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Former area resident co-founds 'game-changer' social media platform –



A former Orillian is hoping a new social media platform he co-founded will pay off — for the users.

Dan Swinimer, who grew up in Orillia and now lives in Surrey, B.C., is among the founders of Trybe, a new app that allows users to receive money for the attention their posts get.

The idea came about after Swinimer’s friend, Felipe Freig, realized how much attention his son’s videos of scooter tricks were receiving online.

“He had an issue watching his son getting close to semi-pro status as a scooter rider,” Swinimer said, noting the boy practised for hours, spent plenty of time editing the videos and invested money on equipment. “He’d get a lot of ‘likes,’ but that was it. Felipe said, ‘There’s got to be a way to monetize this.’”

Swinimer and Freig sat down to discuss that idea further, and Trybe is the result.

Users will have the option to simply ‘like’ content on the app, but they can also reward other users by sending “gems,” Swinimer explained, in various amounts, starting as low as 10 cents. A post that goes viral on Trybe could mean big bucks.

Swinimer used the example of Orillia’s Brian Fernandez, whose Facebook post about made-in-Canada French’s ketchup went viral in 2016.

“It was the textbook definition of a viral post,” Swinimer said. “If Trybe was a thing back then, the money he would’ve made on a post like that would’ve changed his life, and it should’ve changed his life.”

He even used that example when pitching to investors. It worked. Enough people have come on board to make the Trybe idea a reality.

It wasn’t as simple as that, though. Founders Swinimer and Freig knew they needed someone with ample business experience as well as someone who had friends in high places.

So, they pitched the idea to Bill Swinimer, Dan’s father, an Orillia man who founded Uniplast Industries.

“That’s the single best thing we did,” Dan said of bringing his dad on board as a partner.

They then pitched Chad Kroeger, lead singer of Nickelback and co-founder of 604 Records.

Dan, who owns the production company Manicdown Music Inc. and used to perform with Freig in the band Jet Black Stare, met Kroeger as a result of them having the same manager.

When the idea of Trybe was explained to Kroeger, “Chad just went off,” Dan recalled.

“He said, ‘This is a game changer.’”

Kroeger is now a partner and has sung the app’s praises through posts on social media. Avril Lavigne also gave Trybe a shout-out in a post to her 21 million Twitter followers.

Kroeger’s confidence in Trybe and what it could mean for musicians was obvious. Before long, Freig, Dan and Bill were on Kroeger’s private jet, bound for California’s Silicon Valley.

Bill has a good friend there who has invested more than $2 billion in start-ups.

“I sent him the idea and he thought it was great,” Bill said.

Word began to spread among investors and the project took off, and that’s when Bill was officially brought on board to help set up the company.

“It’s really been fun, and we’re now at that stage where it’s really getting traction,” Bill said, noting about 25 per cent of Trybe’s shareholders are from Orillia.

Bill believes the app will be “the next big one” in social media. He foresees those who use other platforms, like Instagram, including social media influencers, making the jump to Trybe.

“Our platform will do all the things you need in one platform,” he said. “It has endless possibilities.”

Dan also thinks so, and that was thanks to the experience in Silicon Valley.

“I was a little skeptical that someone had not come up with this already. It’s such a simple idea,” he said.

When investors told him they, too, were surprised a similar app hadn’t been developed yet, “that was our green light,” Dan said.

He described Trybe as a “win-win” for users. Whenever they reward another user, they have the ability to have their own posts boosted.

“The more people who see your post, the better chance you have to make money,” he said.

That user incentive could also pay off for charities that might use Trybe, he added.

Trybe is still in the beta-testing stage and is expected to officially launch to the public in a month or two.

For more information about Trybe, check out its website. To get on the wait list to join, download the app.

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China accuses Canada of condoning media criticism of Hong Kong comments – Global News



China said Monday that it has complained to Canada for allegedly condoning anti-China comments that appeared in Canadian media following controversial remarks made by the Chinese ambassador.

