Tag Archives: grassroots media

Health Care Before Olympics | AdHack Beta

Health Care Before Olympics | AdHack Beta

New Vancouver 2010 Logo – Beautiful British Columbia | AdHack Beta

New Vancouver 2010 Logo – Beautiful British Columbia | AdHack Beta

Organizational Meeting – 2010 alternative and independent media centre

Welcome to the Ski JumpsNext Steps

With the Olympic Games barely a year a way, it’s time to organize the next steps of the campaign for an independent, alternative media centre before, and during, the 2010 Winter Olympics and Para-olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler, BC. We aim to create an inclusive, apolitical and collaborative space for grassroots media creators to creative and publish content about sport and culture.

If you are ready to become further involved in this effort, we invite you to a follow-up meeting with the aim of forming some task-oriented committees and creating a board to organize this project over the next year.

Details

February 3rd, Tuesday
6:00pm ~ 7:30pm
at Raincity Studios
1 Alexander, Suite 420 (buzz #420 for access)
Gastown, Vancouver, BC

Agenda notes

At this meeting, Robert Scales will discuss his conversations with the BC Independent (unaccredited) media centre and discuss some conversations with curious collaborators and corporate supporters. He will also preview the “Social Media and the Olympics” panel at the upcoming Northern Voice conference in which noted Olympic scholar Dr. Andy Miah from the UK will share his experience and knowledge (see his essays in “Owning the Olympics”). Dave Olson will offer a few remarks about the Vancouver2010.com web focus group meeting including the IOC’s “constraints” and VANOC’s evolving web strategy.

In addition, the agenda will include ideation time and input from all participants and an opportunity to offer skills (and superpowers). Along with forming a board and committees, we’ll plan next steps and meetings, including a possible event to mark the one year countdown to the Games.

‘get in where you fit in’

Come with ideas and leave with follow-up items and projects to lead. To get things started, Robert, Kris and I propose to organize three committees for starters and then break out task forces and sub-committees as needed, ergo:

Robert Scales – Partnerships (sponsorships, fundraising, gov relations, corp outreach)

Kris Krug – Operations (programming, volunteer, facilities, finance, logistics)

Dave Olson – Communications (brand, messaging, media relations, web site, blog etc.)

Please use the Wiki to collaborate on organizational structure ideas and suggest topics to add to the agenda.

Sign-on

If you plan to attend, please register at the Google Group.  Sign up for the Group with a Google ID and we’ll approve your request as soon as possible. http://groups.google.ca/group/vancouver-2010-alternative-media

There is also a Google Wiki Site – confusing? Sure. The Group manages the mailing list and has informal group work space. The Site is more of a Olympic Media resource toolbox. Your account needs to be approved but then you can add/edit content and share resources. Everyone can poke around. Twitter @uncleweed to get added to the Site as a collaborator http://sites.google.com/site/vancouver2010alternativemedia/

Notes

For the record, Dave Olson (the writer of this release) is no longer employed by Raincity Studios but continues to work with colleagues Scales and Krug on this project – it’s all good.

PS My apologies for the short notice.

Open letter to Vancouver mayor and council on Olympic Village | Straight.com

Open letter to Vancouver mayor and council on Olympic Village via Straight.com

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context. Original location broken, accessed via Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, February 2017.

Open letter to Vancouver mayor and council on Olympic Village

By Staff The following open letter was sent out today (January 21, 2009):

An open letter to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver City Council

Dear Mayor Robertson and members of Council:

You and your caucus were resoundingly elected in November by the citizens of Vancouver. Many of those who supported you took you at your word that your administration would find solutions to homelessness and poverty and bring accountable, transparent government back to Vancouver. In our opinion, the place to start doing both of these tasks begins with how the City deals with the Athletes’ Village debacle.

There are two ways out of the current Village crisis, both of which begin by acknowledging that the City of Vancouver is now the owner of the project. One solution is to borrow the funds to complete the project for the Olympics then try to sell the units after 2010. This appears to be the primary option your administration is considering. In a falling real estate market, this option is not only financially risky due to the high interest rates involved and an uncertain future market, but fails to address promises made about Olympic “inclusivity”. The latter was a reason many Vancouverites voted for the Games in the 2003 plebiscite: The public was promised that a future Athletes’ Village would include a significant level of social housing.

