Digital Media

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    Learning to synergize in a digital world
    New BCIT D3 (Digital, Design and Development) Program trains students to work across platforms



       We live in a multiplatform world, and the ways people interact with the internet are more diverse than ever before. Smartphones, tablets, and cloud computing have radically changed the way that businesses develop multimedia campaigns, but training in how to develop these campaigns has lagged far behind. While in the past it was sufficient to be proficient in one or two aspects of multimedia development, the modern digital designer must be effective across the entire spectrum of tools, languages, and hardware platforms that are involved in making an effective online presence.

    While the field of multiplatform development continues to evolve, there have been few places to turn for formal training in how to make the most of the smartphone revolution. However, a new program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) aims to change that. The new D3: Digital Design and Development Program is a two-year diploma which will equip students with the skills to create impactful online presences which will work synergistically across platforms. In this program, students explore the ins and outs of modern multimedia development, through a combination of coursework, internships, and major project work.  The program, housed within BCIT’s School of Business, provides students with a strong foundation in the entire digital development process – from conception of an idea to design and execution of a multiplatform media package.

    “In the past, you could be an expert in web design, database development, or social media. Today, that’s not enough; you have to be comfortable working in all those areas. That’s what’s unique about our program,” said Ramin Shadmehr (D3 Program Head), a professional with more than seven years of experience in the software industry. “From day one, students will learn the tools of the trade and how technical, business, marketing and communication skills work together to produce interactive, dynamic and immersive content for deployment across all the platforms that people use to interact with media.”

    During this hands-on program, students will be taught how to develop and efficiently integrate content across platforms. They will use a broad toolkit, and will gain proficiency with the Adobe CS6 suite for graphics, animation, and video editing, Maya for 3D modeling, and they will learn to develop web and mobile application in HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.  These skills will be gained in the context of maximizing the interactivity of content across platforms – a skill neglected in most multimedia training programs.

    BCIT is a multidisciplinary world-class institution located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Registration is still open for a limited number of seats in the September 2012 intake. More information on the program can be found HERE --> www.bcit.ca/digitaldesign

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    GREE ANNOUNCES NEW CANADIAN MOBILE GAME DEVELOPMENT STUDIO

    - New Studio Will Be Located in Vancouver-

     

    San Francisco, CA - July 20, 2012 - GREE, a leader in developing mobile social games and platforms, today announced plans to establish a new game development studio in Vancouver, Canada. The new studio will be focused on creating new and unique free-to-play gaming experiences for mobile gamers worldwide. GREE’s Canadian studio will be headed-up by Steve Lin, a technology industry veteran and renowned retro game collector.  Mr. Lin most recently served as GREE International, Inc.’s VP of Consumer Operations and coordinated the establishment of GREE’s San Francisco studio.  

     

    “The goal for the Canadian studio is to merge the knowledge we gained from our recent successes with more experimental approaches. We want to take some risks and come up with new games and ideas that will contribute to the ongoing evolution of the mobile game space,” said Mr. Lin. ”The creative community in Vancouver has made tremendous contributions to the mobile and video game industry and we are looking forward to tapping into that talent pool and building a team of passionate innovators.”

     

    GREE’s Canadian studio, the company’s seventh studio worldwide, currently plans to release its first game in the next six to eight months.  The search for talent is already underway and is currently focused on hiring an Executive Producer, engineers, and artists.  

     

    “GREE is a world leader in mobile and social games and we are thrilled the company has selected Vancouver and British Columbia for its first Canadian development studio,” said B.C. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell. “This province is home to a thriving cluster of innovative video game and digital media companies that are drawn here by our deep pool of talented workers and our positive investment climate.”

     

    GREE will be at next week’s Casual Connect in Seattle where members of the recruiting team will be on hand at the GREE booth (Platinum Table 1 located in the Grand Lobby of Benaroya Hall) to answer questions and receive resumes.


    For more information about GREE or to apply for jobs with GREE’s Canadian studio, please visit
    www.gree-corp.com

     

    About GREE, Inc.

    GREE is a global mobile social gaming company at the forefront of mobile technology. GREE is focused on building the world's leading mobile social gaming ecosystem for users and developers, while creating and supporting unique free-to-play game content. GREE is continuing to expand globally and has offices in Tokyo, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Seoul, Beijing, Amsterdam, Dubai, and Sao Paolo.

