May 9th, 2008 @ 1:47pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

VIDFEST (Vancouver International Digital Festival) 2008 is fast-approaching and I’m just now beginning to comprehend how many elements, conferences, galas and events all fit under its 4-day festival umbrella.

The Vancouver International Digital Festival is an event for the top creative minds working in digital media. Join visionaries from games and digital entertainment, Web 2.0, interactive design, animation and mobile applications, at this annual ‘must-attend’ in Vancouver, Canada. [VIDFEST]

Here is some more info from their “core facts” sheet:

  • VIDFEST 2008 is presented by New Media BC and runs May 21-24 on Granville Island. Venues include the Granville Island Hotel, Arts Club Theatre and the Emily Carr Institute
  • Nexon North America is bringing Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson to VIDFEST 2008 to deliver keynote speech on the economy of “free”
  • VIDFEST takes place during the Vancouver Digital Week, also featuring the Vancouver International Games Summit (VIGS), Convergence 2008 and the PopVox Awards
  • There are several local webby companies up for PopVox Awards and anyone is encouraged to head to the website and vote for your favourite in categories ranging from Best Digital Animated Short, Best Mobile (Game) to Best Do-Gooder site (Social Change Initiative) or Homegrown Award (Best BC-based Venture).

    Some nominees close to my heart include, ChangeEverything, Strutta, MemeLabs, Now Public, and the Knob Hockey folks (just to name a few).

    Here’s a quick condensed version of the festival schedule overall:

    May 21st – VIDFEST and VIGS Opening Reception at the Vancouver Art Gallery

    May 22nd – International Partnering Forum (IPF) and Convergence 2008 (featuring my panel, yay!), then Happy Hour

    May 23rd – Creative Exchange Conference (featuring speakers such as Heather “Dooce” Armstrong and Chris Anderson of Wired with the Keynote), Schmooze Lounge and the PopVox Awards

    May 24th – Pitch ‘n’ Play and Recruiting Fair

    There’s a TON of action going on having to do with all facets of digital media. You can purchase single tickets for Chris Anderson’s keynote, or daily passes for each of the mini festivals within starting at $50 for the PopVox Awards ceremony only, going up to $375 for VIP, and $875 for a joint pass for VIGS and VIDFEST.

    The Power of Twitter: Tweet Apps and Clients

    May 9th, 2008 @ 10:43am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Here are a few more tips and tricks that I’ve come across in the Twitter microblogging community:

    Twemes: First introduced at DemoCamp by Rochelle Grayson, Twemes is a website that comprehensively sorts and categorizes the things people Twitter about as long as they put a hashtag in front of it. Example, those currently at DrupalCamp Vancouver will be Twittering and including #DCV08 in their updates. If I go to Twemes, or the DrupalCamp website that is aggregating the Tweme, I can see filtered updates specifically pertaining to #DCV08 because of that tag.

    Hashtags: I discovered this months after Twemes was released and it follows the same concept although you need to add a “bot” to your account to use it. For Twemes, you don’t need to do anything except start using a hashtag in your keywords/updates.

    TwitBin: An alternative to Twitterfox, this slips your Twitter steam into your Firefox sidebar.

    Twidget: Add a Twitter widget to your Mac’s dashboard.

    Twitter Local: Hat tip to Jeremy Latham for Twittering about this earlier. You can filter updates to only view those from people within your geographical vicinity

    Twinkle: Hat tip to Jenn Loether and John Biehler: “A location aware Twitter client. It features a slick presentation not unlike the web version of PocketTweats but also locates you and enables you to see who else is using Twinkle near you.” – []

    Twitter Tweet Sheet: “There’s one things that annoys me about Twitter. Okay, there are two things: 1. They are always down. 2. There doesn’t seem to be one official place (including their own site) to get a complete list of mobile and IM commands.” – [Jason] Jason compiled an “easy to print” card that you can take with you for on-the-go Twittering.

    And just for kicks you can read more about “Top Twitter Apps” on these lovely sites:

  • Twitter Fan Wiki
  • Top 10 Twitter Apps
  • Top 12 Twitter Apps for Your Phone

  • WTS – What the Surrey #27: Good Citizen Award

    May 9th, 2008 @ 10:12am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Surrey’s Good Citizen Award was handed to Jim King this past week for his work “…as an executive director since 1997, being a past-president of the Surrey Chamber of Commerce and a founding member and past director of the Surrey Tourism and Convention Association” – [Surrey Leader].

    The award is given to an individual each year who has performed outstanding service for the betterment of the community.

    Photo credit: Squeaky Marmot on Flickr

    Recent recipients also include Volkmar (Wally) Sandvoss in 2007 and Bruno Zappone in 2006.

    Surrey’s first ever “Good Citizen” was Len Shepherd.