The time to keep that promise is now and it can be accomplished by the following alternative solution. The current financial crisis, the most serious in Vancouver’s history, now offers a remarkable opportunity to address the shameful poverty long neglected by three levels of government. Your administration can take a leadership role in a way that is fiscally responsible and honours previous commitments: The City of Vancouver should now take over the entire project and use it as a model of responsible community development that features a mixed model involving sold and rental units. The latter would include true social housing as well as a range of subsidy levels designed to accommodate both the working poor as well as the homeless.

We recommend that you instruct staff to consider a variety of funding options to create this model community. Whether Vancouver’s long term financial health would be better served by borrowing the funds at high interest rates or if the Property Endowment Funds could be used instead are several of the options that need to be considered. We would also recommend that you ask staff to consider if potential penalties involved with Vancouver withdrawing from hosting the 2010 Games outweigh the looming costs to the City for security and other Olympic costs. Finally, since we believe that the public needs to be consulted about major capital projects, we believe it essential that the issue of funding the Village be put to Vancouver’s citizens in a referendum. Council recently sidestepped this stage of the process, but we do not believe that avoiding public participation, for whatever reasons, is healthy for democracy.

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, call on the new Council to ensure that the City of Vancouver retains ownership and control of the False Creek Athletes’ Village and to further ensure that development of the property serves the urgent need for low cost housing in Vancouver

Gail Davidson
Ivan Doumenc (Work Less Party)
Reed Eurchuk
Saul Geller
Ian Gregson (WLP)
Tim Louis (COPE)
Terry Martin
Penny Parry
Drina Read (Green Party, BC)
Chris Shaw (WLP)
Geri Tramutola (WLP)
John Yaro

London Skypeing – DaveO on the BBC spieling forth about Olympics and Social Media

I am on the BBC Radio 5 show called “Blogs and Pods”  spieling forth about renegade media and Olympics.

I spoke to Jamillah via Skype last week – the show aired on BBC radio on Sunday and released as a podcast Monday, Dec. 8th.

NOTE: accessed from Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, February 2017

The food, wine, opera and sport edition

This week: the campaign for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver to be more open to citizen journalists; the politics of festive food; wine online and a bit of opera to round it all off.

The podcast is poised and waiting for you to listen up! If there was something in the show that you missed and a link would come in handy – they’re all right here for you:

Should citizen journalists have full press access to Olympic events? Dave Olsen, community evangelist of Rain City Studios in Canada thinks so and explains why.

Here’s how to tune in:

Podfeed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PodsAndBlogs

Show Site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/podsandblogs/

Subscribe via iTunes: itpc://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/fivelive/pods/rss.xml

Twitter: http://twitter.com/podsandblogs

Jess Sloss made a video – Daveo spieling about Olympics, indie media, etc.

Independent Media Center and the year 2010 with Dave Olson
Dave talks about the early plans for an independent media center to support media makers from around the world. http://www.raincitystudios.com for more.

More videos from Jess socialsquared

Dave Spiels at IOC / VANOC Worldwide Press Briefing at Canada Place

Outside of the VANOC worldwide press briefing, independent media maker Dave Olson answers questions about the Olympics, protests, and tension between social concerns and international events.

He spiels forth about peace, pacifism, understanding, love of winter sports, copyright, rumoured riots, the importance of dialogue and respect and conversation. Also he briefly recounts his experiences covering Olympic Games from a grassroots point of view.

Filmed by Manfred Becker for National Film Board.

Update posted in 2014: As you may know, a LOT happened with social media and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, specifically the emergence of True North Media House, a self-accrediting media making and sharing project which was documented in thousands of posts, throughout “mainstream/traditional” media, a documentary film and a Ph.D thesis.

Hello VANOC, We’re nice, local, and invite you for a coffee and a talk – Open Letter #2

You're *so* tough.

