About Metaviews

Metaviews Media Management Ltd. is a Toronto-based management consulting firm that provides subscription analysis and professional services regarding the relationship between media, technology, and society. Founded by Jesse Hirsh, the company develops critical social analytics that measure how businesses and organizations adapt to emerging internet-influenced business models. Metaviews is a think tank focused on the future with a strong grasp of the present.

If you would like more information please contact us.

Toronto Bitcoin Summit 2013

10/24/2013 13:00
Canada/Eastern

The Toronto Bitcoin Summit seeks to provide a focused and intelligent platform for people to explore the present and future of digital peer to peer currencies. Combining workshops, salon discussions, and presentations from local startups, participants will obtain and help further advance knowledge and thinking on the subject.

The Summit will be held on October 24th 2013 at the Academy of the Impossible (231 Wallace Ave) starting at 1pm, with the help of Metaviews.ca, HeavyComputing.ca, EasyDNS.com, and Coinkite.com

There are two ways to join and participate: apply here, or pay two bits, i.e. 0.25 BTC or 10 LTC to gain entry to the Summit. Speculators can choose to pay in either currency at any time before the event to take advantage of fluctuating values.

A select number of spots are available for journalists or bloggers wishing to cover the event and participants.

Sponsorship opportunities are available starting at 2 BTC or 400 LTC.

YouTube Workshop Provides a Rare Glimpse at a Human Googler

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For a company that vowed one year ago to reinvent the wheel of social networking, Google has generally remained an abstract force to even the most loyal users, who cooled on the idea of using G+ to share with their circles — even if enhancements suggest that the courtship is still in progress.

So, it was a surprise to learn of a YouTube Workshop being held in Toronto on Tuesday at OCAD — just one stop on a cross-Canada tour — with the promise of insights on how to go viral, reach the right audience and profit from the creation of original online videos. Could this be the beginning of more outreach in the city where its presence — at least outside of advertising sales — has been a long-distance shadow cast from Silicon Valley?

"I don't have all the answers," cautioned audience development strategist Andres Palmiter — who is neither a YouTube creator nor engineer but an erstwhile employee of producer Next New Networks, which Google bought last year. "I'm just giving you the ingredients and you make the recipe yourself."

Canada's Big Three Telcos Team Up to Help Ramp Up App Development

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Telecom giants in Canada may seem at war with one another when it comes to advertising and promotion, but signals of collaboration continue to emerge, even as the competitor complaints keep getting louder.

Smaller companies looking to compete with wireless spectrum have been particularly displeased by Bell and Telus teaming to create a mobile network to take on Rogers. The purchase of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment by Rogers and Bell, meanwhile, has led to competitors including Telus voicing opposition to the potential tying up of sports broadcast rights.

Flying beneath the mainstream media radar, though, is their harmonic "co-opetition" in a service designed to make it easier for application developers to bring their ideas to market: OneAPI, the service launched in Canada this month after a two-year trial, promises an instant gateway to all of Bell, Rogers and Telus. What used to involve an 18-24-month process of sorting out carrier contracts related to application programming interface can now be delivered within a minute.

Toronto Police on Twitter Would Rather That You Picked Up a Phone

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"Reminder: Don't use Twitter to report crimes," noted Sgt. Tim Burrows on the @TorontoPolice feed last Sunday, accompanied by a ping to reformed gossip blogger Perez Hilton.

The social media officer cleverly referenced an incident that surely faded in the brains of anyone concerned with the MuchMusic Video Awards. Three years earlier, when Twitter was just catching on, Mr. Hilton used the service to tell police to come to his aid at the hotel where he was staying after an entourage with a member of the entourage of the Black Eyed Peas.

Perez has moved on to hosting nightclub parties put on with the hopes that other nominally famous folk will show up for a hug.

Concurrently, the Toronto Police Service launched a social media strategy and a related training program. But the emphasis has been squarely placed on putting a face on its community relations.

Kickstarter PR Problem: Crowdfunding Perceived as Illegal in Canada

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This spring, three events in the Hacking Reality series at the Academy of the Impossible were dedicated to crowdfunding, in response to the growth in curiosity about these platforms. Creative entrepreneurship can only thrive with the increased digital opportunities for anyone with a few digital dollars to spend to play a role in product development.

