Why do you blog?

This is something I’ve been considering posting about for a long time, but just after filling out this survey, I’ll hold off on posting about it for a little while. However, if you’re a blogger, Darren Barefoot has setup this site to gather some information about folks like us.

Why do you blog? Why do I blog? Why does anybody? As the medium enters its pubescence, it’s a question that I wonder about all the time. I’ve talked about it with a lot of different bloggers, and everyone offers a different reason.

In February, I’m giving a talk called “Why We Blog” at Northern Voice here in Vancouver. In preparation, I’m launching this ad hoc survey to gather more opinions and voices from the blogosphere.

The survey is 16 questions, and hopefully won’t take you more than 10 minutes. I really appreciate the time you might take to complete it. As a token of that appreciation, I’m giving away a few prizes [whydoyoublog]

I know that I think about this topic a lot on a personal level. I can’t be the only one that drifts off to sleep at night while thinking, “why do I do this?” Still, whenever some one asks me this question, I have a hard time giving a solid answer. Once you start, it’s just hard to stop. And I’m just talking about blogging. Podcasting is a whole other topic, but not too far off the mark.

Rebecca and I are trying to get things in order to attend Northern Voice. Hopefully it will fit in the budget. There are some interesting sessions about podcasting that I wouldn’t mind dropping in on, and Travis is hosting a session on citizen journalism that would be cool to check out. We’ll just have to see if it’s in the cards.

WordPress releases and betas

I’m knee deep in the world of WordPress right now. I actually oversee five setups, and when there is a new release of an upgrade, that’s five sites I have to work through. Backup here, backup there, overwrite the old, and in with the new. It’s a few hour process when all is said and done.

The big thing right now is that 2.0.7 was released just a few days ago. In fact, 2.0.6 was released not even two weeks ago, and I’d avoid that version if I were you. There was some security concerns in the PHP, meaning that could allow some hacking to happen to your blog. Not good.

The hugely geeky reason that I know this is that I have recently joined up with the development mailing list. Just a couple of days after the 2.0.6 release, there was an announcement on the list about the issue and a test version sent out to all subscribers for testing. This is why I always hesitate to be on that “bleeding edge” of things. It’s good to let people much smarter than you test things out if you don’t have the resources to do it yourself.

The WordPress Podcast is what really got me into the idea of joining the testers mailing list. WordPress 2.1 is in beta, and I get a kick out of seeing the exchange of knowledge about what’s new, what doesn’t work, and so on. You can get more info about it at WordPress Planet.

I did a local install of it and made a preliminary look through of the next generation of WordPress. There’s some interesting things, but it’s still too early for me to report on it. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the full release, as many folks have for over the past year.

The WP Podcast did just mention that there is talk about a 120-day turnaround between versions 2.1 and 2.2, a vast departure of the development, or lack there of, that we’ve seen from the WordPress folks. This won’t stop me from doing development from here on out in 2.1. Who knows when it will go into full release.

Wrote this post while waiting for the last of the sites to finish updating and listening to the They Might Be Giants podcast. Holy crap. Now back to your regularly scheduled geekiness.

Update: This post about 10 things you should know about WordPress 2.1 is a really great read about the new version that should be coming out soon. In fact, this article sites as January 22, 2007 being the day that this version is to be fully released.

The roof is exploding!

I have to state the obvious. Today’s collapsing of the roof at BC Place[wiki] was the hot topic across so many media outlets, and everyone in the world of blogging, at least here in Vancouver, was looking to be apart of the madness. Yes, Rebecca did make a post about it. I won’t deny that, but we were about 30 minutes late to the whole event as we were driving around the mayhem of slush covered roads in the GVRD. She just amended a post that she made earlier in the day to include a photo she snapped while on our return home.

The significance is nothing to sneeze at. I get that much. This is a huge landmark for Vancouver, and the issue runs deep. The winter olympics are coming, local officials might have over thought the longevity of the dome, and so on. I get it.

The inflated roof at B.C. Place stadium in Vancouver has collapsed, but no one is reported hurt.

The office of Vancouver Fire Chief Bob Smith says there are no injuries following the collapse of the roof of BC Place Stadium.

Emergency personnel are calling this a mechanical problem that caused the stadium’s fans to cut out and bring the roof down.

