Rob interviewed by the CBC

Looking for quotable insight – or a light-hearted quip – about technology, social media and current affairs? Drop Rob an email or call him at 778-995-7622.

A few of Rob's media appearances

  • The meaning, pitfalls and opportunities of sudden online fame (CBC TV)
  • “We’ve always been approval- and attention-seeking creatures…. With social media, you need to learn to deal with that at a level of scale – because it can be seductive.”

  • When social media and romance mix, it’s complicated (NPR)
  • “There are conversations that you need to have face-to-face, because you need to be able to pick up on those subconscious cues and understand where somebody is vulnerable or expressing something beyond what they’re saying…. And it’s very difficult to do that using the ASCII character set.”

  • Rupert Murdoch, Customer Service Rep? (Harvard Business Review blog)
  • “A CEO’s time is a strategic resource; use it wisely. Being open and conversational can be a huge asset. Getting mired in Twitter and Facebook threads while your comptroller can’t get your attention isn’t.”

  • The new political norm: flash mob activism (The Globe and Mail)
  • “For a lot of people, this is going to be their first case of activism. If you start reading the tweets and comments, they’re filled with the kind of enthusiasm you’re seeing from people who are becoming engaged politically for the first time.”

  • Facebook Timeline: your new life (The Vancouver Sun)
  • “This has the potential to shift them from a status-sharing site, an activity-sharing site, to more of a story-sharing site. By referring to it now as a timeline rather than a profile, they’re making that pretty clear. Now there is a continuity you haven’t had before in a Facebook profile.”

  • Facebook, Skype join forces to take on new Google video chat (The Vancouver Sun)
  • “It’s one of the things people have been finding as they create the latest, greatest new social destination: they’re competing for attention.”

  • Cyberhydra: how the maze of social media websites reveals our selves online (The Vancouver Sun)
  • “We’re assembling the kind of dossiers that most intelligence agencies would kill for and we are doing it without them lifting a finger…. How much of our lives are we revealing, and how much do we want to reveal?”

  • Twitter etiquette (CTV News)

A short bio

Rob Cottingham is a principal of Social Signal, as well as a speaker, cartoonist and communications strategist. He has helped leaders and organizations connect with audiences — online and via traditional media — for more than 20 years.

Rob co-founded Social Signal, the world’s oldest social media agency with projects ranging from Vancity’s Webby-nominated to BC Hydro’s Power the Games application on Facebook. That work builds on his experience as a digital pioneer, creating the first leadership campaign site in Canadian politics, the first-ever online political game, and one of the first youth-centered anti-tobacco web sites. 

As a speechwriter and communications strategist, Rob has worked with national party leaders, provincial premiers, mayors, CEOs and union leaders. Rob also draws the popular Noise to Signal webcomic, which has appeared on such sites as ReadWriteWeb and the Huffington Post.

Rob lives in Vancouver, Canada with his wife, Alexandra Samuel, and two children.