Web 2.0 companies flock to CATA as social networking expertise becomes vital
July 11, 2008

OTTAWA July 11, 2008 - The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance's drive to provide social networking education and access as an essential component of a successful business model for Canadian companies, has core Web 2.0 companies flocking to the association. Internet related organizations like CIRA, Helix Communications, FuseTalk, Market2World, More 411 Inc., TANJss, Go Phones, Octopus IP Communications Inc., Igloo, Iotum, and Shift Networks have recently joined Canada's largest high-tech trade association and its extensive network of 30,000 high-tech leaders. CATA is an advocate of social networking sites as a tool to increase a business's global reach.

"Markets are now conversations," said Barry Gander, Executive Vice President, CATA. "Engagement has become the mantra of today's corporate sales model. In the U.K., these 'Web 2.0' techniques have become so prevalent that the Internet is expected to overcome television as the biggest advertising medium in Britain this year, with more than 19 per cent of total ad spend. This is a watershed in current trends! Canadian companies are jumping on the idea."

"Our team is focused on helping companies find the tools and the partners to create their Web 2.0 presence," says John Reid, President of CATA. "We are both a matchmaking network and a centre for best practices in this new field. It's important that companies, in any sector, recognize that this is the new wave and get on board."

Facebook, Viadeo and IGLOO have become staple applications in CATA's own business model and allow the association to post industry related news, conduct forums, share industry best practices, and promote new and innovative Canadian technologies. CATA's new "mobility" office, which provides employees with the option of working whenever they want and wherever they want, is largely based on the various applications provided by social networking sites, such as Facebook's free conference calls, and the Google platform's messaging and document sharing sites.

CATA recently partnered with the Access Group to bring together 80 business leaders for a roundtable discussion to compare competitive strategies and approaches to the Web 2.0 phenomenon. There is a growing belief throughout the global economy that Web 2.0 technologies - blogs, podcasts, interactive web sites, online communities, wikis, mash-ups, and similar innovations - are changing customer and employee expectations. These wide-spread beliefs are a clear indication that CATA's recent initiatives are a step in the right direction.

CATA has also been heavily involved in the development of unique social networking sites such as First Run, a global site designed for journalism students, and a partnership with IGLOO has had them participate in the creation of an E-governance Task Force site designed for the City of Ottawa.

"Early social networking sites such as Facebook have turned people from web viewers into participants who want to participate and interact online," notes Barry Gander.

As the web of social networks widens, CATA will likely gain even greater momentum with its initiatives and membership. For more information on CATA's latest social networking endeavors, please visit www.cata.ca.