Google Finance in Canada – A question of timing

The Official Google Blog announced tonight that Google Finance Canada will offer “a localized version of Google Finance tailored specifically, as you might guess, for Canadian investors.

And what’s the first thing that grabs your attention at the top right corner of the page? This graph, showing the index trends for the July 31 trading day.
A question of timing
Yep. A good day to for an announcement. That kind of trend should draw people like moths. It’s a bit like having a water depth gauge on the deck of the Titanic. You just can’t look away.

Answering Shel Israel about Social Media in Canada

Shel Israel asked me for my views on differences and similarities in the development of social media in Canada.

Our economies and communication networks are so intertwined that it would be noteworthy if there were any significant differences in the pace of technological adoption and innovation.

However, I think the truly significant difference relates to social media’s potential to transcend the impediments to self expression that Canadians endured as a result of limited bandwidth, high production costs and the complex distribution systems of traditional cultural industries.

I’m late in responding to Shel. So, rather than publish a lengthy written post, I’ve tried to capture my thoughts in a video. I hope that you’ll take a look at it and share your perspective on this by leaving a comment.


I just noticed on second viewing that I inadvertently made my point about the dominance of U.S. cultural product in Canada. If you look closely, you’ll see that the two authors whose books flank me on either side are Stephen King and David Halberstam. Next time, I should sit in front of Margaret Atwood and Robertson Davies!

Shel Israel asks about social media in Canada

Shel IsraelRecently, Shel Israel, co-author of Naked Conversations, was commissioned by SAP to conduct a study of the state of social media around the world. Shel explains it this way:

Here’s what I am doing. I am trying to answer a single, overwhelming question: “What is going on in the world with regard to social media? I am looking for useful statistics, but those are often outdated before they are published as we learned with the book.

Mostly I am looking for real people with stories and personal experience about what is happening with blogging, video, online communities and assorted conversational media. I’d like to get some anecdotal granularity on why blogging is taking off in Poland these days, or how social media behavior is different in Italy than it is in Russia and Canada.

Shel sent me his questionnaire just before I left for vacation. It was a good vacation and I didn’t do much of anything, including Shel’s questionnaire. So, now I’m about to start. And I’d like the social media community in Canada to have a go at the answers with me.

Here are the questions that Shel put to me.

  1. You are very much in touch with social media in the US and Canada. How would you describe the similarities and differences of the social media evolution in the two countries?
  2. The journalist Mark Evans has written often about how slow Canada’s business has been to adopt to blogging and social media. Do you agree with him? If you do, why do you think this is and do you think it is a trend that will continue?
  3. Which social media tools are the most popular in general in Canada? What about among business users?
  4. Canada is a bilingual country. How has this impacted social networks and blog audiences? Do you think social media can play a role in bringing French and English speaking people closer together in Canada?
  5. Is social media in Canada just for young people or is it spreading across multiple age barriers? What do they talk most about? How much of the conversation is business oriented?
  6. Who or what are the greatest influencers on social media in Canada?
  7. You and I have talked about Canadian businesses wanting greater access to American markets. How does social media lay into that strategy?
  8. Can you give me one or two brief case studies of social media in Canada impacting business?
  9. What trends do you see in Canada these days?
  10. Additional comments

In the next few days, I’ll post about each of Shel’s questions. As I do, I’d welcome your thoughts on both the questions and my answers.

Please post any comments you’d like to offer and I’ll incorporate them in my responses.

The Spirit of Generosity

A while back Shel Israel wrote a post which touched upon the impact of the “cult of generosity” on marketing.

Tara HuntToday, Tara Hunt has a great post about the real meaning of the spirit of generosity and the gift economy. This is a must-read post for anyone who really wants to understand what motivates many of the social media thought leaders.

Thank you Tara for reminding us about what this should all be about.

Sean Moffitt Wants You for Canada's 1% Army

1% ArmyThe hyperkinetic, ultra-connected Sean Moffitt is looking for bloggers who would like to enter their blogs into a “tournament” of Canadian bloggers.

If you write a blog that deals with digital, tech, online, media, social media, PR, marketing, communications, design, or research, you can enter your blog in the Facebook group that Sean has set up or via the Contact Us link on Buzz Canuck.

1 percent armyBlogs will be matched in pairs for each round, with only the winner of each pair advancing to the next round. The judges will judge two posts submitted by each blogger on five criteria: “overall impact (20%), clarity of thought (20%), did it make me want to think/act differently (20%), did it want me to comment/participate (20%) and originality (20%).”

Sean is aiming for a starting field of 128 blogs. Already, he is half way to that goal. The initial list of entrants reads like a Who’s Who of the Canadian social media scene, including Kate Trgovac, Doug Walker, Bill Sweetman, David Crow, Michelle Sullivan, Marc Snyder, Michel Leblanc, Mitch Joel, David Peralty, Ed Lee, Colin McKay, Collin Douma, Jonathan Dunn, Brendan Hodgson, Leesa Barnes, Dino Demopoulos, Michael Seaton and Eden Spodek.

Sound like a good way to get your blogging juices flowing? For sure.

So, hop over to Buzz Canuck and tell Sean that you want to be entered into Canada’s 1% Army tournament.