Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Eden Spodek

By: Gini Dietrich | June 7, 2013 | 

#FollowFriday- Eden SpodekA little more than two years ago, I was invited to speak at PodCamp in Toronto, and it was my first foray into the country of some of my favorite people.

Eden Spodek extended that invitation and I had the opportunity to meet her in person. From there, we saw one another again last year when I spoke at Third Tuesday and SocialMix, and then again last week when I was in Ottawa for Social Capital.

Heck, I may see her more than I see some of my Chicago friends.

Blogger Turned Business Owner

Eden, for those of you who don’t know, is one of us. She’s a digital marketing expert who created a business from her experience as a blogger.

In 2006, she launched Bargainista and was one of the very first bloggers to build relationships with brands. Because no one was doing it yet, she was one of the first to pave the way for brands in Canada and, after about a year and a half, she became one of the biggest bloggers not just in Toronto, but all of Canada.

But, as they happen to do, things changed for Eden and she moved her focus from shopping and finding bargains to helping agencies figure out the brand/blogger relationship.

To boot, she’s one of the founders (with my good friend Martin Waxman) of the new digital strategy and communications management certificate program at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Which means she’s teaching all of the up-and-coming brains what we all do for a living every day. I’ve even taught the class twice now via Skype!

Eden Spodek Personally

She’s a wife, a mother (of two teenaged boys), and a very good friend. When I got back from Paris, I was going on and on about how good the macaroons were and she insisted the ones in Toronto are just as good.

To prove it, she brought me some last week and, when Lindsay Bell declined my offer to have one, I said a little prayer of thanks. I was happy to eat them all myself!

The best part, though? She’s clearly a foodie who loves food so much, she has a photo of a Dean and Deluca store as her Facebook cover photo. I’m sure there is a story behind that so you’ll have to ask her.

Introduce yourself to her in the comments, follow her on the social networks, get to know her. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Instagram, and her blog.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • I’m still kicking myself for not eating the salted one. 😉 HAPPY #FOLLOW FRIDAY EDEN!!! Eden and I are scarily the same – and it was great finally meeting her IRL – even though we both live in Toronto she had to come all the way to Ottawa to finally meet me! LOL

    • belllindsay Ha! Thanks and you’ll have to come and visit my neck of the woods so I can treat you to a salted caramel macaron. It was amazing to finally meet you in Ottawa last weekend. How crazy was that when we probably only live a half hour drive apart. 😉

      • EdenSpodek Totally crazy. But then again, sometimes you need to get away from the day to day of life to actually have the TIME!! 😉

        • belllindsay I hear you! I’m not letting this summer go by without at least one visit, even if I have to drag you kicking and screaming. 😉

        • EdenSpodek belllindsay you both should host a manwich party! ginidietrich has the best recipe ever.

        • Howie Goldfarb belllindsay ginidietrich Not really sure what that means but I’ll assume it doesn’t have anything to do with a pseudo sloppy joe sauce in a can. 😉

  • Congratulations on your #FF, Eden!! My daughter is a fan of macaroons and trust me, finding a good macaroon in Tallahassee Florida is NOT an easy endeavor!! Linked up w/you via your various social media options and looking forward to interacting w/ you more!!

    • biggreenpen Thanks Paula! You and your daughter will have to visit Toronto so Lindsay and I can take you out for macarons. Then you can teach me how to run so I can work them off. 😉 Looking forward to connecting with you more too!

      • EdenSpodek biggreenpen omg, Paula if you ever come to Canada, we must meet. Or I could just meet you down in Tally when I go visit sometime. 😉

        • Karen_C_Wilson EdenSpodek biggreenpen Eden – would LOVE to visit Toronto with my daughter (or without … shhh….) and check out the macaroons (among many other things). Karen – yes -and if you come to Tallahassee please do look me up!!

  • ElissaFreeman

    A very deserved #FollowFriday – seeing as I’ve been following Eden around before the internet was born….!

    • ElissaFreeman Ha! That line has come in handy a couple times this week. Thanks!

  • bobledrew

    I know it may seem odd that I’m not being sarcastic, but every time I know I’m going to see Eden,  my heart lifts a little. She’s a total favorite among all the people I’ve met as a result of social media. WELL CHOSEN.

    • bobledrew You’re the best and I mean that 100%. It was great seeing you again last weekend and it’s too bad there isn’t a chunnel between Ottawa and Toronto. Thanks for letting “Other Bob” sing Werewolves of London at karaoke last Saturday night either. Now we have a story to tell. 😉

      • EdenSpodek oh my that bobledrew is such a prankster. He was just venting about you on the new Myspace that he makes the best macaroons. and he has 12 followers there which is the whole network. so you are already doomed on the next great social platform.

