Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘News’

By James Burchill

Trends on the Internet are fun to watch and move very quickly compared to some other markets. For instance, while the Web’s trends tend to go in cycles of one or two years, trends in food and restaurants tend to go in cycles of nearly a decade. So the fast-changing world of the Internet can be exciting.

The latest trend to be noted amongst those who watch such things is that social media is losing some of its lustre with some users. A visible decline has been seen starting in February of this year, denoting a possible plateau during the Christmas Holiday and now falling steadily.

The Trend Itself

The trend is a 10-day moving average in terms of number of tweets on Twitter using The Daily’s iPad application. The app’s usage peaked at about 220 tweets per day in early February, then dropped quickly and significantly down to about 85 per day by the end of the month.

It’s since shown steady usage with ups and downs until mid- to late-March, when it began to decline again though at a steadier pace. On about March 20, it had been averaging around 85 tweets per day, but at the end of the month had dropped to about 50 per day.

You’ve probably noticed two things about this data.

What It Really Means

The trend itself is not about social media at all, though that’s where most of the headlines discussing it have gone. The truth is, these numbers represent a drop in the user activity and interest in one of the newest news outlets – this one being The Daily, the iPad-specific news app.

Let’s face it, though: a headline saying that social media is dying gets a lot more reader interest than one that says The Daily is dying.

To be fair to the information’s collectors at Niemen Labs, though, the numbers of some other gadget-specific news outlets were also considered. They show roughly the same results, though not in as dramatic a way as those of The Daily.

What the data really seems to be saying is that current (paid or unpaid) applications for finding news using the iPad are lacking. Users seem to be dropping them, or at least not using them as often. The high point for The Daily was during the Holiday season and into the New Year when the app was brand new and was getting heavy publicity as part of Apple’s push for the release of the iPad 2.

Since then, users have complained about the app’s shortcomings and basically heard the “we’re working on it” line. In the fast-paced world of the Internet, “working on it” for more than a few days or even a week means losing users. The longer you take, the more you’ll lose and the harder it will be to win them back. The Daily seems to be missing that point.

The Future of The Daily

With the losses over time that The Daily appears to be sustaining, according to Niemen Labs’ information, it’s not likely that the app will survive without a major publicity effort. In their favor, though, Daily promoters can also note that Twitter itself is losing users as well. Many use it as a glorified RSS feed for their blogs and despite its best efforts, the Twitosphere has become inundated with spammers.

So where will The Daily go? If they’re smart, they’ll revamp their app to match user expectations and then they’ll make another huge marketing push. If they wait too much longer, though, they’ll have a tough row to hoe and may have waited too long.

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By James Burchill

According to the Ad-ology 2011 Small Business Marketing Forecast, small business owners are increasingly optimistic overall, and 46% plan increased marketing spending in 2011, up from 29% who planned increases in 2010. Email marketing and company websites continue to be the most popular online marketing methods, but 45% plan to do more with online video and 35% said the same for mobile advertising.

Interest in using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks for business is up considerably over last year. While generating leads continues to be the top perceived benefit of social media, more businesses recognize the value of social media for improving the customer experience.

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By David Crow

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario announced a new Investing in Business Innovation program. The program offers matching grants for early-stage venture funding. This is a $190 Million  program running from 2010-2014.

There are provisions for startups and angel networks. Since we’re StartupNorth, let’s try to deal with the startup side first.

  • Startups who receive a term sheet from a qualified angel investor (as defined by the Ontario Securities Commission) or venture capital firm (registered with the Canadian Venture Capital association) are eligible to apply for up $1 Million in loan from the federal government.
  • Restrictions:
    • Start-up businesses will be eligible for repayable contributions up to $1 million for no more than one-third (33⅓ percent) of total eligible and supported project costs.
    • An angel and/or venture capital investor(s) must be committed to provide at least two-thirds (66⅔ percent) of the cash contribution toward eligible and supported project costs.
    • In-kind contributions related to mentoring, networking, and other business skills cannot be considered as part of the angel or venture capital investor’s cash contribution.
    • A maximum of one project per eligible start-up SME can be funded under the initiative.
    • Direct eligible costs for start-up businesses may include:
      • Labour, capital and operating expenditures;
      • Materials and supplies;
      • Consulting and/or professional fees (limited to market rate); and,
      • Minor and non-capital acquisitions (e.g., software).
    • All project activities must be completed by March 31, 2014;

Basically there is federal government matching loans up to $1 Million for startups that are raising angel or venture funding in Southern Ontario. This is a fantastic start.

