Bonnie Zink

Knowledge mobilization, writing, and social media top the discussion list.

Bonnie Zink - Knowledge mobilization, writing, and social media top the discussion list.

Effective Knowledge Mobilization Strategies for Summer

#KMbChat LogoMany of us are well into our summer schedules and the June 26, 2014 #KMbChat helped you share what you plan to do during over the slower summer months to mobilize your knowledge

Knowledge mobilizers discussed their best strategies summer strategies. Participants pondered the worst summer strategies. Everyone joined the conversation about how to continue their work during a time when colleagues, community partners, and policy makers are away on holidays.

How do you mobilize your knowledge over the summer?

June 26, 2014 (noon EST): Effective Knowledge Mobilization Strategies for Summer

Have you missed a #KMbChat? Check out our archive page.

Are you researching social media as a knowledge mobilization tool? #KMbChat data is available to you. Email Bonnie Zink for more information.

Are you interested in moderating a future #KMbChat or have an idea about a future chat topic? Contact me and we’ll make it happen.

Combining traditional methods with new techniques is where the real fun begins!

I first embarked on a new professional adventure in 2006 – I became a knowledge mobilizer. I worked to help researchers tell their story and connect to those who could use their knowledge to affect positive social change. It was then that I also discovered the magic of the digital age and began using it to reach professional goals. Digital communications helped me connect with knowledge mobilizers around the globe, many of whom I had not met until the 2014 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum (#CKF14) delivered them to my doorstep on June 9 and 10, 2014.

Much has changed since 2006, but “what I do” has remained constant – I tell stories. In today’s increasingly digital world, I continue to help people tell their stories, but “how I do it” has evolved and changed. My knowledge mobilization toolbox includes both traditional and new media tools that often work together to get a message heard. Combining traditional methods with new techniques (in person forum and Twitter) is where the real fun begins!


The Institute of Knowledge Mobilization brought knowledge mobilizers from across the globe to discuss putting research into action. We benefited from a mix of inspirational speakers, informative breakout sessions, and valuable networking opportunities. Founded in 2012, this forum provides a space for knowledge mobilizers, creators, and users to come together to discuss key questions about our industry as they evolve and change. More information about #CKF14 speakers and topics is available on the website.

#CKF14 and Twitter

Top 10 Tweeters #CKF14Nearly 100 participants networked, collaborated, and shared their experiences with one another, but #CKF14’s reach went well beyond Saskatoon’s Park Town Hotel. Through the magic of Twitter, 67 participants shared insights and knowledge with people around the globe by including #CKF14 (the conference hashtag) in over 300 tweets and re-tweets.


Tweets shared resources, photos, and quotes from the speakers. “Tweeting is like passing notes in class. They are informative and fun!” said one participant. Another participant noted that “Tweets continue the conversation well beyond the confines of the room. Sharing knowledge is what we are all about!” Tweets continue to be shared and commented on one week after the forum closed!

World Cafe

The forum connected knowledge mobilizers and researchers with government representatives, corporate innovators, and their contemporaries. Rob Norris, Saskatchewan MLA for the Saskatoon Greystone constituency and Minster of Advanced Education, joined Colleen Christensen, Chair of #CKF14 and National Research Council Industrial Technology Advisor, and Peter Levesque,President of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization, in welcoming everyone to the forum. Norris’ message about innovation was then shared with Tweeters around the globe. It really is all about the people!




By the close of this two-day forum, our knowledge mobilization tool boxes bulged! We returned to our desks with new ideas, new relationships, and expanded knowledge. We learned:

  • The value of real life connections
  • The innovative nature of communities
  • Best practices and overcoming challenges in mobilizing knowledge
  • Innovative uses of video, storytelling, and art in mobilizing knowledge
  • The value of including youth in building healthy communities
  • The importance of providing a space for engagement, both digitally and through forums like this one

The tweet that best sums up the #CKF14 experience wrapped what we do and why do it into one short TwitBite:



Let’s continue the conversation!

