various endeavours like: True North Media House: Olympic social accreditation, Clayoquot Sound blockades, various lists, bestofs, award, tourism blurbs, un-conferences and geek camps + TEDx live blogging/tweeting
Various hockey ephemera (cards, calendars, tickets, clippings), made into a shadowbox once upon a time, broken, harvested and laid in situ.
Primarily Vancouver Canucks related including: Captain Marcus Naslund, goaltenders variety of Gary Bromley, Kirk McLean, Dan Cloutier plus tickets stubs from Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Thunderbirds, schedule from Vancouver Giants, plus Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky to rub off some greatness, and a list of Stanley Cup champions torn from a newspaper. Plus, Vancouver Canucks puck #inventory
Of such items, many many more exist in boxes, this just appeared behind broken glass.
As an enthusiast of creative commons “alt copyright”, I publish/shared many photos under an “non-commercial/attribution/sharealike license” which resulted in my images popping up in many places, often not with the proper attribution and dubious commercialization, but hey, life’s complicated like that sometimes. Nevertheless, I do try to document these things for the permanent record. In this case, my photo of the Stanley Cup (snapped at an NHL trophy exhibit at SLC Olympics in 2002) used and shared in many places, including / here in “Real Clear Sports” (whatever that is) in a bit of “meta” documentation using a screenshot of an archived version of the page.
Social media strategist Kris Krug said talks are underway to host the True North Media House in the W2 Community Media Arts Centre.
“We’re just a bunch of kids who are doing social media and online media and we just want to cover the Olympics,” Krug said. “We’re banding together to share sources, resources, photographers, places to work, press briefings.”
Krug and Dave Olson are leading a local new media group that sought access to the Games through VANOC and the B.C. 2010 Winter Games Secretariat.
“We were shut out and frozen out at every step of the way,” Olson said.
Krug said the International Olympic Committee is reluctant to open the doors wide to new media, fearing that it will erode the value of international TV contracts.
They adopted an if you can’t join them, beat them with kindness strategy and conceived the True North Media House.
Many of you likely noticed the campaign to help the venerable San Francisco institution City Lights bookstore “keep the lights on” and hooray, they rocketed past the $300,000 goal thanks to many small donations from around the world. Now, there’s a few other neighbours in the North Beach area to shine a light on, specifically “the Beat Museum” – an eclectic grassroots archive of artifacts from Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and well… dozens of other luminaries who have influenced counter-culture, literature and music.
To pitch in, you can buy a membership – especially handy if you live in the San Francisco area as it offers unlimited admission – those of us *anywhere else* can dig discounts on purchases (including mail order), exclusive content/interviews/events, and a membership card – I’m a sucker for membership cards!
Did you see a big North Beach neighbourhood round-up diary post I shared recently? Included a photo essay of many items on display including Allen Ginsberg’s typewriter (along with many other typewriters), Jack Kerouac’s jacket, Gary Snyder’s bits and pieces from Japan and so much more.
+ Their bookstore has a variety of rare additions, one-offs, special treats (I picked up a first edition of Allen Ginsberg’s Indian Journal on my visit).
So to recap, do one or several of the following:
* Go check out their website to see their mission and the big hearted folks running the show
* Purchase a membership (various levels/prices)
* Maybe buy yourself a little something nice, or a gift for someone else
* Kick them down some extra cash
* Sign up for their newsletter for campaigns & updates
* Spread the word to keep the goodness rolling
You got any questions or thoughts? Let me know.
And of course if you’re seeking unique Beat literature related content, I have dozens of podcasts, various essays, scrapbooks, maps, and so on for you to peruse.
PS shared respectfully knowing lots of folks are in tough financial situations and there’s lots of requests rolling around for various dire situations – in spirit of solidarity, safety, and abundance.
