Six quirks/habits of Raul – Meme November 24, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts.
Tags: friends, meme
I’ve been tagged by Keira-Anne, so here goes my response (sorry it’s SO late!)
1.- I follow exactly the same routine at night, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
– Check the doors are locked (outside and in my apartment)
– Brush my teeth and floss.
– Drink water.
– Choose my clothes for the following day.
– Go to sleep.
2.- In the past year, I’ve started to check my blogging Gmail BEFORE my personal or research emails. Yeah, I’m first a blogger and then everything else. Weird!
3.- I hate waiting for anyone to pick me up, so I’ll walk outside my house and stand there. I know, if you watch the water all the time will never boil. It’s painful.
4.- I lit candles in my apartment regardless of whether I have company or not. Sometimes I do it just for the sake of feeling calm and relaxed.
5.- I prefer to book slots of time for friends than to have a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of schedule. Makes my life somewhat complicated sometimes as I have a pretty active social life. And the tech community loves to do things in the spur of the moment (on Twitter!)
6.- I say “REALLY?” a lot. I think what I actually mean is “mmmmhmmmm”.
This time, I’m tagging people who may (or may not) expect me to tag them. I can’t tag Rebecca as she’s already been tagged, so here are who I’m tagging.
There you go! You didn’t expect me to tag you, did you? 🙂
Twitter and the bi-directionality of Web 2.0 November 23, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts, Twitter.
Tags: bidirectionality, friendships, Twitter, Web 2.0
While this week (and weekend) has been incredibly busy, I still managed to see Joe Solomon and Jonathon Narvey for a really quick coffee. Both Joe and Jonathon live fairly close to me, and we tend to hang out at JJ Beans. It’s such a cool coffee shop. They were there to play chess, and I just did a mega-ultra-quick visit to catch up with them in real life.
At some point in our conversation a couple of nights ago we discussed the bi-directionality of Web 2.0 and Twitter. I indicated that in fact I DO know many, many of my Twitter friends in real life, and that I’m actually friends with them. Karen Parker and I mentioned it to Shane Gibson at the recent Tweetup: our usage of Twitter is much more social and less business-oriented. Arieanna and Ianiv mentioned this point to Ianiv’s family one night when we were having dinner: we have been able to develop our friendship through the use of Twitter, because it keeps us connected even though we are in remote places.
David Drucker actually suggested this theme as a potential topic for Northern Voice 2009: how to stay connected when you’re far away (if you remember, I was away from Canada this past summer for about 1.5 months to attend a funeral and be with my family). Even though I wasn’t really in Vancouver, I kept my connections with my friends through Web 2.0 tools – Twitter, my blog, GTalk, Flickr, etc.
One element that Jonathon, Joe and I were musing about is the need for bi-directionality in Web 2.0. In the case of many politicians, their use of Web 2.0 was dismal. Broadcasting your very next move is not what Web 2.0 is all about. It’s about bi-directionality. You speak, I answer. You drop a comment on my blog, I respond (or I monitor the discussion so that I can jump into the conversation at some point). You tweet at me. I tweet back. It’s a 2-way street. I just hope politicians and newcomers to Twitter and the rest of the Web 2.0 applications can understand that.
Guest-hosted on Lip Gloss and Laptops Episode # 124! November 23, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere.
Tags: guest hosting, Lip Gloss and Laptops, podcast
You may remember that I have written about Lip Gloss and Laptops a few times before. L&L is one of the podcasts I do follow, not because I actually have a stake in the cosmetics industry, but simply because I enjoy listening to the conversations of my friends Airdrie and Kerry Anne. We became friends through the Vancouver tech scene, and I’m quite glad I met them as they’ve managed to bring a lot of positive energy to my life. And, as I mentioned before, L&L is one of the best podcasts out there.
Lip Gloss and Laptops is recorded in the home studio of the Millers, and for those of you podcasting/music geeks out there, YES, I have podcasted from the Inside Home Recording studio. Derek K. Miller, musician, podcaster, and friend of mine, is one of the co-hosts of IHR, so I could barely contain my excitement when I came by to record the show. And kudos to Derek for figuring out how to set up for the guest-host (normally, L&L and IHR have only two hosts, so the set up changes when you involve a third microphone and set of earphones). Geekiness, FTW! 🙂
Airdrie and Kerry Anne made my experience as a guest host a really pleasant one. I had had a rough weekend, so I wasn’t really as prepared as I would have loved to be. But I think the show went ok and apparently, from what Airdrie told me at the Vancouver Bloggers Meetup, the audience liked it. It was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. I’m not an expert in cosmetics, although I do know a lot about colognes. But having had experience with cosmetics when I did theatre and also, while going shopping with my mother, has taught me a lot. And it’s always fun to podcast with friends. This is my second time podcasting, as my very first one was during EPIC 2008 when I interviewed Adria Vasil for HappyFrog.
