University of Toronto

The University of  Toronto has been a hallowed institution for a very long time.  The value of a university education has been downplayed considerably but it still has a lot cachet with the corporate crowd. A U of T autographed decree gets some HR people foaming at the mouth. My credentials could give some people a Gran Mal seizure too.

Took me a long time, but I’m finally a student at U of T! Well, part time anyway. Studying advertising copywriting. Some very smart people in the class coming from a variety of backgrounds including TV. Looking forward to the full course.

For those of you not from Toronto, a lot of visitors like it and I’ll bet they like some of the buildings they see at U of T. The U of T campus is big and has some interesting architecture such as Gothic Revival,  from more than a century ago. It is a real neat place to go to school. The buildings are loaded with character and the classrooms really feel like it’s 1930. Our classroom window doesn’t even close properly.

Right in downtown Toronto, it’s close to all the buzz in T.O.

Do you watch the TV show Castle? Well, the lead actress Stana Katic, a Canadian, actually studied at the U of T.

Stana Katic Is Queen of Her Castle (5 of 10) | She studied biology and international law at the University of Toronto.
Stana Katic of Castle – She studied biology and international law at the University of Toronto.

Okay, enough fun, let’s check out some of that amazing building architecture. This is convocation hall.

Convocation hall, University of Toronto


Here’s the old Vic building at Victoria College. Pretty scary but very cool

Old Vic building at Victoria College, University of Toronto

Nice view of downtown T.O. from my classroom.


This is Hart House from the outside. This is where I get my coffee and muffin:)

Hart House, University of Toronto


Whoa, it’s the Great Hall at Hart House. I’m sure Harry Potter is roaming around here somewhere.

Great Hall, Hart House, University of Toronto

They have a lot of weddings here. You’d think this guy would have bigger smile!

University of Toronto St. George Engagement

Here’s the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Ask the librarian for a book from the very top row.

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library - University of Toronto - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Looks like a scene out of London, England.uoft-building2

Selena and Marina – Gen Y Tunes

Just relax and give them a chance. Holy God, we didn’t have girls like this when we were 20. I can’t believe the Bebe’s dropped her. Selena must be taking lessons from Inna. They get the whole music machine behind these girls. Still, it is neat music. I like Gen Y music. Anything with a driving beat catches my attention. It’s part rock part electronic. Better than Lady Gag!!!



The Importance of Being Memorable

Stand Out from the Mediocre Middle

In a previous post, I talked about The Power of Fascination, how people might make a bigger impact for personal success by discovering what is fascinating about themselves. Part of being fascinating is in being memorable.

Stand out! Pinned byLauren GoldsteinOntoWords to Live By 

Do people remember you? Did you get a second date with that girl? Did you convince the investors to invest in your new business idea? Did you get the job? Did your prospects accept your sales proposal? Are the people you’re meeting wanting to see you again?

Who needs to be memorable?

  • People dating
  • People looking for a job
  • People trying to create a job
  • People who need investors
  • People wanting to get into particular group

The Mediocre Middle – How the Status Quo can Literally Ruin Your Life

The mass of society is mostly cramped like Sardines into a zone called the “mediocre middle.”  It’s a safe zone where people prove basic relevance and conformity, so that other people will trust them. Most never escape it nor try something new that would make them stand out. It’s a significant barrier to growth. Trying something new means taking chances and many of us don’t like taking chances. If we fail, we feel like we’ve lost face and look silly.

I think one of the reasons people don’t become fascinating and assert themselves naturally is because of their current situation. The status quo is powerful. Because of where we are now, we feel we can’t do or have all the things we want. We wait for a better “context” to fully assert ourselves in life. I can attest to this from personal experience. Unfortunately, the situation just drags on forever and we adjust to it. The key is just to get on with it even though it’s painful.


Pinned by NetteOntoQuotableQuote

Breaking out of the mediocre middle is what sets you apart as someone special, to be remembered and even revered.

I’d recommend reading my post on fascination and taking the test to find out what your fascination profile is.

I just attended an internet marketing conference where an array of guest speakers spoke on various topics. One woman on a panel stood out. Her discussions were not particularly relevant really and not valuable enough information-wise. Some might have been disappointed with her, but what struck me about her was that she spoke from her heart.

She was expressing how much she loved her job and her work as a web designer.  She had the courage to go up in front of a lot of people.  She didn’t really even try to sell anything! The other speakers tried to be trendy and push their companies and too often missed the mark, I think, and that put them in a non-memorable category. I only remember her.

Some ppl are memorable.
Pinned by Eve Ram

Being memorable isn’t cheap tricks. The key is to describe yourself in ways relevant to important people.

Shouldn’t forget to mention that you’re targeting key people not everyone. Don’t waste your time on people going nowhere, cynics, and those stuck in the status quo. That’s where you get very frustrated.

Being yourself can be tough, but if you can pull it off, then you won’t feel invisible and you’re more engaged in the conversation. They pick that up.

