Still an overall outstanding opportunity – now everyone knows it

orionAs we previously wrote on July 21 O3, Ontario’s new social networking platform from ORION, is a great tool for developing and sustaining research based relationships and collaborations. On October 6, ORION hosted a launch of O3 at the Royal Ontario Museum (see ORION’s press release here). The group included academic colleagues from OCAD, Centennial College, UOIT and CAMH but York’s close relationship with Ontario’s broadband network was highlighted by attendance from Bob Gagne (CIO), Janet Murphy (ABEL), Allan Anderson (CONCERT) and Kay Li (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies) who is working with the Sagittarius Project which is digitizing literary resources for Canadian students.

Mobilizing MindsAlso featured was Mobilizing Minds, the York co-lead project that links academic research to young adults for mental health.

But it was ResearchImpact that took the stage with ORION. David Phipps was invited to speak about how York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit is using O3 to enhance the connection of York’s research with partners from community, government and industrial organizations. As these collaborations produce research and knowledge mobilization outputs the collaborations will disseminate these outputs using ResearchImpact’s O3 site allowing the site to become a publicly accessible repository of knowledge mobilization products and tools. As reported by President Shoukri in the recent Research edition of York U magazine, “Knowledge mobilization is the intersection between researchers and research stakeholders; it’s where research and evidence help inform decisions about public policy, social programming and professional practice.” Essentially knowledge mobilization is a research dating service. Since 1/8 couple married in the US last year met using social media (watch a video about the social media revolution here), social media such as O3 can also support research based partnerships.

O3York’s KM Unit has been using O3 since its soft launch in May 2009 – visit for our O3 site. Mobilizing Minds is the first community engaged project to adopt O3. York also has created a research sub-community on O3 to support. If you are interested in exploring the features of O3 please contact Omar Mohammed, Manager of Research Computing ( or Krista Jensen ( if you are associated with ResearchImpact and/or knowledge mobilization. If you are interested in starting your own O3 community please contact Gary Hilson (

After the reception we got a tour of the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity and saw some of the interactive broadband communication tools used in this multi-media installation. We used this technology to speak to a paleontologist about digging up dinosaur bones and the extinction of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs evolved and died out over 165 million years. Social media has evolved in the span of only a few years but it is here to stay. For an idea of the speed of evolution of social media take 4 minutes and 22 seconds to watch the YouTube video above. THAT’s why you should care about social media.

O3 launch at ROM Oct 5
Gary Hilson demonstrating O3