February 16th, 2010, 2 Comments »
James sent along this great, long profile of the city from The Walrus magazine. It’s by Gary Stephen Ross, the current editor-in-chief of Vancouver magazine. He’s written an insightful, well-observed piece that’s neither cheer-leading nor bitter:
Amid the stereotypes, of course, obscured by them, Vancouverites live substantial, complicated, inaccessible lives. Newcomers say folks here are quick to engage you in a friendly chat but slow to invite you over for dinner. There may be a flaky, hippie vibe to the lineup at Trout Lake Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, but there is a seriousness of purpose as well, an act-on-it conviction that organic tomatoes from the Okanagan are in every way superior to industrial tomatoes from Mexico. Local initiatives to address the Downtown Eastside, too, are more than compulsory nods toward civic responsibility; they are attempts to ameliorate vexing problems before they ossify into permanence.
For anybody wanting to understand our city, this is a terrific place to start.
2 Comments »
July 6th, 2009, Comments Off
As I mentioned, I’m revising the video chapter of our book, and so I was happy to discover this recent Slate article. For a month, Chris Wilson monitored the performance of 10, 000 newly uploaded videos. Here are the results:
After 31 days, only 250 of my YouTube hatchlings had more than 1,000 viewsÃ¢â‚¬â€that comes out to 3.1 percent after you exclude the videos that were taken down before the month was up. A mere 25, 0.3 percent, had more than 10,000 views. Meanwhile, 65 percent of videos failed to break 50 views; 2.8 percent had zero views. That’s the good news: Your video is slightly more likely to get more than 1,000 views than it is to get none at all.
An site called, uh, Rubber Republic ran a similar study (PDF), and found that 10% exceeded 1000 views, and 1% received 500,000 views.
February 14th, 2008, 11 Comments »
Via Metafilter, I read two really well-written pieces entitled Mythbusting Canadian Health Care (here’s part two). They’re written by one Sara Robinson, who apparently lives in ‘suburban Vancouver’:
The percentage of Canadians who’d consider giving up their beloved system consistently languishes in the single digits. A few years ago, a TV show asked Canadians to name the Greatest Canadian in history; and in a broad national consensus, they gave the honor to Tommy Douglas, the Saskatchewan premier who is considered the father of the country’s health care system. (And no, it had nothing to do with the fact that he was also Kiefer Sutherland’s grandfather.).
The argument and the writing are both quality. I’d like to read an equally well thought-out article from the other camp.
There is one fundamental problem with these articles: their total lack of citations and references. Both articles are full of facts, figures and claims, but there’s barely a hyperlink to be seen. This lack of transparency really undercuts Robinson’s argument, and it’s a shame.
11 Comments »
September 23rd, 2007, 6 Comments »
This afternoon I received an email from somebody at BusinessWeek, asking me to remove a scan of half of one page of their magazine from my company’s website. The scan showed an article about Get a First Life, my wacky little satire from the start of the year. As it turns out, the article is online here.
Now, I appreciate that, according to the law, this constitutes infringement and I don’t have a leg to stand on.
It is a pity, considering that I’m the subject of the article and quoted within it, that they couldn’t cut me some slack. After all, it’s not like Capulet.com gets a lot of traffic, or that I was misrepresenting the content as anything other than what it was. It just strikes me as desperately pedantic, and downright unfriendly to their sources and readers. It’s also a little ironic, given Linden Labs’s enlightened response to the satire.
Hilariously, they offered me a ‘legitimate eprint’ for my use on Capulet’s site: “For a small business the cost is $2,000 for six months or $4,000 for one year.” Right, because most small businesses have that kind of money to spend on clippings.
I asked a couple of questions about BusinessWeek’s pursuit of infringing intellectual property, but in a final irony, they declined to comment.
6 Comments »
June 5th, 2007, 10 Comments »
Geoff linked to my post about the peculiar article length trends in Wikipedia, and also referenced a Something Awful article entitled “The Art of Wikigroaning“. What’s Wikigroaning?
For example, the article called “Knight“. Then, find a somehow similar article that is longer, but at the same time, useless to a very large fraction of the population. In this case, we’ll go with “Jedi Knight“. Open both of the links and compare the lengths of the two articles. Compare not only that, but how well concepts are explored, and the greater professionalism with which the longer article was likely created.
It’s sad but true. There’s some pretty funny examples of Wikigroaning pairs, including:
List of changes in Star Wars re-releases
You get the idea. I wanted to think of one of my own. The best I’ve got is:
All your base are belong to us
10 Comments »