by Rob Campbell on November 23, 2014
Some big things happened when Brian Rotsztein the President and Founder of CIMA, the Canadian Internet Marketing Association was in town last week to speak at WordCamp Toronto 2014. He brought a half dozen copies of his new book Content Marketing Ideas, and some of the manuscript for our cooperative effort, (a book on Story Funnels to be released in the spring of 2015). Brian also brought two vinyl banners emblazoned with the words ‘Canadian Internet Marketing Association’ upon which the red CIMA logo is artfully positioned over the word ‘Toronto’. In presenting me with these sanctioned tapestries Brian Rotsztein did appoint me President of the Toronto Chapter until such time as the need arises to replace my leadership.
As President, I manage the CIMA Toronto meet-up group, and take as my mandate the task to grow attendance at our events, and work to raise the overall membership of the organization. @JoinCIMA is my mantra and most popular Twitter inclusion.
On the 13th of November 2014 the CIMA Toronto Meetup group met for the first time at 90 Sumach St in the amenity room of the Boiler House Lofts bldg, a venue kindly donated by Toronto Ad Agency, Jib Strategic. David Shephard is a major supporter of CIMA and he volunteered his own time, setting up chairs, taking coats and watching the door for late arrivals. An artfully detailed account of CIMA Toronto’s first historic assembly was published on the Jib blog over the wknd.
Before the meeting started, everyone at the table helped themselves to a cold can of beer, or a glass of chilled Fresita, pink Chilean wine that was donated by Branding and Buzzing Sean Beckingham and then, the perfect ice breaker, everyone took turns wearing Ahmed Abdalla‘s Google glasses.
Decorated with those signature red CIMA banners the Boiler Lofts common room was instantly transformed into a ‘theatre of potential’. While not very large, the assembly was truly diverse and represented a perfect cross-section of Canadian online society, an informal gathering of web marketing professionals with varied perspectives on our nation’s business and political landscape.
At one point I asked each of the attendees why they came to the meeting, and what they would like to see happen with the group? I wondered what socioeconomic or political causes are closest to their hearts, and which of these causes should top our agenda?
An overwhelming majority of attendees remarked on how they hoped to limit CSEC spying, and reinforce the idea that Net Neutrality must be attained and protected in Canada.. With the birth of CIMA Toronto, digital marketers here in the GTA and all across Ontario now have a neutral resource to query and access to get second opinions, honest appraisals and unbiased reviews of proposals and reports. Its also hoped the Toronto web marketers can evolve this association into a respected voice in local politics and assist in federal and provincial web policy-making.
Sometimes the issues that threaten our freedom on the web are so complex they require a trusted interpreter to break it all down, to look at the legislation and say yes or no, these proposals are on track or offside. Of course the membership is free to make their own decisions, but they can count on us to read the laws and legal codes and do the math. A catalyst to action, the Harper Government is this year giving its spies more power through the passage of Bill C-13 (better known as the Cyberbullying Bill), which makes it easier for law enforcement agencies to surveil Canadians and allows Internet Service Providers to voluntarily turn your information over to the government without consequence, and without notifying you. The bill is so broad that even Carol Todd — mother of Amanda Todd, whose heartbreaking death helped inspire C-13 has spoken out against its surveillance provisions.
Geoff Whitlock the CEO of SURROUND digital marketing agency voiced his favorable opinion of CASL the new Canadian Anti Spam Law while others thought it was a complete waste of time, doing more damage than good by chilling legitimate email marketers. James from BBS Toronto bookkeeping service added to the mix by describing how CASL and the threat of litigation has stopped his firm from sending email newsletters to clients, and yet his inbox is still being deluged by foreign companies.
After the speakers convened and the official business was conducted , the party started.