away that it was really good to have a resident around.

It was easy work: washing the dishes, moving food off the bottom shelf and out of the crispers in the fridge so that they could clean them, taking everything out of the bathroom and off the fridge. As we cleaned, we chatted--and it was wonderful being able to connect with Michael and Lily.

They told stories about fridges that were moldy and bathrooms that were almost black, and shared speculations about certain racial combinations and how that affected cleanliness. <laugh> For the occasional guilt I feel about how I keep the suite, it turns out that it's still pretty decent. No, I don't want to think about how messy everything else must be.

Aside from the gossip, though, we also talked about so many other things. Lily commutes from Richmond Hill, so I could sympathize with her about the expense of YRT and TTC. She loves the place, though. Michael lives in the middle of Chinatown, which is very convenient but also very busy - he's looking forward to escaping to his family's cottage this Labour Day weekend.

Lily mentioned her love of salsa. I remembered Alejandro, the gentleman who struck up a conversation with me when I was studying in the common room. He even demonstrated salsa moves; he loved salsa so much! He also worked in the building, and I was sure they'd have run into each other. "I know Alejandro! He's my husband! He's been telling me so much about you!" That turned into a discussion of how Alejandro's such a charmer and how women line up to dance with him, but Lily's not jealous at all because she knows him. She told me of her children from a previous marriage, too. Among them: a lawyer in Chile, a psychologist, a forestry engineering student in France.

Lily's vocation is working with seniors at a nursing home. That's what she loves doing. She occasionally helps out with Graduate House when she could use the money, but her passion is taking care of seniors. Oh, you should've seen her light up when she was talking about taking care of them. She's a very strong woman - "Half-German!" She reminded me of my mom when she said, "I'm my children's friend, but I'm their mother first." She's tough, but it's the kind of tough that everyone needs, and I can totally see her in that kind of environment. She used to be a physical therapist, too, which certainly helps.

Upon learning that I'm from the Philippines, Michael said a few Tagalog phrases he knew. (Why is it that everyone here knows a few Tagalog phrases? I've got to learn a little about other people's cultures...) He joked about wanting an Asian girlfriend because of our culture. I laughed and said I'd keep an eye out. It turned out that he's just a bit younger than I am - he turned 23 on Aug 23. He's looking forward to winter because he loves playing hockey, although he likes all the other seasons as well.

I shared with them the last bar of Godiva chocolate (thanks, Gabriel Mansour!), a bar of Cadbury (Michael's favorite, apparently), and the mint chocolate that Shane D'Costa gave me. Everyone likes chocolate. =)

I'd like to think that I made their day unexpectedly better, and that whenever someone gives them a hard time, they'll remember that people aren't all like that. =) It was awesome connecting with them and listening to their stories and treating them as *human*, y'know?

That was good. That was the best thing I could've done that morning.

And we got everything cleaned within their two-hour time limit! =)

6. Why I love OpenBC - a new business networking site: 13:16

Okay, I'm sold. Yes, LinkedIn has a slicker interface and *way* more people, but OpenBC has just a few extra features that I really, really like.

  • Wants / Haves. *Totally* cool. I do this in real life, and the connections you can bring out are amazing. Just last night, for example - seven people, and I can think of good connections for every single one of them. You know what would be the killerest? A summary view of people's wants/haves, optionally sortable by update date. I want an RSS feed of people's updates so that I can keep all those things in mind all the time. Any service that makes it easier for me to proactively create value for other people totally rocks, and it would be good to make it easier for people to browse through my contacts and make those connections themselves. 'cause face it - job descriptions don't say much, and they don't talk about what we want.
  • Pictures. Great for reminding other people what I look like. ;) If I could just convince everyone else...
  • Private memos. I can easily do that with my personal contact management database, but OpenBC makes it convenient for other people to keep private datestamped notes.
  • Tagging. Again, something I can do with my personal contact management database, but not everyone can be so lucky - and OpenBC's + events = cool.
  • Groups. I got into OpenBC because of the Greater IBM Initiative. They rock.
  • Events. I wonder if I can use this for my parties. You can use to invite people to events! Whee. =)
  • And they blog. Plus points.

I might even consider paying for the service, which again is quite a vote considering my grad-student budget. =) It's not that expensive, though. I just have to figure out how to create enough value.