And if you want to find out more about what I talked about with Kerry Anne and Airdrie, go and listen to the podcast. RIGHT NOW. Ok, good. Now, let me know what you think 🙂 Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Recap of Vancouver Bloggers Meetup Nov 2008 November 21, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, Vancouver Blogger Meetup.
Tags: Vancouver Bloggers Meetup
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The great thing about knowing traditions and establishing them is that you can count on your friends to continue with them. It’s been a long-standing tradition that Jan Karlsbjerg writes a summary (recap) of the Vancouver Bloggers Meetup. This month, Jan follows up with the tradition, so I’ll just link to his awesome recap for the November 2008 VBM. I tried to do a little bit of a liveblog but didn’t work out ok 😉 I had a wonderful time though. Thanks everyone for coming!
One thing that I think Jan might have missed was the discussion that Shane and I had about potentially doing a large, combined Meetup.com. I am friends with the leaders of pretty much each one of the Vancouver relevant meetups that we all attend (Third Tuesday – Tanya, Real Estate Tech – Steve, Sales Performance – Shane, Young Professionals – Steve and Shane, Entrepreneurs – Minna) so I would think we could indeed do that informal, kind of end-of-the-year affair. Let me know if that would appeal to you all.
No Motrin Moms effect on CRTC’s decision on net neutrality November 20, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts.
Tags: Canada, net neutrality
The writers of an excellent New-West-based-and-focused blog, “10th To The Fraser” tweeted earlier this morning:
Where is the #motrinmoms effort for #netneutrality? Where’s the passion to put the same level of pressure on the CRTC as moms put on Motrin?
Sadly, nowhere to be found. Numerous (some of the best) bloggers in Vancouver and elsewhere wrote and tweeted about the Motrin Moms Twitter debacle (you can use Summize to find out about that discussion, I think the hashtag is #motrinmoms).
I have read a few blog posts and tweets about net neutrality and the CRTC decision, but not nearly as many as I’ve glanced at with regards to the Motrin Moms debacle. I admit that even I hadn’t really written much about net neutrality until recently, when Steve Anderson sent me a link to his site, SaveOurNet.ca
I completely agree with 10thToTheFraser’s tweet that it’s unfortunate that the same level of effort is nowhere to be found. This can be attributed to several reasons. Let’s pose a few hypotheses (no need to discount any just yet):
1.- Bloggers/twitterers don’t care about net neutrality.
2.- Bloggers/twitterers don’t understand the implications of Bell Canada throttling bandwith.
3.- Even if they care AND understand the implications, they have better things to write about.
4.- The impact of Motrin’s ad on moms worldwide is larger than the impact of net neutrality on Canadians.
5.- …. [insert your own hypothesis]
Why is it that when it comes to galvanizing people’s opinion, we seem to be unable to do so? This irks me to no end. I have undertaken scholarly studies of environmental mobilizations, and have found that, unless the issue at stake is of PERCEIVED vital relevance (e.g. toxic emissions in the vicinity of your neighbourhood), environmental non-governmental organizations fail to mobilize the public. Inertia and inactivity are just too easy. It seems that the same is true for social media. ARGH.
EDIT – Hat tips again to Rob Cottingham who pointed me out to this blog post of Michael Geist.
World Diabetes Day – November 14th, 2008 November 14, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: World Diabetes Day
Today has a bittersweet flavor, unfortunately. While it is one of my loveliest nieces’ birthday, it’s also World Diabetes Day. My Grandpa died of complications that the disease gave him. He was a strong man, he worked hard and was always an example for us. Grandpa was also one of the sweetest and kindest men ever.
Grandpa would stay up watching TV while I was doing homework, and would always ask me how I was doing and if I was ever going to sleep, given the long nights I put while doing my undergraduate in chemical engineering. He succumbed at the age of 86 and I still miss him to this day. Sadly, two of my Mom’s brothers are also affected by diabetes, so we (me and my brothers) are particularly careful to check our blood sugar levels all the time, and try to lead healthy lifestyles.
