Friday, April 07, 2006

April 7, 2006 - Alberta Technology Newsletter

This editorial and information below has nothing to do with anybody but the writer. The opinions expressed here are based on the facts as they are known now, and the interpretation of the writer.

Editorial: 1

Alberta desperately needs to get out of the dumbbell industrial strategy. 1

Canada's biotech firms look to move offshore. 4

E-Procurement In The Public Sector: Last Chance for Early Bird registration. 6

ad:tech Hosts Largest International Interactive Marketing Show To-Date at San Francisco’s Moscone Center 7

IABC and Ithaca College Announce Distance Learning Courses. 10

Booming Economy Aside, Nearly Half of Alberta's Tech Firms Would Leave the Province - 2006 Alberta Technology Report 12

Science and technology. 13

Don't ask voodoo to solve our productivity problem.. 13

Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada Announces Online Rich Media Standards. 16

Industry-leading specs help advertisers maximize benefits of engaging ad formats. 16

Intellectual capital will determine the future. 16


Alberta desperately needs to get out of the dumbbell industrial strategy

This editorial has nothing to do with anybody but the writer. The opinions expressed here are based on the facts as they are known now, and the interpretation of the writer.

There has been a term coined by one of the current Alberta Conservative Party’s leadership contenders that Queen Elizabeth II Highway is a snap shot of Alberta. It is further posed, that the highway also is how the government of Alberta looks at the province in the way of plans or economic growth, to the exclusion of all other centres in the province in any sort of industrial or economic development long term planning. Thus the use of the image of a dumb-bell being, with Calgary on one end and Edmonton on the other.

I would like to suggest here that this is how the Alberta Government has looked at the economic diversification of the province’s economy.

We have the oil industry, and other than that, there is not much more of an effort by the provincial government to diversify the economy, and there is no attention in Edmonton to also look at spreading the spoils of the oil and gas boom, past the coffers of the Edmonton Treasurey.

There is no effort being made to help the smaller centres outside of the Number 2 corridor to attract the knowledge and high technology sectors unless it has something to do with a pipeline, oil well, or gas well.

There is no effort being made to help centres like Grand Prairie, Medicine Hat, Camrose, Lethbridge, or Hinton, build high technology centres to keep their young people, living, working and paying property taxes in their home towns.

There is no effort to figure out how all of the digital media students enrolled in a multi-tude of college technical school, or university programs will be able to find employment in the knowledge and high technology industry that in any industry other than the oil and gas. You will see below stories and commentaries on the high technology industry leaving or not looking at Alberta for a base of operation.

As Roberto Rocha of the Montral Gazette writes, ‘Alberta's oilpatch is becoming a source of grief for that province's high-tech firms, many of which are considering leaving.’

In one of the many reports looking into the high technology industry in Alberta, Ernst & Young’s recent report reveals that, ‘80% of technology companies continue to cite a lack of available financing as a key challenge.’

Read through the information below.

Alberta needs to rewrite its Municipal Government Act to give the smaller centres the power to set up high technology centres in their towns and cities, with tax incentives. The provincial and federal governments need to come together to change the way the tax system creates a disinsentive for smaller centres to create free trade/ import and export duty free zones, in order to have value added operations locate in Alberta.

We need to have a provincial government looking at removing the tax and royalty holidays from the large and very profitable oil and gas companies and focus their attention on what it will take to help grow a strong knowledge based industry sector that is no in one of the centres at either ends of the dumb-bell.

Alberta high-tech firms head here

Oilpatch causes IT labour shortage


The Gazette

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The good fortune in Alberta's oilpatch is becoming a source of grief for that province's high-tech firms, many of which are considering leaving. One already has outsourced a part of its operations to Montreal.

Oil companies are paying above-market salaries for many trades, and information-technology talent is among the first to be snatched up. Fed up with the labour shortage, M-Tech, which develops security software for network administrators, opened an office last month on Sherbrooke St., employing 10 people.

"It has become very difficult to recruit technical people in Alberta," regional branch manager Dave O'Brien said. "Even retaining talent is difficult."

M-Tech hopes to hire another 30 people in Montreal, which will supplement its staff of 120 in Calgary. Like technical support services outsourced to other countries, a client calling M-Tech in Alberta will be automatically transferred to the Montreal office.

O'Brien said hiring here will be easy.

"Quebec is well-known, and getting better known, by tech companies," he said.

The industry is being seduced by Quebec government subsidies for IT firms, cheaper rent per square foot and a virtually endless pool of talent churned out by the province's universities and trade schools.

Major video game studios and computer graphics developers have noticed, and have set up shop here.

"Being in Montreal allows us to recruit fully qualified technical resources about five times faster than in Calgary," O'Brien said, which is great for firms experiencing rapid growth.

The money saved with lower Montreal salaries goes toward paying the rent and Quebec's higher business taxes.

Investissement Quebec, the provincial facilitator for local and outside businesses, hasn't reported an influx of Alberta firms.

"We actually see more firms from British Columbia (in the technology sector) interested in coming to Quebec," spokesperson Josee Beland said.