Hello VANOC et al,

I am following up on the Open Letter to VANOC from Social Media Makers with a few notes as well as an invitation to continue the conversation with VANOC over a tasty beverage. The letter has made its way around the world with Twitters, comments, blog posts, and personal notes of support and/or confusion coming in from many corners of the globe.

So, to keep the conversation rolling, here are my annotated notes, thoughts and recaps from the past few days of opinions rolling in:

First off, Jeff Lee, the Olympic reporter from the Vancouver Sun explored the changing media landscape in an excellent article and an accompanying blog post. He talked to several interesting people and brought a veteran mainstream media eye to the conundrums in “Changes coming to media’s coverage of Olympics – But new forms of news delivery are restricted by Olympic committee rules“. He keys right in on the crux of the tension – money vs.choice.

“As traditional news organizations struggle with declining readership and cutting staff while trying to capture greater online presence, the Olympics is undergoing its own transformation. The change is also affecting broadcasters, who like the others, have not yet figured out how to fully monetize their Internet properties.

The traditional forms of media coverage — exclusive territorial contracts with broadcasters, appointment of news wire agencies by the IOC and press credentials parcelled out by national Olympic committees — are coming under pressure as people change the way they get their news.”

His article also brought an insider’s point of view from the head of the (enormous) newswire AP who raised the same questions we are within the inner-sanctum of the IOC:

“In an address to the press commission, Tom Curley, the chief executive of Associated Press, warned that the lines between traditional news delivery models are blurring. Newspapers want to use streaming video, but are restricted because the IOC licenses broadcasters for field-of-play images. Audio broadcasts are similarly restricted. According to those who were at the meeting, Curley’s address stunned many members.”

Mr. Lee (who is olympicreporter on Twitter) also published extended notes and thoughts in a blog post titled “Social networking media push for inclusion in Olympic plan” (accessed via Internet Archive Wayback Machine).

His blog post provides a full quote from Renee Smith-Valade, VANOC spokesperson, who took time on a Sunday to follow-up to Lee’s inquiry thusly:

“The IOC is the ultimate arbiter on the representation on the Press Commission, and each country’s National Olympic Committee determines which media get accredited for the Games. As the Organizing Committee we can and will encourage both entities to recognize and facilitate the immense growth of online media, however ultimately decisions for press commission membership and Games accreditation lie with them. We have not yet responded to the open letter from the social media group but will do so in the coming days.”

My colleagues and I are encouraged that VANOC has a reply in mind. While its unlikely that we would have been accredited going through the IOC and national press associations channels, we firmly contend we have value to offer by being engaged in the dialogue. We also have first-hand experiences to share about creative solutions (including non-accredited media centers) and strategies to embrace the social media makers without compromising the relationships rights-holders, corporate sponsors and the like.

Gastown Photowalk Crew
Gastown Photowalk Crew by Kris Krug

This quest isn’t just “for us” – we are starting the conversation for the thousands of people who are coming to participate in the Games as “amateur” reporters, photographers, podcasters, videographers, etc. and will eagerly post their content to audiences of maybe dozens, maybe millions of viewers. Individually, the coverage is very niche, and that micro-coverage is a big part of the appeal. Further, the collective content produced by “all of us” will likely rival the mainstream media output.

Mr. Lee’s article includes remarks from Yahoo Sports which articulates how quickly media is changing:

“However, change has already started. This summer, Yahoo Sports — which doesn’t have a print or TV broadcast property — sent 19 journalists and “analysts” to the 2008 Beijing Games. It had only one reporter at each of the 2004 and 2006 Olympics. Dave Morgan, executive editor of Yahoo Sports, said the investment paid off: more than 32 million “unique visitors” went to Yahoo’s Beijing Olympics microsite in August, outstripping even NBC’s online Olympic traffic.”

Photo by Boris MannSo how does VANOC let the enthusiastic and experienced amateurs cover the Games while not opening up a box of problems? For starters, we look to the Piemonte Non-accredited Media Centre in Turin as a good example as it helped the alternative and independent press understand IOC guidelines, provided press releases and updates, and in-formal collaborative workspace and office resources. The funding came from tourism boards, local press agencies, sponsors (especially from the hospitality industry) and resulted in richer “long tail” coverage of the Games and the region.

