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HappyFrog.ca merges with 3rdWhale! November 22, 2008

Posted by Raul in environment, EPIC 08, link love, local business, social change, social media, sustainability.
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I recently learned about the recent merger of HappyFrog.ca with 3rdWhale from my good friend DaveO, but I hadn’t had a chance to write about it, as I’d been really overwhelmed with work. HappyFrog.ca was founded by Ron Williams as an all-encompassing directory-social networking resource for green businesses in British Columbia. The platform in and of itself is fun, and handy.

I have been a proud member of the FrogSquadders (I covered EPIC 2008 for them along with a great line up of local bloggers). I frequently guest-post in HappyFrog’s FrogBlog and they have given me great exposure in their newsletter as well. Funny how everything is connected in this world, I do know of the work of Boyd Cohen, the force behind 3rdWhale (although, surprisingly, I’ve never met him in person despite the fact that we both live within the Metro Vancouver area!)

I look forward to learning more about what 3rdWhale and HappyFrog.ca merged can do combined! One improvement that 3rdWhale’s page desperately needs is an “About Us” page. I am pretty sure that everyone wants to know more about how they came about and what they’re up to!

3rdWhale recently organized a PodMob (which I also promoted on Twitter), although truth be told, at some points I was overwhelmed with so much writing and talking about the podmob. The success of the podmob at Sushi Bento on Robson Street is in no small part due to the enthusiasm and positive energy of the people behind 3rdWhale, and I believe primarily it was Emily Jubenvill, who is “The Greenest Person in Canada”.

It’s great to learn about these new developments! Congratulations to HappyFrog.ca and 3rdWhale!


My new home is at The Network Hub! November 20, 2008

Posted by Raul in Downtown, link love, Vancouver, working spaces.
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Remember how a few months ago I raved about The Network Hub and praised their open office concept, their strong support of young entrepreneurs and the awesome series of events that they’ve been host to? And remember how I called it “my home away from home“?

WordCamp 2008 Vancouver
The Network Hub open office concept

Well, as of this week, my home IS at The Network Hub. I now have a working space in the third floor.

As indicated by their mission statements, they care more much about the idea than the entrepreneur’s age or resume.

The Network Hub was established 2006 after observations of first time entrepreneurs struggling to find fundings from angel investors and venture capital companies. The Network Hub is a special kind of venture capital firm and incubator that care more about your idea than your age, resume and your business plan. [The Network Hub]

The Network Hub has been incredibly kind and supportive with the social media/PR/tech community for a long while now. They’ve been our gracious hosts and location sponsors at numerous events: Third Tuesday with Joe Solomon, the RMD Studio/JenTekk Solutions/PeerGlobe Solutions/Tazzu-organized, first ever WordCamp Vancouver, and several other Third Tuesdays, as a matter of fact.

The Network Hub provides a variety of support services for entrepreneurs, including office space, meeting rooms, and a variety of packages that suit the various needs of different kinds of entrepreneurs.

Moreover, The Network Hub are the awesome hosts and location sponsors of the Vancouver Entrepreneur Meetup every third Thursday of the month, which Pete Quily (ADD Adult Coach) kindly made me realize earlier this month, collides with my proposed date for the Vancouver Bloggers Meetup. I’ll have to deal with that overlap sometime in the next few months! I am pretty sure that I can work something out, since I definitely don’t want to hinder the attendance of entrepreneurs to VBM and viceversa!

If you are an entrepreneur who needs to get your idea off the ground, you should seriously consider coming over and talking to Minna or John. Particularly now that they have expanded! The Network Hub now occupies both the first AND third floors of 422 Richards (between West Hastings and Pender). You can also contact them via email.

I can already tell that my productivity skyrocketed. Just as an example, in less than 2 hours that I was at the office yesterday, I did much more than I had done in the past two weeks! Furthermore, the tenants are great. It’s fantastic to be surrounded by that much brainpower and positive energy! And what can I tell you about Minna and John and the whole team at The Network Hub? They’re simply AMAZING.

