In-depth discussion with rock art photographer bev. davies including: hippie days with Neil Young and Joan Anderson (Joni Mitchell), shooting punk pioneers DOA and Subhumans, Motörhead in a park, David Bowie in a stadium, Brian Jonestown Massacre flipping off crowd and so many more. Also stories from backstage with Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister, Nardwuar collaborations, Duran Duran posing at soundcheck, and remarks about various Vancouver venues.
Plus insights about role of photographer as artist, conundrums of accreditation and access, reasons for a long hiatus, crafting the perfect shot, shoes versus sneakers, origins of calendars and exhibits, and plans for a book. Recorded August 2010 in Strathcona, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
At a convention in New Orleans, Dave Olson talked about hashtags, including those used by supporters of the Egyptian revolution.
Sometimes, you have to make it big elsewhere before you start getting noticed in your hometown.
That’s what Dave Olson, community marketing director for Vancouver-based HootSuite, said with a smile when I ran into him today in New Orleans.
He was there to give a presentation on social media at the annual convention of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Several in the room were newspaper editors.
He told the audience that it took two years before HootSuite had one million people signed up to its social-media-dashboard service. The next million signed up in seven months.
HootSuite, a privately owned company based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, attracted global attention during the Egyptian uprising when then-dictator Hosni Mubarak blocked Twitter and Facebook.
Rebels were still able to get messages out through HootSuite. This prompted Olson to remark that for 36 glorious hours, his company became the voice of the revolution. He quickly mentioned that it also became the voice of the counterrevolution.
The company has also attracted celebrity users, including President Barack Obama, Oprah, and Martha Stewart, according to Olson.
“Christiane Amanpour live-tweeted through HootSuite,” he stated.
After his company created an infographic, the Voice of America called and asked if it could be translated into Farsi.
That was followed by calls from the U.S. State Department andNational Geographic.
He said the greatest number of tweets per second came when Japan won the Women’s World Cup. Ranking number two was the massive Japanese earthquake earlier this year.
“Japan is our number two market,” Olson noted. Referring to his company’s mascot, he added: “Some of it is attributable to the fact that we have a really cute owl.”
Almost hidden amongst all the Olympic media coverage created by the True North Media House campaign were articles by legacy media about the campaign’s origins, purpose and logistics. While some kinda glossed over the real story behind the erstwhile media revolution others dug deep. In this case, Stephen Hui of the venerable Vancouver arts and culture weekly, Georgia Straight took my quotes and ran ’em long so i could really express some important background for the record.
Dave Olson is the communications wrangler for the True North Media House. Photo Kris Krug
Dave Olson knows the 2010 Winter Olympics will look completely different on the ground than they do on television. So, he wants to use the Internet to share a “street-level view” with the world.
As the communications wrangler for the True North Media House, Olson is the “ringleader” behind a project that he expects will bring together over 300 bloggers, podcasters, photographers, and artists from all over during the Games. In contrast to the W2 Culture + Media House, a Downtown Eastside facility that will host non-accredited bloggers and journalists covering the Olympics, the True North Media House is billed as a “media collaboration campaign”. “Social reporters” can join the project by signing up for “self-accreditation” and agreeing to publish content under aCreative Commons licence and label it with a common tag.
Olson, who’s 40 years old, was born in Saskatoon, grew up in Surrey, and now lives in North Vancouver. He covered the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, uploading photos and video of 28 events in 13 days. In January, Olson joined HootSuite as its community director, following stints at MovieSet andRaincity Studios. He’s a contributor toVancouver Access 2010.
The Georgia Straight reached Olson on his cellphone at work in Railtown.
Why was it important for you to organize the True North Media House?
I think documenting the people’s history of how we see our communities ourselves is critically important to augment the mainstream media’s impressions of Vancouver that they’ll be spreading.
How is the True North Media House turning out differently than you first envisioned it?
It attracted more attention than I imagined at the beginning—from all over the world—and it’s become more of a thought-leadership, educational project than a resource centre.
What form will True North Media House take during the Olympics?
A series of meet-ups, events, get-togethers, photo walks, field trips to what I like to call internationalize—meaning hanging out and collaborating with international people hanging out and collaborating to make media.
How would you describe the people who are going to participate in the house?
People like me and my other colleagues who have organized this project, but from other countries. So, for all of us, there’s social-media doppelgangers from all over the world, and, just like here in Vancouver, we’re all ages and all backgrounds and work in all sorts of different media—photography, writing, audio, and so on. Those kind of people but just coming from, you know, somewhere else.
What are the main differences between the True North Media House and the Olympic social-media centre at W2?
Well, I can’t really speak for W2, but I know that they’re focused on community media and they have a physical space, and they’re also hosting the legal-observers program and the BCCLA, where True North Media House is about thought leadership, education, workshops, meet-ups, and so on.
What kind of stories do you expect people involved in True North Media House to tell during the Games?
