Raise a Reader 2008 Another Success

September 24th, 2008 @ 1:25pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The official snaps won’t be in the Vancouver Sun until tomorrow morning however earlier today I had the pleasure of traipsing around downtown with John, Jeff, and Alanah and meeting all kinds of Canucks thanks to Raise a Reader Day.

“The Canwest Raise-a-Reader program has excellent momentum and this year, on the morning of Wednesday, September 24th, newspapers in 28 communities will host Raise-a-Reader Day activities on city streets from Victoria to St. John’s. Thousands of volunteers and local celebrities will exchange special Raise-a-Reader edition newspapers for donations to literacy… …Through the volunteer efforts of people across Canada, Raise-a-Reader is able to provide the necessary funding and resources to family literacy programs, libraries and school libraries in the greatest need.”

Alanah and me with Mason Raymond of the Canucks (and How I Met Your Mother fame)

Each year I have a blast walking around and meeting players and organization members. It’s such a casual atmosphere, everyone is in high spirits and thinking the best for the season ahead.

One of the best ways to get your day going is by getting a hug from Ryan Kesler.

Legendary (first ever) captain of the Vancouver Canucks, Orland Kurtenbach. Such a nice man who was excited to hear about our podcast (and possible bus ads).

My meeting with Stan “The Steamer” Smyl, who led Vancouver for his entire career until retiring in 1991. His number 12 hangs in the rafters and will soon by joined by number 16.

You can also catch photos on John’s Flickrstream from our adventures at the Canucks game last night where they were kind enough to have a penthouse suite as a token of their appreciation for online content creators like The Crazy Canucks.

Vancouver's New Talk Radio 1410

September 24th, 2008 @ 12:43pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I figured it may be best to speak about this before it happens so that I can get my readers to tune in, if they weren’t already inclined to do so. I will be doing a guest spot on Radio 1410 this afternoon (formerly known as CFUN) and will be sharing some thoughts and insights about the blogosphere. I’ll be interviewed by Val Cole and Patrick Maliha (who do the Afternoon Buzz 2pm to 6pm weekdays) and will post my show notes later today.

If you do catch the spot today, please feel free to drop me a line with feedback or any neat blogs or websites I should plug in upcoming segments.

As a side note, I may also be a guest speaker at SFU again this fall for Michelle Kim’s journalism course. Registration is still open and you can sign up for “Basics in Journalism: How to Break In” on the SFU site.

Update: Links mentioned on the show include Flickr for photo sharing, UrbanSpoon for restaurant reviews, and Delicious for social bookmarking. I’ll be back again next Wednesday between 2:45 and 3:15pm with more internetty goodness.

WordCamp at BarCamp Vancouver We're Almost There

September 24th, 2008 @ 10:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

WordCamp!We’re only a few days away from BarCamp Vancouver 2008 and due to some recent changes, here’s a quick update.

… BarCampVancouver 2008 is taking place all across Granville Island.

… Opening night party is Friday at 7:00pm at Workspace in Gastown and the official start time on Saturday is 9:30am (check out the schedule).

The morning schedule jam (where we work out what the topics will be and who will be presenting them) will be at the Revue Theatre, head there first on Saturday. All of the WordCampers will head over to the Playwright’s Theatre at 10:30am until noon.

WordCamp will consist of 10-15 minute lightning talks and Q&A. It will end at lunch time and you can stick around in the afternoon for PhotoCamp or you can head back tot he Revue stage for the rest of BarCamp. We will have door prizes, WordPress swag, and a special treat after the conference for all those who join us at WordCamp

… If you have topic suggestions (or things you’d like to learn about WordPress) leave your thoughts on the wiki page

WordPress is a blogging platform used by millions worldwide Miss604.com and sixty4media are both produced with WordPress as well as DuaneStorey.com and Brave New Code). WordCamp is our way to meet up and talk about the basics, share knowledge, get knee-deep in code, and chit chat about how to use this great tool.

