Monday, April 29, 2013


I've been enjoying, and blogging about, Wired Magazine's 20-year anniversary issue. One of their topics to represent the  technological landscape of the past 20 years is Convergence - of smartphones with a huge variety of other stuff.

An infographic demonstrates "How over 40 gadgets converge into the tiny device in your pocket". The image isn't ideal as it comes off as a devotional item to the cult of Apple, but it effectively (and amusingly) demonstrates the various technologies that most current smartphones have subsumed.

Wired has the graphic on their website, but briefly here is the list of old tech now found on smartphones:
  1. Email
  2. Camera
  3. Barcode Scanner
  4. Alarm Clock
  5. Music Player
  6. Handheld Gaming
  7. Video Capture
  8. GPS Navigation
  9. Personal Trainer
  10. SMS
Wired includes "more functions smartphones consumed":
  1. Radio
  2. Video Chat
  3. Bubble Level
  4. Boarding Pass 
  5. Weather (forecaster)
  6. Instrument Tuner
  7. Vuvuzela
  8. Credit Card Scanner
  9. Remote Control
  10. Whoopie Cushion
  11. Check Deposits
  12. Lighter for arena power ballads
  13. Car Keys
Any that Wired missed?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wired Magazine Turns 20

By the time I started my career in digital media in 1998, Wired Magazine was already firmly established as the leading chronicle of "new media" and high technology and its impact on our culture, economy, and everyday lives.  Both the print edition and website have remained my favourite publications.

The current issue of Wired features an A-Z of prominent topics covered during their 20-year history. In a rare instance most of the material from the print magazine is available on their website. They've even built a cool online interface to access their A-Z list,  that I highly recommend.

I thought I'd share most of the list here. The list is an excellent showcase of the huge number of changes and trends of digital media and technology. It's also a nostalgic trip and test of one's wired cred. How many do you know?
  • Angry Birds
  • Apps
  • Arab Spring
  • Banner Ad
  • Beta
  • Big Data
  • Blogger
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Code
  • Comics
  • Convergence
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Darpa
  • Design
  • Dreams
  • Electric Car
  • Emoji
  • Etsy
  • Facebook
  • Failure
  • Faking It
  • Flickr
  • Friendster
  • GIFs
  • Geek
  • Gmail
  • Goatse
  • HTTP
  • Hacker
  • Higgs Boson
  • Hypertext
  • IPO
  • Instagram
  • Jargon
  • Kickstarter
  • Kozmo
  • Maker Movement
  • Memes
  • Microsoft
  • Napster
  • Neurodiversity
  • Nintendo
  • Onion, The
  • Online Dating
  • Porn
  • Printing
  • QR Code
  • Reddit
  • Science
  • Screen Names
  • Share Economy
  • Silicon Valley
  • Silk Road
  • Snark
  • Sony
  • Storage
  • Stuxnet
  • TED Talks
  • Titans
  • Trolling
  • Turing
  • Tweet
  • UX
  • Viral
  • Virtual Communities
  • WIRED 01.01
  • Wikileaks
  • Yelp
  • ZeuS
  • xkcd
I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't know six of the above items at all (a couple of which I'm glad I never heard of), and I forgot the names of two.

I omitted their list of people, as did Wired for their online version as the print edition includes many luminaries' profiles. But I believe that although some individuals have contributed greatly to the development to key companies and technologies, it has been all of us that really made these concepts a reality.

I'm looking forward to Wired's next 20 years and hopefully by then I'll have an e-Reader or tablet to read it on and won't be needing print editions finally. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Typology of Contextual Awareness

The ability for mobile devices to detect and respond to users' context is one of the most powerful features of mobile technology.

My research focuses on location-awareness in mobile apps, but this is one type of contextual awareness. As I love typologies so much, I thought it would be useful to list the types of contextual awareness related to mobiles.

