I Wrote a Book

January 24th, 2010 @ 1:30pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last year was a very busy year for me. It was the first full year of our business (sixty4media), I did a lot of traveling, and I also wrote a book with my co-author Eric Butow in California. Yes, I wrote a book which is now available in e-book and paperback format (published via Pearson Education).

Blogging to Drive Business is a guide for businesses hoping to use or already using social media to enhance their online presence. We cover everything from getting started to addressing negative comments and who should then write the blog.

Peak Performance Project Finale

January 24th, 2010 @ 10:41am (PT) by Guest Author

This post was contributed exclusively to Miss604.com by Michelle Kent.

The culmination of year one for the Peak Performance Project happened last night at the famed Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. 3 BC bands went head to head to head for a piece of $275 G’s.

What a sweet, sweaty, good-rocking culmination it was.

Handsfree Headset Giveaway

January 22nd, 2010 @ 10:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Photo credit: mikekline on Flickr

At the beginning of 2010 new rules came into effect under BC’s Motor Vehicle Act.

As of January 1st, 2010 drivers caught talking on a hand-held device will be subject to fines — this means no texting or emailing as well. British Columbians have a 31-day grace period before fines will start to be handed out to violators as of February 1st.

My friend John Biehler was interviewed about handsfree options for your phone so that you can still talk while on the road. If you don’t have your headset yet, you still have a few days to convert and Metropolis at Metrotown can help you out.

Metropolis at Metrotown will be running a ‘Hands-free, Hassle-free’ initiative from January 22-30, 2010.

“Safety ambassadors, dressed in official uniform, engaging with the public in parking lots at Metropolis at Metrotown and handing out “tickets”, which are actually coupons for headsets.

Blackberry coupons will be handed out and can be accessed online, offering a $20 in store rebate on the purchase of a BlackBerry® Visor Mount Speakerphone VM-605 and a $10 in store rebate on the purchase of a BlackBerry® HS-500 Wireless Headset at Metrotown.”

They have also offered me 12 headsets to give away to my readers. Over the next 12 days (until the new rule becomes enforced) I will be giving away a handsfree headset to one reader every day.

The Headsets Arrived TodayPrize details:
BlackBerry® HS-500 Wireless Headset, retail value $79.99 USD, works with any Bluetooth-enabled phone.

How to enter to win:
Leave a comment on this post on the day you would like to win. For example, to win today’s headset, leave a comment now. To win tomorrow’s (if your name wasn’t drawn today) come back and leave a comment on this post tomorrow. All approved comments (and trackbacks) on this post over the next 12 days are eligible.

Good luck & safe driving!

Fine print: Daily winners will be notified by email. Winners may only win once. Since I will be shipping out all headsets myself, I’m sorry but I must limit this contest to residents of BC only.

January 22nd winner: Olivia
January 23rd winner: Ari
January 24th winner: Ed
January 25th winner: Greg W
January 26th winner: Andy L
January 27th winner: Kim
January 28th winner: Peter L
January 29th winner: Teresa
January 30th winner: Jason
January 31st winner: Penny
February 1st winner: Jen
February 2nd winner: Gil

Thanks to everyone for entering the contest, and a big huge thanks to those who came back daily. Hopefully this has raised some awareness about using a handsfree device with your phone if you’re driving.

Monopoly Canada, Getting Vancouver its Space

January 21st, 2010 @ 11:55am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Monopoly is coming out with Monopoly Canada and its up to the public to vote where each major city will reside on the famed playing surface.

The highly coveted Boardwalk position seems to be the most popular and there are even campaigns across the nation to get hometowns into that prestigious piece of real estate.

65 Canadian cities have been pre-selected and they’re looking for the top 20 which will have spaces on the game board. You can cast your ballot for up to three cities each day until February 7, 2010. The city that gets the most votes will then slide into place at Boardwalk.

I’ve been contacted a few times about this and it’s been brought to my attention that Vancouver is slipping in the polls. Here are the top 10 rankings as of 11:45am on Thursday January 21st, 2010:

Image via CBC

#1 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu 5.4%
#2 Calgary 4.7%
#3 Chatham-Kent 4.1%
#4 Quebec City 3.4%
#5 Trois-Rivières 2.8%
#6 St. John’s 2.7%
#7 Kawartha Lakes 2.6%
#8 Medicine Hat 2.6%
#9 Montreal 2.5%
#10 Sarnia 2.4%

You can find a list of all eligible cities here and there’s also a wildcard ranking which you can find on the current standings page.

Monopoly and Vancouver have gone hand in hand for quite a while now. I remember playing Vancouveropoly growing up, passing over Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens on my way over to the Vancouver Aquarium then passing by Monk’s.