But Alberta is facing a possible exodus of IT firms. In survey of 128 companies by Ernst & Young LLP, half said they were thinking of relocating to other provinces. Their main gripe was the lack of venture capital - also being hogged by energy upstarts - but some experts suspect it's mainly a labour issue.

"Capital is pretty mobile. You can get it from anywhere in the world," said Frank Atkins, an economics professor at the University of Calgary.

With labour it's another story. Alberta faces a shortage of up to 100,000 workers in the next 10 years, the ministry of economic development said. While it plans to beef up training programs, the province also hopes to lure tens of thousands of immigrants as well.

In the meantime, "tech firms are facing same labour shortages felt in all of Alberta," Atkins said.

But workers in the East aren't going anywhere, according to Karl Moore, a McGill university management professor. So there is impetus for Alberta businesses to move here.

"People here want to stay where they are," Moore said. "They want to be near their families and their culture."

Moreover, firms are finding it better to offshore and outsource within Canada (also known as nearshoring and nearsourcing) than to countries with even cheaper labour.

CGI Group Inc. did just that last week, cutting about 1,000 jobs, including 360 in Montreal, and nearshoring much of it to Prince Edward Island.

"It's closer to home. People here understand the business needs of Alberta more than people in India." Moore said.

And firms save on the management costs of operating a division in another country, he added.

Meanwhile, Montreal's market for venture-capital financing is the best in the country, noted Mary Macdonald, who tracks industry data at the firm Thomson Macdonald.

Montreal topped all Canadian cities in terms of venture capital invested in Canadian companies in the third quarter of 2005, garnering 27 per cent of the $261 million in capital disbursed.

"Are there good business opportunities for Montreal? Yes, definitely," Moore said.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2006

Canada's biotech firms look to move offshore

Looking for more business-friendly climate, they say

Gillian Shaw

CanWest News Service

Thursday, April 06, 2006

VANCOUVER - Almost half of Canada's biotech companies are planning to move all or part of their business outside Canada to more business-friendly areas, according to a joint report from BIOTECanada and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The responses from the cross-Canada survey indicate the country stands to lose almost half of its life science and biotech companies if it fails to provide a more sustainable business environment, according to Peter Brenders, president and chief executive of BIOTECanada.

"When we see 48% of companies are looking to move all or part of their companies outside Canada, it raises an alarm," he said. "I think we can do better and I think this is a wakeup call."

According to business leaders in the survey, a range of factors are combining to create an environment that is encouraging companies here to shift all or part of their operations outside of Canada, from tax considerations that deters foreign investment in Canadian companies, to immigration policies that are making it difficult for companies here to attract much needed talent, to a lack of venture capital, particularly for early-stage biotechs.

"The survey shows the government can play a role; it is our hope that we can work with the government to deal with the barriers that companies are facing and renew interest in the biotechnology sector here," said Mr. Brenders.

The report was released on the same day as Vancouver-based biotech firm QLT announced it is partnering with a Seattle company to develop new drugs for the prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases of the retina.

The cross-border partnership is indicative of a trend in a sector in which more than 90% of the companies surveyed rate mergers and acquisitions among their top three exit strategies and they are looking across the border and overseas to carry out their plans.

Mr. Brenders said Canada must convey an image to outside investors that it supports the industry. In the global community of the biotech sector, the players are quick to learn of any barriers to doing business here.

© National Post 2006

WebmasterRadio.FM Broadcasts Keynote and Panel Presentations Live from eComXpo - April 4-6, 2006

WebmasterRadio.FM, the official radio network of eComXpo, interrupts its regularly scheduled programs to bring listeners live coverage of this week's eComXpo conference event.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) April 4, 2006 -- WebmasterRadio.FM, the premier free, business, 24/7 internet radio network focused on the e-commerce marketplace and the official radio network of eComXpo, announces live coverage of this week's eComXpo conference, April 4th-6th. WebmasterRadio.FM will be pre-empting their regularly scheduled business programs to bring listeners and attendees live coverage of the event with Q&A in the "Live Chat" room and broadcasts for all event panels and keynote addresses. eComXpo is a three-day, completely virtual tradeshow for eCommerce marketers, networks, etailers, agencies and advertisers taking place online at

WebmasterRadio.FM will also be sponsoring the Lounge section of the eComXpo show, where attendees can interact with peers and listen participate in the live sessions. All WebmasterRadio.FM programs are available immediately in podcast, mobilecast and archived format at

"As eComXpo's official radio network, we are very happy to be providing exclusive coverage of this week's event," stated WebmasterRadio.FM Vice President of Marketing Brandy Shapiro-Babin. "The eComXpo conference is the largest virtual tradeshow for ecommerce marketers, and the opportunity to work with eComXpo provides a wonderful chance to reach out to this vital online business community. We are committed to providing our listeners with the latest information from the best sources to help them create successful business strategies."