Ties between the countries are at their lowest point in years amid China’s outrage over Canada’s detention of a top executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Last week, China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, branded pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as violent criminals and said if Canada grants them asylum it would amount to interference in China’s internal affairs.

“If the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport-holders in Hong Kong, and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong SAR, you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes,” Cong said in a video news conference from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.

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China denies Canadians ‘arbitrarily’ detained in response to Meng Wanzhou arrest

Cong was asked whether his remarks amounted to a threat, to which he replied, “That is your interpretation.”

On Saturday, the Toronto Sun published an editorial calling on Cong to either apologize or leave Canada. “It’s not enough for the Trudeau government to publicly scold Cong,” the paper said. “If he won’t apologize and retract his threats, boot him back to Beijing.”

Cherie Wong, the executive director of Alliance Canada Hong Kong, a group that advocates for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, called Cong’s comment a “direct threat” to all Canadians.

“It should not be lost on Canadians living in Hong Kong or China, they could be next. Ambassador Cong suggested so himself,” Wong said.

Click to play video 'China lodges complaint with Canada over Trudeau’s remarks on Hong Kong, Xinjiang'

China lodges complaint with Canada over Trudeau’s remarks on Hong Kong, Xinjiang

China lodges complaint with Canada over Trudeau’s remarks on Hong Kong, Xinjiang

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian did not identify specific comments that he said resulted from a deliberate misinterpretation of Cong’s remarks, but said Canadian leaders “did not verify, but also condoned the anti-China comments spreading across the nation and made groundless accusations against China.”

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“We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to it and have lodged solemn complaints with the Canadian side,” Zhao told reporters Monday at a daily briefing.

Protests against the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese governments swelled last year, and Beijing clamped down on expressions of anti-government sentiment in the city with a new national security law that took effect June 30.

Click to play video 'Trudeau condemns China’s diplomatic approach, says it shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘successful tactic’'

Trudeau condemns China’s diplomatic approach, says it shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘successful tactic’

Trudeau condemns China’s diplomatic approach, says it shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘successful tactic’

The law outlaws subversive, secessionist and terrorist activity, as well as collusion with foreign powers to interfere in the city’s internal affairs. The U.S., Britain and Canada accuse China of infringing on the city’s freedoms.

Cong also flatly rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion that China is engaging in coercive diplomacy by imprisoning two Canadian men in retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive on an American extradition warrant. The executive, Meng Wanzhou, is living under house arrest in Vancouver while her case wends through a British Columbia court.

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In December 2018, China imprisoned two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and charged them with undermining China’s national security. Convicted Canadian drug smuggler Robert Schellenberg was also sentenced to death in a sudden retrial shortly after Meng’s arrest.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Media Beat: October 19, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



From Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman’s latest newsletter

We haven’t heard much from the “TV Is Dead” imbeciles recently, so I thought a little update would be appropriate. First some background.

The concept that the TV-Is-Deadheads never quite seemed to understand is that there’s a difference between consumer behaviour and industry shit fights. The fact that broadcast tv and cable tv and satellite tv and internet-delivered tv were fighting over share meant less than nothing to consumers. Consumers like to sit on their asses and watch television. That’s all there is to know about the subject.

But the Deadheads saw the eroding share of broadcast tv and knee-jerked that into “TV Is Dying.” Whether the signal gets to peoples’ tv sets by electromagnetic waves, underground wires, satellite pulses, web streaming, carrier pigeons or rowboats is of no interest to them. As long as it’s simple to use, entertaining, and cheap, they’ll watch (Although advertising has become so horrible lately people are willing to pay way more than imagined to avoid it).

