The Agenda: Transparency and government

I’m on vacation at the moment, so blog posts — which have been all too infrequent of late — are likely to be even more infrequent, and may contain pictures of beaches and other non-work related content. In the interim, I’ve embedded in this post a clip of my recent appearance on The Agenda, the excellent TVO show hosted by Steve Paikin and produced by Mike Miner. I was joined by Anthony Williams, co-author with Don Tapscott of the recent book Wikinomics; Leslie Harris of the Center for Democracy and Government in Washington and Maryantonett Flumian, a former deputy minister with the federal government who now teaches public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa. We talked about governmental transparency, and whether governments both north and south of the border will be able to follow through on the promise of greater interactivity that the Obama campaign brought with it.

GigaOm: Another place to find me

Eagle-eyed readers looking closely at this blog post at GigaOm about Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory might notice that it has my name on it. That’s because my friend Om Malik, the genius behind the ever-expanding network, asked me awhile back if I would be interested in writing posts for him from time to time, and naturally I said yes. I have a huge amount of respect for Om, and what he and his team have built — and are continuing to build — at GigaOm, and I am looking forward to working with them all. I’m not giving up this blog, by any means; I will continue to write here as much or more than I always did, but will also be writing occasionally for GigaOm. If you have any story ideas or suggestions for future posts, feel free to drop me a line at mathew (at)

Personal note: A job change for yours truly

As many people who have been reading this blog for awhile probably know, I work for the Globe and Mail, a daily newspaper based in Toronto, where I’ve been working since 1994 or so. I’ve written about the stock market, the rise of the Internet, moved out West to write about oil and gas, and then came back in 2000 to be the Globe’s first online columnist and its first blogger (before anyone — including me — really knew what that meant). For the past year and a half or so, I’ve been the newspaper’s “new media” reporter, writing about all the ways in which the Web and social media are changing the business of online content for newspapers, magazines, authors, musicians, actors, artists and just about everyone in between.

A little while ago, I was offered an opportunity at the Globe that I got pretty excited about: a position that we’re calling “Communities Editor.” What does that mean exactly? To tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure.

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Video interlude: Me on The Agenda

For anyone who’s interested, video of my appearance on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin is now up at the network’s website, or you can click and watch it below in a popup. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was on last Friday talking about the future of “cloud computing” with Nick Carr of Roughtype (who just came out with a book on the subject), as well as CBC tech commentator Jesse Hirsh and ComputerWorld Canada editor Shane Schick. We talked about some of the benefits and disadvantages, the security issues, whether the Macbook Air makes a good “cloud computer” and some other topics as well. It was a fun show, although Shane apparently didn’t think too much of Jesse’s views on the value of IT administrators.