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Twitter and the bi-directionality of Web 2.0 November 23, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts, Twitter.
Tags: , , ,

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.Β  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.


Bridging the blogger world in Vancouver November 10, 2008

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

My brother is engaged! August 26, 2008

Posted by Raul in friends, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: ,

Wknd Apr 5 2008 081

Well, technically not my blood brother, as I have only four of those, but HZ and I have been best friends for a long while, so I call him my brother. I’ve gushed about him several times on my blog πŸ™‚ He is funny, sweet, smart and a lot of fun to hang out with. Did I tell you how smart he is? Yep, he is VERY smart. He did a PhD in stuff that I would not even go near by (he’s an expert in energy and sustainability) – as you can see, between him and I we got it all covered, water and energy. I can seriously tell you that he is one of Canada’s top academic rising stars. AND he has always been there for me.

HZ lives in Vancouver with (his now fianceΓ©) CS, they’ve been together since Nov 2005 (about 2.5 years now), and lived together for about one full year. I’ve gushed about CS before, as her birthday celebration happened just recently (at one of my favorite restaurants, Bistrot Bistro). Well, so I opened my GMail the other day (relatively late as I had been out with Mom for breakfast) and I got an email from HZ telling me that they were ENGAGED!

I’m very, very excited for them. They make a really sweet couple, and I am very grateful for their friendship and look forward to the wedding. And in totally characteristic fashion for these two lovebirds, SHE proposed to HIM πŸ™‚ That is SO cool πŸ™‚ Talk about girl power! πŸ™‚ Congratulations to HZ and CS on their engagement! Now the question I have is… do you want me to liveblog your wedding? πŸ˜‰

Friendship is more than online connections June 25, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.

A couple of days ago, I had what I would say was one of the most fun times in a long while. While I have enjoyed many other events that I will be talking about in future posts, this particular one did remind me a lot of why I blog and how much I enjoy spending time with bloggers OUTSIDE the blogosphere. Rebecca and I met after work for a coffee, and while waiting for John, we sat down in a bench in Yaletown. We chatted about everything and anything, mostly about non-blogging stuff, and while trying to take a self-portrait photo of the two of us, I think I mentioned that my camera had video.

We found ourselves giggling incessantly for like 2 minutes. We were trying to film a serious “Hello there, this is Miss604 and Hummingbird604 and we’re in Yaletown” kind of video, but I have to admit that I succumbed to giggling and laughter. I had to cut the good times short as I was running to attend SteakCamp but as I was making my way towards the bus, I just relished the moment, and reflected about the fact that it’s those moments, when I am within friends whom I’ve met in the blogosphere, when I play Rock Band, or share a drink, when I sit at a coffee shop during a Vancouver Bloggers Meetup, when I have brunch at the Nice Cafe, when we try a different restaurant each time we have lunch, when I go to movies, when I am in a quaint little East Side steak-and-potatoes restaurant… those are some of the best the moments that I cherish. As I Tweeted a few days ago:

Blogging is what brought us together. It is up to us to maintain the relationships.

Thank you Rebecca. For everything that you’ve done for me on the blogosphere, but in particular, for your friendship and for such a great moment like the one I just described. Sharing a laugh with you is really, really fun. And thank you to all of you my good friends that I’ve made through blogging… My life is so much richer because I have YOU in it. You guys have reminded me that friendship is much more than online connections.