Oh, Canada……

by Tom Tsinas April 17th, 2008 

Andrew Goodman, of Traffick.com and Page Zero Media, and I are if not friends, well, at least peers with a mutual and healthy respect for each other both knowing exactly how long the other has been at this Search (whether paid or otherwise) stuff in this country. Over the years we've lunched, coffee'd and conferenced together.

And always, one theme has come up. When and why did Canada miss the boat when it comes to search and the Internet?

Coincidentally, Andrews post of today "When Registering Domains, Think Big", he states:

Personally, I have a real problem with the .ca.

It reinforces the tendency of Canadian businesses to think "provincially." Much of the time, you are in a global and definitely a North American market, even if you didn't realize it yet.

A variation on a theme no doubt, but one that imparts the sentiment that Canada is not a serious contender in this game on a global stage.

And then, this PM, a headline from the vaunted Toronto Star, Canada's largest-circulation newspaper – "Torstar cutting 160 jobs". Among them?

The entire Internet production staff!

Way to have an eye towards the future, guys! Love that deep and profound sense of commitment!

Sheesh!!

Have a good one.

~The (SEP) Guy

PS – Page Zero Media, Andrew Goodman, et al are putting on a PPC Advertising seminar on May 15 in Toronto. Details can be found here.

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7 Responses to “Oh, Canada……”

  1. Stever says:

    I love the .ca extension :)

    It really is a matter of what market you are actually targeting.

    I usually tell my Canadian clients to buy both the .ca and the .com (if both are available). Even for small local businesses that will never be expanding outside their city. If only to capture the type in traffic that forgets it was supposed to be a .ca

    When it comes to Canadian web surfers, they know the .ca extension and it can instill a certain level of trust for a website to fellow Canadians.

    But again, it is all about that actual target market of the website and its visitors.

    As a hypocrite, I use the .ca for my personal blog only because the .ca of my nickname was actually available and my blog was a good use for that domain. So what if it's a .ca when my real audience is North America, maybe global. Oh well, I like my domain :)

  2. The Doug says:

    Yeah, I have to admit it saddens me to hear this news. It really isn't very forward thinking by any stretch of the imagination.

  3. And I do appreciate the sentiment.

    But if I can motivate even a handful of folks to move beyond "oh well" to "I'd better give this some serious thought," I'll be happy.

    "Oh well" is fine for a personal blog or for a single-owner pizza place (maybe), but for businesses with a potentially global audience, "oh well" is not how the rest of the world, particularly U.S. customers, view things.

  4. Thanks, Doug, Andrew and Stever. I agree with Andrew, "Oh well" is not the foremost sentiment here. It's more of a "WTF?!?!?!"

    Whatever the reasons for the lay-offs, perception is a lot of times reality.

    And unless they say otherwise, it appears to be a "throwing in" of the hat.

    And this, to my mind, is not the time for that.

  5. Stever says:

    Let's not take the "oh well" sentiment to far guys. I was referring to my personal blog.

    Now to the TorStar news. It's much like the music industry dropping the ball on music downloads. If the free classified websites are eating that heavily into their market share then why the hell should these newspapers hold onto their old business model of paid classifieds? They already have the traffic streams. Offer the classifieds for free and monetize them with other forms of advertising. Tie the classifieds into their other verticals too.

    Instead they will resist the unstoppable changes brought by the internet only to have to "throw in the towel". Perhaps Kijiji has too much traction now in Canada and its already too late for the newspapers???

  6. If we are still discussing Torstar, all I can say is that the rival media stories distort the restructuring story.

    They are definitely doing the opposite of throwing in the towel on the digital side.

    Methinks, reloading for bear!

  7. Adam Francis says:

    Two quick points…

    First off, you're bang on Andrew in terms of the Star "doing the opposite of throwing in the towel on the digital side."

    I've seen it first hand as our website, RaptorsHQ.com, used to be the lone daily source for Raptor blogging news. However this year both the Star and Globe have jumped onboard with Raptorblogs by their basketball columnists and the Star in particular has devoted a good deal of time elbowing into the NBA's blogosphere.

    Second – Just wanted to say that the class you lead for my CMA e-marketing certification was the best one yet. Great work. And thanks for the advice on optimizing url's for individual pages…got our tech guy working on it right now!