The day I went back to America for the first time

It’s such a touristy thing to do, but Rebecca took me down to the Peace Arch[wiki] with her dad a little over a week ago. We were actually hiking in Redwood Park and ventured over there since we were so close.

Redwood ParkOur little walk through that park turned into quite the down and back up affair, totally not wearing the right shoes for the occasion. From what I’ve been told, this is what to expect from my father-in-law. I’m always down for wandering through the bush and getting a little dirty, but my shoes were less than perfect for the soft ground. I’m more impressed that Rebecca did it all in two inch heels.

You can see a bunch of pictures that I took of Redwood Park on Flickr.

America is right over that ditchI always have a hard time grasping that fact that there isn’t a fence that separates Canada from the states. Driving along 0 Avenue, you could spit out the window from Canada and have it land in the U.S. A ditch, a little more than a foot deep, is all that stops a car from crossing the 49th. A three step start and you could easily jump over it.

This was the closest I had been to the U.S. in just over a year. And technically, I did cross the border for a few minutes. Even better, I used the washroom by the road heading north. I was very straight forward that when the urge to relieve myself hit me, I was going to do it in my native country. And in true fashion, that little rest stop was creepy. No power and no hand soap. Smelled alright, though.

I'm standing in AmericaIt’s a nice park and completely worth checking out. While we were running around, people would hop out of their cars to snap a picture of themselves in this symbol of friendliness. We’re two countries that, deep down, like each other. Our political ideologies get in the way of the feelings Americans have about Canadians and vice versa. It’s nice to forget that and just be a tourist some times.

Of course, I have all my pics of our adventures at the Peace Arch on Flickr.

There’s no smell or taste in Second Life

To be honest, I’ve never tried Second Life. I did think about it. Even got as far as downloading it for the Mac and installed it. For months it sat on my hard drive, and I finally deleted it.

Create an avatar, a new identity, and a whole other life in Second Life. It’s Sims meets MySpace meets social networking on steroids. That is to say, it’s yet another way for people to sit behind a terminal and communicate with each other from all over the world. Except in the real world, you just sit in front of your computer. In this virtual world, you walk around, teleport, go to parties, meet people, and whatever else some one dreams up. Yes, there is, of course, cybersex as well.

Ok, I don’t know everything that goes on in Second Life, but there is a lot out there to give me insight. When I first heard about it, I was curious and found the idea kinda cool. The fact that this really isn’t a game is where I started to rethink it. Podshow has its own island, Duran Duran is doing something in there, and now Sun Microsystems has joined in the party.

Sun Microsystems knows all four million Java developers worldwide can’t attend its popular JavaOne trade show, but it thinks it might have found the next best thing.

Tuesday, Sun became the first Fortune 500 company to hold an ‘in-world’ press conference to show off its new pavilion in Second Life, the popular 3D online world. Sun said it plans to invest in the Sun Pavilion as a place for developers to try out code, share ideas and receive training.

“Our problem is that every year our largest developer conference (JavaOne) attracts about 22,000 people and we get to meet with them face-to-face for a week,” said Sun’s chief researcher John Gage during the virtual event. He said Sun hopes to reach millions of Java developers in Second Life with training and other support features. [internetnews]

I’ve never been one to be overly concerned if I am missing the boat with all the cool kids, and this is no exception. Sun has done something a little more remarkable with this, but if you really want to get all that you can out of Second Life, then you have to give them your credit card. I guess I’m just the type of person who prefers going out into the real world rather than virtually walking out my front door.

Doing my part in documenting local history

Jason Vanderhill[flickr] is a guy I met at the Vandigicam event that Rebecca and I attened a few weeks ago to do a podcast[rz#110] during. A short time ago, Jason contacted me to aid him in a project he is working on with members of the Vancouver Historical Society. I wasn’t completely sure I was volunteering for, but the idea of lending my knowledge of recording in the field sounded like fun.