        • Howie Goldfarb EdenSpodek bobledrew Get a room you two. 😉

        • belllindsay I assume you’re talking about Howie Goldfarb and bobledrew. 😉

  • PattiRoseKnight1

    Eden is a blogger and a foodie – not surprising Gini took an instant liking to her.  Nice to meet you virtually Eden.

    • PattiRoseKnight1 Thanks Patti! Nice *meeting* you too. One of these days I’ll hope to meet the whole AD team in real life. 😉 I should note I had a bit of a blogging intervention from Gini last weekend (among others in the past) and the migration/rebranding plan has begun. Just call me the shoemaker and her child. 😉

      • EdenSpodek Ha! I’m in the final days (they promise) of a website/branding overhaul and blog migration. I use the “cobbler’s shoes” analogy but then I have to explain to most people what a cobbler is. Shoemaker=better. Nice to meet you formally — have enjoyed our comments and our interactions here!

        • RobBiesenbach Ha! You’ll need to keep me/us posted and good luck with your website migration/branding overhaul. I have a crazy image of shoes wearing a fruity dessert now. 😉 Looking forward to learning more about storytelling and other useful things here too!

  • Happy #FollowFriday, Eden!  I LOVE macaroons and was very jealous of the “Macaroon Incident” 🙂  A very long time ago, my great-uncle was a chef for a club and his specialty was macaroons…I can still smell & taste them today!!  I’d think you were awesome just for your foodieness, but obviously there’s even more to admire!  Enjoy your special day!! 🙂

  • Happy #FollowFriday Eden!! I need to get some of these Toronto macaroons….I haven’t had a good one since I was in London.

    • yvettepistorio Thanks! Ha! You need to come here for a visit. There are two French bakeries specializing in macarons within walking distance of my house. I try to resist. Yum!

      • EdenSpodek OMG!! I’d gain at least 10 pounds on that trip!

        • yvettepistorio That’s why I avoid them except when buying them for friends. 😉 They are soooo yummy.

  • JodiEchakowitz

    EdenSpodek is a great friend to have and colleague to work with. What a perfect choice for #FollowFriday!

    • JodiEchakowitz Thanks! You helped me get my start when I decided to go it alone and I’m grateful.

  • sherrilynne

    I just finally met EdenSpodek at Social Capital Ottawa last weekend.  Glad to know her.

    • sherrilynne Lovely meeting you last weekend too sherrilynne!

  • Yeah! Way to go Eden. I often read your comments twice because you are one darned insightful person. It’s good to “know” you a little bit already and this is a well deserved shout out.

    • JoeCardillo thanks so much, Joe! I think we’ve got a mutual admiration society going on here.

      • EdenSpodek JoeCardillo Ain’t that the truth. There is definitely going to have to be a SS Crazies summit at some point in the next year.

        • JoeCardillo That would be awesome! Can’t wait.

  • Love that you are a foodie – can’t wait to get to know you more. Have a wonderful #followfriday

    • aimeelwest LIkewise  – thank you!

  • I met EdenSpodek exactly one year ago today at PAB here in Ottawa and she’s lovely! Absolutely one of my favorite people I’ve met online. Having her come to Social Capital, speak and also be one of our biggest fans is just a bonus. She’s good, good people!

    • Karen_C_Wilson EdenSpodek Jeeze Karen, how much did she pay you to say THAT??

      • belllindsay EdenSpodek Dude, I can’t be bought!

        • Karen_C_Wilson belllindsay EdenSpodek Dudes! (I just wanted to say dudes)

        • Karen_C_Wilson belllindsay Are you sure about that? 😉

        • JoeCardillo belllindsay EdenSpodek That’s reason enough to say it, dude. Wait…are you making fun of me? If so, good one. 😉

        • EdenSpodek belllindsay Shhh…I have a reputation to uphold.

    • Karen_C_Wilson Love you! You’re one of my favourite people online and off. Last week was the icing on the cake. You and Lara Wellman did such an amazing job at Social Capital, it was an honour to participate. Thanks!

      • EdenSpodek Lara Wellman We’ve had so many comments like this since last weekend. It’s given so much energy for us to do it all over again. It’s so good to hear this feedback. Makes every minute we work on it worth it. 🙂

  • Lara Wellman

    I first met EdenSpodek on Twitter because bobledrew thought we should know each other.  I’ve since gotten to meet her in person at a few conferences, and it’s always wonderful.  
    Eden is one of the most supportive people I’ve ever met, she’s an amazing #FollowFriday pick. 🙂

    • Lara Wellman bobledrew I remember those days, seems like ages ago. Time flies! I had such a great time with you last weekend and can’t wait to see you again  soon. See my comments about Social Capital below. 😉

  • Aaaaand most importantly….she is a member of the early morning crew!! Woohoo! Hi EdenSpodek nice to learn more about one of my early bird partners in crime!!!