In addition to eComXpo's daily keynote presentations from Bryan Eisenberg of Future Now, Inc., Anne Holland of, and Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer, the conference will feature 17 panel presentations throughout the three days on hot topics of interest to affiliates, merchants, advertisers, publishers, search and interactive marketing professionals around the world. For a full list of speakers, panels and topics, visit

"We've managed to attract the top talent in the eCommerce industry to present at this show," noted Robert Grosshandler, eComXpo speaker chair. "The overwhelming success of our unique panel style at last October's show has allowed us to once again partner with WebmasterRadio.FM to offer live Q&A for all our panels, as well as our keynote addresses, to not only the attendees at eComXpo, but to all the WebmasterRadio.FM listeners around the world. The opportunities for our speakers to impart their knowledge and expertise, as well as to 'get the word' out to the over 7,000 expected show attendees through WebmasterRadio.FM, are just mind-boggling."

In addition to educational sessions, eComXpo attendees are able to network with thousands of professionals, “hang-out” in the virtual lounge, join forums, earn valuable points towards great show prizes and visit and interact with hundreds of eCommerce industry exhibitors including MSN, LinkShare, Performics, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Digital River, Internet Retailer, ad:tech,, Affiliate Summit and more on both the affiliate and search engine exhibit floors. Attendees may explore exhibitor booths, win booth prizes and talk with booth personnel to learn more about the company, their products, programs and career opportunities.

WebmasterRadio.FM's live coverage of eComXpo will take place this week, April 4th-6th at

About eComXpo
eComXpo is the first virtual, online trade show and conference for eCommerce marketers. Its third show is April 4-6, 2006. The focus of the show is Search, Affiliate and Interactive Marketing. Free registration and information are available at Over 175 exhibitors, sponsors, and presenters will be gathering with over 7,000 attendees, completely online. eComXpo provides all the benefits of a top tradeshow without the cost, travel or hassle normally associated with traditional events. After just two shows, eComXpo has become the world's largest trade show for eCommerce marketers.

About WebmasterRadio.FM
WebmasterRadio.FM strives to lift the "veiled curtain" of the Internet to bring the business community together through an interactive radio network. Its listeners are a global group comprised of everyone from corporate executives and decision makers to individuals who work for themselves, small and mid-sized businesses to those just starting out. The WebmasterRadio.FM listening audience has a vast appeal to anyone looking to learn industry-specific information from the most successful marketers and technology experts in the world. These Internet "influencers" create, learn and listen in a true community destination.

WebmasterRadio.FM's stellar line-up of radio programming includes "CoverStory" with David McInnis, CEO, and Mick Jolly, Executive Vice President, of PRWeb, WebmasterRadio.FM's official newswire; "The Hook with Katie Kempner" with Katie Kempner, Vice President of Crispin Porter + Bogusky; "ad:tech Connect" with host Susan Bratton, ad:tech Chair and CEO of Cendara, Inc.; "DomainMasters" with Monte Cahn, CEO of; "The Daily SearchCast" featuring Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch; "NextStuffNow" with Chris Tolles, VP of; "Power Source" with Tim Mayer of Yahoo! Search and Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo!; and more.

To tune into WebmasterRadio.FM’s live content, or to check out the show lineup, please visit

E-Procurement In The Public Sector: Last Chance for Early Bird registration

+++E-Procurement In The Public Sector

- An E-Government Bulletin Seminar, 16 May 2006

- Royal Institute of British Architects, London

- Early Bird discount offer ends 7 April

E-procurement - the use of new technologies to automate the public procurement process - is one of the few proven ways in which ICT can save a public body cash. But there are challenges to overcome.

· How will you persuade staff to change the way they purchase?

· How to integrate old systems with new?

· How to engage small businesses?

Come to our event and find out how.

Places normally cost 295 pounds plus VAT for public sector and 395 for private sector delegates. However if you register before 7 April you will save 100 pounds per delegate by typing 'ebProc' after your name. So sign up today to take advantage!

We are also pleased to announce today that our event will take place in co-operation with the European Commission's e-procurement programme.

For more information see:

ad:tech Hosts Largest International Interactive Marketing Show To-Date at San Francisco’s Moscone Center

ad:tech expositions, LLC (, the leading organizer of conferences and exhibitions for the interactive marketing community worldwide, hosts its largest exposition to-date centered on the new theme “Connecting Globally: Markets in Motion” April 26 - 28, 2006 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center North. The event features the most advanced marketing technology, inspiring speakers from household names like Coca-Cola to emerging brands, global case studies, and the latest market research, to provide a comprehensive look at what’s happening now – and what’s next – in the ever-evolving interactive marketing industry. The sessions are designed to engage attendees and deepen their connections with colleagues from around the world.

San Francisco, Calif. (PRWEB) April 3, 2006 -- ad:tech expositions, LLC (, the leading organizer of conferences and exhibitions for the interactive marketing community worldwide, hosts its largest exposition to-date centered on the new theme “Connecting Globally: Markets in Motion” April 26 - 28, 2006 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center North. The event features the most advanced marketing technology, inspiring speakers from household names like Coca-Cola to emerging brands, global case studies, and the latest market research, to provide a comprehensive look at what’s happening now – and what’s next – in the ever-evolving interactive marketing industry. The sessions are designed to engage attendees and deepen their connections with colleagues from around the world.

“As an international destination city on the pulse of technology and marketing, San Francisco is an ideal venue for our largest show ever,” said Don Knox, VP, ad:tech Expositions. “We’re expecting to draw a record-breaking audience and have assembled an impressive line-up of topics, speakers and sessions to help expand vision and widen the circles of influence for attending marketers.”

ad:tech San Francisco launches The Now and Next Technology Showcase, a new program offering firsthand access to the technology and real-world uses of products from more than 40 innovative companies in the mobile, TV and gaming spaces. Rather than relying on static presentations, companies offer interactive demos where attendees can see, touch and play with products and talk directly with representatives.

Expanding on the theme of global connectivity, more than 200 speakers, including CEOs, VPs and marketing executives from top companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Spring/Nextel, Forbes, Forrester, Carat Fusion and Organic share their market experiences. Each day begins with an inspiring keynote presentation, starting Wednesday, April 26 with “He Has the Dough: Can You Make a Go?” by Mark Kvamme, Sequoia Capital partner, who will address what it takes to get funded and share hot technology trends. On Thursday, Keith Ferrazzi, author of “Never Eat Alone” shares key learnings on how to establish “Relationships for a Rockin Life,” and James McGregor, author of “One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China,” starts off the third and final day.

"Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google and Chad Hurly and Steve Chen of YouTube are the creators of today's modern media. They have ushered in the Golden Years of the Internet. Over the next decade, entirely new methods of communications and commerce will be made possible because the constantly connected consumer will demand and get instant satisfaction from the marketers who are ready to serve them," said Mark Kvamme. "With over 250 exhibitors, top marketers, ad agencies and Fortune 1000 companies descending on the Bay Area; ad:tech connects marketers to the local and global business and technology issues that impact our profession and the consumer."

Wednesday’s keynotes round-out the Mastery Series, exploring brand and targeting marketing issues. In “Mastery Series: Brand,” Susan Bratton, CEO of Cendara, Inc. and ad:tech Executive Chair leads panelists Gary Korotzer, VP of Marketing for RedEnvelope, and Tarang Amin, VP of Marketing for Clorox, in a discussion about shifting big brand advertising to the Web. In “Mastery Series: It’s All About Targeting,” Geoff Ramsey, CEO and Co-Founder, eMarketer, leads panelists Martin A. Nisenholtz, Senior VP, Digital Operations, The New York Times; Scott Ferber, President and CEO,; and Robert Brown, Interactive Marketing Manager, Hyundai Motor America, in a discussion about using the Web to its full potential for targeting campaigns without losing reach.

Throughout the show, key issues are broken up along five different, interest-specific session tracks, to help attendees best take advantage of ad:tech’s broad offerings (visit for agenda):
• Strategic Directions
• Online Advertising
• Performance Marketing
• Lifelong Learning
• Now & Next Tech

“It’s only natural that an interactive show encourages sharing that goes beyond the exchange of business cards to establish a true network,” said Susan Bratton. “ad:tech Connect! online and ConnectLIVE! support continued relationships among attendees, presenters and exhibitors alike, creating global connections that fuel change, innovation and good business.”

Building on “Connecting Globally: Markets in Motion,” ad:tech ConnectLIVE! brings back the Hotseat: Small Talk with Big People, to delve beneath the surface of scripted interaction and drive impactful, LIVE! connections. Facilitated by anGelo – The Meeting Guy David Ferrera, the Hotseat merges a game show feel with a focus group format, bringing industry veterans and audience members together for quick questions and answers ranging from industry anecdotes and career tips, to the free-flow feel of truth-or-dare. The anything goes atmosphere encourages connection among participants and already has a star line-up of participants: Doron Wesly, Interactive Advertising Bureau; Victoria Stull, President, Market China, Inc.; Toby Gabriner, CEO, Poindexter Systems; Charlene Li, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research; and Darin Brown, Head of West Region, Avenue A Razorfish.

An anticipated crowd of more than 2,000 will gather for ConnectLIVE! from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night to enjoy delicious food, free-flowing drinks and entertainment from San Francisco’s The Cheeseballs and a surprise performance troupe in Moscone Center North’s Room 135. Sponsors [ Bay Area Interactive Group, [ Poindexter Systems , [ DoubleClick, [ Media, [, [, [, and [ AdCenter, and help create this Grand Opening Extravaganza that will have speakers, colleagues and friends buzzing through the end of the show, and beyond. ad:tech encourages all attendees to join the ad:tech Connect community beforehand, to increase networking opportunities and join the ad:tech community for year-long connections.

