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Archive for the ‘Saskatchewan Interactive’ Category

Saskatoon River TrailI just got back from sunny Saskatoon (sunniest city in Canada: fact.) and let me just say that this “Paris of the Prairies” town of 200,000, in a province that’s 700,000 square km., has a lot happening and much to offer. Talk to anyone from there, and this, they have always known. It’s time for the rest of us to have a peek and take some notice.

This year marked the second annual Saskatchewan Interactive conference, organized and funded predominently by local businesses. The focus this year was “well beyond websites”, with a great blend of interactive gaming, mobile, and social media content. The conference started out with a dinner on the first evening for the speakers introduction, and then continued for HOURS, with all of us meeting, mingling and competing in front of several massive projector screens, where we could each have a go at Wii, Super Mario Brothers and even Pong!

I was invited to speak this year on an introduction to social media, web 2.0 and citizen journalism. The sessions were recorded and the organizing committee has a copy of each speaker’s presentation, so hopefully I can point to that very soon once they get it up on the official site.

It was an inspiring place to be. There were some great people involved: Keynote John Lester from Linden Lab, who brought us all into Second Life, a second Keynote, Mike Parkhill, Director of Education at Microsoft Canada, Ian Verchere, CCO of Vancouver’s Shift Control Media, Daivd Voigt from Mobile Muse, who talked to us about mobile culture and content, Roland Tanglao from Bryght gave his infamous EverythingCasting presentation, among many other educators, innovators and technologists from all over North America. Check the speakers page for a full run-down.

The buzz and energy has already begun in looking forward to next year’s conference, which, if this year was any indication, promises to be nothing short of fantastic.

I want to thank some people here: Barbara Rackham and Deborah Black of DBlack Communications and Ryan Lejbak from zu.com all played a key role in getting this conference up and off the ground, and their hard work was evident. It was great to have Roland from Bryght with his expert and veteran insight, and to show a newbie to the Toon around town. Thanks as well to Izzie Egan, Kris Krug, Robert Scoble, Raincity, Dave Olson and Marion Ryan – all of you had a hand in shaping my presentation, whether you know it or not, so thank-you!

And to all of those crazy cats from zu, an old home of mine and one that I miss, it was a treat to hang out again.

I hope to see you soon Saskatoon!

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Tomorrow I am off to Saskatoon, and I can’t WAIT!

I am speaking at the Saskatchewan Interactive conference, which is pretty damn exciting, and I hope to share some useful knowledge and insight with the participants in attendance. I will be speaking about social media and user-generated content, in general: what is it? how do you tap it? what do you tap? what has it done? what can it do?…..

There seems to be a bit of disconnect across Canada. Go figure. But I’ve been, and spoken with people, from coast to coast over the past few months, and it’s interesting to discover that not very many people understand, or even know, what Web 2.0 is? I’m generalizing, yes, but while the tech folks in Vancouver and Toronto are trying to find and use another term for it all, because this one has been around for soooo loooong, there is a vast amount of Canadians who might like to hear a little about this stuff. At least hear it, try to grasp it and maybe even use it, and then decide if they like it, or can see the power of it. I hope to be a small part of the discovery for some of these people because it wasn’t too long ago that I was one of them.

I think the conference will be fantastic – check out what’s laid out for us all in the schedule.

On to a slightly more exciting aspect: I am going back to a town where I lived and loved living in for 2 years. I always maintain that Saskatchewan is one of those hidden gems of Canada, kinda like Newfoundland, and they’d like to sort of, maybe, keep it that way to a certain degree, kinda like Newfoundlanders. (psst! It really is a dry cold that isn’t so bad, and killer mosquitoes don’t really exist!)

I am most excited to see old friends and the folks at zu.com – they were an intricate part of why I loved living in The Toon, and I am happy to reacquaint with some stellar, lovely, genuine, salt of the earth people.

Can’t wait to hit The Yard!

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