So, if you’re in the neighbourhood (downtown Vancouver) maybe we can meet up for coffee or lunch sometime and I can also show you the new digs!

Theatre review – “The 21st Floor” at PAL Theatre (Coal Harbour) November 18, 2008

Posted by Raul in link love, local events, theatre.
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Image (c) Lyrics Stage

Photo by Wendy D. (c) Lyrics Stage

If you only see a play this season, “The 21st Floor” should be the one. Trust me on that one. Being a former stage actor myself, I have a very deep appreciation for well-created, solidly-developed, non-formulaic theatrical experiences.

The 21st Floor, a masterpiece created by Michรจle Lonsdale Smith in a harmonious and skillfully coordinated effort with the rest of the cast as an ensemble, is an examination of the lives of 11 residents of a Coal Harbour apartment building. These apparent strangers have their lives intertwine (and at times, collide) by virtue of being neighbours in the 21st floor.

Lonsdale Smith and the Lyrics Stage Project have made sure that the play is consistent with their core objective: to tell stories that are relevant to the people in the time and the place where the play is being shown. This six-month project saw the light just recently (November 11th) but you should totally run and see before November 22nd.

The 21st Floor” is an in-depth examination of the behavioral patterns of Vancouverites through the lenses of their domestic lives. What goes on in 2107 every night? Who is that blogger who broadcasts our daily comings-and-goings to the world?ย  And the most important question, have we lost the opportunity to create a sense of community by choosing to isolate ourselves within the confines of our apartments? Are the doors to enter our souls closed, as demonstrated by our choosing to close the door behind us and ignore what else is going on in the 21st floor? All of these are questions that I believe the cast was exploring throughout the play.

The stage design was phenomenal, as the stage manager recreated a full floor with different apartments (although we could very easily see through). I was deeply moved and strongly connected with the themes of the play. As you may remember, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, I’ve previously written about the sense of aloofness in Vancouverites and asked the question whether Vancouver is a toxic city.

“The 21st Floor” will definitely resonate with long-time Vancouver residents, and I strongly suggest you to take an opportunity to go and enjoy the performance. The actors are simply phenomenal. I can’t single out any particular one of them, as all did a wonderful job of portraying the characters they were assigned to play. At no point does the play feel cartoonish. On the contrary, it’s such a strong, lived performance, that I really, really want to go and see it again.

I had the opportunity to enjoy “The 21st Floor” thanks to an invitation by Simon Ogden, of The Next Stage Magazine and the Marketing Director of Lyrics Stage Project. Amongst a gazillion other things he does, Simon blogs about theatre in Vancouver and is very passionate about helping raise awareness on the world-class theatre we have in our beautiful city.

One thing you should know is that the show is rated around PG 13 as it contains strong language, scenes of violence, nudity, and sexuality, with some occasional loud noises.ย  The show’s length is 90 minutes with no intermission. But you won’t even notice. The play flows so nicely that you won’t need the intermission.

Performances of The 21st Floor run Tuesday through Saturday, November 11th to 22nd at theย PAL Theatre, 581 Cardero Street, Vancouver. You can reserve tickets online at www.ticketstonight.ca

If you’re not making a lot of $$$, you can go on Tuesday November 18th, as it’s “Pay What You Can” night. You REALLY, REALLY should go and see it. I strongly recommend it. And I do hope to have a chance to hang out with the actors after one of the performances, as I didn’t have a chance to do so when I saw the show. Everyone involved with The 21st Floor should be proud of their work. Maybe at some point, I might be able to participate in one of their plays (not in the near future, though! — too much stuff going on in my life)

UPDATE – You can check details on the UQ Events page!

Wednesday morning/Tuesday night link love roundup November 11, 2008

Posted by Raul in link love.

Olympic Village

I had been thinking of doing a “link love” roundup in a while, but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to have a theme or whether I just wanted to highlight recent posts, or especially interesting blog entries. In the interest of not thinking on a statutory holiday (today is Remembrance Day), here are a few items that I thought you should know of.

