Blogathon 2009: What does Marcellus Wallace look like?

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Blogosphere, Brands, Catherine, Media, Memes, Omega Point, Pop Culture, Typography, Video.

So I’m working on a single-serving site to finally make use of my other domain. Functionally, it’ll be a business card of sorts, featuring a more coherent bio, with links to the various ways I can be contacted online.

Ultimately, I suspect I’ll roll this site into it.

Anyway, while the art style I’m using is very, very different than this, both use a nice slab serif typeface called Rockwell. While selecting it, I came across this this video I liked from a couple years ago: the “Say ‘what’ again. I dare you.” scene from Pulp Fiction, in type form.

Blogathon 2009: All in One SEO Pack must be configured.

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Blogosphere, Web 2.0, WordPress.

So earlier today, I was informed by all-around nice guy and occasional WordPress-handholder Tris Hussey that I ought to be using the All in One SEO Pack on my WordPress blog.

So I got it, only to discover that all the config fields were empty. Apparently version 1.6.4 has a bit of a problem with not prepopulating the fields with the proper strings and escape characters. Whoops.

Fortunately, Tris found a site that had a giant screenshot of the actual settings here. So in the event that you’re taking advice about the version 1.6.4 of the All in One SEO pack for WordPress, do check that out, won’t you? You’ll have to retype everything, but still, awesome.

I really don’t want to see this yellow “All in One SEO Pack must be configured” message at the top of all my posts, and hey, better SEO stuff would be super, too, so I’m fixing that right now.

If you’re not using it, you should be. More hits are better hits.

(Thanks, Tris!)

Blogathon 2009: What kind of site do you think this is, anyway?

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Blogosphere, Catherine, Omega Point, Web 2.0.

So I was checking out my Google Analytics stats just now to gauge the impact Blogathon is having upon my site traffic. Answer: lots. Obviously.

However, I couldn’t help but notice a number of interesting searches by which people are coming here.

"cute girl on lab with leo"

Okay, that’s different.

This sums up my day fairly accurately.

This sums up my day fairly accurately.

Other bewildering search terms people used to arrive here include:

  • bridget botelho chocolate sweet deal
  • robot chat
  • pentagon demon
  • the omega point that could make the end
  • vacuum ejaculator

You people. Seriously, what the hell?

Blogathon 2009: In which The Weather stymies Catherine’s plans

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Catherine, Cycling, Exercise, Vancouver.

So I deliberately brought my bike to Workspace this morning, knowing that if I was lagging this evening, I could go for a nice endorphin-boosting ride up and down Waterfront Road, across the tracks from Gastown.

I really can’t say that I was expecting a massive thunderstorm instead.

In retrospect, I wish I’d taken the bus, letting me get in another post about how the #8 bus is crazy and how it was much better when my MLA drove me to work every day. Sadly, it was not to be.

I have to say, I’ve never seen a thunderstorm like this in Vancouver. From the streams coming up on Twitter, it doesn’t appear to be stopping the fireworks in English Bay though, so if they can press on, so can we!

Blogathon 2009: “Legally, we have to refer to you as Catherine December.”

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Blogosphere, Brands, Canada, Law, Media, News, Politics, Privacy, Vancouver, Web 2.0.

After hearing Dave Olsen talk a bit about the restrictions being applied — in particular, to the “pedestrian corridors” being established here in Vancouver during the Olympics, I’m concerned about the implications for free speech, as well as the potential for these laws to endure after the Olympics have ended.

I’ve been convinced for a long time that the biggest threat to free speech in the 21st century is not, as in past eras, some kind of trend towards authoritarianism, but rather, intellectual property encumbrances. The idea that VANOC can trademark lines from O Canada is appalling to me. It’s bad enough that the Olympics have become so branded and mired in the exclusivity of the brand that they’ve threatened Olympia Pizza in Vancouver’s West End, to say nothing of the actions taken since then.

Thus, I wholeheartedly support the choice to the True North Media House in response to the line trademarked by VANOC.

