Georgia Sapounas on Canada’s Digital Olympics Strategy

Georgia Sapounas, the Canadian Olympic Committee‘s (COC) Digital Media Director, came to Third Tuesday Toronto last night to talk about the COC’s social media program for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. And like the participants at Third Tuesday Ottawa the previous night, the Toronto attendees posted their observations and thoughts on Twitter. Here are the highlights of the Twitter stream that was posted to the Third Tuesday Toronto #3tYYZ hashtag.

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Mathew Ingram on journalism: The only constant is change

We live in the age of wisdom, the age of foolishness. The spring of hope, the winter of despair.

“The only constant is change and the rate of change is increasing all the time.” 

Mathew Ingram shared his insightful perspective on the current state of journalism when he spoke at Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ.

I captured Mathew’s complete presentation on video. Here are some of the highlights (and the time in the video at which you can find them):

Advertising revenues have decreased by over 40 billion dollars in a few years. The loss of revenue forces news media to change or die. (1:03)

Paywalls may slow the decline for traditional media, but they also stunt growth. Even at the New York Times, with its unique positioning, online subscription revenues are not keeping pace with the decline in advertising revenue. (1:55)

Paywalls are a “sandbag strategy”. They stem the flow in the short term, but they don’t solve the real problem. (2:55)

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Mathew Ingram talks digital journalism: It is the best of times and the worst of times.

If it’s Tuesday, we must be in Toronto. After a great Third Tuesday Ottawa on Monday night, Mathew Ingram flew to Toronto to speak to the Third Tuesday Toronto community.

Yesterday, I captured the highlights of the Twitter steam about Mathew’s Ottawa presentation. Today, I’ve captured a selection of Tweets from the #3TYYZ twitter stream to provide an overview of Mathew’s subject matter and people’s take on it.

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Mathew Ingram is coming to Third Tuesday

The world of journalism and news media is dramatically different than it was five years ago. Today, digital media and traditional media simultaneously compete and feed one another as a new hybrid news ecosystem emerges. What is each best at? What are the strengths and weaknesses of traditional and digital media? What mistakes are being made? What lessons learned? And what are the factors we should be paying attention to as we try to understand what is driving news and business decisions today?

Mathew IngramMathew Ingram is the embodiment of the revolution that is transforming journalism. He has experienced it first hand as he moved from traditional media as a technology writer and communities editor for Canada’s leading daily newspaper, the Globe and Mail, to become a senior writer with GigaOm, an early pioneering digital media outlet.  And he is one of the co-founders of Mesh, the seminal digital conference that inspired Third Tuesday. Today, Mathew is a must-read for people who follow and care about the evolution of online media. And he does this from Toronto. Go Canada!

What can people who come to see Mathew at Third Tuesday expect?

A few snippets to set the table:

On the use of crowd sourced content by news outlets

“By now, it should be obvious to just about anyone that “citizen journalism” or “user-generated content” is a crucial part of what the news has become, whether it’s a photo of a plane landing on the Hudson or a video of a bomb exploding in Boston. Unfortunately, the ways that media entities handle such content is all over the map — some give credit, while others take whatever they want without so much as a link. Do we need a formal structure to deal with this new reality?”

http://paidcontent.org/2013/05/24/crowdsourcing-the-news-do-we-need-a-public-license-for-citizen-journalism/

On the shifting economics of newspapers

“While prominent brands like the New York Times or those with targeted markets like the FT might be able to make the shift to subscriptions, many smaller newspapers simply won’t be able to make that transition, because they won’t have enough subscribers. So what happens to them? … there is a very real risk — not just for the NYT or Financial Times, but even more so for smaller newspapers — that relying on subscription revenue will result in a much smaller number of readers and also a much smaller business overall. What will that mean for the journalism that such newspapers produce? What happens to the public impact and social benefits that newspapers have always argued they bring to the table? Do newspapers just become a new variation on the controlled-circulation newsletter?”

http://gigaom.com/2012/08/03/crossing-the-newspaper-chasm-is-it-better-to-be-funded-by-readers

On one newspaper’s decision to shut down their paywall

“…research the newspaper did with print subscribers showed that what readers were willing to pay for wasn’t the actual content itself, but the method of delivery — that is, the printed newspaper. When offered the exact same content online for a price that was 90-percent less than the average print subscription rate, only five percent of readers said they were interested.”

http://paidcontent.org/2013/09/30/another-wall-tumbles-the-dallas-morning-news-dismantles-its-paywall-focuses-on-premium-content/

We pay for online entertainment. Why not news?