  1. What did you learn at #CKF14?
  2. Have you put what you learned at #CKF14 into practice? Do you plan to?
  3. How has Twitter changed the way you share knowledge from events you attend?
  4. What are your favourite tweets from the #CKF14 Twitter stream?

The presentations and other material from #CKF14 sessions are being shared on the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization blog as they become available.

FUZE Conference 2014: Inspiring action – The power of community

FUZE2014Quality professional development opportunities are important to helping professionals  offer value to their clients or their employers. We must continue to learn and grow.

I am lucky enough to live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where world-class marketing and knowledge mobilization experts live, work, and play. It is my privilege to access their experience and knowledge by making more of an effort to take part in learning opportunities right here at home. The 2014 FUZE Conference is one such opportunity.

Let me tell you about it…

What is FUZE?

FUZE is the result of a collaboration between two of Saskatchewan’s best professional organizations: the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), with a growing membership of 139 Saskatoon based business communicators, and the Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association (SPMA), which boasts a growing membership of over 100 Saskatchewan marketers and creatives. In its second year, the FUZE Conference brought together 180 of Saskatchewan’s marketers, communicators, creatives, and thinkers to inspire each other, share their experiences, and to learn from the marketing industry’s world class experts.

Where and When?

Saskatoon is no longer the quiet oasis of western Canada. It is has grown into an active centre for business and community where families live, work, and play in a booming city with a small town feel. As more and more businesses begin to set up shop, the need for professional story tellers also increases. On April 2, 2014 creatives from all over Saskatchewan gathered at the Delta Bessbourough Hotel in Saskatoon to learn from the experts and each other.


Story tellers gather together to inspire, share, and learn from each other. Success stories. We share our experiences and discuss the challenges we face in helping businesses, researchers, and others clients tell their stories in an increasingly digital world and work to get their messages heard in a very noisy digital space. We do this by gathering together and IABC (Saskatoon) and SPMA have made it all that much easier to gather in Saskatoon by bringing a world-class conference to our very own back yarn. FUZE conference 2014 offered us the opportunity to mingle with each other, create connections that matter with accomplished professionals, and learn from the experts.

What did I learn?

The 2014 FUZE Conference explored effective ways to engage audiences and create community advocates. Four international speakers and a panel of successful Saskatchewan entrepreneurs shared their successes, discussed the challenges faced along their journey to success, and showed us the indisputable benefits of connecting to people and tapping into the power community.

  • Maureen “Mo” Douglas, owner of Mobilize Strategies
    • Hugging the Angry Mob: An Enlightened Approached to Community Engagement” delivered tips and processes that effectively engage community, even if members of the target community are resistant to a new plan or idea. Douglas drew on her experiences gained by working on several high-profile projects, including the Vancouver and Sochi winter Olympic games. She emphasized the importance of communication, transparency, and follow through. Her SHARE concerns and engage with RESPECT philosophies give values for positive engagement that we can all carry out right away.
  • Leanne Bellegarde, Director of Aboriginal Strategy with PotashCorp
    • “The Future of Aboriginal Relations: Engaging Saskatchewan’s Fastest Growing Population” showed participants the value in engaging Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal population. Ms. Bellgarde provided insights into building valuable relationships with Aboriginal communities and the benefits of engaging with and investing in these communities. She drew on recent examples from PotashCorps’ own highly successful Aboriginal engagement and community investment initiatives to show the power of community in action.
  • Khayyam Wakil, Chief Belief Officer of Thynk Taynk (Twitter)
    • “Video Killed the Marketing Star. The Content Revolution” showed participants how multimedia elements are revolutionizing the way brands and companies engage with their customers. Marketers are now making use of innovative technologies, like 360 video, to get their message heard in an increasingly noisy and fast paced digital world. Customers are now producing their own video content as a way to let their voices and opinions be heard. This two-way conversation is the new way we engage with each other. Video helps us tell our stories, share our concerns, and connect with each other. It is the power of video that drives innovative marketing strategies across the world.
  • Aaron James Draplin, Owner of Draplin Design Co.
    • “Tall Tales from a Large Man” shared the value of doing what you love. In Draplin’s case, graphic design is his first love. Draplin shared stories from his own experience as a freelance graphic designer, how his line of Field Notes Brand came to be and continues to be successful, and his freebie Friday philosophy. He has worked with clients both big and small, which include designs for Red Wing Farms (owned by John Hughes, film maker), Target, and Barack Obama. Draplin shared his experiences through expert storytelling. He put the power of good storytelling to work and engaged this audience from start to finish.
  • A panel of local experts that included:
    • “Saskatchewan Entrepreneurs: A Panel of Changemakers”Bryan McCrea from 3twenty Modular;Natasha and Elysia Vandenurk from Three Farmers Camelina Oil; and Kendal Netmaker from Neechi Gear
    • These Saskatchewan entrepreneurs shared their stories. They not only spoke about their success, but addressed many of the challenges they faced along their own unique journeys. Each panellist told us how they developed and implemented marketing strategies that were not always successful. They spoke about their marketing challenges, missed opportunities, and the community support they received while starting, building, and managing their businesses.

