Vol 1, #13, June 9, 2009
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June 9, 2009


Google breaking in to e-book market
Get questions answered on Digital Forum
Digital media changing broadcasting landscape
Track Bing search results with Webtrends
More intuitive searches with Google Squared
Make smart travel decisions with Bing Travel
TeleScope unleashes power of online video
Poynt search app one of top BlackBerry downloads
SaaS 44 goes live
nextMEDIA names best digital brand nominees
Boire Filler Group celebrates ten year anniversary

Google breaking in to e-book market

In a move that will allow users to purchase and read publications online, even without a dedicated reading device like Kindle, Google is set to take on the e-book market by the end of the year.

Publishers like Cambridge University Press have partnered with Google to sell books that can be read on any web-enabled device, including smartphones or netbooks. This is vastly different from the strategy used by Amazon, which requires would-be readers to own a Kindle – which is not currently available in Canada.

In another first, Google will allow publishers to set the price of their books, although readers will not be able to download the books, only read them online.

Google expects to make the first book available on its site by the end of the year. Top of Page

Get questions answered on Digital Forum

The Digital forum is what technology pundits call a “social network”, what marketers call “user generated media” and what Hugh Thompson publisher of Digital Home calls “a place to get straight answers to the technology questions Canadians are asking.”

The Digital Forum at Digital Home Canada now has over 67,000 members and attracts more than 700,000 readers a month. In addition to discussing the service offerings of Canada's biggest cable, satellite, high speed internet and wireless phone providers, it also discusses the latest in consumer electronics including LCD and plasma television, Blu-ray, Satellite radio, home automation and home computing.

According to the site “The Digital Forum is growing rapidly because Canadians are frustrated by long waits on the phone with their service provider and are frustrated by the fact that much of the mainstream media in Canada is controlled by the same companies that are selling them these digital services”.

The Digital Forum has been successful because its focus is purely on Canada.

“Digital Home readers come from all over North America, however, we remain focused on the needs of English speaking Canadians” says Thompson. “It’s very gratifying when visitors and members write to thank us for providing a uniquely Canadian place to discuss and learn more about new technology in the home.” Top of Page

Digital media changing broadcasting landscape

Demand to make entertainment and content-rich applications accessible on all types of portable devices is changing the game for broadcasters and legislators in Canada, say broadcasting industry leaders participating in the Canada 3.0 event on today in Stratford.

“With the digital revolution, we have an enormous opportunity to create new profile for Canadian ideas and perspectives if we build a strong national digital strategy," said Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer of TVO. "That means accelerating innovation to connect Canadian technology with the creativity and talent in our arts, cultural, education and entertainment sectors."

Access to content through the Internet, social media, and mobile applications presents new challenges for content producers and legislators for copyright, licensing and attributing revenue derived from programming.

"Companies that provide content and programming to broadcasters are concerned with how that content will be managed and protected in an increasingly digital world," said Paul Salvini, Chief Technology Officer and VP Canadian Operations at Side Effects Software. Top of Page

Track Bing search results with Webtrends

Webtrends has announced the ability to fully track and analyze search data generated from Bing. Bing is Microsoft's most current upgrade to Live Search and is the company's most aggressive challenge to competing search products from Google and Yahoo!.

Webtrends is the first web analytics company to announce full support of Bing. With Webtrends On Demand software, available immediately, Webtrends customers are able to track specifically which traffic comes to their site from Bing.com. All search engine reporting, including paid or organic search, keywords and phrases, will automatically include detailed analysis of Bing.com data and traffic.

"Once Bing.com was announced at the 2009 All Things D conference, Webtrends engineering immediately began work to ensure our customers are able to track all search results from the new engine," said Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, vice president, marketing, Webtrends. "Our customers expect this kind of nimble, quick integration and we are proud to say that all analytics customers can analyze changes in search traffic to their site from Bing.com versus other search engines immediately."

With insights into search engine adoption and usage of Microsoft's Bing, Webtrends customers across its eight vertical industries will be better positioned to analyze online advertising campaigns across all search results. Top of Page

More intuitive search with Google Squared

Some information is easy to find. If you want to learn the rules of golf, you can search Google for [golf rules] and we'll return a list of relevant web sites right at the top. But not all your information needs are that simple. Some questions can be more complex, requiring you to visit ten, perhaps twenty websites to research and collect what you need.