The world is on fire (and somehow i’m still in the dark)
Info and Call for Help for Kerala, India Flooding (Aug. 2018)
Indeed, the world is in a delicate and dareisay angry condition of late – whales are sending messages, my home province of BC is literally on fire, Indonesia is quaking over and over, California is also aflame, Japan is melting and typhooning, Hawaii bracing, and so on and on and on and on…
While *everywhere* is suffering it seems, i call your attention of the plight of another special place for me: Kerala, India. This lovely state is where my life started again – sequestered in an Ayurvedic clinic under the care of lovely and smart Dr. Veena Hemesh, my brain and body started sparking again.
Now this region of creamsicles-coloured homes, endless moustaches, earnest engineers and intrepid houseboats finds itself flooded with thousands displaced and seeking food, water, safety.
As such, if you are able, consider making a donation by the official channels detailed below to help these decent folks recover from this calamity (i did).
I’ll share a few bits of creativity crafted in Cochin (Kochi) and area… the area is one of historical tolerance with long-standing Jewish, Chinese communities and a noted religious tolerance. Occupied in different eras by Portuguese, Dutch and British, the area provided soldiers to fight WW1 (despite not having a horse in the race as it were) and now produces more engineers and doctors than any other region in India (which keep in mind was an assortment of “Princely states” before British-exit/partition.
Tourists come here for houseboat adventures through backwaters and others (like me) come for Ayurveda treatment (Kerala is the heartland for this ancient medical tradition).
Either way, people are struggling and you might be able to help. Easiest way is via Tranferwise who even waive their fee if donation is of a certain amount.
If you do donate, please let me know and i’ll send you a postcard of personal thanks. Otherwise consider a share, a kind word, poems or annotations.
Gallery of creamsicle coloured houses near Kerala, Kochi
DETAILS for DONATIONS
Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund, (CMDRF) accepts voluntary contributions from Individuals, Organizations, Trusts, Companies and Institutions etc. All contributions towards CMDRF are exempt from Income Tax under section 80(G).
Donations now accepted through UPI mobile app like BHIM, paytm, Tez, Phonepe also.
(VPA : keralacmdrf@sbi) / Scan the QR Code to donate
For Bank Counter Payment
Beneficiary Name : Principal Secretary (Fin), Treasurer CMDRF
Bank Name : State Bank of India (SBI)
Account Number : 67319948232
Branch : City Branch, Thiruvananthapuram
IFSC : SBIN0070028
For offline Contribution: Cheque/Demand Draft can be drawn in the favour of Principal Secretary (Finance), Treasurer CMDRF, payable at Thiruvananthapuram. The same may be posted/mailed to the following address:
Principal Secretary (Finance)
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 001
www.kerala.gov.in, www.cmo.kerala.gov.in, www.cmdrf.kerala.gov.inതുടങ്ങിയ വെബ്സൈറ്റുകൾ സന്ദർശിച്ചാൽ QR കോഡ് കാണാവുന്നതും സ്മാർട്ട് ഫോൺ ഉപയോഗിച്ച് paytm ആപ്പ്, UPI ആപ്പ്, BHIM ആപ്പ്, Tez, Paytm or Phonepe, തുടങ്ങിയ ആപ്ലികേഷനുകൾ വഴി QR കോഡ് സ്കാൻ ചെയ്തു സംഭവനചെയ്യാനുദ്ദേശിക്കുന്ന തുക എന്റർ ചെയ്തു സമർപ്പിക്കാവുന്നതാണ്.
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Leading up to Vancouver 2010 Olympics, filmmaker Andrew Lavigne followed, filmed and documented various stories around social justice and social media. One storyline was the “True North Media House” a renegade media project cooked up by me, Kris Krüg & Robert Scales based on our experiences documenting previous Olympics. In brief, we wanted to create a context in which grassroots bloggers, photographers, podcasters, vidmakers etc. could capture and share stories, reach a wider audience, and (if they chose to) stay out of trouble with IOC.
