Some (not all by any measure) vending machines at bus station (and map board) at Uno bus terminal in Okayama, Japan.
Also not pictured: sumo on TV and cup of hot tea purchased.
Some (not all by any measure) vending machines at bus station (and map board) at Uno bus terminal in Okayama, Japan.
Also not pictured: sumo on TV and cup of hot tea purchased.
The Internet Age Began on August 9, 1995 by Levi Asher • August 7th, 2015
Two separate things happened on August 9, 1995, both by chance emerging from Northern California though they had little else in common. The first was a scheduled event: the initial public offering (IPO) by Netscape, a startup tech firm designed to make software to power the Internet.
I remember walking through the hallway at work that morning, probably heading for a coffee refill, when I saw a clump of co-workers and magazine editors talking anxiously. I thought they were talking about the Netscape IPO, but they weren’t. “Jerry Garcia died,” one of the editors said to me. “We need to replace the front page and get a new headline up, stat.”
Jerry Garcia. This one hit home.
Nobody said “going viral” yet by the summer of 1995, but that’s exactly what Jerry Garcia’s death did, and it was pretty much the biggest anything had gone viral anywhere up to this point.
Jerry Garcia’s death was the first major spontaneous news event to break big on the Internet, and the first of many to follow. There is one simple reason why it took a Grateful Dead member’s death to inspire the world’s first flash mob: the Internet’s early-adopter user base was heavy with educators and scientists and technologists, and educators and scientists and technologists tend to love the Grateful Dead. There was also a remarkable preponderance of Deadheads at magazines like WIRED as well as among the Internet’s most well-known early voices, like lyricist John Perry Barlow, who had recently emerged as the co-founder of the freedom-minded Electronic Frontier Foundation.
It’s because the World Wide Web and the Grateful Dead loved each other so well that August 9, 1995 turned out to be the first day I ever used the Internet to find out where I would be going that evening.
This day was pivotal for me and the day *everything* changed for me. I was a Deadhead and living on th e island of Guam after leaving Japan for a visa run and, after finding i was somehow very employable, i stayed on. Then, 1995 came and instead of joining my pals from BC, Canada and Utah and all points in between, i figured i’d work one for season as a Japanese speaking host at a private beach club – which sounds like a dream job but i could feel my brain atrophying and i’d imagine myself 20 years later as a character from a Jimmy Buffet song…And then in the weird time shifted hours of a 17 hour difference, i got the call that Jerry died. I was crushed and flummoxed and didnt go to work and instead starting making calls to find out “what happened? when’s the tribute? what the fck?” etc.
I couldnt learn a thing and the newspapers operating on a day or two delay was no help – of course this hippie didnt have a TV and then again, watching some make-upped clown on CNN tell me the generic anecdotes was not what i needed. So i went down to a park where i thought i might find some other Heads and sure enough, i found tribe of wide-eyed wonderers in the same state of mind.
I passed around a few little pinner joints – not worthy of the big man but did what i could – and commiserated with the assembled mix of oddballs who end on the island avoiding <something>. And then 2 haoles walked up and started asking questions. By that time, despite my heritage felt mostly local and raised eyebrow with the others at the intrusion and instead starting asking them questions: how? where? wtf? and they had all the answers. Mouth agape, i asked how they knew all this and they replied, “We work at the newspaper (Pacific Daily News for the record) and we have the internet.” “Ummm… The internet?” my reply. “Yeah its send words and pictures of any kind over phone lines and onto a computer,” they explained and i thought “whoa computers can do that?”
The next day, their write up was in the paper including a few of my quotes talking about how (paraphrasing) i’ve travelled all around the world and always found community with Deadheads to celebrate the music and counter-culture lifestyle.”
I realized there was no way i could physically get from Guam to San Fran in time for any memorial and instead tried to call friends who i’d roust at 3AM and barrage with questions quickly as i was paying like $8/minute or something. Still no real sense of understanding so i went to an ISP called Kuentos.Guam.net and took a one night workshop to connect to the internet using Win 3.1 and Trumpet Winsock. I couldn’t have cared less about the tech but wanted to see the words and pictures… and over the 9600 baud modem, i began to see Dead.net appear with words and pictures. The page was about 1/2 way loaded when the power went down on the whole island after a (endemic & invasive) brown tree snake bit into the one of the warm electric wires and shut it all down. I had seen the future enough to know that this was something for me.
