Mainstream Media Blog Check

Comments 15 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Blog vs mainstream media (msm) blogs, can they co-exist? Of course they can but often times at meetups and in general discussions with other persons-of-tech I find there’s a bit of laughter at msm’s expense. Is it that they just don’t “get” blogging? Do they not understand the concept or general idea? Or is it that they are and will always be the media giants and we will always be the citizen journalists; crowd-sourcing and generating our own content of interest.

A couple of months ago The Province launched a blog. Although it is infrequently updated and often parcels entertainments stories with those of political unrest and tragedy, I check The Newsroom every few days to see just what they’re up to now. I wholly appreciate the link love in the sidebar but I have a hunch that sometimes they’re just scooping their content from blogs anyway.

Canucks Nation? Keep Trying, Province Today they launched “Canucks Nation“, a section of their site that includes a blog, news, scores and a contest. I find the choice of title particularly interesting since I already know a blogger that owns the domain and then Rod’s got Also, The Province’s rendition of Canucks Nation has a banner that sports Air Canada colours, the same shade of green along with a bright red maple leaf. Need I explain why that is off-putting?

“didn’t you hear? newspapers can call things whatever they want and it will become true.” – Richard Eriksson

I find it amusing when mainstream media covers topics and issues that everyone’s been talking about for ages so it really isn’t news to anyone’s ears. Stuff that bloggers, the public and even my grandma discuss often gets picked up months after it should be news. What makes the powers that be decide when something is newsworthy?

Transit users in the Valley often deal with long wait times, and say commuting into Vancouver is a major pain. [News 1130 – October 3, 2007]

Really? Wow I had no idea. I know, there I go being typical blogger acting all snarky about what “the man” is saying, right? Well I think it’s more like a citizen of this city and former suburbanite just knowing what is going on and how real things affect real people. Sure it’s great that they’re finally discovering that at 7:00pm on a weeknight the Surrey Central to Newton Exchange bus only comes once an hour, but do we really need former Premier Mike Harcourt to tell us that in a news quote?

“I will raise my voice in celebration of Vancouver’s hyper-groovy, decentralized, makeshift, social media production squad.” – Dave Olson – Raincity Studios

When the Workspace crime happened it was all over the web in a matter of minutes (but that was mostly the supposed perpetrator’s fault, har har). But if not for blog posts, it wouldn’t have been on CTV news or in the Globe and Mail the next day. I think the big guys need us little guys. Not only as sources but also as readers. But does that go both ways?

Bloggers like the news, we like it when our news becomes real news.

My page views go up 200% more on a day when I’m linked off Matthew Good, Tony Pierce or Boris Mann‘s websites than they do when I’m in the Metro Vancouver paper. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the exposure as it certainly makes my little voice here even louder (and my mom loves collecting 10 copies of each issue) but the audience is different. So why don’t mainstream outlets who want to go blog make content more applicable for their online audience?

Miss604 in the 24 Hours todayA good example would be Buzz who blogs about his weekly columns in the 24 Hours. He writes about tech and puts his money where his mouth is, delivering it to the mainstream in print but transferring it into the internet world with a blog post and links. Also, if not for him Ustreaming his afternoon program I probably would never tune into 95 Crave and hear about their lovely sponsors and promotions.

Don’t get me wrong, I watch the news in the morning and listen to radio, and it’s an absolute thrill to be mentioned on any sort or program or in print. But I get most of my daily information from the internet, as do many others. These are the types of things that work for me, and the things I pay attention to.

“…if you want your “story told” you want it to reach as many people as possible” – Tod Maffin

So why do us bloggers sometimes scoff at the mainstream media when they go to start a blog? Maybe we’re jerks – just kidding – but maybe it’s because they’re just not doing it right in our eyes. There are examples of mainstream organizations translating their information offerings into the digital world but I find local msm blogs just aren’t accomplishing this in a very attractive fashion.

I like having credibility and applicable content that’s got my personal spin. No one else can duplicate my voice, but they can have their own in the wonderful land of blogging. That’s what’s so great about blogging.

If the big news guys in this town are going to blog and officially represent the masses, spoon feeding the population their factoids and video clips of Avril Lavigne, they should provide for their audience, speak to their audience and most importantly, listen.

The Crazy Canucks – Episode #43 AND #44

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Alanah goes solo for Episode #43 of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She interviews Matt and Andy who responsible for the Battle of Alberta blog as we get to know a little more about the ups and downs of being a Flames or Oilers fan.

You wouldn’t think that a Flames and Oilers fan could get along on one blog, but this interview shows that these guys love to talk hockey. Plus, you ever wonder what die hard fans of the Albertan teams think about the Canucks? Alanah digs deep to find out. [TCC- 43]

Visit the TCC website to check out the rest of the show notes, to subscribe, or listen to the audio.

Update: John, our magical producer has just published Episode #44 as well where Alanah continues her “interviews with bloggers of Northwest teams”.

In this episode, she grabbed a couple of her favorite Avs fan bloggers, Greg from “Hockey Rants” and Tapeleg of “Jerseys and Hockey Love”. Together, they take a look at the team as whole, looking back into the past and what they expect from the coming season. Oh, and you can’t forget some good ol’ trash talkin’. [TCC – 44]

As always, check the website for show notes, more links, to subscribe and to listen.

Successful Raise a Reader Morning

Comments 12 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last year during Raise a Reader Day I was able to meetup with Marc Chouinard and Trevor Linden. We flashed smiles, took some pictures, and signed some papers. Once again this year, Canucks organization members, players, firefighters, policemen and local politicians were out on street corners downtown handing out newspapers by donation.

