Where innovation goes to die

It’s a well known fact that on any given moment there are at least 3 Technology Conferences or Unconferences going on in Toronto at once. These are places for underemployed nerds and “Social Media Experts” to gather and discuss the future. This future usually involves their services.

They must, at all cost, be Twittered. This is the nerd equivalent of the concert t-shirt. It proves you were there, even if you weren’t paying attention because you were too busy Twittering. It also gives non-attendees a chance to follow along disjointedly.

So what happened at the Interactive Exchange earlier this week?

Oh Christ.
Hey Mr. Crow, because we own everything, ok?

We better keep an eye on this guy. I don’t like where he’s going with this. The RCMP should also be kept abreast of his tweets. For realz.

What is it with these kids? It’s not just the typos and the tortured syntax. We get the gist. But we can’t even not give TV away for no charge anymore without that NOT being like a bonus?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this guy doesn’t have many friends.

“Stursburg?” You mean “Richard Stursberg?” At a conference about innovation? This I gotta see. His greatest innovation so far has been his ability to take hundreds of millions of dollars and turn it into dog turds that can be broadcast on TV.

Yes, the only way to make money in the content creation game is to rent out real estate. We all know that.

The Tea Makers blog, of course. And John Gushue’s DOT DOT DOT.

Obviously “Stursburg” is speaking out of admiration here.

Delivered with glee.

Does this surprise anyone? Wake up, dday10! And click a banner ad on CBC.ca while you’re at it. It wouldn’t kill you, for Christ’s sake.

This week, at least.

For what it’s worth, I think the feeling is mutual.

My feelings exactly, nerd.
Hey, want to go get a drink and do some networking for networking’s sake?


  1. Kim
    Posted March 25, 2009 at 8:48 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hi ‘kimfox’ here –

    For the record ‘Anonymous’™ after this posting was flagged to me – I began following the thread, but, until now I have not posted a response.

    I felt this posting started out in good fun (always useful to be reminded of the importance of good grammar regardless of the medium).

    Now I think it’s becoming a little mean-spirited, which is too bad…

    Kim Fox

  2. Steph Marshall
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 10:50 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I did not attend the conference, but I felt as though every single person that I have ever met in the history of the universe was in fact at the conference. And tweeting. Constantly.

    Was there value in reading the tweets for someone who did not attend?

    1. I got the gist of what was discussed at each panel, and since then I have followed up with some attendees and have garnered insight and had interesting conversations. Value.

    2. Knowing where the “tweeters” work and a bit about their passions and histories, it was interesting to see the framework of analysis being applied from various factions.

    3. By the end of the conference I had one of those post-conference hangover feelings, even though I never left my office. No value.

    4. I was in the loop regarding the gossip and the inside jokes. Apparently BBQ Sauce looks a lot like chocolate sauce. Value? Questionable. Actually’¦high value once I think about it.

    I think that since I know so many of the Tweeters in ’śreal life’ť it was worth listening in via twitter since I could follow up so easily. If it had been a bunch of strangers I would have been turned off twitter.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 9:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    But you see, the context is the speaker speaking to you at a conference. And when you post a snippet of that online, the online reader can read that many different ways. You might not expect all of them.

    Now, I’m going to guess that you’re kimfox. And if you take offense to this post, my only advice to you is to be careful about what you write online.

    Consider this a cheap lesson in online social media, and welcome to the internet.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 8:16 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Well I, for one, don’t take myself that seriously at all… but I do take exception to being quoted out of context by some little weasel who has nothing intelligent to offer, and so has to resort to a pointless snark piece to prop up their little ego. One that doesn’t, by the way, “convey any understanding” at all.

    There is definitely a conversation to be had regarding social media, the (some would say) disintegrating broadcast landscape, and the perils and possibilities we (as content creators) face, but you aren’t contributing to it. All you can do is smugly point out typos. The real “self-congratulatory wankery” is your post.

