Buzz Marketing with Blogs featured in the Vancouver Public Library's Business New Books section

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Flickr icon for supersusie
Submitted by supersusie on Fri 2009-01-16 20:47 #

w00t! thanks for the photo, richard! that's awesome ;)

Flickr icon for sillygwailo
Submitted by sillygwailo on Sat 2009-01-17 16:06 #

Pretty cool eh? The one time I look to my left at a library I see a featured book written by someone I know!

The above comments will not display in the recently updated section because they are syndicated directly from the Flickr photo.

group: Vancouver Public Library
Audio of my Blogging 101 presentation at Northern Voice
Keeping consistent with my desire not to hear my voice, I haven't listened to it yet. But if you missed it the first time, now you can!

What I Was Happy With, And What I Wanted to Say, At Northern Voice's Blogging 101 Session

There are a few things I would do very differently at Friday's Blogging 101 for Northern Voice:

  • define blogging better than just listing its features. That said, everybody has their own definition. I went witha features listing since they're fairly well agreed upon.
  • do not give legal advice! We'll have to go to the tape, but I might have told someone to sue someone else who was getting high rank for her name and saying nasty stuff. Not doing that next time.
  • do more run-throughs, with a small audience to feed back. Not a big deal in this case, but it'll be important to present well in my future, and I'd like to get into the habit of practicing in front of people instead of in front of my TV screen.

How to Get Comments On Your Blog

As for the content of the presentation, I flubbed an question that I had a good answer to. Someone asked about how to get comments, and my unsatisfactory-to-me answer was to "comment on your own post". I still think it's legitimate, since it's more elegant than typing "Update:" and gives you a timestamp in the database (and with some systems, you get an RSS feed for comments). My other reasoning for doing it is that I tend to click on a link that says "1 comment" more often than one that says "0 comments", so it's a sneaky way to get your view count up. The best way to get comments, though, is to write a full blog post, but afterwards cut out the last paragraph of your post, save it somewhere else for later, and let one of your readers say it. That lets people fill in the blank you left, and if they're mistaken or you need to add something, then you can paste back in your conclusion as a response in the comments. Blogging is not a monologue.

What I Was Happy About

During the run-throughs all by my lonesome at my apartment, it became clear that I needed something to do with my hands. Last year I stuck them in my pocket, but this year, with good presentation software, I realized I could use the cool little remote that came with my MacBook. Not just as something to push slides ahead—a little awkwardly, since my computer was beside me and not in front of me—but it would keep my hands occupied just enough not to distract from the overall performance.

My slides with only one or two words on each. I used them not because I knew it was a best-practice (I either didn't know it, forgot it, or internalized it: Jeffrey Keefer reminded me of Seth Godin's tips after having attended my presentation), but because after reading from the screen during last year's presentation, I wanted reminders to talk about what I knew really well already, not a script. Karen suggested I did it because I liked other, good presentations that did it, and she's absolutely right. I'm glad I didn't go with stunning photos. That would have been too much work.

I took off my sweater and felt okay about wearing a t-shirt from work. It turned into a short conversation piece when one of the audience members asked what was on it, I think believing I was supporting a certain American elected official.
If I hadn't taken my sweater off, I would have over-heated, contributing to a vicious cycle of nervousness. Instead I sacrificed a little class for a little calm, and I'd do the same thing over again.

Apparatus for the Future: Reconstructing the Design World for New Media & Bloggers
Slides of Stephanie Vacher's presentation at Northern Voice 2008.
My presentation slides from Northern Voice 2008's Blogging 101
They're not terribly informative, intentionally. I got as far as "Podcasting" and ran out of time before getting to "The Future!", which was to plug some emerging technologies helping bloggers.
Christine was interested to hear me say that sending people away made them come back to your blog
I don't have any stats to back up the claim, but links are golden in blogs, and I wanted to make sure that new bloggers came away with the idea that it was normal to link to others.
Jeffrey Keefer comments on my Blogging 101 talk
He appreciated the one-word slides. I used them as reminders for myself and for terms the audience could look up to get more information.

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.

Raincity'll be Taking Northern Voice by Storm
I'll be speaking at the Internet Bootcamp bright and early on Friday about blogging.

Never-Got-Around-To-Responding Linkdump

It's been a while since I've done an old-fashioned linkdump. All of these are articles or posts that I wanted to respond to but never found the time to, and yet had stuck in my bookmarks.