With that insight, you can tell them about relevant things about yourself. When you head into your next business meeting or job interview, spend some time getting to know people. Google them and find out what they do.  You’ll only get a small part of the picture, but it might be enough to help you stand out from the rest, who made no effort to get to know them. Sometimes all that matters is effort.

Perhaps one of the most powerful ways to connect and be remembered is to discover what someone doesn’t like about themselves or their life. Help them solve that and you’ll be more than remembered.

The most memorable people

Pinned byAngela RobertsOntoReal Talk 


So smart. Pinned by Designer First

There’s so many ways to differentiate yourself and make yourself compelling.  If you have no talents, hobbies, sports, or social interests, that might make you look like a blank slate others can write on. Why do you think companies hire young people with no experience?  There’s always something compelling to other people about you, so you need to think about what that might be.

Is it your spontaneity, relaxed attitude, joie  de vive, sense of humour,  talent, creativity, ambition, intelligence, broad mindedness, versatility, determination, generosity, harmoniousness, friendliness, etc?

It’s likely these characteristics make you memorable. So if you emphasize or play up these key characteristics, you’ll likely make a great impression.

Go take the fascination test and discover what your strengths are. Then think of the things you might do, say or present to others that gets the message home.

Take note of how you talk, walk, and gesture and the topics you speak of. If current topics aren’t working, don’t talk about them. If certain situations don’t bring out the best in you, avoid those situations.

Sometimes it all comes down to one single thing about you. Therefore, even if you have differentiated yourself from the dull, common crowd, you still have to have one hook or main sticking point. It’s like the snow cap on a mountain. Think of that beautiful snow cap against a brilliant blue sky in the background.  Your main point makes you stand out in the foreground, pushing everyone  else into the background.

Good luck with your research!

InboundCon 2013 Toronto

InboundCon Toronto brought together a number of good speakers to discuss the hot topics in Internet marketing. There were a number of interesting topics including branding, Enterprise PPC optimization tips, UX design, and nurturing customers with social media.  Some helpful material, however there were some gaping holes in coverage of inbound marketing topics.

The Inbound meetup events are an ongoing monthly event and this one was kind of a major meetup event. Experienced marketers might scoff at attending, but this is a networking event you could benefit from. Certainly as it grows, the opportunities to connect and learn will be there.

Inboundcon Website

InboundCon Toronto 2013 was a full day event held in the west side of downtown Toronto and we had the pleasure of hearing some great speakers.  It was Canada’s first Inbound Marketing Conference, held at the Centre for Social Innovation on Bathurst St. The team at PoweredbySearch did a great job of attracting some top industry people to speak.

I’m a 15 year veteran of Internet marketing so I didn’t learn much here, but the opportunity to meet Internet marketing people is what makes it an event to attend. And you keep up on the latest marketing talk.

Some of the speakers are very smart and convey their ideas pretty well. Today we were fortunate to hear Dev Basu, CEO of Powered by Search who makes these topics so easy to understand.  Nice to hear people talk clearly and really say something of value.

Dev really has an advanced understanding of Internet marketing, SEO, and branding and did a great job of bringing out the best of panel members that included marketers from Google, Chapters, Microsoft, Travelocity and Expedia.

Here’s what it looks like driving into Toronto via the Gardiner Expressway, into the Toronto downtown core. toronto

Social media is increasingly important within marketing campaigns.  The moderator was Troy Boileau of PoweredbySearch. Speakers below were Hamza Kahn of Ryerson, Alyssa Richard of Ratehub, Yousuf Affridi of Taxi 2, and Paul Crowe from Bnotions. They were discussing social media as it relates to inbound marketing.

The field of social media outreach is key to content development and strategy, which is what I do at Ravenshoe Group. If your website and business lacks a content development strategy, then give us a call at Ravenshoe you’re a novice marketer, marketing intern, or business owner, these conferences can be inspiring and even informative. The networking opportunities are there as well. I met one woman from Russia and three guys from Brazil (we talked about Rio De Janeiro and about Jokke Sommer who did a  wingsuit fly through an opening in a building), and met 2 copywriters. I didn’t meet one content strategist. My field is still unrepresented at the Toronto inbound meetups and conference. I’m sure this will change due to the demand.


The Perfect Flight

Wingsuit Flying coming to TV

Jokke Sommer is starring in a new TV show entitled The Perfect Flight. It’s a series to be aired starting in October on EpicTV the home of Extreme Sports.  Jokke’s the best, from Norway and he will be doing wingsuit flights with Espen Fadnes, and Jokke’s filming buddy Ludovic Woerth.  Should be really exciting to get up close with these amazing guys as they take flight in exotic locales around the world.

Visit their Perfect Flight Facebook page. Jokke is sponsored by Red Bull.  You can see the TV show teaser here.