Yet the fact that Kickstarter continues to be technically unavailable to Canadians has also added to a perception problem. Growing awareness that a campaign needs to have its funds funnelled through someone in the U.S. — in order to access an associated Amazon Payments account — has landed the platform in the category associated with satellite dishes or radar detectors.

Toronto City Council Social Media: The Plastic Bag Effect

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During his conversation at our Campaign School last month, Toronto city councillor Paul Ainslie outlined his communication strategy with his Scarborough East constituents — along with how he tries to reach out to city as a whole. Becoming chair of the Government Management Committee supplied Ainslie with further motivation to use social media to stay in contact with a wider-range of #TOpoli-watchers. As a result, he arguably emerged as the most accessible ally of Mayor Rob Ford, at least when it comes to leveraging some of the tools at his fingertips.

By contrast, Willowdale councillor David Shiner — a 15-year fixture of the downtown Clamshell whose tenure predates amalgamation — is among those local politicians who have never sought an online presence beyond their their for re-election, if at all. Shiner’s own website is now only helpful in the sense that it indicates that you are better off calling or emailing than looking there for any indication of what he does, let alone what he stands for.

From Helicopters to Donuts: Crowdfunding Ahead of the Curve

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When the Pebble watch recently scored more than $10 million in backing via Kickstarter it concurrently drew more attention to how the concept of a crowdfunded venture remains behind the curve in Canada. Eric Migicovsky, the Vancouver-born University of Waterloo graduate whose customizable wrist device has been capitalized with more than 100 times its original goal, may not have needed to reside in Palo Alto to imagine the Bluetooth gizmo — but successful startups are generally a product of the environment from which they originate.

With no indication of plans by Kickstarter to break beyond the Amazon payment system technically limited to U.S. residents, a platform called Ideavibes has announced its intentions to step up, with the hope that the Canadian government will follow the legitimization of crowdfunding. For now, the opportunity for an American donor to get equity in a program through the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act has no equivalent around here.

Campaign School: Where the System Comes to Get Understood

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Campaign School was created as a cornerstone of our Hacking Reality series after Idil Burale, a charter member of the Academy of the Impossible, expressed a desire for a program that could enhance her ambitions to run for office in her riding of Etobicoke North.

With a next election not guaranteed to happen until the municipal vote in October 2014 , focusing on such a goal might have once seemed premature — yet social media has transformed the narrative. This new direct pipeline to any politician worth heeding means that campaigning can no longer be limited to the five weeks before voters cast their ballots. Now, it is a permanent state of mind for anyone who wants to hang on to their claims to serve the public.

So far, the most popular Sunday afternoon sessions of Campaign School have featured guests, including MPs Andrew Cash, Carolyn Bennett and Peggy Nash, city councillors Shelley Carroll and Adam Vaughan, plus a talk with Brian Mulroney's press secretary Bill Fox. The next visitor in this series on Sunday (May 6) will be Paul Ainslie, who has emerged as an intriguing personality in the current Rob Ford administration at Toronto City Hall, both as chair of the management committee and prolific presence on Twitter.

Waterloo Startup Looks to Connect the Children of the Digital Age With Their Analogue Grandparents

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A small startup in Waterloo is testing the waters with an online service that aims to bridge the digital-analogue divide by turning the weekly checkins, photos, tweets and blogs of social media savvy parents into a printed story sheet delivered by mail to their children's grandparents.

The service, dubbed Flockwire, is Inflolabs second attempt to closing this particular gap. The company won a number of awards with their debut offering photoflo which allowed users to send digital images directly from their computers to their grandparent's TV by deploying an interesting an inexpensive piece of equipment called Raspberry Pi. But despite testing well, the group ran into some trouble during deployment with their core demographic. Many retirement residences are still slow to adopt WiFi — the backbone delivery mechanism for the service — into their operations. The availability of WiFi, the reliability of onsite technical support and installing the hardware ultimately forced the group to rethink their offering.

Kickstarter Crowdfunding Moves Beyond the Impossible in Toronto

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Kickstarter has gained considerable steam in 2012, as reflected in its 70 per cent annual growth in pledges in the first three months, a period in which videogame designer Tim Schafer took in a $3.3 million advance for his project Double Fine.

