Duane does the 2008 Junos

My good friend Duane Storey has done some amazing coverage of the 2008 Junos this past weekend. He flew out there like a new media ninja and tossed out a lot of blog posts, videos, and photos from the media access he was granted for the whole event.

Michael Buble at the 2008 Junos, Photo by Duane Storey
Photo credit: duanestorey on Flickr

Have to say that I’m very impressed that he was able to do what he did. His level of access was on par to the big name players, and dare I say that it was better than what traditional media usually feeds you. Feel free to check out some of his posts here.

Registration is open for Northern Voice 2008

MooseCamp session run down 6 Registration is now open for Northern Voice 2008!

This is the fourth, annual new media conference that I had the opportunity to attending last February for my first time. The deadline for speaker submissions has come and gone, so the next step is opening the event up for attendees. NV is in February again this year, and the dates have been set for the 22nd and 23rd. Single day registration is $40, and it is $60 for the entire conference, per person.

Also worth mentioning is the pre-conference party that will be happening on the Thursday night before the event at the Tiki Room. It was last year’s party that introduced me to a lot of people who are common friends and faces, so it’s certainly worth attending. Just don’t call it a “networking thing”. That’s so lame.

I’m really looking forward to this year’s conference. With my day job, getting back into the fray of blogging and podcasting can be a bit of a challenge. That’s doesn’t stop me with doing my best to pay attention to what’s going on with the rest of the world, or Vancouver for that matter.

NV07 - Blogging 101 #6

So much has changed in the world of new media, social media, online communities, and so on, just since last year. Last year, Twitter was all the rage. Now we have Facebook. What new things will people be talking about? What has stayed the same?

Still, the forces of blogging and podcasting are still driving hard. Always looking forward to what other people are doing to breathe new life into something “old”.

Where blogging fits in with traditional media

I was having a conversation with a co-worker the other day about how new media and blogging interacts with today’s, traditional media. Fascinating topics for discussion, I know, but the interesting fact is that we are two people who currently work in the realms of radio broadcasting. Obviously, I’m a proponent of the medium, and the other person is one who is hesitant.

NV07 - Blogging 101 #2 It broke down to the way bloggers and those who read blogs will hold such truth and validity with everything that is put into the blogosphere. I had to agree that it is concerning, if not scary, how this can be true is some circumstances. However, I also reminded her that there are those people who will do nothing but rely on mainstream media, paying attention to only certain outlets. Of course, the easy examples of this would be someone who only watches FoxNews opposed to the variety of TV news outlets that are available to most cable television subscribers.

They had a tough time disputing that, so I broke down my thought on this premise even further. I explained how it should be our job, as bloggers, to instill an element of checks and balances upon traditional media so that many viewpoints and aspects to a story can be examined, if not built upon.

Rebecca wrote about a post a few weeks ago about an article by Chris McCosky of The Detroit News when he said, “Bloggers just aren’t journalists“.

Bloggers and personal, non-journalistic Web sites are starting to tick me off. Look, I appreciate and respect that in America, everybody has an opinion, especially on sports. And I respect everybody’s right to share their thoughts with anybody who happens to own a computer via blogs.

But people, let’s not confuse what random fans and wanna-be pundits are tossing out there with legitimate reporting. The line is getting way too blurry now between Internet noise and actual journalism. It’s actually getting to the point now where some (too many) of the bloggers are using cyberspace to discredit the legitimate media.

Now I am not saying all legitimate media or every reporter is 100 percent credible. Nor am I saying every blogger is out to discredit legitimate media. But the distinction between the two must be clearer.

Journalism employs trained professionals. We actually have to go to school for this stuff. We take our jobs seriously. There are rules and standards that we are beholden to. There are ethics involved. We actually talk to, in person, the people we write about. [detnews]

Session: For the record, I’ve studied a little bit in the ways of journalism school, and there are elements from that schooling that I maintain today. However, I’ve known people who have walked away with journalism degrees that whole heartedly scare me as to their journalistic integrity and the ability to do their jobs respectably. That doesn’t make me an expert, but it certainly gives me reason to question those who have the duty of telling me everything it is that I need to know.

I take my news from a variety of mainstream media sources, such as, but not limited to, the BBC, CNN, Guardian, Reuters, AP, New York Times, and, yes, even FoxNews. I like to see stories from multiple angles and derive my own conclusions, not just what “trained journalists” are trained, and told by their editors, to report on.

I’m also familiar with the structure that certain journalists use to report the news. There is your standard formula with the way you structure your intro, presented a certain set of information to setup your story. After that, you have to get your quote from someone close to the story. Toss in a deadline to a reporter and the number of people in the pool to get that needed quote gets a little slim. After that, there’s the extra back story at the tail end to give insight and let you know if there is more to tune into for next week.

Certainly there is need for delicate training for how one refines themselves to achieve this mastery, and I say that non-mockingly. However, in this era of big media where less means more, the small amount of journalists out there have a very large world to cover.

After that, blogs offer something deeper than the facts and figures of a story. They bring out qualitative information, as well as the quantitative, that provide various viewpoints that a journalist might not be able to provide. On top of that, bloggers can serve as way to watch journalists to make sure they are doing a worthwhile job in their reporting.