“…plenty of people are willing to pay for movies, TV shows and music, but a dramatically smaller number of them are willing to pay for news. Why? In part, because those other forms of content are, well… entertaining. News, in most cases, is not. Many consumers are more than happy to watch or listen to the same TV show, movie or song multiple times — something that almost never happens with a news story.”

http://paidcontent.org/2013/09/26/yes-some-people-will-pay-you-for-your-news-a-really-really-small-number-of-people/

Innovation: The upside of the deteriorating traditional business model for news

“Since no one really knows what the future of digital media looks like, it’s worth experimenting with as many new things as possible — in part because the next new thing always starts out looking like a toy.”

http://paidcontent.org/2013/09/23/theres-one-good-thing-about-the-newspaper-industry-decline-more-innovation-is-happening/

Social news distribution vs. RSS

“I still think RSS is a crucial part of the plumbing that underlies the web — and I hope the death of Google Reader isn’t the beginning of an attack on RSS, as some suspect — but for me it lacks a certain something, and that something is the element of social interaction. … social news distributed via Twitter and other networks is just that — social. It has a human element that automated RSS feeds simply can’t duplicate … it’s not just that Twitter is good at delivering real-time news — where it is, in my experience, as good or better than an RSS reader. It is also particularly good at attaching meaning to that news, by the combination of people who tweet or re-tweet a link or a piece of information. That does as much to help me appreciate the significance of a story as a single post or scoop, and likely more.”

http://gigaom.com/2013/03/15/why-the-death-of-google-reader-doesnt-bother-me-that-much-social-news-has-won/

On the value of Blog comments

“A blog without comments is a soap-box, plain and simple. Not having comments says you are only interested in passing on your wisdom, without testing it against any external source (at least not where others can watch you do so) or leaving open the opportunity to actually learn something from those who don’t have their own blogs, or aren’t on Twitter or Google+.”

http://gigaom.com/2012/01/04/yes-blog-comments-are-still-worth-the-effort/

On top of this, Mathew also authors a Twitter stream chock full of links to thought-provoking posts by others and his own reflections on them. It’s well worth following.

Now you can spend an evening with Mathew – at Third Tuesday

Registration for Third Tuesday with Mathew Ingram is open now. Register online to attend Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ or Third Tuesday Ottawa #3TYOW.

Thank you to our sponsors

Third Tuesday is supported by great sponsors – Cision Canada and Rogers Communications – who believe in our community and help us to bring speakers not just to Toronto but to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver as well. Without the sponsors we couldn’t make Third Tuesday a truly Canadian affair. So, thank you to the sponsors of the Third Tuesday 2012-13 season: Cision Canada and Rogers Communications.

We want students to be able to attend

Third Tuesday is a great opportunity to hear about the latest developments in social media and to network with business and thought leaders. And we don’t want students to miss out on this opportunity. So, if you are a student and would like to attend, don’t let the admission fee stop you. Simply present your student ID card at the time you sign into Third Tuesday and we’ll refund your admission fee, courtesy of Thornley Fallis.

 

 

Tonight's Third Tuesday Toronto is all about online community

Tonight’s Third Tuesday Toronto #3tYYZ is all about community – the kind that grows and thrives online.