For my colleagues who were in Turin (I was covering from Vancouver), this facility worked out great for organizing photo sessions, conducting athlete interviews, and exploring non-sports stories about art, culture, industry and tourism. We’ll talk more about this example over a hypothetical coffee but, … whether or not there is a “non-accredited media centre” we will invite folks to our Gastown loft office to add another layer of coverage beyond what CTV (in Canada’s case) has in store.

Frankly, this solution is hardly ideal (it *is* a working office after all) so we’re also touring downtown locations and talking to landlords and sponsors about acquiring a larger space – it’s too big of an opportunity to settle for “good enough”.

Opinion round-up

Competitive videographer and Bootup Labs Marketer, Jordan Behan comments with an inquiry about VANOC’s social media (non)strategy:

“The decision to exclude the likes of the Raincity gang is quite puzzling, even without a social media strategy in place. In Dave’s full letter, he highlights the history of the fan-based, non-intrusive coverage they’ve done at previous Olympic Games, and it’s clear that this kind of participation only benefits the host city, the Games and even the holders of exclusive broadcast rights. I’m holding out hope that Vanoc (and our Canadian Olympic committee, apparently) will take great strides, not only to appear to appease social media creators, but instead fully embrace the concept and help to redefine citizen journalism’s role in Games coverage. With some creativity, they should be able to do so inside of the confines of the above-mentioned (archaic in these times, if you ask me) broadcast rights.”

While Kris and I were in-between the official press briefing (where I somehow caught a cold) and the Olympic Resistance Network pres conference, Mr. Behan sent this Twitter update:

“jordanbehan @uncleweed It’s ok to be pro-Olympics, and still anti-exclusive rights broadcasting and media monopolies, etc. At least, I hope it is. 12:48 PM Nov 20th

Techvibes‘ Greg Andrews offered his insight with Vancouver 2010 Organizers Snub Social Media (Nov. 20, 2008 2:21PM), where he points out how Kris and I didn’t fit into either group (protesters or journos) with twitter updates and commentary:

“Unlike many Vancouverites that were outside the event in the rain protesting the Olympics, Olson and Krug had intentions of journalism, not protest. Between them and Raincity CEO Robert Scales, they’ve unofficially covered the last four Olympic games, in addition to Olson’s blogging and podcasting of Canucks hockey.

Via Twitter:

Got stopped at the door. “if you guys are here to protest pls go accross the street”. Now they’re checkin our credentials.

We were just escorted from the building. We had better access, even a welcome in Beijing and Torino.

@todmaffin agreed they can’t make us go home. but we’re not here to protest in the rain, we’re here as jounalists.”

Ruth Seeley commented on the Tech Vibes article pointing out the perception of value is no longer based on delivery method:

I wonder if they let in folk from The Tyee? It would be interesting to find out – because that could be part of the argument for allowing access to a broader definition of media. If anyone truly believes that 24 or Metro deserve access because they’re printed on paper and The Tyee doesn’t, some re-examination of belief systems needs to begin.

View from the Isles writer and photographer (now now working at Media2o) Tris Hussey offered his thoughts in “Raincity throws down the gauntlet to VANOC: Let citizen media in!” and asks what VANOC plans to do:

“Will VANOC step up to the plate where other host cities and Olympic Committees have not? That’s an open and excellent question. I for one would welcome social media participation at the games. I think we’d all be the richer for it.”

Raincoaster Lorraine (who teaches blogging workshops in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside) followed up with her thoughts:

“Vancouver’s citizen journalists have done an exceptional job of covering the last several Olympics, and have, in fact, become known worldwide for it. This is a creative proposal that would ensure that, rather than taking an oppositional stance, Vancouver’s citizen journalists take one in support of the Olympics and civic pride.”

Ianiv the Blogaholic (who also works at crowd sourced media site Now Public) writes about how ubiquitous recording devices have changed how media is created (and what media is) in, “Social Media and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics“, saying:

“With the prevalence of devices capable of recording video, still images and sound, it is almost impossible that a significant event will not be recorded in some way. And sometimes all this content created by the people is at odds with the interests of the corporations that produce or sponsor an event.”

