New site watches Ottawa tech scene

By Robert Janelle
From SCAN's Print Edition

Between news web sites and blogs, information has become quite scattered across the Internet. This is what programmer Peter Rochon discovered while trying to follow the Ottawa technology sector and led to creating a solution: Ottawa Tech Watch. Anyone interested in following the high-tech scene in Ottawa can point their browsers to Mr. Rochon's site at and see aggregated headlines from 28 different hand-picked news sources including the Ottawa Business Journal and National Capital Scan. Blogs like Start-Up Ottawa are also pulled in to provide headlines. Along with looking at sites covering the technology sector, Ottawa Tech Watch also pulls in information from provincial and federal government sources like the National Research Council.
The site began as a personal project for Mr. Rochon, who ha been working in the local technology sector since 1990, starting at Corel and now as director of product management for Level Platforms. (Mr. Rochon makes clear that this is his pet project and in no way affiliated with any employers.)

“I've been tracking various news, buzz and happenings based on personal interest,” he says. To make this easier, he programmed a back-end to pull in news from his favourite sources. After showing the system to a few friends, they immediately wanted access to it as well. This led to putting it all up on the web for everyone to access.
Since going live in February, the site has been receiving several hundred visitors a day from a wide range of areas besides Ottawa. Site visitors have been coming from the United States all the way to Japan. According to Mr. Rochon, it's become fairly popular among investors.

“I think it's a good resource for anyone who wants to follow the Ottawa tech community,” says Mr. Rochon who is currently soliciting feedback for improvements. So far the biggest request is for an RSS feed to make the headlines even easier to access which he says is among the upgrades already planned.

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