Tag Archives: culture

Opinion: IOC, sponsors have hijacked social media via Vancouver Sun

NOTE: Former VANOC communications chief Graeme Menzies shared his opinions about IOC’s constantly changing policy of controlling social media content (both from athletes and citizens) on behalf of rights holders and sponsors and, (often) against wishes and rights of locals.

Article shared below for posterity along with comment for your perusal. Comment written/posted just after the opening of Rio 2016 Olympics.

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Opinion: IOC, sponsors have hijacked social media | Vancouver Sun by Graeme Menzies, June 30, 2016

As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games rapidly approach, sports fans across the globe will use social media to observe and participate.

As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games rapidly approach, sports fans in Rio and across the globe will use social media to observe and participate in the experience.  It promises to be, in the words of brand marketing executive Brian Yamada the “largest social media event ever.”

He’s half right. What it’s really going to be is the most branded social media event ever.

Maybe also the most profitable for media moguls.

Perhaps it was inevitable, but I’m nevertheless disappointed that the IOC and all its corporate and media sponsors have hijacked social media for their own purposes.

It certainly didn’t start off this way.

Back in the months leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics — what would eventually become the world’s first social media Games — people had the idea that social media was “the people’s media.” Part of the thrill and promise of social media at that time was that anyone could publish without approval of editors, gatekeepers, or censors.

Everyone could be a reporter. Everyone could express an opinion.

The whole notion of “official media accreditation” was challenged. Some social media activists rejected the officially-sanctioned rules and roles of media participation in Olympic events, and created the True North Media House — a voluntary, self-accrediting cohort of non-tradition citizen-reporters. There was also the W2 Culture + Media House, an alternative media centre located in the Downtown Eastside, which aimed to create a place where both traditional and non-traditional media could merge and meet for mutual gain.

Social media at this time offered a potent, exciting, new way for people outside the IOC family to engage in the Games and to share their views and experiences with each other and the world.

There was a sense that power, and a voice, had been returned to the people. And there was a dream that the sport event audience could become more than traditional observers and consumers of organizational and corporate narratives … that the audience could in fact be co-creators of the event and help define the media narrative.

Oh how innocent we all were.

Things have not unfolded as we hoped they would. The IOC has moved from passive social media observer to dominant social media player. In 2009 they were content to watch the local organizing committee launch the first official social channels. Today local organizing committees take a back seat to the Olympic giant: the @Rio2016 Twitter handle has a mere 295K Followers compared to @Olympics 3.5M

Unsatisfied with dominance over mere organizing committees, the IOC also engages global brand marketing agency VML to actively promote the Olympic movement and help with their social media strategy.

The IOC’s controlling hand extends to persons not on their payroll: during the period of the Games, and especially while on official venues, all athletes and accredited persons must adhere to the IOC’s social media guidelines. Live-streaming applications like Periscope are prohibited inside Olympic venues.

Mainstream media corporations are also getting in on the action, eager to turn sports fans into revenue streams. Comcast has made a deal with Snapchat to broadcast highlights from the Rio Olympics on the NBC Rio Olympic channel on the Snapchat Discover platform. The media giant is also talking with Facebook and Twitter about similar deals. Reports say Comcast has already scored a billion dollars in national advertising sales for the Rio Olympic Games.

Its all big business now. The citizen-reporter, the alternative media centres, are no more.

Sadly, the opportunity for regular sports fans to meaningfully shape the event narrative is weaker now than it was six years ago. We didn’t know it at the time, but that was as open, unfettered, and non-commercial as an Olympic social media experience was ever going to get.

Graeme Menzies is an international youth marketing professional, and frequent writer on sports and cultural topics.

Source: Opinion: IOC, sponsors have hijacked social media | Vancouver Sun

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Comment from Dave Olson:

Since Graeme published this article, I’ve wanted to write a appropriate response but, realized that the story of “Olympics and the social media” is almost gone.

It also occurs to me that it doesn’t matter to the IOC who are in the business of hamstringing cities into debt under the guise of utopian amateurism and sport.

Indeed, Vancouver will go down not only as the high point of participatory journalism but maybe as the “last reasonable Olympics” (despite the endless snide comments from foreign media who derided the games as not quite glamorous enough for their fickle tastes).

Each Games is preceded with a barrage of negative news pointing at the organizational foibles and these stories often overshadow the social justice and civil rights issues which locals pound the drum about eager for a voice at the table. Then, inevitably, everyone rolls their eyes at the cost and complaints, until the Games begin and then, through an odd sense of quasi-patriotism (jingoism) and excitement of seeing the youthful athletes making maximum efforts, the negative stories recede after the events end.