The fabric dome came down into the bowl of the stadium during a storm that brought wind and heavy, wet snow to the area. [cknw]

But holy crap, was there ever a rush to publish everyone’s vantage point of it all. While in the car, CKNW was doing their damnedest to cover the story to every last end of the catastrophe. Apparently someone made some sort of statement at some point just after the collapse that led one of their on air guys to to wonder about some cover up over some one somewhere being killed during the whole thing. Their coverage was a tad on the extreme, bizarre, and near insane side, but we were able to dissect the jest of the story from the outside in.

And honestly, what was the guy on that they were interviewing about the noise of the roof collapsing sounding like “zoo animals running through your kitchen”? I’ve never had the opportunity to have any sort of wild animal run through any of the households that I have lived in. I experienced some parties in college that might come close, but the sounds of zebras and elephants is something I’m not all too familiar with. He was on the field at the time of initial tear. Outside, people said it sounded like thunder. Inside, this dude was tripped out by the sounds of the circus parade punching a hole in the roof.

The various blogs from the area didn’t fail to amaze me though. I figured someone would, at the very least, have pictures on Flickr or YouTube when we got home late this afternoon, but this was nuts. The Vancouverite[1, 2, 3], Darren Barefoot, Breebop, Derrek Miller, Jeremy Latham, Metroblogging Vancouver, Beyond Robson[1, 2], and my good pals Dave Olsen and Alanah even weighed in. You all lived up to your expectations, and it was a rush to have your stuff up there as soon as you could. That’s what amazes me the most.

Everyone has their view, but there has to be a point where a roof collapsing on a sports stadium can only be done to a certain extent before it’s saturated. This has happened back in my home state a few times to the UNI-Dome[wiki], but they fixed the issue by slapping on a metal roof. Not saying that this can be easily solved in a similar way for BC Place, but don’t worry folks. Life will go on.

If it only took a phone call to fly in replacement trees for Stanley Park and a few weeks to make that look normal again, then we’d totally be in business.

Going back to high school

I had the strangest dream last night. I swear that I have way too many things floating around in my head lately, and it left me thinking that maybe it wasn’t the most crazy idea to drift into my subconscious after all. I know I’ll be thinking otherwise once I’m done here.

For some unknown reason, I went back to high school. More so, I wanted to blog about the experience and report on the social structures that exist among that age group. Further more, I would try to be objective as possible to their reaction of having a person my age going to school right along side with them, almost like a psychology study or something. The dream didn’t last long enough to say if I’d be any better at various class subjects though.

I was also very into the idea of being apart of the school newspaper. However, I wanted to change the way the paper was done and make everything much more web based. Blogs, digital cameras, and so on. RSS feeds so the rest of the world could share in what the big news was at this high school that I was at.

Then I woke up. The first thought that popped into my mind was that there is no way I could do that. I’d be seen as some sick guy who just wanted to hang around underage kids. The use of blogging platforms for school newspapers was still a good idea though.

Some times I have weird dreams. Other times, I can’t stop being geeky even in my own sleep.

Five things you (probably) don’t know

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten around to doing this, but Jeremy tagged me some time ago to do this “five things you didn’t know about me” thing that’s been going around. I’ve actually thought about this numerous times and come up with nothing good to plop down. I’m going to give myself about fifteen minutes to come up with the best things I can off the top of my head. Here goes nothing.

  • I was a band and choir geek in high school. I was in all the top choir groups, but not show choir. *shudder* I started out as a tenor, dropped down to the lower octaves of second bass, and rose up to a baritone/tenor when I figured out that rock stars don’t sing with a bass voice. Of course, this is all classical vocal training, but that goes a really long way, no matter what kind of singing you do in the rest of your life. In band, I didn’t apply my talents as much, but I played baritone, euphonium, fuglehorn, and valve trombone. I’m sure you don’t find this too surprising.
  • I have a series of dream jobs that I would like to have careers in if time and money were no object, not to mention talent for said position. List off the top of my head, but not limited to: astronomer, architect, carpenter, radio talk show host, painter, graphic designer, musician, UNIX programmer, writer, cinematographer, film director, actor, professional hockey player, professional baseball player, play-by-play sports announcer(hockey, baseball, or college football), interior decorator, plumber, forest ranger, guitar technician, roadie for a rock band, and broadcast engineer. I’ve already done the last one, but that is too much fun to not do again.
  • I lived in Japan for three months in 2000. Camp Adventure is a program that sends college students to U.S. military facilities to run day camps for children. I was at NAF Atsugi[wiki], located in between Yokohama and Tokyo. Camp counselor to fifteen kids by day, played throughout the backyard of Japan at night and on the weekends. Probably the best summer vacation I ever had.
  • I play bass guitar, and drop-D tuning is my weak spot. My dreams of success were set back when I slammed my left index finger in a car door about five years ago. It’s still tender when I run the frets and probably will be for the rest of my life because how poorly the bone healed at the tip of my finger. My bass is still in the states, so that means that I’m going to suck more than I did before when I get my hands on it again. I’ve only been in two “bands” in my life but never lived an even bigger plot to be a lead singer.
  • I have Gilbert’s Syndrome[wiki]. This might be a result or continuation of being jaundice at birth(of which I almost didn’t survive). This a major reason as to why I exercise through running and strength conditioning. It seems to keep the bilirubin levels in my body regulated. Otherwise, I start to really feel like crap.

