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Online media matters


Some Attic Posts.

  1. Building a bridge

    An open letter to Toronto’s city council to urge them to support continued construction of the Fort York Pedestrian Cycle Bridge

  2. A year (almost) in photos

    Surprising what a daily photos reveal in hindsight

  3. Nothing queued, Netflix

    Canada feeds of American culture — the history of Canadian media can be read, in part, as a nationalistic defence against American influence (which in turn can be explained by the events 199 years ago). In the digital age however, with geo-fencing thriving, access to Hollywood is being limited in the Great White North. No Pandora. No Hulu. And until recently, no Netflix. As a recent American resident, I became a immediate Netflix junkie. In less than three years, I watched more than 500 movies (and rated another 2,020 and had 3,573 suggestions). There were nearly 400 more in my DVD and Instant Viewing queue. My move back to Canada coincided, coincidentally, with Netflix unveiling a Canadian streaming-only service. And the results have suggested it is struggling to understand their customer base. Laying aside an unnecessarily astroturfed launch, there is no way to import U.S. account history into a Canadian account. This despite the fact many Canadians retain U.S. residency for part of the year and others pretend to do so. More bizarrely, there is no way to queue movies.Each time a Canadian wants to view a movie on Netflix, he needs to search for it and hit play — and that is a powerful disincentive. In the U.S., my curated list of movies was the reason I returned to the site. That queue made it so easy to find those movies I'd discovered by using Netflix. In turn, it was the reason I renewed my service month in and month out.Netflix allegedly thinks queuing isn’ for streaming movies. The lack of the feature in Canada suggests similar changes may be coming to the U.S. as well. (Already, the add to DVD queue functionality was removed from the connected devices on the U.S. service.)For a company famous for iterative improvements to its user experience, I still am having a hard-time understanding the business justification for removing a tool that justified for customers a reason to keeping watching movies

  4. Goodbye Seattle, hello Globe

    Saying goodbye to msnbc.com and Seattle, and returning to Canada after a brief sojourn to Vietnam and Thailand. 

  5. The summer of the city

    Toronto reveals its true face in a trio of movies released in 2010

  6. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    One of Canada’s defining documents has been re-published in a new format to make it easier for people to discover what being Canadian is.

  7. Terminal City celebration

    Were it my city, I’m not sure what I would have thought. But it isn’t my city, and it was definitely an unforgettable experience.

  8. Death and news

    Every time I post about a celebrity death in this blog, I think about how its title could be badly misconstrued. Nevertheless…

  9. Election blackout in Canada

    Watching the election results not come in from the West coast of America is a surreal experience.

  10. Minor changes for big effect in iPhone 2.0

    Sure, there are some new applications to download, but the big win with the iPhone 2.0 software is the subtle changes to the user experience, proving, once again, how attention to details can exponentially increase the perceived value of a product. (The other part, though, is making sure people can access that product.)

  11. iPhone apps

    Tomorrow, Canada will get its first legal iPhone, but, as well-covered in the press, it will pay an unbelievable price for the privilege. Coincidentally, I’ll be getting my second and handing the first one — the iPhone that introduced me to Seattle — to the same person who made packing tape a necessary feature for the phone.

  12. T-5 Days

    We’ve done the holiday tours, and the packers are here now, boxing up the last remnants of our stuff which will follow us into Seattle a few days after we land on January 2.

  13. T-1 month

    Today marks the first day of our last month in Toronto, the first day we are not working, and the night of our Toronto send-off. It also happens to be snowing in Seattle and freezing in Toronto, alas, at least the loonie’s fallen back to par with the greenback…

  14. Pre-Seattle FAQ

    So as the preparations for Seattle get underway, and we pack in the visits with friends, a few common questions are emerging. What better way to address the most common ones than a trusty old FAQ.

  15. Smells like Seattle

    Almost exactly five months ago , I started my first major foray into the world of self-employment and began working with a series of exceptional clients to develop web applications and advise about online strategy. The quality, and quantity, of work surprised me, and I savoured every moment of it.

  16. Changing things up

    Just a quick post to let you know about some changes that have happened and will be happening.

  17. Sunny Vancouver

    Right now, I’m wearing in a (Digg) t-shirt, on a sun-soaked patio at the corner of Robson and Bute in Vancouver. The incredible Web Directions North conference is over, the skiing in Whistler (for me) is done, and now I have the next nine-hours to explore the city before returning (on a red-eye) to icy, cold Toronto.

  18. Toronto votes

    Six days after our neighbours to the south changed the make-up of their government, we in Ontario have the opportunity to the same — but on a local level. Across the province, municipal elections are being held today.

  19. Switch

    I bought a Mac.

  20. Joe Clark micropatronage

    The highly-esteemed Joe Clark (arguably, one of Canada’s most passionate online personalities) is initiating a new research project around a topic he’s been passionate about for decades: accessibility. The Open & Closed Project’s aim is to create standards for captioning, audio description, subtitling, and dubbing. Not surprisingly, the project requires full-time focus and that’s where we come in.

  21. Gummo’s down

    To make up for some overtime, I decided to take a few days off to both escape work and to continue developing the new version of this site. Late this afternoon, though, I was stunned when I heard about a co-worker’s departure. For the past four-and-half years, through boom and bust, we’d worked side-by-side — in fact, I’ve never worked with anyone else that closely for that long. This was the person who first showed me how the sites function and later became one of the few colleagues I’d share a drink with. But now, when I return to work on Monday, the chair beside me will sit empty.

  22. View all (it might be a looong page, though)