Turns out, the oldest film of Vancouver is the same piece of footage that I heard about from Dave Olson when we hung out during the Celebration of Light.

Last week, I was helped Jason capture some audio that is to go into a project about this film that was discovered in the basement of a house down in Australia. Nine minutes of a movie where William Harbeck[] put a camera at the front of a cable car as it goes through Vancouver in 1907. Very cool stuff, and it made me overly happy to have ventured over the Granville Bridge by foot on such a gorgeous day.

The film has been shown publicly, but I have yet to see it. I’m not sure what the whole plan is for the final project, but this is something I am very lucky to have a hand in. I’ll be sure to update here when I know more. If you can get a chance to see this piece of history, I’m betting that the images of Vancouver from one hundred years ago is a trip.

Podcasting and the Meta Argument

At BarCampVancouver, Ryan Cousineau[wiredcola] led a session called “Sturgeon’s Revelation”[wiki]. The idea that “ninety percent of everything is crud” was the center piece of this session, applying it to pretty much everything that exists in the world of Web 2.0[wiki]. The main topic of focus, however, was podcasting[wiki].

Darren Barefoot made a recent post regarding social networks and podcasting, citing that the resources are not there for the medium as there is for photo, video, or link sharing. This idea speaks a lot to what Cousineau was getting at with his session, and much of his thoughts on the topic is posted on his blog.

When it comes down to it, there is not an easy way to share content within a podcast unless you listen to it. You can’t Google search for information that can be found in a podcast. There are such things as show notes and tags that people apply to the material that they publish, but not everyone does it, nor does everyone do it the same way.

The only solution to this problem is to transcribe podcasts in their entirty so that anyone searching for a topic can locate it in your podcast as well as anywhere else on the web. Quite often, this is where people with low opinions about podcasting derive their argument, and I’ve heard this thought propelled by a lot of bloggers. Yes, blogging is a very quick way of publishing information for the world to read in nearly real time. It is instantly indexed, searchable, and archived.

Generating audio for a podcast can be done in the same way, but often is delayed and ineffective with being timely. The podcast itself, in its raw form, is a bunch of ones and zeros, and no one has developed a way to index the contents of a podcast so that it is searchable across the internet. No matter how great of material that you have in a podcast, some one finding that gem of information inside forty minutes of a mp3 won’t happen unless they download it and listen.

This is where I start to agree with the point that Cousineau is saying and the thoughts presented in Barefoot’s post. The conversation that you can get from podcasting is vastly different for the ones that happen through blogging, Flickr, or YouTube. “Feedback” is the better word for what goes on with a podcast. Continue reading “Podcasting and the Meta Argument”

Here, there, and I swear I’m forgetting something

This week has been full of various projects and events. For starters, the concert at the former home of Matthew Good is still having some ripple effects. More so, the podcast Rebecca and I did to document the occassion after the fact is still going strong in terms of downloads. It was the most downloaded episode that I have released in a single day, on the day that it was published. A lot of that is in part from Good linking RZ#109 that from his website. Can’t thank him enough.

The Flickr Vandigicam meetup was a resounding success, and it appears that many of the past meetups are just as much so. There was nearly 30 people who showed up for the Portrait Throw Down III, and Rebecca even got in on the fun[miss604:post] while I recorded audio for a podcast to released next week. Lots of really fun people and just as many pieces of camera equipment. Be watching the RadioZoom website for that episode on Tuesday.

Darren Barefoot also put a call out to Vancouver bloggers to go check out his play[db:post], Bolloxed, during the Vancouver Fringe Festival. I sent him an email, and he graciously put Rebecca and I on the list. Being that we’re getting in for free, Barefoot is asking that we blog a review of the play. Of course, I offered to do some podcasting about it as well. I’ll take the mobile rig along with, capture what audio I can during the play, and even try to get Darren, the playwriter himself, on the mic.