It’s great for startups in Southern Ontario, it’s curious that the program is only available in Southern Ontario. Why not all of Canada? How are the repayment terms set? Is this a zero percent interest loan from the Federal Government? Does the term sheet have to be equity investment? Is convertible debt eligible? How do startups “demonstrate they are using business mentoring, counseling, or related services”?

Reposted from StartUp North

David Crow is an emerging technology and start-up advocate/evangelist. David blogs at http://davidcrow.ca/ and http://startupnorth.ca/ or follow him on Twitter @davidcrow.


The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Craig Hayashi

Frank Peters, an Angel investor and journalist from California, spent some time talking with Rob Koturbash, our Managing Director, (below) at the National Angel Summit in Montreal .  Along with Bob Chaworth-Musters, (right) Rob’s counterpart from Angel Forum in Vancouver, Rob focused on exits and how to obtain more of them; with plenty of corporate retained earnings out there, surely a way can be found.

Two years after the economic downturn and it’s apparent what the impact is on early stage investing in Canada.

Bob Chaworth-Musters of Vancouver’s Angel Forum and Rob Koturbash of Toronto’s Maple Leaf Angels join Frank for a candid discussion of the state of angel investing in Canada.

Give this a listen, it’s a rewarding chat!

Craig Hayashi is a founding board director of Maple Leaf Angels, Ontario’s largest and most active angel investment group with more than 40 members and approximately $6m in financings closed since the group’s inception in 2007. Follow Craig at www.mapleleafangels.com and www.startupnorth.ca

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By David Crow

Local angel investor Paul Maasland was murdered, his body was found north of Toronto at a public boat launch. We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Maasland’s family. And our sincerest concerns go out to his friends and colleagues at Maple Leaf Angels and his investments (according to Mr. Maasland’s LinkedIn profile) including:

The conversations with his investees shed some light on Mr. Maasland as an investor. From one of the portfolio companies CEOs:

“I’d just say he was very generous with his time and resources and provided great input into how we ran [company removed]. He always was positive and excited about the initiatives we were doing.”

These comments were repeated throughout Mr. Maasland’s portfolio. He was a knowledgeable, generous investor that provided useful guidance and support for his companies.

This is an unexpected situation for anyone including many startups. It opens questions for startups about succession planning for Board Directors, questions around the Shareholders Agreement and the shares of a deceased investor. Hopefully most Boards are experienced in succession planning. As the shareholders change over time with new investment, replacing board members is a fairly straightforward and common practice (albeit usually under very different circumstances). Regarding what happens to a deceased investors shares this is decided between the deceased’s estate and the shareholders agreement. If an estate needs or chooses to liquidate the investment, many shareholders agreements have a clause that allows the company or other shareholders to purchase the investment at Fair Market Value. There are tax and legal considerations, so this should not be considered tax or legal advice, please consult a professional.

It’s unfortunate for our small close-knit community to suffer such a sudden, tragic loss. We are deeply saddened to hear about the loss of a member of our community.

Paul Maasland photo source: CBC & OPP

Reposted from StartUp North

David Crow is an emerging technology and start-up advocate/evangelist. At Microsoft Canada, he is responsible for helping Canadian start-ups gain access to software, support and visibility in the Microsoft ecosystem through programs like BizSpark (details at microsoft.com/bizspark). David blogs at http://davidcrow.ca/ and http://startupnorth.ca/ or follow him on Twitter @davidcrow.


The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »