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Not to knock any of the content, speakers, sessions, people I met, old friends I enjoyed seeing again, but I just have to say: thank-you VIDFEST for coming back to Granville Island this year. It’s one of the reasons why I think this conference is *extra* special. That, and the lack of the ocean of glowing blue bodies in the crowd from laptop monitor blasts and yes, more WOMEN! Fellas, wasn’t that nice? Lots of lovely ladies at VIDFEST. It’s a nice switch from the usual 10 to 20 per cent of the crowd that’s wearing a bra (or so I assume).

Best quote: “There are more people online than there are people in the world.” Grant McCracken (excellent name, btw)
Most shocking note: OMG – Impact Research spent what?! $150 THOUSAND dollars on a Facebook application campaign and got a mere 7,000 installs. Did I hear that right? Ouch.
Most enjoyable: The locale, the sun and the zu crew, what little there was for visiting hours.
Best new experience: Listening to Chris Anderson while watching him move around the stage in that slick, black suit.

I do have to duck out of VIDFEST early this year – the festival is still happening as I write. But I have a Slumber Queen to catch and a 3-day music festival that is rivaled by very little. Sorry VIDFEST, Michael Stipe and The Cure win this time around.

Follow the rounds of the festival over the last few days on twemes to get a snippet of all that shook down.

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I am quite certain there will be a decent amount of coverage on this year’s VIDFEST across the various channels.

Starting with the mobile, check out cellmap for mapping out your whereabouts and getting VIDFEST right onto your cell.

Moving into the internets (slash mobile to some extent), you can keep up with various bloggers and writers on the VIDFEST blog, or you’ll likely find VIDFEST coverage here here here here and here here here, and no doubt many others.

If you’re Twittering, don’t forget the tweme hash mark like so “#vidfest” for your fellow tweeters tweeting to follow and, uhm, tweet back? (what exactly is the correct cyber name for these bloody things? I stopped paying attention to all of the cute online naming conventions.)

I think you can still register… perhaps – even if it is just for one day or feature.

Enjoy the show!

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Yoga For Geeks
I decided to do this Yoga Challenge thing. I bought a pass at Semperviva last fall for 3 months and really enjoyed my (mostly) daily practice (Cameron rocks). I signed up to be on their mailing list. I don’t particularly like mailing lists and avoid them at all costs, but I figured getting a peaceful reminder of what yoga has to offer me this month is a lovely item to have in my inbox every so often. I got one of their notes last week about a 40-day yoga challenge and I thought I could use a bit of that. I’m on day six and so far, so good. My body hasn’t magically transformed, not even a pinch, but I feel absolutely fantastic.

I enjoy Yoga. I used to do more of it and have found myself wishing as of late that I did more of it – isn’t that always the way with the practices and exercises we all know will make us feel better in the end? That’s one reason for starting this Challenge thing: I want to do more. Or is it: I need more structure?

I lived in LA 10 years ago for just shy of a year and practiced yoga almost every day (you kind of have to in order to survive that town). That was when I realized that taking an hour out each day is a really good thing. Then running became my daily meditation, and still is on some days. I am one of those people who loves running. The amazing shot of endorphins is one reason, getting in great shape is another, setting a goal and reaching it to run a marathon is another. But more than anything I think it is the structure I crave. It definitely feels good to have a daily physical regime. I think it’s important to take time out, even though I don’t do it nearly enough and I am guessing not a lot of people do. If you all do, please tell me your rhyme or reason in how you do it and how you keep up! It’s not enough for me to just say, “I’m going to exercise every day this week”. I need a goal and I need some form of routine and structure to get me there.

Hence the 40 days I suppose. It kind of feels strangely religious, the whole 40 day thing. I guess that’s not a bad thing considering Yoga comes from a very spiritual place on the Globe and “place” in general and it’s the most spiritual practice I’ve experienced. (Sorry mum, those Sundays in a church pew for my entire youth just didn’t cut it.)

Best part about this challenge: it’s ONLINE! These beautifully-sculpted lovely ladies give you a zen hour online – from grassy meadows, flowing rivers and mountain vistas in Wyoming. I enjoy yoga studios like the next gal, but I am really enjoying the online yoga at home. It equals structure for me and I guess that’s part of it too.

So now that I am challenging myself (as are two of my pals: Go Kel! Go Glen!), the challenge is out there to anyone and everyone. One hour a day, at your pace, in your own time, online, all for you.

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vidfest-warrenMost conferences I attend or participate in, or co-produce for that matter, tend to lean a tad more toward the “geeky” type of affairs as opposed to the more creative. Working in social media and technology for the past several years, this fact is just par for the course and happens to be the kind of event I enjoy, much to my own surprise and even though some of the time those uber geeky topics and conversations are over my head. It is these conferences that have helped in convincing the rest of the world that being geeky is in style and they have assisted in bringing the affectionate term “cool geek” into the mainstream.

