Next!

After a couple of rewarding and fulfilling years, I’ve decided to move on from my post as VP of Strategy at Sequentia Environics. The time I spent at Sequentia was amazing. I worked with an incredible team, doing really interesting work for great clients. To say I learned and grew a lot would be a massive understatement. I’m grateful to Jen and the team for the experiences.

I moved because there’s a lot of interesting energy in the market now. It seems like a really good time to put one’s self in opportunity’s path. So that’s exactly what I’m doing: keeping an open mind, and having lots of conversations. It’s wonderful, and great conversations with great people are their own reward. Each discussion opens a new path, some leading very interesting places.

My skill set is pretty broad. I’m a three-time entrepreneur with a decade experience doing social and digital strategy, I’m a pretty talented designer, and a burgeoning storyteller. I’m totally nerdy for people and technology. I’m looking for opportunities where I can bring my full skills to bear.

I have no idea what the next 6 months will look like for me. I’m blessed to have an incredibly supportive family, but I’m not sitting on piles of cash. To keep the lights on, I’m taking on consulting projects. Since 1997 I’ve consulted with billion dollar enterprises, with small startups, and everything in between. If you’re looking for creative solutions for marketing in 2012, let’s talk. I can help with

  • ROI focussed social media and digital strategies
  • Agency pitches
  • Presentations
  • Training sessions
  • Web design

If you’ve got an interesting problem, and are looking for a senior digital marketer to join your team, check out my resume, or my LinkedIn profile. We should talk too.

What I’m trying to say is:

Twitter’s 140 character limit (and the heat of the moment) is biting me in the ass. When I posted this:

This Ford election just proves that the broader the pool, the lower the common denominator. I want my old Toronto borders back.

What I meant was this:

The priorities of a broad geographic area will tend towards those few areas where different groups overlap. These overlaps do not by definition mean that they are good for society. Rather that they are common.

IMO, the pre-amalgamation borders allowed for better allocation of funds to the priorities of the constituencies served.

In retrospect, I should have read that through before hitting post.

The Macallan

Mmmmm… Scotch…

I grew up in a scotch drinking house. My earliest memories were of the fine, peaty taste of single malt whiskey. Well, no. My early memories of scotch go something like “EWWW! WTF! WHY WOULD YOU DRINK THAT? IT’S LIKE LICKING A FRESHLY PAVED ROAD WITH A DASH OF ASHTRAY”.

Like all good things though, appreciation grows from education and maturity. As I grew into my 20s, I started to join my folks in their evening tipple. Their daily drink was Grant’s or the Famous Grouse. Special occasions though meant one thing: The Macallan. Luckily for me, as I lived on the other side of the country, every time I saw my folks was a special occasion. The Macallan did flow.

Now, as a poor working stiff operating under the heavy hand of Canadian sin tax laws, it’s pretty rare that I’ll drop 8 John A‘s on a bottle of hooch. So when I was invited to attend a tasting of The Macallan at the hoity-toity One bar in Yorkville, I was in without a thought. I was not disappointed.

I’ll admit that I knew a fair bit about scotch, having invested at least 20 years of my life drinking the stuff. I’ve been to a nosing or nine, but have never tasted a vertical from a single distiller, let alone a vertical from my fave. What I learned was that a) I do love scotch and b) I like the more expensive bottles more and c) The Macallan does not make a bad scotch, only great and really fucking great.

Oddly, this was my first experience doing a before/after with adding a few drops of water. The difference those few drops make to the nose are incredible. I also learned about using pebbles to cool the drink instead of ice (so it doesn’t melt and water down the elixir). I swiped a couple of stones from my kids’ collection, and have been happily drinking cool, concentrated whiskey since.

I’d like to extend a warm thanks to the fine folks at Matchstick for inviting me to attend this wonderful event. On their behalf, I’d like to invite you, the reader, to take part in a wee survey. If you’d be so kind as to click here

Name that week

The primary project I’m working on at SiG@MaRS over the next few months is a week-long event in Toronto in early June. Together with some amazing partners, we’ll be bringing together the web/tech/agency/communication community with people working to create social change.

The goal of the week is to create opportunities for people in these two different groups to learn and work together. We’ve got some crazy ideas brewing, and plan on having a lot of fun.

We’ve temporarily called the week “Social Tech for Social Change”, but we all feel that the name is too cumbersome. Rather than deciding what to call this thing in a vacuum, I figured we’d put it out to the intended audience to see which name resonates best with you.

Please have a look at the names below – note these aren’t logos, I’ve just made the names pretty ’cause that’s the way I roll. At the bottom of the post is a poll. You can make multiple selections. Go! Go! Go!



Next!

I think I’m happiest when I’m terrified.

I seem to lack sufficient respect for doing things the easy way. What can I say? I like to make things, and I live to follow my passions. Still, it’s with more than a twinge of trepidation that I announce today that I’m stepping down from my day to day duties at The Blog Studio, the company I founded in 2004, in order to pursue new challenges and opportunities.

The Blog Studio is an awesome business, with a superb team and amazing clients. I’m still a partner, and will be helping with strategy and design on an on-going basis. I’m really proud of Lucia, Mike, and Adam and the business we managed to build together. Thank you guys, from the bottom of my heart.

So what’s next? Lately I’ve become fascinated with helping individuals within local communities connect around their areas of passion. I’ve witnessed first hand that spontaneous social good tends to arise when passionate people get together and are given the tools to act. I don’t know what will come from this, but it’s an area I need to explore.

While that exploration is going on, I’ll be taking on freelance design and consulting work. Please see the new Hire Me page for an overview of the services I offer.

By the way, none of this would be happening if it wasn’t for the amazing depth of awesomeness that is the Toronto Twitter community. Because of this amazing group, I can pull together an all-star team to tackle any size opportunity that comes my way. I also believe that by putting myself back on the market, I may get pulled into other all-star teams. Thanks to all of the amazing people I’ve met in recent months. You inspire me. Let’s see where this thing goes!

Half Life Party

This weekend, my wife and I, along with about 50 friends, are celebrating 18ish years together. We’re calling this our “half life” party, referring to the fact that we’ve now spent half our lives together. 

I threw the invitation below together in about an hour, and I’m pretty happy with it. Thought I’d share!