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Content (Creation) is King at Canada 3.0 Forum

Canda30forum At the first ever Canada 3.0 Forum, there was a definite buzz of excitement amongst the over 1000+ attendees who assembled in Stratford, Ontario to participate in a dialogue to define Canada’s future in Digital Media. 

The irony that the event, attracting the best and brightest from the Canadian technology industry, academia and government, is being held a hockey arena, was not lost on David Johnston, President of University of Waterloo during his keynote address.  This is Canadian collaboration at its finest. 

Broadly speaking, digital media is where the creative aspect of content and context meet emerging communication technologies defined here as Web 3.0, or the semantic web.  A web that we can interact with to create and disseminate our own content is rapidly accelerating the rate of new media production, be it social media, rich media or otherwise.

The Keynotes on Monday morning introduced many of the government organizations responsible for stewarding Canada’s digital economy through policy and government support.  It certainly does seem that all three levels of government understand what is at stake in terms of establishing Canada as a leader in digital media an they have created a number of organizations and committed resources to guide the development of the industry.  The buzzword and theme of the event is already clear.  Collaboration is the name of the game.

So why is covering the event and what does the Canada 3.0 mean to you as a digital marketer? 

The opportunity for Canada, and the reason for this event, is massive. 

  • Globally, the digital media economy will grow to 2.2 trillion dollars in 5 years.  Canada is a nation of technology lovers with a vibrant media community.
  • In 2007-2008, the film and television production sector alone employed more than 131,800 people directly and indirectly across Canada – 41,600 in Ontario. 
  • As digital media continues to evolve through web 3.0 and mobile ubiquity, the demand for high-quality content will increase the opportunity for marketers and brands to create valuable conversations via these emerging media. 

Here’s hoping to that all the talk from our elected officials about “investing in the future” and laying the foundation for the future economy will lead to actual support of the companies, students, innovators and researchers that will be driving the digital media revolution in Canada.  In all seriousness, there is a substantial amount of resources being committed to creating Digital Media Centres of Excellence, training, tax incentives and funding support for digital media.  If your organization falls under the rather giant umbrella of “digital media” someone should be considering how to get involved in these initiatives and how to benefit from the available resources.

To borrow a notion communicated in the keynote address given by Tom Jenkins, Chief Strategy Officer of OpenText, developing in a Web 3.0 world must involve an active dialogue between the toolmakers and the tool users. One of the defined areas where this initiative pushing its influence is education in order to provide the toolmakers with the skills to create great products and companies in the digital future. 

We have a significant population of the most talented engineers in the world graduating from our universities Computer Science programs, but the Web 3.0 world will require a new focus and training to give developers the appropriate tools for the semantic web. If you have someone on staff that specializes in user experience, you should give them a hug right now!  They are precious.  One of the hotbeds of digital media training will become the recently announced University of Waterloo, Stratford Institute. Described as, “Film school for the internet” the centre will evolve as a hub of digital media education for 2,000 students and as an anchor to the newly formed Canadian Digital Media Network

Being a mere mortal, I was not able to attend or report on all the activities.  To dig a little deeper, you can check out the Canada 3.0 Community (powered by cool Canadian web community tech company, Igloo!) where there is a significant amount of content from the speaker sessions uploaded for your perusal.  My interest is in mobile and I thought that this area was the most relevant to the readership of because of the opportunities for marketers in the age of ubiquity.  Stay tuned for more posts and interviews on some of the hot topics from the event.