Cyber Monday Giveaway with Future Shop


Happy Cyber Monday everyone!

We’ve got a Cyber Monday giveaway from our good friends at Future Shop. futureshopgiftcardThis contest runs until tomorrow, Tuesday December 2nd. The winner gets a 50 dollar gift card. It is open to our Canadian followers only. Head on over to our Facebook page and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to earn a chance to win.




Top 10 trending hashtags for #Sochi2014 include #WeAreWinter and #GoTeamUSA

Canadian Olympic Team

Hashtracking Inc. is pleased to share live data on hundreds of Olympic-related hashtags that the company has been tracking since the start of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Several trends have emerged since the start of the Games. These include:

  • Hashtag Hijacking: Hashtracking is following McDonalds hijacked #CheersToSochi Hashtag as well as the #LGBT hashtag, associated with the hashtag’s activist takeover.
  • Hashtag Humor: Hashtags have provided comic relief throughout the games, as evidenced by the popular #OlympicPickupLines, #OlympicMovies and #SochiToilet Hashtags
  • Political Hashtags: Commentary on #Putin and #Russia and #SochiProblems hashtags have highlighted regional tensions
  • Virtual Spectatorship: Individual sporting event and ceremony hashtags like #OpeningCeremony, #SlopeStyle, #FigureSkating and dozens more invite second screen viewers to experience the Olympics in real-time from anywhere.
  • Social Media Team Pride: From Canada’s #WeAreWinter to The US Team’s #GoTeamUSA slogan, Olympians are vocal online. Practically every nation participating is sharing their pride via team tagged tweets.
  • Athletes working social platforms as well as Olympic podiums: Hashtags like #TeamTucker have sought to find dates for a lovelorn Olympian. Other athletes are using celebrity to save stray #SochiDogs. Fans & athletes seek to support a Lebanese Olympian and make a political point, via #StripForJackie
sochi olympics
image courtesy of

As hashtag news and trends continue to stream from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Hashtracking will be keeping tabs on and offering free access to all 400+ hashtags they are following via their Winter Olympics Super Tag Leaderboard located at

About Hashtracking, Inc.: Hashtracking, Inc. provides real-time hashtag & cashtag tracking and intelligence that give subscribers instant access to actionable data, helping them to run more successful campaigns and gain greater insight into customer conversations. Hashtracking, Inc. provides full-featured drill down reports, which supply powerful hashtag and cashtag insight, including detailed contributor lists, influencer data and complete, searchable/filterable transcripts.  Hashtracking, Inc. reports and graphics can be exported for use on websites and in presentations and/or shared on social media. For non-subscribers, Hashtracking, Inc. offers a Free Explorer tool which provides a quick and easy way for anyone to get a snapshot of recent hashtag activity.

For more information, visit

SOURCE Hashtracking, Inc.

Will the bird take flight? Can the IOC limit Social Media usage at London 2012?

Twitter Logo
Twitter Logo
Twitter Logo

Prior to the Olympics getting under way last week The Globe and Mail reported some interesting findings on how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans to manage athletes use of social media at the games in London this year.

Thinking back to Vancouver 2010 I don’t remember the same type of concern by the IOC or VANOC as to how the impact of social media or the use of it by athletes who were involved in the Games could potentially have had any negative effect on the games. Social media, and let’s stick to Twitter and Facebook here, if anything it offers free advertising for the Games and for athletes as they tweet and tag their way through the games at high profile events and other places associated with the game including medal ceremonies.

The use of social media has increased so much since the last Summer Games in Beijing that it’s almost hard to fathom the numbers. The Globe reports that usage of Twitter has jumped from “6 to 140 million in the last four years and Facebook accounts now top over 900 million.” Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular social media applications and there are a host of others including Reddit, Digg and the ever popular Pinterest.

This begs the question of whether the IOC can really stop information from getting out at the events and as part of the Games as a whole. While they certainly have to limit the bad press that can spring up from tweets and posts I’m wondering if it’s a case of if you can’t beat them join them and benefit from doing so.

Now truth be told as the Globe article notes the IOC has been extremely protective of the games and its sponsors. Sponsors such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s will contribute 3 billion in funds to the games itself. Negative publicity for such sponsors via social media could have hugely damaging effects.

However, something like Twitter could also give these sponsors and the IOC tonne of free publicity should they choose to harness the power of social media. Nothing would work better than street teams of Coca Cola employees at the events tweeting and handing out samples of Coca Cola products all the while talking up the role that Coca Cola is playing in London. A quick visit to the Coca Cola Twitter account and you can see some activity on the account but nothing earth shattering about the Olympics or the events beyond the standard good luck to all the athletes.

