This hockey-loving, Japanese-speaking, mushroom-farming, zine-scrawling scalliwag taught us about community and the importance of keeping memories precious. #BoldMove
— Boldkick (@_boldkick) June 10, 2016
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.”
My Hootsuite alum comrade pal Adarsh Pallian has yet another start-up biz — this one is a travel-expense related company called Trippeo. He published this article (with assistance from the charming Katie Fritz) in which explores some of my marketing-fu. Shared below for the record with gratitude and appreciation.
Introduced thusly via Twitter:
One of Vancouver’s tech-scene’s radicals used to tout the “cheap and cheerful” effect. Instead of relying on the filet mignon to impart success and influence, renegade marketer Dave Olson preferred to take his clients to underground shows and then chat business over a bowl of ramen. The man knows what he’s doing: after coming on as Director of Marketing for Hootsuite in 2010, he helped grow the user-base to 8 million, and was integral to the development of the quirky, lovable brand.
Of course, in those early days, Hootsuite wasn’t exactly rolling in the cash. Dave and his team needed to find ways to make an impression… while pinching those expensable pennies. These are a few of my favorite cheap-n-cheerful moments from the Master:
Personal AND cost-effective. One of the most memorable moments of Hootsuite’s inaugural SXSW trip was the barbeque that they hosted. Austin, of course, is pretty intense about their barbeque, so the conversation was built in. The event was inexpensive, easy to coordinate, and most importantly, an authentic place to chat with potential clients and investors.
Dave loved to bring enthusiastic people together around a cause, be it a Hootsuite “Hoot-Up,” a day of renegade marketing school, or a community of podcasters. Volunteers have been indispensable to Hootsuite’s success: they have translated websites, thrown parties, shared tips and tactics, and pointed out bugs. In return, Dave and his team acted as references and champions for these volunteers, helping them gain experience and land professional roles.
One thing Dave liked to encourage was “going analogue”. He knew that facetime was the ultimate impression – no number of Mentions, Likes, or Upvotes can replicate a genuine “thanks.” Can’t be there in person? Dave was a big proponent of the quick video that included his team waving and saying thank you! A little goes a long way.
Want more stories from DaveO? He’s logged a great many of his talks on Youtube. You can find his channel right here.
Dave Olson, marketing director for Vancouver’s HootSuite, was the first curator in Vancouver, where he writes under the name of his personal blog, uncleweed. Mr. Olson is “incredibly busy” with the fast-growing HootSuite, creator of the popular social-media dashboard, said Ms. Rodgers, but like others involved in the project, he made time to share his passion for a subject dear to his heart — or his tastebuds — craft beer.
“He is a good friend of mine and I know he’s constantly logging the beers he tries on a site called Untappd,” Ms. Rodgers said. “We wanted it to be content from subject-matter experts. When you open up the app and Dave Olson tells you to go to Six Acres and try the Raven Cream Ale, you know that you can trust Dave is going to guide you to the right place.”
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.
After a recent appearance discussing HootSuite culture, i sat down with Fiona Forbes and guest host Peter Verge to share a few of my favourite – somewhat-forgotten – Vancouver-centric stories. This time, the set was on-location at the Museum of Vancouver.
I shared anecdotes about rock and roll photographer Bev Davies, the Group of 7 bohemian painter Frederick Varley, and the elusive Grateful Dead shows in 1966 + name check for Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company.
The show also broadcasts a livestream which includes all the in between banter and offside comments and anecdotes from the Twitter stream.
I was recently asked to share a personal profile piece withe BC Jobs’ Hide Ozawa, who is coincidentally also the goalkeeper for the SFU Clan Men’s Soccer Team, about my role at HootSuite, a leader in British Columbia’s tech space. For the record, while I attempt to gingerly avoid political posturing, I am a proud BC resident and thought my story was worth sharing. Read Meet Dave Olson for my full profile.
Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt that I found particularly interesting:
“Prior to joining HootSuite as one of the company’s first ten employees in 2010, Dave’s curious personality led him into dozens of industries in various countries all over the world. “During my twenties I bounced around continents and held around 100 (very) odd jobs. I was a grape picker in Germany and mushroom farmer in Japan. It was during a stint as a private beach host on the island of Guam when I discovered this thing called the Internet,” he says.”
Back in December of 2010, I was also highlighted as This Week’s Featured Vancouverite: Dave Thorvald Olson on Vancouver Tourism’s Inside Vancouver blog
My professional journey has led me – and several of my dear colleagues – to a lovely acknowledgement from MyCMgr.com “Community Manager of the Day.” You can read the whole article – “Community Manager of the Day: Dave Olson” – but i’ve excerpted a favourite bit below:
Who has been an inspiration for you as a community manager?
For me, there were three key sources for learning about community building and wrangling:
1. Travelling along with The Grateful Dead taught me the audience is part of the band, so to speak. They encouraged sharing, trading, recording, and loads of instant entrepreneurship with a crazy, spontaneous market outside selling everything from veggie burritos to libations.