We aimed to take a non-political, non-denominational, non-everything kind of approach in that folks were welcome to write about whatever they want and participate anyway they wanted as long as they: took responsibility for their own work, published content under creative Commons license, submitted their RSS feeds to our “firehose”. This was unique amidst the adversarial relationship the Olympics built up with various constituent groups in the community. In other words, the Olympics were going to happen in our city, and we had an opportunity to share stories of what life is really like in Vancouver, the neighbourhoods we live in and the changes we saw to our civic society during that time, plus lots of parties
Wisely, we eschewed a physical space in favour of providing a litany of meet-ups, campaigns, workshops, and offering access to our mailing list and other channels to all the PR agencies, hospitality houses, various educational an activist groups and so on providing a wide variety of topics and events for TNMH accredited documenters to document. By the way, to be accredited, one must agree to the three principles above, and print out their own badge, lamination optional but recommended. Overall, so many wonderful people took on this challenge from youth to elders, people who thought they would have no interest in the Olympics to people who were diehard enthusiasts, to activists to people seeking free beer.
Uncounted thousands of stories were created, amplified through some very strategic social media kung fu, and the story of True North Media House became a story for the mainstream media with coverage in dozens of publications. Indeed, some “mainstream” journalists wrote with a glint of envy about our lack of word counts, deadlines and assignments… Yet we were motivated and focused enough to actually create compelling narratives and artifacts.
NOTE: Former VANOC communications chief Graeme Menzies shared his opinions about IOC’s constantly changing policy of controlling social media content (both from athletes and citizens) on behalf of rights holders and sponsors and, (often) against wishes and rights of locals.
Article shared below for posterity along with comment for your perusal. Comment written/posted just after the opening of Rio 2016 Olympics.
As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games rapidly approach, sports fans across the globe will use social media to observe and participate.
As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games rapidly approach, sports fans in Rio and across the globe will use social media to observe and participate in the experience. It promises to be, in the words of brand marketing executive Brian Yamada the “largest social media event ever.”
He’s half right. What it’s really going to be is the most branded social media event ever.
Maybe also the most profitable for media moguls.
Perhaps it was inevitable, but I’m nevertheless disappointed that the IOC and all its corporate and media sponsors have hijacked social media for their own purposes.
It certainly didn’t start off this way.
Back in the months leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics — what would eventually become the world’s first social media Games — people had the idea that social media was “the people’s media.” Part of the thrill and promise of social media at that time was that anyone could publish without approval of editors, gatekeepers, or censors.
Everyone could be a reporter. Everyone could express an opinion.
The whole notion of “official media accreditation” was challenged. Some social media activists rejected the officially-sanctioned rules and roles of media participation in Olympic events, and created the True North Media House — a voluntary, self-accrediting cohort of non-tradition citizen-reporters. There was also the W2 Culture + Media House, an alternative media centre located in the Downtown Eastside, which aimed to create a place where both traditional and non-traditional media could merge and meet for mutual gain.
Social media at this time offered a potent, exciting, new way for people outside the IOC family to engage in the Games and to share their views and experiences with each other and the world.
There was a sense that power, and a voice, had been returned to the people. And there was a dream that the sport event audience could become more than traditional observers and consumers of organizational and corporate narratives … that the audience could in fact be co-creators of the event and help define the media narrative.
Oh how innocent we all were.
Things have not unfolded as we hoped they would. The IOC has moved from passive social media observer to dominant social media player. In 2009 they were content to watch the local organizing committee launch the first official social channels. Today local organizing committees take a back seat to the Olympic giant: the @Rio2016 Twitter handle has a mere 295K Followers compared to @Olympics 3.5M
Unsatisfied with dominance over mere organizing committees, the IOC also engages global brand marketing agency VML to actively promote the Olympic movement and help with their social media strategy.
The IOC’s controlling hand extends to persons not on their payroll: during the period of the Games, and especially while on official venues, all athletes and accredited persons must adhere to the IOC’s social media guidelines. Live-streaming applications like Periscope are prohibited inside Olympic venues.
Mainstream media corporations are also getting in on the action, eager to turn sports fans into revenue streams. Comcast has made a deal with Snapchat to broadcast highlights from the Rio Olympics on the NBC Rio Olympic channel on the Snapchat Discover platform. The media giant is also talking with Facebook and Twitter about similar deals. Reports say Comcast has already scored a billion dollars in national advertising sales for the Rio Olympic Games.
Its all big business now. The citizen-reporter, the alternative media centres, are no more.
