Prepping for the return of the 2008-2009 Vancouver Canucks

As cool as the weather has been in the lower mainland in the past week or so, it makes me think about one thing: the coming 2008-2009 hockey season for the Vancouver Canucks.

To help get you and me both prepared for this, I figured I’d go back on some key points from the end of last season while looking ahead to this next one. Of course, these are the things that stick out the most to me, so feel free to add your comments. And if you are a Vancouver Canucks fan, you’re probably doing the same thing as me when someone asks you your opinion on what to expect come this fall. You’re probably shrugging your shoulders and saying, I’m not really sure.
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Podcasting 101: the blog post

After giving my MooseCamp session at Norther Voice 2008 on Podcasting 101, I learned a lot more about how things should have gone versus how it went.

Northern Voice 2008 by John Biehler
Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

There were a variety of factors that caused me to really struggle how you give someone an introduction on podcasting within 30 minutes that doesn’t leave them feeling like a bus just drove by them and smacked them in the face because they were standing so close and didn’t see that rear view mirror sticking out as much as they just saw the bus. I only use that analogy because it almost happened to me a few weeks ago.

Rather than go through the would, should, or could haves, I’m going to make a blog post that hits the same topics, laid out in a method that will allow folks to explore tools of the medium rather than generate buzz words that you’ll forget to Google later. Plus, this will help me develop a better method of being able to do something like this again, if the virtual tomatoes haven’t already been thrown at me.
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Speaking on a panel at Net Tuesday4 – “Podcasting for Social Change”

I’ve been invited by the intrepid Dave Olson to join him, Rob Cottingham, and Roland Tanglao to be apart of a panel for the coming Net Tuesday4 on July 8, 2008. This is in the series of events in the NetSquared project.

Our mission is to spur responsible adoption of social web tools by social benefit organizations. There’s a whole new generation of online tools available – tools that make it easier than ever before to collaborate, share information and mobilize support. These tools include blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasting, and more. Some people describe them as “Web 2.0”; we call them the social web, because their power comes from the relationships they enable. [netsquared]

The coming panel will be about “Podcasting for Social Change“. Essentially, we are going to gather together on this panel to talk about these tools that exist for pretty much anyone to use in order to get their message out about a cause or organization that is trying to create change within a community.

Whether it’s on a local or global scale, our intention is to give you some insight on how you can use a medium like podcasting to help you get to where you want to be. The road map is fairly wide open, but I’ll do my best to share insights on how to get started, recording methods, editing tips, and how to get that podcast episode out to the world.

What: Net Tuesday4 – Podcasting for Social Change
When: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 5:30 PM!
Where: WorkSpace, 400, 21 Water St., Vancouver BC, V6B 1A1 [google maps]

Topic: Ways Non-profits/Social Change orgs can use podcasts to spread their message

To make it easy, we’ll cover:
1) planning
2) producing tips (with toys to demo)
3) publishing/promoting

dave olson – moderater/podcaster
john bollwitt – podcaster and audio engineer
rob cottingham – social change technologist
roland tanglao – mobile pundit and tech-evangelist

And to help you think about checking out the panel, check out this great promotional video that Dave made in anticipation. Gotta say that my tequila bottle mic stand is still one of my favorite podcasting engineering feats to this day. Simple and useful in oh so many ways.

Podcasting is like recorded history

I’ve been thinking about this lately, but what is the point of having a podcast when you don’t keep your episodes archived and available over the long term?

Podcasting, in its true form, is prerecorded media that is ready for download and playback, video or audio, at any given time. Unlike traditional, broadcast media, your audience doesn’t have to be there when it’s available or remember to set their recording apparatus, because the use of VCR’s is dwindling as we speak, just so they can be in the know.

When you podcast something, you publish it for the world. It’s shiny and new, ready for the devouring crowds to eat it up. Then it gets old when you publish the next one, but a month or so down the line, someone discovers it. They share it with a buddy, post a link to it on their blog or Facebook profile, or subscribe to your podcast just because they found something in your archives from a year ago. This person even goes through everything you have ever produced just to get caught up.