Looking for more on FUZE Conference 2014? Other participants have shared their experiences:

Fun with Data: Google Analytics for Marketers

GA_LogoKnowledge mobilizers aim to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. How do we know how to do this? We measure every action. The magic of digital communications is that every single action is measurable. We know who clicks on a link, how long they spend on a web page, whether an email is opened or not, and if our content is shared. We know how people arrived at a website and if they watched a video or downloaded a report. Social actions, like a retweet on Twitter or a share on Facebook, are trackable. The digital age provides us with lots of data that helps us understand whether our promotions are working or not and how to be more effective at getting our message heard in an increasingly noisy digital world. Google Analytics is the tool that helps us figure all of this out.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that uses data to deliver useable reports about what we do online, how we do it, and when. It collects the data and uses it to provide easily understood reports that tell us how to grow our networks or improve a mobile app. It provides the answers and insights we need to improve our digital presence.

Why Learn about Google Analytics?

People do a lot on the internet. They watch videos, read web pages, download files, and a host of other activities. Knowing how they find content and what they are looking for makes it easier for us to deliver the right content at the right time. Google Analytics helps us collect the data that tells us about these activities.

Google Analytics helps us understand:VisitsbySocialNet

  • Who our audience is: Analyze visitor traffic and figure who interacts with what content.
  • What our audience wants: Figure out what they’re looking for and what they like.
  • Where our audience is: Knowing where our audience is and where they come from can be just as valuable as knowing who they are.
  • When our audience is online: Knowing when to deliver content is important and helps us deliver the content that our audience wants and when they want it.
  • Why our audience is interested in our content: Knowing why our audience engages with our content helps us to continue to deliver the content that appeals to them.
  • How our audience consumes content: Knowing how our audience prefers to consume content helps us create the content that matters to them, whether it is reading research reports, downloading plain language fact sheets, listening to a podcast, or watching videos.

Learning how to put the power of Google Analytics to work.

Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in capturing and manipulating data is nearly a full-time pursuit. Wading through the overwhelming amount of content online is daunting and next to impossible. Let’s make it easy.

mikeMike Klein, owner of Meshy Communications Inc. in Saskatoon, SK, specializes in delivering quality learning opportunities. His latest workshop, Digital Analytics for Marketers, helped participants understand the importance of capturing data and how to transform that data into valuable reports that are easily understood by their teams and superiors.

This three-hour, hands-on, interactive workshop helped us understand:

  • the core principals of digital analytics
  • the importance of developing the right metrics and how to use the data to tell a story
  • how to build an effective measurement plan
  • how to set up a Google Analytics and the marketing dashboard
  • A/B testing and optimization
  • best practices for collecting data, including URL tagging and using events
  • the marketing funnel and how users move through it

Would I do it again?

Who can resist an invitation like this?

 “Put on your propeller hats and grab your pocket protectors. It’s time for a half day of data fun and marketing goodness.” (Mike Klein, Meshy Communications Inc.)

With tablet in hand, smart phone and laptop in tow, I eagerly joined marketers, communicators, and knowledge mobilization professionals from Saskatoon to learn from an expert. Mike lived up to his reputation and our expectations and delivered the knowledge we needed to know.

