September 28, 2006

  • DigitalEve Toronto Calls It Quits

    I’m sorry to see that “Digital Eve Toronto” has decided that it can’t continue.

    The organization has done good work from its roots in Webgrrrls to Digital Eve. There are hints they may still reformulate in some new fashion. We’ll keep an eye out. Here’s the announcement from the Board:

    To all DigitalEve Toronto Members:

    It is with deep regret and sadness that we make this announcement. Due to the our training facility being now too expensive to maintain a proper training schedule, and interest in training too low to fill the classrooms, the training has had to be put on hold indefinitely. The last several events have not been met with the interest needed, and therefore the revenue stream from them has dwindled to a crawl. Since Training and Events were the organizations only source of income, we do not have the required income to run this organization. It has been decided by a unanimous vote by the board members to officially close the Toronto Chapter due to lack of interest and income. We would like to redirect our members to one of several Women in Technology groups around the city that we hope will fulfill the need that we don’t feel we are capable of anymore.

    NOTE: The list managers are working on moving the lists to a new domain, and are investigating the option of evolving DigitalEve into a new format. We have survived through Webgrrls, into DigitalEve, maybe we can do it again. There will be more information coming regarding this as it is available. We would like to take this last opportunity to thank everyone for their support over the last few years. It has been a good run, we have made many friends. It is time to say goodbye.

    In the meantime, maybe Wired Woman can take up the slack.

    (Thanks to Bill for pointing this out.)

    Originally published at on September 28, 2006.

September 27, 2006

  • MobileMonday Toronto Builds Momentum

    Normally we don’t quote press releases at length but I thought this one for “MobileMonday Toronto” did a pretty good job of summing up what’s happening with this newly minted organization here in Toronto:

    With its inaugural launch in June this past summer, the newly formed MobileMonday Toronto chapter is starting to attract a loyal following. Set up as a networking group for mobile industry professionals, the goal of the group is to ultimately spread knowledge and opportunities in the mobile space. “We felt that Toronto would be a great location for a chapter of MobileMonday based on the proximity of venture capital, communication companies, programming talent, and universities,” said co-founder Alexander S. Bosika. Mr. Bosika along with MobileMonday Toronto’s other co-founder Jim Brown are both veteran hi-tech professionals that felt the timing was perfect for monthly meetings of this nature. Since the launch, Jack Zidaric, and Jolon Craw, two other industry professionals have joined to help manage the monthly networking events. The events have drawn people from all parts the mobile industry to network, share ideas and interact with discussion panels.

    Speakers for the events have included Canadian executives from Research in Motion, Palm, the dot Mobi initiative, including US-based executives from Singlepoint and July Systems. The upcoming October 2nd session will probably be its most widely attended event with speakers from Google and Yahoo! participating in a moderated discussion panel around mobile search. Roger Skubowius (Google Canada) and Kristy Cook (Yahoo! Canada) each plan to answer some of the pressing questions surrounding mobile search for MoMo Toronto attendees.

    You can find out more the organization and the event at “their website.”

    Originally published at on September 27, 2006.

  • Why I Include My Feed in My Sig File

    One Degree:Jordan, can you tell us about your .sig file and what the pros and cons of your approach are?” I use the animated headline feature from “Feedburner” in my .sig file, to publicize my blog. It is a very cool feature that I think everyone should try (provided they have a Feedburner feed associated with their site). The response to it has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have to agree that it does give my messages an extra bit of credibility than a static text “siggy” or even a company logo would. Here’s a peek at what we’re talking about here:

    Jordan Behan

    778.840.TELL (8355)

    Jordan Behan: I opted to list just my url, and not a full company name and title, in exchange for less content to have to look at. I’m still pretty convinced this was a good decision, as it shouldn’t be too busy, in my opinion. When people first see it, it’s not out of the ordinary for them to say “Wow, I want one of those!” But here is where I start to list the cons of this method. I do web marketing and PR consulting, specializing in small business. Many of my clients and prospects discover what an RSS feed is when I explain it to them, and not before. If you’re not already familiar with the use of feeds, then you might not understand the content that you see when you click the link in the animated .gif. I have yet to have anyone ask about the “site” they get linked through to when they click, but I have to guess that for some it is a bit confusing. They might have expected to be linked to my site, not the Feedburner feed.

    That’s why I’m beginning to think (this exercise of explaining was certainly a catalyst) that I actually do need to add one last bit of info at the bottom of the .sig, for RSS newbies. Maybe something to the effect of: What’s an RSS feed? (With a link to a blog post explaining how to subscribe, etc.) Or, alternatively, just an extra link below that reads: Or click here to visit the homepage. Still, overall I would have to say that the tool is very useful. It reminds people that I do have fresh content all the time, and even if it is a bit ugly, that content is available when you click through to the Feedburner feed, where you are just one more click away from the homepage, any given individual post or of course from subscribing. As the average end-user gets even savvier, this little tool will really begin to realize its potential.

