Posts Tagged ‘alberta’

Original iPhone + iPhone 3G + iPhone 4

Original iPhone + iPhone 3G + iPhone 4 (Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano)

Apple picking. It’s not just with that tree in your backyard anymore.

I was at the gym last night peddling away on one of the recumbents when a news story about a new trend in iPhone stealing popped on the screen. It’s one that’s gaining traction in the US. Has it happened here yet? Not sure, but it could.

Apple Picking. As in, mugging you for your phone while you’re on it. The report said women were often the target. The older, the better. We’re often unaware of our surroundings when we’re lost in conversation or in text. Stolen iPhones can be sold for as much as $300 according to a nameless and faceless source during the story.

A few tips for keeping your phone in your hands:

  1.  Put it away. We’ve survived plenty fine in the world before cell phones. Save your texting and you’re talking for a time when you’re out of that big open public space.
  2. Get yourself a hands free, wireless set. Then you can continue on your merry way with smart phone in a zipped up pocket somewhere and still have your conversation.
  3. Don’t keep your phone on the table at a restaurant. Another easy walk-n-snatch opportunity. Take that photo of your food and then… put it away. Your dining companion is sure to thank you too. If you’re on call, set it to vibrate and keep it in your lap.
  4. Have a backup and don’t store important information or access to it on your primary phone.

Taking photos from your iPhone or iPad, talking, texting… what are other day-to-day behaviours that would make it easy for a thief to make off with our gadgets?



Friday, 4:24pm. All day the only thing on my mind was how much I didn’t want to go anywhere on a rainy day like this one. Then, as if by magic, the clouds parted as I saw a tweet from Mark Hopkins about Audio Mob YYC 2. What’s a girl to do? Follow the signs. Audio Mob it was!

You don’t find me participating in many flash mobs in Calgary. Honestly, I find most of them to be a little cheesy… or promotey. Either way, most of them miss the point of the flash mob in the first place – random, silly fun with no ulterior motive. Well, unless the ulterior motive is learning a bit more about the city you live in.

Audio Mob YYC does just this. Exactly one week before the event opened, an mp3 file was made available on the website. If you can figure out how to download a link and load it onto your iPod or mp3 player, those are the only tech skills you need to participate. I just happened to download mine at 4:25pm. It took a few minutes, but a quick sync of my iPhone and I was on my way!

We met in the Courthouse Park at the intersection of 4th St SW and 6th Ave SW. Recognizable by our blue, red or yellow shirts and a smattering of balloons, we waited for our clocks to strike 5:00pm and for the mob to begin. Described as “one part flash mob, one part decentralized dance party, and one part Simon Says,” it ends up being a hilarious way to spend the better part of an hour.

Audio Mob YYC 2 – The headphones strike back!

This year, we made a human bullseye, argued loudly like lawyers about whose colour shirt was superior, danced down Stephen Avenue, stared at patio patrons like they were zoo animals (because “patios are for people watching, right?”), chased cookie monster and his two friendly cookies and even had a Mexican standoff. We even learned a few points about the businesses and buildings along the way. Like:

  • There are 6 different natural land forms found in the Calgary Courthouse Park that are native to Alberta.
  • The first original courthouse was built in 1888.
  • Stephen Ave is named after the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen.
  • Most of the original wood buildings along Stephen Ave burnt down in the Calgary fire of 1886. They were built from sandstone after that to stop them from burning down again.
  • Flames Central is the last surviving example of a palace-style cinema in Western Canada.
  • And, a fact you should all be well aware of by now, that Calgary is the 2012 Cultural Capital of Canada.

See you next year at Audio Mob YYC 3! Or if y’all come up with an interesting mob idea of your own… let me know!

Scavenger hunts have always been an amusing way to spend a day (I even did one at my sixth birthday party). But with the advent of social media, they’re taking on an entirely new twist. Even Pearl Jam hopped on the hunt train. I’m not sure we hit 5.9 Million tweets globally, but we certainly took over Twitter today in Calgary as participants in Tweets For Eats YYC tweeted in photos, took good-natured jabs at one another online and raised the profile for a Calgary charity as we descended upon the city. It’s yet another avenue of online successfully meeting offline… and all participants and spectators having a blast in the mean time. Today was, without a doubt, the most fun I’ve had at a fundraising event in a long time.

Let me start out with a little run down of the day. I was on a team with Margot from The Costume Shoppe and her friend Karen. We met for a morning picker upper at Chiasso and then headed on over to Melrose to join the couple dozen people already stationed outside waiting for the doors to open and check-in to begin (not to mention the free breakfast sandwiches, yogurt and fruit Melrose had waiting to fuel us up). The hunt didn’t start until 11, but at 945 the doors opened wide and we rushed in to get our forms all filled in and wait for the much-anticipated hunt list.

We ride bareback on Team Silvester

At 11 on the nose, the list was handed out. There were over 200 items consisting of sponsored items recognizing the hunt sponsors, physical items (as in we had to bring these back with us), photograph items (send in a picture) and unique items (only one team could win each one!). Most teams were out the door lickety-split. Not us. We took our time and perused the entire list, sorting out what we wanted to find and splitting it up by neighbourhood or location. From there, we hopped in the car and off we went!