– The Fearless City is on Twitter now! They do amazing work with the Downtown East Side community. Do follow them here.

– Maktaaq provides us with an interesting post on primary data sources for investigations on World War I.

– Jonathon Narvey provides us with his predictions for an Obama presidency.

– Kerry Anne and Airdrie (Lip Gloss and Laptops) most recent podcast offers a chance to win a bottle of Sweet Obsession (sorry but that’s only for female readers). Totally self-absorbed comment – when I was studying chemical engineering, my parents bought me a different cologne every semester. I used Obsession for Men as my cologne of choice in the first year of my undergraduate. I love Calvin Klein colognes. And YAY! I got a shout-out from Kerry Anne and Airdrie while they were recording the show ๐Ÿ™‚ Gotta love Twitter (and yes, my signature cologne is Carolina Herrera for Men).

– Dr. Beth Snow is continuing with her historical series now focused on BC Premiers. The 8th Premier of British Columbia is depicted in this post.

– Arieanna gives a good tip for us BC residents who may visit Capilano Suspension Bridge. Check it out! On a side note, I kind of prefer Lynn Canyon and their suspension bridge myself ๐Ÿ™‚

– Via my friend Rob Cottingham, I found out that Social Signal has helped BC Hydro launch their new website, which is pretty cool. You can check it out here. Actually, the kind of work that Rob and Alex do is precisely something that appeals a lot to me (e.g. creating social media strategies for environmentally-focused firms). With my PhD training in environmental studies and all I’ve learned about social media, this kind of project is something I’d like to get involved in the future.

– I really enjoyed this very thorough and respectful post on Remembrance Day by VanCity Buzz (by their own admission, they tend to be kinda politically incorrect, but I like them and they’ve been always very respectful with me.

– I feel bad for not having written anything about Dia de los Muertos, but thankfully, Isabella Mori did, so check out her awesome post.

– I loved that Jen Stoddart posted about the upcoming cover of Vogue with Jennifer Aniston saying “what Angelina did was very uncool“. I agree. The worst part? It appears (at least the gossip blogs say so) that Angelina admitted that she and Brad had an affair while he was still married to Jen. If that’s true then – Not cool.

I’m in The Georgia Straight! November 5, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, friends, link love, personal life, Vancouver, Web 2.0.
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I may not be nearly as visible on the web as any of the top 20 most visible Vancouver bloggers, but I will never complain, because I have been fortunate enough to have the mainstream media cover my blogging activities (for example, the 24 hrs coverage of Blogathon and Buzz Bishop’s article where he mentioned my involvement as the organizer of Vancouver Bloggers Meetup). The most recent mainstream media coverage I have received is fresh off the presses, and it’s on The Georgia Straight, one of Vancouver’s (if not THE) most read weekly newspapers.

A few weeks back, Jeffery Simpson asked me if I’d like to be interviewed and I gladly accepted. In case you didn’t know, Jeffery wrote not only one, but two guest blog posts during my Blogathon 2008, and he has done really awesome work with Vancouver MetBlogs, so I was quite honored.

In Jeffery’s article for The Georgia Straight “Vancouver bloggers have their say in cyberspace“, Kate Milberry (a phenomenal analyst of digital activism, based out of Vancouver) is quoted. Kate has done research on the way in which activists use the internet to advance their agendas, and as a scholar of environmental studies, I have analyzed the behavior of environmental non-governmental organizations and their use of the Internet to disseminate information about toxic releases in their neighbourhoods, so in some ways, Kate’s work and mine have some parallels.

Jeffery also interviewed Sean Orr, of Beyond Robson/Morning Brew fame. While I haven’t met Sean in person, I do respect his work and that of many of the Beyond Robson writers (even if sometimes we do have our ideological differences, I think we all respect each other and the role we have in Vancouver’s blogosphere).

I really enjoyed Jeffery’s article and I hope you do too. Thanks for the interview Jeffery!

The Mr. Gay Canada pageant is this week September 16, 2008

Posted by Raul in link love, local events.
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Junn on Flickr.

