Hockey Happiness

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Giants won the Memorial Cup [wiki] this afternoon – it’s fantastic to have a championship hockey team in this city, not to belittle the efforts of the other(s) but man, does this ever feel great. Congratulations guys!

For the first time in franchise history, the Vancouver Giants can be claimed as the top team in Canadian junior hockey. Sunday afternoon, the Giants defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers 3-1 to capture the 89th annual MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament. [Vancouver Giants]

And for all of those still following the quest for the Stanley Cup, the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks face off tomorrow at 8:00pm ET

Canadian teams have reached the last three Stanley Cup Finals, but that hockey-loving nation is still looking for its first championship since the Montreal Canadiens won it all in 1993.[NHL.com]

Blogging to a Job

Comments 14 by Rebecca Bollwitt

“On-line journals have become hot tool for those looking to land a position or ferret out new opportunities” – Mary Gooderham [Globe & Mail]

I was sitting at work the other day and someone handed me the Careers page of the Globe and Mail – not being immediately insulted I noticed the headline he was pointing to at the top of the page “Blogging to a Job”. I scoured the urls noted to see if it was anyone I knew or anyone from the local community and continued to read….

As a high-tech marketing executive, Darryl Praill learned the value of blogs for establishing a Web presence and branding companies and their products. So, when he lost his job last year, he turned the value of blog branding on himself [Globe & Mail]

It’s an interesting story but peppered throughout they offer advice and suggestions for those who blog, why to blog and what you should be blogging about. I agree that when I was first on the job hunt all of my blogger friends suggested right away “you should blog that you’re looking for work”. Some of the quotes and advice listed in the Globe article however, are a little less helpful.

  • “A blog is a wonderful investment in your career,” says Mr. Praill, who lost his earlier job because of a merger. “If you truly believe you are qualified for a job, it pays to convey your abilities and your opinions online so you stand out.”
  • For sure, it’s first and foremost about self-promotion. But some really don’t want their blog to have anything to do with their “real” life let alone their professional life. It took me almost 3 years to open up in this regard – and about 2 hours until I had my life posted up on Facebook as well. But once I opened up and even posted my URL on my resume, the offers came pouring in (by pouring I mean I got 2 offers right off the bat). I gather the theme of this article is when you do open up and put yourself out there on your blog, beware.


    Photo credit: duane storey on Flickr
  • “As a job-seeker, one of the key things you want is to have stickiness,” Mr. Murray says. “You want people to remember you.”
  • Definitely.

  • “the secret to leveraging your blog for job-hunting purposes is to blog on the area you want to become designated as the expert in, and then get people to connect to and read your blog.”
  • Helpful.

  • “Most people can’t write resumes; how are they going to write a blog?”
  • Writing a resume is far different from writing a blog. I know of people who use basic, bland, MS Word template resumes but have the most exciting and interesting blogs. There is the separation of personal and professional and if you do want to mix the two and promote your professional side on your blog then there are always interesting ways to go about it.

  • “If you’re looking for a job and your blog’s full of typos, it doesn’t look good.”
  • Well yes, but that’s what Firefox spell checker is for, eh?

    Toward the end of the article there is a laundry list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” if you want to blog for or about, getting a job. Again, it all depends on your personality and the career you are building. The “Do’s” are handy tips, making your blog searchable, linking to others, being active on your site, write regularly etc. Those are all pretty basic rules of thumb for any blog. When I originally sent the Globe & Mail link with some friends and got some instant comments, with which I couldn’t agree more, but I believe it was some of the “Don’ts” that just rubbed some people the wrong way.

  • DON’T: Link to any questionable Web sites or blogs of a religious, political or sexual nature, which could label you an extremist or offend readers.
  • Hmm so basically your blog must be dry 😛 Well…not really, I can understand what they’re trying to say about being professional but do you want to work for an employer that would censor you or judge you based on a blog you linked to?

