Category Archives: casecamp

Get on this: CaseCamp is back, huger than ever and this time for SickKids


You might also call this CaseCampWorthTheWait, this one is bigger, huger and also larger than ever, featuring a full on mini-conference followed by a casecamp classic. The latter part is free as always, but your donations ($50 is suggested) is going towards SickKids. Eli Signer the superhuman behind CaseCamp and his team of rockstar collaborators have an ambitious target to raise $50,000 for the hospital for sick kids, specifically:

Funds raised at CaseCamp Benefit will go towards transforming the Critical Care Unit Waiting Room at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

The Critical Care Unit at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital delivers round-the-clock care for children in urgent medical situations. The waiting room, located outside the unit, is a space designated for the families and friends who are visiting patients. Visitors use this room in a variety of ways: some are only dropping by en route to being admitted to the CCU while others will set up camp there for an extended period of time. The space must cater to a diverse population with multiple needs and preferences. Currently the space is in dire need of a renovation. –more

Great content, great cause, case closed.


Wednesday, September 16th, 2009


CiRCA 126 John St. Toronto ON


CaseCamp Conference

A grounding in internet culture and a crash course on social media strategy & tactics

CaseCamp Classic
The original! Four cases studies, followed by networking fun and drinks


Foush Reports on CaseCamp7

Rahaf Foush has a new video blog series called the Foush Reports in which her first report she covers CaseCamp7. Or rather the CaseCamp7 afterparty. Watch for my sound bite on the camp phenomenon about half way through. The CaseCamp7 afterparty was so much fun it made my nipples glow. (not pictured here) Stay tuned to the site (or this blog) for news of the next casecamp event.

“It’s popular, it’s difficult to manage, it’s something we need to be doing more of.” -Angus Frame, Globe & Mail Editor on community building

Casecampers Andrea, Caroline, Jyotika

It’s been six months but CaseCamp came roaring back to Toronto last night with a really good end-to-end lineup of cases and a capacity crowd at the Century club last night. My notes on each presentation are after the jump.

Apropos of the Angus quote above, the other big news is that Eli has secured a deal with AchilesMedia (creators of the nextMEDIA series of events) to handle longterm sponsorship and event management for casecamp. This is great news for the growing CaseCamp community as it ensures as stable future for the event – and offloads some the painful work from Eli Singer who’s also been sponsoring a significant portion of CaseCamp out of his own pocket. So kudos to all and looking forward to CaseCamp7.

meanwhile, read on for the good bits of last night’s event…

Tom’s hasty CaseCamp 6 Notes:

First up, Mobile Marketing for Levis @ Virgin Fest Toronto
Brady Murphy, Managing Partner at Vortex Mobile

Levi’s brand challenge: How to be cool with kids.

Strategy is to “sit in aura of cool”, by aligning with concerts and extreme sports events. [ Confirming the suspicion that ‘xtreme sports’ are really just invented vehicles for brand marketing – but oh well, so be it]

First campaign was a model scout for a levi’s add, booth at events with levis stylists with model contestant and pics, jeans, and somekindof mobile unique id.

What they used was a mobile voting app. Much bigger uptake when they txted back feedback on ballot count. Key point: authentic feedback on interactions counts. Mobile replaced paper contest ballots, and a wildly better platform. Used mms to allow them to send pictures of the candidates to the candidate so the contestants can forward to spread the word.

[This is where the strategy goes explosively viral. Very clever, marketers try so hard to figure out how to exploit the new digital/social medias to reach the younger demographic. Key insight – why bother and risk screwing it up, just give the kids the right incentives and they themselves will exploit the crap out of these new media in an entirely authentic manner and promote you brand along the way ]

[To, to win the model contest and earn the most SMS votes [remember they are getting constant feedback on their ballot count]

Consumers created facebook groups, wall posts to promote themselves in the contest. 57% of this activity outside the event period. Consumers motivated to spread the word.

25 facebook and myspace, 2000 wall posts, 3500 facebook members. One contestant even had tshirts made.

Treehugger. – Lloyd Alter [both frank and funny about treehugger]

Some great photoshop work. You don’t need to be in a poncho to be green.

Clean modern design that was environmentally responsible. 2M unique s, no. 14 on technorati. From 3 writers and now 40. [that’s impressive]

Focused on international instead of local writers, this is the growing trend to group blogs dominating.

