introducing "the mark"

Some weeks back, I was invited to join The Mark, a Canadian news and opinion site recently launched by Torontonians Jeff Anders and Ali Rahnema. It looks like an excellent site, covering a wide range of news and views, with a clean, uncluttered look and an impressive roster of writers.

I was very flattered to be asked, especially since the site will echo wmtc posts of my choice, and not require writing new material. Many of the group sites Allan and I have both been contacted by expect writers to crank out original work in exchange for the privilege of being featured at a new, still-unknown site. No thank you! But the people behind The Mark seem to have a more realistic view of what writing entails. It does seem like a quality site, and I agreed to join.

While I put off submitting a photo and bio until I finished my grad school application, I was surprised to see this story about the site in the Globe and Mail.
Whether it's a fundraiser or a news and opinion website, success can depend on the star power you trot out.

Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, is practically as much of a celebrity as the A-listers she corrals for her liberal news and opinion site, such as Bill Maher or Alec Baldwin.

The same goes for Tina Brown, the former New Yorker and Vanity Fair editor and current publisher of the Daily Beast, a similarly popular site where you can find posts by Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain, on why she loves guns, to Sir Elton John on bands the Rocket Man is listening to these days.

Jeff Anders and Ali Rahnema may not have the glossy appeal of Ms. Huffington or Ms. Brown, but they have attracted a who's who of policy wonks and pundits to contribute to The Mark, their new Toronto-based site.

Launched earlier this month, it offers aggregated news stories and original commentary dedicated, as the site explains, to analyzing the news of the day and shedding "light on the dusty old question of what it means to be Canadian."

The DNA of the site's design is taken from its distant American cousins, but the content is decidedly domestic. The Mark lists a few Toronto luminaries, including businessman and philanthropist Alan Broadbent and Luminato chief executive officer Janice Price.

Earlier this week, it featured a post on the current economic crisis by Environics Research founder Michael Adams and another, by communications specialist Sylvain Raymond, on the re-branding of the swine flu.

"What we are going to try to do is give a platform to hyper-credible people who are completely unknown to the average Canadian," said Mr. Anders. "We want this to be the cross-section of ideas across every industry and every field of activity in the country."

The name of the site is meant to reflect the "aspirational nature of this product," he added. " 'Make your mark' is what we say to our contributors. Have your ideas be on the mark."

So either I can be included among "a who's who of policy wonks and pundits" (a very amusing thought!) or I am "hyper-credible [but] completely unknown to the average Canadian" (half true!). Or it's best not to believe your own publicity.

Check them out, and expect to see wmtc there... eventually.

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