Tag Archives: facebook

Advertisers are on an everlasting “cool” hunt

Socially Smart - Jon Waldman
Socially Smart – Jon Waldman

Photo by Beverley Goodwin

Back when I was in journalism school, I was exposed to one of the premier articles of my generation – “The Coolhunt,” written by Malcolm Gladwell in 1997 (he of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference fame).
The article followed two designated “coolhunters” – those being a company exec from Reebok and an advertising guru – as they boldly looked at trends and tried to revive the company’s position amid a bust period following its boom in the ‘80s. (Suffice to say their echo today is pretty damn good, especially after a re-branding to RBK.)
The interesting line of the article to me was this: “Coolhunting is not about the articulation of a coherent philosophy of cool. It’s just a collection of spontaneous observations and predictions that differ from one moment to the next and from one coolhunter to the next.”
In the advertising/marketing world, this is a never-ending game of building a better mousetrap. It involves media buys and web content creation that is savvy to Google’s standards, proper positioning in traditional models like the Yellow Pages, and embracing social media.
And as many mousetraps as we build, there’s always a younger demo that seems to be ahead of the curve.
The rocky road of Facebook is a prime example of this. For years, any Gen Yer (myself included) loved the platform – it became part of our daily routine alongside brushing our teeth (and sometimes you’d do it simultaneously).
What has happened more recently though is that Facebook has lost its market share in the social sphere. Witness an article from The Washington Post published in early October. The article cited a Piper Jaffray study – one of the more extensive I’ve seen to date – which found that of the 7,200 U.S. students surveyed (with the average age of 16), only 45 per cent used the social media giant.
Yep, less than half.
The coolhunt continued on in the study, when the iWatch was tested in the same group. Only 17 per cent expressed interest in buying the device. This from a generation who in the same study had a 67 per cent rate of iPhone ownership (and more said their next phone would be an Apple product as well).
Studying the way that millennials act, walk, talk and buy is only going to get more interesting for businesses as that demographic gets closer and closer to full-out employment and consumerism. Spending dollars on unfamiliar media will take on a new challenge for companies as they target the emerging generation.
Thus, the coolhunt continues, and there are new and innovative ways to look at these demos. Continue reading Advertisers are on an everlasting “cool” hunt

Millennials know about money – just ask their Facebook friends

Mark Zuckerberg didn't just get lucky - he was business-savvy. Photo by Kris Krug
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t just get lucky – he was business-savvy. Photo by Kris Krug
Young Money - Vanessa Kunderman
Young Money – Vanessa Kunderman

As a generation, all we Millennials used to hear about was how self-centred, lazy and spoiled we were.
One momentous change came for us when a self-centred, lazy and spoiled Harvard student named Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, opening up a slew of jobs which involved managing social networking platforms.
Many Baby Boomers were oddly under-qualified for this new world, and quite frankly, confused.
Another notable Millennial is Sophia Amoruso. She founded Nasty Gal, the fastest growing retailer of 2012. Oh, and her online fashion company has zero debt.
Amoruso and Zuckerberg were both born in 1984 and they’re symbolic of the fact the wealth of the world is changing hands. They’re also proof that this digitally driven generation is hell-bent on working smarter – not harder.
Millennials weren’t hit in the same way as our parents were by the market crash of 2008-09, mostly because many of us hadn’t begun accumulating our wealth. That doesn’t mean we didn’t feel the effects of nervous parents postponing their retirement.
Oddly enough, thanks to our parents’ poor luck with financial markets, we’ve begun investing and saving money much earlier than any generation before us, according to Elliot Weissbluth, of HighTower Advisors, on The Daily Ticker.
We all know we should be putting money away even if we don’t really know why.
For one, we are inundated with information online. If one website advises us to do one thing with our finances, another suggests doing the exact opposite. How are we supposed to know which is the right option for us?
Easy. What do our friends say to do?
Millennials are the most plugged-in generation yet. Whether we are tweeting our experiences at sports games or Instagramming what we’re eating for breakfast, we are sharing information with each other constantly throughout the day.
This includes our experiences when it comes to what’s sitting in our bank accounts, or whether we should start putting money away for a rainy day. More and more, Millennials are turning to their circle of friends for financial advice instead of their families.
Like many young people, I too, went to my family’s long-trusted advisors to get started on the right foot as a young person. But I didn’t understand the advice given to me, and I felt too embarrassed to ask for clarification. I turned to my friends for help instead. They became a safe place to talk about finances.
Facebook feeds with friends are accessible at any time of the day and we usually trust the ideas tossed around there because they come from people we trust.
Times aren’t changing – they’ve changed. Talking about money isn’t a taboo anymore and Millennials are paying more attention and accessing more information than any other generation before.
Zuckerberg and Amoruso didn’t just get lucky.
Vanessa Kunderman is a financial security advisor in Winnipeg. She writes every month on money issues facing Millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com.

