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The Blogerati Files: radicaltrust.ca


This week in the Blogerati Files, radicaltrust.ca .

Describe your blog in 10 words or less.
Social media and corporate transparency in the age of dialogue.

Why did you start blogging? What's your blog's birthday?
I started blogging so I could teach myself as much as possible about social computing. I want to know how and why sites like MySpace, YouTube and Flickr start and flourish. I work in advertising, so there's some professional motivation to understand this, but it runs much deeper. These are real communities that are being built. Any time new forms of communication encourage real conversation and community, barriers are broken and bridges are built. That's why I call my blog "radical trust". I'm blogging to learn it, to teach it and to encourage it.

I started my blog on October 2nd 2006. It still has that new blog smell.

How long have you lived in Toronto?
12+ years.

What's the funniest/strangest thing that has happened to you in Toronto? Did you blog about it?
It was during a zombie flash mob in October 2005. Most of the zombies had never met before, but the open call was answered with great enthusiasm. The zombie hunt for fresh brains shuffled its way from Cabbage Town through Ryerson, Dundas Square, the Eaton Centre and wrapped up at Nathan Phillips. The craziest moment happened when the zombies crossed Dundas Square and totally disrupted (unintentionally) a rally of families who were victims of gang violence. Some top brass police pulled out their cell phones to "make the call" and many crying mothers and grieving siblings looked at us with suspicion. Luckily, the quick thinking DJ pulled the plug to the mic and cranked up Micheal Jackson's Thriller. All the uneasy zombies looking for an out from their intrusion took the cue, lined up and danced. The angry looks turned into laughter and everyone could appreciate the spontaneous nature of the moment. The mothers clapped their hands, the siblings danced along and a cop started snapping shots with his cell phone. This is what life's all about. I get shivers thinking about it. That memory will be with me a long time.

I didn't blog it, but you can see photos of the zombie walk on my Flickr pages here.

What are some of the changes in Toronto that you have seen in your lifetime?
I'm glad to see the "world class city" attitude fade from Toronto's goals. The only way we'll be great is to be great. Just saying it will continue to delay it significantly. Toronto is a city of great potential. We will never be Berlin, we are too new. We will never be London, we are too diverse. We will never be New York, we are too soft. We must stop trying to be others and start being ourselves. We're entering the era when Toronto will find itself by doing its own thing. Culture comes from the heart. Identity comes from character. Toronto is really beginning to have both.

What era, day or event in Toronto's history would you like to re-live and why?
I got married on the roof of my old co-op at Queen's Quay and Bathurst in October 2004. It was one of those October sky days. It was perfect. I relive it everyday,

Who's your favourite Torontonian?
This is a tough question.

I like Flyerman's jacket, and shirtless dude with the Santa hat's spunk. I like Mark Daily's voice. I like that old guy on Speakers Corner. I like Accordion Guy in the 21st century busking Nine Inch Nails in Kensington Market. I like the sushi chef at Gui Rei on Queen's Quay. I like Mike formally from the Albion Diner on Queen East. I like the Second Cup girls on Bay Street. I like Constable Cam Wooley and his crazy traffic stories. I like lots of Torontonians.

Do you have a favourite free WiFi spot?
I have 2: my bed and my couch.

Do you have a favourite post from your blog? Do you know your blog's most visited post?
My favourite post was a review of a very public battle between Bill O'Reilly from Fox News and a Little Girl. Little Girl won.

Have you had your 15 minutes yet?
Not sure I believe in the 15 min. thing. I guess I'll wait and see.

Ever met a stranger who already knew you through your blog? If so, how did it go?
Not yet, but I can't wait!

Who are your favourite blogger(s)?
I am a fan of collective blogs: http://www.psfk.com, http://www.marktd.com and http://www.worldchanging.com. I also like American Copywriter, a podcast out of Kansas city.

What's happening in Toronto right now that the rest of us should be watching?
There are tons of established street level events in Toronto. Most of them are small community within community events like the Festival of Lights in Kensington, the Beaches Jazz Festival or Word On the Street. I would like to see some of these events embrace the wireless zone and emerging social computing with live updating by participants within the event. Live blogging, Flickr uploading etc.

If your blog were a food, what food would it be?
Some sort of social, transparent food that encourages dialogue ... vodka.

Speaking of food, do you have a favourite Toronto lunch spot?
My favourite lunch spot just disappeared. It was called the Albion Diner on Queen at Broadview. I'm sad to see it go. The small, privately owned diners era is sadly coming to an end. Support your local diner every chance you get!

If you could gather all of the bloggers of the world together into one room and tell them one thing, what would it be?
Create more, copy/paste links less.

Have any advice for would be bloggers? What do you think is the best route to raise a blog's profile?
Comment on other people's blogs. Make sure those comments are relevant and not self-promoting. Blogging is a conversation not a monologue. If you speak nicely to others, they will speak nicely to you. This builds credibility in the blogosphere as much as it does in the biosphere.

Don't get lazy and become a link farm or a video portal. You have more to offer to the world than your consumption patterns.

Try not to be a generalist. Find something you're interested in and dive deep - become the expert. This will give you motivation to continue and your blog will end up teaching you as much as it does your readers.

There is always room for another blog on any topic. Always. So don't worry if other people are already talking about what you are. Befriend them as soon as possible and learn from them. Challenge each other. This is the point.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Don't let the only record of your life be your bank statements. Blog so you know where you've been. Blog so you know where you're going.


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