If you would like to see Vancouver on the Monopoly Canada game board, be sure to cast your vote each day. Vote now, vote often, and if you vote for Surrey to go in the Baltic Avenue position, I may not speak to you again.

Link Fest: Events for the End of January

January 21st, 2010 @ 9:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

My dance card is nearing capacity for February but there is still much to do this month. Here is this week’s Link Fest for your perusal.

East Van
Photo credit: PiscesDreamer on Flickr
  • Friday January 22nd @ 9:00pm head down to the Rickshaw Theatre for the Shimmy Shake Showdown 2010, in support of the Terminal City Rollergirls.
  • January 22nd is also the launch of LunarFest 2010, a Vancouver Lantern Festival & International Art Exchange between Canada & Taiwan that will run until February 28th.
  • This Saturday January 23rd is Arthritis Society Night at the Abbotsford Heat Game.
  • Help for Haiti Pub Night happens January 26th at Steamworks.
  • January 26th at the Dunbar Community Centre you can take an Earthquake Preparedness workshop. This is a free event that will run 7:00 – 8:30pm (4747 Dunbar Street – Room 202).
  • Duthie Books will soon close its doors forever. Stop by this legendary Vancouver bookstore starting January 28th for their very last annual sale with 40% off merchandise.
  • Megaphone Magazine‘s special 2010 Winter Games issue will be out January 29th. Look for people selling it out & about in your community.
  • Daydream Weddings will be hosting a Valentine’s Boudoir Photography Marathon January 30th and 31st.
  • On January 30th there will be an Urban Barn Dance 8:00pm – 10:30pm at the Hastings Community Centre (tickets $8).
  • Bowl for Big Brothers 2010 team registration is now open. The event takes place between April 11th – May 15th this year.
  • REMINDER: If you’d like to try out for Red Bull’s Crashed Ice you can do so at Canlan Ice Sports in North Vancouver on January 29th.
  • The National Film Board (NFB) is now offering content online in HD and 3D.
  • If you have a community event that you would like to promote, please feel free to send me the details.

    Vancouver History: The Carnegie Building

    January 20th, 2010 @ 1:56pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Stopping by my daily history read, I learned that it was on this day 30 years ago that the Carnegie Building reopened as the Carnegie Reading Room. Located at the notorious intersection of Main and Hastings, I thought it would be worthy of the history profile to see how the building has been a part of the community for over a century.

    1902 – Carnegie Library under construction, Item #: CVA 1376-27

    “On March 25th, 1901 Vancouver requested and was granted $50,000 from US steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to build a library. Carnegie agreed to give the funds only if the city furnished a site and agreed to spend $5,000 a year. The city council accepted the Carnegie gift and its conditions.” – (VancouverHistory.ca)

    1903 – Major Matthews collection, Item#: Bu P116.3

    Built in 1903, it was indeed the first public library in Vancouver. In 1957 the library moved on to a bigger location and it became the home of the Vancouver Museum for ten years. In 1967 the museum moved out and the building lay vacant. “Following a massive campaign spearheaded by the Downtown Eastside Residents’ Association City Council agreed to save the building and convert it to a community Centre. Carnegie Community Centre opened its doors to the public on January 20, 1980.” – (Vancouver.ca)

    190? – Photographer: Trueman, Richard H., Item #: Str P322

    Once again part of the Vancouver Public Library system, the City refers to it as “The Downtown Eastside’s Livingroom”.

    2005- Photo credit: squeaky marmot on Flickr

    Carnegie also has some beautiful architecture including skylights and a towering spiral staircase.

    You wouldn't know it
    Photo credit: Kennymatic on Flickr

    Services include the public reading room, a seniors centre, a learning/literacy centre, a kitchen (serving 3 meals a day), an art gallery, an auditorium & gym, and even a dark room along with a pottery room for creative classes.

    2008- Photo credit: Fecki on Flickr

    It’s an amazing building that is testament to the diverse community of Vancouver’s Eastside and the determination to make a progressive, educational, and safe centre for all. It’s open 9:00am until 11:00pm every single day of the year, every day of the week, and is worth checking out.

    Paint the Town Red for Vancouver 2010

    January 20th, 2010 @ 12:02pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Across the nation communities have been asked to Paint the Town Red in an effort to cheer on our Canadian athletes at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    More than 200 athletes will be representing Canada and from Newfoundland to Nanoose Bay, everyone is being asked to go Red. This includes leaving up your red Christmas lights, putting a red “Go Canada Go” flag on your car, and painting your face red when watching event. You can even go online and creating an interactive “Podium Pal” which you can deck out in red or find other activities on the campaign’s Facebook page.