The McDonald’s USA Twitter feed shows quite a bit more activity for the USA account and it looks as though McDonald’s is attempting to engage followers with regular tweets and information about the Olympics. There appears to be some intention of engagement is there.

The benefits of using social media at events and in conjunction with other parts of the Games can only further and grow the Olympic spirit itself and all the while enhance the positive aspects of the events. While IOC Guidelines for Social Media regarding social media usage have been set I wonder how far the IOC can go to actually enforce this.

As the Globe Article notes the IOC has no plans to monitor Twitter or Facebook accounts and the hope is to “work on education and through our national Olympic committees to share the guideline.” Breaches will be dealt with by national Olympic committees “based on common sense.”

So far one athlete has been expelled by Greece for offensive Twitter comments.

It would be interesting to do a post Games analysis of how many violations actually occurred by athletes and whether the IOC and Olympic Committee’s like the Canadian Olympic Committee have been able to mitigate any social media violations by social media policies. Only time will tell.


TELUS Optik TV poised to gain even more ‘followers’ with Twitter on Optik TV

TELUS is giving Canadians in British Columbia, Alberta and Eastern Quebec something to “Tweet” about with a free Twitter app on its Optik TV service. The Twitter app is designed to provide Optik TV viewers with convenient access to Twitter features and content without missing a moment of their favourite TV show. This must-have app introduces a whole new dimension to both TV watching and social media. Users are now able to Tweet what they’re watching with one click and even follow what others are saying about their favourite show through ‘TV Tweets’, creating an innovative, new social TV viewing experience.

“IPTV is the future of television, and with Optik TV the future is here at TELUS. We are committed to enabling a truly connected home, offering new ways for our Optik TV customers to stay connected with their friends while still enjoying television,” said David Fuller, TELUS Chief Marketing Officer. “TV apps are a great example of the power of Internet-enabled TV. This Twitter app brings social networking into the living room – it’s all about making TV viewing a social activity again, in an exciting new way.”

The app wraps around part of the perimeter of the television screen, allowing users to Tweet to their hearts’ content while simultaneously watching TV programming. Offered free as part of the Optik TV subscription, the Twitter app uses the standard Optik remote control, allowing customers to not only Tweet and view their Twitter feeds but also find other users to follow, view trending topics and Tweets about the show they are watching.
The Twitter app was developed by TELUS and ES3, the premier developer of iTV (interactive television) applications for the award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom platform upon which Optik TV is based.

To learn more about the Twitter app on Optik TV, visit To order TELUS Optik TV, or for more information, go to or call 310-MYTV (6988).

About Optik TV
Optik TV provides never before seen functionality and features as well as more than 500 channels, including more than 100 in High Definition (HD). Optik TV is an IPTV based service and features applications such as Facebook and remote record, an application that allows subscribers to manage their PVR recordings from any Internet connection or select smartphone. One PVR is all you need to enable every digital box in your home with the ability to pause, rewind and replay live TV, schedule recordings, access your existing recording and pause a show in one room and pick it up in another room from the same spot. A single PVR can record up to three shows at once. Optik TV also offers Picture-in-Picture browsing, onscreen Call Display, HD Movies On Demand, and HD Pay Per View. It also features an improved search capability that enables effortless searches for shows and movies by actor, director, show title or sporting event, for immediate viewing or recording in the future.

With Optik TV, TELUS customers can even use their Xbox 360 as a digital television box. TELUS is the first TV provider in the world to offer voice and gesture navigation on both live and recorded TV, via an advanced version of Optik TV for Xbox 360 which takes advantage of Xbox’s Kinect sensor.

TELUS’ Optik TV subscribers can also enjoy an application called Optik on the go, which allows customers to view a selection of TV On Demand shows and movies on their mobile devices, tablets and laptops, at home and on the move.

Twitter on Optik TV is the latest addition to a growing suite of fun and entertaining applications that includes Facebook, Tumblebooks, Black’s Photo, Santa Tracker and Musicroom.

TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $10.4 billion of annual revenue and 12.7 million customer connections including 7.3 million wireless subscribers, 3.6 million wireline network access lines and 1.3 million Internet subscribers and more than 500,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $260 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.2 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Eleven TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS’ local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit

To Tweet or not to Tweet; That is the Strategic Question

Della Smith
Della Smith
Q Workshops Della Smith

Today we welcome Della Smith. I met Della at one of her workshops in September where she discussed Twitter and the role it can play in companies and organizations who incorporate it as part of their Communications strategy.

Della is someone has worked with organizations in virtually every sector over the past 25 years. Her unique style and ability to quickly understand complex subjects or situations ensure high quality workshops that net results.