Amazing flyby in Rio De Janeiro with Jokke Sommer

Here’s Jokke in Rio De Janeiro. Have a look at the tv ads he did for Vodaphone in Europe. These scenes were also used in his Dreamlines III video.Take a look at some of the amazing flights they’ve taken.  Learn more about Wingsuits and watch a collection of wingsuit flying videos. Here they are in China at Tianmen Mountain.


Looks like an amazing lifestyle, but they have to work. It looks like wingsuit flying is going to go through a popularity boost. But just getting to know these guys and seeing them live out their dream is fun enough for us. Jeb Corlis’s flight through a hole in Tianmen mountain now past 10 million views on Youtube!  See female wingsuit flyer Roberta Mancino.

Nadal vs Djokovic

One of the Best US Open Finals Yet

Even if you don’t like tennis, you’d understand and appreciate the effort these two great tennis players make to win their matches. They’re good guys and really phenomenal athletes. They take physical conditioning to a ridiculous new level.

Early in the second set, they had a 54 shot rally where they both ran more than 425 feet. That’s back and forth running, with thousands of people watching. I would love to be in that kind of shape. If anyone from Geritol wants to sponsor me, I’m willing to talk.

Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic for the Mens US Open Singles Title 2013

Personally, I like Rafa’s choice of shirts. It’s modern and classy. And he’s playing so well, it’s ridiculous. A lot of people don’t like him, but they’re misunderstanding him. He is a nice guy. He’s not an intellectual and he needs to generate emotion his own way to get up to that level. He’s an exceptional athlete with a unique style his uncle taught him that has made him one of the greatest ever. I’m a Federer fan but Rafa will one day be hailed as the greatest ever.

Did you ever see the resemblance between him and Ben of the Bachelor TV show? That’s no coincidence. Women probably like Rafa and the show’s marketing people probably wanted to seize on Rafa’s popularity.


And Ben was the typical phoney, empty-brained rich kid everyone wants to hate. Anyway, he chose the nasty girl everyone hated so I guess it all evened out.

Rafa had two giant towels the CBS commentators were making fun of. Players reach for their towels after every point they lose as a way wiping off the negative energy around the missed shot I guess. It’s a security blanket, crying towel, and psychological weapon. It used to be even a wristband got you labeled as a wuss. Now they’re bringing out beach towels!

Okay girls, here’s your Rafa feast. Let’s get this over with.


Here’s some video of the game:

The Secret of Happiness with Professor Dan Gilbert

Prof. Dan Gilbert talks about  The Science of Happiness: What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You.  This is pretty good and fun, have a look.  If you can’t wait to get married, have kids, and get divorced see what the data says. Money can make you happy says Professor Dan.

Wipeout & Most Extreme Elimination Challenge – and Other Fun Japanese Stuff!

Oh, those crazy Japanese. Look what they put on TV


One of my favourite programs was Most Xtreme Elimination Challenge which was a Japanese TV show where they dubbed in voices from two US guys. Their dialogue made it a lot of fun as you’ll see in this first video.

The Japanese version was way better but they didn’t have the great sets they do on the new show. But the guy’s dialogue is what made the Japanese version fun. Whoever wrote the scripts was pure genius. A lot of vulgarity as you’ll see, but it made me howl. I’ll bet you will too.

Which show do you think is better?

Well, the show Wipeout isn`t too bad either. I think the funniest shows are where the women get launched into the water unexpectedly like this:

Climbing over other naked guys is not cool, even to get to the girls. But it’s TV.

US Open Tennis – Women’s Singles Semi Final

I like Li Na of China (32 years old) , but she was simply destroyed by Serena Williams (31 years old) in the women’s singles semi final. I think the issue with Na is that she lacks sufficient power.

Li Na rose in the rankings right after she went bungee jumping in New Zealand a few years  back. It must have awoken something in her.

Women’s tennis has undergone a tremendous change in the last ten years. The women are hitting hard and a few of the women, such as Aggie and Na, are great li-na-china-us-open

hitters but their lack of power puts them in a tough spot on every point. Serena gets a lot of free points via her fast serve, which has reached 127 mph. Na’s first serve doesn’t even break 100 mph.



They had some great points and rallies toward the end of the match.

Williams faces Victoria Azarenka in the Women’s final.

US Open Mens Semi Final Djokovic vs Wawrinka

These two battled it out over 5 sets with Novak Djokovic beating Stan Wawrinka.  It’s too bad because Wawrinka was outstanding. It’s hard to believe he lost, but at this level it is often confidence that determines the outcome, not skill or stamina.

Wawrinka is playing well this year and after knocking off Andy Murray in 3 sets, he looked like he would continue on a roll. He was up two sets to one, but you can never count Novak Djokovic out. He’s steady and tenacious and that’s not a combination any tennis player looks forward to playing against.

It’ll be Djokovic and Nadal in the 2013 Final.

Wawrinka lost but it’s been an awakening for him and the tennis crowd to finally see rise up to this level. He still has some work to do on his attitude.  He’s proven he belongs and hopefully we’ll see him play in the final 8 at the O2 in London in a couple months.