The Weekly Download - July 8, 2016 - Eden Spodek in a garden looking at her iPhoneI hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. It’s always strange after the July long weekend because of the different day off north and south of the border. It was an exciting week for me because I held my first educational webinar outside of the work I’ve been doing with U of T School of Continuing Studies, with an entirely different focus. It certainly didn’t seem like summer vacation was in full force either with two new business meetings. How’s it been for you?

Today’s Weekly Download includes some of the stories that came across my feed and the highlights this week. As always, I want to hear your comments about these topics too and please let me know if there are specific topics you’d like covered here.

When I initially drafted this post, it had a light and summery feel. Since then much has changed as civil unrest has besieged the United States. It’s not limited to south of the border either. By now you’re probably well aware there was a Black Lives Matter protest at Pride Toronto last weekend. Although I don’t profess to have an understanding of what it feels like to live in North America as a person of colour, the growing issue of racial and ethnic hatred saddens me deeply. Rather than provide any insights or sharing stories that appeared in my feed, perhaps we can all take some time to reflect on how we can help make the world a more tolerant and peaceful place.

Here’s what else has been filling up my news feed:

Facebook’s Algorithm

Another year, another Facebook algorithm change. Just when we think we can get comfortable with the latest Facebook changes, they make some more and send brands and their digital strategists back to the drawing board. This time, Facebook says the change is because members want to see more content from their friends and family appear in their timelines and not content from brands. I don’t know about you but I’m still perplexed by what’s selected to appear in trending topics. On this week’s episode of For Immediate Release (FIR) podcast, hosted by Shel Holtz, Shel, Augie Ray, Joseph Thornley and yours’ truly discussed our thoughts about Facebook’s algorithm change, and other newsworthy topics.

Snapchat isn’t just for millennials anymore and now you can save your memories too

Earlier this week we were discussing Snapchat at client meeting and I explained how I’m seeing more and more Gen Xers and Boomers adopting or at least trying to adopt Snapchat into the social media toolkits. It wasn’t based on any research, rather a casual observation. But my gut feeling was right and now we’re seeing a bunch of unhappy millennials afraid the social network is being overrun by their parents and accusations of ageism from the upper demographics. Am I missing something? When did we start referring to 35-year-olds as geriatric?
And in other Snapchat news, and this is a big one, instead of your photos and videos being vaporized after a short period of time – seconds in most cases – you can now save them (timestamped) in the app. Here’s how.

TIFF and Instagram join forces

#TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is a new digital shorts competition from @tiff_net and @instagram. We’re calling all aspiring and established filmmakers from around the globe to share their original works. To submit your short: 1. Upload to Instagram before July 20th 2. Hashtag #TIFFxInstagram and, 3. Complete the form at Finalists will be showcased on @tiff_net from August 8 to 17. Winners will be selected by our amazing jury, @directher, @xavierdolan, @nabildo,@rachelryle and will be unveiled on August 18th. Both lucky winners will be invited to #TIFF16 for a chance to network with filmmakers from around the world & more! #digitalshort #shortfilm #filmmaker #director #photographer #cinematographer #editor #film

A video posted by TIFF (@tiff_net) on

As a film buff, I couldn’t resist sharing this, TIFF and Instagram launch new digital shorts competition aka #TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival. Filmmakers from around the globe are invited to upload an original short (60 seconds or less) using Instagram video. All entries are due by July 20. A six-member jury including directors Ava DuVernay (Selma) and Xavier Dolan (Adele’s Hello video), will be choosing one winner and TIFF programmers will be selecting 30 finalists whose film shorts will be featured on both TIFF’s website and Instagram account. There’s also an opportunity for fans to get involved. The film short with the most likes on Instagram will win the Fan Favourite Award. How cool is that? Winners will be announced on August 18.


My guest post for Spin Sucks made it to Muck Rack’s top 5 picks for June. You may be seeing more of me in both places again soon. And I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my friend Corina Manea, on her blog in the NutsPR Spotlight, where we discussed some of my thoughts about the state of PR and education. I’d love you to share your thoughts too.

Ada’s Sisters – Episode 35: Lemonade, nipples, longest invoice and playing in the backyard

Who doesn’t love Lemonade? No, I’m not taking about the sweet and sour summer drink but Beyonce’s album. It’s perfect for this time of year and which leads me to sharing this episode from the Ada’s Sister’s archives.
This episode was recorded during one of those weeks where we learned a lot about how and why things go viral. Like how that 11s video of Kim Kardashian disappointing Prince on-stage (may he rest in peace) is on everyone’s Facebook wall. Or how a one-hour video message about infidelity can dominate the twitter-sphere. Or how a Winnipeg mom’s choice to let her kids play in her backyard can get social services called in (and the set the internet on fire). Here’s hoping The Freelancers Union’s LONGEST invoice project goes viral — to bring attention to a huge problem facing freelancers. And also that this brilliant video from Argentinian charity MACMA changes some of the gender-discriminating rules around nipples. Listen up!