By Peter @Newton Bell, October 4, 2016

Have you ever found yourself on a random page in Wikipedia and wondered how you ended up on that particular page? You were probably following a thread of ideas that led you somewhere you never expected.  I often have that experience on CEO.CA because the site is full of connections amongst diverse topics made by users, for users.  

A random page from the big, bad world of CEO.CA.

CEO.CA is like twitter for junior mining, but without the 140-character limit. The site crowd-sources some important aspects of the creation and verification of information. By allowing users to tag people (@ symbol), ideas (# symbol), and companies ($ symbol), the site allows users to create a network of connections between people, ideas, and things. The structure of this network is immediate and permanent: as people come along in the future, the tags that you leave now will help connect different areas of our small business community.

A post from CEO.CA that tags users, stocks, and keywords. 

Sometimes, to help explain CEO.CA to finance people who don’t get it, I ask them what they think the Bloomberg terminal will look like in 20 years? I don’t think it will look like CEO.CA today, but I think some aspects of the site will prove to have enduring value. Personally, I'm excited for more virtual reality -- imagine a digital "memory palace". 

In addition to the special characters dedicated to tagging (@, #, $), CEO.CA has three different types of "channels". These are pages that have different rules who can post and who can view content.

The three different types of channels on CEO.CA.

Public channels are the most active and numerous type of page on the entire site. They include general purpose pages like #index, company-specific channels like $LIX, or topical pages like #gold. Anyone can post on public channels and anyone can view everything that is posted. There is already a multitude of such channels, but you can always start a new one by adding a hashtag “#” to a word or phrase. One of my favourites is #LoLo -- "Long and Loud".

The public channels are the place to see and be seen on CEO.CA.  

Panels are the second most active type of page. These are topical pages like ~AUfrica or ~RealVisionTheater3000. Anyone can view these pages, but only invited members can post there. Restricting access helps control the noise on the channel, but comes at a cost of reducing visibility.

Panels are great place for an extended thematic discussion that can evolve over months, or a single event where you plan to post a lot of content, like live-tweeting a conference. The tone of the panel is entirely at the whim of the invited members. 

Private channels are the third most active type of channel on the site, I assume. I don’t know actually how widely they are because they are private. I do know that they provide an effective way to communicate discretely on the site. 

CEO.CA is not just twitter without the character limits, it also has web-publishing capabilities. You can publish high-quality articles that contain your original commentary on markets. The articles are a throw-back to the days where CEO.CA first started as a Wordpress blog and it is an essential part of the spririt of the site, in my opinion.

CEO.CA includes has effective web-publishing functionality.

Most people around CEO.CA have a few things to say and the site is all about providing a platform for them to say it. Most users never post a full article, but I encourage you to try it. The site includes a simple and effective web-publishing tool and the discipline of committing your ideas to text is valuable. You just might find that you enjoy writing!

To close off, I have a simple suggestion for you: Consider using a secondary email account for your CEO.CA account.  If you’re like me, then you will be concerned that your primary email account will get clogged up with emails from the site. Using a dummy email address will give you confidence to subscribe to channels for all kinds of different people, companies, and topics on the site.

Before and after subscribing to a particular channel on CEO.CA.

I subscribe to over 50 different channels and receive email updates for all of them on a semi-daily basis. It makes for a lot of emails, but it is a convenient way to watch the site without watching the site.  

At it’s best, CEO.CA is full of timeless market wisdom and timely news flow. You, as a user, can contribute to that in any number of ways.  

The CEO who posts an excerpt from their last quarterly report and then discusses how they delivered on that goal since.  The new user who asks a basic question about the history of a company and triggers helpful comments from several people.  Even the regular user who tags companies, people, and ideas to help make the historical record more complete. All of these people are helping improve the site by maintaining a sophisticated dialogue dedicated to the business of investment in our junior mining community, which is what CEO.CA is all about in my opinion.