The Raise-a-Reader campaign was created by The Vancouver Sun in 1997 to increase awareness of literacy and raise money to fund children’s literacy programs. Since our inception, Raise-a-Reader Vancouver has raised over almost $3.45 million in 10 years in support of children’s literacy initiatives throughout British Columbia. []

There weren’t as many Canucks players out and about but I was able to see Henrik Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Byron Ritchie and Fin was running around like a mad man err… orca.

All photos below are taken with my trial Nokia n95.

Hank is going to kick your a$$!He’s SO going to kick John’s a$$ for taking that photo!

John snapped this photo on Fin on Melville and Burrard when he boldly boarded a trolley bus.

Raise a Reader Day: He squeezed back

>I’m still pretty flustered. Kevin “boom boom” Bieksa is absolutely dreamy in person, yes I can say dreamy on here, it’s my blog.. and my husband is the one that took the photo…

Fin is nuts! I am still a huge fan of Fin’s… although he’s a little crazy, he’s hilarious. No he’s not doing a Michael Jackson impersonation in this photo, he’s grabbing his “steam trigger” – see: blow hole.

Disk Mode on the iPod Mini

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’ve had my pink iPod mini for several years now and I have a hunch that many would have given up on theirs a long time ago given all the problems I’ve had with it. After learning how to reboot it (when it thinks the battery is low) I have been putting up with a lot more bizarre activity simply because I can’t afford to upgrade it. At least, I can justify spending several hundred dollars on groceries more than I can to replace an mp3 player (but that’s just a bit of the “wife” in me talking, eh).

The latest strangeness my little mini has produced is “Disk Mode” followed by a check mark and “OK to disconnect”. Unlike the lightning bolt symbol, I couldn’t for the life of me seem to get it OUT of Disk Mode, so I decided to find out how it got like that in the first place. A little “reverse engineering” as John would say.

disk mode

Apparently you can put your iPod into Disk Mode by rebooting (which is done by sliding the hold button back and forth then pressing Play/Pause + Menu) then following these steps:

When the Apple logo appears, release the Menu and Select buttons and immediately press and hold the Select and the Play/Pause buttons until the Disk Mode screen appears. [Apple Support]

To get out of Disk Mode, I simply have to reboot my iPod again and there we go – good as new! Well… for another 2 minutes until it thinks the fully-charged battery is dead, then I reboot it. And so the dance continues.

Hockey Night in Melbourne

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’ve been lucky enough to participate in a podcast for Canucks fans and by Canucks fans for the last year or so. Through the magic of the internets all 5 of us co-hosts are able to link up now and then to talk about our team, the game, the league and rant about various topics. We’ve connected with hockey fans all over the world and I know that one of our most loyal listeners is over in China, but when I received and email from Mark I was pretty floored.

Mark lives in Australia and has a website, Hockey Night in Melbourne, dedicated to a gathering of hockey fans all over the area who get together to watch NHL hockey games.

The hockey night in Melbourne thing came about because I was really frustrated how hard it was to watch a Canucks game in Australia (it’s hard to watch any NHL game except Stanley Cup finals, but the few crumbs we do get are never Canadian team vs Canadian team, and are always the American broadcasts edited down to fit into a 90 minute broadcast). I figured if I felt that way maybe others would to, so now I try and get as many people along as I can 1-2 times a month to watch games. We always try for at least one game with a Canadian team, and given my personal bias, Canucks as often as I can get away with.

Mark is Canadian-born but has lived in Australia for 2/3 of his life and upon a trip to Vancouver in 2002, he was immediately hooked on the Canucks.

An HNIM event last year where the group filled a pub at 10am on a Sunday to watch a live feed of one of the Ottawa/Anaheim playoff games.

The next HNIM takes place Sunday October 14th, 2007 @ 1:00pm at the GLITCH BAR + CINEMA located at 318 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North – and that is of course in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Game 1: Montreal Canadians @ Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Game 2: Vancouver Canucks @ Calgary Flames
  • For more details visit the HNIM website and remember these are delayed (by a week, from Oct. 6th) so no spoilers! If you’re in the area and are jonesing for some hockey action, check it out and be sure to contact me or send me a pic cause us Canucks fans just LOVE this kinda stuff – thanks for the support guys (yes, even the dude in the Leafs jersey)!

    Update: I have been informed of HNIS – Hockey Night in Sydney, so it would only be fair to mention its game viewing times as well (man, this is great!) The following is a note I received from Doug:

    Come along to the Terrace Hotel (83 Mount Street) in North Sydney [Google Map] and watch the latest NHL games on a large TV with loads of other fans. We usually have CBC/TSN feeds with the occasional US feed.

    The Terrace has been really good to us and prepared a specials menu with a couple of favourites for watching hockey. Chicken wings and Labatt Blue being good for a reminder of North America.

    First gathering for the 2007/08 season will be on Oct 10, with gatherings approx. every 2 weeks.

    Schedule for Oct 10:
    4:30pm – 5:00pm – Last 2 periods from the Oct 3 or Oct 4 Leafs/Sens game
    (likely more the Oct 3 one as it’s the season opener for the two)
    5:00pm – Rangers – Sens game from Oct 6
    6:30pm – Canadiens – Leafs game from Oct 6
    8:00pm – Canucks – Flames game from Oct 6

    We’ll be using the same time schedule for the hockey nights, which should see game 3 finish around 9:30pm giving enough time for people to head home.