2. Cub Scouts taught me the importance of skill learning, working with small teams towards a common goal, and celebrating micro-leveling-up by earning badges. My Mom ran the pack and she also taught me about running small businesses and helped start my first media projects at 7 years old.
3. Hitchhiking in foreign countries taught me to be trusting of strangers, open to new opportunities, and to enjoy the differences between cultures. Plus I learned how to hustle to earn money by selling chestnuts, picking grapes, and being a lazy roadie for rock bands, among dozens of other (very) odd jobs.
Canadian travel blog Toque and Canoe recently profiled me and my packing devices and methods for an article series about how people pack, what’s in their suitcase etc., ergo: “Olson is an avid traveler apart from work which – aside from the fact that he has the coolest piece of luggage ever – makes him an ideal candidate for our latest In the Suitcase post.”
Read the whole article: In the Suitcase with Dave Olson – HootSuite’s hippie artist shares his packing dogma
Shared here for posterity:
Not long ago, we had a chance to meet with a few of the folks at HootSuite’s stylishly hip head offices in Vancouver.
The people behind this cutting edge Canadian company have designed a platform which helps almost six million users effectively manage their social media networks. If you work online, you probably use it.
In fact, HootSuite is growing like crazy around the planet and that growth can be attributed in part to Dave Olson – the company’s VP of Community. He, along with his tribe of community builders, travels the globe connecting with users and potential customers alike.
But Olson is an avid traveler apart from work which – aside from the fact that he has the coolest piece of luggage ever – makes him an ideal candidate for our latest In the Suitcase post.
Q. Tell us, Dave, about your favourite suitcase.
A. I have a tiny old hard shell suitcase with stickers all over it. It was actually made by prison labour on Alcatraz. It’s kind of fallen apart and I have to put a leather belt around it to hold it together. But it fits as a carry-on. And it’s a beauty.
Q. Can you describe your travel essentials?
A. I take the minimal in terms of clothes, thinking of them as a uniform. I always bring along a notebook. I have a pencil case with pencils and watercolours in it and I have an eye mask. I’m a horrible sleeper. All that goes in my backpack. In my suitcase, I take art or presentation supplies – depending on what I’m off to do. I always bring my spork and a little insulated lunch bag so I can buy things at the market. Picnics are what make travel awesome. There’s nothing like going to a French market and buying bread, cheese and wine and sitting in a park with the Tour Eiffel right there. Then you can keep the leftovers for later. Thrifty.
Q. What do you never pack with you?
A. I almost never take a camera because cameras put a barrier between people. People aren’t zoo animals. I do take an audio recorder. I record little sound-scene and audio adventures when I’m traveling. This whole kit packs into the size of a camera. Microphones invite people in. I like to have things with me that start conversations and build relationships.
Q. How would you describe your packing style?
A. Minimalist. Wherever you’re going, they have stuff. So I get to do things like go and find toothpaste in Japan. I pack comically light, renegade-style.
Q. Are you a guy who likes to bring home souvenirs?
A. 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.
Q. What stands out as your most memorable souvenir from travels abroad?
A. The first time I went to Europe as a 20-something-year-old – with $200 and no return ticket – I took a watercolour notebook and watercolour pencils. I made (a dozen or so) little paintings on that trip. To me, they’re more valuable than anything I could have hauled back. I don’t generally buy things and ship them back. But I do have a weakness for funny hats.
Q. Any other must-have travel gear?
A. I take one awesome pair of pants. A piece of rope and a little flashlight. You never know what’s going to happen. You may need a clothesline or you may experience a power outage in a strange country. Keep in mind, I don’t really travel four star. I don’t stay in fancy hotels. I feel out of sorts in those places. I’m much more of an oddball bed and breakfast or end of a dirt road guy. I’m a semi-professional couch surfer as well.
Q. What do you think people’s personal packing style says about them?
A. If you see people lugging around a bunch of stuff, you say ‘Rookie! Rookie! You don’t know what you’re doing!’ People get hung up on the details and expect to take their whole home life with them on the road. They take the same things and expect the same routine. I wonder why it is they’re leaving home at all. Then again, I’m the guy who brings all his art supplies and sits in parks and pretends he’s a painter. So I must live in a strange fantasty land.
Q. What do you think your packing style illustrates about you?
A. That I’m a delusional arts and crafts hippie.
Q. Any more thoughts on your favourite suitcase?
A. Well I have two of the old-time suitcases, and an old picnic basket. They’ve become trademarks when I travel and do my talks and community building efforts. People wonder what’s inside. It’s as if they think a clown is going to pop out and wave his hands! Oh yah, and when you travel with an old beat up suitcase? You’ll get searched by customs. Every. Single. Time.
Bonus: The video interview in which a colleague Marianne read the questions and i answered on camera to hand off: Snippets of daveos thoughts on traveling gears – Google Drive
Oh and it went to print in Calgary anyhow: