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Mesh Conference: Toronto, May 18th – 19th

mesh conference

The 2010 Mesh Conference – the fifth one – takes place at Toronto’s MaRS Collaboration Centre on Tuesday, May 18th and Wednesday, May 19th. Its organizers call it “Canada’s Web Conference”, and it is: it’s this country’s premier get-together for creatives, techies and “suits” to share ideas about the internet and how it affects how we work, live and play.

This Year’s Keynote Speakers

This year’s keynote speakers are:

Chris Thorpe, Developer Advocate for the Open Platform at The Guardian

His background as a research scientist and his early involvement in Open Access publishing, makes him fascinated and passionate about what happens when data, content, platforms, identity and pretty much anything opens up. He spends his time at The Guardian working on the best ways to integrate The Guardian’s content, data and APIs with other people’s technology and businesses as part of the drive towards building the distribution and engagement channels of a mutualized newspaper.

Joseph Menn, author of Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet, Menn’s third book, was published in the US in January 2010 and in the UK in February 2010 by PublicAffairs Books. Part true-life thriller and part expose, it became an immediate bestseller, with Menn interviewed on national television and radio programs in the US, Canada and elsewhere. Menn has spoken at major security conferences on his findings, which include hard evidence that the governments of Russia and China are protecting and directing the behavior of some of the world’s worst cyber-criminals.

Scott Thompson, President of PayPal

Scott Thompson is president of PayPal with overall responsibility for establishing PayPal as the leading global online payment service. Scott previously served as PayPal’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, where he oversaw information technology, product development and architecture for PayPal.

Arvind Rajan, Vice President, International at LinkedIn

Arvind Rajan leads the company’s initiatives in markets outside the United States and Europe. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Arvind was the CEO of Grassroots Enterprise. Also a co-founder of the company, Arvind developed pioneering online grassroots communications programs for a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. Arvind began his career with the Boston Consulting Group, and has held a wide range of leadership positions in emerging growth technology companies.

This Year’s Topics

Mesh will have two days’ worth of sessions covering a number of topics, including:

  • Open Government
  • Mobile phones and computing
  • The Pirate’s Dilemma
  • Privacy in the age of Facebook
  • Real-time
  • Social media in the Olympics, in the newsroom, as used by Médecins Sans Frontières and your business

For more, see the schedule.

Who’s Behind Mesh?

Mesh is a great example of the sort of thing that engaged and enthusiastic communities can create. It wasn’t created by a professional conference-organizing company, software vendor or government program, but by these five individuals known through the Toronto tech scene:

  • Mark Evans: Digital marketing and social media consultant, former VP at my old company, b5media, worked with the startups PlanetEye and Blanketware, and former tech journo with the National Post and Globe and Mail.
  • Mathew Ingram: Senior writer with GigaOm, former tech journo with the Globe and Mail and supreme tech blogger-about-town.
  • Mike McDerment: Runs Freshbooks, one of Toronto’s most successful start-ups.
  • Rob Hyndman: If (or more likely, when) I get sued, I’ll haul ass for Rob’s office! Considered by the Toronto tech scene to be its unofficial legal advisor, Rob runs Hyndman | Law, a boutique law firm catering to tech companies.
  • Stuart McDonald: Runs Tripharbor/Tripharbour; in a former life, he brought Expedia to Canada.

And of course, there are the sponsors, which includes Microsoft Canada. I’ll be there, representing The Empire along with my coworkers David Crow, Barnaby Jeans and John Oxley.

Get Your Tickets Now!

There’s not much time left before Mesh, and tickets are going quickly. The student tickets are already gone, but a few regular tickets — CAD$539 each – are still available at the registration page.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

Geek Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

MeshU Workshops: Toronto, May 17th

MeshU: May 17th, 2010 - Toronto, Canada

MeshU – short for “Mesh University” – takes place on Monday, May 17th at the MaRS Collaboration Centre (101 College Street, just east of University). It’s a series of workshops for web designers, developers and “suits” that takes place the day before the Mesh Conference (“Canada’s Web Conference”) and will feature 12 workshops divided into “Design”, “Development” and “Management” streams delivered by people with real-world startup/tech business experience.

I’ll be there, as both an attendee furiously taking notes (which I’ll post here) as well as a representative of Microsoft Canada and Silverlight, who are MeshU’s event partners.

Keynote: Bill Buxton

Keynote: Bill Buxton

Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, human-computer interaction guru extraordinaire and fellow alumnus of Crazy Go Nuts University, will deliver the morning keynote. Every presentation I’ve ever seen him do has always inspired me and given me at least three new ideas, and I expect that this one will be no different. He’s an intelligent, engaging and interesting speaker – don’t miss your chance to see him live!

MeshU Sessions

Here are the MeshU sessions:

Registering for MeshU

Alas, the $49.00 student tickets for MeshU are sold out. Here’s what remain:

  • Regular tickets: CAD$289.00 each
  • “Friends of MeshU” sponsorship: CAD$1000 each – with this, you get:
    • 1 regular ticket
    • 1 student ticket
    • Your logo on the MeshU site and at the event
  • “Really Good Friends of MeshU” sponsorship: CAD$2000 each — with this, you get:
    • 2 regular tickets
    • 2 student tickets
    • Your logo on the MeshU site and at the event
    • A table at the event

To register for MeshU, go to the MeshU registration page.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


“betbot” Makes the Dick Tweet of the Mesh Conference

This article originally appeared in Global Nerdy.

It looks as thought the Twitter user going by the handle of betbot is going to spend the next little while absorbing a very important lesson about managing one’s online persona after making this tweet at the Mesh Conference:

betbot: at #mesh I bet 80% of the people attending have no university degree which explains why they are astonished by whatever they hear

betbot’s profile vaingloriously proclaims that he has three Master’s degrees:

Self-proclaimed marketing guru trying to put my 3 hard-earned Masters to work

If you;ve spent any time on a university campus, you know that having that many Master’s degrees is not a boasting point; it’s a cry for help – it means you’re a shiftless pedant majoring in life-avoidance studies. As for putting “marketing guru” in your Twitter profile; it’s a cliche on par with “I like long walks on the beach” in the personal ads.