It was nearly a decade ago that I started thinking about how camera phones and blogs were going to change the news business. Those thoughts eventually turned into NowPublic and we built – before there was youtube, twitter or facebook – the world’s largest citizen journalism network. A year earlier Flickr was changing the world by letting people share photos and helping define the way Web 2.0 worked. Their pioneering work resulted in some of the first reports of news events like the Tsunami in Thailand and other global news events.
Both companies were born in Vancouver and both played a significant role in the development of what is now called social news. But a whole new generation of social news companies are popping up that can take advantage of your social graph and our collective reading and viewing practices.
Two of the hottest companies in this space are also from Vancouver and both have been bought in the last 6 months. In August Vancouver startup Zite was bought by CNN and just yesterday another social news company in the city was snapped up, this time by twitter:
Vancouver’s Summify announced this morning on their blog that they have been acquired by Twitter.
Is Vancouver becoming a hub for social news innovation?
The city has one f the most technically savvy J-Schools in North America with people like Alf Hermida (the guy who founded BBCNews.com) and Vancouverites are quick to adopt new technology particularly. Recently Vancouver’s Startup Weekend brought together some of Vancouver’s newest startup enthusiasts. The weekend’s winning team went on to take top honors for the nation in an international competition that pitted them against 30 other counties. And last year GrowLab brought in 5 startups from across the globe to participate in the accelerator’s first cohort.
All this is good new for the news business, startups and Vancouver. Let’s keep it going.