… and Ianiv continues with concerns about the power of takedown notices which are often foisted at well-meaning and unsuspected fans …

“It remains to be seen what VANOC’s response will be, if any. It would be very nice if everyone could document their Olympic experience and share it with the rest of the world without the fear of getting takedown notices that would make all their efforts useless.”

Vancouver (really Victoria) blog-father, new PR ace, and theatre enthusiast Darren Barefoot posts his thoughts (complete with a geeky Venn diagram) in “Thinking About Social Media and the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver” and frames expectations of what social media makers seek to make their reportage.

“As Dave says, social media types aren’t expecting all-access passes to the gold medal hockey games. He’s right to point out that there’s a big hole to fill in the media coverage for such an event. I was thinking about it, and drew this little Venn diagram:

Venn Diagram about Social Media at the Olympics

The CTVs and CBCs are going to have the major, breaking news covered. It’s all that green space–that’s where social media creators can live. Through various channels, I’m seeing several ways forward for benefits for both parties. Social media creators get some tools, resources and access to help with their citizen journalism efforts, and VANOC enjoys a whole new layer of news coverage. Such a partnership would also highlight Vancouver’s place as a global for new media, citizen journalism and the like.”

BuzzNetworker Colleen Coplick sets the scene and asks for an update in “The Olympics Must Adapt to New Media” (in her usual witty style):

“Recently, the Vancouver Organizing Committee (aka VANOC – you know, the bigwigs in charge of all of the Olympic everythings in Vancouver) began a four-day “World Press Briefing” for more than 250 visiting journalists and media managers. There was some serious debate about how media coverage of the Olympics is changing dramatically due to new and emerging media.”

“So, Dave, Kris, Robert, where do we stand on this? Has VANOC gotten back to you? Have we come to any sort of conclusion here?”

Nothing yet Colleen, stay tuned for updates.

Out-Smarts Internet Marketing firm’s Mhairi Petrovic wrote “The Olympics and Social Media” speculates on the Olympic committee’s concerns and the unstoppable force of social media coming in 2010:

“Its no surprise that the Olympic committee is shirking this question.  Many organisations especially large traditional companies (those that vet each and every public communication to ensure it reflects the corporate line) view social media as a quandary and even a threat to their brand.  They think that encouraging community participation leads to loosing control of that branding process.  But the fact of the matter is that brands are out there in the public forum anyway. Isn’t it better to be part of the conversation to learn adapt and grow because of it than to be on outside throwing out press releases.

Social media journalism is undoubtedly going to be part of the Olympics in Vancouver with an army of bloggers, social network participants and online journalists all giving their perspectives.  Rather than stick their head in the sand the Olympic committee should be embracing this new way to entrench its brand with new generations and different communities.”

Jenn Lowther lays out our big mission with “Social Media and the 2010 Olympics” and peers into the future to how the possible scenarios might play out:

“Kris and Dave were there not only as representatives of Raincity Studios, but as ambassadors for Vancouver’s entire Social Media and Citizen Journalism community – their exclusion from the briefing sends a message that social media is not a welcome commentator when it comes to the 2010 Olympics.

Regardless of how VANOC feels about Social Media and Citizen Journalism, it needs to realize that we will be covering the Olympics for our various media properties. Ideally, we would like to work with VANOC, ensuring that we are aware of the basic guidelines that it has regarding our coverage, i.e. not showing a Telus ad when Bell is a sponsor.  By excluding us from the VANOC media briefing, the organization is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy – by not including members of the Social Media community for fear that we will not follow the rules, it is ensuring that we do not know what rules need to be followed.

Yes, currently we do not measure our readership levels at those of mainstream media, but in aggregate we do receive significant viewership. In my opinion, VANOC is being extremely myopic in their exclusion of Social Media and Citizen Journalism, when it has a perfect opportunity put in their laps – being the first Olympics to fully capitalize on the power of Social Media that is present in Vancouver’s thriving tech community. When the Olympics are over and the MSM’s coverage of the Olympics is relegated to a disk or hard drive in some storage area collecting dust, the coverage from Citizen Journalists will be alive online, gaining views daily, reminding people how truly awesome the Vancouver 2010 Olympics really were.”