    And although they encourage you to be searchable and hip to the current ways of your industry they also advise…

  • DON’T: Resort to folksy or cute writing. Using annoying acronyms or buzzwords, can be a turn-off. But do make sure your blog reflects you.
  • Eep! I write how I speak, most of the time, and I think there’s something to be said about being real on your blog. Some of the most popular blogs (that make money) are real people, with real quirks.

    The reason why this article hits close to home is because my current employer hired me, more or less, based on my blog and podcasts. I’m not sure if my Surrey posts affected their judgment or dissing Dan Cloutier on the Canucks podcast had a hand in it, regardless I’m pretty sure they knew exactly what they were getting.

    Vancouver Summer Events Guide Pt. 1

    Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Last summer we spent most of our time going for walks, down at the pool, and trudging through Stanley Park to get to our beloved Third Beach. Aside from the cheap, free, and simple activities that you can do outdoors in the City here are a few more organized affairs to mark on your calendar.


    Photo credit: freedryk on Flickr

    Bard on the Beach

    A beautiful natural setting, Vanier Park, is once again home to 4 Shakespearian masterpieces with the return of Bard on the Beach this summer.

  • THE TAMING OF THE SHREW: May 31 to September 23, 2007
  • ROMEO AND JULIET: June 13 to September 22, 2007
  • JULIUS CAESAR: June 28 to September 21, 2007
  • TIMON OF ATHENS: July 11 to September 20, 2007
  • Dragon Boat Festival

  • June 16 & 17 at the Plaza of Nations
  • “Dragon Boat racing has its roots in ancient myths and legends. It began more than 2,000 years ago in the valleys of southern China as a fertility rite to ensure bountiful crops.”

    dragonboats.jpg
    Photo credit: sillygwailo on Flickr

    Aside from the competition, on dry land there will be cuisine from Italy to Japan, demos at a Cooking Stage, samples, teas and music. [Alcan Dragon Boat Festival]

    Vancouver International Jazz Festival

  • June 23 to July 1 – all over Vancouver
  • Big and small names from all over the globe head into Vancouver for this event which takes place at 40 venues across town. This year, there will also be a free “New Orleans-style street festival is held in historic Gastown and at the Roundhouse Community Centre.” [presented by Coastal Jazz]


    Photo credit: dbarefoot on Flickr

    Scotiabank Marathon & 5km

  • June 24 – Stanley Park
  • It being prime running season in Vancouver, the 8th annual Scotiabank half-marathon and 5km comes to town for “Canada’s easiest scenic Half-Marathon—running past beaches, mountains in the background and finishing in Stanley Park—a net drop of 250 feet.” [Canada Running Series]

    More event updates to come, especially the best kind of all – post-event recaps, meaning I actually get out and about.

    1st Sunburn of the Season and Floorball Action

    Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    DemoCamp VancouverIt being Friday, and a sunny Friday at that, we decided to have lunch on a patio this afternoon. So the work boys and I headed to Chill Winston. The benefits of Chill Winston are that it is extremely close to the office and it has a massive patio, the drawbacks being… exceptionally slow service. I got my first sunburn of the season on my right forearm but I’m hardly complaining – summer is here.

    We just had a great evening, hanging out with the likes of Duane and DaveO – having drinks, talking life and tech. A big shout out to Floorball tomorrow, as I’ve heard SO much about it from Dave and especially Right Antler.

    floorball.jpgTomorrow at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver [Google Maps] there will be a floorball tournament – what is floorball you ask? Well…. “Floorball is an exciting, fast-paced hockey evolution focused on highly skilled play. The sport is played on an oval-shaped rink with five players and a goalie on at a time. Floorball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today because it is low-cost, safe and extremely exciting to play and watch [Floorball.com]”.

    Basically, 3 x 20 minute periods, players in t-shirts, plastic sticks, whiffle ball, but so much more than your PE floor hockey. Tomorrow morning the first annual BCFF international floorball challenge begins. If you’re needing some local hockey action, especially since the Memorial Cup takes a day off tomorrow, head over to West Van to check it out for yourself – read the poster for more details.

