Promoting a community market with social media

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last night, I was invited to give a presentation at Ignite! Toronto, part of O’Reilly’s Ignite! series, in which each presenter has 5 minutes to present their 20 slides, and the slides advance automatically every 15 seconds. In a complete left turn from my usual enterprise-y topics, I presented on how I am using social media to promote St. Andrew’s Market, our local farmers’ market that just started this year:

The slides may not make a lot of sense if you didn’t hear the presentation, although you will get the gist of it. Basically, I’m part of a local volunteer committee that’s charged with promoting the market within the neighborhood to help drive traffic to it, and I’m using various social media methods and some technology to tie them together as part of our campaign. All presentations last night were captured on video and hopefully will be posted online somewhere soon; I’ll link to that when I see it.

.@skemsley on social media & farmers markets at #igniteto on TwitpicSince I’m pretty geeky, I used the technology in ways that non-techies may not: see slide 17 for what could best be described as a context diagram for my market message delivery framework. 🙂 One piece of this is based on some Python scripting that my other half did to help automate a list of Twitter messages each week, and the picture at the right is the point in the presentation where I said “…and this picture is why he’s not here tonight”, since it depicts him wearing a cardboard cone with the label “800 MHz” on his head. What I didn’t have time to explain is that the cone was part of a prototype of a discone antenna with a central frequency of 800 MHz, part of his home-built HD OTA project.

I had great feedback from audience members after the presentation, and I hope that I inspired a few people to take on projects like this in the future to help community projects that don’t have a big marketing budget. I also had a ton of fun, and look forward to my next Ignite! presentation.


  1. sonals says:

    @teenycake Check out some ideas to promote a community market at Maybe something there you can use.

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. Jaisundar says:

    This is great stuff! I probably know less than half of what this whole thing was really about (will check out the vid right after this) and what the context behind this event was, but I just loved this post! This is really the kind of ‘applied technology’ we need. THIS is applied innovation! I must let you know it has left me deeply inspired…

  3. sandy says:

    Thanks, Jaisundar! The more technical view of this is over on

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