For public information, please visit

Editors: For interviews, images or more information, please contact: Martha Shaughnessy, 415-402-0230 register directly at:

Platinum Sponsors include: [ AdvertisingAge, [ Datran Media, [ Findology, [, [ iMEDIA Connection, and [ Gold Sponsors include: [ Casale Media, [ Netblue, and [ Revenue Magazine. Silver Sponsors include: [ AdDrive, [ Claria, [ DoubleClick, [ The Jordan Edmiston Group, Inc., [ Poindexter Systems, [ TheUseful, and [ Vendare Media. Bronze Sponsors include: [ Affiliate Fuel, [ BusinessOnLine, [, [ Google, [ MSN AdCenter, [ mSpoke, [ MyPoints, [ RevenueScience, [ Tribal Fusion, [ Ultramercial, [ Weatherbug, [ The Web Marketing Association’s WebAward, [ WebSideStory, and [ Yahoo! Search Marketing. Sponsors include: 1to1 Media, [ adma, [ adotas, [ atomic PR, [ BtoB, [ Direct Magazine, [ Digital Moses Confidential, [ emarketer, [ Experclick, [, [ KL & P Marketing, [ LeadFlash, [ Market China, Inc., [ MarketingSherpa, [ OPA, [ OTX, [ PRWeb, [ ROVION, [ SEMPO, [ SimpleFeed, [ SmartBrief, and [ streaming media magazine.

About ad:tech: ad:tech expositions, LLC is the leading organizer of conferences and exhibitions for the interactive marketing community worldwide. ad:tech produces the world’s largest interactive marketing events held in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Sydney and Paris. ad:tech is produced by dmg world media; based out of the company’s headquarters in Larkspur, California. For listings of exhibitors, speakers, events and upcoming conference offerings, visit

About dmg world media: An international exhibition and publishing company, dmg world media produces over 300 market-leading trade exhibitions, consumer shows and fairs each year and publishes 45 related magazines, newspapers, directories and market reports. dmg world media employs 800 people and maintains a worldwide presence through 38 offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, the United Arab Emirates, China, Australia and New Zealand. dmg world media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT), one of the largest and most successful media companies in the United Kingdom. Additional information on dmg world media can be found at

IABC and Ithaca College Announce Distance Learning Courses

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) today announced a partnership with the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in New York, to offer a new series of continuing education courses for communication professionals. Each online course will be held over a two-week period and taught by internationally respected educators and practitioners. Students will be awarded a certificate for 1.0 CEU (continuing education unit) from Ithaca College for each course successfully completed.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) January 27, 2006 -- The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) today announced a partnership with the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in New York, to offer a new series of continuing education courses for communication professionals. Each online course will be held over a two-week period and taught by internationally respected educators and practitioners. Students will be awarded a certificate for 1.0 CEU (continuing education unit) from Ithaca College for each course successfully completed.

Each online course will be limited to 25 participants, allowing students to receive individual coaching that will directly impact their current work. Students will be required to spend approximately 10 hours over each two-week course, reading posted materials and engaging in online dialogues with the professor and fellow learners from around the world.

The courses will be held asynchronously, allowing the students to interact with the professor and their peers any time of the day based on their convenience. The only technical requirements to participate in the courses are a valid e-mail address, access to the Internet, and software to read Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft PowerPoint slideshows and Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files.

The fee for each online course is US$375 for IABC members and US$450 for non-members. For more information and online class registration, visit or contact the course instructor, Diane Gayeski. The first course, ROI and Beyond: Building and demonstrating the value of communication, will take place 20 March–1 April 2006.

About the courses

ROI and Beyond: Building and demonstrating the value of communication
20 March–1 April 2006

Today more than ever, communicators are challenged to prove their value. While many professionals are beginning to calculate the actual and potential ROI of their communication projects, this measurement technique is just the beginning. Communication systems have ongoing strategic value as intangible assets that provide competitive advantage to organizations.

Topics covered in this course include:
?When, why and how to calculate cost/benefits and ROI measurements (and when not to).
?How to use proven models and templates to pitch communication systems as long-term intangible assets.
?How to create value chains and integrate communications with business initiatives such as the balanced scorecard and corporate social responsibility.
?Strategies for protecting and leveraging your intellectual and business properties and creating an income stream for communication.

Online Learning and Collaboration: Managing your personal and organizational virtual knowledge system
17–29 April 2006

The Internet has emerged as a primary tool for organizational collaboration and learning, and for individual professional development. However, just because we have e-mail, web meeting tools and online courses doesn’t mean that we necessarily know how to effectively leverage these tools. As a communication professional, you need to understand how to select and implement online tools such as groupware, virtual meeting spaces and e-learning software, both as a user and a designer.

Topics covered in this course include:
?How to identify and select popular online tools for collaboration, learning and decision making, looking at actual examples from organizational applications.
?Techniques for structuring and moderating online meetings and courses, maximizing interaction and attention.
?Pitfalls to avoid when selecting and implementing online group tools.
?Leveraging new mobile computing and communication technologies such as cell phones and PDAs.
?How to become an effective online learner yourself, using models and samples from actual professional development sites.

