Byron Holland is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). View bio
We’ve all arrived back in the office from Canadians Connected 2010 exhausted, but there’s certainly a sense of renewed energy around the CIRA office.
The staff at CIRA really are on a bit of a high, and deservedly so. We don’t have the final count yet, but I’m pretty sure we more than doubled attendance over last year.
We were also able to facilitate national participation in the AGM by hosting a webcast of the event. Online participants could watch the presentations via video, see the PowerPoint presentations, vote on motions at the AGM, and ask questions.
For the first time, we also utilized a Twitter wall. When going back over the tweets from the event, it’s hard to tell what the most successful aspect was. The majority of the tweets are about the keynotes, but there were also a disproportionate number about the fact that we served ice cream during the afternoon break.
The keynotes were exceptional. I will not forget Terry O’Reilly’s assertion that .CA can be the new proverbial flag on the backpack for Canadians online. I also loved his line about Canadian language: “It’s a language you only understand if it’s in your wind-chill-forged DNA.” I think that’s going to resonate with us again when the snow falls this winter.
I found Mitch Joel’s talk fascinating. Fundamentally, he talked about a shift in the way business is done – according to him, it’s about relationships and stories. The other thing Mitch said that sparked my interest was that cellphones are no longer phones, but remote controls for our lives. Mobile is the future there’s no question.
Our panel of Internet experts was one of the highlights of the entire day for me. To sit on the stage with three of the brightest minds in the Internet world, two who have helped forge the ‘net – John Demco and Paul Vixie, and one who is going to help take us to the next level – Chris O’Neill, was inspiring.
The best moment for me, however, was John Demco reflecting on the fact that he used to sell .CA domain names out of a basement. To think, that’s only a little over 10 years ago. It’s an incredible example of how far we’ve come, and it makes me think about where we are going to be 10 years from now.