In 2007 and 2008, the theme of World Diabetes Day is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3% per year in children and adolescents, and at an alarming 5% per year among pre-school children. It is estimated that 70,000 children under 15 develop type 1 diabetes each year (almost 200 children a day). Currently, an estimated 440,000 children live with type 1 diabetes globally. Type 2 diabetes was once seen as a disease of adults but today, it is growing at alarming rates in children and adolescents. [World Diabetes Day website]
Two Vancouver bloggers have been raising funds for this worthy cause: Buzz Bishop (who is auctioning some stuff on eBay today) and Tanya Davis (who has organized amongst other things, a Comedy Night and a $500 prize auction). Both of them are going on Team Diabetes and will be running a half marathon. I admire their efforts and salute them for contributing to this very worthy cause. Please consider donating to their causes. Diabetes is a deadly disease and every dollar you contribute will help fund research that seeks to find a cure.
Upcoming events – Nov 16-20th, 2008 November 14, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, Green Drinks, Third Tuesday, Vancouver Blogger Meetup, Vancouver Sales Performance Meetup.
Tags: Meetups in Vancouver, Vancouver upcoming events
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As the Organizer of Vancouver Bloggers Meetup, I have absolutely no qualms in promoting my group and inviting friends to join us for some coffee and good blogging/geek talk. But this coming week is filled with events as well that I think are worth highlighting. I don’t think I’m going to attend all of them, but at least, a few of them.
– Vancouver Sales Performance – Comedy and Technology for Sales Pros at Ceili’s Pub – Nov 17, 2008 (Probably will recap this one)
– Third Tuesday Vancouver – Rebecca Bollwitt speaks on Building a Brand, at Granville Room – Nov 18, 2008 (I’ll be liveblogging this one)
– Vancouver Bloggers Meetup – I’m the organizer, so of course I’m going to be there! – Nov 20, 2008, 6pm, Gene’s Cafe (corner of Kingsway and Main) – I will do a recap, but doubt I can liveblog it.
– Green Drinks Vancouver – As usual, third Wednesday of the month. I’ve been to the past few ones and I’ve felt them really, really “networky” and less social than I have expected them. Sure, I’m on the job market, and sure, it’d probably help if I attended. But I’m feeling ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to do so. I’ll see how I feel by the time Wednesday hits.
Bridging the blogger world in Vancouver November 10, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: blogging, friendships, newcomers
A couple of weeks ago, Pat Zaph and I were having lunch downtown and we were talking about the fact that there seems to be like, two (or more) groups of bloggers in Vancouver. We kind of know OF each other but we don’t seem to know each other very much.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Danielle and Chad (with whom Pat hangs out on a regular basis), and I know that Duane has hung out with them too. But I don’t get to see them very often. We all read each other’s blogs but we seem to find little time to actually organize gatherings.
One of my goals as the Organizer of Vancouver Bloggers Meetup is to actually build more bridges amongst local bloggers. It’s part of who I am, and part of what I think my role is, both as a blogger and as an individual. I think I am a good connector. I introduce people to each other and connect them.
Even as an academic and an instructor, I’ve connected my students with potential universities for post-graduate studies or job opportunities. I’ve linked my fellow researchers with other academics in the same field. Why? Well, because for one, I know a hell of a lot of people. And I keep in touch with them, particularly using Web 2.0 tools.
Recently, while having lunch with Rebecca, she reminded me that there is a whole other world of blogs out there. I do hope that those bloggers who write about everything else but blogging (e.g. hockey blogging, religious blogging, outdoor activities blogging, etc.) feel free to engage and join our circles of friendship.
Whistler’s Cornucopia – Chef’s Luncheon Series with Anthony Nicalo November 6, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, dining out, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: events, food and wine, friends
My friend Anthony Nicalo (Farmstead Wines) is hosting a Chef’s Luncheon Series during Whistler’s Cornucopia. Admittedly, I’d love to attend, but frankly and honestly, I can’t, because I have a grant application and a grant report to submit over the weekend. But Whistler’s Cornucopia sounds amazing, and knowing Anthony like I do, I am sure the Luncheon will be outstanding.
Chef’s Table Luncheon with Anthony Nicalo & Farmstead Wines
Saturday, November 8
12:30pm – 3:30pm
Enjoy a luncheon highlighting local, seasonal ingredients with gourmet selections from around the world. Share ideas and cooking techniques, learning ways to get the most out of great ingredients. Exploring the connection between the farm and table will extend to the wine pairings, with a selection of naturally farmed, handcrafted wines. Guests will move beyond the rhetoric of 100 mile diets and experience the underlying principles for themselves. [Whistler Cornucopia]
Anthony is passionate about sustainability and its implementation within our food systems. While I wasn’t much of a wine addict before I met Anthony, he’s introduced me to some really good (biodynamic) wines, and I think that participants in the event will have an outstanding time.