Google Squared, a new feature just released in Google Labs, is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. If you search for [roller coasters], Google Squared builds a square with rows for each of several specific roller coasters and columns for corresponding facts, such as image, height and maximum speed.

While gathering facts from across the internet is relatively easy for humans to do, it's far more difficult for computers to do automatically. Google Squared is a first step towards solving that challenge. It essentially searches the web to find the types of facts you might be interested in, extracts them and presents them in a meaningful way.

If there's another row or column you'd like to see, you can add it and Google Squared will automatically attempt to fetch and fill in the relevant facts for you. As you remove rows and columns you don't like, Google Squared will get a fresh idea of what you're interested in and suggest new rows and columns to add.

If you click on any fact, you'll see the sources Google Squared gathered it from as well as a list of other possible values that you can investigate. Top of Page

Make smart travel decisions with Bing Travel

Bing Travel is now available to help consumers make smart travel decisions through a variety of innovative tools and features. Bing Travel is part of Bing, Microsoft’s new Decision Engine and consumer brand announced on May 28, designed to help people overcome search overload and make faster, more informed decisions when searching online. Bing Travel combines many of the airfare and hotel tools from Microsoft’s 2008 acquisition of Farecast with rich news and editorial content from MSN Travel. Bing Travel is available for travelers today at www.bing.com/travel Top of Page

TeleScope unleashes the power of online video

North Plains Systems, Inc. , a provider of digital asset management (DAM) and media asset management (MAM) software solutions, has unveiled the latest version of TeleScope Video Manager. The solution addresses the unrelenting demand for new content for both corporate marketing departments and broadcast, media, and entertainment (BM&E) companies. It provides needed support for video workflow and editing, secure digital video storage, simplified rights-managed access to the video archive, and seamless distribution capabilities across distributed organizations and third party agencies.

TeleScope Video Manager offers a sophisticated but simple-to-use solution for cost-effectively creating, editing, and distributing short and long form video across multiple platforms like YouTube, Cable/TV, etc. With this latest version, they now have an enterprise-class media asset management (MAM) system for simple, secure access to their digital assets through a fully customizable, branded and user-friendly interface. The solution users them more control over the costs and processes normally associated with the creation, management, distribution and monetization of their organization’s digital assets.

“The proliferation and adoption of video is everywhere, from digital distribution platforms to internet advertising and corporate training,” said Hassan Kotob, President and CEO, North Plains Systems, Inc. “In the past, the complexity and costs associated with video production required companies to employ external production and editing resources. Today, North Plains’ latest release of Video Manager enables organizations to become part of the creative process, thereby reducing the time and cost of production, all the while empowering corporations with more ownership, management, and involvement in the process.”

New TeleScope Video Manager features include:

  • Completely customizable, production-friendly user interface
  • Customizable logging templates for video annotation
  • Drag and drop assets to timelines, then cut, transcode and deliver
  • Integration with NLE’s, video servers and other file-based workflow systems
  • Advanced audio scrubbing
  • Multi-channel audio support

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Poynt search app one of top BlackBerry downloads

The Poynt local search application form Multiplied Media Corporation is now entering its third month of being ranked among the top downloads on BlackBerry’s App World™.

The app has received a user rating of four-and-a-half out of five and garnered rave reviews.

“BlackBerry App World is a successful distribution channel for Poynt,” says Andrew Osis, CEO of Calgary-based Multiplied Media Corp. “We have been fortunate to rank among the top ten downloads.”

Poynt is a free application and is available to BlackBerry smartphone users in Canada, the U.S. and Germany. Top of Page

SaaS 44 goes live

SaaS 44°, a software as a service provider, offering VoIP, email, unified communication, and collaboration services, offers organizations enterprise level business solutions at lower costs, and without the complications of managing the systems themselves.

