BLOGSCANNING by Robert Janelle

Janelle-92X185Flip.jpg"Compared to larger technology blogs, which often highlight the cut-throat nature of the business in bigger cities with bigger companies, reading Startup Ottawa provides a unique insight into the rallying together that goes on in a smaller scene."

Three mouseketeers confine their blogging to local scene
From SCAN's Print Edition

One of the neat things about blogs is their ability to effectively create an online publication that zooms in on a really narrow topic. Without the massive overhead of starting a magazine on the same topic, it's possible to run a blog that is focused entirely on pizza in one neighbourhood of a city, a blog dedicated to a single type of shoe or even a blog about garbage in New York.
Or in the case of a group of local entrepreneurs, a blog that focuses entirely on the Ottawa start-up scene.
Since September 2007, Scott Lake, Luc Levesque and Scott Annan have been writing Start-Up Ottawa, writing about the latest technology ventures in the city, tech gatherings and occasionally going off topic to post things like Mr. Lake's winning entry in a diorama competition.

But what most makes Startup Ottawa interesting is that all three writers have more than their share of experience running businesses in the National Capital.

Mr. Lake is a founding partner of jaded pixel, makers of popular online shopping content management system Shopify. Mr. Levesque runs TravelPod, a large network of travel blogs and Mr. Annan is the CEO and co-founder of Mercury Grove, a company that makes web collaboration software.

There’s a decent amount of blogging experience within the group as well. Mr. Lake maintains Technologica, Mr. Annan writes the corporate blog for Mercury Grove and Mr. Levesque, well, he has a whole network of blogs.
What happens when three people who are used to blogging about their own companies get together to write the same blog?

Well, you get a slightly different view of the local tech scene. First of all, the focus is very local, covering start-ups in Ottawa and not worrying much about what's happening in San Francisco or Palo Alto, California.
Second, rather than looking at what companies are producing and giving it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down like many other technology, the Startup Ottawa team writes more about who managed to score funding (and how much) and who’s founding what new company.

But along with announcing new companies, the crew also takes some time to promote the local start-up scene.
Ottawa frequently gets criticized for lacking the vibrant startup scene of cities like Toronto, but the gang behind Startup Ottawa do their bit in bringing together the community.

For example, Mr. Lake, along with marketing consultants Ian Graham and Peter Childs and bOKnow CEO Aydin Mirzaee administer the Ottawa Startup Community Facebook group, which has just over 140 members.

More directly integrated with the Startup Ottawa blog is the recent addition of syndicating Twitter micro-blog posts (tweets) from members of the local startup community. As of this writing, 20 people have their musings popping up in the site's sidebar.

From an observer's perspective, the work the group of bloggers put into promoting the scene can almost seem surreal.

Compared to larger technology blogs, which often highlight the cut-throat nature of the business in bigger cities with bigger companies, reading Startup Ottawa provides a unique insight into the rallying together that goes on in a smaller scene. And that’s really something that companies should take note of. Given the importance of social media and networking in today's businesses, the trash talk and winner-take-all attitudes look almost obsolete and some cases embarrassing.

But observing the blogging and startup up scene in this city shows off how much more productive the rallying attitude can be.

Bob Janelle is a freelance journalist who has plied his trade at the Citizen and Kingston’s Whig-Standard. A bilingual grad of Algonquin’s J-School, where he won awards for both writing and photography, he is a self-confessed video game addict.

Submit a comment

Please leave your name, which will be used to sign your submission to the SCANsite. Thanks for contributing your thoughts. Come back again. Tony Patterson, Editor & CEO.

© 2006 - 2009 SCAN
INTEGRITY INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION
Site by Citadel Rock
SCAN