    Originally published at on September 27, 2006.

September 20, 2006

  • ThinData Announces ZenData

    ThinData CEO (and past Five Questions interviewee) Chris Carder, just sent word about an interesting extension of ThinData’s business:

    Last Thursday, we announced a joint venture in equal partnership with Montreal-based e-relationship marketing expert, René Godbout to form ZenData Marketing. René, previously Director of Marketing with Montreal-based Aeroplan, brings his 30 years’ experience in marketing and CRM to the venture including consumer marketing experience with Bell Canada and Radio-Canada television network. ZenData will provide e-relationship marketing services to Quebec brands. The relationship between companies extends ThinData’s commitment to providing permission-based email marketing nationally. The presence of ZenData does not change our existing client relationships in any way. It does, however, increase our ability to service Quebec based accounts.

    The full press release announcing ZenData is on the ThinData web site and the bilingual site is now live.

    Originally published at on September 20, 2006.

September 15, 2006

  • First Thoughts On Toronto’s WiFi Network

    One Degree:Patrick, how do you think Toronto Hydro has done with the launch of the first phase of the Toronto WiFi blanket, and “have your initial thoughts”?

    Patrick Dinnen: I would give Toronto Hydro Telecom a qualified thumbs up for their launch. It remains to be seen, but I suspect that THT may find that they need to work on managing customer expectations.

    The “THT website” uses phrases like ‘blanket of WiFi coverage in the downtown Toronto core’ and ‘ubiquitous WiFi coverage zone’, but the experience on the ground may be somewhat different.

    Technically what THT are trying to do is very ambitious and really stretches the technology a long way, so the fact that there are some dead spots in the coverage is no surprise, but you need to make sure your customers understand the limitations. This becomes particularly true once the initial six-month free trial period is over. I may not mind moving to another table in the cafe to get a signal while I’m not paying for the service but at $29/month my perception changes.

    I don’t think my thoughts on what needs to happen to make this project a complete success have changed since launch.

    To recap, THT should be:

    • consulting with the public
    • working to address the needs of underserved communities and small businesses
    • considering providing free Internet access in public spaces on an ongoing basis.

    There are some signs that thought is being given to these issues by various people. For example, “Wireless Toronto”: and THT have had some initial conversations about the possibilities for community-related and there was “a piece in the Star” last week, which asked whether the network would provide more value to Toronto if it remained a free service.

    So, I’m still hopeful about the potential of the THT network but don’t think it’s being met quite yet.


    Originally published at on September 15, 2006.

September 11, 2006

  • — The 20 Character Home Page

    Poor Kraft. I’m sure they had the best of intentions when they decided on as their official Canadian online home. And I’m sure they felt great getting registered so they could collect up any consumers that didn’t get the memo that Kraft prefers 20 character urls to 8 character ones. Then that party-pooper search marketing superstar Andrew Goodman has to go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like:

    Ken Schafer over at One Degree could spend half his life chronicling maddening Canadian corporate website gaffes. Luckily though, I’m pitching in, so he’ll have time for his day job. Check out It’s not that they don’t know and can’t redirect you to the actual site,, it’s just that they haven’t bothered. Hey, you can cut and paste that URL, right? Unless you are like 33.8% of visitors to that page, who will simply leave thinking the site is broken. No, it never redirects in any of the major browsers. 🙂 Incidentally, this nearly-blank domain/page/site has a PageRank of 5! Sweet!

    It’s true, here is the entire site you get when you go to

    I thank Andrew for saving me the work but I can’t help but point out that (i.e. without the dub-dub-dub) doesn’t resolve at all, making them 3 and 0 from my point of view:

    1. Picked longer domain name than they had to
    2. Didn’t properly redirect typos and domain variants to the official site
    3. Don’t allow people to skip typing www

    Kraft, you have replaced old standby as my example of embarrassing corporate web gaffes! Feel free to email me when you’ve fixed them and we’ll find a new example. 🙂

    Originally published at on September 11, 2006.

September 6, 2006

  • Tucows Buys Kiko

    We’re making some big news today at my “day job”.

    Over the last few weeks, the web has been abuzz with discussion about the eBay auction of the online calendar “”. Well, it turns out that while we had gone fishin’, Tucows won the auction and is now the proud owner of one of the hottest little Web 2.0 apps out there!

    I’m planning on writing about how we used our new blog to announce this to the world but for right now I just wanted to make sure that the “entire world didn’t scoop me on this”.

    Originally published at on September 6, 2006.