People Doing Cool Things On the Internet

There’s a lot of cool stuff on the Internet. In any given day, the things I see amaze, astound, fascinate, and blow my mind, often all at once. I laugh hysterically, cry uncontrollably, and have just about every emotion in between. Today, I want to share with you some of the people I’ve seen doing really cool things online.

You know, we can read books, attend webinars, and consume blog after blog with people telling us how to tweet this or market that. But I learn the most from watching what others do. I’m hoping that by passing on some of these links you can learn from them too.

With Glowing Hearts – The Movie

I’m lucky being in the business I’m in, because I get to work with all kinds of smart and talented people. One of my favourite people to work with is Vancouver-based film director Andrew Lavigne. What’s Andy doing on the Internet that’s cool? He’s making a movie about it.

This ain’t no “The Social Network“. Nope, it takes a look at social media in a whole new light. With Glowing Hearts is a documentary about social media creating social change. Here’s a snippet from the synopsis:

History has shown that poor and marginalized communities stand to gain the most from leaps forward in the democratization of information, so the excitement in areas like Vancouver’s maligned Downtown Eastside about the possibilities of Web 2.0 and beyond is palpable.

This is a story about putting technology in the hands of homeless, poor and marginalized people and letting them tell their story through their own eyes. They have given these people a new way of sharing with the world, by given them access to tools like cell phones,  cameras, video streaming, and the Internet – things that many of us take f

or granted.

The result is compelling, and anyone who is involved in media or content creation needs to see it. The film is currently seeking a distributor, but it is available for screenings and you can pre-order DVD and Digital copies. You can also support the film with a small donation and actually get a producer credit! Go check out the web site at for trailers and more information.

It was born out of frustration with the lack of arts and entertainment information in our community. It grew into a central hub where artists, performers, and those who are passionate about the arts could share informa

tion and experiences. Ottawa Tonite, founded and lead by local arts passionista Cheryl Gain, is much more than a listings site – with over 30 contributors from all walks of the arts and entertainment world, it gives you a back stage pass to what really makes artists tick, and what compels people to enjoy their work.

It’s a marvelous example of a thriving, hyper-local online community. And although the co

ntent of the site really does focus on the Ottawa area, there’s something for anyone who is passionate about the arts.

The Big Bang Theory

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of the TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. In a sea of badly written, corny, wastes of perfectly good video tape, this show stands out – it’s clever, witty, brilliantly written, and you can’t help but fall in love with the characters.

What is even more interesting about the show is, some of its stars and behind-the-sc

enes people have active Twitter accounts. And cooler than that, these celebrity tweeters actually appear to have fairly interesting lives!

Cast members Simon Helberg (Howard), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), and Kunal Nayyar (Raj) all regularly tweet. Sometimes their tweets are just plain funny. Other times they are posting photos – often behind the scenes of the show or their press tours, and yes, sometimes what they had for lunch. They also talk about their table reads, rehearsals, and the taping of the show on Tuesday nights, interspersed with very un-annoying pitches to watch the show.

Behind the scenes BBT tweeters include several writers, and Executive Producer Bill Prady. Bill is magnificent on Twitter. He talks about what’s happening with the show, and regularly answers questions from fans. One night a few weeks back he did one of the best 15 minute rapid-fire Q and A sessions I’ve ever seen on Twitter. He easily answered 200 questions (complete with RTs) and actually seemed to be having fun doing it. Take that, Kevin Smith.

I co-produce a TV show, so I’m taking really good notes on what The Big Bang Theory is doing to promote itself using social media. First, the cast and crew are all interesting in their own right. Second, they all care about the show, and want to share with the audience what it’s like to be part of it. They do this in a very unobtrusive way. Their content is not in any way contrived, and they all seem to be doing it because they want to, not because it’s their job. They are proving to the world in no uncertain terms that you don’t have to be a theoretical physicist to understand how Twitter works.

Here’s a list of all the cast and crew on Twitter if you want to give them a follow.

There are people all around you doing cool stuff with this technology – you only have to open your eyes to it. These people have a tremendous amount to teach us – so watch, listen, and learn!

Who do you learn from? Share their story and link below!

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