In 2003, Steve Chapelle was configuring a wireless network at the home of a Toronto teacher when she described how several students at her school had been posting hurtful and unacceptable comments about another student on a website. The teacher said that in addition to dealing with the misbehaviour, the parents needed someone to help them understand the basics of the situation; could Steve help?
At that point 'social media' as a concept was relatively new, but he began considering how parents could be equipped with the tools to manage their children's usage of this new environment. Gradually he developed a seminar and in 2006 offered it to neighbourhood parents at a nearby public library. Though still a full-time corporate employee, he delivered seminars at a handful of Toronto-area schools over the next two years and was asked if he could also speak to students. School-day seminars were not possible with a Monday-Friday daytime job, so in 2009 he decided to commit to social media behaviour education as a full-time career.
Receiving a Partnership Appreciation award in 2015 from former TDSB Director Donna Kwan
In terms of risk, there is little distinction between personal and professional digital exchange of information. As organizations of various sizes and sectors also needed help managing their members' online behaviour, he produced a seminar tailored to these concerns.
Prior to his work in social media research and education Steve spent more than 20 years in Information Technology, mostly in the financial services sector. His experience included management, analyst and technician roles in Technical Support, Client Services and Operations departments.