Environmental Context:
  • Location (using positioning technology, such as GPS)
  • Proximity to points of interest
  • Direction facing (using compass)
  • Weather and visibility of resources (using weather forecasts)
  • Country or state/province (via IP address )
  • Light conditions
  • Ambient noise
Temporal Context:
  • Time of day and date
  • Temporal proximity (travel time)
User Motion Context:
  • Contact with other devices (via bumping)
  • Speed (using accelerometer)
  • Orientation and tilting (using gyroscope)
User Behaviour Context:
  • Most visited/downloaded sites/apps
  • When use apps/sites
  • Language of user
User Profile (if user supplies:
  • Demographics (age, gender, education, etc.)
  • Display preferences
  • Content and interests preferences
Social Context:
  • Friends' proximity (via they sharing their location on their mobiles)
  • Friends' names (via contacts list or social networks)
  • Device type, version, operation system
  • Proximity to networks or wired resources
The way these various contextual awareness factors can be combined can result in incredible abilities for mobile devices to become more responsive to our conditions and needs.

This isn't my area of speciality, so I'd really like for some feedback on my classification scheme or any additions or corrections.

Monday, April 22, 2013

List of Location-Based Services

Every few months, I update my list of location-based services (LBS). This update is the most extensive since I started the list!

I've changed the categorization to reflect the growing use of locative technology into more areas of our life,  such as healthcare and art.  I've also expanded the history section of the list, based on my research as I previously blogged about.

This update has 30 additions. Six apps on my prior list went out of business  - that's the most I've noticed. I'm not surprised, as the market is over saturated, poorly differentiated, and not necessarily financially viable. Despite this, many new LBS apps continue to launch or attract attention, such as Findery, Red Bull Playgrounds, Endomondo, Field Trip, Sitegeist, and Grafetee.

The list is categorized based on the application's leading purpose. However, many apps have overlapping locative functionalities. Descriptions focus only on an app's locative elements. Passage in quotation marks are taken from that app website.

  • Flickr - upload, share, and search for georeferenced photos (also ZoneTag from Yahoo appears to facilitate this)
  • Instagram -  upload and share georeferencing photos (view Instagram photos on a map via Instamap)
Coordination, Communication, and Safety
  • 112Iceland - shares users’ position with emergency response teams should one become lost or stranded while exploring Iceland
  • Crowdmap - open-source hosted solution for location-specific crowdsourced info for activism, crises, or community projects
  • Glympse - share location with contacts and specify visit duration 
  • Groundcrew - "coordinates on-the-ground action with your people. Use location, availability, and skills to mobilize in realtime."
  • Guardly - personal emergency system, alerts authorities and close contacts with user’s location in an emergency (similar is
  • Swim Guide - find nearby beaches, their safety status, and historical info
  • YWCA Safety Siren - sends geolocation to emergency contacts, maps and directions to women's health clinics & resources, etc.
Commerce and Marketing
  • DinoDeals - proximal alerts of deals (by Geoloqi)
  • Grafetee - service provider for locative marketing & customer relations (e.g. mapping special events)
  • Groupon Now - proximity based deals 
  • MapDing- hyperlocal classifieds
  • Placecast - service provider for brands to create geolocative mobile apps
  • Priority Moments - proximity-based promotions & deals (only in London, UK)
  • - allows a user to search and receive info and pix on properties for sale in their vicinity or across Canada. Also offers proximity-based new listings and open houses (similar ones include Rightmove and Lovely)
  • Shopkick - proximal promotions and customer loyalty programs
  • Shopcatch - location-based deals (Canadian company)
  • Sociallight - service provider of geolocative apps
  • Where - proximity-based promotions and deals, by PayPal
  • YellowPages - uses location to identify and search for nearby businesses
Geosocial Networking
  • Banjo - geosocial discovery - helps you find friends and people with similar interests near you
  • BuzzE - proximity friend finding and networking
  • CheckIn+ - "all-in-one check-in app with augmented reality"
  • Citysense - nightlife discovery and social navigation
  • Ding Dong - ring your friends with your location
  • Echo Echo - share location with friends and coordinate friends' meet-ups
  • Facebook - location sharing and encourages place commentary
  • Find My Friends - Apple-based friend finder
  • Geotracks - real-time friend tracking
  • Google Latitude - real-time friend tracking
  • Grindr and Blendr gay and straight friend and dating finder
  • GyPsii - claims to be the world's largest geosocial network
  • Here I Am - send a link of your location on a map to friends
  • Highlight - "if your friends are nearby, it will notify you. If someone interesting crosses your path, it will tell you more about them"
  • Locle - geo-based friend finder
  • Red Bull Playgrounds - "for outdoor sports enthusiasts, music lovers, and fun seekers. Share where you play, connect with Red Bull Pro athletes and like-minded people, and discover new spots wherever you go"
  • Skout -"find interesting singles close-by, strike up a conversation, maybe grab a drink or share a cup of coffee"
  • Sonar - ambient friend finding
  • - alerts users when they check into restaurants with health-code violations (only via Foursquare in NYC)
  • Endomondo and Moves - tracking running, cycling routes to improve fitness
  • PulsePoint - locates volunteers trained in CPR in emergencies
  • Quench - stay hydrated by locating nearest water fountain or tap (also great for the environment)
  • WebMD Allergy App - geotargetted allergy forecasts, tips,and customizable alerts