I also want to encourage people to check out the “Fringecast” that is being put on by It’s a podcast about, you guessed it, the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Darren sent me a quick note to also inform me that he’d be appearing on there.

I’m also in the process of planning a new podcast, and that’s, once again, another hint drop. We hope to launch the project in the next few weeks, but everything is still in the planning stages. Listeners of RZ won’t be too surprised when it does land, but the scope of the podcast goes a little beyond what many podcasts are doing. Keep checking back as we get things off the ground.

Needless to say, without having any source of income coming from anything of what I just listed, I’m keeping busy.

Recording with the Vandigicam group tonight

I was contacted last week on a podcasting request. This might be the first time that anyone has specifically requested me to do a podcast regarding a certain topic or event. Needless to say, I was excited at doing some recording during the Vandigicam Flickr group outing this evening for the Official Portrait Throw Down III.

Here’s some more info on the group:

Anyone is welcome to join the Vandigicam group and post topics and participate in discussions but we’d like submissions to the group pool to be limited to shots taken during a Vandigicam meetup.

The Vandigicam flickr group is a handy communication medium for those of us who are meeting through flickr. We post notices of upcoming meetings here, as well as notices of interesting events that are worth photographing.

We welcome ALL camera users – digital and analog! Vandigicam is not meant to replace the more general Vancouver group, it is just something extra.

If you’d like to contribute images to the pool please join us at one of our outings. We always welcome new members! [flickr: vandigicam]

Checking out the Vandigicam FAQ, anyone with any type of camera is invited to be apart of the group and attend their meetups.

My plan is to approach this in a similar manner as I did with the Metroblogging Vancouver episode[radiozoom#103] that I did about a month ago. With hope, no one will be too afraid of the microphone, and I stand a chance of learning something new.

And if you have any ideas about what I should be doing with the podcast, I am always up for ideas and suggestions. Head over to the RadioZoom site and let me know.

Beyond Robson is using some of my photos

My photo on Beyond RobsonWell, ok, as far as I know, it’s just one. Beyond Robson was looking for submissions for rotating header photos to run on their site, so I submitted a few shots.

As far as I know, they’re only using the shot of Sapperton Station[wiki] that I took some months ago. I have a bunch more from months back that I should upload to my Flickr. It’s just a matter of making the effort.

Still, it’s pretty sweet to have my something of mine featured on BR. Mark that as a first. Well, at least that I know of. Afterall, I did give my permission.

Give, take, and then you sue

Around seven last night, Rebecca was in front of her computer when she told me about an ongoing issue that Kris Krug was dealing with. It might not be so truthful to saying it has been long running or constant, but it quickly escalated last night. I’m incredibly intrigued by the situation, so allow me to explain a little.

Krug made this post back in February that details how Kevin Corazza had stolen photos on Flickr and claimed them for himself. In fact, the photos in question belonged to Krug, and when contacted, Corazza removed the disputed photo sets almost as soon as he was discovered. Then yesterday, Kris got a cease and desist from lawyers representing Corazza.

I checked out the post and went wandering around the photo sets of Kevin Corazza to see if I could find the disputed photos. That’s when I clicked the next picture to view only to have “kcorazza is no longer active on Flickr” pop up, big and bold in the middle of the window, all of this happening within a twenty minute time span.

This makes little sense, and it really pains me to some extent. I often run into the stereotype that Americans (Kevin Corazza) are quite content with pursuing legal action (suing) in order to get their way (money). You won’t hear me disputing this, and the whole situation at hand makes it even more apparent.

It almost makes me curious about getting Kris on the podcast to chat about this a little. The implications from this could fizzle or really try the creative commons license[wiki, flickr] that everyone falls under when they sign up and post on Flickr. There are some copyright issues to hash through on this one.

Update: This has made its way to Digg, and the discussion is getting very interesting.  Join the photo hunt on Flickr and see if you can match other people’s photos there to Corazza’s personal website.  Amazing…