Credit: Junn on Flickr.

I used to be a fan of pageants. If you wanted to test my photographic memory, you could have asked me the names and countries of each Miss Universe winner since the late 1980s up to about 1997. Right after the Mexican contestants lost very close races (with Laura Elizondo being a very worthy winner when Canada’s Natalie Glebova took the title) I decided to stop watching pageants.

But there’s a couple of pageants I still follow, and one I will be following closely will be the Mr. Gay Canada pageant.

The primary purpose of the Mr. Gay Canada (MGC) is to identify leaders who will take responsibility not only in his own community but on a global stage speaking out for equal rights. MGC is a positive role model and will work on humanizing being gay in the media both queer and mainstream.
PLEASE NOTE: The Mr Gay Canada Competition is a 3-day, indoor/outdoor series of events to help our judges identify a strong spokesman or Ambassador to tell the world about our mission. The Competition includes physical tests and interviews with a panel of international judges. Only 15% of the judging points are assigned to appearance, which means 85% of the points are for qualities other than appearance. [Mr. Gay Canada website]

There are some very relevant and note-worthy elements to discuss here, but there are two that I will just highlight here. First, the fact that 85% of the points are for other qualities. This is an important element for a competition amongst a stereotyped community. Queers, and particularly Vancouver queers are more often than not perceived (even by their peers) as being shallow and just focus on the appearance (six pack abs and perfectly manicured hands). So, this element is perhaps being brought as a way of legitimizing the contest.

The second element is the fact that the contest serves as a way to showcase the diversity of Vancouver and Canada. Why is this relevant? Well, because as you may recall if you’ve read my other posts about queer events and milestones, in other countries, being gay is a crime. In Vancouver, having a gay friend is almost as common as wearing an umbrella (given our rainy weather!).

The Vancouver delegate, Aaron Ursacki, won the 2008 Vancouver’s Next Gay Top Model. And you may ask yourself, how did I end up covering the event? Well, at Third Tuesday on a Monday, one of the promoters pitched the attendees and ended up giving the tickets away to the first person who raised his hand. Even though my dance card is full, and I’ve got events every single night of the week, this was too good a chance to pass, so I’ll be going there on Thursday. I am slightly shocked that they didn’t invite me to the Whistler thingy (given that I *do* indeed cover some queer events), but whatever ๐Ÿ™‚ But trust me, if they don’t link to my posts in their Media page, I’m definitely going to be very unhappy ๐Ÿ˜€

Upcoming environmental events in Vancouver – September 2008 September 9, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, Brew 2.0, climate change, drinks, environment, friends, Gastown, Green Drinks, Launch Party Vancouver, link love, local events, random thoughts, social networking, sustainability, upcoming events, Vancouver, wastewater, water, water policy, Web 2.0.
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Two upcoming events are rather relevant to me and both fall on the same day.

About the Community Sustainability Breakfast [Metro Vancouver’s website]:

Sustainability Community Breakfasts – Natureโ€™s Health Drink โ€“ Always on Tap
Wednesday, 17 September, 2008
from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM
British Columbia Institute of Technology
555 Seymour Street, Vancouver

About Green Drinks Vancouver Sep 2008 [Green Drinks Website]

WHEN the next regular Green Drinks is: Every 3rd Wednesday of the month (except in Dec and July) Our next event is on Sept 17th, 2008
WHERE: Steamworks pub at 375 Water Street on the edge of Gastown near Waterfront Station.
Please be aware that due to changing space availability we cannot guarantee we’ll be in the same room each month – if you can’t find us just ask Steamworks staff which room we are in.

It’s lucky that both of these events fall on the same day, and that I’ll be back in Vancouver by then! And again, I’ve got a full week booked (Brew 2.0, Green Drinks, Launch Party AND a special day!). Can someone please clone me? Thanks.