I Know That I am the Luckiest

September 24th, 2008 @ 9:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

When John and I were separated by thousands of kilometers before he made the move to Canada we used to send each other video postcards. One evening when driving back to the city from his parents’ house he put his camera on the dashboard of his car and spoke to me while cruising through the rolling countryside. In the background was Couches in Alleys by Styrofoam featuring Ben Gibbard [YouTube] and when John finished his message he turned the camera out, facing the road, and captured a fiery amber sunset falling gracefully from the sky as though slowly and peacefully embracing the earth.

Since then, I’ve enjoyed being able to travel and explore highways across this continent with him. Driving home from Osoyoos along the Crowsnest the other weekend I had tears come to my eyes several times. We were carefree, meandering along a well-traveled highway nestled between mountain ranges and valleys while the tunes on the radio made us both sing along whenever we felt like joining the chorus. There are few places on this planet that make me wish I could freeze time and soak in their majesty, and for some reason my thoughts always come back to Iowa.

I had never been to the Midwest before I met John and during our whirlwind tour for Thanksgiving last year, passing the signs for the famous covered bridges of Madison County and the birthplace of John Wayne, the beauty of the landscape won me over yet again.

I have a sneaking suspicion that these warm feelings, thoughts and memories are not so much about the locations themselves, but the people I was with – in particular, the person who shared these travels with me. I’ve been very lucky in my life to experience such places and to have met people whose hospitality and generosity can only be shadowed by the goodness of their hearts.

If there is one place that I could remain for the rest of my life, however, that would be in the arms of my husband, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today. “He’s not North, my South, my East and West,” and I look forward to exploring the ends of the earth with someone so full of life and spirit that it humbles me each morning when I get to be held in his arms.

The title of this post is from a Ben Folds song

Evolution of Dance at Blog World Expo

September 23rd, 2008 @ 11:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

On the opening night of Blog World Expo in Las Vegas, Zappos hosted a party at Prive (at Planet Hollywood). Half way through the evening Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh introduced Judson Laipply – the dude who is internet-famous for his YouTube “Evolution of Dance” performance that is almost at 100 million views.

Judson, who was in town already for business as a motivational speaker and comedian, then treated us all to this abbreviated version of the dance montage.

What it All Means

September 22nd, 2008 @ 4:57pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

In the last ten days alone I’ve had the chance to meet and chat with Canadian beer-making legends, interview my all time favourite band (and one of Keira’s favourite bands), talk local history with a Vancouver mayoral candidate, laughed with the internet-famous, and meet another rock star who blogs.

After coming down from Las Vegas, eleven live blogs, five events, and preparing for this week’s events (which include a hockey game, charity live blog, National Digital Media Day, and BarCamp) I have to take some time to share my thoughts on a parcel I received today from the Union Gospel Mission.

The UGM is a beacon of hope Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Through programs, drop-in centres, thrift stores, their blog, womens’ and youth outreach centres, the UGM helps those who need it most.

"Thank You" From the UGM - My Blogathon Cause

This afternoon they sent Matthew Good, Duane and I each a thank you note:

Rebecca Bollwitt, for your compassionate response to a community in need. Thanks to your innovation UGM set a new fundraising record during Blogathon Vancouver 2008 to help your friends in the Downtown Eastside.

I’m overwhelmed by this modest token of appreciation and it makes me want to do more with my Social Media for Change campaigns.

I didn’t do Blogathon for links, traffic, and recognition – I did it because through this medium that so many often find shallow and self-serving, I have a voice which I choose to use to create positive change, in big and small ways, and to make everything count.

I also have the best readers in the world; those support me and my effort, who leave uplifting or even constructive comments, and those who simply come back every day. I thank you all.

Blog World Expo 2008: Trolls, Spammers and Sock Puppets

September 21st, 2008 @ 12:25pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’m interested in hearing the discussion in the following session, “How to Deal with Trolls, Spammers & Sock Puppets“, with Rick Calvert (CEO and Co-Founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo), John Chow, Patrick O’Keefe (founder and owner of the iFroggy Network), and Jeremy Schoemaker of Shoemoney.

Trolls n Spammers panel

I’m familiar with trolls and spammers although I left it to Rick to explain sock puppets: In political blogging it happens quite a bit (and on message boards) if you are a sock puppet then you’re a person who pretends to be somebody that you’re not.