Local Discovery and Hyperlocal Information
  • Around Me - find business near your location by biz type (similar for gas is GasBuddy)
  • EveryTrail - "find and follow trips from other travelers"
  • Field Trip - runs in background, when users get to an interesting place (e.g. business, sight) a pop-up appears with details (I'm not sure how "interesting" is defined however)
  • Finderyenables user to annotate their world to share with fiends and public to encourage place exploration
  • Geonotes - leave geotagged notes or subscribe to location-based info 
  • Geopedia - geotargetted Wikipedia entries - as also offered by WikiMe
  • Google+ Local - combines Google's old Places listings with Zagat content and their Google+ social network features
  • Grafetee -placemarking and local discovery & info
  • Historypin - enables users to add old photographs and text narratives to locations
  • Junaio - AR-based vicinity info search, including business and attractions
  • Layar - augmented reality browser
  • Local Books - proximal search for book stores and literary events
  • Murmur - recorded oral histories of place, uses old cellphone tech as users see plaque and call specific number to hear targetted message
  • Nearest Wiki - content from Wikipedia overlaid on places via augmented reality 
  • Sitegeist -  aggregator of locative info, including census data
  • Star Chart - identifies user position to view astronomical information via augmented reality view (Google offers similar functionality with their Google Sky Map service)
  • Tagwhat - a "mobile encyclopedia of where you are... learn all about the world around you through interactive stories, videos, and photos"
  • Trover - "log remarkable places and things by snapping a photo and adding a quick note. When your friends and others pass by in the future they, too, can experience your discovery. Track the paths of friends and other interesting folks using our "follow" mode"
  • Twitter Places - search for tweets within a specified area or tag places in your tweets
  • Weather Channel - geotargetted weather forecasts, possibly the most popular LBS ever
  • Zeitag - historical photographs
Location-based Games
  • Booyah - variety of games, including MyTown and Nightclub City
  • Geocaching - use your mobile device to uncover hidden caches 
  • Ingress - uses physical world as site of collaborative science fiction competition, players explore, document, and interact with their world as part of game play
  • My Town - "built around your local shops, restaurants, and hangouts. Level-up, unlock items, and earn cash to buy your favorite real-life locations."
  • SCVNGR - "share where you are & what you're up to with your friends. Do challenges to earn points and unlock badges & real-world rewards."
  • Tiny Tycoons - "the first location-based tycoon game on the App Store. Build your fortune, travel the globe and claim your favorite real-world places "
Navigation and Transportation
  • BlackBerry Traffic - uses real-time traffic info and user location to identify travel time, closed roads, and alternative routes 
  • Carrr Matey - "a quick, easy to use parking application with a mild pirate theme"
  • Hailo -  taxi-hailing app; uses positioning to identify your pick up location and nearby cabs
  • Flywheel - track and hail taxis in San Francisco
  • Nearest Subway - locates nearest subway station for New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Paris, etc.
  • SitOrSquat - find nearby bathrooms with user reviews of their cleanliness by Charmin (genius marketing effort and I must say the most useful LBS to come along in ages!)
  • Waze - community-based traffic and navigation app
Personal Efficiency and Organization
  • Checkmark - proximal task reminder service
  • Siri's Location Services - directions, recommendations, and personal efficiency services based on your location
  • Matchbook - "an app to save places", facilitates saving and viewing places & businesses to visit
  • Voxora - "voicemail for places", integrates with Foursquare
Social Recommendation and Navigation
  • DeHood - tap into neighbourhood buzz to find local businesses