    Photo credit: syume on Flickr

    I’ve watched the campaign grow for a while now so I thought I would make a special appeal to Vancouverites at this time and if I may, I’ll use hockey as an example.

    When the Canucks are in the playoffs we can rally enough to get towel power going however we never really have a “sea of blue” like how Calgary has their “sea of red” all year long. Our stands are speckled with blue uniforms, white jerseys, retro flying V’s and although those are all cool in their own right, there’s never one single uniform colour that takes over. This will be symbolic, from sea to sea.

    The Olympics will be here in a short amount of time and athletes who have been training their entire lives will get the chance to perform to the best of their ability and represent their country on the world’s stage.

    Even though this is but a small individual gesture on our part, if you’d like to support the athletes, wear some red during the games. Grab a Sled Head toque, some of those red hot mittens, put red ribbons in your hair, wear an old red t-shirt or knit yourself a scarf and just be a part of the experience. Go Canada Go!

    IOC – International Olympic Committee Headquarters

    January 20th, 2010 @ 10:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    During November’s trip to Switzerland our group stopped in at the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters

    Perched at the top of a small grassy hill, the IOC looks out over Lake Geneva and the public park, Parc Bourget. The IOC is made up of a few buildings pasted together over the years including a mansion that was centuries old. The entire area was once occupied by the Roman Empire and recent archeological evidence shows bones and ruins dating back to 6,000 BC.

    I must explain that I missed pieces of the tour. Unfortunately this was our first stop after arriving from London the night before and with the 9-hour time difference and the jet lag migraine bubbling up in my head, I had to excuse myself from the tour a few times. After my intermittent absence I rejoined the tour group but as a result I didn’t take nearly as many notes on this tour as I could have.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters

    Inside the IOC much of it seemed like your standard office building, with more than a few high-tech and upscale elements. The one thing that stood out most was the art work. Culture being one of the Three Pillars of the Olympic movement, the building featured statues, installations, paintings, and sculptures on every floor and down every corridor.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters

    Olympic-branded candies sat in a dish outside one of many meeting rooms with dominating wooden doors, behind which I could only imagine the importance of the business being discussed.

    There was a modern cafeteria for employees where chefs prepare culinary creations for staff daily. The eating area had dark wood floors, modular furniture and a full view of the lake from the floor-to-ceiling windows. On a pillar near the employee lounge/cafeteria were bulletins, including one promoting the Vancouver 2010 exhibit over at the Olympic Museum.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters Tour of IOC Headquarters

    Our guide explained that just out the window and to the West was the local waste treatment plant and that energy produced from the waste when it is treated actually supplies power and heat for the IOC buildings. With Environment being yet another one of the Three Pillars of the Olympic Movement it seemed quite fitting.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters Tour of IOC Headquarters

    Tour of IOC Headquarters

    From there we walked through a few more boardrooms, each more impressive than the next with flat screen televisions, branded pens, and bottles of water on standby as though half a dozen meetings were about to convene at the same time.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters

    We crossed over to the old IOC building, which is the mansion and home of the smallest meeting room we had seen yet, although it was the most distinguished. This was where top-ranking IOC officials get together with IOC President, Count Jacques Rogge.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters

    I’m unsure if they do tours normally but it was a nice familiarization of a beautiful complex that simply emanates excellence, right down to the Olympic-branded Mercedes parked out front.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters

    On our way out some protesters started to gather on the front lawn. They had t-shirts, signs, and appeared to have invited local media – either that or they brought their own troop of photographers. We were inside the building as the group began chanting outside and two of them walked over to the entrance. Pausing outside for a photo op, we watched as the protesters chatted politely with the women at the front reception desk. After a few minutes they came back outside, picked up their signs, and continued their display. No security, no men in suits with earpieces coming to take them away. They pretty much just walked to the other side of the street on their own and continued peacefully. For some reason I suspect that this isn’t a rare occurrence at all outside the IOC.

    Tour of IOC Headquarters Tour of IOC Headquarters

    We hopped in our tour van and headed for the the Olympic Museum but not before our guide pointed out that there’s a campground next to Parc Bourget and the IOC. To camp on Lake Geneva, in a place as historic as this, surrounded by dozens of international sporting federations and museums just seemed like something we’d have to do when John and I go back to Switzerland. We’ll even see if our pal Dave wants to come as it seems like something he’d really get a kick out of.

    You can view the rest of my photos from my media trip to Switzerland in this photo set, and read all posts here.