Social Media: Neither Social Nor Media?

Thanks to Connie Crosby for her recap on Slaw of the discussion I moderated Sunday morning at PodCamp Montréal:  Is Social Media really Social and Media?

Most sessions (at least, the ones I attended) took the format of presentation and then Q & A. Sunday morning, however, the session Is Social Media Really a Social Media? brought out the true spirit of podcamp conversation with a contentious discussion that delved into the semantics of the term. Pier-Luc Pettitclerc, IT Director at Commun, brought in his boss Martin Ouellette, a traditional ad agency owner, to battle out the question.

First off, Ouellette argued that “social” means people coming together (primarily in person) for a common reason. For example, a group of people attending a hockey game or a rock concert. His definition of the term “social” sits closely with community, has a many-to-many connotation, and does not take into account one-on-one personal relationships.

His term “media” he defined as a channel for advertising. He argued that when the term “social networking” was replaced by “social media” in popular use, advertising was introduced. Although I don’t agree with his definitions, he may have a point there about how advertising has come into play in these channels.

After much debate around the term, local venture technologist Sylvain Carle argued that it was perhaps the combination of the two terms that was problematic. Julien Smith, co-author of Trust Agents, maintained the conversation was a red herring, that the real question was whether social media is important and why are we using it. Even a long-time student of Marshall McLuhan weighed in supporting Smith’s viewpoint. In the end, Ouellette conceded his definition of “social” may be inaccurate, but his idea of “media” remained intact.

Good review and video embedded there, go read it in full ( and watch the video if you have an hour or so to kill and enjoy words like “retarded” and “bullshit”).

Techvibes in search of Montreal Community Manager

A few years ago I would have applied, but now I don’t have any time to write about these camps, startups or investments, I’m busy doing them!

If the answers to these questions were a resounding YES – you may just be the perfect candidate for the Montreal Community Manager position at Techvibes.

There is a definitive need to raise the level of coverage in Montréal, with Montreal Tech Watch in hibernation, we need our local fix! More details in the full post on techvibes.

Google Buzz re-invents Gmail

You can begin to see where all this is going: the integration of Gmail, Buzz, Reader, Voice, Geo, Blogger, YouTube, Calendar, Contacts… Buzz is a game-changing first step, but when you think about where Google will take this over the next year it gets exciting.

Spot on (as always). This is much more about the integration/api than Buzz as a product in itself…

[Via Oreilly’s Radar]

Wifidog Camp Montreal 2010

We will be organizing a Wifidog Camp for development of wifidog.

Wifidog Camp Montreal 2010

Where? Montreal, at Station C, 5369 boul. St-Laurent

When? Sunday february 21 2010 from 10h30 to ~17h
Who? Everyone interested in developing for wifidog, developers, web designers, testers, documenters, etc.
Web page?

I will be giving a session on “contributing to open source projects” for newbies (we need more).

How to create a ticket, how to decide what to work on, how to send a correction (patch) and a bit more…

A quote from Tim Bray (it’s all about listening)

The Net is the greatest listening engine ever devised. These days anyone can choose, with its help, to be well-informed. You have to make the effort to figure out which key people are really on top of what you care about, so that you can start listening to them. Plus, you need to deploy some saved searches. Once you’ve done these things, then when you turn your computer on in the morning, it’ll tell you if anything’s happened that you need to know about.

Tim Bray [via Simon Willison]

Best of both worlds: HTML5 web app and iPhone App

Why don’t developers who build HTML5-based iPhone apps (like the new HTML5 Google Voice app) also syndicate their apps in the App Store? The App Store version would just be an instance of the UIWebView Class on a canvas that displays only the HTML5 app. In other words, the App Store version is just a wrapper for the web version that essentially launches a separate browser just for your app.

Have been thinking about this for a while, that’s a good way to have apps that people pay for with the flexibility of web apps… you only need to optimize for (infrequent) offline usage.


Free rent at the Candian Technology Accelerator in Silicon Valley

This could be useful for Montreal Startups bridging the gap with the Valley:

Did you know that you could call the Plug and Play Tech Center home for three months for free?

Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service has established a Canadian Technology Accelerator within the Plug and Play Tech Center providing free services and access to Silicon Valley for Canadian startups. The incubator is open to a limited number of qualified companies AND rent at the facility is fully paid for by the Canadian Consulate for up to three months.

The Canadian Technology Accelerator offers space for one or two employees, for up to six companies at any time as well as an option for a ‘virtual office’. Companies are responsible for living expenses including travel and lodging.

[Via TechVibes]

Ask me about my location: echoecho

I really like this new “mode” of interaction about location. We are just getting started on these!

A brand new location-aware app called echoecho promises to make it easy to share your location with people you trust. You can “echo” someone from your existing address book, and if they have the app installed, they receive a push notification and can tap the screen to respond with their current location.

[Via Lost Remote, they are really picking up steam with Local/Social news]