Blogging in 4 places…

February 14, 2009 at 8:58 pm | In victoria | 2 Comments

Just a note to let everyone know that in addition to this blog and the blog for MetroCascade, I also occasionally blog for the MetroCascade events blog, and I recently – since 2/11, making good on a long-standing promise – started blogging at Vibrant Victoria’s blog.

Someone has to do it. There are so many great conversations on Vibrant Victoria‘s forum, and I’m hoping that my blog posts will drive readers who are curious about Victoria happenings to the forum. Hence my posts simply point folks to the day’s active thread(s).

Don’t count on me, however. If you’re interested in what people are talking about when it comes to Victoria, it’s a better idea if you check the forum out for yourself.

Victoria BC on Vimeo Videos

February 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm | In scenes_victoria, victoria | Comments Off on Victoria BC on Vimeo Videos

While searching for Victoria, BC-based tweeples a little while ago (wondering if MetroCascade should eventually integrate Twitter streams and/or other media) I saw a pointer on Will Wilkinson’s stream to his ~3min. Night Drive video, which he posted to Vimeo. (In a very Victoria “two degrees of separation” scenario, it turns out that Will is in my daughter’s class at school, and that he’s the brother of Andrew Wilkinson, who demo’d his latest venture at our last DemoCamp in October 08. Small world…)

Anyway… Will’s video is a lot of fun to watch if you know the city – it takes you from Oak Bay (the municipality), down Oak Bay Ave., past “the Junction” (that’s where Oak Bay Ave. ceases to exist and meets up with Fort St. and Pandora Ave. – and Johnson St. just a bit further down). He continues down Pandora, past the Johnson St. merge, past the Conservatory, past City Hall and A-Channel, into Old Town, before turning left at Wharf to head to the Inner Harbour area/ Belleville St. I really like the editing (speed) and soundtrack here.

After watching this, I searched for additional Vimeos tagged with “Victoria, BC” (again, thinking ahead to how these might be integrated – eventually – into MetroCascade) and came up with a couple worth mentioning.

(Side note: They mostly feature guys – young guys – in the active roles. Not sure why that is…)

So: check out vicwest by warrenfosterphoto – this one is amazing, it was shot at the skatepark in Vic West, a Victoria neighborhood just on the other side of the Upper Harbour, across the Blue Bridge (Johnson Street Bridge). (Full disclosure: I don’t think I could skateboard to save my life, so I watch the antics with fascination, envy, and …well, horror.)

Also related to the skatepark – which has a bike section, too – there’s Island Jam posted by Brydon Sudds. In this one it’s all guys (again) – they’re on funny little bikes that appear to impart superhuman skills to the riders.

Twenty-three seconds of last year’s gregarious Pride Parade were captured and posted to Vimeo: this one is fun to see because it reminds us of how sunny and just …nice it will be in a few months. (We’ve had an unseasonally cold winter – at least it seems that way – and while the tulips are pushing their way through dirt, and some of the ornamental fruit trees are starting to bloom, it’s still bloody cold, afaic.)

Speaking of unconventional dress (of which there’s always a lot in the Pride Parade), Tom Williams (CEO of GiveMeaning) shops for women’s high heeled shoes at Freedman’s, gets a pedicure at Spa Sereine (both on Government St. downtown), and heads up a parade to benefit the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre. See A Mile in Her Shoes by Red Pilot Media. The parade starts at Centennial Square on a weekend morning, and it all looks pretty deserted (except for the participants’ presence), but they raised ~$11K, not bad at all.

Finally, Project GreenScreen posted a cool “how to become a youth volunteer” video, Volunteer Victoria – The YouthCore Virtual Tour, which features some outside footage, although most of it is shot inside the Central Building on View St. between Broad and Government Streets. (In another “two degrees of separation” moment, the cameraman for this video is almost certainly Joseph Boutilier, who I know, and who ran for Victoria City Council last fall. He and Simon Nattrass were the youngest candidates ever, but among the brightest and best. Neither one was elected – maybe next time.)

Ok, I still don’t know how/if the extra media can/will ever be integrated into MetroCascade, but there’s lots of it out there…

Blogging in 2 places…

February 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm | In local_not_global | 4 Comments

What was going to be a brief blog post on our “company blog” in praise of our first signed-up user ended up speculating on new media, local politics, broadcasting, and people-to-people interaction (mediated by …well, new media, in particular social media).

So go read it, if so inclined. It’s called Thereness is a people thing.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

February 8, 2009 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

MetroCascade Victoria: see, read, do

February 6, 2009 at 11:18 am | In local_not_global, victoria | 2 Comments

Whoa, it’s up…!

Announcing the soft launch of my baby, what I and my partners have been working on: MetroCascade, the local news aggregator for Victoria, BC.