    • LauraPetrolino True and it’s good to know there are some great friends around during those crazy hours. 😉 Of all weeks, I’ve been sleeping until until 7 and feel like I’ve been missing something. See you on the early shift again next week.

  • Blogger, foodie and brand junkie? I’m smitten.

    • jasonkonopinski kind of funny marketers tell brands that everyone is brand junkies when really only marketers are…that is the reason they become marketers. ‘I want to work with Chanel or BMW or Kraft Foods’ vs I want to be a Doctor or Engineer.
      That is a huge breakthrough maybe ginidietrich can tell us if there is a PR equivalent. Maybe Communication Junkies people  with celebrities, TV news or politics because who is smitten by celebs or politics definitely not marketers! We like brands! =P And if PR people were brand junkies they would be in marketing not PR!

      • Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski ginidietrich That’s funny and totally make sense. I’m a communications person and started out in politics. Totally obsessed with political and social dynamics, agenda setting, sociological issues, that whole shebang…..

        • LauraPetrolino Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski ginidietrich THIS. I have the same problem (so so obsessed/nerded out over tone, language, social dynamics etc…)
          Truthfully, my heroes are pretty much all of the smart, funny, humble people that frequent this blog.

        • JoeCardillo LauraPetrolino Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski ginidietrich I spent 20 years in TV land. Where does that leave ME (other than an institution)…?

        • belllindsay JoeCardillo LauraPetrolino Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski ginidietrich 
          um….Lindsay…in black and white? With an apron? Baking apple pies? 
          And Joe…AGREEEEEED!

  • Nice to meet you, Eden! Congrats on #FF.

  • susancellura

    Hi EdenSpodek! It’s a pleasure to virtually meet you! Have a wonderful #FF!

  • Here are EdenSpodek  ‘s accomplishments:
    1] 2004  First mega-blogger in Canada. First blog was the genesis for the Sham-wow infomercials (she still gets royalties!)
    2] 2006 started a deals blog…deal was it got huge! Was the first Influence Blogger used by companies as diverse as Heinz, Barbie, Armor All (Armour All in Canada), Oil of Olay, ESSO, Labatt’s, Tim Hortons, Just for Men, and the Canadian Royal Mounties.
    3] In 2007 the inventors of Round Bacon in Edmonton asked EdenSpodek how to re-brand it. Sales were slow. Eden said ‘Damn that is some tasty bacon’She said ‘Lets’s call it Canadian Bacon…because everyone knows Canadians are tasty’. Sales exploded and a whole industry was launched.

    4] In 2008 she was the whistle blower on the Conrad Black Media Empire.
    5] In 2009 she was tapped by Stephen Harper for blogger outreach to the Walrus Nation hoping boost voter turnout. She increased Walrus votes by 700% getting 70 of them to earning accolades from around the world in poli-sci circles.
    6] In 2010 was critical liaison ensuring Jay Cutler came to the Bears working a special trade clause that he gets NY Pizza flown in after each game making PattiRoseKnight1 a big fan of hers.

    7] In 2012 she rescued 28 puppies from a burning oil rig/puppy mill in the arctic circle (aka Mordor) owned by Goldfinger in a daring night/air&sea rescue with biggreenpen
    8] In 2013 gets a Friday Friend Follow from ginidietrich the last Russian Tsar
    Career Complete I say! Grats Eden!

    • Howie Goldfarb EdenSpodek PattiRoseKnight1 biggreenpen ginidietrich Dear Howie, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….!!

      • belllindsay Howie Goldfarb EdenSpodek PattiRoseKnight1 biggreenpen ginidietrich I was having a rough day until I saw Howie’s post….heck, for that matter I’m always having a rough day until he writes something

    • Howie Goldfarb PattiRoseKnight1 biggreenpen ginidietrich Priceless! Thanks Howie! This is like getting two #FFs in one. Love it!

    • Howie Goldfarb EdenSpodek PattiRoseKnight1 biggreenpen ginidietrich I do work best at night …. how did you know?

  • CanadianDadBlog

    I just had the pleasure of meeting @EdenSpodek at Social Capital in Ottawa last weekend and her kindness is one of the things that stuck with me the most. You know when you are talking to someone and you can tell that they genuinely want to be there talking to you and not waiting for you to finish so they can move on? She reminded me of the genuine person and I appreciated it. Also, she’s the reason why I am commenting here for the first time, so she’s got that going fo rher too ;D

    • Chris_Read Sorry Chris….you were saying…?  😉

      • Haha, nice welcome to the site! I don’t even know how to tag people yet, which makes this even more terrifying because of the noobness oozing out of me. I’ll figure it out though and then you’ll be begging me to shut up, haha!

        • Chris_Read Welcome sir!