About the professor

Diane Gayeski, Ph.D. is professor of communication at Ithaca College and CEO of Gayeski Analytics. Internationally recognized for her work in organizational communication strategy and new technologies, she has led more than 300 consulting engagements for clients worldwide. Diane is the author of 13 books, including Managing Learning and Communication as Business Assets, IABC’s best-selling manual, Managing the Communication Function and Learning Unplugged: Using Mobile Technologies for Organizational Learning and Performance Improvement. Visit or to learn more about her work.

About the Roy H. Park School of Communications

With some 1,200 students and 60 faculty, the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College is a national leader in the field of communications education. It offers bachelor’s degrees in television-radio; cinema and photography; integrated marketing communications; organizational communication, learning, and design; film, photography, and visual arts; and journalism; and a master’s degree in communications. For more information on the Park School, visit

About IABC

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves more than 13,500 members in 67 countries, 100 chapters and 10,000 organizations. For more information, visit

Booming Economy Aside, Nearly Half of Alberta's Tech Firms Would Leave the Province - 2006 Alberta Technology Report

The Ernst & Young report reveals that 80% of technology companies continue to cite a lack of available financing as a key challenge

CALGARY, March 28 - The unprecedented boom in Alberta's oil and gas industry isn't preventing the province's top technology leaders from thinking about leaving the province in search of greener funding pastures, according tothe findings of a study of leaders of Alberta's technology companies, releasedtoday by leading professional services firm, Ernst & Young LLP. Virtually every respondent (99%) believes the province's economy is strong, yet nearlyhalf have considered or would consider relocating outside the province - with a fifth of these businesses citing better access to funding as the primary reason for thinking about relocation.

"There's a sense among Alberta's technology entrepreneurs that because ofthe high returns in the oil and gas sector, the available capital out there is being reinvested in the energy markets rather than the tech sector," saysTerry Booth, executive director in Ernst & Young's technology practice. "So, despite believing that the Alberta economy will continue to experienceconsiderable growth, 49% of our respondents felt the competition for financing - either from equity groups or government - is a major competitivedisadvantage in growing a technology business here. Astonishing, however, isthat of the companies surveyed that actually tried to raise capital last year, nearly two-thirds were successful. This figure demonstrates that funding is available but companies need to be diligent in finding these sources."

As with previous years' conclusions the latest findings show that Alberta's technology firms continue to use family and friends, and private or angel investors as the most common sources of financing. A full 87% of the companies surveyed plan to find an alliance or merger partner within the next three years and 67% will seek angel or private investment. Thirty-eightpercent will seek financing from a venture capital firm.

Three-quarters of respondents also consider an inability to access government grants and funding for research and development as an obstacle to their companies' growth. "The disconnect between the perception of poor government funding and actual attempts to access this financing needs to be addressed," says Peter Josty, executive director of The Centre for Innovation Studies. "It has been an ongoing concern in the tech sector here, with toomany funding opportunities being missed. Only one-third of respondents report accessing funds through the Industrial Research Assistance Program, or IRAP,and fewer than half say they take advantage of SR&ED tax credits - findings identical to our report of two years ago. So, despite a clear indication that funding sources are not being fully exploited, there remains an overall apprehension about a lack of funding. Clearly, the message is not getting out that good R&D funding avenues exist," Mr. Josty says.

Alberta's market size is another concern for technology companies. An overwhelming number (91%) of those leaders surveyed see attracting newcustomers in the limited marketplace as their greatest challenge, indicatingthat few of the province's technology companies have broken through to becomeplayers on a global scale. Additional barriers to growth cited include thegrowing strength of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar, as well asrising interest rates. Respondents are also concerned about being able to hirequalified employees (84%), and finding an entrance into U.S. and globalmarkets (80%).

The good news is respondents consider the strength of global markets (theIT sector in particular) as a positive factor which will drive future growth in Alberta's technology industry. Overall, the province's technology community remains optimistic, even as companies continue to struggle with the unique challenges of doing business in Alberta. Other key findings of the report include:

- Quality of life (27%) and the availability of a well-educated and skilled work force (20%) are identified as the most significant advantages of being based in Alberta.

- A large majority (73%) of respondents see innovation in their products and services as their competitive advantage, with product quality a close second (72%).

- The majority of respondents report that corporate spending on software (58%) and equipment (56%) increased over the past year, and even higher numbers (64% and 59% respectively) feel that the spending in these areas will increase further in 2006.

- Most companies plan to grow by penetrating existing markets or customers (94%), enhancing existing products (87%), introducing new products (87%) or adding new markets (73%).

The Alberta Technology Report 2006 is based on a survey conducted in September 2005 by Ipsos Reid, involving the leaders of companies from a wide cross-section of the Alberta technology sector. The report captures theopinions of 128 of Alberta's high-tech company leaders.

Science and technology

Don't ask voodoo to solve our productivity problem


Monday, January 9, 2006

If you were the powerful Canadian science and technology lobby, how do you know

when you have achieved ultimate success – I mean blow-out, smash-hit,

over-the-top success?

It is when the lead editorial in The Globe and Mail states as fact something

central to your beloved stance, even though the assertion is based purely on

superstition. Given that science is the topic, this is particularly ironic,

especially since it has been centuries since the Scientific Revolution elevated

data over superstition as the basis for decision-making.