I actually thought of Russ for this event as he just started a food and wine blog, and while we are at it, I should probably point you out to his blog. I’ll edit this entry once I obtain permission from Russ to link to it, his is a new blog precisely on the topic of wine pairings with food. Russ and Gus are good friends of mine and I think you’ll love both their blogs (Gus has been blogging for quite a bit already!)
Blogging milestones and upcoming events in November November 1, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts, Vancouver.
According to my WordPress dashboard, I have written 1,200 posts (one thousand and two hundred) [This doesn’t take into account the 162 posts that WP.com didn’t import] and my awesome readers have left 2,400 comments (e.g. 2 comments per post on average).
I seriously thought of taking a blogging break yesterday. Just ’cause. No particular reason. And THEN I recalled that there is stuff I want to say and get out. Today is the launch of Movember, today is Day of the Dead in Mexico, and today is also the launch of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
Thus, even though I really would like to take a break from writing/blogging, I simply can’t. There are events to cover and highlight, people to interview, political commentary to make, new restaurants to try and birthdays of two of my closest friends to attend. Hope you’re having a great weekend (despite the weather!)
Beyond national frontiers with Twitter October 12, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, Politics 2.0, random thoughts, Twitter, Web 2.0.
Tags: Elizabeth May, Politics 2.0, Twitter
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Yes I know I tweet. A lot. With over 9,000 tweets since April 2008, I have no clue how I have managed to actually maintain my followers. You are too kind! At any rate, while I was in Mexico I started thinking about following some people there but then I unfollowed them as I figured that I wouldn’t be staying for long and thus it was kind of pointless.
Through my tweeting, I’ve discovered that I now have followers not only from Canada, but also from the US, United Kingdom, Mexico, and that’s kind of neat to me. Because I sincerely think that Twitter should trascend domestic frontiers.
I know that I shouldn’t care about my stats but since I was asked to provide some metrics of traffic, I did a quick Alexa search and found out that about 30% of my traffic comes from the US. Nice! To be quite frank, I didn’t even think anybody read my blog in the US (seeing as the vast majority of my writing is fairly hyper-local, e.g. Vancouver). But I’m glad people do, and I’m glad I am able to provide some content that can have wider appeal.
On a semi-related tangent, I also have to say that I’m glad that Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party and candidate to Prime Minister of Canada) is interacting with her followers on Twitter (@elizabethmay). I was very impressed with the way she conducted herself during the debates, and I have several very close friends of mine who are friends with her (or at least know her very well).
Blogging, socialization and social media October 12, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a chance to talk about this topic with Kerry Anne, Arieanna and Lorraine. I’ve also talked about this at length with many other friends from the blogosphere, but more recently with the previously mentioned friends of mine.
You would think that, being in social media, bloggers would be VERY social. Some of us are (at least, I admit that I am!) but some are not all that much. I am an extrovert by nature, I get a lot of energy from hanging out with people. But not all bloggers/PR/tech people are like me.
For me, hanging out with people from the blogosphere is now kind of second nature. There are a few people online that I haven’t met in person yet, although Twitter and our respective blogs, and email do keep us in touch and thus I feel as though I’ve grown to know them (to cite a few examples — Mel, Barbara, Tania, Paul Hillsdon or Dan).
However, it is indeed rare that I don’t *know* some of the people whom I’ve befriended through my blog (in person, that is). I was going through my blogroll very briefly and noticed that, really, only very few of those people I haven’t met in real life (IRL).
I like to think that social media has given me an outlet to socialize, and while sometimes I do enjoy taking off my “blogger” hat and just hang out, have a beer, or go for a walk, have a coffee, or simply just enjoy birthday parties with my blogosphere friends, I have to recognize that it was through my blog that I met them, and for that, I’m very appreciative and grateful.
Canucks game: Calgary vs. Vancouver October 10, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts.
Tags: Canucks, hockey, Vancouver
Ultra-quickie post as I’m on a strict deadline. Once upon a time, I moved to Canada and discover that the national sport here is hockey. Admittedly, I’m not a die-hard fan of the sport, but I have grown to appreciate it. I had a chance to capture very few short glimpses of the most recent game, the Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames (Canucks won 6-0).
