By Nathan Rudyk

Following a Tuesday media advisory, last Wednesday we took the wraps off of a new social media channel called OCRI is the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation, a remarkable tech community association I've been a proud member of for more than a decade (the organization started in 1983).

With more than 600 corporate and institutional members from the high tech and business communities, the OCRI mission includes bringing "people, ideas and resources together - through connectivity - to build wealth and quality of life in Ottawa." It's a mission they take very seriously, to the degree where OCRI is frequently studied by economic development organizations around the world to see what makes Ottawa's tech sector click so successfully.

In keeping with that mission, uses the latest Internet radio and blogging technologies to communicate Ottawa's tech energy to the world. The project came together quickly. In September I had lunch with OCRI’s VP of Corporate Programs Kathy Mahoney to float the idea of a social media channel – the thinking being that while RSS feeds, podcasts and corporate/evangelists blogs were well established at companies like H-P, Oracle and Microsoft, Ottawa’s top tech companies weren’t on the bandwagon, and OCRI was the perfect organization to lead by example.

Kathy took one part of our conversation to Zone5ive, a group of Ottawa tech marketers that sponsor a monthly networking schmooze with a featured speaker, and that led to a talk I gave last Wednesday covering the Web 2.0 social media phenonenon. She also suggested I approach Jeffrey Dale, OCRI's President, with some creative we’d already worked up showing what the social media channel would look like.

At an October meeting, Jeffrey saw the potential of immediately, and we struck up a partnership between market2world and OCRI to get the channel launched on Nov. 23rd for a six-month run of monthly podcasts as well as OCRI member and executive blogs. Jeffrey and I will be hosting the show. In the Spring we'll evaluate our work and decide where we should go next.

The buzz on the channel started with a clip in last week's Ottawa Citizen, a "wraps-off" presentation at my Zone5ive talk (that inspired spontaneous applause from the 130 marketeers in attendance). We've already received a couple of pitches from PR firms looking to get their clients on the podcast (note to PR firms: we're drawing most of our interviews from OCRI members, so make sure your clients have joined before sending that email!)

More to come on the creation of this new social media channel. Listening hard to OCRI's very active members (both on and off the blogs), we'll learn as we go, and I hope to share some of that learning here on The Trojan Mouse. The official launch is Nov. 23rd, so stay tuned.

(Nathan Rudyk is President of market2world communications inc.)