She closed her company Quay Strategies in August of 2009. She is now writing a book and dedicating her client time to facilitation, workshops and media training. Quay Strategies, a strategic public relations and communications firm, was established in 1995 and is based in Vancouver, BC.

For more information on Della check out her website

Della’s article is below.

I am a self-admitted Twitter junkie. I spend tons of time following interesting people and connecting to links of all sorts. However, I don’t tweet right now because it is not strategic for me.

Twitter can be a powerful and effective communications vehicle for organizations and individuals with interesting information to share. The key for most businesses to be successful in this arena is to ensure their reason for tweeting is strategic.

Making sure the use of Twitter is part of an overall communications strategy that fits your organization is the first step. The next is quality information. Content matters more than ever as people can gloss over your 140 characters in less than a second. Your tweet needs to stand out in between the scads of news about Demi Moore splitting with Ashton Kutcher or other such titillating gossip.

Traditional news values still apply whether you are tweeting or writing full- page editorials. Here are the quintessential eight news values you need to consider when entering the Twitterverse:

1. Humanity – people connect to information about people or opinions that impact them.

2. Conflict – disagreement or challenging points of view sparks interest.

3. Immediacy – now really means now, new stuff gets stale fast and it looks bad if you are reporting something that happened yesterday.

4. Novelty – the wacky and weird of the day.

5. Celebrity – Demi and AplusK make news just because of their profile. You can create your own celebrity news value based on the quality of your information.

6. Pix – pictures and videos can be great if you can intrigue me enough with your words to click.

7. Peril – anything in danger is news.

8. Locality – geographically pertinent news can trigger interest as much as information that is relevant to “people like me”.

So tweet away to your heart’s content, just please don’t be boring. Have at least one news value to keep us coming back for more. And, I’ll be tweeting soon, when I have a strategic reason. Stay tuned @dellasdeck

Tweet Tweet Little Birdy!! Looking at Twitter and Microblogging Applications

With the news yesterday of Twitter it’s pretty impressive how far this application has come in a short time.

I’d have to say upfront I’m a big fan. I’m a regular social media user bordering on a junkie perhaps and I can’t get enough of or say enough good things about Twitter. I love its short succinct messages down to 140 characters and its ability to send out shortened URL’s that allow me to link to all kinds of sites and information on the fly.

Facebook seems to be getting more and more cluttered with the amount of information and applications embedded into it.

Twitter can seem like a complicated mess of messages and missed meanings but it’s actually a powerful tool that it many ways has revolutionized how we communicate.

The “tweet” has become part of our daily dialogue and who really can go through a day without wondering what’ s been happening on Twitter or what a celebrity might have tweeted.

The application itself started as an internal service for employees of the Odeo company. With its first successful public unveiling in 2006 and upgrade to the new Twitter in 2010, It eventually spunoff and became a successful company in its own right and has really never looked back.

Twitter is built on the idea of microblogging, which means that short status updates are sent out through a personal profile. This personal profile is created by a user and resides on a microblogging website such as Twitter. These sites are free and you simply need to create an ID and sign up. You can make your profile private or public. You then simply search for potential people you want to follow or often any company website that you visit will have a twitter icon that will link to that company’s profile.

It seems that virtually anyone is one twitter these days, be it companies or people. The real appeal of micro blogging app such as Twitter is that its easy to get information on the fly. Things happen in real time and with mobile phones now being more prevalent than computers, you can tap into these services whenever you want.  Provided you are plugged in all the time, you will never miss a beat or rather the latest tweet!

Twitter is not the be all and end all of microblogging apps though and is often limited by heavy network usage and the infamous fail whale. Plurk and Jaiku are two others that are available, without perhaps the high profile of Twitter. These sites initially offered some features that Twitter didn’t have and both boast strong usage.

Jaiku started in 2006 and was purchased by Google in 2007. It allows for 100 character messages while Plurk uses 140 character messages.

So there you have it a quick summary and plug for Twitter and microblogging. Whether this trend like many social media trends sticks around long term remains to be seen but for now enjoy it and use it, it may be gone before too long!

Mind your manners….


You all got those lectures as a kid. Mind your manners at the table, watch your P’s and Q’s,  sit up straight, hold the door open for others. If you had parents like I did then you definitely got lots of guidance on how to conduct proper social etiquette and manners when dealing with others.

With social media becoming a primary means by which we interact with others, its good remember that common things we practice when dealing with others face to face should be practiced online, manners and etiquette then are no exception.

I may sound like a broken record but follow your Facebook News Feed these days or at least mine and I sometimes wonder if etiquette has gone straight out the window. I’m not saying i am offended here or that I’d remove these people as friends but something are better left offline all together. I have always guided myself by the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. I apply this to social media as well. Continue reading Mind your manners….