Luc Bourdon was honoured, the tribute was very heartwarming and I enjoyed the very little that I could catch. I often listen to The Crazy Canucks podcast and as I have told Rebecca, it’s been very educational.
I really think that in my Canadianization, I’m going to start having to go crazy about hockey. Lucky for me, I’ve got lots of friends both on the blogging/PR/tech community and my offline friends who love hockey, so I’ve got myself covered. Congrats to the Canucks on a well-deserved win!
Congrats to Rastin, Ash, and the RMD Studio on their new offices :) October 10, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts.
Tags: friends, office spaces
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My friends Ash Sanieyan and Rastin Mehr have new offices! Their brand spanking new digs are located in Yaletown. I have a deep appreciation for both Rastin and Ash both as software developers, social media gurus and friends, as they’ve shared with me numerous events (including my liveblog of Vancouver Joomla! Day).
Rastin Mehr Design Studio Inc. & Associates is an Internet Software (Web Application) Development company in the beautiful Yaletown district of Vancouver, BC, Canada specialized in developing Custom Content Management and Social Media Solutions using Joomla , WordPress, Drupal , and Ruby on Rails frameworks [RMD Studio About Page].
All the best and I’ll have to drop by for some coffee sometime soon! Their new offices are located at 109-1108 Homer Street (in the heart of Yaletown). Which means, there is a possibility for doing sushi or Mexican food for lunch/dinner sometime!
Tags: Ideas on Tap, tech community, Vancouver
I know that I had promised to do less events and stuff, but I really want to attend this one, and I’m hoping that by then, one of my biggest projects will be over and thus I’ll have time to participate. Rebecca (Sixty4Media) provided me with some background on what Ideas on Tap is, and quite honestly, I don’t think I should miss it, since I am now part of Vancouver’s tech community (or so I’ve heard!)
ideasONTAP became a mecca for startups and on the third Thursday of each month hundreds of tech entrepreneurs gathered to network and compete in the elevator pitch contest – 60 seconds standing on a milk crate trying to convince the crowd that theirs was the best company concept. Those were the days. With the dot-bust, ideasONTAP went in to hibernation. But no good idea ever dies.[Ideas on Tap]
This should be a very fun event, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve already registered, and should let you know that registration is free 🙂
Helping those in need – John Chow’s matching donations for UGM’s Thanksgiving Dinner and Rebecca Bollwitt’s Third Tuesday Food Drive October 7, 2008Posted by Raul in Blogathon, Blogathon 2008, blogosphere, charities, friends, homelessness, Vancouver.
John Chow does know very well that I don’t blog for money, but that I’m always up for joining forces when it comes to social media for charity and social change. Thus, I was very happy when I saw that John was engaging in raising funds for the Union Gospel Mission ‘s upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner on October 13th, 2008 (which by the way is a kick-off for Homelessness Action Week). John is going to match every donation made to the UGM dollar per dollar up to $ 1,000.
As you may all recall, Rebecca and Duane Blogathoned for the UGM, and their campaign received a big boost at the end of the campaign thanks to Matt Good. Their collective all helped raise thousands of dollars for the UGM during Blogathon 2008. The UGM is a really worthy cause and it’s great that all these awesome bloggers have raised funds for them, so I’d encourage you to do the same.
And while we are at it, please also consider contributing to Rebecca’s Third Tuesday Food Drive. She is doing this for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society , and I’d like to encourage my readers to donate non-perishable items (you can bring them to Third Tuesday).
I’ve been thinking of what can I contribute (in addition to highlighting the events and contributing with as little or as much money/non-perishable goods as I can) and I thought of throwing in a little something.
I haven’t yet thought of what else I can contribute, but I am guessing I could throw in a free, beginners, 2-hr salsa lesson for the largest contributor to both fundraising efforts — how’s that? Would people be interested in learning how to salsa dance? (I’ve taught this stuff already, so trust me, you’re in good hands). Or I could enter all participants who contribute to any of the two causes in a draw for the lesson?
At any rate, I would encourage you to contribute, remember, every bit helps.
Reminder – Comedy Night on Wednesday Oct 8th for Team Diabetes October 6, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere.
Tags: charities, Team Diabetes
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Just a quick reminder that the comedy night that Tanya is organizing to raise funds for Team Diabetes takes place on Wednesday! Please remember to register directly through EventBrite! It’s on Wednesday October 8th, at 8pm at The Jupiter Cafe. It’s for a good cause, raising funds for a cure for diabetes!!! More details on her blog, including a $500 cash giveaway!