Category Archives: 2011

Jamie Oliver – Making a Difference

I had the pleasure of seeing Jamie Oliver on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, on CBC a few months ago. During his interview with George, Jamie was talking about the difference he was trying to make in communities in the US. You can check out Jamie’s Bio and clips of him talking with George about various topics here.

I knew about Jamie’s show where he took under-privileged kids and taught them how to cook, in one of his restaurants. That he took them from the streets to productive members of society. I knew that I liked his cooking shows on The Food Network and that he had written some decent cookbooks. His shows are engaging and his recipes seem simple. Alas, my purpose here is not to talk about his cooking and his recipes.

My purpose is to talk about the social good he is working on and what he is trying to do, because he wants to. Because it’s important to him.

Luckily, I caught a tweet by someone recently that connected me to this video. Jamie is working to make a difference in the world and even though his efforts are focused in the US and the UK, his message is certainly applicable to Canada. I had no idea about TED, what they did or that a TED prize even existed. I now know more about their organization and Jamie as well. The TED website is here and Jamie’s personal website is here. Check them out if you have the time. It’s worth it.

Those of you that know me know I love to cook.  If you didn’t know that have a look around here and you will find stories about my Homemade Salsa.  That’s likely why his message hit home with me.  I learned about food and cooking helping my Grandmother in her kitchen and in her garden.  For that I am certainly grateful.  I love Jamie’s idea of teaching children 10 recipes that will save their lives. Teaching them what carrots, beets, potatoes, tomatoes and healthy foods are is so important.

Have a look at the TED video – it is worth 20 minutes of your time. I know that it has made be think of things in a different way. The changes that he talks about are simple and basic. There is no reason why some or all of the things that he talks about cannot become routine.  I look forward to your comments on what you think and what you might do to make a change or difference during 2011. Feel free to comment here, catch me on Twitter or drop me an email.

Resources:

TED Prize : Wishes Big Enough to Change the World » Congratulations Jamie Oliver – 2010 TED Prize Winner.

The link to the actual episode of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight can be found here.

Twitter: One Year Later….What a Difference!!

March 25, 2010 – Why do I remember this date? It was the day of my FIRST tweetup, #TwestivalTO (@TwestivalTO). What has happened in the past year? What has Twitter done for me? I wish I could put that into words. What I hope to do in this post is give you a glimpse of how things have changed. To give you a frame of reference, here is a graph of my Twitter activity in March 2010, prior to attending #TwestivalTO:

Source: http://www.tweetstats.com

Something happened on March 25, 2010

When I walked into Tryst nightclub that night, I didn’t even know what the word #tweetup meant! I had no idea what to expect when I arrived knowing one person – Joallore (@clickflickca). Now if you know only one person, he is a good person to know. He has been participating in Social Media related events for a long time and knows a lot of people. He is gracious with introductions and disarming when meeting new people. These are all skills that I have improved on in his company during the last year.

I just attended my 2nd #TwestivalTO on March 24, 2011. At this point, I have sent almost 15,000 tweets and I have just over 1,200 followers. I had less than 100 of both on March 25, 2010! Have a look at these graphs! One shows my tweets by month since I joined Twitter and the other shows my activity in March 2011 as a comparison to the graph above.

A picture of a year “on” Twitter

What a difference a year makes!

Do I know what I am “doing” now? I would say, I have a better idea, but like Twitter itself,  the role that it plays each day in my life changes. Do I tweet more now, “Yes”. I like the interaction and conversation that I have with people on Twitter.  I miss the conversation when I am “offline”. It adds to the interactions that I have during the day, so just like talking over coffee with a co-worker, Twitter is something that I can do while I watch TV, have a coffee, watch a ballgame or listen to some tunes.

During the past year, people who are not on Twitter have asked me what I tweet about. I usually say, “Whatever comes to mind”. I get to talk about whatever is on my mind on Twitter and usually I can find a like-minded audience to share in the conversation.  The topic could be coffee, beer, BBQ, grilling, food, recipes, baseball, hockey, vacations, movies, music. The topics are endless and the support network is vast.

What I love about Twitter is that if you need information on a faraway place, you send it out and sure enough someone will tweet back with a resource for a restaurant or an all-night photocopy place! If you are having a bad day you send out a tweet for “+” vibes and your feed lights up with messages of support and good thoughts. You wake up on your birthday and your feed is alive with endless birthday wishes that stream in from Twitter friends around the globe! You put an idea for dinner or a get-together out there and suddenly you have 10+ people signed up to try a restaurant. The connections are personal and they have far-reaching potential.

I am now glad to include amongst my friends fellow foodies, movie fanatics, social creatures and sports fans. We have come together over the past year via various events and introductions and now see each other on a regular basis. These are all positive changes. These people are smart, funny and educated in a number of ways. Most of them are skilled professionals that share an interest in something that I like doing. There are also a number of people who I interact with regularly that I have yet to meet. I hope that 2011 gives me the opportunity to visit some of these people and meet with them, “In Real Life” (#IRL). It is always fun to finally put a face to a personality that you have talked with on Twitter.

How do I see Twitter? I see it as something that is fun and exactly what you make of it. It can be a social tool, a business tool, a marketing tool or all of those things. You can connect with every type of person on a number of levels via the “conversation” that is happening. I try to be myself on Twitter and I try to stay true to some guiding principles for myself (eg: minimal swearing). Do I tweet often, yes, but I also like to talk a lot. I am an extrovert and a social creature by nature. I always have been. Twitter lets me get out and talking to people even if I am on a coffee break, in a shopping mall or sitting in a foreign city.