  • Goby - suggests "fun things to do" based on your location or category (US only)
  • Localmind - get answers about a specific place & real-time events by people who are there
  • Urbanspoon - location and shaking based restaurant recommendations
  • Urbantag - customize a list of favourite places and share with friends
  • Wikitude - offers A.R., map, or list view of various types of proximal content (reviews, deals, and Wikipedia entries)
  • Yelp and Citysearch - user-generated local reviews combined with local search engine
Travel and Place Guides
  • Ask a Nomad - answered on your travel questions from fellow travellers
  • City Maps and Walks - "walking route maps and turn-by-turn walking directions are available to guide you to all the major city attractions"
  • Compass by Lonely Planet - "plot itineraries on dynamic, GPS-enabled map. Grab practical information and useful tips using our augmented reality camera view"
  • Gogobot - travel tips from friends & other users
  • HipGeo - "automatically groups photos, comments, places, tags, likes, and dates together in interesting ways... Besides seeing what your friends or family are doing while out and about, you can also access this user generated information to help plan a trip or discover something interesting."
  • MobilyTrip - social networking travel diary app
  • mTrip - "automatically customizes your trip itinerary...guides you to each tourist attraction with directions, uses augmented reality to display tourist attractions in your area, and allows you to share your trip with personalized e-postcards"
  • RoadTripper - a travel guide for off-the-beaten path explorers to help find "eccentric roadside attractions, breathtaking natural wonders, or mouthwatering foodie feasts"
  • Ski & Snow Report - detailed ski info snow amounts, traffic volume, weather, lift times, etc)
  • Ski Tracks - a GPS-enabled ski log of your routes, velocity, etc. with ability to geotag your pix
  • TimeOut - travel guide apps for various tourist hot-spots
  • TripAdvisor - get TripAdvisor's content on your mobile with proximity search option
  • Trippy - get trip advice from your social network
Early and/or Deceased LBS:
  • Benefon - released in 1999, possibly the first friend finder feature 
  • Brightkite, Centrl, Loopt, Facebook Places, Rally Up, Neer, and Gowalla -  place check-ins & geosocial networking
  • Dodgeball - SMS, pre-cursor to foursquare bought by Google and shut down (see CNET eulogy)
  • Dopplr - social travel planning (bought by Nokia and withered)
  • Flook - offered user-generated geolocated information
  • Glancee - friend finder based on proximity and social and personal commonalities (started in 2010, bought by Facebook and shut down)
  • GeoSpot - started in 2005 and offered location-based information and search products
  • Glassmap - friend tracking app, bought by Groupon, shut down but used for Groupon Now service
  • Hidden Park - "iPhone adventure game created especially for young families...lead(s) children into a fantasy world of trolls, fairies and tree genies - right in their local park"
  • Hurricane Party - helps friends find, share, and create spontaneous parties
  • Fire Eagle and Friends on Fire - location sharing platform and API, by Yahoo
  • Magitti - local recommendation, from PARC (see ReadWriteWeb article)
  • Mscape - location-based gaming platform by HP
  • Moby - family member tracking and coordination
  • Plazes - an early geo-social networking app, bought by Nokia (read eulogy)
  • Poynt - local search with proximity based reviews and mapping
  • Red Rocket - Toronto transit maps, routes, schedules, and nearest stop
  • Seiko' s Locatio - possibly world's first LBS, launched in 1999 it included locative mapping & wayfinding, geo-targetted weather forecasts, and proximal restaurants, hotels, & sights
  • Task Ave- "location-aware reminders. Magically get alerts when you're nearby a task."
  • Tripbirds- travel tips from friends
  • urbantag - tag and share lists of places with friends
  • Whrrl - users joined interest and brand based groups to get recommendations, tips, and deals
Thanks to App Central for their helpful scouting!

