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12th May 2010

Social Media and MicroBlogging Reflects on Business Partnerships

CNIE-RCIÉThere are some upcoming events whose registration deadlines are fast approaching. If innovation in educational technology is where your interests are focused, check out the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education conference which takes place this May 16-19 in Saint John, NB. Registration deadline is May 12th (that’s tomorrow). Another education-based conference which is rapidly approaching is ModSim World 2010, which takes place in Montreal this June 14 -17th. If you’re a freelancer, I’d like to remind you about FreelanceCamp which will be held at The Network Hub in Vancouver on May 29th.

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterVancouver’s SIGGRAPH chapter has confirmed that there will be a very limited number of rush tickets available for the May 18th presentation of Designing Assassin’s Creed 2. If you missed out on buying an advance ticket, I recommend getting to the VanCity Theatre early for your chance at one of the rush tickets. There are still advance tickets available for the May 25th presentation of Alice in Wonderland – Creating Underland, which will be held at the Empire Theatre.

Tungle.meWhen Vancouver’s Boris Mann recently tweeted that he’d like to see an integration between social CRM product BatchBlue and appointment scheduling application Tungle, both companies were there to hear it.

Start-up investor Boris Mann uses both services to help run BMann Consulting, and as “BatchBook and Tungle have become my go-to tools for contacts and calendaring,” says Mann, Boris Mann“Individually, they’ve both been impressive with their customization and integration capabilities, so I thought it would be really great to see them work together.”

Mann’s brief Tweet suggesting a dream of product integration became a reality as the two companies traded a few more Tweets and phone calls and joined forces to make it so. By the time a second BatchBook customer tweeted about a possible BatchBook/Tungle connection just a few days later, talks between the companies were already well underway.

“BatchBlue does a terrific job of pulling together a complete social profile of contacts and shares our vision of connecting the dots in the social graph to bring people together for meaningful conversations,” said Richard Zeidel, Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Tungle. “The Tungle.me integration with BatchBook makes a lot of sense because now, businesspeople can easily view their contacts’ availability and schedule meetings right within the same tool they use to manage their contacts and conversations.”

The Tungle product was a good fit from Rhode Island-based BatchBlue’s perspective as well, and something they knew their customers would love. The fact that the deal was sparked on Twitter underscored both companies commitment to using social media tools in new and exciting ways.

“When we discover a cool product, we want to share it with our customers. And if we hear a great idea coming in via Twitter or other social media channels, we’re definitely quick to explore it,” explains Pamela O’Hara, President of BatchBlue Software. She added that the BatchBlue On-Boarding Team was already using Tungle to schedule consultations with customers. “We took it a step further and integrated the Tungle.Me scheduling widget into BatchBook. Now, the BatchBook/Tungle integration makes scheduling meetings as easy as pushing a button.”

Tungle also just announced a WordPress Plugin – and yes, it just popped up on Twitter. Literally. This is an edit to the orginal post, so that I could get in the news about the plugin. According to the plugin’s description, Tungle can now instantly become an integral part of your blog and facilitate the connection between you and your audience.

The benefits to bloggers are wide reaching. For example:

  • An entire team can be set up with personal scheduling pages to make it easy for readers to book time with them.
  • An organization of more than one publisher, all working from different locations, can easily get the entire team on Tungle.me.
  • New contributors can instantly be brought into the scheduling loop.
  • Issues of double bookings and time zone mishaps can be handled easily, at no cost, and in a way that really helps bloggers save time for the important stuff – creating content.
  • Bloggers can gain back all lost productivity due to back-and-forth emailing and phone calls of trying to find a time to meet, all without leaving their blog space.

CanadaThe Government of Canada has formally unveiled its national consultation process for the new Canadian Digital Economy plan. Aimed at building consensus among governments, the private sector, academia and the Canadian public in developing a digital economy strategy for Canada, the development of this strategy was outlined in both the government’s Speech from the Throne and Budget 2010, with its goal set as positioning Canada for leadership in the global digital economy.

The announcement was made jointly by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development at the Canada 3.0 Forum in Toronto.

“Canada can and should be a leader in the global digital economy,” said Minister Clement. “Now is the time for the private sector to step up and contribute their ideas for a digital strategy and, when that strategy is in place, to implement the plan.”

“Our government is committed to ensuring that creators, inventors and entrepreneurs have the incentives to innovate, the confidence to take risks and the tools to succeed,” said Minister Moore. “We recognize the important role the digital media and content sector plays in the digital economy, and we intend to develop a long-term plan that will stand the test of time.”

“Our government wants Canadians to have the skills that will make them leaders in this rapidly developing and globally competitive industry,” said Minister Finley. “Through these consultations, we will work with industry and other partners to identify areas where we need to develop our workforce of the future.”