Mike brought his expertise, enthusiasm, and unique vision to the room and taught us everything we needed to know about using Google Analytics and putting to work for us. It is not just about measuring the numbers, but about how we use what the data is telling us to improve our digital presence. Whether we are selling a product or promoting an idea, Google Analytics has the power to help us reach our goals.

Yes! I would definitely participate in another one of Mike Klein’s workshops and I highly recommend them to you. His passion compliments his expertise and makes learning fun and easy. His hands-on style helped me create a Google Analytics dash board that delivers exactly what I need to help you understand the power of the digital age.

Ladies Learning Code

We all like to start the new year off right and greet January with renewed enthusiasm for and a refreshed view of the work we do and how we do it. I met January 2014 with careful contemplation of the year past and thoughts of improvement in 2014 . I spent time considering my actions of 2013 and whether they brought me closer to my goals. I continue to think about where I want to be and the actions I need to take to get there. It is very clear that continuously learning new skills remains at the top of my “key actions” list and it didn’t take long for a brilliant new learning opportunity to land in my in-box: Intro to HTML & CSS (Saskatoon Edition) from Ladies Learning Code.

Who is Ladies Learning Code?

Ladies Learning Code “is a women-run-not-for-profit group working to empower everyone (youth, women, and men) to feel comfortable learning beginner-friendly technical skills in a social, collaborative way.” This group began in Toronto, Ontario, and has recently developed a presence in both Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Find out more about Ladies Learning Code by following them on Twitter (#ladieslearningcode), joining the conversation on Facebook, visiting their website, or by sending them an email.

Intro to HTML & CSS (Saskatoon Edition)

Why HTML and CSS?

Why did I decide to embark on this very steep learning curve and develop skills with HTML and CSS? These two computer languages are the backbone of the internet. HTML provides the structure and CSS makes it all look gorgeous. Skill and knowledge with these two languages are a must when working on web development, developing marketing material, understanding web applications, and creating engaging blog material. These activities are present in my daily practice of mobilizing knowledge.

What did I learn?

This seven-hour workshop began with introductions. The instructor, the talented Pearl Chen (check her out on Google+ and Twitter), spent the day sharing her experiences and knowledge. We worked along with her as she explained the how and the why HTML and CSS. She led us through, line by line, the development of an HTML & CSS based document. By the end of the day, we each had a lovely new profile page that was created by writing code with HTML and CSS – no “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” (WYSIWYG) software for this crowd!

I learned:

  • basic techniques and concepts that are transferable to other programming languages

  • the building blocks of how HTML and CSS work together to create a richer, more robust, online experience

  • how to create a rich website with images, video, and a CSS-defined layout

  • about the resources available to help me continue my learning process and put these skills to work

How did I learn?

The style of the workshop was new to me. Tables that seated five people included room for four learners and a mentor. The job of each mentor was to field specific and detailed questions about the process of creating HTML and CSS documents from the participants seated at each table. Each mentor was expertly skilled in both languages and eager to share their knowledge.

This mentor-enhanced process allowed Ms. Chen the ability to instruct without interruption. The small ratio of mentor to leaner (1:4) created micro-environments where everyone’s questions were heard and addressed. Working in small groups on individual projects might seem solitary, but this format created a social and collaborative learning enclaves conducive to individual and group learning.

Will I join another Ladies Learning Code workshop?

Yes! I am looking forward to continuing my learning journey and further embracing the world of HTML and CSS. I look forward to wrapping my head around JavaScript in the future. This workshop helped me overcome my fear of all things code and has given me the skills to understand my actions within a proper context. I invite you to join me.

Check out the events offered in your area and jump into a brand new way of working in and understanding the digital age.

Interface: Where research meets action, who should do what? (Dec 2013 #KMbChat)

Join us on December 11, 2013 at 11:00 am EST for the December 2103 #KMbChat. We will be talking with Sarah Morton and Karen Mountney-Smith, from the Centre for Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh, about Interface: Where research meets action, who should do what? Join the conversation by following @KMbChat and @CRFRtweets on Twitter; then, point your browser here to follow the hashtag, #KMbChat.