        • Chris_Read  It’s sink or swim here Chris! That was a test. You passed with flying colours! LOL

        • Chris_Read Also, ‘noobness’ is a spectacular word.

        • Thanks! The people at Merriam-Webster disagree with us. 😉

        • Thanks, @JoeCardillo! I’m happy to be here. This seems like an amazing community.

        • Chris_Read If Merriam-Webster led innovation Chris we’d all still be running around with little pocket dictionaries (I’m sure they thought those were pretty mind blowing…I can picture that board meeting now…”and so gentleman I introduce to you……the POCKET DICTIONARY. It’s a regular dictionary but it fits IN YOUR POCKET!!!!”
          Gasps of wonder from the crowd….
          Anyway, welcome Chris!!!

        • Chris_Read Just start typing in a person’s Twitter handle /Livefyre account name and you’ll be able to tag them.

        • EdenSpodek I just realized it was my work place that was blocking me from replying properly. Thanks!

        • Chris_Read You’re welcome! One of these days employers will understand the benefits of not blocking employee access. Ugh!

    • Chris_Read And here I thought it was the compelling content.

      • ginidietrich That’s what’ll keep me here ;D

    • Chris_Read I believe it was I who had the pleasure of meeting you at Social Capital last weekend. Your passion and your dedication to helping others will still with me for a long time. I’ve been admiring you from a distance for a while and glad we finally met in person. Happy seeing you here too despite belllindsay. 😉

      • EdenSpodek I have absolutely no reply to that, except, Thank You. Probably one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me. How am I just finding this place now?  belllindsay

        • Lara Wellman

          Chris_Read see why we wanted ginidietrich talking about building community at socap? 🙂

      • EdenSpodek Chris_Read Hey, if he’s gonna be one of the crazies, he had to pass the test! LOL

    • Chris_Read And look, now you’ve commented SEVEN (if I counted right) times! You’re a self-professed noob. I’m going for the title of Tangent Titan. When that fails, I just admit that I am in over my head and say, “what does that mean” or “thanks for being so informative.” 🙂

      • biggreenpen Hah, I’m also a quick learner ;D I find diving in blind is always the best way to learn something new. We’ll see what happens here but I’m looking forward to the ride!

  • Hurrah Eden Spodek!  Enjoy your day — and I can’t wait to get to know you even better in the future!

    • dwaynealicie Thanks Dwayne! I remember your spectacular #FF introduction here not that long ago. Looking forward to staying more connected.

      • EdenSpodek dwaynealicie fyi Dwayne is not as nice as he seems. He stole my Eggo once!

        • Howie Goldfarb dwaynealicie What are we going to do with you two?

        • EdenSpodek Howie Goldfarb dwaynealicie When you find out let me know

        • I hear Pete Cashmore knows what to do with Howie Goldfarb!  JoeCardillo EdenSpodek

  • Dear ginidietrich and everyone in the spinsucks community,
    You’ve really made my day and I don’t know how to thank you! For the past several months (and bits and pieces before then) I’ve been fumbling my way through the comments. I’m in awe of those of you who have the time to be brilliant and witty here once or twice a day, everyday six days a week (uhem, ginidietrich howiegoldfarb belllindsay). Thanks for making me welcome.
    My friend ginidietrich has really mastered her secret sauce. She knows how to make everyone feel incredibly special… and there are lot of us here. I’m indebted to martinwaxman for introducing us a few years ago and dannybrown who organized that panel PodCampToronto. In addition to all the great work larawellman karenwilson and their team did in organizing Social Capital conference last week not to mention bobledrew and suzemuse’s warm hospitality, it was amazing hanging out with you. Being part of a workshop that essentially was like having a private Gini Dietrich AMA and hecklers’ row during your keynote was incredible. The students loved every minute of your presentations over the past two semesters and have been equally inspired. 


    • EdenSpodek ginidietrich spinsucks  ginidietrich  howiegoldfarb belllindsay ginidietrich martinwaxman dannybrown PodCampToronto larawellman karenwilson bobledrew suzemuse uhm watch out for that Waxman fella he can be sneaky.

  • ayms219

    I am one of EdenSpodek ‘s students in the Digital Strategy and Communications Management certificate course at UofT and had the pleasure of hearing ginidietrich speak to our class via Skype last week. We’re all learning one day at a time how to become better digital communicators. We’re up and blogging and figuring out how to apply the “secret sauce” to our social worlds.
    Can’t wait for next week!

    • ayms219 Keep reading with ginidietrich and the rest of the spinsucks community has to say here and you’ll double your knowledge this semester. There’s lots of secret sauce here.

  • PTheWyse

    I really like this feature. I am glad that I read MackCollier’s recent post which mentioned this awesome site. I will definitely visit this site more often in the future. 
    Thank you for sharing information about EdenSpodek as well. Her story is inspiring.

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