WordCamp Fraser Valley and coffee/snack sponsorship June 27, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, environment, geekifying myself, link love, sustainability, upcoming events, WordCamp, WordCamp Fraser Valley.
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On July 16th, 2008, a number of local, Metro Vancouver bloggers who use WordPress as their main platform will be descending on Langley’s The Cascade Casino (no, we are NOT gambling, just in case you were wondering) to present at WordCamp Fraser Valley, and according to the most recent update from BlueFur, they’re already at 33% capacity (and it’s not even July) so be sure to register, PRONTO!

At any rate, I found out that Gary Jones is looking for coffee and snacks sponsorships. Given that I work in the environmental field, ideally I’d like to see a reduced environmental footprint. One idea would be to contact local, environmentally-conscious producers to see if we can get some type of sponsorship (e.g. organic vegetable platters, or organic, ethically-traded coffee). I’ll see what we can do – I am sure amongst my readers there must be people who work in environmental issues and the food industry, so if you do (or know of someone), drop me a comment or send me an email.

Out and about with Raul on a Friday June 21, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, Downtown, drinks, Gastown, geekifying myself, link love, local events, social networking, Vancouver Blogger Meetup.
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Fridays are usually busy but this Friday was just a tad over the top. I think I spent more time with people in the tech/social media industry than I ever had in one single sitting. First, as usual, I put in a few hours of work, but also tried to do some blogging on the side, and chatted with my friend JT who is totally geeky and tekkie. However, my laptop screen was not behaving well, so I had to basically shut down at noon, which wasn’t all that bad since I had to go anyways.

I was invited by David Gratton to come by and visit The Donat Group. I had met Rochelle Grayson at a Tweetup and I read both David’s and Rochelle’s personal blogs, so it was a great chance to come by and see the kind of work that they do. I was shown a number of fun tools they develop, including SnipDev (for someone who is geekifying himself, there is no better fun than finding new ways to use technology to bring people together, which is one of the things that David, Rochelle and their group do). Good times.

Rebecca and I have been on a Mexican food roll, so we agreed to meet for lunch at La Casita in Gastown. Restaurant review forthcoming. I did miss a chance to hang out with Karen as our schedules didn’t match up, but I’m sure we’ll hang out soon enough. Since Rebecca and I were both invited to the Strutta party we ended up going there for a couple of beers (free booze – who can refuse that?). I had a chance to bug Jordan Behan about not following me on Twitter (jokingly), but now Boris Mann has created a mantra for me. See photo below (if you can’t read what the plastic glass says, it says “Follow Me on Twitter – hummingbird604). I took the joke in jest. As usual, I have LOTS of photos of the evening on my Flickr. It was good to see a lot of my fellow bloggers/twitterers/friends from the tech community.

Strutta Friday!

Unfortunately I had to leave early as I was meeting with AF, NM and RO for Rock Band. I am in love with this thing. Hat tips and thanks to Tanya for those Rock Band invites with a bunch of friends, because I am now totally hooked. Usually when I hang out with Tanya and friends, I do a lot of vocals but I’ve begun to be more comfortable with bass (although I only play as high as medium). I got home at 4 am. Great times! NM and RO are always really fun to hang out with.

And to close off, here is one of my favorite songs from the many that we played last night: Wave of Mutilation. Hope you guys are having a great weekend, because mine is really busy (as always!). Darn. And I thought I was going to be non-booked. OOOPS.

I guess I am in tech! June 18, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, geekifying myself, link love, liveblogging, social networking, Third Tuesday, Vancouver Blogger Meetup, VIDFEST 2008, Web 2.0.

I’m usually reluctant to say that I am in PR (public relations) or in the tech industry, even in social media (Web 2.0) because I still think of myself as an environmental specialist. However, lately, I have been faced with questions from friends that I have made in the blogosphere who have asked me directly “hey Raul, what’s going on in the tech world this week?

I guess that comes from my recent increased coverage of tech events, including VIDFEST 2008, Cossette Convergence 2008, Launch Party IV. Even the PR events (if you consider Third Tuesday a PR event) have a tekkie component! Thus, I’ve come to accept that yeah, maybe I am in tech.

