Everybody’s talking about social media these days. So I’d like to share here an interesting slideshow by Marta Kagan, one of my social media heroes!

See source here.



Avinash Kaushik of Google once tweeted, “Social Media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how.”

If I remember correctly, I lost my virginity to social media in 2004. A university sophomore at the time, I joined a social networking site called Friendster. I was reluctant at first to have a public profile online, but a lot of my friends were on it and, like most people my age, I didn’t want to be out of the loop. So I created my profile, added my picture, entered in some personal information, and started getting hundreds of friend requests.

Almost immediately after being de-virginized by Friendster, I joined site after site – from MySpace to Multiply, from Flickr to YouTube, and so on and so forth. After a few years of juggling so many social media accounts, after endless hours in total spent on maintaining my networks and trying to dodge cyberspace creeps, I finally felt stupid and violated. Like a natural defense mechanism, my brain deliberately “forgot” my passwords for some accounts. And for the rest, I deleted them. I wanted my virginity back!

Social Media is like teen sex. So before you decide to do it, read up on my 5 tips:

1. Research.

Know what it is before you dive into it. There are so many social media tools out there, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, etc. Whether it’s for personal or business purposes, you need to know what tools are out there, which ones are best for your company, and how to use them properly.

2. Set Goals.

Decide what you want to achieve with these tools. For individuals for example, do you want to connect with your current friends (in which case Facebook would be a good option)? Or do you want to make new connections with people who share the same interests (in which case Twitter would be a better option)?

For businesses, do you want to promote your products/services, perhaps through a Facebook page? Or do you want to gain customer insight by engaging your followers on Twitter? Or do you want to create sales leads through LinkedIn connections? Or do you want to establish yourself as an expert in your industry through a blog?

3. Just do it.

Whether it’s sex or social media, it doesn’t matter how much you read about it. You can only prepare yourself so much. You only really learn how to do it if you just do it. So go do it!

4. Practice Safe Social Media.

For individuals, be cautious about your privacy settings. You do not want current or potential employers to see pictures of you doing 12 tequila shots in a row. Better yet, don’t post pictures of you doing 12 tequila shots in a row. It would be hard for people to take you seriously during your next big presentation if they have that mental picture of you. Make your social media tools present you in the best way possible.

For businesses, keep your online brand presence professional. There is no need to announce on your facebook page how Katy from the Accounting Department finally let loose during your office Christmas party. Again, make your social media tools present your company in the best way possible. Sometimes, you cannot prevent people from posting angry complaints on your facebook page. Feel free to take those comments off your wall and deal with the issue directly with said customer. Sometimes, you may want to keep those negatives comment on, and follow it with a response on how your company dealt with (or plans to deal with) the problem. This could help build trust and loyalty.

5. Measure.

Always measure, measure, measure! Measure how well your social media sphere is doing. Are you achieving your goals? How much traffic are your social media profiles bringing to your website? How many connections, friends, fans or followers do you have, and how fast is this network growing? How much engagement is happening in your network (eg. wall comments, discussions, @replies and retweets)? What is the brand impact (eg. awareness and reputation, what are they saying about your brand?) What is the revenue impact (eg. quantity and quality of sales leads)?

Six years later, I still use social media – but I limit myself only to a few tools that I know are best for me. This time around, I am more informed on the benefits and pitfalls involved. So I now love it! More blog posts to come. Enjoy for now!

xox,

Meowgarita


I previously released a blog post about the 5 funniest commercials on television. Here’s my second round.

5.) Yellow Pages
“Plan B”
See commercial here.

4.) Mercedes Benz
“Beauty is Nothing without Brains”
See commercial here.

3.) Science World
“We can explain.”
See commercial here.

2.) Mac
“PC vs. Mac – Security”
See commercial here.

1.) Dr. Pepper
“Iron Man 2”
See commercial here.


So the Olympics are now over and the craziness has died down a little bit. Whew!

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the Olympics. But somehow, working FOR the Olympics for 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week for months didn’t make it so easy to come home to my downtown apartment – where all the happy and deliberate screaming and honking by obsessed fans and sports enthusiasts constantly found their way into my dreams every night for several weeks last February.

This month, I get a break from all that. What’s happening now is “Dine Out Vancouver” – a celebration of BC food and wine. From April 26 to May 6, we get to enjoy three-course dinners at over 200 of Vancouver’s hottest restaurants for $18, $28 or $38 per person, complemented by fabulous BC VQA wine pairing suggestions. This is my olympics, baby!

More blog posts about my gastronomic adventures are on the way. If you are on Twitter and love food like me, give me a shout at www.twitter.com/meowgarita.


Ladies in Vancouver!  The fabulous Kitty Card is on sale this month for $10.

If you haven’t read my previous post, the Kitty Card is your ticket to exclusive discounts and VIP treatment at Vancouver’s most indulgent salons, spas, boutiques and bistros. This month, I’ve already grabbed 5 of them so that my girl friends and I could enjoy wicked deals together for the rest of the year.

So hurry! Grab your Kitty Card here.


The Commodore Ballroom was packed last Saturday night for Sia‘s concert. I heard that the the eccentric Australian has a killer voice and a bouncy personality, so I was quite excited to see her live.