The hunt could take you from just a block or two from the start point all the way out to Elbow Falls. We concentrated on covering as many items as possible in as small an area as possible. This meant restraining ourselves to downtown, Inglewood and… where else but The Costume Shoppe!

I had no idea the day was going to go by so quickly! Part of that was thanks to my awesome teammates, I couldn’t have asked for two better ladies to spend the day with. We had a hoot and had a similar approach to the hunt! The other, well, there were just so many places to try to visit and items to get. We got a little creative with a couple of the clues, like having our team crawl underneath a truck bed instead of a real bed and finding a paper clip in place of a “trombone” (Hint: it’s the French word for paperclip). I was also introduced to a couple of places in the city I wouldn’t have known about otherwise, like this garage filled and decorated with bottle caps!

We didn't do it... I swear!

The day ended at 400pm back at Melrose to tally points, have some much-needed food and drink, listen to some tunes and await the winner of the grand prize of 4 iPads! Three recounts later, we had our winners. The Four Pink Ladies!

Check out the #t4e stream to read all the Twitter updates and photos from the day.

Congrats John S, Mike B, Mike and Ally S on a hunt well done. Can’t wait for next year!

If you’ve had any contact with social media, any at all, you should know that one of the main reasons for being online is to find your influencers. Those people who care about you, your brand and everything you stand for. Finding them in the past hasn’t been easy, and it’s definitely been time-consuming. Almost to the point that it may not have seemed worthwhile to put that much time and effort into it. But now… now! My goodness, now, finding your influencers is as easy as spending a few minutes a day participating in conversations, spreading information and just all-round caring about what your friends and followers are up to.

As of July, 2010, Master Maq reported that there were 10,501 local Twitter users in Calgary. I’m not sure what the number is a year later (that was the last report I found on his blog). I’d be surprised if it had more than doubled. Even less than that amount of Twitter users are real information contributors. Many of you folks sit out there lurking, just waiting for the rest of us to entertain you. But that’s not to say you aren’t watching.

Awhile back, waaaaay back to November, 2010 (if you can remember that far) there was a panel at Third Tuesday about last year’s civic election. One of the panel members (forgive for not remembering his name) asked the audience members how many of them were on Twitter. Once those in the room with accounts raised their hands, he proceeded to call them (us) all weird. But it’s true. We are a weird bunch. Not weird like you’d expect to encounter at a sci-fi conference, but weird in the fact that we’re so plugged in, so hyper-engaged. It’s this characteristic that makes Twitter a hotbed of influencers. People who want to be in the know right now.

Last month, I sent a question out into the Twittersphere asking how many people shared information with their offline networks that they heard about through one of their social networks. Nearly everyone who responded (granted, this was only a dozen or so) said they shared information with offline friends frequently. All respondents I knew to also have relatively large offline networks. In other words, they are just as plugged into the “real world” as they are to the online one.

Have you ever heard of the 1/9/90 rule? The gist is that for every 1 person that posts content online, there are 9 people interacting with that post and 90 people watching and reading what’s going on. There’s no timeframe for those eyeballs mind you. So in a real-time environment like Twitter, we can’t count on followers alone for an exact measure of reach. In fact, we can’t count impressions at all, merely the potential reach. That number would be astronomically large, so even predicting a reach of 10% of that number is impressive. If you’re repeating the message, well, compounded tweets will make it around eventually. And remember, it’s not a passive medium, like reading a newspaper or magazine. It’s an active one where people are having dialogues and conversing about everything from where they’re going for lunch to local and international themes and events.

I’ve said many times before that Twitter is the most valuable social networking tool I’ve found to date. For those of you who balk at its use (whether for B2C or B2B business use, promotional or personal), it’s a sure tell you don’t understand the medium, nor do you seem to want to. On this point, please accept my condolences on all of your missed opportunities. We shall continue to reap the benefits of our active little circle without you. But for any of you still curious about what the Twittersphere may hold for you, jump on in! The water’s fine.

Albertan companies find new and creative ways to incorporate digital media. Whether creating efficiencies by streamlining communication and operations, connecting markets, or cooking up campaigns to communicate with consumers, we’re doing it. And many of us are doing it well.

If you, or one of your friends, colleagues, family members, or random project you heard about last week have made an impact on your industry because of your use of technology, you’ll want to check out the Digital Alberta Awards.


  • Best in Social Media
  • Mobile Innovation
  • Best Digital Design
  • Best in Cross-Platform Content
  • Best In Financial Services
  • Best Social Impact
  • B2C Innovation
  • B2B Innovation
  • Best Digital Startup
  • Best in E-learning
  • Best in Gaming
  • Government 2.0
  • Best Use of Film, Animation or
    Special FX
  • Best Combined Hardware &
    Software Experience
  • Best Digital Advertising/Marketing
    or Design Agency
  • Student Digital Award

Deadline for submission: May 6th

Questions? Contact