Posts Tagged ‘Mesh08’

Let’s Re-Think a Few Things

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

[originally published at]

rethinkRemember Web2.0? I’m often asked what the difference between it and social media is. My usual reply is that Web2.0 is an evolution of the philosophy of how we build the web. The social media phenomenon, however, is an evolution of the philosophy of how we use the web. Neither can exist without the other and both require their respective practictioners to re-think, well, everything, actually.

Last month’s Mesh Conference in Toronto was all about re-thinking everything. The pre-conference MeshU was an opportunity to re-think the nuts and bolts of Web2.0 for those who actually build the tools and platforms that we social media types use everyday. As a recovering web developer, I was tempted to attend the MeshU sessions to get an html/css/php/mysql/apache geek fix. I managed to resist.

The main Mesh conference was two full days of talking about re-thinking things:

Ethan Kaplan talked candidly about how we (as consumers) and he (as the recording industry) have started to re-think how and why we purchase music, if at all.

Michael Geist led the conference attendees through examples of advocacy and activism online that force us (and policy-makers) to re-think our preconceptions about who has a voice in society.

StumbleUpon‘s amazing story of rapid growth and lucrative aquistion, told by founder Garrett Camp, was fascinating, but the application itself requires us to re-think the concepts of sharing and social identity.

Lane Merrifield, founder of Club Penguin, successfully captured the imaginations, and attention, of hundreds of thousands of kids. To do that, he had to re-think the business model – one with no marketing and lots of free stuff.

The morning keynotes I’ve mentioned above weren’t the only opportunities to re-think a few things. The afternoon sessions, too many to list here, encouraged us re-think everything from privacy, reputation management, and communities to the spread of video, the future of the venerable ‘home page’, and building brands online.

If the "re-think a few things" theme that I’ve intentionally beaten to death here sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen Dr. Michael Wesch‘s now year-old video, The Machine is Us/ing Us. (embedded below)

I happened to be reminded of the video just a few days after Mesh, and after watching it again for the first time in several months, I couldn’t help but feel that it did a nice job of representing what Mesh is – an opportunity for Canada’s best web-heads to get together and really re-think a few things.

Re-thinking things…

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I wrote a post over at linking the Mesh Conference with Professor Michael Wesch‘s “The Machine is Us/ing Us” video around the theme of “re-thinking everything.”

I’ve included Prof. Wesch’s video below – but I encourage you to go read the post. ;)

MESH08 Day One (part 3)

Monday, May 26th, 2008

The After-Party!

Yes, the evening of day one deserves it’s own post. Social Media Group (my employer, in case you’re new here) was very pleased to sponsor the major party of the conference on Wednesday night at Rockwood + Green.

Before that, however, I must mention the very nice social sponsored by – it was a great little networking event that allowed to unwind after a busy day.

The party itself was a smashing success and there a flickr set to prove it! My fave photo of the evening is this one of the host (Maggie) surrounded by the Mesh organizers.

A highlight of the evening for me was running into Erick Schonfeld, co-editor of TechCrunch. Our paths had crossed almost a year ago when Erick was an editor at Business 2.0 magazine and I led an ultimately unsuccessful fan-driven effort to save the magazine. It was great to meet Erick in person and chat with him about the experience from his perspective.

All in all, it was a great evening of socializing sandwiched between two days of great content.

MESH08 Day One (part 2)

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

I feel compelled to finish writing my MESH coverage since Mathew Ingram has already linked to me as a source of coverage!

Day One Cont’d: The Panels

Video is Everywhere:
This panel, moderated by CommandN’s Amanda MacArthur, was most notable for me for it’s discussion around Canadian online rights to American content – and why we can’t watch shows on from Canada.
Sparks flew when the panelist from CBC suggested that ads might soon appear in torrent-distributed content. An audience member took exception to “paying twice” for content – once through taxes and again via advertising. He seemed to think that CBC should be completely devoid of advertising. I’m not sure the room agreed.

The New Front Page
This panel interested me for many reasons – not the least of which was that I had interviewed for job with panelist Candace Faktor(, once upon a time. This was perhaps the most entertaining panel of the conference thanks to the bold critisms of traditional media offered by Daniel Burka, Creative Director at At one point he called’s homepage ’embarrassing’ and indistinguishable from The Onion. He later called the newspaper business model “insane” and predicted the demise of the “paper” newspaper within a few years – much to the chagrin of moderator Mathew Ingram, a newspaper columnist.

Going to MESH? A wee survey…

Friday, May 16th, 2008

With MESH Conference just around the corner – and SOLD OUT – I thought it might be interesting to try to capture some sense of who’s coming. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey – I’ll post the results on Tuesday. Thanks!

Survey has ended – results soon

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Mesh Conference Schedule Posted

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The schedule for Mesh 2008 was posted this morning. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to pencil in the presentations I want to attend… I’m such a geek. SMG is sponsoring the after-party on the 21st, which is very cool.

For now my Mesh schedule looks like this:

May 21
1:30 TBD
2:50 Digital Activism
4:10 Private vs. Public

May 22
1:30 Cultivating Community
2:50 Building a Brand on the Web
4:10 Workshop: Reputation Monitoring and Management

Which presentations will YOU be taking in at Mesh?

you are going right?