Since i was a kiddo, i’d made ditto-machined newspapers, punk rock fanzines, the best school reports, and shared little chap-books of poetry and sketches with pals and now, i realized, i could do this at a bigger scale… take all my weird bits of knowledge and share with a larger audience. Head melted i started my first web page a week or so afterwards, a treatise and clearinghouse about the history of Hemp in Japan. The page was endlessly long as i didn’t realize the concept of multiple pages linking together but like the endless scroll feeling of the page — mountains and rivers without end, its seemed organic and right away, there was conversation and community sparked as i quickly met other folks exploring nascent hemp culture. Within a month, i was importing hemp surf trunks and trucker wallets to sell on island and also sending my research out to publications.
Realizing the my lifestyle/hobby of the Grateful Dead was no more (ostensibly anyhow), i made plans to leave Guam and head to Olympia Washington where i could mop up a long overdue college degree and find a place in all of this new web stuff.
Within 24 hours of landing in a strange climate and town, where i set up a tent in the woods by Evergreen College, i met some heady looking guys setting a booth to sell tie-dyes the next day at an annual campus fair. I asked them for change for the laundry and they asked “are those hemp overalls?” Yeah man,… of course this led to the usual passing of the bowls and swapping tales of tour. The next day i learned they also had just opened an ISP called OlyWa.net. “Come on by,” they said. I did and joined up and crashed coursed myself in TCP/IP, POP, PPP, HTTP and all the other acronyms i could and, seeing the 3 dudes werent exactly “people persons”, i worked my way into the biz as the marketing guy. This was a wild great ride from 1996-2000 when we sold it (a whole other story including the acquiring company requiring me to take a drug test… they tried anyhow).
Then moved back up to Vancouver, working for Raincity Studios making new-school database driven content rich, community building sites, Warner>Rhino was a client and was able to do some work on the site which brought me to the Internet in the first place. I added my fuzzy photos and hazy memories to the list of shows and felt something about full circle. Also by this time, my first web project about hemp in Japan had been published extensively and i had High Times staying at my house and related fun and chaos.
Then, moving on i was the first Marketing Head at Hootsuite – a social media tool in full startup mode. We were 10 in a dingy office and i was charged with growing the audience with basically no budget. But years of hustling the Grateful Dead lot and making enough to get to the next show and have a good time doing it, came in handy as i recruited an international team, fed them stories and together built community around our users including epic campaigns at SXSW where i went back to my Dead roots and created the Hootbus which was a modified short bus turned into a party on wheels as we’d roll the streets of Austin getting people “On the Bus” just like on tour — well kinda anyhow. In my barrage of public speaking which came along with the ride, i shared stories (to tech heavy audiences) of building community on tour, the resourcefulness needed to build and move, the “one hug at a time” ethos which i espoused to treat each user like our favourite.
Then last year, The Grateful Dead did the 50th anniversary shows and Hootsuite reached a Billion dollar valuation. Im still the same guy, sitting on a porch with a smoke and cut off jeans wondering when the next show is and how i can share the story.
Transcription of a talk called “Art and Tech are Old Pal” at Wordcamp Vancouver in 2010. Video no longer exists (thanks to blip.tv) but audio exists, as does a “round-up” of photos, tweets, artifacts, and so on. See “Consider Perusing” below.
Dave: I bet you’ve had a lot of knowledge today, so you’re probably pretty exhausted. I’m pretty wiped out but that’s mostly from the speaker’s dinner last night. Thanks to the organizers for bludgeoning us the night before. I really went there. This will be fine. I’m just going to pop in for just an hour or so. It turned out to be longest bus ride of my life on the way home. Overall, we’re good. So, Mr. John Biehler on keyboard. [applause]
So, I do my best thinking in the bath because you can’t do anything else. When you’re in the bath, there’s really nothing else you can do. You certainly can’t use your iPhone unless you put it in a little Ziploc bag. You shouldn’t be using your laptop. That’s just dangerous. I can’t use my vaporizer because I’d be electrocuted. So really, all that’s left to do in the bath is thinking.