     

    GREE and the GREE logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of GREE, Inc. in Japan and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

    ###

     

     

    Media contacts:

    Tali Fischer

    Director, Communications and Events

    GREE International, Inc

    T: 818-653-9234

    E: tali.fischer@gree.net

     

    Ken Johnston

    VSC for GREE International, Inc

    T: 415-677-9125 x206

    E: ken@vscconsulting.com

     

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    Vancouver, Canada has suffered tremendous blows to its gaming industry cred with the recent closures...

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    Vancouver, Canada has suffered tremendous blows to its gaming industry cred with the recent closures of bothRadical Entertainment and the local arm of Rockstar Entertainment.  Faced with the reality that local jobs are being lost as the industry packs its bags for greener pastures elsewhere in Canada, the office of Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson confirms it will be bringing a motion next week to rally support for the city's local digital media jobs and investment.

    Acknowledging the "significant new strategies" being launched by other Canadian provinces to win investment from global digital media giants, Robertson's motion will urge the British Columbian government to redouble its commitment to the digital media entertainment sector by creating more robust and competitive incentives of their own.

    The motion compares BC's current 17.5% tax credit for companies in digital media sector (including video game companies) to the far more attractive 37.5% tax credit offered by the province of Ontario, not to mention their additional stacked incentives which are limited here.  Say, guess where Rockstar is opening their new studio after closing the one over here?  You guessed it, Ontario.

    Furthermore, the motion specifically highlights how Vancouver has fallen from first to third place for gaming companies in Canada over the past three years alone, and that losing the crown to other provinces threatens the sustainability of Vancouver's talent pool (not to mention the local scene for the industry itself) over the long term.

    As little can be done without provincial level support, Mayor Robertson intends to get in contact with relevant departments in BC's government to discuss how to better close the gap in incentive programs, and promote a "national interactive digital media strategy" which would see Canada as a whole increase its global competitiveness.


    Here’s the Mayor’s full motion — please take a moment to share it with your networks:

    ——-

    Motion to support Vancouver’s digital media sector
    Moved by Mayor Gregor Robertson

    WHEREAS the interactive digital media and visual effects sectors are a major part of Vancouver’s economy, employing more than 25,000 employees in 1300 companies;

    WHEREAS there are a number of internationally recognized post-secondary institutions in Vancouver that produce highly skilled graduates for these sectors, which supports local hiring and a robust regional workforce that makes up a significant component of Vancouver’s global advantage;

    WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia has established an effective tax credit policy that helps to attract companies in some digital media sectors, and has worked with the Government of Canada to lead changes in immigration policy that has contributed to the establishment of Vancouver as one of the top three global clusters in the world, behind only London and Los Angeles;

    WHEREAS Vancouver has an Economic Action Strategy that has made job creation and investment attraction an explicit priority in sectors like interactive digital media and visual effects, and has successfully supported the creation of over 1,000 jobs in the last three years alone in this industry;

    WHEREAS Vancouver is gaining strength and growing in some segments of the interactive digital media sectors, like visual effects and animation, but is seeing a rapid decline in other segments like console gaming;

    WHEREAS under the Ontario Interactive Media Tax Credit, video game developers are eligible to receive up to a 37.5 per cent tax credit with additional stacked incentives, compared to the 17.5 per cent offered by BC’s Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit, which limits stackable incentives;

    WHEREAS these strategies and incentive policies in other jurisdictions, such as Ontario and Quebec, have influenced the decisions of gaming companies to leave Vancouver, dropping the region’s ranking from Number 1 to Number 3 over the past 3 years;

    WHEREAS the departure of these companies and the talent associated with them has implications on the broader talent pool for Interactive Digital Media and screen-based sectors that could eventually threaten the stability of the entire cluster;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT

    The Mayor write to the Premier and the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, encouraging them to explore options to close the gap with the incentive programs in other Canadian provinces in order to protect these important BC sectors which are becoming vulnerable to inter-provincial poaching;

    The Mayor write to the Federal Minister of Industry to promote the idea of a national interactive digital media strategy that would strengthen the entire country’s cluster in these sectors, as opposed to the current approach which only serves to weaken our global competitiveness;

    The Mayor, as Chair of the Vancouver Economic Commission, ask the VEC to proactively pursue solutions that can resolve the challenges facing the digital media sector by working with Vancouver’s industry leaders, and report back to Council.


