Omnibus: Vancouver Blogger Meetup, Northern Voice, and Shared Items

Jan has the recap, and Raul liveblogged it: on Wednesday I attended the Vancouver Blogger meetup and met with some people who actually read this blog. Jan, among others, encouraged me to keep writing this thing, not to worry about quality too much. There are times when I'm in "flow", and I finally realized that one of those times is after having read offline materials for about an hour. Yet again, the solution is to read more books!

At the meetup, I continued to work through what I thought about citizen journalism. NowPublic has a great concept for a site, but I've been following the 'vancouver' tag for over a year and have yet to find a story they've broken or led with in reporting. The overwhelming majority of stories are conspiracy theories or re-posts of stories from established media. For one very recent story I had hopes for (happening on a college campus, so you know there's going to be lots of intelligent, web savvy energetic young folk with cell phones and cameras), a NowPublic user kept me up to date with the lockdown of a building at the University of British Columbia. I heard about it first from Phillip Jeffrey's Twitter stream. The NowPublic story fueled rumours that the police were responding to someone with a gun. Any confirmation on that, two days later? There's also the usual social media triumphalism in the comments, but don't we hate it when CBC and CTV and CKNW claim they had the "exclusive"?

I met lots of people I had only heard about, and some I hadn't.

I'm speaking in a few weeks at the Northern Voice blogging conference, 2008 edition. About blogging. Yes, the very subject I once declared I had lost enthusiasm for. You'll see me at 10:45 AM on the Friday, during the Internet Boot Camp. That's later in the day than I thought it would be, happily so. I'm looking very much forward to Dave Olson's "Fuck Stats Make Art" presentation and Stephanie Vacher's "Apparatus for the Future" talk. Otherwise I will try the conference lobby provocateur role this year, talking with as many people that I've only heard about as possible. is the link to my "shared items" feed. It will never change (the one to my Google Reader account might). It reflects only what I find interesting, without comment, and includes not only my Google Reader shared items, but also my YouTube 'favorite' videos, my Flickr 'favorite' photos, and my Digg "diggs". There are individual feeds for each (there is no official RSS feed for my MetaFilter 'favorites' sadly: if there was, I'd include those too), so I feed them through the Drupal aggregator here on To track how many subscribers there are to it, I then use FeedBurner. is the "HTML" version of this, but I don't like the idea of syndicating other people's content on my site, so it just looks like they're big links. There's something to be said about aggregating decentralized low-threshold sharing mechanisms. I'm not the person to say it, at least not yet.