Last Tuesday, The Globe's lead editorial (The Forgotten Issue: The Productivity

Gap) asserted: "The U.S. has far more postsecondary university graduates per

capita. And more of those graduates excel in science and engineering." Correct

on the first part. The U.S. graduated about 26 per cent more per capita from

university in 2002/2003, the latest year that good comparative statistics are


The second part is false -- absolutely false.

But it is exactly what the science-and-technology lobby wants everybody,

including The Globe and Mail, to believe and propagate. The facts: Canada enjoys

a 13-per-cent greater stock of scientists and engineers per capita than the

U.S., and Canada produces a 6-per-cent greater annual flow of newly graduated

scientists and engineers.

Perhaps by including the word "excel," The Globe is trying to make the point

that while Canada graduates 14 per cent more at the BSc level, the U.S.

graduates 19 per cent more with an MSc (PhDs in science and technology are tied)

and that is a big problem.

However, this is hardly the advanced education problem for Canada to focus on.

Across all fields, the U.S. graduates more than double our number of masters and

33 per cent more PhDs every year -- so Canada does disproportionately way better

in advanced degrees in science and engineering than all other fields.

Why is all of this important?

It is because Canada's whole innovation and commercialization strategy (such as

it is) is predicated and resourced on a flawed notion of Canada's problem --

that we are not investing enough in either science and technology education or

science and technology research.

The science-and-technology lobby has done a brilliant job of convincing

important policy players -- from the federal government all the way to The Globe

editorial page -- to ignore the facts.

Contrary to superstition, we educate more scientists and engineers than the U.S.

In addition, proportionate to our economy, we have higher funding than the U.S.

of university research -- the vast majority of which is directed to science and

technology research. Yet the overwhelming majority of new federal government

funding into education and research continues to be in -- you guessed it --

science and technology.

We hold near and dear to our hearts that the U.S. is richer than us because of

their high-tech economy. Pure superstition. Across the entire U.S. economy, a

mere 1.9 per cent of jobs are in the following combined sectors generally

considered to represent all of "high tech": IT or information technology

(hardware and software); communications equipment; aerospace vehicles and

aerospace engines; medical devices, and pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. In

Canada, the number is 1.6 per cent.

What would be the effect if we were to make our jobs distribution as high

tech-intensive as the U.S. by magically raising our total to 1.9 per cent of

jobs and raise the wages in the extra 0.3 per cent from the average of all

sectors to the average of the six high tech sectors?

Answer: it would reduce our prosperity gap with the U.S. from the current 15.7

per cent by 0.1 per cent to 15.6 per cent - a number that most data-oriented

folks would call a "rounding error."

Ah, but U.S. companies in other non-high-tech clusters do better because of

proximity to the information and communications technology industries. Yeah,

right: It is really hard for Canadian companies to get IBM computers, Cisco

routers, and GE medical devices. How many superstitions are we going to put up


The data are clear.

We don't have an innovation problem because of the lack of university science

and technology research and education. We have an innovation problem because

businesses in Canada don't spend enough on innovative activities, including -

but not restricted to - research and development.

Why might that be?

Why don't we look at the education of Canada's business managers, since

educational attainment seems to be an issue for The Globe editors?

Across the entire U.S. economy, 50 per cent of the managers have university

degrees versus a mere 33 per cent in Canada. At the other end of the spectrum,

14 per cent of our managers did not graduate from high school versus 2 per cent

in the U.S.

Why might so few managers in Canada have a university degree? There may be

multiple reasons, but one might be that they can't get university education in

their field of choice (business) and choose therefore not to gain university


Why would that be? It is because Canada has decided as a country to ruthlessly

ration university business education. There are only half the spaces in

university business programs per capita relative to the U.S. and it drops to 40

per cent for graduate business spaces.

Is that because Canadian kids coming out of high school don't want to pursue

business education? Nope. We turn them away by the droves. In Ontario, for

instance, it is 15-per-cent harder to get a space in a university undergraduate

business program than it is in engineering. Those are real facts, not


In a nutshell, our innovation strategy for prosperity in Canada, as supported by

the science-and-technology lobby, is to invest more than the U.S. in university

science-and-technology R&D, invest in producing more science and engineering

graduates than the U.S. and then hand both the research output and the science

and engineering personnel over to significantly less-trained business managers,

in particular those with less business training, and hope that great

commercially-viable innovation happens.

Not surprisingly, our innovation strategy in Canada is failing miserably.

I take my hat off to the science-and-technology lobby: It has run a fabulous

campaign. However, the challenge with battles over policy is that the minute you

win, the clock on performance starts. And someone, some time, is going to wake

up, look at the clock and say: "You know what? It has been a while and this

policy isn't working." And at that point, the big win turns into a giant loss.

Before that day of reckoning, which will be good for no one, Canadian innovation

policy needs to catch up with the Scientific Revolution. It needs to throw out

the superstition and start working with data.