    SOURCE: 

    NeoSeeker: http://www.neoseeker.com/news/19919-vancouver-mayor-wants-to-turn-things-around-for-citys-beleaguered-digital-media-sector/

    Vancity Buzz: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2012/07/gregor-robertson-throws-his-support-behind-vancouvers-digital-media-sector/

    Mayor Gregor Robertson: http://www.mayorofvancouver.ca/digitalmedia

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    Vancouver is quickly establishing itself as a digital media mecca in Canada.

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    Vancouver is quickly establishing itself as a digital media mecca in Canada.

    The bustling West Coast city contains most of the province's digital media industry, which is home to more than 22,000 workers in BC, according to industry association data. This industry accounts for a quarter of all tech jobs in the province.

    Specifically in Vancouver, over 1,000 jobs have been created and roughly a dozen companies have moved into the city in just the past four years, according to the Vancouver Economic Commission. And up to 700 more jobs are expected within the next year alone.

    KPMG estimates that there are approximately 900 digital media companies in BC and that they generate roughly $1.2 billion (and growing) in revenue per year.


    SOURCE: http://www.techvibes.com/blog/vancouver-has-established-itself-as-a-digital-media-mecca-2012-06-22

    June 25, 2012

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    Thanks to everyone that came out to the DigiBC Special Event: Partner Opportunities with Papaya Mobile on June 6, 2012. We would like to thank our sponsors for this event: DFAIT and the BC Ministry for Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. A special thank you to BC Ministry for Jobs,...

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    Thanks to everyone that came out to the DigiBC Special Event: Partner Opportunities with Papaya Mobile on June 6, 2012. We would like to thank our sponsors for this event: DFAIT and the BC Ministry for Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. A special thank you to BC Ministry for Jobs, Tourism and Innovation for the wonderful venue (UBC Robson Square) and Peake of Catering for providing breakfast. There were about 40 people in attendance at this event and Papaya presented 4 informative and interesting presentations. With a focus on China’s fastest-growing android market, Paul Chen featured 3 main topics: App Discovery, Tips to Climb Google Play Rankings and The Opportunities and Barriers of the China Android Market. The PapayaMobile team gave valuable tips for getting an app not only discovered in the Chinese market, but also provided insight into how PapayaMobile can help North American developers to break into this rapidly-growing industry. PapayaMobile is the leading social gaming networking for mobiles, with 60+ million users and 300+ games. Papaya provides a platform enabling developers to socialize their games, engaging millions of users across North America, Europe and Asia focusing on the Android market. 


    If you would like to connect with PapayaMobile or learn about similar upcoming DigiBC events, please contact Carly Graham (carly@digibc.org) and we will be happy to help you!

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    Silicon Valley-based Kiip is opening its first Canadian office, according to job listings just posted online. Kiip's office, founded by Canadian entrepreneur Brian Wong, is slated to be located in Vancouver. The job listings suggest that the office will focus on engineering and research and development.

    There are four listings posted by Kiip:

    • Front End Engineer

    • Infrastructure Engineer

    • Systems Engineer

    • Web Engineer

    Our sources indicate that this Vancouver office is intended to be a permanent fixture in the Vancouver scene and that the office members will initially all be assigned to a specific project Kiip is working on. The office is expected to open this fall in the Gastown area, sources say.

    We reached out to Wong, who said that "it's really exciting to be having a chance to open up an office in my hometown."

    "I believe the technical talent [in Vancouver] is top notch," he added.

    Wong also noted that he's excited to "finally give people another option other than HootSuite to spread their wings in a tech company."


    Via TechVibes, July 19th  http://www.techvibes.com/blog/kiip-to-open-office-in-vancouver-2013-07-19
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    The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) is developing a new online portal for media entrepreneurs and start-ups, accelerators and...

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    The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) is developing a new online portal for media entrepreneurs and start-ups, accelerators and SMEs active in the digital economy.


    The CDMN’s new initiative seeks to organize as much information, research and data from private industry, non-profit organizations and government agencies about the country’s digital media sector as possible, and archive it in one accessible location.