Now I have to tag five more people? I’m not too sure who has and hasn’t been tagged yet, so please don’t rag on me if you’ve already been marked. I call on The Reverend Don Deeley, Yvonne, GZ Expat, Alanah, and J.J. Even though those last two are hockey bloggers, I’m curious about those things we don’t know about some of the biggest Canucks fans out there.

This didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I thought it would. However, nothing there is ever final or complete in story. For the sake of time, I tried to keep it brief as possible. I can get long winded about things if I’m not careful.

Use new media for action, not just voice

I’m taking a cue from Adam Curry, and you can bet that he’s not the first person to be saying this. It’s just something that I heard recently on his podcast, and the sentiment is echoed in an article posted on MacNewsWorld recently.

Kenton Ngo is a policy wonk. He dissects election data using mapping software and reads transportation bills. He hosts a video podcast on his blog, one that draws as many as 2,000 readers a week.

Ngo is recognized at political rallies and has joined conference calls with Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, but he has never voted in a primary or general election. He has never paid property taxes. He is not registered for Selective Service.

Ngo is 15 years old, has a driver’s permit and braces, and is a member of the West Springfield High School debate team in Northern Virginia. [macnewsworld]

Blogs and podcasts are the new way for disseminating your thoughts and opinions about politics. I am all for that. Speak you mind, shout for the truth, and encourage people to bind together in an effort to change things.

I’m kind of sick of it. The reason being, nothing has really changed. We write away on the web only to see not much for results. This kid in Virginia has a great thing going, but there has to be more.

The methods are there. We have all sorts of ways to send out messages to the masses, so why not use it to actually do something? Less talking, more action, so to say. Use these technologies to make a run for public office. This is what I would like to see.

I admit to being a hypocrite with my own post here, but the idea is something I’m a fan of. I’m also far from being a good candidate for the effort. However, I’m all about new media and helping out.

WordPress 2.0.5 released

Version 2.0.5 of WordPress was released over the weekend.

It’s new release time. The latest in our venerable 2.0 series, which now counts over 1.2 million downloads, is available for download immediately, and we suggest everyone upgrade as this includes security fixes. We’re breaking the tradition of naming releases after jazz musicians to congratulate Ryan Boren on his new son (and first WP baby) Ronan.

What’s new? We have about 50 or so bugfixes, which you can review on our dev tracker here, mostly minor bug fixes around feeds, custom fields, and internationalization. If you’d like a nitty-gritty view, check out Mark’s blog post on the changes.  [wordpress]

Especially after the problem I had a little over a month ago, I’m paying attention to these things.  I suggest that all WP users do the same as well.

Announcing a new podcast: The Crazy Canucks

A few months ago, Rebecca[miss604] and I brainstormed an idea for a podcast that seemed too good to pass up. With the friends that we have been making in the world of blogging and podcasting, The Crazy Canucks was born.

We’ve brought together Vancouver Canucks Op Ed, the Canucks Hockey Blog, the Canucks Outsider, Miss604, and my adventures with RadioZoom into a podcast that is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before, and nothing like anything I’ve ever been apart of. And you don’t need an iPod to listen!

The Crazy Canucks

[krey-zee, kuh-nuhks]

Local Canuck Bloggers to Host a Weekly Roundtable Podcast this 06/07 NHL Season

Current album art: The Crazy Canucks podcastVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (October 2, 2006) – Coming this October is a podcast the likes of which Vancouver has never seen. It will be a collaboration of hockey bloggers and the brainchild of a podcaster who all have one thing in common: The Vancouver Canucks.

The Crazy Canucks will be a weekly podcast about the team, the players, the organization and the league. Our goal is to have a fan’s point of view, since we’re not cable TV and we’re not local sports radio. Agree or disagree, leave us a written or audio comment and tell us how you really feel.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast, which will be available weekly on TheCrazyCanucks.com.

