Vancouver Blogger Profile: Lorraine Murphy

Comments 14 by Rebecca Bollwitt

My Blogger Profile series has celebrated its anniversary, sharing link love and promoting some of the great online writers of our region for over a year now.

Lorraine Murphy, probably better known as Raincoaster (her internet-famous handle) is more than just a blogger in this town, she’s a prolific queen of social media knowledge sharing and pro-blogging.

Photo credit: Urban Mixer on Flickr / Raj @ UrbanMixer

Who are you? Or “WHAT are you?” Other than the tentacles, I’m a pretty normal blogger, but then again, I live on the Downtown Eastside and it takes a lot to startle people here.

Where do you blog? is my personal site, and my most popular. It’s where I dump all the entertaining weirdness I’ve collected throughout the day. I have as well, which I use to get the word out about my blogging classes, and blog at the site on issues of interest to my neighbors on the Downtown Eastside. I also have the blog for announcements relating to my literary group of editors, writers, publishers and booksellers. I’d like to get more information for it, but that’s very time-consuming.

I also do corporate blogging by contract. One of the blogs I’ve been involved with is Secusolutions.

I also get paid to read gossip blogs and linkblog on (my sister is so jealous!), and have started since, even after the lolfad dies, everyone will still like making fun of celebrities. It’s three months old and doing very well. And (god help us all) I’m mommyblogging at, which is not exactly your mother’s mommyblog. I love working for The Manolo; we don’t know his real name, we don’t know where he lives; it’s like being a Charlie’s Angel!

Are you originally from Vancouver? I am firmly of the belief that no-one is originally from Vancouver. I have met only two people in my entire life who were born here; the rest who make that claim turn out to have been born in Squamish or White Rock or some other godforsaken place. I was born in France and did the grand tour of Europe as a baby (gee, thanks, parents! you couldn’t have held off on that?) but went from Paris to Winnipeg at the age of eleven months. I’m still not over the culture shock.

I came to Vancouver in 19-mumble-mumble to go to UBC. Now I love it here. If I had a gun to deal with the noisy 5am seagulls, this city would be about perfect for me.

Why do you blog? and what’s your unique angle? Tentacles. I’m all about the tentacles. It can be a stretch, working it into a parenting blog, but somehow I manage.[TeenyManolo]

Photo credit: UrbanMixer on Flickr

What is the BEST part of blogging The best part is the lone wolf aspect, although I must say my co-bloggers in the Manolosphere are a great help and fun to work with. Still, there’s nothing like getting up and sitting in your PJs catching up on Gawker and the rest with a license to snark at will. Who’d have thought there’d be money in it?

Do you write for yourself, your readers, for Google, for a living? I write for Posterity and Posterity, I fear, will be terribly disappointed with me.

Sometimes I linkbait, sometimes I clickbait just for recreational purposes (I’m #5 on Google for “Beaver Shots!” Mother would be so proud) but since Technorati went insane around December of last year I no longer do anything specifically to increase my standings in the blog rankings. I leave that stuff up to WordPress and God’s holy crapshoot.

But I do get paid to blog. How much? Don’t quit your day job unless there just isn’t enough Ramen in your life already.

PC, Mac or Speak n’ Spell? As god is my witness, I will never pay money for a machine running Microsoft software again as long as I live. My first computer was an Apple Mac and if I had the money I’d buy a Macbook tomorrow. Right now I am using a Pentium III running Windows 98 and I tried the One Laptop Per Child thingy and it was both faster and more stable than this rig. I can’t believe MS had the nerve to charge me $500 for Windows ME and Dell the nerve to ship it with a machine that came with only 64 Meg of RAM. They should both be ashamed of themselves.

Steve, baby, call me.

Blogs you read or would recommend? Well, of course I would recommend everyone take one of my blogging courses: Blogging for Beginners, Pimp My Blog (promotion), Photoblogging, Business Blogging, and Blogging for NonProfits. I’ll be doing some lecture-style presentations as well in the Fall. Sure, blogging is free to use, and so’s the alphabet, but many people find it worth paying a little more to get a running start. Even I was shocked yesterday when a blog I’d helped set up that day hit #1 on Google for the name of the organization. WordPress is the shizznit, I’m telling you.