    Oh, and by the way, Powell is smart, educated, and articulate. And I’d be willing to bet her resume’s a damn sight more impressive than yours – so what’s your problem with her being a former Miss Canada 20 years ago (beyond general misogynism, I mean…)?

  5. The Author
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 7:22 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    For those of you who don’t get what I’m driving at here – not surprisingly, most of you seem to have been in attendance – I’m suggesting that these new media tools are more easily used for obfusication rather than conveying understanding.

    You could say that “missing the point” is exactly the point.

    Also, the twitterers at these things take themselves very seriously. Which these comments also prove.

    The title of the post is the tipoff.

    I’m also suggesting that the content of these conferences might involve more self-congratulatory wankery than instruction. Only after writing this piece did I realize that I left out all the “Obama girl” tweets.

    An innovation conference with Obama girl, Stursberg, and the former Miss Canada.

    You played right into their hands.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 6:20 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I think the best point you made here is that twitter allows people to follow along disjointedly. That’s clearly what you’ve done here.

    From someone who attended this conference and the Stursberg/Crow session in particular, you’ve missed the point of many very intelligent tweets.

    Television discovered years ago that its easy to get cheap laughs when you re-edit a person’s comments and remove all context. Congratulations on continuing this proud tradition in order to bash people with far more innovative thoughts than your own.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted March 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Juliette Powell! a former Miss Canada turned MuchMusic VJ, now in this racket. What does that tell you?

  8. Naila J.
    Posted March 22, 2009 at 10:23 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Oooh! Oooh! It’s me!

    Although for the record, must say I’ve now learned that Stursburg is actually very supportive of many of CBC Interactive’s projects.

    Nice act, though!

  9. Anonymous
    Posted March 22, 2009 at 9:04 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    To the anonymous author of this post: The “networking for networking’s sake is pointless” was a statement made by Juliette Powell during an “Achieving ROI though Social Media” session. It was a point I thought was worth repeating that companies using social media tools need to actually offer meaning and value, not just connection with as many people as possible.

    Good attempt at humour, though. Keep at it!

    -the nerd

  10. Anonymous
    Posted March 22, 2009 at 8:45 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Dick’s got it all wrong, he wants to get paid. He has mistaken the CBC for something else altogether. If he read the mandate in the Broadcast Act he would be grateful that operations like Google and Youtube
    distribute the content for free. Maybe this mess wasn’t his fault after all, maybe he just never understood what he was suppose to do. Pitiful, really.

  11. Allan
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 12:18 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    So many truly great posts lately at The Tea Makers.
    All of them from me.
    It’s been really satisfying to read these new and familiar voices.
    It’s unfortunate that things have been so quiet at the CBC lately; perhaps just a calm before the storm. It may pick up soon.
    I enjoyed this post especially.
    Not to minimize Jerome’s. Great stuff.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Never said it was great. It was hugely flawed.

    But CBC squandered it’s considerable investment in user generated content, something in which they were miles ahead of anyone else. It was YouTube before YouTube was a sparkle in somebody’s eye.

    Why are they buying back something they basically invented? Why didn’t they continue to tweak it till they got it right?

    That’s the kind of stupid I’m talking about.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m no fan of Stursberg, but – sorry – Zed got cancelled because it was middling quality programming. How many “student film” pieces can you sit through? There’s a reason YouTube is a webpage and not a TV channel.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Teamakers are everywhere! We should employ our own hashtag even #teamakers or at least hash. That way we can all have t-shirts!

  15. Fake Ouimet
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece


  16. Anonymous
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 12:36 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “For someone who’s in charge of all English services, including interactive, Stursburg sure doesn’t like new media!”

    My god. Why is this dinosaur still here? This is the guy who cancelled ZeD, right after Current TV actually came to Vancouver to pilfer the idea, (written about in Wired), and then bought it back.


    Oh… and collected a bonus for his innovative thinking.

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