Moreover, this only comes to confirm what my friend HZ has told me all along: every time I launch a new endeavour, I follow through fully! And again, a substantial hat tip and thanks should be given to ALL MY BLOGOSPHERE friends, but especially Miss604 – Rebecca Bollwitt, for helping me with my blog, for guiding me through a lot of stuff and simply, for her friendship. Thank you Rebecca.

Third Tuesday Vancouver with Joe Solomon – The aftermath June 18, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, link love, liveblogging, Net Tuesday, Third Tuesday.

I won’t bother recapping the actual talk, which was really awesome. Rebecca did a mighty fine job of live-blogging it and I did my best, so all you need to do is check our links for summaries/recaps.

I will, however, say that this was one of my most enjoyable experiences with Third Tuesday. I recognized lots of people, I was recognized by a lot of individuals and had a chance to hang out with friends I have made through the blogosphere.

We did miss some blogospheric awesome people who usually would show up to these events, including (but not limited to) Jonathon Narvey, Isabella Mori, Jan Karlsbjerg, Beth Snow, Rastin Mehr, Arash Sanienan, Dario Meli, John Biehler, John Bollwitt, Nadia Nascimento, Matt Kirkey, Jordan Behan, Luc Al, Maura Rodgers, Jenn Lowther. The list is quite long (these are just a few names off the top of my head)! We did miss you guys…

I was, as normally am, very snap-happy so I ended up snapping a few really good photos (tagged on Flickr with “thirdtuesday” and “Third Tuesday Vancouver” tags). I particularly enjoyed the chance to chat with people more on a one-on-one basis, since a lot of them only seem to read my blog and know very little about the man behind the blog.


Here is Joe in the middle of his talk

Third Tuesday Vancouver Jun 17 2008

I really like this photo of Tanya (superb organizer!) who just came back from a relaxing birthday celebration in Las Vegas! Welcome back, Tanya!

Third Tuesday Vancouver Jun 17 2008


I also liked this one from Monica Hamburg and Rebecca Bollwitt

Third Tuesday Vancouver Jun 17 2008

Thanks to Tod for doing such a great job of moderating the discussion, Joe for giving such a great, insightful and passionate speech, to The Network Hub [you guys rock!] and all of you who joined us for Third Tuesday!

Young People F**king and Pillow Talk – Sat Jun 14th June 11, 2008

Posted by Raul in link love, local events, movies, random thoughts, Vancouver.
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You may have read it on Rebecca’s blog as well, but I figured I’d contribute my grain of sand (that’s how we say it in Spanish). I received today an email from the organizers of Saturday’s June 14th screening & Pillow Talk of the movie “Young People F**king” (a Canadian movie that I will most likely go and see – although I’m fully booked on Saturday, so I can’t attend this particular event). The organizers are part of a non-profit organization called the First Weekend Club:

First Weekend Club is a non-profit organization that strives to build audiences for great Canadian films through grassroots initiatives such as special screenings, Q&As with talent, premiere parties, movie alerts and much more! First Weekend Club is a free cross Canada film club that encourages members to attend opening weekend screenings. Hence the name, First Weekend Club. [FWC website]

As it so happens, one of First Weekend Club’s Advisory Board members is one of my very favorite Canadian actors, Paul Gross. I want to see the movie not only because of Adam Abrams, Callum Blue and one of my favorite Vancouver actresses, Carly Pope (whom I have liked since Popular).

At first, I was somewhat taken aback by the fact that FWC wasn’t offering me free tickets to the premiere (something that every other Film Festival and/or movie premiere have offered me in the past), but I kind of understand what they’re trying to do – they are trying to make the opening night/weekend a financially-viable and successful event. Worthy cause, indeed.

