Marketing Director

New Beginnings: How Social Media Changed my Life

@GuyKawasaki and @KempEdmonds at an Olympic Hockey Tweetup thanks to @Jason_Baker
I've had many jobs in my life, almost 50. Today I started my first job that I consider something of a dream job. It all started in 1998 when I made a geocities page and learned about animated GIFs and a href. I knew right then and there that I didn't want to code so I stayed away from the web and computer technology as a vocation for more than a decade

When I traveled years ago I began to see the value in social networks like Hi5, Friendster and the other six I signed up for as I traveled across Canada and throughout Europe. When I returned home I began to see the way that these technologies were transforming our civilization for the better. I was always a wanderer never sure of what I should be doing. All I knew was that it involved people, I love people. While I was on one of these trips that doubled as a job as a "Community Marketing Ambassador" for Bell Canada I met Trevor O'Boyle (that's him eating the sandwich at one of our favourite spots on the tour: Ric's Grill in Lethbridge's old Water Tower).
Trevor was a driven, goal-oriented, high achiever from Mount Royal College in Calgary. He joined our tour after presenting at the Nationals for SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) formerly ACE. That Summer we built a friendship and I knew that when I returned to school I would have to join this ACE thing he kept talking about. So a few years later upon returning to BCIT the first thing I did was join ACE BCIT (SIFE BCIT) an organization of volunteer students working to advance entrepreneurship in Canada. One day I decided to make a short video profiling the organization to tell other students what makes SIFE BCIT the place they want to be. The video (shown below) was then picked up and featured by YouTube on their non-profit and activism sections garnering nearly 7000 views in 48 hours. That was the moment I understood the possibilities of this new medium. YouTube even let me see which countries the viewers had come from it was amazing.

The next thing I did was create a series of business video lessons. One of those videos has an amazing long tail (lots of traffic over time) as it is titled "5 ways to find new business ideas" and now receives more than 40 views a day from people all over the world looking for new business ideas. I knew at that point that something amazing was possible, we now all possess the ability to publish, to create and to share. The exclusivity on creating content is gone. We can all publish now it's as easy as getting started.

That was the beginning of the journey to my current position with BCIT's School of Business as the leader of a new Centre for Social Media Education in Business. This is a dream job. A year ago I never would have thought as I sat in classrooms and lecture halls concentrating on the evolving social media space via Twitter and Mashable that I would make it here, thank you to everyone. My interest has only increased over time as I share and discuss the knowledge and examples I have collected. I now see that all of us are curious and interested in the evolving role of evolving communications in our lives.
Paul Shorthouse @pshorthouse and @KempEdmonds (1 year after BCIT at Globe 2010)
This is where I hope to make a difference; through education. I have embedded a treat below. It is my number one tip for using Google, social media and Twitter in particular for real-time search. I hope that I will have a new 'number one tip' soon and then another, what would you want to learn about? The more specific the better, please leave it in the comments. Enjoy and please view in full screen 720P HD.


  1. Hi Kemp.

    This post was an interesting read. Congrats on the new position. It was interesting to read your story to date and sure sounds like you have a lot of interesting things ahead of you.

    I briefly met you at Barcamp last year and thought that you (along with Gus) were one of the most genuine, social and interesting people at the event. I tried to follow you on twitter after but couldn't keep up with the tweets, maybe I should realize I don't need to read everything ;-)

    All the best.


  2. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a nice note. I appreciate it and am honoured to be in the the company of @GusF someone I have always admired for those same qualities.

    I hear you on the frequency of tweets and I wonder how many others I have lost touch with for that very reason (not to mention how many old friends 'hide' me on Facebook, but I might do the same ;).

    I remember meeting you at BarCamp and hoped that we would stay connected and I can't forget your positivity and knowledge, Cheers! I hope we can reconnect and share more stories.

  3. Hi Kemp,
    This is a very good piece of writing. The way you got yourself transformed is worth learning a lot. It was great to have you sharing your experience, I think it will be a source of motivation for many others too, about how they can try their skills at Social media to change their lives for the good.