Finally (for today at least) social media’s Clark Kent (and former Raincity Studios cohort) Will Pate offers kind words about us (thx bud) and words of advice for VANOC in Social Media’s Place in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games:

Several of the folks in question are colleagues of mine, and represent Raincity Studios, the web studio I’m proud to say I co-founded. Kris Krug, Robert Scales and Dave Olson are tireless social media practitioners, trainers, authors and conference organizers. They represent the best of what Canada does when it comes to the ongoing evolution of journalism through technology. They are treated with the respect due to recognized experts outside Canada, it would be a loss for the Vancouver games to overlook great talent in their own backyard. It would be a win to build on what they learned using social media to cover the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Nor should social media as a force for good and bad PR be overlooked. The news has been filled in the last few years with stories of journalists, politicians and businesses tanked by bloggers and cameraphones. But my colleagues are not proposing to build a virtual lynch mob, interfere with the major networks who pay good money for exclusive coverage of the events, or otherwise tarnish the image of our beloved Vancouver.

My colleagues want to help the mass of people who will arrive to watch and create social media at the games. I would like to see VANOC and the IOC reconsider bringing them to the table, at least so their exclusion doesn’t become a story that detracts from what I expect to be a most successful event.

If I may humbly offer a piece of advice: a little love goes a long way with the social media crowd. You don’t need to give them the VIP treatment, a seat at the big kids table is enough. Recognizing the powerful voice of the people will do wonders for getting them to sing on key.

Well said Will, a seat at the big kids’ table *and* a tasty turkey drumstick will help us all ;-).

My three cents

My personal reason for caring about all this starts from being a sports fan, a social observer and a documentarian and a belief that authentic media works better for many audiences. What I’ve found about the Olympics is what you see on TV is not like the experience on the ground.

The viewpoints and stories which are the richest and most compelling aren’t the ones getting the round-the-clock coverage. If i drift into anecdotes here I’ll never get this posted so I’ll save my loquacious stories for a fireside chat with a tasty beverage ;-). Be sure to ask me about the impact of a :10 video clip of the first ever Nepali Winter Olympian.

I should point out for the record (since I am being transluscent here). I grew up in Whalley in the 70s, I lived in both Salt Lake City, Utah and Nagano, Japan prior to those regions hosting the Olympics and witnessed controversies aplenty. I’ve also seen the changes (good and bad but mostly good) resultant from hosting an event of this magnitude. I traveled and worked in 20+ countries and now live in North Vancouver and will be hosting all sorts of international friends at my place during the Games (well those who bribe me appropriately at least – hint: bring micro-brews).

Like many British Columbians, I am bombarded with negative Olympic-related news from loan guarantees gone wild to security budget chaos and street closures. I work next to the heart of DTES and see daily the lives of the disenfranchised and addicts and homeless. These are very real problems but also beyond the Olympic mandate. Certainly though, pausing to consider their point of view will cause the most calloused to think twice about how we spend public money.

I have a 14 year old son who is stoked for Aerials and Moguls and Snowboard at Cypress Mtn. I saw 4 out of 6 Team Canada men’s hockey games in SLC and saw every hockey team (men’s and women’s) in the tournament at least once. Heck, Don Cherry even wore my hat! and i held the torch a few times … ooops i am starting on the stories …

Anyhow, this time, I am personally most excited to meet more Latvian hockey fans and watch Jeremy Wotherspoon fulfill his Olympic potential at the glorious new oval – where I also hope to see my friends from Thuringen, Germany again set records and party afterwards. Like I said, i’ts a whole different Games on the ground compared to the TV coverage of superstars and scandals.

Indeed, there are huge social problems facing residents of our fair region, but they won’t improve by complaining, instead we must use this platform judiciously and show that Vancouver has the ability to shine a light towards the possibilities of what we can accomplish as a progressive, creative and cooperative society – the Games are coming and I am ready in many ways.

Notes from the Resistance

Ready to wow the world

As for protesting the Olympics, … the Olympic Resistance Network‘s press conference didn’t get too much International coverage as hoped but some Canadian sources took notice of their various concerns: Canadian PressThe TyeeGlobe and Mail.