Blogging is getting harder, supply competition
25% of their hits now come from digg

Tried a green version of dig called hugg which didn’t really catch on
So what to to keep growing and ended up partnering to Discovery.

Virtual, I’ve never met the editor I work for. We’re not doing as good as we could we don’t have good comments or profiles but we’re working on it , we’re afraid of facebook and myspace
Other challenges Rss will kill us I’m on full intravenous drip for rss, no one ever sees the site.

Q: do you have a digg strategy? A: oh ya! We try to game digg all the time, it’s what you have to do

Angus Frame on introducing comments on every article to The Globe and Mail

2005, news websites had proliferated, breaking news was not good enough anymore to differentiate an online paper

What’s our asset? The globe audience. How do we take advantage?

Solution, let readers comment on every article – a radical step in 2005. Slashdot – no matter what topic a journalist is talking about there’s someone out there who knows more.

Launch supported by “join the conversation” campaign

Traffic grew 15% – [that’s it?]

Challenges – volume of comments made impossible for editors to read and approve all
Users became irritated, full moderation doesn’t work with 1000s of comments, so change to closed, fully moderated or semi moderated. Hundreds comments /hr

e.g. Court cases have no comments enabled until the jury has rendered verdict

Problem, with more volume quality declined. How do you mod up the good and mod down the benign and the offensive comments

Filters and tools help community filter, but they’d still like to do better

1st month operation, 5k comments we thought this was pretty good.
Last month 100k comments, 1.6M pageviews [ok that’s really good]

It’s popular, it’s difficult to manage, it’s something we need to be doing more of.
Nowadays comments are standard so building community now needs to go further, includes audience and the newsroom and the journalists and the newsmakers themselves and between readers.

Talking about comment threading and mod up down comments [ heh of course Slashdot was there a decade ago]

Answer to a question: Have about 30 online editors but not dedicated 100% to moderation

Will Pate – the social web spokesperson

[Eli has asked Will Pate to demo himself. This is daring but fortunately Will is adorable]
Social web is uncontrolled and can’t be trained for, even big firms with resources are not always good at it.

Will : I try to find things that are awesome, it is too easy to be critical of stuff out there [thanks for that Will I should find myself more things that are awesome to write about, been doing a lot of complaining about stuff lately]

Will pate is conceptshare and commandN [these are both awesome btw. esp ConceptShare]
I could stand out if I had a mohalk but on the internet there’s tons of ppl with a mohalk. You have to be yourself

The internet is kindof a great party until the marketing people showedup. The trick is not to make it lame.

Make it better. Be Present, be passionate about something, be Accessible.

Blogging, typically you can be consistent or prolific. Pick one usually.

Mistakes, no one wants to hear about life struggles. I once posted a youtube video about a breakup which then got dugg (oops), posted a pic of me smoking which created a mini internet war between militant pro/anit smokers (oops).

Will’s personal Brand – 1200 Facebook friends, 600 twitter followers

That’s it. thanks also to Microsoft and Freshbooksfor sponsoring CaseCamp6. Note: Freshbooks makes a great online invoicing and billing application for small/medium businesses. You probably have heard of Microsoft already (though thanks to David Crow for likely having some sponsorship influence there).

CaseCamp5 Toronto pt 3

Chris Matthews of Specialized Bicycles is schooling us all on Brand Awesomeness. It’s now defined term. Chris has way firmer thighs than you. Awesomeness doesn’t matter if you are the biggest gorilla in your industry you can still be awesome. As it happens, Specialized is huge their particular segment with approx $400-$500M revenues, 1500 dealers in USA, 200 in Canada and 40+ countries around the world yet still maintain a passionate customer base.

Brand Awesomeness: All that matters is doing stuff that makes sense to your customers.

Specialized riders clubWhat makes a ton of sense for specialized customers is the Specialized Riders Club an awesomely feature-rich community site for cyclists. You can create a profile, you can create a profile for each of your bikes in super-geek detail, you can find rides and riders in yours or any zip code. You can keep journals post ride stories and photos and gossip with community members about gear and rides and whatever it is cycle freaks talk about.

Lessons learned:

They were expecting hardcore rides to like it the best. Unexpectedly It made the biggest difference for new riders to help them find rides and how to get involved in the community.

