Joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies

I wanted to formally share some exciting news from my professional life. Effective yesterday, Ascentum Inc has been acquired and will be joining the Hill+Knowlton Strategies family.  I’ve been with Ascentum for 3 years and as you probably know Ascentum specializes in helping businesses, government and not-for-profit organizations facilitate and create dialogue with stakeholders via online, in-person and social media-based strategies and tools.

How to Travel to the US, with your iPhone…

I travel to the US 2-3 times a year and I want to use my iPhone while traveling. The first task is to understand is your usage.  My typical usage is:

  • Voice Calls – I receive 2-3 calls daily with a total daily talk time of 20 mins, generally I know 2 of the 3 calls I get daily
  • Text Messages – I receive about 10 a day, and send 5
  • Data Usage – I use about 50 MB a day, more if I’m tethered

Yellowpages.ca getting better…

Today we got our annual call from the Yellow Pages Group about advertising in their directories.  We’ve moved offices so we’re probably in the Toronto West book.  The major difference between the call last year and this year was the online only options.  Last year we didn’t really have an option not to purchase online only

Refresh Analytics Launch

I’m excited to announce that Refresh Partners, has launched its first product. Its Refresh Analytics and it lets Facebook Application developers learn more about their user demographics. We’ve been using it with our client for several months and we decided to launch it as a product.

You can see the press release here:

Refresh Analytics provides demographic monitoring for Facebook application developers

And Mashable has written about the launch here:
Get to Know your Facebook App Users, with Refresh Analytics

Voq Liquidation Sale

A few years ago the Voq was developed by Sierra Wireless and was rumored to be an alternative to the BlackBerry. I was involved with the Voq project fairly early on through Certicom who provided Sierra Wireless the movianVPN software. It was of the first embedded VPN deals that eventually lead to a change in the VPN product positioning as a toolkit, rather than end-user software. The Voq had a lot of potential but was dependent on the Microsoft operating system which was released late and still didn’t have a compelling user experience. The Voq was eventually released too late, too big and with a number of problems. Sierra Wireless cancelled the Voq program in 2005 and nobody stepped forward to purchased it. Now all the remains the device liquidation sales

Trader Corp is Hiring

Trader Corporation is probably most recognized for the Autotrader Magazine and Autotrader.ca. Trader Corporation now runs the AutoTrader business across Canada and is expanding into other areas like Real Estate and General Classifieds. There are a number of positions in the Marketing group, including the Brand Manager position reporting to me:

Product Brand Manager – Real Estate & Employment Publications
Product Brand Manager – Automotive
Senior Manager – B2B Marketing Communications
Directeur Marketing -Communications (Montreal)
Directeur – marque immobilier et emploi (Montreal)

We’re also hiring in a lot of sales people and other positions around the country. You can find all these positions here.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on these positions.

Freshnews.ca v2

We launched the Freshnews.ca v2 interface today ( hard launch if anyone is following… ) , with a goal to be Canada’s Freshest Source for Canadian New. Roy Pereira has been heavily involved with the new design and will part of the management team going forward. The design provides the following:

  1. Cleaner look and easier to use interface
  2. Prioritizing of important news stories
  3. Clustering of similar news stories
  4. Tags to allow faster topic retrieval
  5. AJAX based architecture for faster navigation
  6. Canadian-only news feeds

We’d love to hear your feedback on the design. Besure to check the Freshnews.ca Blog for updates too.

New Job

I’ve accepted a position with Autotrader.ca and my last day with Certicom will be May 13th. Certicom has posted on Workopolis here or here for a replacement. I’m in the process of cleaning up, stealing pens, and generally passing all work to other people.