The Crazy Canucks on CKNW talkin' bout Podcasting
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

As a blogger, I am a source, but I’m hardly the source. Journalists are exactly the same thing. If you argue your viewpoint on an event, you have to consider where you got your information. it’s no different than a game of telephone where the facts and details can change as they are relayed and published.

Trust me, I’ve been there and seen it so many times on a personal level. Last spring when The Crazy Canucks got a lot of press coverage, the information that I would provide to journalists were stretched or mistaken for half-truths or something completely opposite. It’s human nature to make errors, and I believe that as a collective group, feedback can help put the information back together into something that is much more factual than what a very select, few people can tell you.

It’s not as much about discredit as it is making sure that what is said is a valid statement. Even more so, it’s about having a voice, and I’ll be damned if I or anyone should have to go to school to be able to have that.

Blogs are just another realm in the vast world of media

Josh Wolf made a post on CNet titled, “Like television, radio and print, blogs are just a medium“. The whole read is a good summary of the things I tell people when I start talking about blogs and podcasting in relation to what traditional media does in the time of new media.

When radio was first pioneered, print journalists were quick to dismiss it as inferior. This same scenario repeated itself with the advent of television and again with the rise of technologies that allowed solo journalists to produce their own stories single-handedly. As blogs and other community media become more popular and more relevant, the assault on this new medium continues to grow.

Michael Skube’s recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times provides a reasonable critique on the blogosphere but neglects to look at the larger picture. He points out that many blogs are nothing more than commentary and suggests that many of these blogs are “noisy with disputation, manifesto-like postings and an unbecoming hatred of enemies real and imagined.” While I can’t argue with this conclusion, his analysis misses the fact that blogs have broken a number of important stories in recent years and fails to mention the non-news that the establishment media finds itself focusing on with alarming frequency. [cnet]

In the last few years, I’ve had a lot of discussions on this topic. It’s really difficult for some people to grasp onto the notion of there being worthwhile content that can be derived and coexist with what traditional media does, if not enhance it. What pains me more is the dismissal of new media as being not worthwhile. To that, it really becomes a matter of not knocking it until you try it.

Be sure to read the rest of the post. Wolf takes on the old with the new, explaining strengths and weaknesses to both sides of the coin.

Real world uses of Ustream, and it’s not for just being geeky

I’ve been aware of the whole Ustream phenomenon for a time now, and there have been a few opportunities to get my mug into the action with some of the live streams of the Canucks Outsider that Dave put on, with the help of Roland. Outside of that and what Chris Pirillo does with the service, I haven’t given much thought about Ustream’s capabilities or uses. At least, I know that I can use it, but what would I use it for? (Do you really wanna watch me read my RSS feeds, do some geeky web-programming-podcasting-blogging stuff, and drink coffee?)

Robert Scoble dropped by Ustream’s offices and did one of his patented interviews with the people behind the scenes. After watching it, it opened my eyes to what they are doing, how it works, and, more importantly, what the real world can use Ustream for.

The bulk of what I’m getting at comes towards the end of the interview. Since Ustream is embeddable nearly anywhere you can dropped the code, there are a variety of uses for this. With a webcam(that has a good audio source) and a decent internet connection, you can stream anything you want, live and for free. It’s that simple, and many computers are built with this capability off the shelf. You just have to set it up with Ustream and broadcast what the camera sees.

City council meetings could be open to the public with no need for local access cable channels. Company meetings can get posted on internal, corporate sites that only employees can see. Or maybe you have those events that you want to get out to the public and wish that the local news station would give you more coverage than just a fifteen second mention on the six o’clock news? Now you can bypass that worry and broadcast what you want to the world, but still invite the “media” in case they want to come down. The options are endless.

It makes more sense to me now. Ustream is looking to expand what they are doing by upping their services in a variety of ways. I’m certainly looking at them with a different perspective.

Generation gaps in blogging

The simple matter of fact is that some people get blogging and others don’t. When you start point the finger at generation gaps, that gets even more sticky.

This comes in reference to a series of posts that Arpit Jacob wrote about in this post.

Check this post here by the so called usability Guru Jakob Nielsen on his website (I refuse to call it a blog, if you can’t comment then its not a blog) were he is typically saying blogging sucks. Lately he’s either been out of touch or he is getting too old. My dad can’t understand what a blog is or why I spend so much time after coming back home from work even though I am tired. My mom once saw my Orkut profile and she asked me if it was my Website. I think Jakob Nielsen belongs to the same generation. Sure he was once a respected usability guru. But if he writes any more silly articles like the one above I might have to label him an old Grandpa. [clazh]

I can say first hand that some of this is true. It’s tough for some people to grasp on to new techniques or methods while holding on to the roots that have been instilled via education and experience. Even though one person can stand to gain so much with the world literally at their doorstep, there is hesitation to step out of what is known. You can only spend so much time learning new things as well, but here is where folks like us, in the trenches, come in to help out.

