At the start of the modern social networking phenomenon in 2007, I thought the concept of online communities was going to be another fad that would quickly drop from existence. After all, MySpace and Friendster skyrocketed the social media ladder and dropped just as fast. I was almost certain this new era would be no different. At its infancy I didn’t bother trying to grasp the first big guys, Facebook or Twitter. Clearly, I was mistaken and I quickly learned the impact these sites could have on my brand and my business.
As Editor at thetravolution.com, I focus on writing about local travel through Europe, offering travel tips, and trip planning ideas. It’s an area that intrigues a lot of busy independent people, families, workaholics and escapists looking for a change. I knew the demand for travel information was high – at least
I am determined to keep my goals for 2013, particularly my promise to you, my fans, my readers, and my clients to bring forth great talent that deserves your attention. I met Carolyn recently during a Town Hall meeting for Venus Ventures. I really loved her passion for helping women succeed, particularly women involved in tech startup sector where the focus on women and girls is quite limited. I absolutely admire her hence why I believe that introducing her to the word is only a gift to all of us.
Here is Carolyn's story in her own words:
My name is Carolyn Van and I am the Co-Founder of Social Media Communications Agency, thirdocean. I am also a mentor and advisor to various technology startups, innovation accelerators and post secondary institutions and a Firestarter at Venus Ventures – a new project around supporting female-led ventures.
My career highlights will likely involve making it through uphill battles. I tend to immerse myself in unfamiliar waters because I need that feeling of gratification when I’ve accomplished something that was once out of my comfort zone or nearly impossible.
Here are a couple:
Successfully introducing and implementing digital communication tools to a conservative and traditional global organization. This required a significant amount of understanding and knowing how to leverage people, politics and processes.
Where I am right now. I think we as people (and as women) often forget to pause for a moment in the present to take in what we’ve created and contributed to. Personally, I know that I struggle with it from time to time.
My 2012 had been a great year and I want to Thank You for that. It has been an amazing ride. I felt that I was not prepared for what 2012 had in store for me but I did it anyways because deep down inside it is what I have worked for!
It started with me being featured in an article where I was included as great example on how Personal Productivity Forces People to Notice You posed on the American Express Open Forum written by Neil Patel. The greatest accomplishment, in this case, is being included on the same post with many people that I respect in this industry such as Brian Clark, Chris Brogan and Seth Godin in addition to big name companies such as DropBox, Groupon and Mint.com. I am in complete awe! Thank you Neil, you have been an absolute continued suport to me!
My next big "break" was when I had the opportunity to speak at the #140MTL conference in Montreal.
It goes without saying that technology is changing the way we communicate, the way we collaborate and the way we gain experience which helps us gain momentum in our businesses or work place.
I remember working at a small non profit here in Toronto and how hard it was to get funding all because there was no online presence. That affected the agency greatly. It all changed as soon as something small as a website was created. That was a few years ago. Now we need to think of staying on top of technology more than ever. We need to be and stay social in order to gain force with each other as industry leaders and with our clients who are using these technology tools on a daily basis. Being in an environment where technology is available to only the people of the industry is something of the past. Technology is available to everyone and that means opportunity for all of us. Industry leaders are better able to communicate with each other and with their clients all because of the tools that are available to us. Isn’t that a great thing? Of course it is.
What is also amazing is that everyone in their work place is able to utilize technology to become more social with each other and their clients. Just as something simple as a website made a difference for a workplace a few years ago, being social during work hours is also beneficial now more than ever. And no, I do not mean social as in hanging out without doing any work, I mean social as in engaging and sharing information that is beneficial to all of us; social as in being transparent about the knowledge that is exchanged between each other; social as in being able to make an impact in the world by working together instead of against each other; social as in empowering employees and clients alike to make that difference. How will that make a difference in your world?
Today’s leaders are making those social choices as we speak. There are many leadership organizations which are changing the way we do business and the way we interact with each other not to mention the way we work. A great example is #Impact99 a leadership HR Summit Continue reading
Although there are so many statistics stating the obvious, that women are misrepresented in the media during 21st Century, we would think that something will be done to bring out the other obvious, that women have brains too.
As an aspiring agency who works with technology on a daily basis in Toronto, I am always interested in discovering what is new and trending in the tech world. Furthermore, I am very interested in learning about women in technology. As a woman I am paying attention to these things as I know from the past experience that there are not so many opportunities for us in anything cutting edge. I remember when I went to a Toronto WordPress meet up about a year ago and there was a woman there who has many years under her belt as a web developer. This woman did not feel confident in asking questions and that may be because she never got the message that it was ok for a woman to be at this type of meet up and that it was okay to show knowledge. I am not the one to take a broad view and say that the men in that room presented themselves to be ferocious or anything like that but that woman was really afraid to stand out. She came to me and asked me if it is ok to stay close by me in case she has a question to ask and if I don’t mind asking the question for her. Yes, I was honoured yet sad to learn that in this century we, women, are still afraid to ask questions, to stand out. There were only three women in that room that day, myself included and roughly about twenty men. A high ratio…even I could see that! Continue reading