The consultations, which begin today and close on July 9, 2010, will be hosted online. A discussion paper posted on the consultation site provides details on the key themes being considered:

Capacity to Innovate Using Digital Technologies
Building a World-Class Digital Infrastructure
Growing the Information and Communications Technology Industry
Digital Media: Creating Canada’s Digital Content Advantage
Building Digital Skills for Tomorrow

The consultation seeks feedback from all interested parties on priorities and targets as Canada moves toward improving innovation and creativity, adopting new technologies and achieving the shared goal of making Canada a global leader in the digital economy.

A strategy for Canada’s digital economy will recognize that success will not come through a particular government program or combination of government programs, but from a concerted effort — combining government vision and the resolve of individual businesses to be global leaders in their fields. Once the consultation process has closed in July 2010, the government will review the information and use it to inform the development of a national digital economy strategy.

EntrustA major security expert entrenched in the Canadian technology landscape, Entrust, Inc., is committed to the growth, innovation and leadership of our country’s information and communications technology (ICT) efforts. In support, Entrust is a strong advocate of the Government of Canada’s plan to implement a new digital economy strategy as announced above.

“One of the first governments to embrace digital and online technology more than a decade ago, Canada is again asking the right questions, driven by the proper leadership, to further the country’s use of advanced applications, services and security solutions,” said Entrust President and CEO Bill Conner. “Canada’s new strategy will promote digital innovation, as well as embrace proper security and citizen privacy policies, which includes ePassport initiatives that protect borders and proven solutions to help prevent malware attacks that target innocent businesses and consumers.”

One of the pillars of this announcement, improved cybersecurity initiatives will help secure consumers and businesses online, increase enterprise productivity, promote protection of citizen privacy and strengthen border security via ePassports projects. These efforts will enable Canadian businesses, organizations and agencies — whether private, public or government — to properly implement secure ICT solutions to help return the country to the forefront of digital innovation and technology.

“Two of today’s most pressing issues — online fraud via malware (man-in-the-browser) and threats to international borders — are hindering the strong efforts of all countries, not just Canada,” said Conner. “To help deter these critical issues, Entrust offers expertise and advice for the protection of Canadian borders via the next generation of ePassports (Extended Access Control), as well as proven solutions to help stop man-in-the-browser attacks from targeting Canada’s online consumer- and business-banking groups.”

Although headquartered in Dallas, Texas, one of Entrust’s primary offices is located in Ottawa (Kanata), Ontario, and is a major influence on the technology landscape in Canada’s capital city. The trusted security expert helps address today’s security challenges with award-winning, cost-effective solutions that are designed to defend against sophisticated online and internal threats, increase enterprise efficiency and comply with domestic and international regulations.

Campbell's CanadaFor anyone who has ever walked through the doors of their local grocery store thinking: What am I going to make for dinner tonight?, Campbell Company of Canada has launched a new App that will make it easier to find nourishing Campbell recipes on-the-go. The Cook with Campbell App, now available in Canada for free on iPhone and BlackBerry, gives people instant access to trusted, delicious recipes from Campbell.

“With what seems like less and less time to shop and cook, many of us are looking for quick, easy ways to get nourishing meals on the table that we know our families will love,” says Mark Childs, VP of Marketing, Campbell Company of Canada. “With our new Cook with Campbell App and our Cook With Campbell’s website we’ve made it a breeze to find Campbell recipes on-the-go. Whether you’re at your desk or at the grocery store, in just a few seconds you can be on your way to creating a crowd-pleasing meal.”

Once downloaded to their iPhone or BlackBerry, the Cook with Campbell App allows users to choose a few key ingredients and how much (or how little) time they have to cook. Alternatively, users can choose to follow the Showcase Recipe of the day or review the Star-Rating system that shows which recipes are the most popular.

The Campbell recipe selections are diverse, from Foil Grilled Salmon ready in just 15 minutes to Easy Shrimp Paella or Rice and Lentil Pilaf in 30 minutes or less, and Moroccan Apricot Chicken in under an hour. All recipes have a few things in common: simple ingredients, easy to follow directions, time-saving tips and nutritional information. Once users have chosen a recipe, they can choose to save it to their favourites list and create an easy to follow shopping list. The Cook with Campbell App even allows users to tick off items on the list as they find them in the grocery store or email the list to someone else.

UBM Tech NetworkWhile not purely Canadian, this news does matter to our Canadian development industry – The UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the yearly Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Independent Games Summit (IGS) — the longest-running and largest event relating to independent games worldwide — has announced that scene notable Brandon Boyer has been named Chairman of the Festival, as it continues to expand its role in evangelizing and rewarding the best indie games.