I’ve been doing this myself over the past month or so. I’m an admitted listener of the Daily Source Code, but I’m not a daily listener. It piles up on me, and I’ll go back to hear the conversations just because I find personal enjoyment from the conversations on that podcast.

I even do this to everything DaveO produces, get caught up on CNet News Podcasts because even though it’s from three weeks ago, I still like to hear the tech news that I might have missed while riding the bus. Remember when Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo? It was fun to listen back on how that one played out, and that’s just a sample of short term history.

Even though the Vancouver Giants missed their chance at a repeat for the Memorial Cup this year, you might find enjoyment to hear the audio adventure that DaveO took when they had a public celebration for the team at Vancouver City Hall. A very good piece of historical evidence for you right there.

If anything, it’s something that you made and long term proof for anyone to stumble upon. The longer it’s there, the better chance it gets to soak in the Google juice and be discovered. However, if you are going to take the media away, do your best to remove all traces. Nothing more disgruntling than clicking on a link to an MP3 and it being not found.

Podcasting in plain english

I spent a huge part of this past weekend cranking out a bunch of podcasting content for Happyfrog during EPIC in downtown Vancouver. I’ll make a post about that soon (because it was an amazing experience), but this just popped up on my Twitter feed. Since it’s all about podcasting, I couldn’t pass it up.

So here is “Podcasting in Plain English” by the great folks at CommonCraft. It’s another great creation by these folks to help explain cool internet things in much simpler ways.

A basic understanding of what podcasting is, minus the gritty details. Trust me, that’s harder said than done. Good job, Leefevers.

Photos from the Canucks Open Practice 2008

In light of the recent episode #61 of The Crazy Canucks at the 2008 Open Practice at GM Place, I thought I would post a few of my favorite photos from the event that I took. J.J. had some great, extra seats that we took turns checking out from behind the bench, and Rebecca scored some good shots here as well.

Never afraid to pose
Rebecca poses as an Ultimate Canucks fan.
J.J. tapes the jumbotron interview with Rintoul
J.J. took the reigns on a 30 second shot with Scott Rintoul from TEAM 1040 on the jumbotron in GM Place. The rest of us got in on it as well in the background, including Alanah.
Dave poses with the true, but strangely missing, MVP of the day
DaveO poses with the real MVP of the day, who was strangely missing from the event…

Blocker save

Skating with the troops

Meeting at center ice 2

I have to say that it was a pretty cool day. We didn’t get to see as much of the practice as we did from press row last year, but it was a lot of fun to hang out with the guys behind the Ultimate Canucks Search, who are absolutely hilarious guys. They’re also pretty damn good at what they are trying to do.

One thing worth mentioning was the shootout competition that they had at the end of practice. Willie Mitchell pulled his jersey over his head in a headless horsemen-like fashion, skated all the way from center ice like that, and scored on Luongo. It was priceless. What a guy.

The Crazy Canucks #61 – Searching for Ultimate Canucks at the 2008 Open Practice

We had an amazing opportunity with The Crazy Canucks to officially be apart of the 2008 Open Practice at GM Place about a week ago. In the midst of the forced down time with strep throat, I was able to get the audio turned around pretty quickly. I think it turned out alright.

Aside from covering the usual episode topics, we hung out with and interviewed the guys from the Ultimate Canucks Search, as well as one of the Ultimate Fans, Richard Loat (of Facebook application fame).

JJ got on the microphone to interview passers-by, while we also got the chance to sit down with Kent – the voice behind the We Are All Canuckleheads podcast.

We had a blast, and it was great to have the entire gang together to record one of those rare “face to face” episodes.

45:53 minutes
The Crazy Canucks

Check out the link to the post to get pictures and more details from TCC of the event.

MooseCamp session: Podcasting 101

I gave my first ever, public speaking session at MooseCamp this morning, and things went… ok.

