August 3rd, 2011, Comments Off
I know this site has gone on kind of a summer hiatus, but I do have some thoughts on how to revive it to a level of at least one compelling post a week. In the meantime, I’ve been doing plenty of professional and personal writing elsewhere online. Here are a few recent items:
- What is Movement Marketing? – “Whether we’re selling snow tires or stopping climate change, word of mouth is a critical aspect of communicating not only with your current ‘tribe’ of supporters, but also for recruiting new members to your cause. ” We’re working with the excellent folks at Biro Creative on a number of projects these days. One aspect of that work is collaborating on some writing projects.
- Escapism For Canada’s Brunettes – “Her boyfriend, shirtless under an apron, greets her from the kitchen, where he’s cooking breakfast. He is ridiculously handsome, and has underwear model abs.” This is a look at “Being Erica”, my favourite new Canadian TV show I’ve discovered as part of my One Year, One Canadian project.
- Doing the Blogger Outreach ROI Math – “When I’m doing online outreach…I’m interested in two things. In the short term, I want to drive high-value visitors to my client’s site. In the longer term, I know a link will help continue to drive visitors, and improve their SEO ranking.” Really only of interest to online marketers, but it’s a post I wrote on Capulet.com in response to something I read on Kerry’s blog.
July 10th, 2011, Comments Off
If you’ll indulge me, here’s a mish-mash of announcements, giveaways, entertaining links and other minutia:
- This Friday, I’m going to be telling a story at Rain City Chronicles. It’s a local storytelling series in the style of The Moth. If you don’t know The Moth podcast, give it a listen, it’s superb. This Friday’s event will be at the Museum of Vancouver, and admission includes access to their Bhangra.me exhibit.
- My friends the Giant Ants, of Giant Ant Media, are looking to sublet their excellent Gastown office space for a year, as they’re moving to a larger space. It’s about 750 square feet at 319 West Pender St. Here’s a photo. Contact me if you want to know more.
- Want to win a trip to Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories? We’re doing some work with CPAWS and Parks Canada on a contest aimed at building Canada’s first national parks bucket list.
- Over at my One Year, One Canadian project, I’m giving away a laptop stand.
- One movie I can’t watch (because it’s Danish, and not Canadian) but would like to this year is Into Eternity. It’s about the long term storage of nuclear waste, which sounds incredibly dull, but is actually a fascinating thought experiment. It seems inspired, at least in part, by something called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. I wrote about it back in 2007.
- Two interesting pieces on the state of journalism from Kai Nagata and Clay Shirky. My favourite line from the Shirky piece: “markets supply less reporting than democracies demand”.
- And finally, cat pants.
April 10th, 2011, 13 Comments »
This is a rare cross-post from this year’s side project, One Year, One Canadian. April is the month I add movies and TV to the list of consumables which must be Canadian.
Now we are getting serious.
Finding Canadian-made household goods has been a challenge, but switching toothpaste and deodorant is, by any standard, pretty much a foamy latte problem. The subsequent months–clothing and investments–have proved interesting distractions more than anything. There’s plenty more to learn in all three categories. However, April is where, to reference a famous American movie, the speeder bike hits the redwood tree.
I love going to the movies. Attending a weekday matinee by myself is one of the sweetest joys of my self-employed life. And I go to a lot of movies. In 2006, I saw 61 films in the cinema.
How many of those were Canadian? None, I’m afraid.
That’s not because I hate Canadian movies. There simply aren’t that many to see in the cinema. At any time in Vancouver, there are zero to one Canadian movies showing in the theatres. Those that are shown are often “good for me”–they’re the granola of movies. I don’t mind these movies, but it’s always an extra effort to go to them.
So, switching to only movies from the Great White North is going to be a sacrifice.
Everything Night in Canada
I don’t actually watch that much television. I’m an ardent Canucks fan, so I see most of their games. I also watch the occasional English soccer game.
After that, though, I download nearly all of my TV. Those shows are either middle-brow dramas like “Dexter” or “True Blood”, or middle-brow comedies like “Community” or “30 Rock”.
Am I loyal to any Canadian television dramas or comedies? Nope. Is that because most Canadian television can’t compare to the best American shows? I’m afraid so.
The saving grace, at least for a few months, is hockey.
In discussing this month, people have been interested in talking about the rules. How will I identify Canadian movies and television? Does Battlestar Galactica qualify because it was shot in Vancouver with a bunch of Canadian actors? Is Juno Canadian because it’s directed by and stars Canadians?
Others bring up the Canadian Content question. Will I just refer to the CRTC’s list of approved programs? I looked into the qualifications for CanCon Television (the CRTC doesn’t oversee movies), and the requirements are pretty byzantine. Here’s the summary provided on their site:
- The producer must be Canadian and is responsible for monitoring and making decisions pertaining to the program
- The production earns a minimum number of points based on the key creative functions that are performed by Canadians
- A minimum percentage of program expenses is paid for services provided by Canadians or Canadian companies
I could go the CanCon route, but there’s actually a simpler criteria. It’s like that old maxim about pornography: we know it when we see it. Danger Bay? Canadian. Battlestar Galactica. Not so much. One Week? Canuck. Juno? Nice try.
That approach may seem overly simple, but I think it’ll work just fine. What do you think? Do I need a more sophisticated approach than “Canadians can spot a Canadian production a mile away”.
13 Comments »
March 7th, 2011, Comments Off
A quick post to cover off a few things in my orbit:
- After four or five years of indifference, we launched a new version of Capulet’s website, designed by our friends at Giant Ant Media. I wrote a blog post over at Capulet’s dusty blog about the relaunch. It features some in-progress sketches, and our thinking behind the site’s aesthetic.
- I’m making slow but steady progress in my plan to live Canadian in 2011. My current search is for Canadian-made shoes, both of the running and hiking varieties. There was a piece about the project in the Vancouver Sun today. The photo is rather undignified.
- I stepped back from the Northern Voice organizing committee this year, but I’m helping to organize the Non-Profit Expo that we’ve held for the past couple of years. We run a kind of small trade show for non-profits, enabling them to set up tables and talk to attendees on Saturday afternoon. Do you work for or know of a non-profit or charity? Apply here.
- By the way, tickets are now on sale for Northern Voice. Act now to avoid disappointment. Likewise, the speaker submission deadline is creeping up.