Colleen YoungTonight’s speaker, Colleen Young, founded and sustains the #hcsmca  Health Care Social Media Canada weekly twitter chat. And she knows how to develop a successful online community of interest. I first became aware of the #hcsmca Twitter chats a couple years ago when doing a social media audit for a health care client. As I looked around at the various discussions, I discovered that media professionals, policy makers, at least one provincial Minister of Health along with health care communicators were all gravitating to #hcsmca to exchange their views on issues relating to the provision of health care in Canada.

So, I’m very much looking forward to tonight’s session.

N.B. When I checked this morning, there were still eleven open spots for this evening’s Third Tuesday. So, if you’d like to participate, click over to the Third Tuesday meetup site and register to attend tonight’s event. I’ll be hopping on a mid day plane to Toronto so that I can be there in time. And if you see me there, I hope you’ll say hello.

Thank you to our sponsors

I can’t close this post without thanking Third Tuesday’s sponsors – Cision Canada andRogers Communications – who believe in our community and help us to bring speakers not just to Toronto but to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver as well. Without the sponsors we couldn’t make Third Tuesday a truly Canadian affair. So, thank you to the sponsors of the Third Tuesday 2012-13 season: Cision Canada and Rogers Communications.

We want students to be able to attend

One more thing: Third Tuesday is a great opportunity to hear about the latest developments in social media and to network with business and thought leaders. And we don’t want students to miss out on this opportunity. So, if you are a student and would like to attend, don’t let the admission fee stop you. Simply present your student ID card at the time you sign into Third Tuesday and we’ll refund your admission fee, courtesy of Thornley Fallis.

Meet Rob Lane, the co-founder of MyMusic.com, at the next Third Tuesday

Rob Lane LinkedIn Pic Rob Lane, CEO and co-founder of MyMusic.com, will be the speaker at the January Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ and Third Tuesday Ottawa #3TYOW.

Rob is a serial entrepreneur. And he will share with us the lessons he has gained from founding two social companies – MyMusic.com and, before that, Overlay.tv.  What he has learned about creating something real from the germ of an idea. About building and sustaining community with the people who care about you. About creating a social business – one that listens to what people are saying about it and adjusts its actions and structure to act upon what it hears. About building a team that can create something extraordinary. And about marketing what you’ve created through both social and traditional channels.

In a nutshell, Rob Lane is a smart entrepreneur who has a lot to share and will do that with the Third Tuesday community. If you’re in or near either Ottawa or Toronto, click over to the Third Tuesday Toronto and Third Tuesday Ottawa Meetup sites to get your ticket to hear from and meet Rob Lane.

About MyMusic.com
If you’re like me, music is a constant in your life. We listen actively and passively. It surrounds us. Reflects our experiences, environment and friends. And it’s also all over the place. In books we’ve read. On entertainment Web sites. On an MP3 player. Or a Facebook page. The radio. In magazines. Our contact with music is spread everywhere and we have to go looking in many places to pull it all together.

MyMusicDotCom

“MyMusic was founded by three guys who love music but hate mindlessly scouring the web to unearth the best content available. We want all the great music content that we know is out there to come to us. We want it sifted, sorted and filtered so that we get exactly and only the stuff we are interested in. We also want a beautiful way to access all that content, anytime we want, anywhere we are. We couldn’t find anything like that online, so we built MyMusic.

“MyMusic.coms’ mission is “to be a single place where you can go to find, discover and share everything that makes your online music experience fresh, exciting, and uniquely you.”

You can use MyMusic to can save images, videos, music, articles, etc. in “magazines”  that reflect your interests. Specific artists. Genres of music. Places where music is played. Your collection of music. Whatever you want. And the site watches what you post so that it can suggest content that matches your interests. The more you post the smarter it gets.

If you’re interested, check out the Thelonious Monk page I made on MyMusic.com. This took me all of 10 minutes from the time I found my first clip to the time I published it. Very user friendly.

Social Media Breakfasts too

One more thing. Rob also gives back to the social media community in another way. He’s the co-founder or Social Media Breakfast Ottawa. Rob and his co-organizers, Ryan Anderson and Simon Chen, have given Ottawa’s social media community an opportunity to meet and hear from smart speakers for the past four years.