Roger Martin is dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of


© Copyright 2006 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada Announces Online Rich Media Standards

Industry-leading specs help advertisers maximize benefits of engaging ad formats

TORONTO, April 4 - The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB) today released version 2.0 of its Canadian Universal Ad Package (CUAP).

The standards, which were developed by an IAB committee made up of both IAB

Publisher and Agency representatives, are industry-leading, and reflective of

the higher penetration of broadband Internet connections in Canada.

"Version 1.0 of the IAB's Canadian Universal Ad Package removed substantial roadblocks to using the Internet as a marketing tool, by promoting a set of three, larger-sized Online ad units (leaderboard, skyscraper and big box formats), that could be produced once and served across almost all Canadian Websites," says Frank Duyvelshoff, VP of the IAB's 2006 Publisher Council, and head of the IAB's CUAP/Standards Committee. "Version 2.0 of the CUAP goes a step further, by allowing advertisers to showcase their brands on the larger canvases that the expanding, floating and between-page ads allow," says Peter Vaz, VP of the IAB's 2006 Emerging Platforms Council, and Agency representative on the CUAP Committee.

Rich Media ads allow users to view detailed product animations and video, hear product descriptions and "calls to action" and even play games within the units. Not surprisingly, they have been shown to promote longer engagement time with advertiser brands, and according to leading Online research firm Dynamic Logic, are twice as effective as traditional static (.gif or .jpg) formats in their ability to lift the key branding metric of Message Association.

The CUAP 2.0 standards apply only to sites whose sales model is based on

display advertising, and do not apply those who rely exclusively on advertorial integration to build revenue, or to those who exclusively employ text-based advertising as their business model (such as search engine sites).

Future versions of the CUAP (due later in 2006), will address Online video ad standards.

The complete CUAP 2.0 Rich Media specifications can be downloaded from

the IAB Canada Website at

About the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB): The IAB Canada

( is the pre-eminent, national voice of the Canadian

Interactive marketing and advertising industry, and is a not-for-profit

association representing a membership composed of publishers, agencies,

advertisers and interactive service associates.

Intellectual capital will determine the future

Winnipeg Free Press

Sun Apr 2 2006

Jeff Zabudsky

EDUCATION is the key priority for the future prosperity of Manitoba and Western Canada. We are living through a time of immense transformation due to advancing technology, rapid innovation, globalization and changing demographics. The future is not guaranteed. Long-term success will be determined by intellectual capital growth. To achieve this growth, we need a renewed emphasis on providing post-secondary educational opportunities for all.

In particular, expanding capacity in post-secondary college-based education is essential for building a 21st century workforce. Colleges and institutes of technology are ideally positioned to provide the focused, applied education directly related to the needs of the knowledge economy. They provide the workforce for such key economic sectors in Western Canada as energy, manufacturing, natural resources, construction, health and community services, agriculture, technology and transportation.

Education is a provincial responsibility but the federal government has played a key role, and can play an even more sustaining role in supporting post-secondary education. Federal transfers must keep pace with the accelerating need for skilled workers, productivity improvements, and applied research and technology transfer. In the throne speech, the federal government should pledge to:

* Separate post-secondary education funding from the Canada Social Transfer, and negotiate a post-secondary education transfer with the provinces that responds to western Canadian requirements. * Implement a college and institute infrastructure enhancement fund for facility and equipment modernization. In colleges across Western Canada, aging physical plants, deferred maintenance, aging program equipment and older classrooms require upgrading to maintain capacity.

* Strengthen the innovative and commercialization support capacity of colleges by targeted funding for colleges and institutes of technology to build sustainable applied research and development capacity. Colleges traditionally have worked with business and industry in Western Canada on the application of knowledge to deliver real world solutions.

* Strengthen workforce and workplace skills development with particular attention paid to enhancing apprenticeship programming in colleges to overcome an existing and emerging skills gap.

* Support the access initiatives of colleges to increase aboriginal Canadian participation in applied education and training and in apprenticeship programs. Currently, 13.8 per cent of Manitoba's population is aboriginal. This is projected to increase to 18.4 per cent by 2017. It is also a very young population. We know First Nations high school students have high aspirations for post-secondary education. The future prosperity of Manitoba and Western Canada relies on a highly educated aboriginal population.

* Support the initiatives of colleges to provide opportunities for immigrants to gain skills required to participate fully in the Canadian economy. Population growth in Manitoba is being driven in part through immigration. All colleges can provide assessment services and language training programs along with career and technical programs and workforce training to facilitate integration into the economy.

* Alleviate student financial barriers by working with the provinces to provide scholarships and loan remediation programs.

We at Red River College believe every qualified person should have the opportunity to achieve the benefits of higher education. Investments in post-secondary education and skills today will have big returns for individuals and society in the future.

Jeff Zabudsky is the president of Red River College in Winnipeg (

Thank you

Norman Greenfield

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Media and Government Relations
Corporate, Marketing and Political Communications
New and Old Media
Registered Federal, B.C. and N.B Government Lobbyist


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