Using social media to land a job

BigThreeSocialMediaBy Jon Waldman

As we all know, there are two types of job seekers: active and passive.
Passive seekers will entertain a call or email when it comes in from a recruiter, have their LinkedIn profiles up to date and maybe have an email alert.

Active seekers, meanwhile, will have a much different attitude. They will be picking up the Saturday newspaper looking for careers, surf through website after website for jobs and make cold calls to recruiters.

If you’re one of the latter surfers, you’re also looking toward your online network for the answer to your career question.

Thus begs the question that we all ponder at one point or another: “Can I find a job via social media?”

The answer is yes.

Job hunting is made easy through the major social platforms, and in saying that I do mean all three “big three” – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Let’s break them down.


The most obvious, of course, is the business networking hub. As you well know by now, having a profile that outwardly states that you are seeking new professional opportunities is great for active seekers, while a passive individual can drop allusions to seeking new employment.

But LinkedIn’s functionality goes well beyond this.

For one, LinkedIn offers an array of premium services for its job-seeking users. A pay-for service (though occasionally free trials are available) that is tiered, Job Seeker gives you perks such as being a Featured Applicant on a submitted list to the hiring agency/individual, access to exclusive webinars, salary data and the ability to InMail recruiters.

Without paying for the service, though, there are great mechanisms on LI, including applying using your profile (a feature which several companies are already using privately). Groups are also great spots to find open jobs in the market you want to apply to.

But the absolute best way to find a job on LinkedIn? Connect with recruiters! Just about every recruiter is on LinkedIn and, are not only happy to connect with you, but will often post their jobs in their status updates. Follow them, and you’re en route to your next job.


It may not seem like it at first glance, but indeed Twitter can net you your next job.

Here, just as it is with LinkedIn, the best way to find a job is to follow @recruiters. Agencies are very frequently going to be posting their jobs, potentially using hashtags like #winnipegjobs or something of that ilk.

The other one to follow – generally and for job info – is the @winnipeg_rt profile. This is a “robot” account which automatically retweets any post that has #winnipeg in it. This is another one that is often used by recruiters and companies that are hiring.


While Facebook attempted to mimic LinkedIn’s success with the BranchOut app, the program doesn’t have the legs or network ability to get you as far as you’d like, but that doesn’t mean you should flush the network out of your job searching plan.

Instead, use your friend network – likely the largest you have – to job hunt. Broadcasting a message on your timeline may not be the most strategic – especially if you’re looking to change companies – but reviewing your contacts and sending them a private message is an easy step to take.

Remember – every social media tool you have can be used to your advantage, and we’ll talk about this more next month as we cover building your portfolio online.

Social media dos and don’ts


  • 80 per cent of employers and 94 per cent of grad schools check students’ Facebook posts when considering a job application or entrance admission.
  • Only post photos you would want your parents to see.
  • Be cautious about over-sharing your photos. Even if you are in a picture with a group of people who are drinking and you are not, people will assume you are drinking, too.
  • Once a photo is uploaded, Facebook owns the picture. Facebook stores more than 240 billion photos, with some 350 million new photos uploaded each day.
  • Two-thirds of college students admit they have wanted to delete a post made on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram once they uploaded it. The majority of students acknowledge that their sense of humor has been misunderstood on their posts.

Source: From Gail Hand, author of “Are you Sure you Want to Post That?”

Continue reading Social media dos and don’ts

Facebook Artist

“Be curious about everything in the world. Travel. Work all the time and don’t stop. Get the work out to the world in any way you can, both the physical and web worlds. Meet, talk to, and develop relationships with the right people.” – Carole Freeman

carole-freemanBy Dorothy Dobbie

How do we choose our Facebook profile images and why? What does it reveal about us? Is there an essence of truth in the choosing that an artist can capture and reflect in an intrinsic way that can’t be reflected in a mere photograph?

These were some of the goals that Carole Freeman set out, perhaps unconsciously, to explore when she began searching the faces of her 2,000 Facebook “friends”, for personalities that spoke to her.

Not that she went to the Internet with this idea in mind. Scrabble and her mother’s illness brought her to Facebook.

“When my mother was in the hospital after emergency surgery in Winnipeg, we started playing family Scrabble games,” said Carole. “We continued when she returned home until she no longer had the energy to play.”

Carole had no other use for Facebook until she met American artist, Eric Fischl. Later, she looked him up on Facebook and had a Eureka moment. Soon she had almost 2,000 ‘friends” and she began to realize that here was an almost endless supply of faces, her favourite subject, to paint.

