We'll be enjoying the holidays and on vacation next week. Regular blog posting and lots more events, learning, and discussion will start again on Jan. 2nd.
Best wishes for a very happy holiday!
The front of the card asks, "Kathryn, how do you ask a ninja for free hugs?" On the inside of the card I'm invited to visit and share at www.share2006.com.
If you find yourself with 15-20 minutes over the holidays and need a good laugh you should definitely check it out. You'll find some of the years most viral videos. Remember the evolution of dance? Or the Ninja's definition of podcasting? It was a lot of fun watching some favourites again and finding a few I hadn't seen before.
You can vote on your favourite videos, add comments, and of course share the fun with others. Kudos to the team at Twist Image for this brilliant way to share some fun and celebrate the holidays.
There have been a number of job postings this week, they are summarized below. The full description for each job is in the job postings section of our website.
The New Toronto Group (www.newyyz.com) is a growing, dynamic company that resells software products and provides education and consulting services to the North American information technology market place.
To apply contact Glenn James - gjames (at) newyyz (dot) com
Join us at Canada’s most awarded interactive agency. Our digital media practice in downtown Toronto is expanding and we’re looking for a Senior Media Strategist to play a pivotal role on our team.
For more information, or to apply, please email Linda Burlison (email@example.com)
990128 — hpshopping Online Experience and Marketing
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Exciting Opportunity at HP Canada's Imaging and Printing Group. You will drive the marketing and merchandising strategy and execution for HP Canada's online shopping business.
For HP company information, http://www.hp.com/
Search by the Req # 990128
Business Development Manager
Our established client, a full-service web company specializing in online marketing and learning is looking for a Business Development Manager to maintain and grow current account relationships and develop new business.
Please send CV’s directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of Canada's most awarded interactive agencies is expanding. You'll be responsible for managing and growing client relationships on your assigned accounts. You will provide client and project team leadership, develop mid-senior level client relationships and be regarded by the client as a trusted advisor.
Please send your resume to email@example.com.
An opportunity exists at one of the world's largest blog network for a senior sales executive. The right person will provide leadership to building sales and later building a sales team as they strive to reach ambitious new goals.
Please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the world's largest web portals has a unique opportunity for a pricing/inventory analyst to join their Canadian team.
Please send your resume to email@example.com.
One of the world's biggest Internet entities - is aggressively expanding their sales efforts to manage the growth of the Canadian online advertising market. They are looking for a well-articulated, polished, entrepreneurial sales person to represent their company to a variety of clients in Canada.
Please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back in the summer I did a Q&A with Andrew Keyes and Jay Aber. I had intended to interview Emily Rayson but the weeks kept sliding by and it didn't get done. Eden Spodek, an AIMS volunteer who contributes regularly to the blog jumped in and found some time with Emily. Thanks Emily for your patience. And thanks Eden for getting this done. At long last...here is the Q&A with Emily Rayson...
Emily Rayson grew up in the Internet world, starting in 1992 with one of Toronto’s first New Media agencies, The Bulldog Group. You can still see some of her work in the marketplace today – the Famous Fast Lane at Famous Players movie theatres was one of the first of its kind in Canada. From there she went on to become General Manger of PointCast, an independent consultant, Co-Managing Director of Grey Interactive, and Managing Director of Organic. She enjoyed continued success each step of the way. After a couple years off spending more time with her family, Emily stays involved in the industry by consulting on projects across various industries.
Q: When you started AIMS in 1996, did you think about what the industry might look like in 5 or 10 years? How does it compare now?
A: One of the reasons we started AIMS was because things were changing so incredibly fast and we couldn’t possibly be in all places on our own. We were all with what I like to call ‘poor’ companies and there wasn’t room in the budget to attend most conferences, to buy a lot of the research, to explore all the new and emerging trends that were cropping up almost on a daily basis. And even if we did have the financial resources, we certainly didn’t have the time to digest it all. So a few of us decided to get together once a month and share what we had learned, where we had learned and to begin to think about what it might mean – both on an aggregate level for everyone and on a micro level for me and my company.