"Our initial target audience is the SMB, focusing on businesses with one to one hundred employees," says Mark Hummel, Chief Marketing Officer of SaaS 44°. "We believe that managing internal systems are becoming a larger problem for most small businesses. Server hardware management, application uptime, and security issues are taking up too much time for small business owners, and distract them from growing their businesses. Most lack the financial resources to hire staff to manage the computer infrastructure. This results in many small businesses using less than optimal business applications and resources."

Tim Writer, CEO of SaaS 44° says, "We have chosen to offer the two core services that all small business require - email and collaboration, and telecommunication.”

Email and collaboration, and VoIP, are the first services that customers can subscribe to. SaaS 44° has plans to offer ERP and CRM applications.

SaaS 44°’s email service will offer the same functionality as Microsoft Exchange and additional features that most users are unaccustomed to today. Users will be able to access their email, calendar, documents, and contacts on their Internet browser. They can also continue to use their favourite email client, such as Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird. Full sync options for virtually any mobile device are also available.

"We believe that once businesses see the cost per user, they will realize that SaaS is more cost effective than managing the systems and applications on their own," says Hummel. "Our solutions are simple and user friendly, and provide business with much more functionality to allow them to grow their businesses” Top of Page

nextMEDIA names top digital brand nominees

nextMEDIA opened a nationwide hunt to find Canada’s most innovative emerging digital media properties and the talented individuals behind them; in an effort to build a bridge between those properties and potential advertising partners. They showcased the entrees to a panel of judges, including Tribal DDB, Dashboard, MacLaren McCann, Henderson Bas, Proximity/BBDO Canada & Rogers Media.

“After a nationwide hunt nextMEDIA and our advertising partners have managed to select five excellent finalists.  The final decisions were based on key criteria such as uniqueness, targeted audience and a high potential for product integration,” comments Mark Greenspan, Achilles Media, VP of Digital Media. “As advertisers continue to play an increasingly important role in digital content production nextMEDIA will continue to offer opportunities to work with agencies." 

The nominees for the ‘Best Canadian Emerging Digital Brand’ are:

www.bitchinlifestyle.tv – submitted by Joshua Dorsey, D360 Media. Bitchinlifestyle TV is the primary web destination for the cooking, décor & lifestyle interests of a new media savvy, 18-35 demographic.

www.homestars.com  - Submitted by Brian Harwood, Homestars Directory. Homestars is a community of homeowners who share knowledge on who to hire, where to buy, and who to avoid.

www.notabletv.com - Submitted by Julian Brass, Notable TV Corp. Notable TV is a tastemaker’s connection to the new, noteworthy and inspirational.

www.protagonize.com - Submitted by Nick Bouton of Taunt Media. Protagonize is a creative writing community dedicated to writing various forms of collaborative, interactive fiction.

www.savvymom.ca - Submitted by Sarah Morgenstern, Savvy Mom Media. Savvymom is a city guide for moms by moms, looking to share their best local picks.

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Boire Filler Group celebrates ten year anniversay

What began as a two-man shop focused on data mining has grown into a group of 15 analysts and marketing specialists working closely with clients to help them make better and more profitable business decisions. Founded by Richard Boire and Larry Filler in June 1999, Boire Filler Group (BFG) has reached its milestone 10th anniversary in the Canadian marketing industry.

Guided by Customer Relationship Management (CRM) principles and best practices, BFG has leveraged its core analytical skills to enable forward-thinking companies to thrive in competitive markets. As The Company’s roster of blue chip clients has grown, so to has its services: Predictive Analytics, Data Management, Business Intelligence Reporting, and Customer Value Management solutions are delivered to some Canada’s largest organizations across a variety of sectors that include financial services, telecommunications, retail, automotive, publishing, healthcare, high-tech, consumer packaged goods and not-for-profit.

During its tenure, BFG has played an active role in the Canadian marketing community. The company is a long standing member of the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) with Richard Boire and Larry Filler having served as Executive Members of CMA Councils and Conference organizing committees. Currently, Richard is Chair of the Marketing Technology and Database Intelligence Committee of the CMA, while Larry is a Member of the Board of the Association for the Advancement of Relationship Marketing (AARM).

Richard and Larry are frequent contributors to marketing-related publications like Direct Marketin and are sought-after speakers at industry conferences and seminars. Top of Page