She began with the faces that intrigued her until she had painted over 200 images, some of them famous, some of them obscure, but each with a quality that drew the artist to explore more. She contacted the subjects, told them what she was doing and proceeded from there. Often, the painted image ended up replacing the previous photo portrait, so now Carole Freeman was virtually all over the ‘Net.

In 2011, Carole had an exhibition at Toronto’s Edward Day Gallery at which Facebook Canada’s managing director, Jordan Banks, said that Carole’s exhibit was a “unique expression” of the fact that Facebook “fosters socialization”.
Be that as it may, Carole herself is not yet convinced that the Internet and social media is the only road to stardom in the arts world, but it has brought her work to the attention of some very helpful people and has been instrumental in getting commissions and selling her paintings. It certainly brought her to the attention of the Canadian Arts Summit held at Banff this year, where she was able to expose her work to Canada’s 40 largest Arts organizations – many of them galleries and museums. “Social media has fast-tracked my work and given it a platform,” said Carole in a recent interview, “and on bad days, it has given me the support to keep going.”

Bad days in the life of an artist are not at all unusual, but for Carole they occurred with some frequency due to health issues. “My art career seems to have been tempered by death and illness,” she remarked. Her father died when she was seven which sent her ‘inside herself’ and then, as a teen, she was out of school for a year, due to a physical condition. “That was when I began painting,” she said.

Perhaps all art is born out of internalization and a desire to express a profound experience in a meaningful way. The creative gene has to be in place and Carole’s showed up early.

“My mother told a story from my childhood of the drawing I did of a girl with red eyes (children typically make eyes blue). When she asked me why the eyes were red, I answered that she was crying. Of course my mother thought this was brilliant and I was destined to be an artist,” says Carole. “She took me to a Van Gogh exhibition when I was about four or five. I remember being struck by Van Gogh’s paintings and my eyes being opened to a different way of seeing the world and people. My mother bought the catalogue, which she kept in her night table. I would sneak into her room to look at it on a fairly regular basis. It was the only art book we had in the house.”

It was an early indication of where Carole’s future lay, but not the only one. She won a prize in elementary school for a poster contest on how to prevent forest fires and she still remembers her pride. Later, in art school at the University of Manitoba, where she studied for some time under Ivan Eyre, her work was included in juried exhibitions. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the School of Painting at the Royal College of Art in London, England, and never came back to Winnipeg to live. Carole went back and forth between Montreal and Toronto a few times before settling in Toronto.

Carole started selling her art right out of school.

“The first corporate purchase was from the Continental Oil Company in London, England. I was pretty psyched and I remain excited about every purchase even today.”

Artists have to eat, so for a number of years, Carole tried to combine her career with a job. She taught art in a variety of venues including, Concordia University, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery until, illness interrupted the road she was on, forcing her back to art on a full time basis.

“I believe I painted my way back,” she says. She painted a series about her health and her pain which included about 30 portraits of doctors and health care workers. She says perhaps some day the series will be published.

A major break was when Carole had an exhibition of showbiz portraits during Toronto’s 2010 International Film Festival.

“I had a solo exhibition at a smaller Toronto gallery in tandem with work installed, at The Hyatt Regency Hotel, during the Toronto International film festival,” she explained. “Both of them received press and media.”

That helped her approach the Edward Day Gallery with several bodies of her work and they chose to exhibit the Facebook portraits. The exhibit was entitled “Friend Me, Portraits of Facebook” and it received wide media attention.

Along the way, Carole has had several group exhibitions and sold paintings now hanging in public and private collections in England, Canada, Italy, Ireland and the United States. She was commissioned by producer Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) to do a large painting of his production and writing partner, Jeremy Chilnick. She has also been commissioned to do a painting of gallery owner Leslie Sacks in Los Angeles. The painting will be included in a book he is writing about his African and Contemporary Art collection. Her work will be included this November to December in a group exhibition, Women’s Art Now, at Leslie Sacks Fine Art in L.A..

Carole’s advice to aspiring young artists is “Be curious about everything in the world. Travel. Work all the time and don’t stop. Get the work out to the world in any way you can, both the physical and web worlds. Meet, talk to and develop relationships with the right people.”

Hey, nobody said it was easy.

“Being an artist can be very lonely,” Carole concedes. “There are approximately six million working artists in the world so there is a lot of competition in a very large, though challenging, international market, “ she says. “It is a lot of hard and constant work with no guarantee of recognition and success. It never stops, even when you do have success.”

In spite of these things, art is a compulsion and if it’s yours, go for it!

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