As for blogs that are on my must-read list, that would be anything written by Mark Lisanti or Jessica Coen, the two greatest bloggers in the world. Then Defamer, with the intimidatingly talented (and Canuckistani) Seth Abramovitch and his band of blog stars, Gawker (especially on the weekends with Ian Spiegelman, as idiosyncratic and entertaining as they come), Valleywag so I can pretend I know what the techies are talking about, Guido Fawkes at (I only wish Canada had a political blogger half as entertaining and clear-eyed), Dr Boli and Renal Failure for sheer entertaining madness, Damn Interesting because it is just damn interesting, Neatorama for the weird and wonderful from all over the world, and for the most vicious, most hilarious gossip blogging on the planet. Fark, of course, because their headlines are hilarious. I also follow the squid blog at TePapa; blogging the Giant Squid’s travels and travails. The Shark Attack blog, of course, just for strange sea tales. And Stonehead, who’s a small farmer in Scotland and whose daily grind would have worn most of us to stumps by now. RuPaul’s blog is always good for a spiritual shot in the arm. David B. Dale’s Very Short Novels are the perfect intellectual stimulation for the short attention span generation.

I really should use an RSS reader, shouldn’t I? I swear, they’d come up faster on an etch-a-sketch than on this machine.

The thing about blogs is, they make us aware of how much good writing there is in the world, as well as how much bad stuff. There’s way more good stuff out there than I ever imagined and my blogroll samples the best of it.

Also, I’ve only been on a week, but I’ve become a Twitterholic. I think my best was “Every time I think about getting a man or a puppy, one of them pees on my leg.”

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14 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. RaulMonday, August 18th, 2008 — 5:12pm PDT

    Lorraine is a wonderful human being, but I don’t think she is allowed to say so in her own Vancouver Blogger Profile. But she knows that I consider her a friend, and that I consider her a great person.

  2. raincoasterMonday, August 18th, 2008 — 5:14pm PDT

    Shhhhhh, do you want to ruin my reputation?

  3. RaulMonday, August 18th, 2008 — 5:19pm PDT

    Ok, I take that back 🙂 hehehe

  4. renalfailureMonday, August 18th, 2008 — 9:32pm PDT

    Rule number one of Raincoaster Club: Always listen to Raincoaster.

  5. StoneheadTuesday, August 19th, 2008 — 1:36am PDT

    RC, is that really you in the pics? The Other Half thinks I read blogs by sad dweebs—and if she discovers I’m visiting cute babes I could be hacked down to my stumps in no time… 😀

    In all seriousness, I enjoyed finding out a little more about you. Thanks to Miss604 for that. (And to both of you for the mention.)

    And as Renalfailure says, “always listen to Raincoaster”.

  6. Vancouver’s Urban Mixer, History of a Social Empire » Vancouver Blog Miss 604Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 — 11:30am PDT

    […] stories or people involved with entertainment and red carpets in Vancouver. Lorraine, that I profiled yesterday, suggested I speak with Raj from Urban Mixer – a social community empire for young professionals in […]

  7. raincoasterTuesday, August 19th, 2008 — 3:04pm PDT

    Yes, that’s really me in the pictures. I photoshopped out the tentacles!

  8. raincoasterWednesday, August 20th, 2008 — 12:26am PDT

    Actually, I’m crushed by guilt at all the good blogs I didn’t mention. I’m all about the link luv!

  9. Shearling Rug and a Fireplace Links » Ayyyy!Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 — 3:40am PDT

    […] raincoaster, revealed! (Miss604) […]

  10. raincoaster revealed! « raincoasterWednesday, August 20th, 2008 — 3:59am PDT

    […] at this point, but tonight you’re particularly fortunate in that I type to direct you over to Miss604’s blog, where she has revealed many secrets about raincoaster. And now I sign off, before I pass out. […]

  11. MetroWednesday, August 20th, 2008 — 4:45pm PDT

    Rather than fork out for the blogging courses, you could just buy her some drink and listen to the lectures afterward.

    Never fear. That’s obviously photoshop. Not a single tentacle on display.

    Great pic! Kiss-kiss.

  12. raincoasterWednesday, August 20th, 2008 — 5:07pm PDT

    Don’t you know what I drink? Only premium brands, baby! That’s a far more expensive way to go!

  13. ian in hamburgWednesday, August 20th, 2008 — 7:59pm PDT

    Despite the hype you may have heard, I second Rain’s labeling of Squamish. And yes, I was born there.

  14. MetroThursday, August 21st, 2008 — 11:03am PDT


    Good point. Regular’s getting expensive, with or without Techron.

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