Even in an environment in which streaming is gobbling up share, over the air broadcast is still dominating. According to Nielsen…

   – The average adult spent 4 hours and 30 minutes a day watching traditional tv in Q2 2020.
   – The average adult spent 1 hour and 6 minutes on streaming. The growth of streaming has been quite substantial and impressive, but it still constitutes only 25% of video viewing.
   – Remarkably, streaming services (Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and Sling) bought over a quarter billion dollars of ad time on traditional tv in the past 12 months to promote their products. That’s gotta tell you something.

Regardless of who wins the internecine battle of delivery systems, one thing is clear. People love tv and reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.  h/t Lara Bracken

Doug Ford gives thumbs up to media in a question about covid being a hoax

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And now, Jonathan Pie tells it like it is from the UK

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Postmedia financials look bleak

A $21M federal wage subsidy program helped pump Postmedia’s balance sheet to a $13.5M profit in Q4, but its annual report saw its deficit increase to $16.2M as of Aug. 31, compared with $6.3M in fiscal 2019. Revenue, mostly from advertising, print circulation and digital services, dropped nearly 18 percent for the full year to $508.4M. – The Canadian Press

Former prostitute and Edmonton radio host makes film festival debut

Illusion: The Fear is the story of Valécia Pepin’s harrowing struggle to free herself from the grip of her pimp, who attempts to reassert control. It had its debut at the Edmonton Short Film Festival on the weekend. – Andrea Huncar, CBC Edmonton

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Thai police order media probes over protest coverage – Reuters Canada



BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai police said on Monday they had ordered an investigation of four news outlets under emergency measures imposed last week to try to stop three months of protests against the government and monarchy.

FILE PHOTO: Pro-democracy protesters shine their mobile phone lights during an anti-government protest, in Bangkok, Thailand October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

The announcement prompted anger from media groups and accusations of an attack on press freedom by the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former junta leader the protesters are seeking to drive from office.

According to a police document dated Oct. 16, investigations have been ordered into content from four media outlets as well as the Facebook page of a protest group.

“We received information from intelligence units concerned that parts of the content and distorted information have been used and disseminated to cause confusion and instigate causing unrest to society,” police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen told a news conference.

He said it was for Thailand’s broadcast regulator and digital ministry to investigate and take appropriate action, adding that there was no plan to curb press freedom.

Putchapong Nodthaisong, a spokesman for the digital ministry, said it had requested court orders to take down content by the four media outlets and a protest page, among more than 300,000 pieces of content it said violated Thai laws.

Prachatai, an independent outlet among those being investigated, described it as a censorship order.

“Honored to report accurate info about human rights and political development in Thailand, we’ll try our best in continuing to do so,” Prachathai English said on Twitter.

The Manushya Foundation, an independent group which campaigns for online freedom, called the measures an attempt to silence free media.

“Since the ban on protests did not work, the military-backed government hopes to create fear of telling the truth,” its director Emilie Palamy Pradichit said.

“We urge free media to resist.”

The government ordered a ban on news and online information that could affect national security last Thursday as it also banned political gatherings of more than five people in the face of the growing challenge.

Protests have taken place every day since then, the latest drawing tens of thousands of people in Bangkok and across the country. Police gave a figure of 20,000 protesters in the capital.

“We will prosecute everyone,” deputy Bangkok police chief Piya Tawichai said, adding that 74 protesters had been arrested since Oct. 13.

Protesters seek the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth, accusing him of engineering last year’s election to keep hold of power he first seized in a 2014 coup. He says the election was fair.

The protesters have also grown more vocal in demanding reforms to the monarchy to reduce the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The Royal Palace has made no comment on the protests or protesters’ demands.

Protesters have said they will demonstrate every day, but had yet to set out a plan for protests on Monday.

Prayuth has said he will not quit. Speaking at Government House on Monday, Prayuth said he supported a proposal for a special parliament session to discuss the situation. His supporters have a majority in parliament.

“We are just asking people not to do wrong and destroy the government and people’s property,” he said. “What the government needs to do is to protect the monarchy.”

Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Michael Perry

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