    As part of its drive – dubbed the Moonshot -- to “do anything online” by 2017, the CDMN says the information collection is needed to build collaboration and commercialization of innovative ideas in information and communication technology.


    The Moonshot goals were tabled at CDMN's Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum, an industry event that brought together industry, government and academic participants.


    Identified so far have been five key targets:

    * Access to talent, including the digital skills and talent required to meet these rapidly evolving needs;


    * Access to financial capital and investments required for technology and business growth; 


    * Connectivity for Canadians of any financial status and geographic location;


    * Mobilizing digital content, from ensuring Canadian content is accessible to realizing commercialization opportunities created through content development or management; and


    * Productivity improvements through the adoption of digital media technologies and the infrastructure to support it.


    CDMN has also launched its Canada 3.0 2013 SoapBox, created by HitSend, a start-up incubated at Toronto’s Ryerson Digital Media Zone, a digital media incubator and CDMN partner.


    Using SoapBox, site visitors can offer, gather and share ideas, which can be voted on by other users using a simple click of a thumbs up or thumbs down icon




    Via: MediaCaster (http://www.mediacastermagazine.com/news/cdmn-seeks-online-portal-for-digital-media-development/1001642983/) Aug 29, 2012

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    Posted by  see more Posted by Techvibes Newsdesk on 2012-08-24 4:04:00 PM
    "We have one of the worst looking sites on the planet."

    When you imagine an entrepreneur uttering these words, you probably envision them saying it with a mix of shame and embarrassment. But what if it came from a highly successful entrepreneur who confessed it—no, delcared it—casually, almost proudly, for all the world to hear? 


    That's exactly what happened yesterday at the Grow 2012 Conference, where Cheezeburger CEO Ben Huh emphasized product and data over design.


    "We confuse good design with good product," Ben explained to the audience. He argues that the best-selling cars are not Ferraris, they're Ford Focuses. And this theory applies to the web as well: consider Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and early versions of Facebook. They were—and some still are—decidedly ugly, but still became wildly successfuly and exalted by consumers.


    DON'T MISS more tips from Grow 2012: how to raise money from strangers.


    More valuable than good design, Ben suggests, is data. 


    “What we’ve built at Cheezburger is to create a team of people whose sole focus is to get data,” he said. “We’ve built a company that is driven by data.” While his first argument isn't waterproof, this one is: the world's most successful tech companies, such as Google, know how important it is to collect as much data as possible from their users (legally, of course… usually). And the rest of the companies know how insightful it is to observe this data.

    Photo: VentureBeat


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    Yesterday Vancouver startup Playerize 

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    Yesterday Vancouver startup Playerize tweeted an intriguing message: "Playerize is to startups as Jack Bauer is to mortals. Write that down".


     


    Turns out where there is smoke, there is fire.


    Today Playerize announced they have entered into an agreement to acquire SuperRewards, the Vancouver-born pioneer of virtual currency for social and mobile games. According to their blog they will be acquiring SuperRewards from its original founder Jason Bailey.


    Founded in 2007 by Jason Bailey and Eugene Kaidalov, SuperRewards was bootstrapped from zero to a $100 million run rate to exit, all in 18 months. The company was acquired in 2009 by Adknowledge for a rumored $50 million.


    Bailey recently reaquired SuperRewards from Adknowledge and is selling it to Playerize.


    Playerize was co-founded by Lyal Avery and Jeff Magnusson in 2011 and was the shining star of FounderFuel's inuagural accelerator cohort in Montreal.


    They returned to Vancouver with a $1.1 million series A round. So it's safe to say that the price tag for the 2012 version SuperRewards was a fraction of the price Adknowledge paid just three years ago.


    "The platform has undergone a lot of growth and improvement and there is a tremendous opportunity in the mobile and social game monetization space and we are extremely proud and excited,” said Lyal Avery, co-founder of Playerize.


    The SuperRewards team and products will operate from offices in both Vancouver and San Francisco. Jason Bailey will be joining Playerize's board as Chairman.


    "We just hit our tipping point," adds Lyal. "This is a huge day for us."

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    BC's video game industry is in constant flux.

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    BC's video game industry is in constant flux.


    One week longstanding studios are shuttering orpacking up and moving to Ontario. The next week San Francisco's hottest mobile game developer is opening an studio in Vancouver.