Recently, I was in the hospital. Hit me the slide there, John. While I was recovering and having my scrambled eggs and stuff like that, I got to thinking about what a strange conundrum. What a strange piece of place of history that we live in with this tool. I was thinking about coming to talk to you guys. I had to have something because I really couldn’t think about it because I really couldn’t do much of anything.
I started thinking about how weird it is that all of a sudden art and technology were seeing these fruitions of time where all of a sudden a lot of you are making tools, writing codes, I went and sat in some of the things, and John’s talking about Map and all the new innovations of WordPress 3.0., I use the free WordPress.com, so I’m just letting you guys figured out how to build the tools.
But, all of a sudden, we’re replacing time that guys are making tools. You’re also expected or in some way producing content for these things. All of a sudden, you have this new publishing platform in front of you. I started thinking, because I’ve always been caught in space between art and technology as evidenced here with my King Tut exhibit there, that was pretty good and that’s the important part of taking risks, just proof and point about when you make art, you got to take some risks.
+ + Impending Eclipse of the Sun ~ a DIY guide + +
Indeed the signs of an apocalypse are abundant but we humans are creative and courageous and will persevere for at least another decade or three.
In olden times, next Monday’s eclipse would be interpreted in a variety of ways reflecting scourges and flights and varieties of doom, whereas now we choose to observe for scientific and orgasmic purposes.
No doubt, those of you in the eclipse zone are scrambling to find the prescribe spectacles for safe viewing. For those of you who do not have those, may I present a DIY guide for making your own eclipse viewer?
While I prepared this valuable document in 1979, I suspect it’s still relevant as that scant passage of years doesn’t really count as “time” in the solar context.
This was my first blog/social media/publication endaevour along with Chris Goodman, Surrey 1979.
Enjoy and be sure to share for your eclipse viewing friends’ safety!
Dave Olson, publisher Pig Express
#Guam (and me) and Jerry Garcia were in the Pacific Daily Newspaper on this day in 1995.
Via: Hootsuite’s Dave Olson on sparking the conversation – Newspapers Canada / Ink and Beyond
Social media has revolutionized the way audiences consume the news; changing not only the method of delivery, but the way that stories are shared and transformed in the process. On April 30, Dave Olson from Vancouver-based HootSuite gave the final presentation of the INK+BEYOND conference, titled Sparking the Conversation: Creating a Social Media Plan.
Olson spoke about the history of the relatively young company and described how newspapers can, and should, incorporate social media into their online and mobile strategy.
In the new digital world, content creators can now analyze where audiences are coming from, what they are looking at and what they are responding to. “You can measure everything – slice and dice your channels and tune the timing and the delivery of your content,” said Olson.
From a business standpoint, social media dashboard services such as HootSuite help newspaper staff not only manage the delivery of content on a variety of social networks, but provide a number of features to help analyze and understand how audiences interact with content.
Some highlights include:
- Integration of multiple accounts (Facebook, Twitter Foursquare) all on one platform
- Customizable analytics and tools to track detailed readership statistics (interactions, demographics etc)
- Determine the “clout” of certain users – algorithm that assigns an influence value to people allowing you to determine which users have authority
- Custom search streams allow you to monitor mentions of your newspaper, competitors and key industry terms.
- Drill down your searches with geo-location and filtering options
While anyone can go out and create raw content, traditional media contextualize all of the “stuff” with a built in credibility. “Education, practice and experience make journalists different than all of the other content makers,” according to Olson. However, it is important to remember that social media should never be used as a one-way delivery mechanism; it is always about creating a conversation between the newspaper and the audience.
Olson closed his presentation by reiterating that newspapers should integrate social media into their digital plan but must remain in control. “Technology is a tool, the tool will change – concentrate on what you want it to do, don’t become a slave to technology.”
Whilst tidying up all Canucks Outsider-related ephemera, I’ve rounded up a few oddments of media coverage and Fanzone related stuff for posterity. There are more out there so i’ll gather photos by my Crazy Canucks colleagues and stash ’em here as possible.