Not only it is now considered realistic for an idea to exceed $1 million in advance crowdfunding, but more physical spaces are certain to surface on the website, after a proposal to build LowLine, the first underground park in New York City, met with mass media enthusiasm.

The concept has been slower to catch on in Canada, though, partly because Kickstarter remains inaccessible to those who lack access to a U.S. bank account. But anyone imaginative enough to raise money for a project from scratch can figure out a workaround.

Robocall Blogger Unfuckwithable Anticipates 'A Spiro Agnew Moment'

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While controversy surrounding federal election robocalls has just been stirred up over the past two weeks — largely due to the tenacity of a couple of Ottawa Citizen reporters — Brian-Michel LaRue has actually been wondering out loud about them since after the election last May.

The name of LaRue's blog, Unfuckwithable, may limit the number of broadcast media references to his efforts, although notice has been growing. Right now, the 29-year-old native of Montreal — a current contributor to Le Monde who previously worked for the CBC — also happens to be living in Miami. But he was asked to take a quick trip to Ottawa this week to give evidence to Elections Canada.

Links to the Tumblr-hosted website have appeared with increasing frequency on Twitter, where @unfuckwithabIe (the second last letter is capital-'I' not 'l') has a relatively modest follower count, although increased attention is being paid to references to tips about "Julian Fantino's Spiro Agnew moment" — based on an apparent affidavit although summed up for now as a one-act play.

Anonymous and LulzSec Betrayed by One of Their Own

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While a number of members of Anonymous woke up to the sounds of an FBI raid yesterday, the rest of us woke up to the news that one of the group's most prominent members was acting as a government informant.

When the dust had settled, Sabu, a prolific hacker associated with LulzSec, Anti-Sec and the broader Anonymous community, was revealed to be a 28-year-old unemployed father of two from New York named Hector Monsegnur. After being arrested secretly last June and threatened with the loss of his children and a possible 124-year prison sentence, Monsegnur agreed to cooperate with law enforcement. The information he provided led to yesterday's arrest of six additional Anonymous members and further charges against those who had already been caught.

Metaviews Presents Hacking Reality at the Academy of the Impossible

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Live events were our primary form of interface in January and February as we established operations at the Academy of the Impossible at 231 Wallace Ave. in downtown Toronto, under the umbrella of Hacking Reality, which has covered a range of topics related to social media and tactical technology.

Campaign School has proven to be a draw on Sunday afternoons — with MPs Andrew Cash and Carolyn Bennett and city councillor Shelley Carroll joining new and returning students to discuss what was involved in their successful bids for public office. Bill Fox, who was at the forefront behind the scenes for Brian Mulroney throughout the 1980s, will drop by on March 11. Future sessions will alternate between special guests and participatory forums.

YouTube School is another Sunday afternoon fixture, in which we look into how the evolving online video platform serves both consumers and producers of media, through browsing on a screen rather than a retail store. The new channel-focused strategy, Super Bowl commercials and other forms of advertising, the evolution of viral videos and the role of music videos have been starting points for sessions, at which anyone can have a say in what is shown.

Don Tapscott's Radio 'ReCivilization': Building a Better B.S. Detector

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"ReCivilization is a five-part series that examines some of the biggest challenges facing our world," reads the official description of the new CBC Radio series hosted by Don Tapscott. "It charts a path to the future enabled by the revolutions underway in communications, innovation and learning in this new, post-industrial, digital age."

Mostly, though, it's all about Don Tapscott.

The program was introduced with an ominous drumbeat as the author of the 1992 book Paradigm Shift assured the audience that things are still in flux 20 years later. Next, an uncredited voice — a self-penned bio written in the third-person, obviously — provided assurance that Tapscott was the rare person who could be trusted to shed light on how everything is on the verge of becoming new. Perhaps the target audience would rather not know that we are already there.

Programs that acknowledge that we are several thousand miles along in this "path to the future" seem to be doing quite well in the boomer orbit of public radio: NPR's staple On the Media assumes the audience is fully engaged with technology and CBC's five-year-old Spark doesn't seem to need to footnote every term that was foreign five years ago. (Disclosure: Metaviews president Jesse Hirsh is a technology columnist for the public broadcaster.)