Unfortunately, I can’t make it for Saturday, but I would encourage you all to go and then come tell me what you thought. I am an ardent supporter of Canadian film AND Canadian actors (especially Vancouver or BC actors – Callum Keith Rennie, Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Carly Pope, the Ashmore twins, Aaron and Shawn) – thus, you can rest assured that there will be indeed a review of YPF. I know for a fact that Beth has already seen it, so you can ask her what she thought…

Wednesday Link Love – Warm and Fuzzy Y’All ! June 11, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, link love, Vancouver.
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I had a really productive evening last night (left the office at 12.20am, just in time to make the last 99 B-Line!) and thus I’m feeling quite excited. Had breakfast already, on cup of coffee # 3 and glad to see that everything seems to be going ok in the blogosphere and twittersphere. So, here’s some link love (and in the case of some of the people I’m linking – your readership is probably bigger than mine, but always nice to do some linkage!)

Dabbler’s own Angela and Morten tell you all about the slanket! Can I haz a slanket, please?

– Next week seems to be the non-for-profit week in the Web 2.0 world. Kate Trgovac is moderating a panel on use of Word Of Mouth, and she’d like some input. Go, visit, drop a comment on her blog!

– Next week is also Third Tuesday, where Joe Solomon will be speaking about how to harness the power of Web 2.0 (which reminds me that I should write a review of KnowMore.org soon-ish!). And have I told you lately how much I love The Network Hub? I’m thinking I might even show up early just to get in a couple of hours’ worth of work!

– As a scholar and academic, I am always disheartened when I read about the depressing future of would-be professors. Kate attended the same week-long conference I did (but in another discipline), and she shares some of the sad thoughts that were passed on to her. *sigh*

– Susannah offers photos of many beautiful things on her blog, and one of her most recent posts has photos of… starfish! ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday Link Love – No Time Edition May 26, 2008

Posted by Raul in link love.
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Just had a scrumptious breakfast and I’m on cup # 2 of my daily coffee intake, and even though I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to blog this morning because I already have A LOT of content queued, I have been getting so many heads up, pointers and have so much stuff going on that I just figured “heck, why not”. Besides, I really couldn’t care less about Google Page Rank (which is calculated amongst other things through the ratio of who links to you vis-a-vis who you link). I am a firm believer of the idea that bloggers should support and link to each other (a view that many of my blogger friends share).

So here are some quick pointers for your daily read dose.

John Biehler, Ianiv and Arieanna, David Drucker and Pam, Lisa and a bunch of other geeks went to the Apple Store’s opening day. I was having migraines all Saturday morning (which also prevented me from Eat Vancouver and made me miss a coffee appointment with Jonathon Narvey), so I was not at the opening but I know there’s a lot of people who went and/or have previewed it (like Derek, and Duane for example). Hat tips to Miss604 (Rebecca) who has a stellar roundup of links to blogs who have talked about the Apple Store opening. Because she’s awesome like that ๐Ÿ™‚


– Via Rob (Kitsilano.ca) I learned about a contest that his blog is sponsoring. Win a package of Spanish lessons! To win, all you have to do is drop a comment on his blog. Since Spanish is my native language (hehehe surprised? Please don’t ask me why I blog in English), I really wouldn’t need to participate. But as a bonus, I’ll throw in a couple of coffee appointments with me to the winner so that he/she can practice his/her newfound knowledge of Spanish. How’s that?

– I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Degan has started her own food reviews blog (particularly focused on ethnic food). We might disagree (in the future) on some restaurants, but for the most part, Degan and I have agreed on every restaurant she’s reviewed so far (link is to her Salsa and Agave review)!

– On that note, Andrew Morrison from Urban Diner and I frequently disagree on restaurants we both have reviewed BUT I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Andrew and I have both agreed on at least one: Boneta – AWESOME PLACE. Finally! (Although we seem to also agree that Tequila Kitchen and Salsa and Agave are good). Boneta’s review forthcoming.


– I won a Flip Video Camera! In a contest sponsored by Reachd.com, I was the lucky winner of a Flip camera, so I’ll be heading over to learn how to use it this Wednesday. WOWZA!

Congratulations to MemeLabs for winning the PopVox Awards! More coverage of the VIDFest 2008 will be forthcoming soon


Erika Rathje is joining the 350 Challenge (350 bloggers in an attempt to offset about 122,000 pounds of carbon). Worthy cause, so consider joining and putting the badge on your blog. I’ll see if WordPress.com allows me to do that.