These concerns are express by people who frankly have a hard time getting their message heard by the “suits” and as such, feel disconnected from the process and a bit ornery about the Games to say the least. I recorded audio to go along with photos and video of the Olympic Resistance Network event and will try to get that posted to share their important stories and concerns.

Keeping the conversation going

I’ve also pinged the erudite Olympic scholar Dr. Andy Miah in the UK for his comments so hope to hear from him for the next update, along with sharing whatever response we receive from VANOC. As rumoured, we are planning for a meeting next week to riff ideas about creating social media centres in Vancouver and Whistler (perhaps with sponsors?) – whew.

Mainstream media who wish to speak with Kris Krug, Robert Scales or myself (Dave Olson) about this topic, contact details are at the Raincity Studios media kit. Social media makers already know how to find us ;-).

PS If I missed including your coverage, please leave a comment. Ditto if you have something to say about the role of Social Media in the Olympics.

Open Letter to VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations from Social Media Makers – Open Letter #1

Open Letter to VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations from Social Media Makers, by Dave Olson

NOTE: Sent to VANOC {mediarelations@vancouver2010.com, pressoperations@vancouver2010.com} Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008.
Cross-posted at: urbanvancouver.com, 2010.dailyvancouver.com, nowpublic.com, etc.

Hello VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations,

I am writing today on behalf of Raincity Studios, a Vancouver-based social media company who owns and publishes a suite of media properties. We had hoped to talk about social media (blogs, podcasts, twitter, wikis etc.) at the World Press Briefing this week, however we did not receive any response from the applications we submitted to participate in the event. So, as per Mr. Furlong’s suggestion at the Vancouver Board of trade meeting last week, we are liaising with VANOC.

In brief, we’d like to have a conversation about how to allow fans and amateur media makers to document their Olympic experience while keeping out of the way of the IOC IP lawyers. As a company and as individuals, we’ve produced extensive, non-accredited coverage of Beijing 2008, Torino 2006, SLC 2002, and Nagano 1998. With the next games literally in our neighborhood, we’ll be hosting an independent, international media centre at our Gastown loft office. As part of this, we’ll organize events like photo walks and aggregate fan-made content for the enjoyment of a worldwide audience. We’d like to work with you to do this for mutual benefit.

As you likely know, Vancouver is a hub of innovative journalism with companies like ourselves, Now Public, and others plus renowned conferences like Northern Voice. Raincity Studios/Bryght is also an “official weblog service provider.” My colleagues Robert Scales and Kris Krug were published in the academic paper “Pathway: Critiques and Discourse In Olympic Research,” participated in the 9th International Symposium on Olympic Studies in Beijing and will be presenting about the experiences at the noted SXSW Interactive conference in 2009.

Among my colleagues and myself, we’ve posted thousands of photos, dozens of audio and video podcasts along with hundreds of blog posts, updates etc. from several Olympics. Additionally, we’ve cooperated with mainstream media and published Olympic-related coverage in the LA Times, BBC online, plus outlets in Poland, Brazil, Shanghai, and so on.

In Torino, Scales and Krug (and others) tested cutting edge equipment for Comvu and produced a cross-ocean symposium “Athletes and Social media” between Turin and Vancouver. In Beijing, they tested camera for Qik and contributed to many mainstream media outlets. Our own media properties include DailyVancouver.com, UrbanVancouver.com, Hockeynw.com, plus dozens of other presences, and we are allied with dozens of other media properties in BC and around the world.

Mr. Scales is China desk editor for Now Public and has presented to numerous international business groups about Olympics and business. Mr. Krug is ranked #4 on Vancouver Sun’s “Internet Most Visible in Vancouver” list, both Krug and Scales were included on Tech Vibes “Vancouver Digital Media People to Watch 2008″ list and appear on various other “best of” lists.

As for myself, I’ve produced extensive photo essays of event venues and published interviews with Canadian athletes like Duff Gibson, Ross Rebagliati and Crispin Lipscomb and written magazine articles about Olympians. I also appear on CBC Radio One discussing sports culture and new media as the producer/host of the Canucks Outsider podcast.