Sign up and connect. OpenBC has free basic memberships, and you have a month of premium membership to try it out. I like it a lot. You should definitely try OpenBC, particularly if you're a Connector in the Tipping Point sense of the word.

Sign up for OpenBC, then add me as a contact!

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7. Why the Philippines? A story that needs to be told: 13:44

A chance encounter with Daniel Chmielewski at BarCampEarthToronto led to a conversation about the Philippines and an introduction to Kevin Beckford, one of Dan's friends who is in the Philippines right now. I asked him how he ended up in Cebu, and he said:

I came here from Hong Kong, I was doing a contract there. While there, I could not help but notice the filipinas in causeway bay. Upon talking to them, I noticed that they all seemed to really love the philippines. I said: "What the hell am I doing in Hong Kong, which I am not fond of, when everyone I meet from this country loves it?" So i came here to cebu and just lived here... did some offshore contracts for cash and now i'm (weeps) getting ready to leave. I do work with php/perl/java/groovy ( php as little as possible ) and some admin things. I am currently hacking drupal code right now YES NOW because I'm trying to get something working according to my desire.
I'll really miss this place though. If I had known it was this good, i would have targeted here instead of just dropping in for the year. Ah well. Who knows what the future holds ?

These are stories that need to be told.

E-Mail from Kevin

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8. Thinking about responsibilities: glass, metal, or rubber?: 14:01

Tim Sanders has an insightful post on thinking of tasks as either glass, metal, or rubber. From his blog post:

  • If I drop an action item made of glass, something gets broken. It has a guaranteed negative outcome not to do it.
  • If I drop and action item made of metal, nothing gets broken — but there will be plenty of noise and maybe even a dent claimed.
  • If I drop an action item made of rubber, it will will probably bounce either back to the tasker or to the right person. This is probabaly an action item that is either silly or not my role.

Mondays are the best days to deal with "glass" things, he says, and people should minimize the number of glass things they're juggling at a time.

Come to think of it, my life is like that. It's not just a matter of keeping all of the balls in the air, satisfying all the responsibilities - there's never going to be enough time for that! I have to think about which responsibilities I don't really need to take on, things that can bounce to someone else...

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9. The power of proactively networking: 14:51

I've reached another turning point in my life, another coming of age. I've realized the power of proactive networking, and I have a feeling that it's going to change my life.

You see, I used to shy away from networking because I couldn't think of how I could add value to the conversation or what I could take away. I went to a few networking events before I got tired of being given the once-over by schmoozers who moved on when they realized that I couldn't give them any deals or opportunities. As a student, what could I offer? And what could I ask them for? I didn't want to waste their time, didn't want to prevent them from meeting other people they could deal with.

I was insecure. That was exactly how I felt when I moved to Canada from the Philippines, torn away from *my* network and suddenly back at the bottom of the totem pole. I didn't believe I could offer any value, and so I couldn't.

Over the past year and after so many conversations and books, though, I think I've finally found myself--and I can't believe that I hadn't realized this earlier.

How did I go about it? I credit two books with sparking a particularly large number of aha! moments: Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" and Tim Sanders' "Love is the Killer App." Both books taught me that my love of reading and learning could be valuable to other people, so I had something to start with. My interest in other people helps them discover more about life and themselves--another reason why people enjoy sharing their insights with me. I give people an opportunity to help, and in so doing, they grow as well. All I need to do is ask.

As I practiced the suggestions in these books, I found it easier and easier - and more and more fun. I discovered that by consciously reaching out, I could enrich my life and the lives of people around me.

I don't think of it as my "network", not in the cold and calculating sense of just wanting to add more nodes to a graph. No, these are people whom I want to help grow and who care about my growth.

And last night, I realized something amazing: the power of proactivity, of making things happen instead of waiting for things to occur.

After a wonderful conversation about all sorts of topics including the meaning of life, the challenges of entrepreneurship, and the joy of networking, I asked my seven guests point-blank what they wanted and how I could help them succeed. They told me--and my mind kicked into high gear, thinking of whom I could introduce to them and what I could help them with.