    While there is no doubt that the gaming industry is important to the Canadian economy, many are beginning to wonder where B.C. fits in the mix.


    DigiBC is hoping to shed some light on the topic with an upcoming panel titled The State of the Video Game Industry in BC. Moderated by DigiBC's Howard Donaldson, the panel will include a number of local gaming executives.


    Vancouver has been one of the top video game clusters in the world, with the presence of major publishers, such as EA, Nintendo, THQ, Vivendi/Activision, Disney and Microsoft, but it's leadership is now being eroded. For such a talented province as BC, what’s going on? And what does this mean for the future of the gaming industry in BC? Does our BC tax credit policy need to be more competitive?


    Microsoft Studios' Wil Mozell, EA's John Lutz, Silicon Sisters' Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch, and Zeros 2 Heroes' Matt Toner will discuss the state of the industry, outline how studios are being affected, what is being done behind the scene and most importantly capture your views and opinions on the future of B.C.’s video game industry.


    The State of the Video Game Industry in BC is on September 18 at the Vancouver Rowing Club. Register online to attend and in the meantime weigh-in with your thoughts on our video game industry in the comments.


    Rob Lewis, TechVibes

    http://www.techvibes.com/blog/the-state-of-the-video-game-industry-in-bc-2012-08-15

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    The drain on Vancouver’s video game industry is quickly turning into a flood.

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    The drain on Vancouver’s video game industry is quickly turning into a flood.


    Four rounds of layoffs in as many weeks isn’t quite game over for local game developers, but their options are slimming — and fast.

    “If studios are shutting down and others are scaling back, more and more people have fewer options,” said Matt Toner, a local game developer.

    Toner will be seeking a provincial NDP nomination in the next election, a campaign largely based on turning around a declining local video game industry.


    “Since 2009, it’s been a pretty steady slide downward,” Toner said.


    The latest casualty are the staff at Microsoft Game Studios. Two teams were dumped with the closure of a pair of major projects Wednesday, flight simulator ‘Microsoft Flight,’ and ‘Project Columbia,’ a kids game developed for the controller-free Kinect.


    The Yaletown-based studio declined to comment, however Toner believes 35 jobs were lost. A Microsoft spokesperson said the decision to cancel the projects is part of the “natural ebb and flow of our portfolio management,” adding they do not discuss layoffs.


    On June 28, 89 jobs were axed when Activision shuttered Vancouver’s Radical Entertainment, a Vancouver-based game developer since 1991.


    Shortly after, Rockstar cut 35 jobs when the Max Payne series developer pulled out of Vancouver, opting for a more tax-friendly location in Ontario.


    Last week, Capcom Vancouver cut 20 jobs, adding into recent cutbacks at Electronic Arts and Ubisoft’s relocation to Toronto.

    “The crisis isn’t that Microsoft laid off 20 or 30 people” Toner said, “The crisis is there’s no response to keep the talent here.”


    This week, Dennis Chenard, director of industry relations at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, was quoted saying the industry is still very strong locally. He added that major console systems such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 may be fading out, and suggested employment prospects will remain — but demand has shifted into visual effects in television and film.


    But Toner said a competitive tax environment would save the industry locally, preventing a “drag and drop” restructuring of talent to the east coast.


    Ontario offers a tax credit that covers 37.5 per cent of labour costs. B.C. credits 17.5 per cent of labour costs.

    “BC doesn’t have to match out east, but they should try to come a bit close so that all the other factors that make BC a wonderful place can kick in.”


    SOURCE: The Province Newspaper (Online), July 26 2012. Jeff Green
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    DigiBC would like to thank everyone that participated in the First Annual DigiBC Fun Golf Tournament yesterday!


    We could not have asked for more beautiful Vancouver weather, and all the players had their sunblock and smiles on for the day. Players of all levels...
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    DigiBC would like to thank everyone that participated in the First Annual DigiBC Fun Golf Tournament yesterday!


    We could not have asked for more beautiful Vancouver weather, and all the players had their sunblock and smiles on for the day. Players of all levels joined in for the tournament -- from the seasoned golfer to some that were picking up a club for the first time. It was a great time had by all, and a chance for casual intimate networking for those in the industry.