Although things have changed significantly since those early days, I think a lot of the basics are still in place today. We all still question what advertising model to use, what content should we publish, how should we brand and market it, and what other ways can we monetize it. The fundamentals remain the same building blocks we used 10 years ago.
Q: What has surprised you the most in the past decade?
A: One of the biggest surprises for me has been development of the devices or the appliance market. I don’t think I could have imagined getting the Internet on my cell phone, on my Blackberry, on my TV, on my fridge (Yes, that’s available too!) and on my computer. I definitely never thought I could access the Internet unless I was connected to a wall socket somewhere.
Another big surprise to me is that, even after the tremendous downfall of the industry and the exodus of many talented people, the Internet can still capture the imagination of so many people.
Q: Which of the current trends do think will have biggest impact in online marketing 10 years from now? Which trend do you think is over-hyped? Which trend do you think is under-estimated?
A: I think we’re still evolving the appliance, and delivery to these appliances, of the Internet. Cell phone technology continues to evolve, wireless appliances continue to mature and with that, comes opportunity to get your message out in exciting, new ways. That means that the online marketer, as in the past, needs to remain current with new appliances but also needs to look ahead on a continual basis. There is no telling where the next ‘digital’ marketing opportunity will arise and someone in your company needs to be on the constant lookout for it.
I think all trends are worth watching and should never be underestimated. For instance, VoIP is not a reliable phone service offering today but I’m pretty sure they’ll work out their kinks and get it right in the next 24 months. At the other end of the spectrum, kids today can hold 35 simultaneous IM conversations without getting confused. What does that mean to marketers as they grow up and become the first generation to really have grown up with the Internet at every touch point?
Its 10 years later and really, the job remains the same – stay as current as possible, share ideas and knowledge amongst yourselves, and continue to learn and apply that knowledge as it makes sense for you and your company.
AIMS member Judy Gombita sent me an e-mail commenting how much she was enjoying the December ‘Rewind ’06, Fast Forward ‘07’ series at onedegree.ca. I completely agree with her that “the interviews have been really valuable and interesting.”
It has been enlightening to read what some of the industry’s thought leaders have to say when reflecting on 2006 and what might be coming up in the year ahead. You can read the series at www.onedegree.ca/category/five-questions.
How about you? Any thoughts about what you experienced in 2006 or what’s ahead for 2007?
Event: Toronto Venture Group, December 13, 2006 “Two Solitudes: The real differences between running an Internet start-up now and during the dot-com boom”
Mark Evans, VP of Operations for B5Media was the guest speaker at the December meeting of the Toronto Venture Group. The talk was billed as being of particular interest to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alike to hear about the realities of today’s dot-com business.
Mark began by giving us some information about B5 Media. The company operates the world’s 3rd largest blog network with over 2m unique visitors per month. It is an online publishing operation with various categories spanning celebrities and entertainment to technology and copywriting. He has been writing about the Internet since 1995, and was the Senior Technology reporter for The National Post. He also experienced the first wave of Internet companies through founding Blanketware, a natural language software company.
Summarizing the talk as ‘Then and Now’, he encapsulated his ‘then’ experiences as “It’s all about the Chairs” And assured us this would become evident later on.
He went on to talk about his experience with Blanketware, a web2.0 company before there was web2.0. I could relate. I extolled the virtues of one to one marketing only to be frustrated by the limitations of the web at that time.
Blanketware raised $0.5 in Angel seed capital and went on to…fail.
However, in the true Tom Peter’s spirit of “all success are built on failure” the experience was, in the words of the MasterCard ad: Priceless.
Mark illustrated the dubious commercial nature of the early dot-com business by showing us A typical scrap paper business plan. It went something like this – get a website – pitch to VCs – IPO - $$$$.
If only life were so simple. I did wonder in those heady days what would happen if I made a dotcom VC pitch with some squeegee kids…
In those days dotcom business was all about the money and little to do with entrepreneurialism. The news at that time was full of stories about the money and the latest billion dollar IPO.
