2011 was my 6th year attending the Northern Voice personal media conference. I took the opportunity this time to play around more with my DSLR camera. I got to talking with photographer John Biehler about shooting using a fisheye lens, and he was kind enough to lend me his for the second day of the conference.
Fisheye is such a different perspective, it took me some time to get a feel for what it works well on. Here are a few of my favorite fisheye shots from the day (click to enlarge):
I've taken to sharing links and quick posts on my twitter account instead of here. Twitter is a real-time micro-blog network. It lets you write short posts and also watch a feed of messages from people you follow.
People can follow your posts without you following them back, making for an interesting usage slope: how much publishing vs reading. Wildly different uses result.
This blog remains the place for longer writing. A blog is a simple way of creating permanent public webpages. An important tool in the cyberage.
Why do I publish media online? To share information. To entertain. To advertise my business. To advertise causes I believe in. To write the history of my life. To help write the history of humanity.
What about Facebook? I am still a fan of Facebook. I find it useful for events, photos, and entertainment. Facebook remains a walled garden, so it doesn't compete with blogs or twitter for real web publishing. It excels as a more private communications infrastructure.
One of the speakers at Interesting Vancouver scoffed at Facebook as a community tool. Well, my pictures from the last Vancouver Zombie Flashmob were mostly collectively tagged when I added them to the event page on Facebook. That is community building.
After getting interested in the foodie scene mostly thanks to King Casey's erudite yet eminently readable food blog and a xmas gift of the Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover) from me to Tash (which I've been perusing), I'm slowly getting interested in being hoity-toity with mah food. Thanks, King Casey!
Vancouver is a high-tech city; tons of people here are bloggers. Here's a clearing house of Vancouver based blogs that have ended up in my RSS reader. I don't actually end up reading them all now, but there's good stuff within.
Based on the work of some Israeli linguists, this algorithm looks at a chunk of text and guesses whether or not the author was male or female. In the original study it guessed correctly something like 90% of the time, though the web-based tool has a lower success rate.
A quick rundown of the blogs I tested:
Me - Consistently guessed male Adrienne - Mostly guessed female, one false male guess Budman - Consistently guessed female Sean - Mostly guessed male, one false female guess
I'm not sure what this proves, apart from the fact that Budman apparently has a very feminine writing style.
These Are A Few Of My Favorite Tools was one of the last sessions from day 1 of Northern Voice. It introduced a number of helpful tools for blogging or just being more productive on your computer. They're all listed on that page, so check them out (if you use a Mac). I'm going to be trying out a few when I have some more time, since a number of them looked awesome.
Everybody was free to go up and demo some of their fav tools, in true unconference style. It turned out that only Mac users did though. Throughout the session there were a few "Does this run on Windows?" questions asked. The answer was always "uh no... it's mac only... but there might be a windows equivalent" (except for the FireFox extensions, which are cross-platform). As a Macintosh Cult member, it made me smile to see the tables turned, in terms of software choice.
It's great to see the wealth of tools available on Mac OS X now. Full credit goes to Apple for giving out free dev tools, and winning massive mindshare amongst the creatives and hackers who are building the future of software.
It's lunchtime at Moose Camp after some good sessions. I'm quite intrigued by the idea of a Vancouver Transit Camp. That link is just a temporary home on the northernvoice wiki as the idea gathers steam.
Apparently Toronto recently held a Transit Camp that was an open discussion organized by local transit enthusiasts. They were focused on bringing forth solutions (as opposed to whining about problems). They got participation from the city and the TTC and came out of it on a positive road.
Some people here are talking about putting together a GVRD Transit Camp and I hope it happens. Check the Vancouver link above if you want to get involved.
The next few days I'm going to be attending Vancouver's blogging conference Northern Voice.
Last year I was too late to get a ticket to both days, but I went to moose camp. I met some interesting people and had a fun time. So I'm going back for the full deal this year. There's a welcome dinner happening tonight to kick it off. Rumor is there will be a chocolate fountain there...