Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Early Hours And My Ex Appeal

It's 5.43 a.m. and I've just spent an hour uploading some videos to Revver. Quickly realizing the freelance game is not a 9-5 clock-watching-then-go-home life, but it's cool. Got a meeting downtown at 11 so need to get back to bed and catch some zzz's for that.

On another front, an ex-Rogers editor hired an ex-Silicon Valley NORTH freelancer a while back. Now they need someone to take on a year's contract in a few months, so contacted me to see if I'm interested. Looks quite appealing so am checking that option out.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chicago Pizza (The Action)

Forgot to mention my efforts today at setting up David Bronstein and his new reality show with a major distributor based in Chicago, a contact I made back at actually. He found my blog and got back in touch, so it's a small world.

I Think Alex Tew Is Doing The Spice Test

Was just doing some browsing on the popular YouTube vids and came across the Spice Test. Not bad at over a million views. I think it's Alex Tew, he of the Million Dollar Homepage trying a viral, just a hunch.

I interviewed him for at the peak of his money-making success. He's also got a British accent. And the user is "GistheName" as in guess the name.


Spice Test Guy

Alex Tew

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Lone Arranger

Set up a meeting downtown today with my mate's start-up and the PR woman I met with last week. Basically she will get us press, exposure and all that jazz in return for exclusive access to some of the clients that we are working with.

It's a win-win so that's another "to-do" crossed off the list.

Spent the last day or two proofing a letter to investors and uploading a whole lot of content to some of the main money-making sites such as Revver and Metacafe.

Now I'm moving onto my other PR gig. A former Rogers Media Publishing colleague of mine has put together a classy website template for when... and if! ... I make it all official and register a company name to put all this under. Too busy at the moment laying the foundations.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

How To Screw Up Your Job Interview

There's a lot of very useful interview tips in this article. Most are common sense but it's good to have a checklist of things to follow.

Forget the paper round and the after-school gig in a grocery store, my career started in 1986 with hope, ambition and a good Rick Astley suit so I've been through one or two job interviews. They used to make me nervous, but not now as I know my worth and what I can bring to a company so that gives me confidence. If the interviewer thinks I'm not right for a job, then another one down the line will. I take the meetings very seriously though as first impressions last and you only get one shot, especially if it's a really good opportunity with lots of candidates.

Anyway, to round out the article above, here's some tips on things not to do, or, How To Screw Up Your Job Interview.

1) Don't be late. No excuse -- you know the time and date, you Google the area to find a coffee shop and kill time. Invest a dollar in a beverage and pretend to read the free commuter paper 10 times. Which leads nicely into:
2) Drink tea. Not good to walk into the interview and blast them with a dose of Colombian special blend coffee breath.
3) Make good eye contact. That doesn't mean constantly staring at them like you'll be dropping gloves [for Canadian interviewers], whooping their goddamn ass [for American interviewers] or using duelling pistols at the crack of dawn [for British interviewers]. Looking at someone while talking to them is simply a sign of respect, not a challenge.
4) Don't lie. An obvious no-brainer tip, but be honest about what you've achieved as they can easily do some research and find out. Saying that "I have a lot of experience bringing substantial resources into a company," isn't the same as your former colleagues making you do the lunchtime sandwich run every day so you'd feel more popular.
5) When asked, "So, where do you see yourself in a year's time?" DO NOT reply "In your chair, yesterday's man."
6) Never diss former colleagues or companies you've worked for. Trust me, that boss you hated -- the one with no talent and a lazy eye -- that's the interviewer's brother-in-law. It's a very small world.
7) Be prepared for everyone's favourite interview question: "When was a time that you faced conflict, and what steps did you take to overcome the issues?" [Forget tip #4 at this stage and make up some story about how you were really ill one day, there was a major snowstorm brewing and even though the boss begged you to go home, you fought back and demanded to stay and put the finishing touches to an Excel spreadsheet highlighting sales figures for fiscal year 2003. Or something like that... something that can't be checked. Turn a negative into a positive.]
8) Don't keep checking your watch. Even though it may be past the time to check your blood sugar levels, stick it out. Risk a twitching fainting fit -- which might not even happen so the odds are good -- rather than looking at your watch as though you're bored and have somewhere better to be.
9) Your first question should not be: "Will my expense account include Vegas?"
10) End the interview by thanking them for their time and telling the next candidate waiting outside that they've had a wasted journey.