Now it is not all about the IPO. Google might have been an exception to the rule but a start-up Internet business without a viable business plan is not going to go anywhere. Today’s start-ups have to do it on their own.
eBay, Excite, etc. etc. the list of great deals went on and on. And with these mega-deals came the excesses. The cool offices. Case in point: Blanketware - 2000sq. ft. of loft style in a prime downtown location. I sympathize. I remember the trials and tribulations of hiring staff in those days. The ‘cool’ office was definitely a draw.
We were then treated to a visual tour of the B5 Media space. Spartan and home basements are the order of the day. I would add that we should not forget start-up folklore. Many a mega deal business originated in the basement, garage, bedroom…. Wherever.
Today it is about prioritizing expenditure and having due care with money. Business decisions have to be made on a commercial basis.
Not then. Mark gave just a few examples of early dotcom excesses. Blanketware’s re-branding exercise cost $30K and they were left with a new name Diatra which reminds me more of a prescription drug than natural voice software.
And now to the chairs. The web consultants involved had purchased 300 at $1000 a pop. Crazy when you consider they had just received $30m in funding. But they were far from alone. To be fair this was a time when it was easy to get caught up in the irrational exuberance!
And what about NRG whose focus was to provide teenagers with VC capital? Hey you have to catch them young! The fire sale was good – Mark got a $750 ping pong table for song. I was reminded of spectacular failures like Boo.com who burnt through a $300m funding from luxury goods giant LMVH in no time. Heady days indeed.
Mark pointed out that today it is much less expensive to run a company. In the post-2000 crash world start-ups should leverage the numerous open source tools and free resources such as Skype, You Tube, Fresh Books, and Writely. He also questioned the merits of traditional conferences citing opportunities to network through groups such as Mesh, Third Tuesday, and Toronto Demo Camp.
Mark then contrasted this philosophy with the early dot-com conferences when we all came away with bagfuls of souvenirs. I often wonder if my long deceased dot-com co. logo tees will go the same as way as those of vintage rock-concerts. Of course SWAG is a complete waste of money.
We are now in the era of pragmatic enthusiasm.
Mark finished by pointing to the lessons of two books, Built to Last and The Essential Drucker. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and today’s dot com has to be a sustainable business. The fundamentals never change.
ThinData is seeking an experienced Group Account Director to work with top-tier clients specifically within the Platinum Services group under the direction of a Director of Account Management.
Full job description on the website at http://www.thindata.com/company/careers/default.asp
Please submit your resume in confidence to Human Resources by email to email@example.com by December 30, 2006.
Rydium, a leading online media house since 1999 has experienced exceptional growth on the targeted and network ad campaign sides and we’re now in need of additional Advertising Sales talent. The specific skill sets that we are looking for are listed at http://www.rydium.com/jobs.html.
Email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll start the conversation.
CaseCamp Second Life made its debut last night. Space was limited and unfortunately I was not one of the ‘chosen’ to attend. However, June Li came to my rescue and offered to webconference me in to her computer as she did receive one of the coveted spots.
So there I was conferenced in to June’s computer and listening to the audio via her speakerphone. If you thought attending an event in a virtual world was strange try seeing it seeing it through someone else’s avatar eyes! (Did I mention I left the festivities of a holiday party early in order to attend this event? My friends did agree that leaving to attend another event in a virtual world was the most unique ‘have to go’ excuse they’d ever heard).
I was glad I’d cut the holiday festivities short as the presentations were interesting and I certainly felt like I was participating in something completely new and unique.
I have to admit that I still prefer the in-person CaseCamp but I was glad June made it possible for me to attend the Second Life version. Of course it’s still all so new that at times the technology does seem a little clunky, especially to noobies. And I’m…or should I say Trixie Malone (my Second Life avatar) is definitely still in the noobie phase!
There are lots of photos on flickr if you're interested. Here is one I took: