Vancouver Blogger Profile: Joe Solomon

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s been a little while since I added to the Miss604 Vancouver Blogger Profile series but I’m picking it up with someone who is far more than simply a blogger – Joe Solomon of EngageJoe.

Photo credit: Tris on Flickr

Who are you?
I’m a social media consultant for nonprofits and social change projects, which basically means I help people, organizations, and start-ups use the web for good.

Most recently, I’ve been working on a few web applications. For example, I wrote to in February with the idea for the Knowmore Firefox Extension – which we then built – and it now alerts thousands of people to the social and environmental impact of products and companies as they browse the web.

I’m currently helping to spearhead Social Actions Labs with Peter Deitz and Eric Cooper.

I used to be an EMT, stand-up comedian, and professional bookseller.

Where do you blog (which sites)?
I’ve posted a bunch of times on the NetSquared and Social Actions Blog. I aggregate my feeds @ I’m also an avid micro-blogger and Twitter away @EngageJoe.

Are you originally from Vancouver?
I’m originally from New York. About two years ago, I decided to enroll in a month long renowned clown workshop in Toronto. In between exercises I fell in love with another clown-in-training, my now girlfriend. She had flown in take the workshop from Vancouver and six months or so after the workshop I moved to Vancouver to be with her.

Do you still clown?
We still have a bunch of red noses hanging around, although ironically and perhaps sadly, we haven’t done much clowning since. However, I do compare my experience with clowning with the work I now do in Web 2.0. Just google “clown” and “Web 2.0.”

Why do you blog? and what’s your unique angle? Do you write for yourself, your readers, for Google, for a living?

I blog to share my experiences and lessons learned trying to harness the web for social change and to be transparent about ideas I think could light things up.

Recently, I’ve been doing roundups for SocialActions – weekly news summaries of the online social activism sector.

I definitely don’t blog as much as I’d like to. Usually I have a couple titles in my head for posts I want to write but haven’t gotten around to yet. Right now the two titles that are swimming around are: “How Your Nonprofit Can Unite Your Sector With(out) Using Twitter” and “An Idea: Micro-Lending for Green Entrepreneurs.”

Whatis the BEST part of blogging… or if you prefer, the worst?
For sure, the best part is publishing a post late at night and then waking up to a few comments. That just rocks.

Photo credit: Sherrett on Flickr

PC, Mac or Speak n’ Spell?
I use Vista, which absolutely sucks and makes me think I have a martyr complex. My goal is to one day be cool and ride Mac style – but I can’t reconcile the single click mouse. I even worked in an Apple store once, and would often get into arguments with the sales people about the default one click mouse (I was only allowed to sell iPods). One day I’ll have the Mac epiphany, though, and understand. Then everything will be OK in the world.

Blogs you read or would recommend?
A lot of the blogs I read I get from Twitter mashups. I found I was reading a lot of posts based on people tweeting links – so I created @nptechblogs, which is a feed of top nonprofit technology blogs. I also collaborated on @changeblogs (social change blogs) and @vanpoverty blogs, news, & social media of poverty and homeless issues in Vancouver). I want to work on a green Twitter mashup next – potentially with a bonus iGoogle widget. Note that Twitter mashups are super easy to make – using

I think it would be awesome if everyone created a public feed of their favorite blogs. For example, what if you started @Miss604blogs – and combined the feeds of all the blogs you read most often. That way I could read what you read – and discover awesome new blogs in the process. Similar to how Google enabled anyone to follow what the Obama and McCain campaigns are reading.

What’s next?
I have this idea for saving the planet, inspired by – basically micro-lending for people who want to start green & sustainable businesses. If nobody else is working on that, I might have to kick start it.

Working with Social Actions Labs – we’re about to launch a few crazy mashups – including one that will enable anyone to easily use their Twitter account for a cause and a “Take Action on Poverty” widget in collaboration with Blog Action Day.

Otherwise, I’m not sure what’s next. My life right now is turning into the classic Google Homepage – a white canvas on which anything could be painted. Suggestions welcome!

You can get in touch with Joe and learn more over at EngageJoe.

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4 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. In The Sphere: Vancouver in Focus | BlueFur.comFriday, October 10th, 2008 — 12:16pm PDT

    […] turns her focus on another Vancouver blogger by the name of Joe Solomon. He’s a social media consultant for non-profit organizations, introducing them to this […]

  2. DaveOFriday, October 10th, 2008 — 1:48pm PDT

    I am a huge fan of Joe’s ideas and undertakings. He is humble and enthusiastic and more than anything, lets his values drive his projects. A great role model for activists looking to really effectuate positive change.

    PS Great interview too Becks!

  3. JordanTuesday, October 14th, 2008 — 4:22pm PDT

    I second what DaveO said. Joe is not only passionate and smart, but a real pleasure to work with.

    And I haven’t even SEEN any of the clowning.

  4. MyLife: Supercool Weekend in Vancouver | CurrentsSunday, November 23rd, 2008 — 12:22pm PST

    […] her not to say anything, though. 5 pm: Seeking refuge from ladies night at Casa del Narvey, I meet Joe and Raul at JJ Beans. I order a cafe mocha to give me energy for the night ahead. I then proceed to […]

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