    We would like to thank the teams that registered: PwC, Slant Six Games, Vanedge Capital, Orefront, V7, EA, Dare, Peter Eller Communication Design, Tagga Media, BCIT D3 Department, FutureStep, New Indigo Ventures, Conquer Mobile, Loud Crow Interactive and more. Thanks to the DigiBC board members that came out to support: Sandy Fleischer, Amielle Lake, Howard Donaldson and Jon Lutz.

    We would also like to thank our generous sponsors BenefitDeck Consulting and TACIS (Total Access Corporate Insurance Services) for taking care of the putting contest and the prizes! These events are not possible without sponsors like you! A special thank you to Matt Barkhoff from Musqueam Golf Course for helping facilitate the tournament and working so hard to make everything run so smoothly -- we appreciate it greatly!

    DigiBC is looking forward to next year's tournament, and we hope to make it bigger and better than this year's!  Make sure to check the event calendar for upcoming DigiBC events.
  • Article
    Posted by  see more Posted by Knowlton Thomas on 2012-06-28 5:00:00 AM


    Vancouver's HootSuite has added another batch of social apps to its growing third-party-powered App Directory.

    Among the slew of new apps is SlideShare and Zuum. But no doubt the most notable of the bunch is the wildly popular Instagram, which was acquired not too long ago by Facebook for a whopping $1.2 billion.


    With this addition, users will be able to view and search Instagram photos in a HootSuite stream, filter the stream to view key feeds (Home, Popular, etc.), view and add comments, like photos, and share photos to Facebook, Twitter, etc.


    “After launching the App Directory in late 2011, we gave many popular social media networks a new home in our dashboard. We’re excited to welcome these popular social networks because they’re centrally focused around the easy-sharing of multimedia content,” says HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes. “Regardless of which social media network is popular today, and which is hot tomorrow, it’s HootSuite’s job to make the lives of our power-users, brands, and businesses easier - and we’ll continue watching the industry to achieve this goal.”


    The SlideShare integration will enable users to view, search, and upload content, as well as share presentations and documents across multiple social networks all within the HootSuite dashboard.

    The Edocr integration will allow users to search for documents by keyword or user, upload documents to Edocr accounts, view and comment on documents, share documents to social networks and more.

    With Zuum, users will be able to view a feed of content proven to be highly engaging in social media, specifically on Facebook.

    The App Directory features tools created by third-party developers to extend the capabilities of the dashboard. To simplify the process, HootSuite allows developers to create new apps using a toolkit. Created apps integrate directly into HootSuite streams.



    SOURCE: http://www.techvibes.com/blog/hootsuite-adds-instagram-slideshare-and-more-to-app-directory-2012-06-28  

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    Hopefully you’ve had an opportunity by now to read through our previous interview with local entrepreneur Brian Vidovic, the man behind Vancouver’s Video Game themed Restaurant + Bar. If not, I would highly recommend that you do, so you’ll understand the full weight of how awesome the concept is, and how far Brian and his team have come in the development of his dream.

    Unfortunately though, there is a darker side to this tale. I didn’t want it to bring down the vibe of the original interview, or have this important message lost in the warmth of the ‘journey so far’ tale. This is part two of our interview segment with Brian, which discusses his fight with the Vancouver Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) who hopes to bully his unique take on Vancouver, its community, and entertainment venues.

    Along the way to the opening of EXP Brian has, as anyone would imagine, had some troubles with the creation of the venue, and there has been a few road blocks. We discussed a couple of the problems the bar has had in the past, and where things are now:


    THE FINANCIAL DILEMMA

    Casey White: “We’ve been following the journy to build EXP for some time now, and you and I have been constantly talking about the bar’s progress, so I know a little about the surprise costs that have been dropped in your lap along the way. Do you mind elaborating about the roadblocks you’ve encountered and how you’re getting around them?”