I definitely don’t rank in the cool geek stardom status. I can write *some* code and I built an entire Flash website from scratch, once. I was the art student who wished her ways of straight-A’s in math didn’t up and vanish from the left brain after Math 12. I love technology and everything fabulously geeky about it. I dream about better applications and how I could implement them, but I can’t build them. I think what I love most about technology is how creative it can be. I think that’s why I’m still here. What does any of this mean and where might you fall? Are you a geeky artist? Or an artsy geek?

vidfest-joshVIDFEST is the perfect answer for the creative geek and techy artist in you. This year will be my third consecutive year at VIDFEST and it’s one of my favourite conferences for this reason. It tends not to focus so much on the business of technology or creative content, but more on creative content and contribution itself – how creativity advances technology and how technology inspires us all to think creatively. It fuels my definition of inspiring. It’s the perfect equation, if you will, of techy and creative, where geek meets artist.

If you’re visiting the VIDFEST site in these last few days and hours before things kick off, wondering if you should attend, you should, no matter what side of the brain is urging you to. The official program alone is reason enough. But if it’s not, speaking from an artsy-geekish perspective: You will meet great people, you will have memorable connections, you will have fun, you will be inspired.

Photo Credits: kk+ and Mark Busse
xposted from VIDFEST Blog
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Listen to Motherhood Uncensored on internet talk radioLast week Blog Talk Radio featured an episode about photography and kids with “Taking Better Pictures of Your Kids”. The show featured Tracey Clark and Kate Inglis from the newly launched site Shutter Sisters, a photo blog full of passion and beauty in imagery and words, giving away their tips and tricks in photography. Inevitably, a question from a listener came up about online privacy and the security of posting pictures of your children online. The show’s host, Kristen Chase, refers to Kinzin as a great choice if you’re looking for a private, niche network, to securely post photos of your kids, saying:

“… there are a bunch of really great private websites out there… called Kinzin.com and they are invitation-only access”.

Kate goes on to mention some of Michael Fergusson’s thoughts on online safety in photography: to say the internet is inherently bad is the same to say that kissing is inherently bad because it can spread disease. True enough. You can listen to the show on Blog Talk Radio in its entirety. (The Kinzin mention comes at about the 22:00 minute mark of the show.)

It’s a pretty good show and has a lot of useful content to share from both the experts in the community, the host and from participating listeners around the Internet.

Websites like Shutter Sisters and Kinzin are those special, niche networks that people are gravitating toward more and more. I’m not tired of Flickr (far from it) or Facebook (god forbid) but quality on the Internet has become more and more apparent and absolutely essential, and these specific spaces online thankfully provide me with a rich user experience.
(xposted from Kinzin Blog, with some add-ons)

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xposted from Bridging Media

Vera's Burger Shack Caters to Bridging MediaIt’s the day after Bridging Media both Erica and I are thrilled how it all came together and that the day was received so well. About 150 people turned out, a mix of digital media professionals, Producers, Broadcasters and a few newbies as well. While my photos are coming soon (Flickr Tag “bridgingmedia” please), and more posts to be written on the summary and the all important future growth this beast, you can listen to all of the sessions, courtesy of Robert Ouimet, and can read the Live Blog of all four sessions from Rebecca Bollwitt – thank you for putting in the time, energy and efforts capturing the day. (And thanks to John as well, for snapping some pics!)

There were a LOT of people who helped out to pull this off. Sponsors, organizers, speakers, participants, attendees, all of those people that just randomly stepped in to help out where needs: Thanks to ALL of you!

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tamk flickrYou ask and you shall receive :)

These Are My Kids launched about a month ago, and there isn’t a day that goes by when the team on the back end of things, the crafty Kinzin coders, are not looking for more ways to improve the application for you.

Kinzin is all about connecting family and friends. And not just online, which is why this latest application was created in such a way that you, the content creator in your family, will be able to subscribe your grandmother to your social network via the post! And people like her, who don’t have a computer or who would rather not play online (or Facebook as well), can be a part of your virtual network.

Some of the more savvy users who use and love These Are My Kids were looking forward to a Flickr upload feature inside the app. So Kinzin has gone and made that possible for you! You can now browse your photos from Flickr, your Facebook albums or your own computer. You can bring all of your Flickr Sets right into the application, and they will remain there, adding to your bank of photos to choose from when uploading an image into your kids’ pages. When you create more sets in your Flickr profile, you can refresh your Flickr sets in These Are My Kids with a click of a button.

