The Agenda on privacy, taped live at mesh10

There were too many highlights from mesh2010 for me to pick a single one, but among the top moments on any list was the taping of a live version of TVO’s The Agenda with the always excellent Steve Paikin. TVO producer Mike Miner and I started talking about the idea last year, because we had always wanted to have Steve come and interview someone but it never seemed to work out — so Mike suggested taping a whole show there, and after much working out of details that’s exactly what happened. It was a fantastic show, with Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, consultant Alan Sawyer, the wonderful Joseph Menn (who did one of the keynotes at mesh), David Fewer of CIPPIC and yours truly. Thanks again to Mike and Steve and the rest of the TVO team for being such a pleasure to work with and for helping us make this a reality.

mesh media keynote: Chris Thorpe

If you’re interested in the future of media, you’re going to want to be at mesh 2010 on May 18 and 19 for our media keynote: Chris Thorpe. Chris comes to us from The Guardian, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, where he is the Developer Advocate in charge of the paper’s Open Platform. This puts him at the forefront of one of the most fascinating frontiers in the media industry: namely, the transformation of traditional media entities such as newspapers into digital-information services that distribute their content in a variety of different ways online. And sometimes that involves experimenting too: an offhand remark during a lunch presentation by Clay Shirky, for example, recently led to the creation of a “ChatRoulette for news” called Guardian Roulette.

The Guardian’s Open Platform is based on an open API (i.e, application programming interface) similar to that provided by Google, Twitter, Facebook and other companies provide, which allows developers and programmers to use The Guardian’s content in a variety of ways, and build it into third-party services at no cost. The New York Times also has an open API, but it only provides access to a small part of the text in each story, whereas The Guardian’s provides the full text of every story.

In a blog post last year, British MP Tom Watson wrote:

I’m not bowled over much these days. But Guardian Open Platform is a chasmic leap into the future. It is a work of simplistic beauty that I’m sure will have a dramatic impact in the news market. The Guardian is already a market leader in the online space but Open Platform is revolutionary. It makes all of their major competitors look timid. Governments should be doing this. Governments will be doing it. The question is how long will it take us to catch up. (British MP Tom Watson)

Chris gave a presentation last year at the Future of Web Apps conference, which is embedded below, in which he talked about how The Guardian’s use of an open platform is “building the stacks of a mutualised newspaper.”

There’s also an interview with Chris here:

Interview with Chris Thorpe (The Guardian) from Publishr on Vimeo.

meshmarketing is almost here!

A few months ago, the mesh team — in other words, Rob Hyndman, Mark Evans, Stuart MacDonald, Mike McDerment and I — announced a new event we’re calling meshmarketing, a one-day series of keynotes, presentations and in-depth workshops about online and digital marketing ideas and tactics. During the summer months, we’ve been lining up some world-class speakers and marketing experts for the event, and we wanted to get as many details about it out there as possible, because the event is coming soon (October 22 at CIRCA) and tickets are relatively limited.

In a nutshell, meshmarketing is focused on insights, tools and tactics that are designed to help you get more out of the growing online marketing and advertising markets. It’s designed to provide you with ideas and perspectives on the key trends but also practical and valuable knowledge that you put into action immediately. You can register here.

Our keynote speaker is Hugh MacLeod, a popular cartoonist, author and marketing thought-leader. We also have two though-provoking panels to kick off the event: the first looks at how competition is heating up between PR, traditional ad agencies and digital shops, with each one trying to take the lead in the competitive online arena. Featured on the panel are Mia Wedgbury, president of Fleischman-Hillard Canada; Katherine Fletcher, a senior partner with iStudio and Jill Nykoliation, president of Juniper Park.

The second panel looks at the merging of marketing and social media, and will tackle the thorny issue of how to blend the two successfully. This panel includes Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image and author of the new book, Six Pixels of Separation; and Ferg Devins, chief public affairs officer for Molson Coors, who leads Molson’s social media activities.

The rest of the day features a series of workshops, filled with hands-on, practical tools and knowledge. A big part of the inspiration for meshmarketing came from feedback we got at mesh, where people said they wanted more focused and practical insights and tools about marketing and the online world, so we’re hoping these workshops fit the bill. They include:

Building Web Properties that Convert, with Dan Martell
Advertising Networks 101, with Mladen Raickovic
Search Engine Marketing/Search Engine Optimization, with Jeff Quip
Generating Customer-Driven Creative, with Andrew Sutherland and Dino Demopoulos
The Keys to Mobile Marketing, with Amielle Lake
Facebook 101 for Marketing, with Elmer Sotto
Social Media Analytics, with Katie Delahaye Paine
Inbound Marketing Campaigns, with Dharmesh Shah

As usual, we’re planning to kick off meshmarketing with a pre-event party and, of course, an after-party. More details on those to come as we get closer to the event. But in the meantime, get your tickets for meshmarketing soon — if mesh is any guide, they will be going quickly 🙂

meshmarketing is live

The mesh team — i.e. me, Rob Hyndman, Stuart MacDonald, Mike McDerment, Mark Evans and our indispensable conference planner Sheri Moore — are pleased to announce the launch of, the site that goes along with our new one-day marketing event. Meshmarketing takes place on October 22 at Circa, and we have a number of fantastic speakers and panelists to announce.

The highlight is none other than the inimitable Hugh MacLeod, the artist known on Twitter as @gapingvoid. We’ve also got Mitch Joel of Twist Image, Ferg Devins from Molson, the new head of Facebook Canada Elmer Sotto, Mia Wedgbury, Dharmesh Shah and a host of others who will share their online marketing success stories and principles with you.

The idea behind meshmarketing is to spend a day focusing on the key insights, tools and tactics you need to help you win customers’ hearts and minds, online. In addition to Hugh’s keynote, we will have a series of “show and tell” presentations, as well as in-depth workshops. As with any mesh event, all of the presentations and panels and workshops will be as interactive as possible, so that you can connect, share and inspire each other. And we’re planning some inspiring social events as well 🙂

You’re spending more and more of your marketing budget building your business online. But are you making the right calls? Is display the way to go? What about search? Social Media? Community? Video? You know that word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful tools you and your company can use to spread the word about your product or service, and the Web is like word-of-mouth on steroids. What’s working and why?

Come to meshmarketing and hear from those who are making those kinds of decisions every day — the people who can help you understand what works, and how to take advantage of it. More details at the meshmarketing site and at the mesh blog.

Mesh ’09: An all-star lineup and a special guest

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the lineup at mesh ’09 in April, but we are pleased to announce another very special one: a surprise appearance by Toronto mayor David Miller, who will be doing a one-on-one interview on April 8th, the second day of the conference (there’s a full version of the two-day schedule here — and be sure to register soon, because tickets are going quickly).

Mayor Miller will share with mesh attendees some of his thoughts on the idea of an “open city,” with all that that implies about issues such as civic transparency, data sharing and connecting directly with citizens. Toronto has made some major strides in that area recently, including some ongoing steps by the Toronto Transit Commission to open up and share its data, as well as the Mayor’s own use of Twitter to connect directly with residents.

This conversation with Mayor Miller fits right in with one of the themes of mesh ’09: the rise of what might be called “politics 2.0” — a move towards more transparency, more direct civic engagement and the use of social-media tools as a way of empowering citizens to speak out about a host of important issues. Much of this wave is due to the success of the Obama campaign in the U.S., and that is a topic one mesh panel will be discussing in detail: how the campaign took shape, what it is like to cover the new politics from a media perspective, and what it suggests about how politics as a whole is changing.

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