Blogging gets a bad rap because it being so equated to spilling our personal guts out onto the Internet. While some of that is true for some, it’s far from that for others. It’s a presentation of what you want out there, professional, personal, hobbies, sports related, cat related, etc. It’s whatever you want it to be.

Still, helping anyone see the light in all the tools that are out there is tough. I’m fortunate to have a family that understands some of this, but there are some days that you want to pull your hair out when it comes to others, especially when it’s a fresh college graduate who equates blogging to email. Eh… What can you do?

Giving podcasting a different name

Ugh. I am getting so sick of this debate. The one where people are complaining or arguing over the name of “podcasting”[wiki] and how it should or needs to be changed.

I think this is the culture that has developed in the land of blogging and podcasting. We all have a voice, so everyone wants a stake in saying what is what, and this is the brilliance that comes with this world of new media. However, it’s driving me insane.

It’s come up today on a posting by Scott Bourne on PodcastingTricks.com, and he isn’t the first guy to focus in on this. I would bet that he won’t be the last, but does the name of “podcasting” limit the medium in terms of growth and exposure? Might there be another name that would help make it more, dare I say it, mainstream?

Podcasting seems limiting. We are seeing the whole world look at You Tube, iTunes and other services as a way to consume media – period. A NEW way to consume media – NEW MEDIA – in other words.

I find myself increasingly using the term NEW MEDIA instead of podcasting. My pal Leo Laporte uses NETCAST. What about you? What term do you use? [podcastingtricks]

Personally, I use the word “content”. Whether it’s blogging, podcasting, or uploading photos to flickr, I am creating and sharing content. I feel like that is where the current realm of podcasting really needs to focus, and that is the comment that I left on Bourne’s post.

John Bollwitt on June 13th, 2007

I feel like if we spent as much time and energy on this topic of a sweeping name change as we actually spent on making this medium more prevalent and accessible, we’d be further along than we are now.

At the same time, the more you try to change something right now, the more you’ll run into responses like, “Netcasts? Oh you mean podcasts? Now I know what you are talking about.”

Look up the history of radio. It used to be called “wireless” until the term radio caught on. It didn’t happen overnight, and there is something to be said about forcing change. We just need to keep cranking out content to make people take notice, and then the name with shape itself.

I’ve fallen behind on creating content, so there is some hypocritical aspects to what I am saying. Still, the name is not the reason to fault anything, and this consistent argument will barely change that. Discussion is good, but there is serious need for great content so that more people take notice and make this medium stronger. Better accessibility through technology wouldn’t hurt either, but that’s a whole other topic for another time.

Confused by the front page

Hockey MySpace porn what? It isn’t too often that I pick up a copy of the Metro, and it’s usually while I’m waiting for some take out. Snapped a shot of this the other day as game 7 of the Dallas series was approaching.

At first glance, you tend to wonder what hockey has to do with MySpace. And then porn? Oh, wait… it’s two, completely unrelated things. I get it. I think… wait… Yeah, ok. I see what they’re saying.

Give the Metro credit. It catches your eye to see Luongo on the front page with such a big game on the line. Toss the word “porn” and you’ll have more people stopping. Posting this on flickr, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one. Richard Eriksson left the following comment.

sillygwailo says:

The layout of Metro is always confusing to me. The photos almost never have anything to do with the headline, so the reader–well, speaking for myself–gets the impression that the two are related. At least that’s what I’m used to with other newspapers: a prominent photo has something to do with a headline somewhere on the front page, either next to the photo or underneath it. The Metro goes against this convention. [flickr]

So maybe that cover story was about hockey porn on MySpace?

Locked and loaded for NorthernVoice 2007

After some careful planning and budgeting, Rebecca and I have both signed ourselves up for NorthernVoice 2007. It should be a whirlwind of a weekend since the following Sunday is our one year anniversary. If that seems to be a geeky way to spend the first part of the weekend after being married for a year, then you’re probably right, and we like it that way.

Northern Voice is a two-day, non-profit personal blogging conference that’s being held at the UBC main campus on February 23-24, 2007.

This is the 3rd annual incarnation of this event, see the 2006 and 2005 websites for previous information.

Blogging, podcasting, social media, new media, web 2.0, and so on. Yes, there will be lots of ideas about all those things being tossed around, not to mention plenty of laptops on laps action.

We had a snafu in our planning, not realizing that Friday held quite the goings-on with the whole Moose Camp deal. In our heads, we thought that was taking place in the evening on Friday, so we opted to have Rebecca take the following Monday off in anticipation of our celebratory weekend. Looks like I’ll be checking things out for that Friday on my own, but she’ll make her way down for any activities later on that night. We’ll both be sneaking around on Saturday.

Looking forward to meeting more new people in the sphere of all things new media, plus catch a few neat sessions(view the schedule). Even Dave is leading a session on podcasting, so I’ve got to go heckle him check that out.

I’ll probably check in here during the event, and the recording gear always travels with me. It’s just a matter of not getting too into soaking up information to remember to grab some audio cuts. Have to see how things go. For me this is really good timing because the wonderful (I’m throwing that in there in case anyone at CIC is watching) Canadian government recently approved my PR application. I’ll be able to work in a matter of weeks now. 🙂