The site was up a while ago, but now it has a great new look, much of the behind-the-scenes work is done, and the upfront work can begin in earnest: populating the site with more content by finding additional local bloggers for the “read” cascade; getting the “see” cascade going by tapping into all the amazing local photography talent; and inputting events data into the “do” cascade.

Oh, and working on MetroCascade’s own blog…! 🙂 Every start-up is supposed to have its own blog, right? (Somehow, we’ve sort of neglected that…)

What does MetroCascade do? The main “cascade” is the Read cascade, in the middle: that’s where we aggregate local bloggers and local news, all on the Google model (i.e., you the reader get a link that sends you away, to the blog or news page). On the left, there’s the See cascade, which right now is unfinished, but will feature local photographers – again, “google model,” you get a thumbnail, click on it and it’ll send you to the photographer’s site (could be Flickr, Picasa, GPhoto, or another photo service site, or could be their own website). And on the right, there’s the Do cascade, which will be our events calendar. Believe it or not, there’s a lot to be put into the Do cascade – Victoria has plenty of events – and venues. We’re still working on getting that up and running; right now I think it’s going to depend on some inputting of data by hand, but soon many venues will be automatically included.

So, in short: the Read cascade is the most “populated” right now, and of course we’re still looking for more content. The See cascade should be coming along really soon, as should the Do cascade. It’s our soft launch, and slowly but surely we’re going to get a solid content build-up.

This is for you, Victoria: show yourself to yourselves, all of your selves.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

February 1, 2009 at 2:30 am | In links | 2 Comments
  • Christopher Hume asks if Torontonians (living along the largest river in Egypt?) can learn to love it – winter, that is. What I find particularly useful are the suggestions for …urban winter stations (for want of a better name). See highlighted bits.

    tags: thestar, christopher_hume, toronto, winter, urban_amenities

  • Mark Gorton, software entrepreneur, turns to urban planning (transportation, specifically), using opensource to revolutionize planning.
    You might call it a “P2P-to-people” initiative — these efforts to make cities more people-friendly are partly funded by people sharing files.

    That’s not the only connection between open-source software and Gorton’s vision for livable cities. The top-down culture of public planning stands to benefit by employing methods he’s lifting from the world of open-source software: crowdsourced development, freely-accessible data libraries, and web forums, as well as actual open-source software with which city planners can map transportation designs to people’s needs. Such modeling software and data existed in the past, but it was closed to citizens.

    Gorton’s open-source model would have a positive impact on urban planning by opening up the process to a wider audience, says Thomas K. Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, an organization that deals with urban planning issues in the New York metropolitan area.

    “99 percent of planning in the United States is volunteer citizens on Tuesday nights in a high school gym,” Wright says. “Creating a software that can reach into that dynamic would be very profound, and open it up, and shine light on the decision-making. Right now, it becomes competing experts trying to out-credential each other in front of these citizen and volunteer boards… [Gorton] could actually change the whole playing field.”

    tags: wired_magazine, mark_gorton, open_source, local_government, urbanplanning, cities, limewire, transportation

  • Interesting docu-project by Richard Howe: photographing every street *corner* in New York City.

    tags: nyc, photography, richard_howe, street_scape, usage

  • Excellent resource on urban forests, benefits thereof.

    tags: rubbersidewalks, trees, urban_forest, reference

  • Article about American Solutions, “a national grassroots group based in Washington, DC, that was founded by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich but describes its Internet effort as nonpartisan, is preparing to launch a site that will, at first, allow people to enter basic contact information on all local officials. Then future users can enter their full nine-digit zip code to find the local officials who represent them.”

    tags: wiki, local_government, open_source, politics, mit_techreview, american_solutions

  • Danteworlds, an integrated multimedia journey–combining artistic images, textual commentary, and audio recordings–through the three realms of the afterlife (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise) presented in Dante’s Divine Comedy. The site is structured around a visual representation of Dante’s worlds: it shows who and what appear where.

    tags: literature, dante, multimedia, classics, learning, texas_university

  • From Wallflower dispatches.

    Note: no overhead power lines. Yay. (And this photo is from 1927…!) Also: no trees or plants on boulevard …hm. Not so yay?

    *But* – people put flower pots and plant baskets on their window sills. (Not visible in this picture, because it’s obviously not spring or summer; the subject is wearing winter clothes.)

    Greenery in the city: did the individual “green” her city first?

  • I was born in Duesseldorf’s Altstadt (Old Town), at home in an apartment house that looks like any one of the ones pictured here. There is a park across the street from 1 Bergerallee, and the Rhine flows nearby, flanked by a promenade/ park. But Bergerallee also has no trees or greenery, except for what residents provide in pots. It’s nonetheless more than tolerable.Note the wide, wide boulevards, perfect for summertime street furniture, cafes, children playing. How did Sander catch the city so deserted-looking, I wonder…?

    tags: photography, memoir, duesseldorf, berlin, august_sander

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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