Her opening band Body Language, a group of 3 guys and a girl, started off the night with songs about “Sandwiches” and other things that I normally would not expect anybody to sing about. But they did, and they didn’t just sing it. They danced it… and that’s probably why they are called Body Language. I will have to dedicate an entire blog post about them later on. They were so good at working up the crowd that you can’t help but dance and almost forget that they were the opening band. I say “almost” because you can’t ever forget that it’s Sia’s show.

The stage was dressed, yes dressed, in quilts and colorful things that reminded us all that yes we were at Sia’s concert. She comes out on stage wearing a huge woolen dress, huge zebra-striped platforms and wings (which she later told us were made from the cover page of every self-help book that she’s read). She looked so gorgeous and ridiculous all at the same time, and I think that’s what we love about her (of course, aside from her amazing voice, her sexy accent and her funny I’m-just-going-to-act-like-myself personality).

Unfortunately, the gorgeous costume caused our Sia to overheat and feel like she was going to faint. The show ended after a few songs, but hey, I came to hear her killer voice and I heard it. Doesn’t matter if it’s 3 songs or 30, it was definitely worth it!

If you are  on Twitter, you should follow:
@siamusic
@body__language
@meowgarita

Photo Credits: See more photos from Sia’s concert at http://www.mrdavidthai.com/


Unlike most people, I actually enjoy the commercial breaks while watching my favorite TV shows. Heck, I watch the Superbowl because of the commercials. When the game comes back on, that’s when I go get my popcorn. Here’s a list of 5 of the funniest ads I’ve seen on TV.

5.U by Kotex
“Why are Tampon Commercials so Ridiculous?”
See commercial here.

4.) Coast Capital Savings
Hair Loss Problems
See the commercial here.

3.) Subaru Forester
Japanese SUVs Just Got a Little Sexier.
See the commercial here.

2.) Berlitz
German Coast Guard
See the commercial here.

1.) Old Spice
The Man Your Man Can Smell Like
See the commercial here.

More lists of awesome commercials to come. Enjoy!

xox, Meowgarita


Spring is officially here. So is the fashion bug. Vancouver will be hit with dozens of fashion events this April. To see what Vancouver is wearing this season, check out these events happening around your neighborhood:

Vancouver Fashion Week 2010
April 7 – 11, 2010

Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) is on its 10th year of celebrating creativity and originality in fashion. Hailed as the West Coast’s most prestigious industry event, it brings together industry professionals and influential consumers – including buyers, editors, top executives, celebrities, fashionistas and innovative designers from all over the world. Vancouver’s proximity to the East and West fashion capitals make our city the prime location for fashion week.

This year, the VFA will feature designers such as Malicious Manor, Dussault/Deuce, Decadence, Juan Eva, Sarah Beverly Runnalls, Jen Cameron and Civil Society. For more information on the schedule, venues and tickets, check out the VFA Website.

The Show
April 14, 2010

The Show is the culmination of four years of hard work of fashion design students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Come to the River Rock Casino Resort Theatre to see 33 up-and-coming student designers as they debut their final collections, ranging from menswear to children’s wear, athletic to streetwear. To get tickets, visit The Show website.

Photo Credit (above): JRolli

“A Taste of Manhattan” Wedding Fashion Show
April 18, 2010

Planning a wedding? Get a sneak preview of Bisou Bridal’s Spring 2010 collection. Your $25 ticket (or $40 for two) gets you access to a New York style fashion show, gourmet menu tasting and creative ideas for making your (or a friend’s) wedding, PLUS a chance to win a multitude of prizes. Check out the Facebook event page to RSVP.

Vancouver Eco Fashion Week
April 22, 2010

A selection of the best eco-designers from around the world comes together to showcase their latest collections of environmentally friendly, trend-setting fashion in Vancouver during the Vancouver Eco-Fashion Week. For more information, visit the VEFW website.

There are many more fashion shows and events in Vancouver this Spring. I would much rather attend them than spend any more time adding to this list. Whoever wants to crash these parties with me, send me a private message on twitter at www.twitter.com/meowgarita.

xox,

Meowgarita


The Fun Theory, an initiative of Volkswagen, is a website dedicated to the thought that “FUN is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.”

Recently, the site launched a competition called “The Fun Theory Award” to recognize those thoughts, ideas and inventions that help prove the theory. The competition closed on December 15th, and the voting ended on January 15th. Here is the winning entry by Kevin Richardson (USA).

The Speed Camera Lottery

Can we get more people to obey the speed limit by making it fun to do? The idea here is capture on camera the people who keep to the speed limit. They would have their photos taken and registration numbers recorded and entered into a lottery. Winners would recieve cash prizes and be notified by post. Better still, the winnig pot would come from the people who were caught speeding.

See the full video here.


We all remember that classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, a naïve, eccentric Manhattan gold digger. The plot opens with a taxicab dropping Holly off at a Tiffany’s jewelry store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. She drinks coffee and eats a pastry while admiring the window displays, then strolls home.

If they made a re-make of this film and set it in the year 2010, I bet they would call it “Breakfast at Apple’s.” Holly would not be admiring diamond rings at Tiffany’s. She would probably be daydreaming of $20,000-diamond-encrusted Apple iPads.

“Wait! Did you say $20,000?” you ask. I sure did.

According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, you can order the Diamond iPad from a company called Mervis Diamond Importers. The iPad features 64 GB of memory, is 3G enabled, and is studded with 11.43 carats of diamonds. The price tag: $19,999.

Huh!? What economic recession?