So, avoid those clangers and you should be fine.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Two things today... had the meeting downtown with a small PR company, a nice chat with a very smart lady, need to put my thinking cap on and suggest how I can help her. I am really amazed at a niche customer base she mentioned that is not being served, especially in a place like Toronto.

Then got an e-mail from a company I contacted that wants me to call them and discuss some viral marketing ideas; I'm intrigued.

[Still deciding on setting up a PR biz of my own. Would take me away from a full-time job search, but it could lead me into a career I never considered before. And then there's the start-up I'm helping. I can sense a crossroads coming.]

Friday, February 9, 2007

Nice To Meet You

Followed up on an interview I had before Christmas, thought it was dead in the water after so long... but the company wants me to follow-up next week. A glimmer of hope, but I'm not celebrating till I sign a contract!

Then I went downtown on a beautiful sunny day, met the start-up team and had a meeting with a large Canadian broadcaster that I arranged. It was a "getting to know you" meeting but I think it went well, and now the ball is in our court for the next step. Gets the blood pumping for sure.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Big Deal... Or No Big Deal?

I'm number 1 on Google now for the search term "john carson blog" which is cool, now easy to find me. Sorry to any other John Carson out there with a blog...

It's not hard to get a top 5 position on Google these days. Just need to get linked from certain high-profile sites and other bloggers. (But it doesn't pay the bills so keep those e-mails coming!)

Bud.TV: A Taste Of The Future Of Online Content?

This article caught my eye this morning. It talks about a beer company -- always a bonus -- but it also looks at the future of online content, an area that interests me and that I have a lot of experience in.

It also references my former employer too near the end.

"Armed with a $30M budget, Bud.TV is a who’s who of successful creators and businesspeople trying to crack the code: Reach men and get their attention, which is no easy feat."

The article talks about a beer company's attempts to target a certain demographic, but screwed it up somewhat by requiring a lengthy registration process. The writer is also crtitical of the actual content itself as not offering anything of real substance that you can't get elsewhere, like trailers and sneak peeks.

I agree. Why would you spend 10 minutes typing in your personal details just to watch a clip that you can get immediately on's trailer section? Seems like a waste of time. I understand they need to collect certain info (age being one of them considering the company) but these days users are fickle and will just jump to another video-sharing site if the sign-up process is too much of a hassle.

Just an e-mail should be enough for the time being, then once they become regular visitors you can offer them an e-newsletter, contests, promos and so on in which they do have to supply names and addresses.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Three's Company

I've dived behind the overt job market today and made three good contacts.

One... is the woman who runs a very funky little PR company that I e-mailed expressing an interest to work there. Been invited to meet next week.

Two... is the main player(s) behind a recent Web 2.0 launch, not hard to work out which one. Meeting being set up as part of the ongoing relationship-building tasks for my mate's start-up.

Three... is a friend of someone who works at a very large entertainment company. Asking him to get my name and resume in front of the 100's for a cool job that I spotted.

(All without stepping out into the -25 wind chill.)

Friday, February 2, 2007 Time For A Video Resume?

Had a strategy meeting downtown today with the start-up company I'm helping out, very interesting stuff. Trying to build relationships with new and exciting online properties and also get an advisory board together.

My journo friend attended the launch of BlogTV on Wednesday. This looks very cool especially as I've been blogging a lot in the last two months, and I'm about to get a Webcam. Might record a "video resume" or something.

Alliance Atlantis is licensing the BlogTV service from Israeli company Tapuz, who appear to license the service on a geographic basis, so only Canadian users will be able to access BlogTV -- for now. We'll see if that changes.