In case you're wondering why the app "GPS for the Soul" that Arianna Huffington is hyping isn't on here, it's  not on as not only does it not have any locative elements it has nothing to do with place/places. It's just using the term GPS to be catchy. (Nonetheless, it sounds like very useful app for me.)

As usual, let me know of any corrections or additions.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Typology of Location-Based Services & Locative Media

Over the past couple years, I have compiled a list of location-based services and locative media (see my prior post for how I define these).

Based on this ongoing monitoring, I have found they break down into the categories below.

Typology of Locative Services:
  • Art (e.g. showcasing art, encouraging artistic production, or fostering art experiences)
  • Coordination, Communication, and Safety 
  • Commerce and Marketing
  • Geosocial Networking (e.g. social networking centred around places visited)
  • Health
  • Local Discovery (e.g. encouraging exploration of places or discovering new info about places)
  • Location-based Games (e.g. using one's physical location as element of game play)
  • Hyperlocal News and Information (e.g. news based on a small area, neighbourhood)
  • Navigation and Transportation
  • Personal Efficiency and Organization (e.g. place based reminders, lists)
  • Social Recommendation and Navigation (e.g. business' reviews)
  • Travel and Place Guides
More and more applications are offering a variety of locative features along with a suite of functionalities, so there are only few instances of apps that fit into just one category.

If I missed a category, let me know.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Defining Location-Based Services and Locative Media

In writing a paper on locative technologies, I found that the definitions of the key terms locative media (LM) and location-based services (LBS) out there are poor. Both academic and trade sources are either nebulously vague or miss the defining criteria and instead focus on the resulting effects. Wikipedia, for once, is useless.  I also believe definitions should be as parsimonious as possible (something academics do very poorly).

I've taken a shot at trying to define these terms before. But I think I'm getting closer to a useful definition:

Locative media and location-based services are digital media applications,
normally delivered via a mobile device connected to the Internet,
that use the geographic position of the device to
deliver geographically relevant content back to the user.

Considering common usage, I am tempted to remove the word "normally" from the above definition as the terms are almost used exclusively for Internet-connected mobile devices.

  • Automatic positioning is not a necessity - users can select their location themselves, for example via scanning a coded image, selecting from a list, or entering a specific number, or a combination of methods (as Foursquare does)
  • Graphical user interface, multimedia, and user interaction - bare-bones, single modality applications can be quite effective, for example SMS-based info, audio-only guides
  • Content form is open - it can be information, news, social media, personal communication, entertainment, gaming, maps, directions, reviews, etc.

What's the difference between LM and LBS?
Great question - and there's no exact answer. I have never seen any one attempt to draw a clear distinction. In fact, the two terms are used so interchangeable within the past few years that they are almost synonymous in common usage.