In his new role, Boyer will oversee submission and judging operations, provide community outreach and support, and help shape the structure and continued growth of the IGF — often referred to as the Sundance Festival of the video game industry. This follows the event’s all-time record 607 game submissions in 2010 across the IGF Main Competition, Student Showcase and IGF Mobile competitions.

The 2010 Independent Games Festival saw thousands of visitors to its Pavilion and more than 3,000 attend the IGF Awards Show in March.. The associated Independent Games Summit had nearly 1,000 attendees for its 2010 keynote session on the Indie Fund. Both events are part of the larger Game Developers Conference® (GDC), which returns to San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center Monday, February 28 to Friday, March 4, 2011.

Boyer has previously co-founded and served as editor of Offworld.com, an independent-game-focused site operated by seminal weblog Boing Boing, where he currently serves as contributing editor. Boyer has also served as judge for the IGF since 2007, and was previously an advisor at multiple Independent Games Summit events. He has also contributed to various games publications including Gamasutra.com and Edge Magazine, and brings a wealth of knowledge on the independent games scene to the position.

Boyer is taking over the role from former Chairman Simon Carless, who is now Global Brand Director for the entire UBM TechWeb Game Network, including the Game Developer Conferences, Gamasutra, Game Developer magazine, and new acquisition Game Advertising Online. Carless will continue to contribute to the IGF as Chairman Emeritus, and as part of a Festival/Summit organizing committee that includes Boyer, Carless, and vital continuing IGF contributors Matthew Wegner (Flashbang Studios) and Steve Swink (Enemy Airship).

“The Independent Games Festival has consistently been my highlight of the Game Developers Conference for as many years as I have been attending,” said Boyer. “I’m extremely honored to help shape the future of the festival and bring ever-wider attention to the indie games community, a group that is truly defining the future of video games as an artistic medium.”

The Independent Games Festival was established in 1998 by UBM TechWeb Game Network to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers. Previous honorees have included many of the pioneering independent games of the last decade, including World of Goo, Gish, Everyday Shooter, Crayon Physics, Braid, Castle Crashers, and Audiosurf. Specifics on 2011’s competition details and deadlines are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

SES 2010Search Engine Strategies (SES) Toronto, Canada’s largest search engine marketing (SEM) conference, is being held at the Hyatt Regency Toronto on June 9-11, 2010. SES Toronto 2010 is the premiere event for search marketers wanting to learn more about how to implement marketing strategies involving social media.

Social media, which utilizes web technology to foster interactions between people online, is a crucial lynchpin in any online marketing strategy. For example, Facebook.com, the leading online social network, currently has over 400 million users and is growing. Online video sharing network YouTube currently has over 300 million registered users. Microblogging service Twitter currently has 105 million registered users and is growing rapidly. SES Toronto will offer four core sessions to help attendees learn about and implement social media marketing programs.

Marketers can register for SES Toronto at a discounted rate until May 21. Use discount code SEOPR15 to save 15% when registering

“By now marketers know how important social media is for any online marketing strategy. The problem lies with designing and implementing a social media strategy designed to maximize ROI that actually works,” remarked Matt McGowan, Publisher and Head of U.S. for Incisive Media. “Attendees at SES Toronto are in luck. SES has always been the most up-to-date, cutting-edge show and this year is certainly no exception. If you are interested in cashing in on social media, I can give no higher recommendation than to sign up for SES Toronto in June!”

Social media panels and presentations include:

Video: The Next Marketing Frontier—YouTube.com now streams more than 6 billion videos each month. Video ad networks and premium sites (like Hulu) are beginning to have some staggering reach. This panel will cover the latest developments in video marketing and why it is essential to a comprehensive marketing program.

Successfully Integrating Search and Social Media—Today, blogs, user generated content, and social media profiles from networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are ranked above all else in Google search. In this session, attendees will learn how to tie together search and social media strategies into one cohesive operation to ensure success.

Twitter Nation—Twitter is the hottest 140-character microblogging service around. Its marketing potential has been well publicized but the question is how to get your tweets heard in the endless stream of the Twitterfeed. Participants will learn not only which strategy works best, but how to implement it successfully.

Search, PR, and the Social Butterfly—Social media is spreading its wings with the advent of services like Google Social Search and Bing. This is a good opportunity to hear firsthand from some of the most respected social media experts in the industry how to be adept at implementing a social media strategy that includes Profiles, Fans, Tweets, Friends and Follows.

SES Toronto will attract thousands of marketers who come to learn about the latest trends and issues and see the newest search products. The conference offers presentations, panels and networking events for marketing professionals working in mainstream marketing and the search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) arenas.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 10:56 am and is filed under Associations, Business News, Careers, Digital Products, Education, Events, Government, National News, New Releases, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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