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 🙂

Are you a friend of mesh?

As part of the lead-up to mesh 2009 — taking place at MaRS on April 7th and 8th — we’re pleased to announce a new “micro-sponsorship” campaign that we’re calling “Friends of mesh.” We’ve had a number of requests over the years from both individuals and companies who aren’t interested in a traditional sponsorship arrangement with the conference, but who would like to be able to show their support for mesh in a smaller way, so we came up with FOM. All you have to do is register through InviteRight and sign up as Friend of mesh, and for $1,500 you get a ticket to the conference, your logo on our home page and on screen at the event, plus a pass to an invitation-only VIP social event — and of course the eternal gratitude of myself and the other four mesh co-founders 🙂

Mesh09: Calacanis and Kiva to keynote

The mesh 2009 team — that’s me, Rob “Hohoto” Hyndman, Stuart “Tripharbour” Macdonald, Mike “FreshBooks” McDerment and Mark “I’m a consultant now” Evans — have been working hard trying to nail down some kick-ass keynotes for the next mesh conference (April 7 and 8 at MaRS in Toronto), and we have a couple we can announce now: Jason McCabe Calacanis will be doing the business keynote, and Jessica Jackley Flannery is our society keynote. We’re pretty excited about both of them, and hope to have our media and marketing keynotes lined up soon.

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mesh: we’re hiring — you interested?

As the mesh conference has grown — I find it almost hard to believe that we’re putting on our fourth next year, but we are — we’ve realized that we can’t actually do everything ourselves (funny thing, that) and so we’ve been reaching out more and more to the community. That’s what we’re doing now, in our search for someone to help with sponsorships and that kind of thing. Here’s the gist from Stuart’s post on the mesh blog:

In the past three years, mesh has grown from humble roots – five guys who just wanted to do something to talk about all the exciting things happening online – to become Canada’s Web conference. Now is your chance to be a part of mesh by joining us in part-time sponsorship sales.

So what’s involved? Mostly, it means working with the mesh gang to manage our existing sponsors and find new ones. So, what’s in it for you? You will earn a commission on each new sponsor you secure, and most importantly, an opportunity to help make mesh thrive.

Are you interested? We’d like to hear from you. Email your C.V. and other particulars to stuart (at) meshconference (dot) com.