What’s my Digital Brand Personality?

Posted on September 19, 2013 | No Comments

This week’s blog is about content. As different digital screens increase in number (think connected refrigerators and smart watches) your brand’s message can get a little messy.

One of the challenges most companies face when producing content for a variety of different channels – from web to social to print – is maintaining a consistent voice. This is particularly true as the person updating your YouTube channel might be different from the person creating your mobile app, etc.

Even if you’re not a ‘marketing person,’ you can undertake small steps to ensure you’re providing an experience to your audience that makes sense for your brand.

First you need to answer: What’s your Personality? Take a step away from the office with some coworkers and establish three personality tones of your brand.   This is important because it can help ensure your brand’s personality is consistent across your website, your app, and your social media page (and connected fridge…).

A great method to develop your personality tone and voice is to split it up into a chart. Decide on your brand’s three personality traits and clarify further by deciphering what that tone is like, and not like. Here’s an example using today’s Talk Like a Pirate Day.


Personality ToneLike ThisNot Like This
RoughDrink up me hearties – Jack SparrowLet’s jump on board, and cut them to pieces – Blackbeard
SlangYarrr matey! Aye! Aye!OMG, this is totes cool
SillyLet’s go digging for treasure! My imaginary parrot friend knows the way!Let’s run around and trip over each other to find a treasure. Oops! The treasure is actually a bag of sand!

Now that you’ve established your tone, you have basic support to create your brand’s voice across your media channels.  What does that mean? The voice you use to describe your show and capture SEO opportunities on YouTube could be different from the voice used for your website’s FAQ – but they should both live and breathe your brand’s unique personality. This short task will save you loads of time as you create more content for more screens.

Hey, Digital Geek!

Posted on August 22, 2012 | No Comments

I’m a new blogger on Kidscreen.com, the children’s entertainment business-to-business magazine. Check out my first post, Meet the Digital Geek and check back every two weeks for more posts. If there’s anything you’d like to answer or address in these blogs, be sure to contact me.

Here’s the blog post:

Meet the Digital Geek:

The emerging media space is intimidating. Say you’ve decided to create a mobile version of your website. Sounds simple, right? You’re all set to go when suddenly the increasingly frustrated project manager bombards you with questions such as:

– are you looking for a website or an app?

– are your assets optimized for mobile?

– do you want a separate mobile site with a unique URL?

– what platforms are your users currently using?

– what content do you want on this mobile version?

Mind spinning yet? All you wanted was a mobile version of your website, and suddenly you’re expected to know the ins and outs of digital development.  No fair!

Well, I should be able to help. I work in the kids digital space as a producer and strategist  – and if you’ve been in the business for a while you may remember my name from a decade ago when I wrote for Kidscreen.

This blog will guide you through the maze of emerging platforms and help you make the right choices in online, mobile, social… and whatever else comes along… to effectively reach your youth and gatekeeper audiences. We’ll look at tactics for choosing the best social platforms, questions you need to know before you start your digital projects, trends such as social TV, and ways to create a ROI. That’s right: a return on investment for online, mobile and social – novel idea, eh?

I’d love to hear what kind of questions you have about emerging media.  Heard of a new social channel and need to know if it will reach your audience? Need help determining success metrics for your upcoming digital projects? Please join the conversation and if you require one-on-one consultation for your digital projects, ping me.

Read more: http://kidscreen.com/2012/08/22/hey-digital-geek/#ixzz24HldOI4l

Why the Computer-Savvy at Work are so Frustrated

Posted on January 18, 2011 | No Comments

Does your boss enter www.google.com into the Google search bar instead of the browser’s address bar? Does reading that sentence remind you how frustrated you get when that happens? Or… gasp… maybe you’re reading this and now understand why the web team at work always acts so cranky towards you. Either way, watch this fun video below for a laugh:

Toronto G20 and Social Media

Posted on June 28, 2010 | No Comments

Yesterday in a tweet, Now Magazine in Toronto said this past weekend’s G20 in Toronto will be the most documented event in the city’s history – all in part to social media.

As someone without a TV, I was reliant on the news from Twitter and blogs to update me on the protests happening downtown. Visiting dedicated news sites came after the fact: The Star, The Globe and Mail and the National Post all did great coverage of the events – each dedicating a blog to report on the event – both from inside the walled fortress and outside – but I went to their sites after already hearing the news on Twitter for a more indepth review and a collection of some fantastic photojournalism.

Two Twitter feeds from public broadcasters took me right from my safe couch just west of the rioting and protests into the downtown core and the Eastern Ave detention centre: @kimfox from CBC and @spatikin from TVO. CBC had their own blog, tweeted, opened a Flickr account for viewers to send in their photography from the event… in all, really embraced hearing what was happening from areas they might not have access to – a great job.

Steve Paikin in particular managed to use the 140 characters allowed to tweet explosive play-by-plays and comments about a peaceful sit-in he attended on the Saturday night. Reading his tweets was a play-by-play of what was happening, and his tweet at 10:02 pm “i. gone police escor me away” drew me away from the standard picture of the burning cop car into real concern – did they really arrest journalist and very peaceful guy Steve Paikin?