*This* is one of the things I'm not only good at, but I love doing. Perhaps this is one of the things that I am meant to do. I've jokingly described how I enjoy stuffing large amounts of information into my brain in order to bring out one or two relevant items when people need them. I've applied it in geeky contexts before: familiarizing myself with a list of open source packages (all of Debian, at one point) helped me recommend just the right package for Jijo Sevilla when he was working on a point-of-sale system, while my background in computer science helped me tell Simon exactly which keywords he should use to find a good algorithm for a feature he wants to include in his product.

I want to do it with people, too. I want to keep people's wants and haves in mind. I *love* making those connections.

This was one of Sam Watkins' brilliant ideas, some years ago: write down your wants and haves on your card, and exchange this with others. OpenBC is a social networking site that's playing around with the idea, too, which is why I like OpenBC a lot. The key point is: proactively find out what people want / have, and make those connections happen!

One of the difficulties I had was figuring out how to keep in touch with people, how to do followup. Followup is incredibly important. Proactively choosing to make things happen makes it really easy to follow up and exercise those networking muscles. Every person I meet and every conversation I have has the potential to reactivate old connections, and I want to review old connections to find out what I can help them with now. If they're in my network, it's because I think they're cool and I want them to succeed - and we'll keep growing together!

That gives me even more confidence when it comes to meeting other people. I now bring *lots* of value to the conversation. Sure, I'm not a CEO or even someone with decision-making power. Even as a student, though, I can help people succeed. I've been told I have interesting ideas and that I'm a good listener. I love asking questions and having conversations. And I know lots of really cool people. I want to know more peopl because the more people I know, the more interconnections I can make and the more stories I can tell.

"Your network is your net worth," said Tim Sanders - and mine is growing. I care about the people in it. I want them to succeed. I want to learn from all these interesting people - strangers, acquaintances, friends. That gives me the chutzpah I need to walk up to someone I've never met - the power of proactive networking.

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10. How to proactively network: 15:09

Whether you have a business card collection that fills a bookshelf or you're trying to become comfortable with meeting new people, one way to get much more value and happiness out of networking is to proactively make things happen instead of waiting for them to occur. Here's how:

  1. Find out what people want. Ask people, "What can I do to help you succeed?" Keep asking until you get a good sense of what they're looking for. The practice is good for them, too!
  2. Get out there and meet people. Too shy to talk to people at a networking event? Ask on behalf of a friend and you may find yourself more comfortable. Find conversation difficult? Think of it as an opportunity to discover ways to connect people to other people. You'll find that good conversation isn't really about you having something in common with others. It's easier than that! All you need is at least one of your friends having at least one thing in common with others.
  3. Look for the connections. With every conversation and with every person you meet, think of connections you can make. Introduce people to other people and you'll create lots of opportunities - and learn about people, too!

Make things happen. Find out what people around you want or need, and look for ways you can help them grow. Life is a lot more fun that way!

For backstory, check out The power of proactively networking

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11. Do one nice thing: 15:39

Perk up your Mondays by doing (at least) one nice thing!

And why wait for Mondays? Do a nice thing for someone any time. It's particularly good for perking yourself up when you feel unhappy or for sharing your joy when you're on top of the world.

Link via Debbie's comment on Tim Sanders' blog

E-mail sent

  1. E-mail to J. Random Hacker
  2. E-mail to Tommy Kelly
  3. E-mail to Michael Chaney
  4. E-mail to William L. Anderson
  5. E-mail to Pete Hicks
  6. E-mail to Simon Law
  7. E-mail to Simon Law
  8. E-mail to Lawrence E. Hughes,Kevin Beckford
  9. E-mail to Mama,clair ching,Kevin Beckford
  10. E-mail to Kevin Beckford
  11. E-mail to Kevin Beckford
  12. E-mail to Gabriel Mansour
  13. E-mail to Syed Dilawar,Alan Hietala,Esther Goh,Ian Garmaise,Quinn Fung,Mike Tsang,Sander A. Smith
  14. E-mail to Tala
  15. E-mail to Mike Tsang
  16. E-mail to Alex Sirota,Syed Dilawar
  17. E-mail to Syed Dilawar,Jane Zhang
  18. E-mail to Alan Hietala
  19. E-mail to Simon Rowland
  20. E-mail to esther.goh
  21. E-mail to Gabriel Mansour
  22. E-mail to DAVE FORDE
  23. E-mail to Syed Dilawar
  24. E-mail to Sarah Calley
  25. E-mail to Miguel A. Paraz