Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending May 11

Over the week we go through a lot of content - news and blog posts, how tos and conceptual posts on the state of the internet.  Every Sunday we share some of our favourites with you.

Check out the links and let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you read any great posts this week!



I often see people complaining about ads on Facebook and Twitter but they don’t bother me.  Why?  Aside from the fact that they are tools I want to use for my own business, I also know as a business owner that businesses need to make money, and Facebook and Twitter are businesses. These are free services we enjoy, most of the other channels we have to deal with ads on we pay for! (newspapers, tv, etc)

How will we ever create all the content that seems to be demanded of us to build a good online presence?  Re-use and recycle, and plan for it right from the start.

Video video video - it’s a big buzzword this year and I can’t disagree with it.  Video is important, but it needs to be done well.  James Wedmore is an expert I’ve recently found and his videos have a ton of useful content to help you figure out where to start and what to talk about.


I don’t like to say that there are rules when it comes to using social media, but it’s certainly good to know the etiquette or best practice guidelines

It’s ridiculously easy to use any old image you find online. But it doesn’t make it legal and you can get in a lot of trouble. In fact, often it isn’t and you’ll want to know how to use images in a way that won’t get you sued. (We have a whole session at Social Capital about this!)

Social media is about building relationships, which is why I really like the ideas in this post about having fun with your blog readers. Would you like to interact this way with your favourite blogs?

If what you write helps just one person, it’s valuable. Viral is overkill and not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. (We’re going to have a session at Social Capital that touches on “viral” videos, too.)


Social Capital is quickly approaching (it’s May 31 and June 1). Join us this Tuesday for our second #socapott Twitter Chat.  We’ve also announced a lot of great speakers that you won’t want to miss, including Gini Dietrich and Danny Brown!


Making a case for Google+

Happy Mother’s Day!

As mothers ourselves, we know the work that you do every day. Today, we celebrate you and everything you do for your family. Enjoy this ad from Google:

Personal branding

Do you have a personal brand?  A lot of people get wrapped up in what that means when really it’s quite simple.  Your personal (online) brand is how you portray yourself to the online community.

Lara as mom

Years ago, my primary online brand was “mom”. I tweeted about “mom” things, I blogged about my kids, and my profile picture portrayed that. You could expect more conversations about lack of sleep and crying babies than anything else.  Though I still do talk about my kids online (because being a mother is such a major part of who I am) it is no longer what I focus in my online personality.

Lara as a professional

As I decided to start a business doing social media consulting instead of returning back to my old communications career I knew I needed to change that online brand to one that was more professional. I started talking more about social media, sharing articles of interest and establishing myself as an expert in my field.  I don’t talk quite as much about my kids or my personal life anymore (though I still do!) As cute as my kids are, they couldn’t be part of my online image any more.

 Instead I decided to get professional head shots done.I highly recommend professional headshots to anyone who is online for their business. A well executed professional photo will always give you more credibility than a photo you took with your webcam or of you by the pool (unless you’re a pool salesperson or you work at a resort :)

I use the same photo across all channels at the same time, which makes people remember me.  I know that if I’m meeting with someone for the first time they are going to be able to walk into a room and recognize me.

What else is part of my brand?

- I don’t swear online

- I will not trash anyone

- I try to be friendly and approachable

- I try to be fun(ny) and not overly serious


My brand is who I am, it’s just a bit focused to my audience. I didn’t have to think about it enormously, but knowing what it is means that you know what to expect from me, and hopefully it’s what I meant for you to expect :)
What’s your personal brand? Have you spent time thinking about it?

What is it and why should I care: Instagram

I have a big digital camera but it’s not convenient to bring with me everywhere I go. For a while I considered carrying around a small point and shoot for the unexpected fun moments but having an iPhone in my pocket meant I essentially did have that. Sweet!

In the world of social media, the fun comes from sharing. I have hundreds of photos on my phone. Sometimes I chose to email them to services that could automatically put them on twitter for me, but most of the time I didn’t.

Enter Instagram.

It is a fun and easy to use iPhone app (unfortunately only iPhone at the moment with no plans to launch android or blackberry options any time soon) that:

- takes photos
- allows you to apply fun filters to them
- with a simple click share to twitter, facebook or flickr
- have a friends feed right within the application

Instagram Filters

What instagram has done is offer 16 filters you can apply to your photos.  They can take a photo that might not have been that interesting and make it a lot more fun.

You can also zoom in and crop your photo.

Instagram tutorial/review Original photo of Quinn at the cottage

Instagram tutorial/review Zoom in and crop


Then play with the filters!

instagram tutorial/reviewinstagram tutorial/reviewinstagram tutorial/review


You can hook your account up to your Facebook, Twitter and and Flickr and have them automatically update to those sites (you select where each individual photo is sent, it isn’t automatic). You can also choose to make your photos private and just keep them for yourself - they don’t have to have a social media component.

instagram tutorial/review

You can also follow friends right on Instagram and like and comment on friend’s photos right there.

You can also see generally popular photos on the whole of Instagram.

And there’s a news feed

It’s a really fun app and I now take all of my photos with my phone using it.  If you use it too - look for me and add me, I’m glidinglara.

Happy snapping!