Sadly, the opportunity for regular sports fans to meaningfully shape the event narrative is weaker now than it was six years ago. We didn’t know it at the time, but that was as open, unfettered, and non-commercial as an Olympic social media experience was ever going to get.
Graeme Menzies is an international youth marketing professional, and frequent writer on sports and cultural topics.
Since Graeme published this article, I’ve wanted to write a appropriate response but, realized that the story of “Olympics and the social media” is almost gone.
It also occurs to me that it doesn’t matter to the IOC who are in the business of hamstringing cities into debt under the guise of utopian amateurism and sport.
Indeed, Vancouver will go down not only as the high point of participatory journalism but maybe as the “last reasonable Olympics” (despite the endless snide comments from foreign media who derided the games as not quite glamorous enough for their fickle tastes).
Each Games is preceded with a barrage of negative news pointing at the organizational foibles and these stories often overshadow the social justice and civil rights issues which locals pound the drum about eager for a voice at the table. Then, inevitably, everyone rolls their eyes at the cost and complaints, until the Games begin and then, through an odd sense of quasi-patriotism (jingoism) and excitement of seeing the youthful athletes making maximum efforts, the negative stories recede after the events end.
The media decamp before the Paralympics begin, the clean up crews deconstruct the endless white tents, and the agencies/countries hosting the hospitality houses count their impact. Then, the various levels of governments figure out the wreckage and the long term impact to the region.
While Olympics are catalyst to create infrastructure (which often should be built anyhow), the social justice issues which were raised before fade as quickly as the black SUVs disappear.
The stories of crippling debt from Montreal to Athens, and the excess and hubris of Beijing and Sochi, leave a sour taste in the most ardent sports fans’ mouth. And now Brasil is next in line to suffer the indignity and abject loss which is part and parcel to an event which is really only bid upon by cities with enough money that the fallout doesn’t matter.
Some folks put forth that the Olympics should rotate around 6 venues or build a special venue to be used each time, but these miss the point… the Olympics are a 2 week+ TV commercial for the host city, and a windfall of contracts for specialized companies to build and organize the events, and another 4 years of junkets for the IOC and their elite sponsors in thuggery. Its just not fun for the regulars.
Keep in mind, from Nagano onwards, i’ve actively contributed content (pod, blogs, snaps etc) to the commentary and dialogue, and did so from a point of view which accepted the Olympics at face value and as “inevitable, so let’s make sure the unknown stories are told” point of view. My efforts included wrangling the True North Media House campaign which resulted in social content produced by hundreds of amateurs on their own to a quantity and variety which eclipsed anything VANOC, IOC or the various protest groups managed. We did the whole campaign for about $15 ($50 if you include beer).
Now, i’m just worn out of seeing cities buy into the scheme and the athletes used as tools for profits of endless parade of acronyms of various sports associations and authorities that, despite legions of bureaucrats, still cannot provide a clean, fair games. Seeing athletes in one sport struggle for any support while across the way, millionaires line up in the “spirit of sport” … just makes no sense how it makes no sense.
Digressions aside, back to the original point about social media: IOC has changed positions and enforcement each Games… both in terms of what athletes and teams can post, but also what spectators, and even regular people living in the host city, can share without evoking the wrath of lawyers. As a result, the story is not complete (the TV networks sure don’t tell it) and the issues which were critical before the Games, vanish afterwards.
The IOC is adding “youth-ish” sports to the games to remain relevant for future generations but they again, miss the point and the zeitgeist of youth and the way communication occurs in contemporary context. But i also realize the TV rights fees and sponsors money keeps increasing which is the IOC’s real game – the sports are just a product to market.
Thanks anyway IOC, but i’m not interested anymore. Go amateur athletes (!) go far somewhere where you are treated fairly and compete on a level playing field which is clearly not the Olympics forte (or purpose).
NOTE: I first met Mr. Menzies (the author of the article) when he was obliged to reply to my offer (on behalf of Alternative/Independent media makers) of assistance, coupled with insistence in being included in an event which impacted our city and tax bills.