Have I truly become that which I most despise?

Anyone who’s read this blog, followed me on Twitter or met me in person over a pint or two knows I’ve had some less-than-nice things to say about “Social Media Consultants.” I’ve tried to temper my comments by saying I’m only ranting about some consultants, not all, but in general, one could easily come away with the impression that I have little use for the emerging field of social media consultancy.

Which will likely make this next bit a bit surprising.

After almost two years of gratifying and challenging work in my current gig, I’m pulling up stakes and moving on to my next challenge. As of Monday, November 16, I will be the new Social Media Integration Consultant at non~linear creations in Ottawa.

At times like this, it’s common for people to call upon various pop culture references to make their personal experience more relatable. “So long and thanks for all the fish,” has seen an upswing in popularity since Douglas Adams’ popular book series was adapted for the big screen. Those who are particularly optimistic about their move seem fond of “Moving On Up” from the television jem that was The Jeffersons.

But for my money, I gotta go Can-Con. This move is all about “Change,” as best described by widely-overlooked Canadian blues rockers Wide Mouth Mason.

“Change, but be yourself”

To be honest, I don’t even really get the rest of the lyrics. But that line pretty much sums up how I feel about this new path in my career. I’m making a change but I still plan to be myself. Specifically, I plan to remain:

  • critical of poorly-conceived and poorly-executed social media campaigns;
  • untrusting of companies and organizations that are looking for a social media silver bullet;
  • committed to using social media as some of many means to an end, not ends in and of themselves;
  • hopeful for the good social media can do; and
  • dedicated to integrating social media into overall strategies.

For those reasons and more, I’m stoked to be joining the gang at NLC.

NLC has a track record of getting things done. They come at projects with an end goal in mind. Tactics are aligned with business objectives. When I met with a them to chat about this position, we came at it from the same direction. Social media should complement their other work, not replace it.  Social tools are part of the arsenal that every company and organization should understand and consider when planning their digital presence.  I’m not going to be a one-man team, I’m going to work with their other strategists, developers and designers to do awesome work for clients.

The job title may be a bit cumbersome but the word Integration is in there by design. This isn’t about brandishing a social media hammer and going out in search of nails. This is about understanding how social media can be integrated and helping clients decide if it should as part of a kick-ass strategy team.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts about the organization and niche that I’m leaving but I think I’ll save those for another time, when I can enjoy the benefit of hindsight a bit more. For now, though, I’m looking forward to some change. But I’ll always be myself. Thanks to the folks at NLC for giving me an opportunity to do so.


  1. Great post Joe and welcome to the Nonlinear team! I hope your up for some social media integration consulting in Regina during the winter. What could be better right 🙂

  2. Funny you should mention that, Tim, my wife’s mother and grandfather live in Regina and we very nearly moved there ourselves two years ago. My wife was actually in Regina looking for work while I finished a contract here. She ended up with a contract here that led to full-time work and we ended up sticking around. Thanks for the warm welcome!

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