Fortunately they didn’t –  but without him tweeting, we would have never learned about the freelance writer who has done work for the Guardian, who was allegedly beaten by some police, and how Ontario’s new sweeping police powers this weekend affected one a Liberal candidate who tried to help Premier McGuinty get his current job. Since those tweets, Paikin has been called in by many bloggers and radio shows to recount what he saw – something that may have had less of an impact if it weren’t for the immediacy of Twitter.

The Toronto Police tweeted as well – some call to action tweets to get people to report on those who cause damage to property along Queen St W and Yonge and College streets. But also, as a way to RT all of those people who supported their actions this weekend. As the Toronto Police are now learning, however, a RT doesn’t ignore the criticisms or the viral effects of a video post where protestors were chased after apparently singing O’ Canada and then sitting down on Queen W, or the police apparently firing on a protestor when she turned her back to them.

Tamera Kremer’s tweet “@torontopolice – assume ur just PR but really infuriating you retweet & respond to those who praise you while ur community cries out” speaks to what organizations need to always consider when they’re in the social media world – you can’t just put a blind on loud criticism and questions by only RT’ing the support. Social media is about dialogue – even answering those uncomfortable questions. She continues: “@torontopolice not really what “social media” is about. Our community has video & pics, where are your responses? We saw it happen.”

Etacts keeps your email under control

Posted on April 26, 2010 | No Comments

As someone with over 200 unread emails in her work email inbox (what’s that sound? oh it’s a GTD person fainting), Etacts is something I could definitely use.

Basically, Etacts works to remind you that you haven’t responded to emails. I applied it to my gmail account just now and immediately saw I haven’t emailed someone in over a year. I’m a horrible, horrible person.  So horrible that I chose to update this blog rather than email back. What’s another day? (Horrible!)

Etacts’ concept sounds simple enough, but if you’re a multitasker who continually feels the inbox is out of control, this could be a handy tool. If you’re a GTD follower or someone who likes passive aggressive email topics, this site will also remind you of who hasn’t responded to YOUR emails (i.e. I’ve been waiting for a response to my email for 23 days!). There’s also a good looking plug in for your gmail account that appears to work a lot like xobni.

It’s definitely a project that has potential to grow – hopefully into Microsoft Office Outlook so I can use it at work. Yes, it’s all about me, me, me.

Brought to my attention by Web Worker Daily

See the web in 2001

Posted on October 1, 2008 | No Comments

Only seven years ago, the internet was a very different place. And I have proof! As part of Google’s 10 year anniversary, they’ve opened up an easter egg so you can search the internet as it was in 2001.

I’ve looked up Facebook (first link to its Harvard incarnation), You Tube (didn’t exist), my name (I didn’t exist) and some of my other favourite sites. Thanks to web.archive.org, you can even see how some sites looked back then (and how just a few small tweaks can make a huge difference).

Sony, Electronic Arts, DRM backlash and DECE?

Posted on September 23, 2008 | No Comments

DRM backlash has been happening for years. It prompted some music distributors to shed the DRM restrictions off their music on iTunes. But it continues to cause issues and frustration for consumers. Many feel they are buying the movies, music and TV episodes, but their devices actually own it.

The latest snafu is with Sony.  In short, a fella deleted some movies off of his hard drive to make some room, but he then he couldn’t reload the content he purchased.

DRM backlash hit the new Electronic Arts game Spore, where users gave the high profile game only one star on Amazon. EA loosened its rules.

Could a solution be on the way? Major producers (except for Disney and Apple) seem to be interested to create a system that allows downloadable content on any device called DECE (Digitial Electronic Control Ecosystem). Details will be available in January but will likely employ cloud computing ideas.

As long as I can download my stuff to my iPod, Shuffle and (upcoming) iTouch without trouble, I’ll be happy.

Canadian New Media fund RIP?

Posted on September 3, 2008 | No Comments

Telefilm’s $14million fund to help support Canadian digital content creation might not exist after March 2009. Canada’s current government is rumoured to be pulling out of the initiative, clearly in an effort to reduce this country’s ability to compete internationally on a burgeoning business. Sadly, this current government sees digital media as frivolous art rather than a viable industry with worldwide implications.

As this country is set to have an (illegal) election to choose a new PM, I hope all Canadians consider this government‘s investment strategy before placing their vote.

If you want your voice heard, September 25 is National Digital Media Day in Canada. Join the social media network on Facebook or on Ning.

Documentary filmmakers and rich Family Guy guy

Posted on August 27, 2008 | No Comments

I used to write for realscreen magazine, and often spoke with documentary producers who wished there was more funding to support their craft. Reelchanges might help. Documentary fans or organizations can watch clips and donate tax-deductable funds to the production. Brilliant, especially as there’s a personal connection with documentary watching.

And a guy who has, well, too much money is about to get a lot more richer. Seth McFarlane’s latest effort is an online gamble. Cavalcade, which from the teaser looks like the Family Guy clips that were too blue to use on traditional TV, will debut on September 10. 

Why is this an online gamble? It’s the first time Google AdSense will use its embedded ad service to promote the series. It’s a case of going to where the people are online, rather than the relying on the exploratory nature of the net. Reports are that instead of a static ad, a video from the series will appear, with clickthroughs to the video. It’ll also be up on YouTubes sponsored by Burger King. McFarlane is also said to be receiving a cut of the ad revenue. This deal was struck with Media Rights Capital.

We’ll see if it works! Given McFarlane’s level of fandom, it probably will attract viewers and money. Could this work with unknown producers or docs?