a standout job

Montreal movers/shakers Ben and Fred have officially launched Standoutjobs Reception, with a little help from their friend Austin.

Here’s what it is:

The product is called RECEPTION. It’s a suite of web-based tools to power your online recruiting efforts. At its core you’ll find a do-it-yourself, interactive Career Site. The idea is to give companies the power to truly showcase their cultures and teams. Candidates want more information and interactivity from companies, and we hope to provide that. By allowing companies and candidates to build on-going relationships we make the process of hiring a more human one, which is ultimately, what it’s all about any way. Job descriptions and job requirements are nice (or not!) but what candidates really want is an inside view into your company – they want to know if it’s a good cultural and personal fit.

It’d be nice to be in a position to need to use the tools there, cause they look great, but we ain’t there yet.

Anyway, congrats on the launch.

Categories: friendsprojects, media

regret the error’s 2007 round-up

Craig’s Regret the Error blog does a round-up of 2007 media screw-ups, and their usually insipid apologies. Number one:

Following the portrait of Tony and Cherie Blair published on 21 April in the Independent Saturday magazine, Ms Blair’s representatives have told us that she was friendly with but never had a relationship with Carole Caplin of the type suggested in the article. They want to make it clear, which we are happy to do, that Ms Blair “has never shared a shower with Ms Caplin, was not introduced to spirit guides or primal wrestling by Ms Caplin (or anyone else), and did not have her diary masterminded by Ms Caplin.”

See the rest here.

PodMtl meet-up this thursday

PodMtl, a monthly meet-up for podcasters and the podcast-curious, as well as friends and family-members of podcasters. PodMtl is a welcoming, non-judgmental gathering in an open, non-threatening environment, to talk about issues that affect podcasters and those around them.

pod mtl

So join us on November 29th starting at 19:30. Here’s the address :

* Sergent Recruteur
* 4801 St-Laurent blvd, Montreal
* 514.287.1412

I’m going to try to make it, but I am training back from Ottawa that day.

Thanks for organizing this, to: Sylvain and Bob.


I love when I discover richer and more varied uses for podcasts. Jim Mowatt, a long-time LibriVox guy, and a retired force behind the LibriVox community podcast, has just launched a podcast about history. He did wonderful work on the LV podcast, so I’ll bet this one will be a goodie, for you History buffs. Have not listened yet, but just queuing it up.

Check out: historyzine.com … or:
* Subscribe by RSS
* Subscribe in iTunes

cities and creativity

Mike announces that free community wifi group ilesansfil is proposing a project to the City of Montreal for a million dollars over five years to increase hotspot coverage. Kudos and good luck. Article in La Presse.

In a related idea, Jon Udell talks about the cities and the creative class:

…the creative class values place above employer. To a 25-year-old European marketing or software professional, the choice of Barcelona over some less desirable city is now more decisive than the choice between working for IBM or Microsoft.

You still need to make your city attractive to IBM and Microsoft, because these companies help create and sustain the quality-of-life conditions that attract the creative class. But companies don’t have a direct interest in those conditions, people do.

It was fascinating to see how these cities are now thinking explicitly about competing — in terms of their housing, transportation, safety, culture, and IT enablement — to attract the creative class. Success produces a compound benefit, because the creative class is an engine of prosperity. Not only does it spend money, it also germinates new businesses. And those tend to be just the kinds of businesses that appeal to the creative class, so it can become a virtuous cycle.

Is it elitist to focus on the needs of the creative class? I don’t think so. Every citizen cares about housing, transportation, safety, culture, and IT enablement. If cities do better in those areas in order to attract the creative class, everybody wins.

From my personal experience, ISF has been a prime driver of much of the creative interaction among the people I know (which is a small group, granted) … hanging out and working at Laika — with free wifi — helped germinate many of my ideas about the web … at least one of which (LibriVox) has been successful.

Patrick’s co-working project is nearing launch, so that’ll add some good spice to the creative mix.

Another related thing that I’ve been thinking about (without doing any analysis) is that the web and small start-ups are egalitarian employers, and hence could be important for integration of new communities in Montreal.