Thank you to Third Tuesday’s sponsors

Third Tuesday is supported by great sponsors – Cision Canada and Rogers Communications – who believe in our community and help us to bring speakers not just to Toronto but to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver as well. Without the sponsors we couldn’t make Third Tuesday a truly Canadian affair. So, thank you to the sponsors of the Third Tuesday 2012-13 season: Cision Canada and Rogers Communications.

 

Truly appreciated: The Rogers Charging Station at Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ

You’ve had a busy day at the office, using your mobile phone or tablet pretty much constantly. Then it’s time to rush out the door to your favourite event, like Third Tuesday Toronto. You arrive and you want to check in and begin Tweeting and what do you discover? Your battery is almost dead. So you start searching for an electric outlet and asking your friends if they have the connector you need for your phone or tablet.

Well, that almost happened to me last night at Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ with Julien Smith. But not quite. Because our Third Tuesday sponsor, Rogers Communications was on hand with their charging station to enable me and anyone else at the event to recharge our mobile devices enough to get us through the evening.

So, thank you to Rogers Communications for being a generous sponsor of Third Tuesday and then going even farther and offering us the extra benefit of two staff and equipment to keep us charged and connected.

(Disclosure: Rogers did not ask for this post. And yes, they are a sponsor of Third Tuesday and a sometime client of my firm. And yes, I am a happy Rogers customer – cellphone, tablet, home Internet, home phone, cable TV. Disclosure complete. :) )

Julien Smith brings The Impact Equation to Third Tuesday

When social media was shiny and new, we talked about it constantly. Every new tool, every new publishing platform, every new social network fascinated by enabling us to reach out, to be heard, to connect with others in a new way, in a way that we couldn’t previously.

Social media gave the people formerly known as the audience a voice. Social media gave us all a means to publish what we thought. Social media gave us all a means to connect 24 hours a day seven days a week, regardless of where we were, with our friends, our family, others who held our interest.

But a few short years later, social media is no longer the new thing. It is a fixture in our lives.

That doesn’t mean that social media has lost its relevance. It’s just that our attention has moved away from the shiny new objects, the new tools, to what they can help us do and how that affects the way that we relate to others and to society.

Julien Smith and Chris Brogan are two smart guys who’ve spent a lot of time considering the interplay of social media and people, communities and organizations. And as they’ve done that they’ve gained insight into how people connect and form meaningful online relationships. They’ve tested their theories through podcasting, blogging, speaking, real-world events, by trying out virtually every means of connecting with others and then examining the effect that they had. Through them, we see that each and every one of us can be heard, can find community, can form relationships, can have impact.

In addition to their online efforts, Julien and Chris shared their insights through their book,  Trust Agents, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller. In Trust Agents, they examined the interplay of trust, reputation and influence in social media. And Julien travelled to  Third Tuesdays across Canada to meet and talk to the community of communicators, marketers, public servants, business people and students who wanted to know more about how to build online community.

Now Julien and Chris are back with a new book, The Impact Equation, their follow-up to Trust Agents. And once again, Julien is coming to Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ and Third Tuesday Ottawa #3TYOW to share his insights.

A lot has happened in two years. No longer is social media a shiny new thing for techies. Now, it’s mainstream. We’re all creating, sharing and connecting on it. But are we making being as effective as we’d like to be? Are we having the impact we want to have?

Julien and Chris believe that we can have the impact we want to have. And they’ve charted out a formula – the Impact Equation – to guide us in this.

“We’re not writing about Twitter and Facebook and Google plus and interest and path, because who cares? Those things are temporary and they aren’t the things that matter. The people are what matters,” Julien and Chris write. The real focus of The Impact Equation is “about getting a larger audience to see and act upon your ideas and learning how to build a community around that experience to take it all to an even higher level.”

The Impact Equation is something that everyone who participates in social networks or creates and shares content can use. And Julien Smith has tested what he writes about and personally demonstrated that we can have an impact on the world around us.