The media decamp before the Paralympics begin, the clean up crews deconstruct the endless white tents, and the agencies/countries hosting the hospitality houses count their impact. Then, the various levels of governments figure out the wreckage and the long term impact to the region.

While Olympics are catalyst to create infrastructure (which often should be built anyhow), the social justice issues which were raised before fade as quickly as the black SUVs disappear.

The stories of crippling debt from Montreal to Athens, and the excess and hubris of Beijing and Sochi, leave a sour taste in the most ardent sports fans’ mouth. And now Brasil is next in line to suffer the indignity and abject loss which is part and parcel to an event which is really only bid upon by cities with enough money that the fallout doesn’t matter.

Some folks put forth that the Olympics should rotate around 6 venues or build a special venue to be used each time, but these miss the point… the Olympics are a 2 week+ TV commercial for the host city, and a windfall of contracts for specialized companies to build and organize the events, and another 4 years of junkets for the IOC and their elite sponsors in thuggery. Its just not fun for the regulars.

Keep in mind, from Nagano onwards, i’ve actively contributed content (pod, blogs, snaps etc) to the commentary and dialogue, and did so from a point of view which accepted the Olympics at face value and as “inevitable, so let’s make sure the unknown stories are told” point of view. My efforts included wrangling the True North Media House campaign which resulted in social content produced by hundreds of amateurs on their own to a quantity and variety which eclipsed anything VANOC, IOC or the various protest groups managed. We did the whole campaign for about $15 ($50 if you include beer).

Now, i’m just worn out of seeing cities buy into the scheme and the athletes used as tools for profits of endless parade of acronyms of various sports associations and authorities that, despite legions of bureaucrats, still cannot provide a clean, fair games. Seeing athletes in one sport struggle for any support while across the way, millionaires line up in the “spirit of sport” … just makes no sense how it makes no sense.

Digressions aside, back to the original point about social media: IOC has changed positions and enforcement each Games… both in terms of what athletes and teams can post, but also what spectators, and even regular people living in the host city, can share without evoking the wrath of lawyers. As a result, the story is not complete (the TV networks sure don’t tell it) and the issues which were critical before the Games, vanish afterwards.

The IOC is adding “youth-ish” sports to the games to remain relevant for future generations but they again, miss the point and the zeitgeist of youth and the way communication occurs in contemporary context. But i also realize the TV rights fees and sponsors money keeps increasing which is the IOC’s real game – the sports are just a product to market.

Thanks anyway IOC, but i’m not interested anymore. Go amateur athletes (!) go far somewhere where you are treated fairly and compete on a level playing field which is clearly not the Olympics forte (or purpose).

NOTE: I first met Mr. Menzies (the author of the article) when he was obliged to reply to my offer (on behalf of Alternative/Independent media makers) of assistance, coupled with insistence in being included in an event which impacted our city and tax bills.

More: 

  1. True North Media House Olympics and Social Media
  2. Partial archive of the Olympic and media-related communiques
  3. More video content http://ow.ly/WET4302ZV1f
  4. Mr. Menzies’s dossier: http://ow.ly/arRy302ZV2G

“Get to Know Dave Olson: A Glimpse of Uncle Weed’s World Full of Passion” from boldkick

My pal and long time collaborator at Hootsuite, Chris Trottier and his new crew at “boldkick” – a new social architecture bureau, wrote this little tribute post about me following a talk at Victoria, BC, Canada’s Social Media Camp where i discussed how the “Internet has a Short Memory”. I am truly touched by he and Cindy’s kind words – i am very fond of them as well.

Excerpt pasted below for the record along with a link to the original post.

Raised on a diet of hockey, punk rock, and fanzines, Dave “Uncle Weed” Olson has been writing about his experiences for almost as long as the Internet existed.

A master storyteller, Dave Olson thrives in building communities. His work revolves around being an all-around creative. He is a writer, a podcaster, singer, a multi-hyphenate superstar. Looking at his own website, it’s both surprising and inspiring to see one person who has done so much.

It all leads to one thing, doesn’t it? Passion.

It’s been such an overused word, but it always rings true to the people who have it. Dave’s lifeblood is community, something that we at Boldkick strongly resonate with. Did we mention he’s from Vancouver, too?

As a traveller, Dave Olson has had a handful of experiences with different people with different backgrounds. In a quick interview at Toque and Canoe about his suitcase, Dave Olson shares about his souvenirs in his travels.

“I keep little ephemeral paper objects. Ticket stubs. Crappy postcards. I’ll take an empty scrap book and make it real time on the trip. Then you return home and BAM, the whole trip is documented and you can share it with your friends. I was on a train in the rain in Spain (ha ha) and had my scrap book with me and I ended up partying with all of these great folks. Great way to bridge those cultural gaps. I also like to bring back coins. Little things. I like tiny things.”

