I feel so alone

Granville Street at night

Long time readers might have noticed that a lot of our regular posters have not been blogging around these parts much anymore. Even casual readers will notice that for a group blog having one author is a tad unusual. I won’t lie to you, I’m feeling a little lonely here at Vancouver Metblogs as I try to hold up the fort all on my own.

Which is why I’m putting the call out for authors. That’s right Metroblogging Vancouver is looking for new bloggers and you could be one of them.

What’s the catch? There is no catch. You just need to be able to blog twice-to-thrice a week about this great city of Vancouver. You also need to live in Vancouver, or the surrounding burbs, because let’s face it a Vancouver blog written by people in Calgary or Toronto would kind of suck.

So if you’re interested in being a part of the world wide project that is Metroblogging, then please send me an email [jefferysimpson at metblogs dot com] and come aboard. Whether your passion is blogging about local restaurants, other local blogs, parks, the Canucks, the Lions, riding the Skytrain or anything to do with Vancouver, we’d love to have you.

7 Comments so far

  1. teresa on June 30th, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

    Too bad I’m stuck on the island.

  2. Jeffery Simpson (van_jeffery) on June 30th, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

    Well the island is lovely. But yeah, we can sort of strech out into the burbs, but once you hit the water and start taking ferries it’s hard to call that Vancouver.

  3. teresa on June 30th, 2008 @ 9:33 pm

    I’m planning on moving over there soon-ish, so I’ll keep this in mind. :)

  4. dgrant on July 2nd, 2008 @ 1:28 am

    "You just need to be able to blog twice-to-thrice a week about this great city of Vancouver."

    Forced article writing sucks. I prefer the "write when you have something really important to say" model.

  5. keithlim on July 2nd, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

    What’s the incentive? Serious question. This is at least the third recruitment round I’ve seen, and every time, the outcome is the same. Only a handful of new writers end up added to the roster, they start off with a bang, producing a number of good posts relatively frequently, for a few weeks or months, then fade out and disappear. Cue next recruitment call.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is madness. Allievating the malady requires different tactics. This is, I realise, beyond the power of just the Vancouver franchise–Metroblogging itself has to make changes.

    See, the business model calls for quantity ("blog twice-to-thrice a week") with not even a nod to quality. It’s all about churning out new content to attract the magpies, the subset of internet users who obsessively repeatedly visit sites which have a steady stream of shiny new stuff, never mind what it is (e.g. sites like Slashdot, Digg, Reddit, etc.), and drive up the ad revenue. But writing is hard. Writing text is much harder than just finding some interesting site and submitting its URL to a stream-of-shiny-stuff site. And nobody is good enough to write two or three good articles a week. They’d descend into forgettable lightweight musings quickly. (Bare event mentions don’t even count; Metroblogging isn’t supposed to be an event listing calendar in the first place. An event mention plus additional original writing about the event, that’s ok, though.)

    So, again, what’s the incentive for people to write for free, for the monetary benefit of the big franchiser Metroblogging? Good writers won’t stay, if they ever join at all–good writers do not want to churn out articles in quantity just to reach an arbitrary quota; they want to write quality stuff. Metroblogging wants an incentive, they could pay for writing–the writing is the content that brings in its revenue, after all. And since on the web, the popularity of individual pieces of writing can be measured, it can pay bonuses for popular posts. Make it a fixed percentage of the revenue the post brings in; done. Good stuff will be noticed, will be linked to often, will be mentioned frequently, and will endure as relevant for months or years. It matters little if quality posts appear only once every few weeks. Frequently-posted trivia, though, are forgettable and ephemeral, and will be ignored quickly–little revenue there.

    Give a good reason for good writers to join. Or just do the same thing as was done every time: call for a new batch of fresh meat, requiring no writing standards other than the ability to churn out words at the "twice-to-thrice a week" quota, and giving no incentives for anyone to do so. No need to tell anyone how well either plan works out: the outcome will be visible to anyone.

  6. Jeffery Simpson (van_jeffery) on July 3rd, 2008 @ 8:22 am


    I don’t know what we did to annoy you so much, but the amount of time you spend wanting to prove that the site is some big conspiracy is truely inspiring. Anytime we’re looking for new authors, or in anyway open the floor up to constructive criticism you’re in there.

    Fair enough.

    As for your comment, I’ll point out that you once felt that there was something worthwhile in contributing. Maybe you were younger and more fun loving back then, or maybe you now need to buy Aunt May her medicine every week, but whatever has changed for you hasn’t had to have changed for everyone else.

    What’s the point of blogging at all? Few bloggers will ever see a check from their Google Ads, and I’d say maybe five bloggers in all of Vancouver make money on their site. If you’ve got a hosted blog instead of a free service you’re likely pouring money into the site, rather than making it?

    So clearly the "what’s in it for me" question is answered by "nothing" if by what’s in it for you is actually a question about when does someone hand you a check. Despite your continued insistance that somehow this is a big corporation that is making people rich, only two people see money from this and then that’s because they’ve focused on Metroblogging as their full time jobs. Both the co-founders have poured a lot of work into the network and do so on a daily basis.

    What you "get" I guess is a chance to blog about Vancouver on a site that’s going to have more readers than most other sites and certainly most people’s own personal blog. If blogging if about communicating, as opposed to making a check, then it’s a really great forum for that.

    As for the quality over quantity thing, two posts a week isn’t terribly hard. We’ve gone long periods with authors who’ve posted far less than that and I think if you talk to Ryan or others you’ll see that I’ve always been flexible about it. However I find if someone doesn’t start off aiming for at least that much a week, their actual output is going to be much, much lower. A post a month, or a post every few months just isn’t as helpful.

    Again writing here might not be for everyone, which could explain why Victoria refuses to pass our bill to force everyone in Vancouver to blog for us. You decided it wasn’t for you, why not let other people decide if it’s for them?

  7. We’ve got a boatload of new authors but you can still climb aboad the good ship Vancouver Metblogs | Vancouver Metblogs (pingback) on July 13th, 2008 @ 10:06 am

    […] blogger since my last advert pleading for new authors to come help out at Metroblogging Vancouver [mbv]. I’d like to welcome castewar to the blog, and he’s already started off with his feet […]

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