    Brian Vidovic: “The cost of the build threw us off because our initial estimates were way off - our previous contracting company gave us the worst possible advice and ended up losing us a chunk of change in the process. Luckily, our landlord caught it early enough and took the reins to put us back on track to open. So, because of these extra costs in plumbing and electrical, we started an IndieGoGo (the Canadian-friendly 'Kickstarter') to make back some of those costs so we didn't destroy our credit in opening. You can find it here: http://www.IndieGoGo.com/expbar


    THE LCLB

                                      


    Casey: “I know the most recent issues are a result of a battle back and forth with the Vancouver Liquor Board. Not unlike our friends over at the RIO (A local heritage movie theater that wanted to server liquor), they’ve been giving you some problems because of the concept of the bar. Apparently anything that’s not a traditional bar/night club is something that they can’t seem to get their minds around. Can you explain a little where the problems are occurring, and what has been done so far to enlighten the LCLB re: gamers do not euqal children?”

    Brian: “We were blocked on liquor licensing because of a clause in the entertainment section of a 'food primary' license. This is the core of the problem. Board games are allowed 'so long as they don't detract from the service of food.' So, there isn't anything about video games, but essentially 'stuff that distracts you from eating.' So our question was 'How is that different from a hockey game?' And they said it is because it is 'interactive' and it's 'different.' Based on their own policy outline, we couldn't disagree more if you include a hockey game. They never asked how we would keep the focus to service of food, just flat out said 'no.'

    Their only suggestion was to apply for a 'liquor primary' - this means waiting 18 months and paying the city an additional $15,000 for the equivalent status of becoming a night club. We don't want to be a night club, so we thought we would work towards the restaurant license. In BC, you only have food and liquor primary: family restaurant with very little liquor being served, or a nightclub. That's it. And that needs to change, too.

    So, we complied to get our license moving along and told them we wouldn't provide any gaming consoles in the space. Our idea was to circumvent this outrageous situation: we would partner with a 3rd party to bring in and then remove consoles for our patrons and of course encourage them to bring in their own consoles for use with us setting up all the cabling and providing controller. Crisis averted! Or so we thought...”

    Casey: “Right, and here’s where the story gets really unfortunate. You mentioned to me previously about how the LCLB placed a stipulation on your liquor license that you’ve never seen or heard about before, and in talks with other local business owners it looks like you’re the only one in Vancouver with this restriction. Can you expand a little on what’s happened of recent regarding your liquor license?”

    Brian: “So because we asked about video games, we are being punished, effectively. They added a stipulation that 'prohibits the USE of GAMING CONSOLES in the red-lined area of the space.' That red-line is the entire space. They have banned gaming in our video game restaurant.

    The problem is that no other food primary has this stipulation on their license. I can walk into anywhere in BC with my console, or hold any gaming event ANYWHERE except in my own space. So, with public safety in mind, this doesn't really make any sense, does it? We are being bullied into submission for trying something different without any research or thought put into the suggestion of gaming. We even said we wouldn't mind being a 'pilot program' to test the idea for 6 months, and they didn't even acknowledge that suggestion.”

    Casey: “I know that government agencies love to have fun with the definitions of objects, especially within a license agreement like this. Has there been any talk regarding what the exact definition of a ‘gaming console’ is with the LCLB? I mean, I can play video games on my iPhone, does that mean it’s not allowed in EXP?”

    Brian: “We don't know. We assume it means 'anything that plays games'. They didn't single out 'X360, PS3, or Wii' specifically. So, is a PC a 'gaming console'? What about if someone brings in a laptop? What about their phone? If someone plays Angry Birds in my space, am I responsible for it? Can I get shut down for it? I have no idea what the boundaries are. It is all up to the liquor inspector that walks in, and since they aren't educated on the policies (since they can be made up on the spot, it seems) that could mean ANYTHING and that could cost us our business for one person's bad day.”


    THE FIGHT

    Casey: “Obviously this isn’t something that the Brian Vidovic I know is going to take laying down, nor will the community that has been clamoring for this venue for the last few years, so moving forwards how are you planning to combat this decision?”

    Brian: “I don't like being bullied; no one does. We are actively disputing their decision and working with local MLAs and starting a petition. We are working with Rising Tide Consulting (the nice folks who helped the Rio Theatre with their ground-breaking win against the liquor board) to find a solution.”


    THE CALL TO ACTION

    Casey: “Sounds good. I assume you and your war generals have yourself a plan. How is EXP proceeding?”

    Brian: “The first step is to allow games in food primary spaces. The second step is to change the liquor licensing process in its entirety for the betterment of Vancouver's restaurant Industry as a whole.