There are some slight differences, however, that can be seen in the words themselves. Location-based services imply a service framework that is consistent with computer science and thus used more by developers and industry. Whereas, locative media focus on the media and its role and is used more by communication and media scholars. Earlier in the two terms history, LBS was also used to include GPS navigation devices, such as TomTom. Locative media was adopted by new media artists and thus the terms often carries with it the association of offering artistic experiences rather than the "service" type info (e.g. directions, contact details) of LBS. Also, locative media is used by some people to include any medium that exclusively delivers place-based information, such in-store digital signage and interactive kiosks in malls and museums.

The need for consistent terminology
As can be seen that new terms often change their meaning and that meanings can be in flux for many years. But, I think it is important to have consistent terminology for developers, marketers, scholars, and particularly and users. So I'm not sure it's helpful now for some people to still call paper maps and graffiti as locative media (even though they are relevant to our understanding of new media forms). This is my attempt to clarify the terms, but I'd love to hear how other people define the terms.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mobile Priorities: Spectrum, Talent and Much Lower Costs

Earlier this month, I attended a seminar on mobile technology and Canada's economy presented by Backbone Magazine and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.

The event, titled "Mobile Opportunities: The Next Big Wave Lifting Jobs, Business Growth", featured presentations by Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University, and Namir Anani, CEO of the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC).

Peter Wolchak, the editor of Backbone, opened the session by acknowledging the important role of mobiles and Canada's impressive adoption, yet cautioned that this has not translated into stellar success for Canada for either jobs in this sector or optimal use by businesses.

Diamond and Anani both addressed this dichotomy in their presentations. Their presentations and the following Q&A raised a slew of crucial issues to foster (or salvage) Canada's digital economy, particularly as they pertain to mobiles. The discussion acknowledged the well-known limits of all tech innovation in Canada - lack of access to capital, our small domestic market, the lure of business and talent to the U.S. - but then expanded on the rather unique challenges facing the mobile sector.

The growing importance of mobile in our daily lives and economy is often hyped, but both Diamond and Anani shared some impressive statistics (from various sources) about adoption of mobile technology and its impact that confirm the ongoing centrality of this technology for Canadians.

Some findings Anani shared:
  • as of 2010 there were more connected devices than people (12.5B devices to 6.8B people) globally
  • 76% of Canadians have downloaded apps
  • global app market is estimated at $26 billion and is expected to reach $58 billion in 2014
  • 51,000 Canadians are currently employed in the apps economy, reaching 78,000 in 2016
  • 67% of Canadian workers leverage mobility as a business tool
  • Mobility adoption in Canadian businesses accounts for a 4% productivity gain
  • 68% of Canadian employers see mobile adoption as a crucial business enabler going forward
Although Diamond's research focused specifically on Ontario, she believes it reflects the larger Canadian context. She highlighted some impressive findings, such as:
  • 78% of Diamond's survey respondents showed a strong interest in accessing more services through mobile technologies
  • 74% showed a strong interest in learning how mobile technologies can augment or replace common tasks
  • 40% wanted to have sensitive information such as identification and credit cards on a mobile device
  • Internal productivity is priority of large companies, while small to medium enterprises are more interested in innovation that mobility can bring to their products
  • 76% of businesses felt that mobility was important to productivity today
  • Canada is a world leader in mobile-related pattens and mobile research
Despite this situation, it was generally agreed that Canada has not been sufficiently keeping up with global rates among international leaders of adoption, utilization, or innovation of mobile technology. And if we let the situation deteriorate further, then not one will Canada lose any first-mover advantage, but we will reach a point where it is impossible to catch up in this sector. Various issues were identified, but here are the ones that resonated most with me:

1) Recruiting and retaining talent is a problem
The businesses working in mobility face staffing challenges - not enough Canadians have the necessary skills to fill the available jobs in the sector. Anani pointed out that youth unemployment is 14% in Canada, double the national average. But this is a perplexing situation as " who better than digital natives to tap into the demands of new technology". We need to figure out education and training solutions to address these challenges.

Diamond noted that not only is more funding and programming needed for skills training in mobile design and engineering, but educators need to rethink how the field is presented to young people. She stated, that educators "need to make it more exciting, to have a dialogue with youth to show that it is not just science and engineering, there are creative jobs." A great example of how this technology can be taught more effectively can be seen in the activities and apps that TIFF put together for their digiPlaySpace as I recently blogged about.

2) Cost of mobile access is way too high
The costs of mobile access in Canada is dramatically higher than most other countries. There was consensus that the high costs were:
  • limiting productivity gains that would result from greater mobile use
  • creating access barriers based on income
  • stymieing innovation by curtailing usage
An attendee quoted a Netflix executive who said "It's almost a human rights violation what they’re charging for internet access in Canada...The problem in Canada is… they have almost third-world access to the internet." Various methods to lower these costs were discussed, such as fostering greater competition, deregulating foreign ownership of our telecoms, making all network access free for everyone and even having the government give mobiles devices away.

3) Mobility is expanding into more areas of life
The bedrock of mobile device usage has been for personal and workplace communication, but increasingly mobiles are assuming a greater role in health, education, and commerce. Canadian companies and officials need to move beyond an exclusive focus on communication (and gaming - I'd add ) and embrace these sectors. The app sector is often dominated by consumer focused and  $1 apps, but there is much more economic potential enterprise, B2B, and healthcare apps.

4) We need more spectrum
Anani raised the crucial point that as more and more connected devices, such as appliances, cars, machines, etc. and with healthcare apps we need much more spectrum. In the U.S., officials have been successful in getting companies to release their spectrum allocation to help address this gap. Canada should consider similar actions to release spectrum.

Other recommendations were raised:
  • establish and enforcing stronger privacy, security, and consumer protection frameworks,
  • create bridges between research, start-ups, and industry organizations
  • governments should procure technology domestically and deploy across all levels of government
  • government needs to be a role model of mobility innovation through their services offerings
  • BlackBerry (formerly RIM) is so central to this sector in Canada that we need to keep them healthy
The presentations were drawn from reports by Diamond and Anani's organizations. For more information, consult OCADU's Taking Ontario Mobile report and ICTC'sDefining the Global Opportunity for Canadian Firms: A Road Map for Mobile Apps Stakeholders.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Canada's Walk of Fame Still Needs Digital Footprints

Last year at this time, I posted on the importance of recognizing Canadians working in digital media in both the content and technology sides. I urged people to nominate someone in the sector for Canada's Walk of Fame. So far, it's been a complete shut-out for this sector - which inarguably has a huge impact on Canadian culture, identity, and daily life.

Canada's Walk of Fame started in Toronto's entertainment district in 1998 and adds about 5 to 8 new inductees a year.  It is a great way to recognize the accomplishments of notable Canadians, as we don't often value our history and culture. The Walk brings prominence and recognition to these contributions.

Inductees can be an individual or group. Nomination criteria includes: being born or having spent formative years in Canada and having a minimum of 10 years experience in their field.

As a physical manifestation of Canadian culture, Canada's Walk of Fame is lacking in digital footprints. There are no people from the Canada's digital media section (i.e. this includes gaming, the Web, mobility, streaming, etc).

Their website appears to have been redesigned recently and has some bugs and flaws (the cynic in me wonders if this isn't a coincidence). But I tried the online nomination form today and it works fine.

So let's get a digital person on the Walk this year!  As an incentive they are offering a prize to attend the award's ceremony and ball in Toronto.

Not sure who to nominate?
Check out my list of Notable Canadians in Digital Media and Technology don't qualify as they haven't met the 10-year career mark. But here are some people that I think are great nominees:
There are lots more highly-deserving people. I'd love to hear here if anyone has any specific suggestions - or who wants to start a group effort to get one person in particular nominated.

Nominations close April 29, 2013 - so nominate someone now!