    “Len Shepherd was a Surrey municipal council member from 1932 until 1937. In 1937 he was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly serving the Delta riding, covering the area of Richmond, Delta, Surrey and Langley. In his very first term as MLA, Len Shepherd presented a petition to this very House with over 3,100 names from the people of the Fraser Valley, asking that the new Pattullo Bridge be free of tolls. Very quickly, he became an avid advocate for the working people.” [Debates of Legislative Assembly]

    This all makes me wonder what ever happened to Vancouver’s Good Citizen Award? Strolling the archives on I kept coming across recipients of the “Good Citizen Award” like Pearl Steen, Sister Frances, or Arthur William Delamont but it made me wonder if this award still exists today.

    The first Good Citizen was fire chief John Howe Carlisle in 1922 and the title was since bestowed upon maybe good souls in the community every year but I haven’t heard of any new recipients since the 1980s. I believe there are awards for volunteers in Vancouver, but I’m still wondering whatever happened to the city’s recognition for its outstanding (and often selfless) members of the community with the “Good Citizen Award”.

    Regardless, I’m pleased to see the folks of Surrey doing good in their neighbourhoods, schools and businesses. Congratulations to Mr. King for being Surrey’s 2008 Good Citizen of the Year.

    DrupalCamp Vancouver 2008 – Opening Night

    May 8th, 2008 @ 10:33pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Thanks to the effort of many hardworking folks, DrupalCamp Vancouver officially launched this evening at Flux Bistro in Gastown.

    Drupal is a free software package that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. [Drupal]

    Until Saturday evening the city will be overrun with Drupalists from across this great nation to learn, discuss, code and partake in some of the following:

  • Friday: Day One sessions at the SFU Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue from 9:00am to 6:00pm followed by the Fearless City Code Sprint at Delicados on Richards street.
  • Saturday: Day Two sessions at Workspace with lunch included – also featuring a mini Drupal job fair.
  • DrupalCamp Vancouver Opening Night

    John and I had a chance to talk to Glenn of Image X Media, chat with a few familiar faces, give DaveO lots of hugs, then send our tired selves home.

    If you’re heading to the sold out DrupalCamp make sure to tag any photos on Flickr with “dcv08” and hashtag your updates in Twitter with “#dcv08“.

    Flip Camera Giveway and Video Blogging in Vancouver

    May 8th, 2008 @ 12:17pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    A few months ago I was interviewed as a part of a video series by Reachd, a local firm that teaches and preaches the values of SEO. They are now offering video blogging seminars (learn how to make video, how to promote it etc.) and with the cost of signup comes a Flip Camera for all those who register.

    Not surprisingly, the workshop registrations soared and they have now sold out the first event. However, you still have a chance to win your way in if you head over to the Techvibes Blog and drop a comment on this post over the next two weeks.

    Their first 20-spot session on May 13th is sold-out but they’ve added a 2nd workshop on May 28th and set aside a free seat (and video camera) for a Techvibes reader. [Techvibes]

    The workshops are 3 hours long (2pm to 5pm), the registration fee of $200 includes the fancy new camera, and will take place at Ceili’s Irish Pub. I had a chance to use Colleen’s Flip last night and I have to say, it’s a pretty slick compact video-making device.

    The Power of Twitter

    May 8th, 2008 @ 11:46am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    If you haven’t got your head around the concept of blogging, your mind might be blown with the latest term: microblogging. To those on Facebook, think “status updates”. Sites like Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce (just to name a few and not including all the video ones out there) allow folks to update their contacts or followers using brief 140 character max. messages. To better explain it, here’s another great video from CommonCraft.

    The “power of Twitter” is pretty vast. Last night we were out having dinner and John put a call out on Twitter for people to join us, a short time later we were graced with Tanya‘s presence, which was super fun.

    When I was recording my bit for the Lab with Leo I Twittered that I was “backstage” and within 45 seconds Leo came out from the studio to meet me and shake my hand.

    bringing people together

    Most recently, Nadia from Meme Labs Twittered this news story… about Twitter.

    Buck, a graduate student from the University of California-Berkeley, was in Mahalla, Egypt, covering an anti-government protest when he and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested April 10.

    On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a message to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter.

    The message only had one word. “Arrested.”

    Within seconds, colleagues in the United States and his blogger-friends in Egypt — the same ones who had taught him the tool only a week earlier — were alerted that he was being held. [CNN]

    People have various reasons for using Twitter, whether they want to meet up with other folks in the area, share a news story, use it to syndicate their blog posts, do a poll, have pointless battles, ask questions, or share what they ate for lunch that afternoon. Though sometimes I get a bit of a “chat room” feel when I see people sending endless messages back and forth, I certainly value having this tool at my disposal.

