SC Congress Toronto 2013 – A Summary

SC Congress Toronto 2013I attended SC Congress Toronto 2013 this past week. It was a great conference and I want to share my experiences. So, here goes…

Conference Name: SC Congress Toronto 2013 (hosted by SC Magazine)
Dates: Tues June 11 and Wed June 12 2013
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Downtown Toronto

Overall summary:
I was impressed with SC Congress 2013. The speakers were good, the content was current and helpful and the facilities were perfect for the size of the conference. My only complaint is with the food – compared to other conferences I have attended (, for example), the lunch food portions were small and the variety of breakfast food available was limited. Overall, I would like to attend this conference again next year.

Here are my summaries of some of the more notable sessions that I attended.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Let me know if you have any additional information or if you think I’ve misrepresented or neglected to mention anything.

Talk soon!



Set up your tools

This is the first part (of four) in my series entitled, So You Want To Start Blogging…

Electricians, mechanics, doctors and carpenters all invest heavily in the tools of their trade. Publishing on the web is no different. You need a set of tools to help you communicate with your readers. In this section, I’m going to walk you through the tools you need to set up in order to start talking to your audience.

  1. Custom domain name and email
  2. WordPress
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. Google+
  6. Mailing Lists
  7. The shiny new thing that just came out last week!

Sit tight and enjoy the reading. And do let me know if I’ve missed anything or if you disagree with any of my advice.



So you want to start blogging…

So you want to start blogging? You’re in luck. There’s never been a better time to blog than right now. The costs are low. The tools are easy to use. And the rewards can be great. Sit back and relax as I walk you through the basics of blogging.

But first, what is a blog? According to Google, a blog is “A web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.” Blogs were originally created as a mechanism for people to publish their thoughts. Blogs were seen as a fringe tool used by average Joe’s to share their opinions online. But over time, blogs have become dominant websites on the internet.

Alexa provides a great list of the top sites on the internet. You’ll see that many of them are sites you use every day: Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc. No blogs here. These are transactional sites that serve multiple purposes.

But, when you look at some of the top media sites in the world, you’ll notice an interesting trend. Pingdom, an internet monitoring company, has provided an interesting snapshot: WordPress completely dominates top 100 blogs. This report mentions a bunch of sites that most of us instantly recognize: The Huffington Post, mashable, various Wired Magazine, New York Times & CNN blogs, etc. The key thing to understand here is that these are HUGE sites with TONS of traffic. And what do they all have in common? The publishers communicate with readers via stories (called blog posts). Readers interact with the content by reading, commenting and sharing that content with their friends.

All of this reading and writing and sharing generates tremendous website traffic, which translates into premium content sales (ebooks, subscriber only access) and ad revenue (sponsorships, display and text ads wrapped around the stories).

What does this have to do with you and blogging?

A lot – actually. These tools that are used by large multi-national, multi-million dollar organizations are available to each of us. And most of the same features are available for free. And the remaining features are available at a nominal cost. So, with a little bit of talent and a whole bunch of effort (don’t fool yourself, writing well is tough), each one of us can build an audience and reach our blogging goals.

Stick around… over the next few posts:

  1. I’ll give you a tour of the “tools of the trade“;
  2. I’ll teach you how to “build your Tribe”;
  3. I’ll show you various methods of monetizing your blog; and
  4. I’ll show you how to measure the success of your blog;

Talk soon!



How to Pass the PMP Exam

Project Management Institute

I recently wrote PMI’s PMP exam. I was nervous leading up to the exam, but I was well prepared for the exam and I attribute that to careful preparation. Here’s the study and preparation plan that I used (many thanks to Stephen Lee for his helpful advice in formulating this plan).

Here’s the plan in a nutshell:
1. Read a good overview book
2. Read the PMBOK
3. Begin application to
4. Obtain 35 contact hours: (There is a $99 solution!)
5. Complete application and book exam
6. Practice Exams –
7. Pass the exam

And finally, a debrief and some metrics based on my experience.

I’m writing this as a 5 part series. I’ll be adding a new post daily so check back each day. I’ll be providing more details on each of the above points. And feel free to ask questions or provide additional advice as we move through this blog series.

Thanks and talk soon!



The “5 Days of…” Series: Different Types of Blog Posts

Starting on Monday, I’m going to outline 5 different types of Blog Posts that you can utilize in your blog. I don’t claim to have a monopoly on all of the different types of blog posts, but I’m sure that this list will provide you with a great starting point and plenty of great ideas to continue to build your blog’s content.

Over the next week, I’ll be covering the following topics:

So, without further ado, let’s dig in! Stay tuned for 5 days of Blog Posting Fun!