Source: Get to Know Dave Olson: A Glimpse of Uncle Weed’s World Full of Passion – boldkick

So You Think You Know the Banjo? — THE BITTER SOUTHERNER

So You Think You Know the Banjo? — THE BITTER SOUTHERNER.

 

I’ve heard it said that most people can transform vast amounts of information into knowledge quite easily, but gaining true wisdom about a subject often comes only after someone provides context and connections to help us synthesize our solitary pillars of knowledge. In no small way, the Carolina Chocolate Drops stand in the gap between knowledge and wisdom, providing the context we all need to better understand our shared musical history and better relate to one another.

Bob Dylan’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ Revealed – The Daily Beast

Bob Dylan’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ Revealed – The Daily Beast

Truly, for Jim Henson, money was a fuel that fed art.

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The dance involves art and money, but not at the same time. In the first stage, it is paramount that the artist “reserves a protected gift-sphere in which the art is created.” He keeps money out of it. But in the next two phases, they can dance. The way I see it, Hyde’s dance steps go a little something like this:

Make art.
Make art make money.
Make money make art.

It is the last step that turns this dance into a waltz — something cyclical so that the money is not the real end. Truly, for Jim Henson, money was a fuel that fed art.

Greil Marcus SVA Commencement Address: How the Division of High vs. Low Robs Culture of Its Essence

Greil Marcus SVA Commencement Address: How the Division of High vs. Low Robs Culture of Its Essence

How to Successfully Implement a Brand Ambassador Program

How to Successfully Implement a Brand Ambassador Program

Host events like HootSuite

According to a recent survey, branded live events are the No. 1 driver of brand recommendations. These events clock in at 65 percent, beating out even a friend’s recommendation (63 percent) in importance when it comes to brand experience.

Knowing this, many campus ambassador programs make events an integral part of marketing efforts in order to attract new consumers. For instance, social media metric company HootSuite empowers users and brand ambassadors to host “HootUps.” These gatherings are put together by campus ambassadors and fans of the company, and involve discussions of social media best practices and networking.

The events are branded with HootSuite swag, yet they offer students real-world value and the ability to make great contacts. If your events offer consumers and customers something useful, they’ll be likely to equate your brand with providing concrete value to their lives.

myVancouver Dave Olson: HootSuite Visionary

Social media dashboard, HootSuite, is one of Vancouver’s most exciting start-up companies. We spend some time at home with their Community Director Dave Olson to learn about his “suite” background and what led him to this booming business. myVancouver #446. Airdate: June 10, 2013.

Navigating New Territory | Connect Your Meetings (Dave Olson at SoMeT)

Navigating New Territory | Connect Your Meetings (Dave Olson at SoMeT)

Get in the Nest: Tips for Applying to HootSuite

The post Get in the Nest: Tips for Applying to HootSuite appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management in March 2013. As of Sept. 2017, I no longer work for Hootsuite (retired) and this article is simply saved here for posterity and as a writing sample. Do not ask me questions nor assume this is valid advice whatsoever. 

With ongoing excitement about working at HootSuite (especially in light of the Best Place to Work in BC win), I’m often asked for referrals, recommendations, advice, and informational coffee chats about how to get interviewed – and hopefully hired – at HootSuite.Dave-O

These tips are simply from my experience, having helped hire dozens of employees and recommending many more. While some of these points are specific to HootSuite, most will apply to anyone seeking a job either in social tech or using social media to find a new gig.

 Tip 1: Get to Know Us

There’s lots of news about HootSuite in the media, and you might know a few things about our products, but it’s in your best interest to really get to know us as a company.

Start by following @HootHR and @HootClub and read the recent news about HootSuite. I recommend looking at culture pieces, videos, and anything featuring our HR department. Basically, find everything you can get your hands on so you know who we really are. Your most important resource is the HootSource blog – dig in and start reading.

Be especially thorough about learning about the department to which you are applying. Whichever it is, make sure you take your time to see if it’s really the right fit for your skills. When/if you come onboard, you’re going to immediately be working on ongoing projects and you’ll want to add something to the table straightaway.

For example: If you hope to  work for Solutions Partners department, learn everything you can about our existing Partner Programs: who they’re for, what’s included, what are the targets, who is successfully onboard, etc.

Owl Applicant Tip 2: Be Thorough to Get In

Make sure you read all the requirements of the job postings carefully and don’t let anything slip past you. We wouldn’t want some minor detail to derail you from coming on and being a valuable contributor at HootSuite. Double check. Triple check and adjust your cover letter and resume so that they are an exact fit for the job you seek.