In the (mostly ill-making) Bouchard-Taylor Commission, one of the things that came up recently was the inability of trained professionals (doctors, teachers, engineers) from other countries to get work in their domains in Quebec – despite a shortage of doctors, teachers and engineers. That’s the nice thing about the web – I can say, talking from experience as a small (unfunded) web start-up, that I couldn’t care less about official qualifications, where you’re from (indeed, where you live) … all I want to know is: can you do the things that I’m hoping can be done (which you’ve learned just by hacking, and can demonstrate by showing me things you’ve done on the web), and do I think we’ll get along?

That’s important since one of the big problems for immigrant communities is finding good work. So finding ways to support small start-ups (whatever that means) *could* be one way to give more interesting avenues for employment for young, keen immigrants. Helping people in general become hackers is another way to give avenues to prosperity, without having the mainstream constraints that our traditional education systems impose.

Montreal is ideally attractive to the creative class — funky, cheapish, fun, mixed, vibrant etc — but there are all sorts of problems here. For pros and cons, see the discussion from a while back over at Heri’s MontrealTechWatch.

I wonder how City of Montreal’s planning & policies compare with other hubs of innovation?

defensio anti-spam

I’ve been using the Defensio anti-spam plugin on here for a couple of weeks now. I’m a happy man … and I believe it’s superior to the defacto wordpress spam blocker, Akismet. Why?

1. Defensio seems better at learning what’s spam and what’s not – and it admits its mistakes. there’s an nice little performance tracker in the admin panel that looks like this:

* Recent accuracy: 99.35%
* 2191 spam
* 42 legitimate comments
* 10 false negatives (undetected spam)
* 4 false positives (legitimate comments identified as spam)

2. Because of the above, it feels like you have more control over it – Akismet rules your blog’s comment section with an invisible fist of iron… Defensio seems much more laid back – like you can hang out with it and say, hey man, that wasn’t spam, and defensio will be like, dude, sorry about that, i’ll try to remember that next time!

3. It ranks by spaminess … and obvious spam gets hidden, so you don’t have to go thru the hundreds of spam comments that Akismet makes you sift thru (if you want to bother), only the “possible” spam that might be legit.

4. The interface somehow feels friendly and inviting (maybe because I know some of the guys involved in the project?)

So good job Mat & Carl.

Categories: art, data, friendsprojects

barcamp sketch

Matt sketched barcampmtl#3:

barcamp comic

That’s me yammering about data.

Categories: friendsprojects

what to feed a vegan

christine’s brother is a vegan (or at least was … not sure now that he’s doing law school at NYU and working for big carnivorous law firms in the summers). feeding him causes his mother no end of angst.

And to the rescue comes original LibriVoxer, and my Collectik-business-partner Kristen, who has put out a guide called: “How to Feed a Vegan” … available as blog posts, or as a pdf.

Regret the Error

Went to Craig Silverman’s book launch for Regret the Error … looks great. Good crowd of mtl geeks and other folk. Blurb from the introduction to the book, by Jeff Jarvis:

Craig Silverman’s examination of the art of the correction in his blog and now this book could not come at a better time for journalism. For the public’s trust in news organizations is falling about as fast as their revenues (and, yes, those may be related). One way to earn back that trust is to face honestly and directly the trade’s faults. The more – and more quickly – that news organizations admit and correct their mistakes, prominently and forthrightly, the less their detractors will have grounds to grumble about them

And what a pleasure to answer this question: “How do you know Craig?” … My answer: “Oh, he wrote about LibriVox in the New York Times.”


BarCamp Montréal, édition #3

Société des Arts Technologiques, 1195 blvd St. Laurent, Montréal.

Samedi, 3 novembre 2007, de 9h00 à 18h00.

C’est quoi ça?
C’est expliqué ici. Mais en gros, voici le résumé:

Un BarCamp, c’est un rassemblement ad-hoc né du désir de permettre à des personnes de partager et apprendre dans un environnement ouvert. C’est un évènement intense comportant des discussions, des démonstrations et des interactions riches entre les participants.

[thanks for the copy, martine]