– Outstanding blog posts on the non-attribution of Flickr photos by CTV Toronto, posts written by John Bollwitt, and Keith Murray. (I am pretty sure I read a third local blog that talked about the issue but it’s not coming to me now). I wanted to ask Michael Geist (whom I live-blogged a couple months ago) about this issue, but never got around to it. BUT you’d be surprised to read that apparently Canada’s copyright protection is amongst the best in the world. WOW. If that’s the case, then why on Earth do Flickr photos keep being lifted without proper credit?

PHEW. That was a long link-love listing. Back to work for me.

[SIDE NOTE – I love the neighbourhood-centric blogs, the tech-geeky-centric blogs, the transportation-focused blogs, the enviro-blogs as well as the food-centric blogs. Sometimes I wish my blog had more of a theme, but since it is a personal blog and I write about my random thoughts, well, I will just have to live with it].

Need a soul-lift?… look at pretty pictures! May 21, 2008

Posted by Raul in friends, link love, random thoughts.
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There are a large number of things that just raise my spirits and make my soul feel happy. In particular, I love pretty pictures from talented photographers. Last Saturday, while we were having dinner, my friend Nomade Moderne mentioned that in a recent trip he had taken photos of … guess what… hummingbirds! ๐Ÿ™‚ *melt*

Thus, in honor of my good friends Arjana and Nomade Moderne, I’m going to send you to their Flickr streams if your soul needs some nurturing. Of course, since I am pretty self-centric, I hereby present to you some of my good friend’s recent photographs. And photography is just one of his many talents. I would pay a hefty sum to have the brain he has ๐Ÿ˜‰

Photo credit: Courtesy of Nomade Moderne.

Tuesday Link Love – High Pressure Edition May 13, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, link love, random thoughts, Vancouver.

Holy smokes, it’s 3.23 am and I’m awake. I’ve wanted to highlight some local happenings and provide a bit of link love but I’ve been so insanely busy (and yeah I know I said I wouldn’t blog and here I am!)

Nancy Zimmerman is engaging in social activism to stop the condos slated for 58 West Hastings. I know Nancy very well, she’s a good friend of mine and she is very socially conscious. So go to her blog and see what you can do.

– The always adorable and knowledgeable Monica Hamburg tells you that indeed, we’re all in this together.

– I need a new hairdo. I really do, and I’m not going to cut my hair between now and Friday. But if I had to, I’d check Tris Hussey’s Manscaping 101 (although no, I’m not dying my hair green).

Green Drinks is happening again on Wednesday May 21st. I *might* show up but it is not looking entirely good. I have Launch Party 4 that same night and I’m torn. I am an enviro-geek but now my world includes social media and I want to meet cool peeps like Jordan Behan and Maura Rodgers from Strutta. And also I want to see my usual crowd. But if I do to Green Drinks, I’ll be wearing a dark green, short sleeve shirt with my name in big letters (Raul) and I’ll be doing my job of “Green Greeter”. So you better be prepared for some aggressively friendly approaches from me ๐Ÿ˜‰

– The Tyee.ca is one of the best news source online, particularly if you’re Vancouver/British Columbia-focused. I almost woke up my neighbour laughing at their “Should I Friend my Mom on Facebook” story.

– Miss604 always manages to come up with great content, but this is perhaps one of Rebecca’s best entries IMHO. Blogging for hire? How much is your content worth? She poses the question in a very well-thought-out manner and it’s up to you to answer. I have my response prepared but that’ll wait until after Friday.

Mostly Lisa asks her readers about the value of university education. I am not ready to answer that question yet, but I’ve been amused by some of her commentator’s utterances. What is the value of education for you? You can double-dip (e.g. drop a comment on Lisa’s blog AND the same comment on mine). Actually some people hate the double dips in academia (e.g. that you publish the same book chapter in two different books). I’m not a big double-dipper, but I will repeat a comment in two blogs if need be. Just because I read over 70 blogs a day and I just can’t keep up with everyone.