If you’d like to participate in Third Tuesday with Julien Smith, you can register online to attend either Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ or Third Tuesday Ottawa #3TYOW.

The Impact Equation could make a real difference in how you approach online community and publishing.

BONUS: Every attendee will receive a copy of The Impact Equation when you check in at the event. So, you not only can hear and meet Julien, you can get your copy of the book personally signed by the author.

Thank you to our sponsors

Third Tuesday is supported by great sponsors – Cision Canada and Rogers Communications – who believe in our community and help us to bring speakers not just to Toronto but to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver as well. Without the sponsors we couldn’t make Third Tuesday a truly Canadian affair. So, thank you to the sponsors of the Third Tuesday 2012-13 season: Cision Canada and Rogers Communications.

 

We must be data activists, says Nora Young

Nora Young is an astute observer of the impact of technology on our lives and relationships. This year, she turned her attention to our penchant to record our actions, feelings and thoughts through social media and connected devices. The result is The Virtual Self, her report on self reporting and its implications.

Nora Young came to Third Tuesday Toronto to share her insights with the community. And we captured her presentation on video.

There was much in Nora’s presentation that caught my attention.

A Watershed moment

“We’re at a watershed moment – a moment when data and information are no longer scarce and created top down, but is becoming ubiquitous and generated bottom up,” she posited. “Our new tools for gathering and sharing data are changing how we see ourselves and the world around us.”
We’re headed to a future where we track more and more about ourelves. Where we are. What we’re doing. How we spend out time. “The statistical minutiae of everyday life.” Nora Young labels this habit “self tracking.” Others term it “self monitoring,” “personal metrics,” “quantified self,” or “personal infomatics.” By whatever name, the trend is exploding as we consciously record data about our actions and state and as other data is captured simply because we are using connected digital devices. The information can be “in the everyday, the banal, the ordinary.” But increasingly, more and more of us are leaving more and more digital tracks that reveal something about ourselves.

Consider, she suggests, that most of us “online are on Facebook. A short few years ago, people talked about this as odd. Why would you want to share the minutiae of your everyday lives, like what you had for lunch. And now, this is normal behaviour for most people who are on the Internet. Not because they are obsessives. Not because they are narcissistic, but because there is a social utility in gathering that information and sharing it.”
And because we are increasingly using digital devices that are “always on, always connected” to the Internet, we do not need to expend much effort or energy to capture this information. It may even be automatically captured without any overt gesture on our part.

Four trends create a digital doppelganger of our world

Nora sees the convergence and interaction of four trends to create a unique moment:

  • Self-tracking, the data about our actions, preferences, feelings, etc. that we deliberately or passively record
  • The ability to aggregate the data through applications and search
  • The introduction of sensors in the environment, the Internet of things; and
  • Continual access to data via mobile devices.

Together, these trends create a digital doppelganger of the real world around us.

“The digital data that we are generating about our every day lives can and will be used to change the real flesh and blood, bricks and mortar world around us,” she suggests. “This is both good – thrilling even. But it’s also potentially scary, with some worrisome aspects to it as well.”

“What we are seeing now in embryonic form in our use of apps and social networking is really just the beginning of a bottom up data revolution that will change the next twenty years.”

“Be a data activist.”

“In order for us to get the future that we want, people like us – citizens – need to get involved. We need to claim our power to use our data for good, for positive ends. We need to be ‘data activitists,’ much in the way that we would talk about people being political activists or environmental activists. We need to be activists with respect to this new world of booming data.”

“What we as a society decide are the rules of the game for handling the data that we create will shape the future in profound ways.  It will shape whether and how we can use the data in our own lives, how we can use the information that we create to benefit not just ourselves but also our communities.”