At the SLC 2002 Olympics came my anecdotal CBC HNIC appearance with Don Cherry, Ron McLean and Joe Neiuwendyk’s brother Gilles – Don Cherry wore my furry hat (thanks to brother Anders) which was featured in his montage for a few seasons – i spoke with Ron and Don about my daily photo journal of 28 events in 13 days
Much more after the jump …
Vancouver Courier Newspaper Spreads Canucks Outsider Podcast Story
Vancouver Courier staff writer Mark Hasiak wrote a great article about the Canucks Outsider podcast and my history as a grassroots Canucks chronicler.
The article breaks out a ton of references and anecdotes and really captures the vibe of what i/we are doing with the show and the international Canucks community.
Dan Toulgoet came by my office to take some snaps with me and some gear (including the obligatory headphones making my ears look like wee flaps).
Note: I hadn’t seen it yet when the CBC TV called today after seeing it and wanting to send a crew over – fun times for Canucks fans … and more to come tonight…
[UPDATE: The Vancouver Courier site moved their web presence so the original link at VanCourier.com no longer works. For archival purposes, I’ve included the complete article text via Archive.org version of the Courier article.
Dave Olson is stoked about the Canucks and raring to podcast.Photo-Dan Toulgoet
Local Man Provides Commercial-free Commentary to the World
By Mark Hasiuk-Staff writer
As local fans catch Canucks fever, Dave Olson is connecting with faraway fans around the world who don’t want to miss out on this year’s playoff run.
During the team’s last run to the final in 1994, the 36-year-old North Vancouver resident recognized a need for an information source for far-flung Canucks fans.
“I was living in Tottori, Japan as a mushroom farmer, so I missed all the Canucks coverage,” said Olson, who bills himself as the Canucks Outsider. “Although I could see the box score in the paper, I didn’t have that feeling and camaraderie with the rest of Canucks Nation.”
Two years ago, Olson decided to offer a podcast, or recorded audio monologue, on his website. Recorded at his home using his personal computer, the podcast recaps Canucks games and provides general information on the team’s progress.
Averaging 20 minutes in length, the podcast has grown in popularity, and Olson regularly attracts up to 1,000 listeners in countries like Japan, China, Australia, the United Kingdom and Denmark, who download free versions from his website or from iTunes.
Olson, a marketing coordinator for a Vancouver software company, is a longtime producer of fan-based media.
“I’ve been doing grassroots Canucks media since I was a kid, writing little Xerox newsletters and distributing them around my neighbourhood,” he said. His oldest-and most prophetic-newsletter was written in 1979 and details former Canucks GM Jake Milford’s first scouting trip to Sweden.
He said the positive reaction he received from the podcast prompted him to stage live videocasts from his office’s employee lounge during this year’s playoffs.
While he doesn’t show the Canucks television broadcast, Olson and a rotating panel of guests-mainly friends and local hockey enthusiasts-provide typical “living room” commentary about the game and discuss topics like Trevor Linden’s peaks and valleys, the 1982 and 1994 playoff runs and the whereabouts of former Canuck tough guy Gino Odjick. Olson also showcases his collection of Canucks memorabilia, including a Pit Martin hockey card and the Canucks Family Cookbook from 1981 that contains a perogie recipe from Stan Smyl’s mother.
“It’s not exactly Don Cherry, but we goof around and add a little Wayne’s World flavour to it,” said Olson, adding that his audience includes many multitasking local fans who use his videocast as a complement to television broadcasts. Viewers also join the discussion by chatting online.
Olson said his wife, a Florida native, was caught off guard by his puck passion-but she has learned to share her man with the Canucks.
“When we first got together, I told her she would never be number two-she’ll be tied for number one,” said Olson. “And over time she has turned into a pretty big Canucks fan.”
Olson staged a videocast last Tuesday during Game 4 of the Canucks/Ducks second round series, and he hopes to chronicle a Canucks playoff run that ends with a Stanley Cup championship this June.
Pig Express – community newspaper, made on a “ditto” mimeograph machine while living in Guildford, Surrey (BC, Canada), in 1979.
Coverage included Canucks hockey (including then-GM’s revolutionary trip to Sweden), solar eclipses, new stadiums, malls, libraries, movies, hockey scoring leaders, and other important topics.
Also featured illustrations of instructional and/or comix. Made with pal Chris Goodman, note contribution by cousin Tally Bachman.