Bear in mind, aside form the occasional stipend, we do this work for no pay.

We are aware of your obligations to media rights holders and are seeking to provide an entirely different sort of coverage than the accredited media provide. We are not looking to cover events per se but are instead interested in covering the cultural stories, athletes’ families’ stories, and stories from fans who saved and traveled from around the world for this experience. In other words, we plan to encourage and aggregate fan coverage of the individual’s “on the street” experience of the Games. We are locals who have watched (and helped pay for) the development of the Games since before the Plebiscite – as a result, we are tuned in to the issues and excitement surrounding the Games.

To begin our liaison relationship, we would like to attend the media briefing portion of the Worldwide Press Briefing on Thursday. We would also schedule a follow-up conversation with the appropriate point of contact to discuss how we as a weblog vendor company, and as individuals, can be involved in providing amateur coverage of Vancouver/Whistler 2010.

With Best Regards,

daveo (and Robert Scales and Kris Krug)

Dave Olson
Community Evangelist
Raincitystudios.com
PS These links will provide a flavour of our point of view:

* Raincity Studios Olympics posts: http://raincitystudios.com/search/node/olympics
* Olympic overage at Daily Vancouver: http://2010.dailyvancouver.com
* Beijing kick off post: http://raincitystudios.com/blogs-and-pods/daveo/beijing-2008-social-media-backpack
* Krug’s Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/kk/tags/olympics
* Scales’ Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/raincitystudios/tags/olympics
* Olson’s Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/tags/olympics
* You Tube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/robertscales
* Olympic Outsider podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/olympicoutsider
* Scales’ Olympic coverage on Now Public: http://my.nowpublic.com/user/6247/assignments
* SLC 2002 photo/video essay: http://olsonboys.org/galleries/olympic-gallery.html

Source: Open Letter to VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations from Social Media Makers | Vancouver Access 2010

Crazy Canucks: Social Media and Hockey Panel – Northern Voice, 2008

At Vancouver’s personal expression conference, Northern Voice 2008, i presented my (now semi-infamous) spiel “Fuck Stats, Make Art” to enthusiastic reviews and then spent the afternoon with my dear colleagues from The Crazy Canucks podcast discussing our role as independent chroniclers of the NHL hockey team and the thrills and problems we face along the way dealing with team management, credentials (or lack thereof), and the reasons for producing grassroots, fan-powered media.

“Rebecca Bollwitt brings together her “Crazy Canucks” podcast co-hosts who are all BC sports/hockey bloggers for a panel on sports blogging. It’s something that’s never been covered but it’s a HUGE market filled with rivalries between ‘traditional media outlets’, rumour mills, and NHL team “officially appointed” bloggers.”
Featuring JJ Guerrero, Dave Olson, Alanah McGinley, and John Bollwitt – Filmed and uploaded by JMV

A lovely treat to riff with my Crazy Canucks colleagues in the Sports Blogging and Podcasting panel. This rag-tag group grew into a team over the past 61 shows and the panel was as easy and intuitive as the podcasts. We know each others strengths and are “giving” to one another in the conversation. The questions in the session were great and show a real understanding of the weird tension we have with the “official”ness of the Canucks and the trade off of objectivity and creative control vs selling out.

Alanah and JJ live outside the Vangroovy tech industry bubble and run the two most popular Canucks blogs out there. Alanah’s is famous for drunken live blogging which is no surprise why she ranks #1 for drunken canucks fan. JJ is the people’s ambassador to GM Place – walking the concourse with him is a task as he’s stopped more often than Mike Weaver would. And of course my good buddies the Bollwitts – the Vancouver blog and podsafe music podcast darlings.

 

Alanah of Canucks and Beyond posted this video of me (representing Hockey NW, home of the Canucks Outsider), J.J.of Canucks Hockey Blog, and the blogging Bollwitts: John (Radio Zoom) and Rebecca (Miss 604) yakking it up. My posture is horrible but the conversation is compelling for media pundits, hockey fans and social media enthusiasts Notes from NV08 wrap up.