Also, prep your references and include them right from the beginning. We will contact these people, so choose carefully – peer co-workers, college party buddies, and bosses from 8 years ago are poor choices. People to whom you directly reported or collaborated are great, as are professional mentors.

Tip 3: Tell Your Story, Creatively

Many people have applied with fantastically creative resumes and we really enjoy receiving these treats – In fact my office is filled with a little museum of great resume applications – but make sure the creativity is backed up with information about your skills and how you can help HootSuite grow.

One favorite was a personalized, home-made, tea-bag set. Each tiny paper tag had a small owl on one side, and quotes from some of my speeches on the back. It proved the candidate had done her research, ergo: she watched videos to get to know my department and how she might be able to help us with what we do. In the tea box, she listed her different skills and experiences from her resume –  only instead of a sheet of paper, she chartered it out in mini infographics and bite-size pieces. She included illustrations of her in a HootSuite T-Shirt, along with an owl magnet-clip and a handwritten note. It is a real treasure and even ended up on the news a few times.

Other notable applications include: a USB key loaded with a resume and supporting materials hidden inside a HootSuite logo made out of LEGO; a longboard/skateboard painted with a HootSuite Owl flying across the deck; a video blog in which the candidate uploaded a daily video explaining the various reasons why she would be great for HootSuite. Plus she conducted an entire social media campaign to promote the series which was a great way to demonstrate her communication skills.

cake resume

So while all kinds of unique ideas can help you stand out, make sure that you’re using creativity to back up your professional story. The video series is a really good example of a creative application because the candidate was able to show how she can present herself while at the same time conducting a multi-faceted campaign.

Ultimately, while we *want* you to be creative, we really *need* to hear your professional backstory.

Tip 4: Tidy Up Online

It’s really important to us that you have a thorough LinkedIn profile. Be sure to include links to other online presences, too.

We’re a very social and online company so I’d say that your LinkedIn profile is more important to us than your traditional resume. Add links to things that you’ve done online, communities that you’ve contributed to, code you’ve written, successes you’ve generated for a company, media articles, and your blog. These kinds of things are super valuable so be sure to include them in your application.

In other words, if we see that you just signed up for Twitter yesterday or you’re using a competing tool, it’s probably not a good sign ;) Ditto if your LinkedIn profile isn’t up to date or well taken care of  – that’s going to be a big “X.”

Tip 5: Get Into the System

You’ll give us all kinds of ways to make yourself known later on, but first you need to get into the system. The delightful Human Resource team use a web-based tool called The Resumator, which lives at: HootSuite.com/Careers. Check it out, and see how you can use that tool to wow us.

If you don’t see a job that looks exactly right for you, apply under “I’m Awesome, Hire Me.” But be sure to make a great case for yourself. This is where everything will start. We want to see your super power, and how you’ll add value to the HootSuite brand.

Keep in mind that all the jobs posted aren’t the only ones that will ever exist, so come back often. Also, our HR team is particularly good at matching up people’s skills with an unexpected  department or job. They know the needs and personalities and culture of each team so trust them to help you find a fit.

Tip 6: Patience and Time are your Allies

HootSuite receives hundreds of emails and resumes per week and the HR team fields loads of inquiries from many different channels. We put a lot of resources into finding the right fit for each role, and the process takes time. Be patient, and know that we are going over your dossier with careful attention. Sometimes it takes time for the right role to pop up. If we think you’re great but not a good fit for the role, know that we will keep you on our radar for when we find just the right spot. Remember: we want awesome folks like you.

It is worth noting that some of our highest performing employees interviewed with several different departments before finding the right fit and coming onboard.

We think we’re worth the wait so don’t give up on us and use the time while you’re waiting to learn more about the company and your potential within.

And no, please don’t ever call to ask about the status of your application.

Dave O and HootSuite Community TeamDave O and the HootSuite Community team

Tip 7: Know The HootStory

If you’re a successful candidate, you’re going to come into an incredible company that’s on a remarkable journey.

Take the time to get to know the backstory of where we came from, not just as a business, but the way that we evolved our role in the social media world. What I mean by this is to look at some of the stories we found ourselves included in, i.e.: our role in the Egyptian revolution, the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami relief efforts, and our role in major political campaigns. Of course we’re a neutral party in all of this but it’s very powerful to understand the change and the power that our tool has effectuated around the world.

Tip 8: Enjoy the Possibilities

Most importantly: Once you get a job and pass probation, you’re in, you’re one of us forever. We’re a unique company, we work hard, and manage to have a lot of fun so remember these tips so you don’t miss out on a great opportunity.

Now that you’re ready, head on over to HootSuite.com/Careers and let us know about you.