But I’ve been thinking about situations where The Authorities have confiscated memory cards or deleted photos and so, I’m wondering about technical workarounds to this: I would consider using an EyeFi card in my camera to tether with a 3G phone (say, a jailbroken iPhone or possibly something with reasonable battery life.) to automatically upload my photos to my website or Flickr so that I wasn’t actually storing any pictures, I was posting them live. Short of jamming or Iranian-scale network monitoring and packet inspection, there would really be little anyone could do, assuming the images themselves were legal.

If I take a photo of a poster with the Olympic Rings, is distribution of that photo a trademark or copyright violation? Is my use of the words “Olympic”, “2010”, “Winter”, or “Games” in this post actionable? No, but what if I’m doing so in protest of something involving one or more of those words?

I mean, I don’t seriously consider myself at risk for having the last name “Winters”, or for writing under that name, but it’s so important to explicitly affirm that I have the right to do so when proposing –or passing!– any law that purports to restrict speech.

Blogathon 2009: Dave Olsen & the True North Media House

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Blogosphere, Canada, Media, News, Vancouver, Web 2.0.

Dave Olsen stopped by Workspace this evening to cheer some of us on and tell us a bit about the social/indie/citizen media project he’s working on for the 2010 Olympics this year, the True North Media House.

From the TNMH website:

We intend to create a space in downtown Vancouver to serve as a media resource centre with high-speed internet, audio and video production facilities, green screen and interview space, press conference space and workstations.

This project was launched by a group of media makers who covered the past several Olympic Games as un-accredited media. The organization has grown into a extensive group of volunteers from various industries and bringing diverse skills and motivations to the project.

Nice, right? Dave notes that they’ve been careful to identify as a group distinct from anti-Olympic protestors as well as the IOC itself. He says that his interest is in finding the stories the mainstream media can’t or doesn’t cover. He wants to make friends with people from other countries, hang out with them and enjoy a game or two: this is what breaks down the differences between us and makes it hard to hate people from “over there”, wherever that may be.

And he’s right. Studies demonstrate residing in large, diverse cities, or international travel — even religious pilgrimage — increases tolerance, respect and understanding for people lucky enough to be able to make the trip. And isn’t that what the Olympics are supposed to be about?

Unlike a few friends and bloggers, I’m not a huge sports fan myself. At the same time, I’ve been known to enjoy watching a game, taking in an event. But it’s the stories Dave’s interested in telling that are most interesting to me. And that’s why I’m going to go to the next TNMH meeting.

Blogathon 2009: A Confession

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Vancouver.

Last year, I was working as a web developer for the Masters of Digital Media program at the Great Northern Way Campus here in Vancouver.

Having left, I want to apologize for something I did while I was there.

MDM students, remember how I told a bunch of you that I had a key that led into the basement of the Centre for Digital Media, a converted Finning Tractor factory? And how I told you students weren’t allowed in there? And remember how a bunch of you really, really wanted to go? And tried to talk me into it?

1. Heavy mining equipment and basements don’t mix.
2. Neither does landfill 6 feet above see level.

I’m just saying.

Blogathon 2009: I’m only happy when it rains.

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Catherine, Vancouver.

Unexpectedly, it seems that the lower mainland is getting a bit of rain today! “Chance of cloud” in Vancouver turned into thundershowers in the Fraser Valley.

There’s already been a couple lightning strikes in the PoCo area, by the sound of the thunder. I love how a thunderstrike brings up multiple “Wow, lightning! Did you hear that?” entries on IM and Twitter.

(Yes we did.)

Now, I like to travel with a variety of equipment. Extra power cord, towel, etc. Today, I may have brought more than is typical.

In fact, three times today, the following conversation occurred:
“Catherine, wow. You, uh… brought a lot of stuff.“
“I like to nest. I needed it to feel secure here.“

Yeah, I like to pick what I say for its maximum potential in making people feel totally comfortable with the way the conversation is going.

You’d think I would’ve included an umbrella.