    DemoCamp Vancouver Liveblog

    Comments 11 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    What’s going on? From the wiki:

    Unlike other iterations of DemoCamp, the Vancouver event covers all industries. Idea people will be presenting innovations on all things ranging from business to charity, high-technology to high-art. The purpose is to encourage a cross-pollination of industries and individuals in hopes that people engaged in unrelated endeavors might provide an enlightening perspective on the presenters concept. There is strength in diversity!

    Tonight’s schedule:
    * come in the door and post your demo idea on the board
    * vote on demos you want to see tonight
    * 30 minutes of meeting other attendees
    * Presentations start at 6:00pm & run through until 6:30pm
    * MC picks selections voted on by participants
    * We will have 4 x 6 minute talks (time limit enforced, includes feedback)
    * MC runs Speed pitching – 3 x 30sec pitches (or as many as time allows)
    * Wrap up/discussion/hang out until 7:30pm
    * Party moves to Six Acres (bar across the street)

    Demo proposals listed on the wiki, pre-game:

    Handi Mobility

    MyBus is a Widset which retrieves Vancouver TransLink bus schedules. After downloading the Widsets application to your mobile phone and installing the MyBus widget you can enter any Vancouver 5-digit bus stop number and MyBus will retrieve the times the next buses arrive at that stop.

    Gaboogie

    Gaboogie is a Vancouver-based company. We’ve developed an alternative to traditional conference calling services. We’re different in that our users schedule their calls online and instead of dialing in and entering a PIN, Gaboogie automatically calls everyone who’s supposed to be on the call. We also have one-click recording and RSS syndication, a dashboard to manage the call and all kinds of bright and shiny ajax stuff happening in the app…

    DemoCamp Vancouver
    Demo proposals now going up on the “board”

    Flickr photos are going up with the tag: DemoCampVancouver. I just talked to a couple familiar bloggers, Gene from Tinfoiling and Nancy from the Vancouver Blogger Meetup Group. After a brief chat with Kerry Anne from the Lipgloss and Laptops podcast – events are now underway.

    All those who have demo ideas up on the board will be given a few seconds to make a pitch then the group will vote on those we’d like to see. I doubt I’ll be able to rattle off every topic but here’s my attempt.

    DemoCamp VancouverFrom radical business management tools, P2P investing space, Sxipper – free firefox extensions, low-tech solutions for workspace management, modernizing conference calls, visual stimulation other than television, digital satellite networks for performing arts centers, and a few more that I’ve missed. I’ll get some links up when the demos being – now it’s time to VOTE!… and also a last chance to SELL your idea to voters.

    The results are in and the presenters are – Dan, Kevin, Amin, and the Sxip team

    First up is Dan Gibbons with Gaboogie, who has innovative conference call solutions – he’s actually been featured at the top of this post in the pre-game wiki notes. The system essentially signs you on then calls all other members of the call – they already have companies such as Mozilla on board and there seems to be a lot of interest. The back end is all built on Ruby on Rails and the basic concept is they make money by selling minutes by the bundle. They’re a small company and if you ask what the name means… well weird it just good. They’re not spending any money on advertising but are reaching out to the blogging community. They’re doing a live demo now – entering a participant’s phone number in the dashboard and sparking up a live conference call. Their system is all ajax, and rails – they successfully setup an “on demand” call and we can hear the participant’s phone ringing to the left of the room, success! TIME’S UP (Boris sounds the alarm)

    Kelvin – Tools for Urban Living is up next with Kevin – a working prototype is held up, a snap open screw driver with a flashlight, 15 bits, a hammer, measuring tape, digital display, level, magnetic surfaces to hold extra screws – and all of this is in a device no larger than a first generation nokia cell phone. The tool is an all-in-one basic household aid, selling for about $30. TIME’S UP (Boris sounds the alarm)

    Amin is here to talk bout Peer to Peer Investing – a video presentation begins. Basically if you need $10,000 to start up your project and your buddy can give you $100 he may also want product and involvement in exchange. It’s inclusive of peer 2 peer lending as well. Amin has a very strong investment background and refers to this as micro investing. This is all a little over my head so check out the website if this sounds like your cup of tea. TIME’S UP (Boris sounds the alarm)