  • Have you missed a previous #KMbChat? Check out our archive page to access complete PDF transcripts of the previous chats.
  • Do you have an idea for a future #KMbChat? Send it to me at
  • Are you unsure as to how to participate in a tweet chat? Check out this previous post on the what and how of tweet chats.


Sarah Morton is the co-Director (Knowledge Exchange) at the Centre for Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh. Karen Mountney-Smith is the Project Director of the Evidence Request Bank at the Centre for Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh.


The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) is a consortium research centre based at the University of Edinburgh. This centre develops multi-disciplinary work programmes that reflect current issues and trends. Find out more about the work of the CRFR at

Happy Tweeting!

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Let’s Talk… A review of UNmarketing by Scott Stratten


Social media is social first and media second. I firmly believe this and so does Scott Stratten. It really is all about conversation. It is simple – talking to people. Stratten brings traditional concepts, like talking to people, out of the past and reminds us all that working in the digital age is about people connecting with people. UNmarketing is a must read for everyone working in today’s increasingly digitized environment.
     Social media operates in real-time and allows us to put our thoughts out there for all the world to see (and comment on), helps us tell our story, and opens the door so we can easily make the connections that matter by building relationships.
     Marketing is no longer in the hands of the few (marketers and board room meeting attendees, bureaucrats, decision and policy makers), but in the hands of everyone who talks to anyone. Customers, clients, front line administrative staff, human resource specialists, CEOs, and call centre employees hold the power to help your enterprise succeed. They talk to people about you. They hire the people who will drive your success. They put out fires on your behalf. They join the conversations that matter to you. Whether your organization is on social media or not, these conversations are happening. It is up to you to join those conversations and begin building the relationships that matter.  It is time we understand that we no longer control our message, but we can help shape it by actively engaging with people.
     Whether you are a marketer for a corporation, an individual looking to expand your network, or a solo entrepreneur in need of a “water cooler” space, this book is for you. Travel through the digital landscape and discover what a common sense approach to business and marketing can do for you!
     The digital landscape is constantly evolving and ever-changing. It is not static. Just like us humans, it grows, it expands and it changes with each new idea and conversation. The power of this communication medium is yet untapped, but with authors like Scott Stratten working to bring common sense to this new way of working and communicating it will become even more powerful. Stratten, through his panache, wit and gift for the ironical, brings the power of social media to the people (yes, that would be you and me).
     A colleague and friend first recommended UNmarketing to me while I was updating my social media resource list. I prefer Canadian examples of success, Canadian thought leaders in the social media space, and Canadian experts to be present on my resource list. I sent a request for resources out to my Twitter (@bonniezink) network and I got bombarded with resources, the most recommended being this book.
     Stratten  proves that Canadians do indeed have talent and are worth celebrating. He an internationally recognized expert on social media and marketing (rather, UNmarketing) and his message is all about talking to people and connecting with each other in the digital universe.
     Through Stratten’s unique insights into life and work in the digital age I have UNlearned:
  • that I control the message
  • that it is okay to ignore what I hate
  • that promotion is in the hands of the promoters and marketers
  • that I decide how others perceive what I do and how I do it
     Stratten, through examples of what works and what doesn’t based on real world experience,  showed me that:
  • it is okay, even necessary, to join the conversation, no matter where it is happening
  • things I hate, like online gaming (yes, this is for those of you who play Farmville (or any ville) on Facebook) and other digital platforms, have power and should not be ignored
  • thinking differently pays off
  • we do not decide how people view us, but our value and worth are determined by what people think about what we do, how we do it, and where we do it
     In short, I give this book the highest recommendation. Anyone interested in working, living, and playing in the digital landscape ought to read this book. Next on my reading list? The Business Book of Awesome: How Engaging Your Customers and Employees Can Make Your Business Thrive. I am looking forward to the release of Stratten’s next book: QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground.
     Looking for more Scott Stratten? Check out his blog, his UNpodcast, and many other resources on
  • What are your favourite Canadian resources about social media, marketing, and living and working in the digital age?
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