I have shared in the joy of a tweep celebrating the birth of a new child.  I have seen the pictures of people’s vacations and have seen twitpics of meals that I must go and try! Some of the food that people find is absolutely amazing!  No matter how silly it seems I also love it when people share twitpics of sunsets and sunrises!  The world is full of fantastic photographers and seeing a gorgeous sunset is just a nice addition to any day, in my books.  I have shared my memories and photos from various roadtrips and vacations, as they happened. Why not, one of the first questions people you haven’t seen for a while ask is, “What’s new?”. The saying is that, “A picture is worth 1,000 words”, isn’t it?

Twitter has given me the opportunity to go to San Francisco (#VXToronto, @virginamerica), try multiple restaurants in and around Toronto, meet new people in Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener and points in between (@TWestofTO, #RandomTO, #JaysTO). I have shared thoughts on movies and the #Oscars, the #Grammys, bonded over the Olympics (#Van2010reunion, #Vancouver2010) and even organized an event to celebrate the survival of a #BlackBerry taking a “swim”!! (#BeerDunk2010). I also organized an event in October 2010 (#FeedYourDragon), with my friends at Mickey’s Pizza (@FeedYourDragon), that helped raise over $200 for the World Food Program(@WFP) and taught us all how to make some of the best pizza we have ever eaten!!

There are loads of people who have guided me on the path in the past year, but the one that organized the majority of the events that I went to was @clickflickca (Jo). We are old friends, but after the last year I think that we are now good friends. Without his energy and enthusiasm for connecting people the graphs that I have included in this post would not look the way that they do.  My thanks to you, my friend, for the guidance you provided even if you didn’t realize it.

I look forward to what the next 12 months on Twitter will bring.  I am hoping that I can find a way to make Social Media part of my career and daily life.  I enjoy it that much.  How that is going to come together, I am not sure but I am working on it (if you would like to help me in this endeavour, get in touch with me via email or twitter, please).   I am sure that the #tweetups will continue as the number of things to do in Toronto and Southern Ontario is endless!! Where we go next, who knows!! I am sure it will be a blast and I look forward to it (and tweeting about it)!!

Note: Please visit – Tweetstats if you like the graphs that are included here. They run an awesome website!

I find this stuff interesting and if you do, here is a TweetCloud of my first year on Twitter (via Tweetstats):

How things have changed…

It’s the end of the first week of 2011!! The routine has been reset and life has carried on!! Do you find that things have stayed the same or have you changed things up for the new year??

I have made a little progress on some of my goals for the year. I have seen 2 movies since the start of the year; The Tourist and The Fighter. Both were good movies and I don’t disagree with the buzz that Christian Bale will get some attention at Oscar time. He plays the role of a drug addicted boxer in The Fighter and he does an outstanding job.

As far as my other goals, I have managed to make some progress on reading my book that I have had on the go. Other than that I haven’t been able to implement much in 7 days or less!!

When talking about changes I find it interesting how my cell phone usage has changed over the years. When I first had a cell phone, all I ever used it for was voice calls. Texting, BBM and data applications would not have been possible on the green lit screen in those days!! Times changed and I progressed to texts and the occasional picture message on my phone.

Once I entered the world of Blackberry, the way I used my phone changed completely. Now I am more concerned with my phone being able to run apps, access the web and connect to social media content. I rarely use my phone to actually call someone now. That may be different if I was using my phone for business, but in the personal/social setting that I use my phone, I am more likely to BBM/Text/Email someone then call them.

What about you? How do you use your phone? Has that changed recently? If you just got a SmartPhone for Christmas do you think that the way you use your phone will change in 2011? Take a second and join the poll below.

I look forward to your comments and the results from these polls!!

A Post a Week in 2011!?!

I’ve decided I am going to try to blog more. Rather than just think about doing it, I figured that I would start now.  I’m off to a good start.  I posted on New Years Eve.  I posted yesterday.  I started working on what I talked about yesterday and I found this “initiative” to blog either daily or weekly here on WordPress.  I figured, what they heck, I’ll give it a shot.  The result?  I am going to post on my blog at least once a week for all of 2011.

I am sure that this will not be an easy task, but it might be fun!?! I am going to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers here and on other sites, to help me along the way!! If you see something you like please let me know.  If you have ideas or opinions you want to share, please leave a comment or click on the “Like” button, so that I know how I’m doing!!

Not an earth shattering post for today, but it’s a start for sure!! The world returns to “normal” tomorrow!! Let’s see if I can manage to work another “To Do” onto my list then!!

Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2011!!

Well, 2011 is here!! That didn’t take long, did it?!? I hope that everyone had a good time last night!!

Today, I am going to try and figure out some of the functionality of WordPress and making this blog site a little more, “personal” and interesting.  I hope to incorporate a few more items into the page this year.  I also hope to have a few more regular entries for you (I was not good at posting last year).  I plan to learn more about HTML and all things related to online content and websites, this year.  This has never been part of my focus for the internet, but 2011 seems like a good time to start learning!

That is all part of looking forward to the next 365 days.  The coming days are like an unwritten book, pages waiting to be filled.   The book for 2010 has been closed.  The stories have been written, the pictures taken, the memories etched.  It’s time to start working on the next book that won’t close until December 31, 2011.

Today I am going to work on reading some of the interesting articles that are part of this website.  I am hoping to find some new and insightful information that will help me in my quest! I’ll keep you posted!