This was a pretty vital step and one that was intended from the onset in building this application. For people like me, I have been using Flickr for a few years and have almost 100 sets and 4000 photos, so this feature was one that I am very happy to be able to use. (I use Capo as my kid. No, he doesn’t wear a “jacket” when we go out, and no, he does not have rhinestones on his collar – it’s just fun to play in the space with the latest on what this dog is up to because I, too, want a history of my dog’s life.)

These Are My Kids is the tool that makes capturing your kids’ lives and recording their history a snap. Kinzin’s goal has always been to enable the user to do this with great ease and in a seamless process. By tapping into networks like Flickr and Facebook, Kinzin makes life a little easier and saves you a little time, something the Kinzin family knows we all need a little more of!

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MDM at EAIf you haven’t heard already, there happens to be this school over here on the Great Northern Way Campus that’s making some rather large waves, to say the very least. I am fortunate enough to be a small part of it. I’ve been at the school for a few months now, brought on board working with the students and faculty of the Masters of Digital Media program – a top drawer digital media grad program – to implement a social media strategy for the school’s online presence. Fun stuff. Plus, everybody here at the school are wonderful people to work with: smart, savvy, fun, creative, and let’s face it: the future.

Just to give you a brief sense of the kind of work and events happening at the school, I’ll highlight this week for starters.

Alan LevineAlan Levine is in town for Northern Voice, and today he paid the school a visit to talk about web technologies and Second Life – it was a fun hour. The NMC, New Media Consortium, pretty much sums up what a lot of us are trying to do: “The NMC stimulates and furthers the exploration and use of new media and technologies for learning and creative expression.” – couldn’t have written it better myself.

One of the school’s students, Mike Cornford, is down at the GDC (Gaming Developers Conference) in San Francisco, blogging up a storm! One of our goals at the school was to have the blog for the site up and running so that we could have first-hand reporting from the conference. Mike has never blogged a day in his life until now: and he is GREAT at it (and, big surprise, loves it) – please read the GDC through his eyes and ears, and words. It’s truly refreshing.

shortlisted for a WebbyAnd in fine social media way – get those who are online, offline. Some of the students at MDM are heading to Northern Voice – so look for them, say hello and ask them to tell you all about what is happening at the school. You’ll be both impressed and proud. Lest we forget: Vancouver’s Centre of Digital Media is THE only place on the planet to attain a Masters in Digital Media.

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centre for digital media“Help me help you.”

Bridging Media is a new event that Erica Hargreave and I are organizing for March 29th, 2008.

To register, please visit the Bridging Media event page – we have a limited space for numbers, so head on over there and stick your name up.

What is Bridging Media?

In a nutshell, over the past 6 months, Erica and I, along with Kris Krug and Boris Mann, have had numerous conversations and brainstorming sessions around the continuing disconnect and gap between the broadcast and digital media worlds. This is an area in which Achilles Media has been involved for a number of years, as nextMEDIA has had huge success in Banff and is the sister conference to the Banff TV Festival. So we reached out to Mark Greenspan at Achilles and he was more than happy to get behind this event here in Vancouver as a “friend of the event”. Mark also suggested we use this event as a platform to help shape ideas and Banff’s pitching competitions – he’s absolutely right.

The Centre For Digital Media has also come on board as a major sponsor as the host of the event. They have graciously offered their amazing space “The Hanger” to house our inaugural event.

We’ve just begun the plight to take this idea and make it into a bit of a beast (we hope). So far we have had a pretty tremendous and supportive response. We are on the hunt for sponsorships, will be shaping and finalizing the speakers list over the coming weeks – and we always welcome more people-power – Gregg Scott just stepped up to create our logo – thank-you Greg!

Sign up for Bridging Media now!

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If you’re not already.

This week in Vancouver, er, Techcouver, is pretty jam-packed. All great stuff, some of which is already happening as I type. (As I relish in the only “free” time this the week (NOT complaining), with my wine, meat and our Canucks.)

Get your stamina and come out to each and all and support this unbelievable tech town. Or, you can read about them. At least pick one of the freebies! And if that’s not enough, there is PLENTY more up and coming in the weeks and months to follow…

  • Third Tuesday Vancouver – doh! you missed it. Check in for next month – always valuable
  • QuickLearn, also happening right now, but you’ll hear more about this, and so you should!
  • CaseCamp at the new lamplighter: Cinci from EATcomm has given new life to this marketing beast
  • Northern Voice Opening Party! – deserves it’s own bullet point
  • MooseCamp: step one on NV
  • Northern Voice: in its’ 4th year and sold out for the 4th consecutive! Don’t miss it, online, if that’s all you’ve got.

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