Why now? Because huge changes are occurring. And, according to Nora, “it’s precisely when a new communications technology is created that the culture and the social norms of that technology are open to being shaped. It’s at that beginning period that we can our consciousness and our skill to how we consider new technologies and improve what they are used for. Because down the road, there will be a point where it will seem inevitable, where what’s up for grabs now gets shot down.  Now is the point at which we need to start talking about these things.”

At the first level, the information can be useful when we capture and share information with people who share our interests. Whether it’s a pointer to the latest book we’ve selected to read or the restaurant we frequent most often, this information can be used as a guide by the people who know and follow us.

At a higher level, however, the data that we create can be aggregated and mined for insight into the total community of which we are part. And at this level, the data can be used to reshape communities. We see an early example of this in the use of real time traffic data by commuters to navigate around congested areas. This tool shapes decisions in real time, decisions that are then immediately recorded and displayed in real time in the resulting changes in traffic flow. It creates a dynamic feedback loop. Imagine this across a complete range of activities and think about the potential for the construction of a digital layer of data on top of our real life activities that enables others to incorporate aggregate patterns, likes, dislikes, behaviour, etc. in reshaping our environment and experience in real time. That’s an awesome vision. And it’s not some far distant science fiction future. It’s something that is being explored right now.

But we need to be digital activists to ensure that the data is used for good and in the way we intend. As digital activists, we must understand and speak out about the privacy implications of these developments. We must insist that the data is used for something beyond corporate ends, for public good (Think Ushahidi.) Are we choosing the tools that reflect our values? (Think Twitter’s assymetrical following vs. Facebook’s forced mutual friending.) And if we’re creating the tools, are we creating something that offers some real value to people and enables people to create meaning in their lives?

Where do you stand?

There is potential for us to shape how the data gathering tools are created and how the data is used. But to do this, we must become data activists.

Think about it. Do you simply go with the flow? Click yes to share your location data? Consciously check your privacy settings on Facebook? Turn off automatic checkins? Are you a data activist?

Gini Dietrich is Marketing in the Round at Third Tuesday

Gini Dietrich is everywhere! Including this month, at Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ and Third Tuesday Ottawa #3TYOW.

Over the past two years, she has built a large online following at her blog, Spin Sucks, on Twitter and on Facebook. She is building Spin Sucks Pro as a platform for marketing expertise tailored to the needs of senior executives. She has become a sought-after speaker. She finds time to co-host the Inside PR podcast with Martin Waxman and me. And she manages to hold down a day job as CEO of Arment Dietrich. (Disclosure: Arment Dietrich and Thornley Fallis are business partners.)

With all this on the go, Gini found the time to co-author with Geoff Livingston a book that every contemporary marketer should read: Marketing in the Round, a practical guide to integrating the traditional and new tools of marketing into a coherent, effective whole.

And now, Gini is making the time to be our next speaker at Third Tuesday. She’ll join us on July 24 (Ottawa) and July 25 (Toronto.) Gini offers great insight into marketing in the connected era. Register online to attend Third Tuesday Ottawa or Third Tuesday Toronto to hear and meet her.

Attendees will receive a copy of Marketing in the Round

That’s right. Your admission fee pays for a copy of the book. All attendees will receive a copy of Marketing in the Round. That gives you not just the opportunity to hear Gini speak, but also to meet her and have her personally dedicate and sign your copy of the book.

Thank you to the Sponsors who support Third Tuesday

As you know, Third Tuesday is a community-oriented, volunteer-driven event. And we wouldn’t be able to bring great speakers like Gini Dietrich to Third Tuesdays across the country without the support of some like-minded sponsors. We’ve been lucky to have some great companies step up over the past several years to help us make Third Tuesday happen. Big thanks are due to CNW GroupRogers Communications, the Canadian Internet Registration AuthorityRadian6 and Cision Canada for making the 2011/12 Third Tuesday season possible.

Interested in learning more about Gini Dietrich and Marketing in the Round?

Mitch Joel interviews Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast.

Georgina Laidlaw and Valeria Maltoni reviewed Marketing in the Round

Bob LeDrew interviews Gini Dietrich on the FIR Book Club