    Two things of note: You can get intuitive clients that will bring in your Twitter feed so you don’t have to update from the website ie. Twhirl (for PC) or Twitterific (for Mac). Also, if your updates aren’t locked or “private” they are fully available in a Google search, meaning anything you say in Twitter, doesn’t stay in Twitter.

  • Twitter vs Jaiku – Chris Pirillo
  • Leo Laporte Leaves Twitter for Jaiku – Robert Scoble
  • Pownce vs Twitter – Mostly Lisa

  • Convergence 2008 Digital Marketing and Communications Forum

    May 8th, 2008 @ 5:40am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Just as soon as my social media dance card cleared up, I’ve been busy booking new events, getting involved in more media sponsorships and being sought out for speaking opportunities. My next speaking engagement will be on a panel at the end of the month during the Convergence conference.

    Cossette West invites you to attend Convergence 2008, a Digital Marketing and Communications Forum. Join other savvy marketing and communications professionals from across North America to learn how to stay competitive in the ever-shifting digital landscape. [Convergence2008]

    I’ve been on a few panels before (and moderated one) and I have to say the talented people I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with just make it that much more exciting, informative, and entertaining.

    This time is no different and I’m almost about to go into Wayne and Garth “I’m not worthy” mode seeing as how I’ll have Kate Trgovac on one side of my, and Darren Barefoot on the other.

    I haven’t had much time to interact personally with Kate but she was with me on the victorious Team Blogger for CBC’s Test the Nation, she presented at the Northern Voice dinner, and most recently I saw her on a panel at Bridging Media.

    Darren on the other hand is half of the world-traveling Capulet Communications marketing power duo who recently hooked John and I up with a Brother Printer and as a result, our faces were printed in the Wall Street Journal. Capulet is also responsible for the super handy “Getting to First Base: Social Media Marketing Playbook”, which is an e-book for purchase at

    Photo credit: Robert Scales on Flickr

    Our panel will be moderated by Darren Roberts of Optimum Public Relations and we’ll be discussing blogger relations:

    Influencers have grown beyond just traditional media outlets to include bloggers, who reign in the online space and who can drastically affect perceptions about your brand, your campaigns and/or any other aspect of your company operations. Are you listening? If so, are you talking back? In the very least, you should be working to tell your side of the story; at best, maximizing your message impact among these powerful individuals.

    Given my recent tussle with Matchstick and other experiences over the years, I think all of us will be able to bring something from a blogger’s perspective and also from the professional landscape.

    Convergence 2008 is taking place on Granville Island at the Arts Club Theatre on May 22nd from 9:30am until 5:00pm. More info is available on the website and you can check out the Techvibes as well for a preview.

    Wednesday Afternoon Link Fest: Warm Fuzzies Edition

    May 7th, 2008 @ 11:28am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    With fun and exciting things happening all around me it’s a wonder how I can get so down sometimes. There are people who struggle a lot more than I do in this life but everyone has their good days, their bad, and sometimes you just need to share some love and hope some of that comes right back at ‘ya. Even if it doesn’t, the warm fuzzy feelings accumulated from sending out the kindness should be enough to brighten your day, even if things simply aren’t going your way. Like Raul noted, “The darkest hour is just before the dawn.”

  • First off, Dan Lilly is awesome.
  • Second, it’s TrevorO’s birthday today. But he’s not getting old… he was old LAST year (har har).
  • I recently wrote a post about Cyberbullying and on that note, my good friend Keira-Anne has been the target of several online attacks lately so she shares some thoughts. Sure, she’s a big girl and can take care of herself but I know (trust me, I know) that it really sucks to wake up to a nasty comment or blog post written about you.
  • Concerned about privacy online although you still want to be able to use the internet to share photos with trusted friends and family? Check out Kinzin (makers of some great Facebook applications), Megan recently caught an episode of BlogTalkRadio where they give a shoutout to Kinzin and talk about their solutions.
  • In 2009 the Maritime Museum will be closing its doors and the St Roch will need to find a new home. I had many an interesting school field trip at the MM, it’s always sad to see something like that disappear.

  • Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

    As a side note Google recently reevaluated their Page Rank system and many blogs received a boost in ratings. Mine on the other hand, stayed the same (however the site I built for my company got bumped up to PR6). This, combined with a waffling Technorati rating (which I think they calculate sometimes using a dartboard) are things that I rarely look at in terms of how successful my blog is, unless specifically asked by a potential sponsor.

    One thing Duane told me is that if your links OUT to links IN ratio is off-kilter that can effect you meaning that my link fest posts could in fact be harming my rankings and ratings. I pondered several options to work around this then I realized, the reason folks must come to my site is for the content. If I didn’t continue to do what I love, spread the link love and be a part of a great social community on and offline, what’s the point. So essentially what I’m saying is despite the fact that geeky internet brownie points may be working against me, the link fests will never cease to be.