For more information contact: feedback [at] thecrazycanucks.com

Look for the premiere episode to debut this week as the Canucks kick off the regular season on Thursday. Subscribe or listen directly on the website. It doesn’t matter how you hear it as much as it matters that you come be apart of the podcast. Afterall, we’re fans just like you.

Collection of blogs to feed your Canucks need

Welcome to September. Ok, the month is nearly over, but pre-season hockey kicked off this week. On top of that, my birthday is on Sunday. Rumor has it, Rebecca might have gotten us tickets to the Canucks game for the same day against Anaheim. This might be a secret, but I am almost positive that we’re going to be there. I’m almost shaking with excitement as I type this. An amazing way to celebrate my first birthday in Vancouver.

The hockey blogs are ramping up for the coming season, so I thought I would do my best to share some of my favorites for getting news on the Canucks. I should also mention that the commentary is the best thing about these sites. Afterall, what else are blogs for if you can’t share some of your personality while posting away about the team, or teams, that you love, not to mention the team, or teams, that you don’t.

  • Vancouver Canucks Op Ed [http://www.vancouvercanucksoped.com]
    • I liked Alanah’s stuff before we interviewed her on the podcast[radiozoom#108], and she is an incredible source of what’s happening with the Canucks. Readers chime in with comments, and she responds with more insight to what she’s posting. That conversation alone can give you more about what you want to know.
  • Canucks Hockey Blog [http://canuckshockey.blogspot.com]
    • J.J. knows his stuff. The guy worked at GM Place for a number of years and has season tickets for the Canucks. Do you need anything more to tell you that he loves this team? J.J. offers great insight into what’s going on with the team, and I loved his coverage on the salary cap situation. I had the opportunity to meet him recently, and he is a super cool guy. We hope to interview him on the podcast in the very near future.
  • Canucks Outsider Podcast [http://hockeynw.com]
    • I can’t fail to throw a podcast into this, but DaveO does do some blogging on this site as well. The guy knows his stuff and has done a lot to teach me about the history of the team. Hasn’t been much since the Hurricanes won the final last season(of which he totally called from day one of the playoffs), so I hope he starts back up when the season returns. Plus, I know the guy. Go check out his stuff because I said so.
  • Miss604 [http://miss604.com]
    • Gotta plug Rebecca’s blog because she does some great blogging about the Canucks, and she is, afterall, my wife. Expect more as the season kicks into full swing.
  • Waiting for Stanley [http://hockey-madness.blogspot.com]
    • Three guys contributing to one blog makes for a lot of content coming from this site. They cover more than just the Canucks, but the things they cover give you a good overview with what is going on with the teams that will be coming up against Vancouver. “Waiting for Stanley” refers to the Stanley Cup, of course. With the Sedin twins pictured in the banner at the top of the page, this is the story for much of Vancouver fans.
  • Orland Kurtenblog [http://orlandkurtenblog.blogspot.com]
    • These guys crack me up. They’re new to the scene, as of July, but I like their take on the Canucks. They have a lot of knowledge in terms of the history of the team, and the commentary is hilarious. I dig the posts about Canucks players of past, and stuff like Celebrity Hockey Look Alikes crack me up.
  • Canucks.com Blog [http://blog.canucks.com]
    • Last, but not least, the official Canucks blog. However, there is a lot to be desired from this one. It’s a tad messy to sort out, and I’m not sure who the guys are that are posting, officially, on behalf of the organization. They also do live blogging of the games and have players do their own posts from time to time. It’s a great resource, but finding all of those elements that I just pointed out can be a little difficult.

That’s all I have for now, and I know that there are more blogs about the Canucks out there. Feel free to post a comment about them, but the ones that I just listed are the ones that I’m reading on a regular basis. I have so many RSS feeds that I check up on everyday, so if there are others that you think I should be paying attention to, let me know.

All of that being said, it’s going to be a crazy season coming up. Nothing is on TV until the regular season kicks off in October, so I have no way to judge anything except what I read about it in the blogs or catch from the media.

Yo! Luongo(that’s for you, Alanah) makes his debut in a Canucks jersey tonight in San Jose, and my favorite boy, Anson Carter, made his way to the Blue Jackets(where Federov just went out for the next six weeks with an injury SUCKER!). I don’t know what to expect. Maybe the game against Anaheim on Sunday, that Rebecca might be taking me to, will tell me more.

With hope, I’ll be doing my own posts from time to time about the Canucks, but keep listening to RadioZoom. Rebecca and I always love talking hockey there.