The truth is that I’ve been so slammed with work lately that my mind hasn’t been able to wrap itself around the talk until this morning. Around 6AM, I went running through Stanley Park and took the time to plot out a course in my head as to what I wanted to talk about. Thing is, the neurons in my brain are consistently jumping around, so I’m not sure I said everything I wanted to say or said things that made sense.

Podcasting 101, Host John Bollwitt
Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

I wanted to make a quick post with bullet point links to the things I mentioned and name dropped. There might be additions later.

  • – My initial podcast
  • – The podcast by Canucks fans and for hockey fans in general
  • RSS (Wikipedia) – The one thing that makes your podcast work
  • Ubercaster – The audio production program that I use to produce all my podcasts
  • Castblaster – A PC based program that is great for producing podcasts as well

Getting excited for Northern Voice 2008

Northern Voice kicks off tomorrow night with the super spectacular dinner, followed by MooseCamp and then the main event on Saturday. This week has turned out to be a lot more hectic that I imagined it to be, and it’s going to be non-stop all the way through Sunday.

The Crazy Canucks will have a fairly major part in all of this madness. I’ll be leading a session for an introduction to podcasting on Friday, our session on sports blogging and podcasting is Saturday afternoon, and then Sunday has our podcast crew front and center at GM Place for the Canucks Open Practice. We’ll be on the concourse raising a ruckus and having lots of fun with fellow Canucks fans at the event, media passes and our own location on the concourse included. All brought to you by those super cool folks at the Ultimate Canucks Search.

I hope to have more time to make more detailed posts about each of these things. In case I don’t find the time, you can’t say that I didn’t mention it.

Can you just be a podcaster?

Allow me to touch on a touchy subject in the realm of podcasting. I’m referring to the battle of podcasters versus broadcasters. Can Joe Average pick up a mic with the same creditability as Bob Radio when he tires of cranking out 100,000 watts of RF[wiki] in exchange of thousands of bytes in MP3’s, or even both?

'coch3se' on tonight's podcast
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

A lot of this stems from a comment left on my last podcasting post about many producers being “unlistenable”, and it’s tough for me to disagree.

There are so many people in the world that would love to be on the radio, and when they grasp the possibility of being able to get into podcasting, where they will get as close as they will ever get in their entire lives of being a disc jockey on the radio (which really don’t even exist like many dream about), it’s an epiphany of humega proportions. And when they learn that all you basically need is a microphone and a computer, first endeavors can be rough.

Sparta @ The Commodore
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

However, there is something that always gets me, and the thing that differs about me, compared to many podcast producers and as someone who works in the radio industry, is the amount of patience I have as a listener. The rawness that comes from someone who just wants to pick up a microphone and be heard is captivating to me. They want to say something but don’t know what to say or how to say it. The one thing they do know is that they just have this compelling urge to make something.

Listening to audio or watching video like this can be painful, tedious, or maybe even torturous. That really depends on the type of person you are, but if you don’t like it, don’t download it. And if you already did, delete it. There are thousands upon thousands of podcasts out there that you can track down and tryout, and even that can intimidate a listener. Going from radio to a medium where you are overwhelmed with choices can be frightening.

The amazing thing you have to remember about podcasting is that no matter how easy it is to make your own podcast, it is just as easy to not listen or watch what you want. Do you have as much ability to do that in the world of broadcasting? Take a minute to really think about that one.

DaveO checks out the recording gizmo thing

Think about all the radio stations you can listen to on your FM dial. Count them up. Then count how many you can get on the AM side. How many broadcast TV signals? Cable? Satellite? If YouTube crosses your mind for even a second, then you can bet that the number of podcasts out there are vast. And if there isn’t something that fits with what you want, you could be the one to fill that gap.

There is freedom from everything we’ve come to know from traditional media in podcasting. When you have someone who has never been taught the constraints of censorship, time restrictions, or the ability to talk into the microphone at voice levels that actual human beings never actually converse at, the possibilities are endless. Not every formula or concoction works for every person who decides to become a podcaster, but at least they are stepping up to the plate to try.

The reality is that some sink while others float. That doesn’t imply that someone without broadcasting experience can’t take a chance at podcasting, and I encourage those folks even more.