    Weston is now up to talk about Sxipper “Forget your passwords!” Sxipper is a free add-on for Firefox that lets you log into any website with a single click. It saves time by keeping track of an unlimited number of usernames and passwords as well as the personal data you share every day over the web. When you reach a login field on a site Sxipper overlays and remembers your passwords/usernames for you. You can even generate crazy-weird info for those sites you really don’t want tracking you or sending you spam. It will also remember that auto-generated crazy password for the next time you need one. Sxipper manages privacy and security with an encrypted store on your computer. Also, “for those of you that don’t know what crazy open ID thing is, Sxipper just made it so that you can play with it and not know what it is,” chimes Boris. TIME’S UP!

    We’re now going to break off and give a chance to all those who had demo ideas up on the board who were not chosen. They will be asked to head up to the front of the room to make 30 second pitches. We’ll then all vote on who will be able to present their demo in full next time.

    John just mentioned that Tod Maffin launched Todbits.tv today – he’s here recording and I had a brief chance to say hello.

    DemoCamp VancouverGene just made a brief presentation on text messaging financial transactions – he’s with Mt. Lehman Credit Union.

    Boris informs everyone that this is the first of MANY DemoCamps, the next one will be in just a few weeks. The floor is now open to suggestions for what to do next time e.g. wine and beer mmmm and going low-tech like Dave’s podcasting presentation at Northern Voice. Boris also suggests presentation karaoke – where you get up to the front of the group and have to do a presentation with materials you’ve never seen before.

    Keep up to date on the wiki – add your name for next time, add a short write up and anyone can participate.

    Update: In after-hours chatting, Tod Maffin just sat down beside me to let me in on a cool new app – Flickr to Facebook. I just uploaded a photo of him on Flickr and he went in, clicked a button on his Firefox toolbar “Flickr to Facebook”. It sends the photo to the Facebook album of your choice where you can then approve it and tag. WAY cool!

    Ongoing History of Rock, Worst Lyrics. Ever.

    Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Before bed last night I was setting my alarm and caught Alan Cross on the radio. Alan does a weekly show, which is played on CFOX and available in podcast form, about The Ongoing History of New Music. Every week there is a theme, whether it be about the music business or musicians themselves. Last night’s was posing the question, did artists in the 60s and 70s scoop up all the possible (good) riffs? He then played The Beatles’ “Ob la di Ob la da” compared to The Offspring‘s “Get a Job”, The Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar” vs The Dandy Warhols “Bohemian Like You”, and Iggy Pop “Lust for Life” vs Jet “Are You Gonna be my Girl?”. Just to give us a taste of what he was getting at.

    I decided to hit the website to check out these new fancy podcasts they’ve been promoting lately. It seems as though they finally got the go ahead to produce these as long as they did not include any of the music. I’ve subscribed now so I guess we’ll see how the shows sound without the audible comparisons and snippets.

    While on the New Music Geek Blog, which is what they’re calling Alan’s portion of the CFOX website, I came across a post about the worst lyrics, ever. The BBC and Rolling Stone Magazine have each compiled what they and their public have deemed the worst lyrics in music. The differences in the two lists are kind of amusing.

    The BBC audience seems to dislike Razorlight, ABC, Oasis, Duran Duran and Human League lyrics

    “Before he leaves the camp he stops,
    He scans the world outside,
    And where there used to be some shops,
    Is where the snipers sometimes hide.”

    bboys.jpg

    While Rolling Stone is harder on the Thong Song,

    “I like it when the beat goes
    Duh dun duh
    Baby make your booty go
    Duh dun duh”

    I have to say I’ve heard some pretty lame lyrics in my time and they’re usually by someone whose name rhymes with Bitney Peers. I know that’s probably a given, but for lack of being able to think of some of my most despised lyrics on the spot, I have to default to some of those pop-punk bands and all their “sha na na nas” which make up entire choruses. *shudder*.

    There are some pretty good suggestions in the comments of the Rolling Stone Mag post, and you can check out the Ongoing History of New Music on 99.3 the Fox, Wednesdays @ 11pm and Sundays @ 6pm.