Tag Archives: press

Zhonka Media Roundup

See Zhonka Broadband media page for more Internet business-related press.

Zhonka co-founders on 40 under 40 List (new window) – feature article by Paul Schrag from Business Examiner details achievements by 40 area business leaders under 40 years of age including Zhonka’s Jacob Stewart and Dave Olson 6/23/03

Article from The Olympian (new window) – newspaper article about Zhonka Broadband by Alex Goff w/ pic of Dave, Jay and Kenny Trobman at the Clubside Cafe 3/21/03 – Photo by Steve Bloom /The Olympian

Article from The Olympian (new window) – newspaper article featuring DaveO discussing ATG bankruptcy and Zhonka plans 05/02 – Another Olympian article about ATG’s alleged purchase 06/02 – Photo by Steve Bloom /The Olympian

Interview from Business Examiner (.pdf) – Q & A newspaper interview discussing OlyWa / ATG merger, Internet marketing, etc.

Business in Vancouver tells the True North Media House story

NOTE: From Business in Vancouver on, Friday, 12 June 2009 in 2010 Gold Rush by Bob Mackin, comes a  discussion about the True North Media House including quotes from Kris Krug and comments about the “Open Letters to VANOC” i published via Raincity Studios in November 2008.

Posted here for archival purposes. Grab Print version as needed.

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Countdown: 35 weeks until the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

VANOC slow to get into new media game

Kris Krug is among a small group of Vancouver new media trailblazers aiming to revolutionize how the Olympic Games are covered in this wild Web 2.0 world.

They have devised the True North Media House, and they say it will also be strong and free.

It’s going to be a Downtown Eastside-based alternative for outlets big and small that don’t qualify to be inside the fence at the main media centre in the Vancouver Convention Centre or in the non-accredited provincial facility at Robson Square.

“With the explosive growth of online journalism, citizen journalism and new forms of journalism, we’re going to have huge demand for the services we’re offering there,” Krug said.

The concept was borne out of meetings last fall among disaffected members of the local new media community. Early on, VANOC was wide-eyed about the new media. Krug and others briefed VANOC executives and staff on a new media day back in 2005. But as the Games approached, things changed.

Any VANOC forays into the virtual world have been on the coattails of telecommunications sponsor Bell. The Cultural Olympiad’s intriguing Canada CODE digital collage is the best example. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are used by many individuals at VANOC, but not VANOC itself.

The reluctance apparently comes from top-down. The IOC has tiptoed around the Internet, not fully embracing the new media. To its credit, it opened its own YouTube channel during the Beijing Games while liberalizing its rules to allow athlete blogs. Krug said the IOC’s top Canadian, Dick Pound, told him that the Internet is the second-biggest threat to the Olympics movement, after performance-enhancing drugs.

“They haven’t figured out how to harness the Internet, so they view it as a cannibalization of their broadcast revenues,” he said. “By not figuring out ways to engage the media, particularly the new media, they’re missing out on a whole generation.”

So Krug is intent on showing the IOC the potential.

“We have lots of people who are stoked abut it. You might have a Swedish ski blogger, and we’ll have the Christians blogging about Christians in the Olympics,” he said. “We’ll have other people who are probably anti-Olympics there, too. It’s like a big house, and everyone’s welcome in. It’s about open access for all these locked out, independent new media.”

Shut out from Olympic Worldwide Media Briefing at Canada Place

KK and Uncle Weed check in from Canada Place after being rejected entry to the VANOC worldwide press briefing event — We had hoped use our experience crowd-covering previous Olympic Games to discuss how social media can enhance the accredited media’s coverage and also provide deep documentary into the fan experience and lesser-known athlete’s stories. Alas, we were asked to leave and watched over by a handful of Vancouver Police Officers.

So, outside we drink coffee and chat about the experience and such.

Note: 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.

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

A note on Press Release writing…

In brief, … write your press release in a way that is easily copy and pasted for refactoring (ergo: change byline and title) by “journalists” seeking to refactor your release into valuable news coverage.

Free Wi-Fi Surfbreak – Press Release for Zhonka

PRESS RELEASE – April 6, 2004

FREE WI-FI IS THE “SOUP DU JOUR” FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES

OLYMPIA – As part of Zhonka Broadband’s unique “Surfbreak” program, innovative businesses around the Puget Sound are serving up free wireless Internet access for customers.

While other companies offer “wi-fi” (short for wireless fidelity) for a charge, Zhonka’s Surfbreaks are no-cost and hassle free with no login, password, or membership required. With diverse locations from grassy parks to late-night diners, there is a Surfbreak location to suit most anyone’s preference.

As Zhonka’s Secretary General Jacob Stewart notes, “It’s great to see business people and students escape the office or classroom to meet or study in cafes or parks instead.”

Zhonka, an Olympia-based Internet service provider, introduced this unique program in early 2003 and interest quickly spurred expansion to numerous cafes, espresso shops, computer stores, taverns, and public markets throughout Western Washington.

Recent additions include coffee roasters Batdorf & Bronsons’ Dancing Goats cafe, CafŽ Allegro’s two locations near the University of Washington, and the Olympia Farmer’s Market plus a few micro-brew taverns. A complete list – including contact information – is located online athttp://www.zhonka.net/surfbreak/. Locations are also identified with distinctive “Free Wi-fi for the People” posters and window stickers.

The Surfbreak locations use high speed Zhonka DSL connections to power the wi-fi hot-spots. A customer simply brings a wireless ready laptop or PDA to a Surfbreak locations and “Voila!” they are online.

Dave Olson, Zhonka’s Minister of Marketing Affairs puts forth that everyone involved stands to gain from this arrangement, “The Surfbreak program offers participating businesses a strategic advantage over competitors who charge for use. While we certainly enjoy the goodwill and publicity, the biggest winners in this scenario are folks using this exciting new technology.”

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Contact:
Dave Olson Minister of Marketing Affairs
Zhonka Broadband