    Our plan is simple: with the help of our liquor inspector, the VPD, MLAs and Rising Tide, we aim to make the liquor board remove that stipulation and add one that allows our patrons to play games in our space. Then we will work with our consultants and the local businesses to change the 2-license system in Vancouver to a more robust, fair, and updated system. We don't have to look far for good examples - the rest of Canada has some excellent systems we can follow to make ours infinitely better.”

    Casey: “Of course there are going to be plenty of people, myself included, that are upset about the decisions made by the LCLB. How can the community help fight for EXP to reach the original concept that you came up with and achieve its full potential?”

    Brian: “The battle plan will be to get everyone to sign our EXP petition, e-mail their MLA to bring this issue to their attention, and then garner support from the local video game and tech companies alongside as many restaurateurs and license holders as possible to truly show the solidarity of Vancouver's Community.

    Please don't send the liquor board hate mail, it won't help us. Let's just work together to build something they can't even begin to argue with. Let's work together to show them they can't bully us, and let's do it as politely as possible to keep our Canadian pride intact, eh?

    We can do this together and make sure Vancouver gets its gamer-centric venue where you can play your favourite titles with your friends while eating and drinking. We won't ever give up; we'll fight until our HP reaches 0... and even then, we have boxes of auto-use Phoenix Downs. Bring it on.”

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    It’s unfortunate that a unique concept like this is being squashed by the powers that be because the LCLB can't seem to grasp the concept and benefit of this venue. Vancouver is one of North America’s largest video game communities, we have regular events, launch parties, hell even burlesque shows that feature video game themes. EXP was one of the first venues to come out and say they wanted to bring that concept into a full-time feature and because of that they are being steamrolled by the LCLB.

    Fortunately there is precedence for these kinds of archaic, snap-judgment policies being overturned. With the recent fight and subsequent victory at the RIO Theater, Vancouver proved that its community can be more powerful than the liquor board and that ridiculous decisions and restrictions on our venues CAN be over turned. Shogun Gamer fully supports the fight for EXP to overturn the decision levied against them, and humbly requests your help as well.

    As Brian had mentioned there is a petition available online which is (as of this article) currently at 2,000 of the 10,000 needed signatures. You can also reach out to your local MLA and let them know that things are getting out of hand, and that you want your government elected representative to help fight on your behalf to get rid of dated policies decided by people who have no proper concept of the 21st century or its community.

    Once you’ve signed the petition (and hopefully sent a quick email your MLA) you can also help alert others to the cause by joining the group on FacebookTweeting about the bar and its fight, as well as encouraging your friends to get involved.

    With your help, we can get EXP back on track to achieve its full potential. Hopefully EXP will become a venue for some awesome events, parties, and Shogun-centric get-togethers in the near future. 


    SOURCE: http://www.shogungamer.com/news/14079/lclb-bans-video-games-exp-bar 

    June 13, 2012

  • Article

    Thank you to everyone that made it out for the GSMA Canadian OneAPI Gateway event -- it was a great one! Thank you to GSMA OneAPI and WIP for allowing DigiBC to organize the evening and to the Canadian OneAPI partners Bell, Telus and Rogers. A special thank you to...

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    Thank you to everyone that made it out for the GSMA Canadian OneAPI Gateway event -- it was a great one! Thank you to GSMA OneAPI and WIP for allowing DigiBC to organize the evening and to the Canadian OneAPI partners Bell, Telus and Rogers. A special thank you to Fasken Martineau for providing the venue for the presentation and to Drew Cooks! Catering for the delicious refreshments. Speakers Margaret Tham (TELUS), Pauline Chay (GSMA) and David O’Neil (Evangelist) outlined the benefits of using an API and the ease it provides to mobile app developers. The GSMA OneAPI Gateway is now commercial, and Bell, Rogers and TELUS have teamed together to make both campaigns and mobile app development quicker and less complicated. There were two break out sessions at this event: a Business Track session for Marketing and Product development folks, and a Technical Track session for developers. All the presenters were exceptionally knowledgable and there was great networking had by all those that attended. DigiBC hopes everyone enjoyed this event as much as we did. 


    If you were unable to make this event and would like to know about similar events DigiBC is holding in the future, please check our events calendar. If you would like to get in touch with one of the presenters, please contact Carly Graham (carly@digibc.org) and we would be more than happy to connect you!