I think hidden Vancouver gems; unique art projects, like the stuff that’s coming through the CODE program—the Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition; hospitality houses and what’s going on there; stories of lesser-known athletes—skiers from Ghana and Nepal, for example; and also shining a light on the civic and community conundrums that we see here in the city; and really tell the stories of the communities outside of the core Olympic area. I’m talking about places, like Squamish and North Van and even Surrey and Prince George, that aren’t getting as much throughout the Olympics. I think Squamish, in particular, is a great example of that.
What will you personally be doing during the Games?
I’m a guy with a day job and so I’ll have some flexibility. Pretty much every day, whatever I’m doing, I’m going to be listing it up as an event and inviting people to come along. So, for example, meet up at Gassy Jack’s statue at five o’clock with your True North Media badge and we’re going to a special tour of the police museum or the Vancouver neon exhibit, or we’re going to a live site, or we’re going to the Switzerland hospitality house, and so on. Everything I do, I’m going to be doing it publicly and inviting anyone that wants to come along to come along, and other people are doing the same thing as me. Throughout the day, they’re leading photo walks, they’re doing trips out to here, there, everywhere.
One of the most valuable things that we’ve done to kind of make this all happen is we put together a huge reporter’s toolkit, which also includes a guideline of cans and can’ts—what you can and cannot do throughout the Olympics—as well as practical tips about blogging and Twittering and how to tag things and how to track trends and stuff like that.
How do you think Vanoc has treated bloggers and citizen journalists?
They’ve missed a massive opportunity by not embracing and deputizing it—social-media makers. To compare and contrast that with London and what London and Sochi have done, London and Sochi have both embraced social media, where Vanoc has ignored and just simply missed a huge opportunity, especially in light of Mayor Gregor talking about promoting Vancouver as a creative-industry hub. Vancouver is a creative-industry hub, especially in this new-media field, and by not promoting the social-media activity and companies that are going on here, it’s a massive economic opportunity lost.
There’s some sort of badge, so it’s an alternative accreditation?
It’s really to kind of snub our nose at the whole accreditation pecking order. You’ll see during the Olympics everyone has some kind of laminate on. Like, everyone has something dangling from their neck. So, it’s kind of a little bit to say declare yourself to the world, and if you are saying you’re a reporter and you are following these best practices, then your work is of value.
Every Friday, Geek Speak catches up with someone in Vancouver’s technology sector, video-game industry, or social-media scene. Who should we interview next? Tell Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui
Vancouver goes camping – Parks board approves Olympic RV parks at Jericho & Spanish banks http://ow.ly/hQDe – Why not for homeless folks?
[Article from Georgia Straight, respectfully shared in full as an archive of Vancouver 2010 Olympics, civic issues etc.]
Vancouver park board approves Olympic RV parks despite residents’ objections by Matthew Burrows on July 21st, 2009 at 11:15 AM
The Vancouver park board has approved the establishment of temporary RV parks at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks during the 2010 Olympics, despite opposition from area residents.
But Vision Vancouver commissioner Aaron Jasper has promised that, if the revenue projections don’t add up, the park board could “reconsider” its decision.
“If we sat down with staff, and we were working with the residents and we had all the numbers on the table, and it actually showed that this would be a loss to the park board, I think that would definitely make the park board reconsider,” Jasper said last night (July 20) in the foyer of the park-board office after the 4-1 vote, in response to a question from Point Grey resident Ardy Zia. “Our goal was that, even with a modest occupancy, that this would break even. The bonus would be extra revenues.”
The parking lots at the beaches will accommodate up to 365 RV sites between February 8 and March 2, 2010. Visitors will pay $95 per night per recreation vehicle, a price that will cover access to washrooms, showers, waste disposal, and a free shuttle.
At the meeting, Vision’s Jasper, Sarah Blyth, and board chair Raj Hundal, along with Non-Partisan Association commissioner Ian Robertson, voted in favour of all of the recommendations contained in park board revenue-services manager Philip Josephs’s report. The park board awarded the $134,832 contract for managing the RV parks to Duckworth Management Group Ltd.
Green commissioner Stuart Mackinnon severed the recommendations into a separate motions, saying he could not support the main recommendation to approve the temporary RV sites. The other recommendations passed unanimously.
“The most troubling for me is the commercialization of parkland,” Mackinnon said. “I have a fundamental and philosophical opposition to the commercialization of parkland and beaches.”
Coalition of Progressive Electors commissioner Loretta Woodcock and Vision’s Constance Barnes were absent from the meeting. Barnes is on a leave of absence.
At one point during the fractious meeting, Robertson told the crowd that he represented all of Vancouver’s residents and not just the few that had chosen to heckle and yell at almost every turn for close to an hour.
Frank Tyers of the North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association claimed that no adequate “cost analysis” had been done that took into account the cost of a pumping station and a scenario where occupation was lower than predicted.
In the foyer, with questions coming at him thick and fast, Jasper fired back at Tyers: “I tell you sir, with all due respect, a half a million dollars revenue is a big deal to this board right now….It’s not BS.”
Tyers said, “It’s $700,000 [in projected revenues] if every space is rented, every minute….All of the expenses that you’ve put up there don’t include the pumping station.”
North West Marine Drive resident Tom Elliott was the most vocal critic, slamming commissioners for what he said was a disgusting display of “expediency and opportunism”.