People won’t tell you outright that you should build a brand community. But as a tipoff, you might think of this as a big red flag that your customers are ready for a brand-centric community:

“Does Specialized have an authorized tattoo? I am considering having the logo “S” tattooed on the lower part of my right calf. Do I need some kind of copyright authorization?” (they sent him the .eps file)

It did take longer than expected before membership accelerated. It was the second version with more features to let the community members talk to each other that seemed to do the trick. And time for users to learn what they were always missing.

Chris’ presentation rocked the show tonight. I hope he might post the slides and speaker notes to his site.

Thank you Eli and volunteers for bringing together another CaseCamp. Always a highlight of the camp circuit. Get your flickr fix here. I’ll update these posts with photos soon as I get the chance.

CaseCamp5 Toronto pt 2

Maggie Fox

Tim Shore of BlogTO is up. Talking about taking blogTO to the land of blog 2.0. branching out to print, restaurant reviews and so forth. Also embracing flickr and facebook users. This is nice and I like the site, but not especially groudbreaking. ho hum.

Anyone involved with BMW will always be found in a sharp dark suit. Tag team presentation on a BMW campaign by John Cappella, BMW Canada & Paul Curtin, Cundari. I’m not sure which is which. Great hair. Challenges of BMW, luxury brand is less online savvy. What they try to sell is “joy”. Taking ideas from existing offline magazine and direct mail (shovelware?). Nonetheless 90% of customers do online research. M-series customers are the most passionate can upload pictures of their M car (22 pages of car pictures by my eye). Lots of “online experiences” available but the interface feels heavily managed and designed (as you might imagine).

CaseCamp5 Toronto pt 1

Will Pate Jay Goldman
I’m here at CaseCamp, it’s like DemoCamp for the good looking set [not pictured]. At any rate the crowd is capacious and the venue attractive. Good job again to Eli for wrangling up another fine event for Toronto’s social medialites.

Maggie Fox was up first talking about Yamaha’s new blog strategy. Yes, you would think that a corporate blogging for any brand would be a no-brainer in this day and age. But for Yamaha apparently, it took an official “strategy” to get such an ambitious project off the ground. This is good news though for Maggie and the rest of us consultants. And good news too from making it a “project” means they tracked metrics. Some key points, Yamaha was worried about 2 way communication “what if people say bad things or even abusive things?” (not all managers realize that comments can be moderated). So what were the results?

Results: 43% positive (a whole number lot embarrassingly positive) 48% general 8.5 negative.

The moral, get a blog silly. And if you have a good product and treat your customers fairly and with honesty, they will appreciate it. And these days where any customer of yours can and does have a meaningful voice – thanks to those selfsame powers of the intarnet, their own blog or online following etc- it is more important than ever.

We’re on a little break right now. It seems the macbook and the projector had a bit of tiff after that last presentation and aren’t speaking to each other. Mediators are on the scene.

more live blogging coming shortly…

SekretCase ScratchPad digital disc

*not that we DemoCampers aren’t good looking too. In a special way.

Hooray, CaseCamp is back

Specialized Angel

I’m super happy that Chris Matthews will be flying in* to present at the next installment of CaseCamp. Chris is the marketing genius behind the Specialized Angel and the Specialized Rider’s Club (Specialized’s super-popular social media and real-world community for cyclists). Looking forward to seeing Chris again and hearing about the Rider’s Club and the whole CaseCamp lineup looks great too.

It’s June 12, you can sign up on the Casecamp wiki. As always, expect a very classy event and, amazingly, it’s free. Here’s the official word from Eli:

Here’s the skinny on the next CaseCamp – just posted live yesterday.

+ NEW VENUE, the Century Room on King. Much more space, great patio!

+ Join the Facebook group AND the wiki

+ Three presentations thus far:
BMW Canada
Specialized: Riders Club (Facebook for cyclists with 11,000 paid
Freshdaily, publisher of BlogTO, Midnight Poutine & Beyond Robson

+ Always looking for sponsors. Anyone want to step up? Call, let’s chat! 416-566-2322

+ All 400+ photos from the Istoica booth at the last CaseCamp can be
found at:

+ Looking for proposals for the fourth presentation. There are already a few in, but it would be good to collect more (for this and future events).

* Specialized Angel not included

**Photo of Angel + Chris by karstensrage