Archive for the ‘Metroblogging News’ Category

Fire at Main and Broadway – nobody hurt, coolness lost.

photo by me

Well, Mount Pleasant just got a little less cool.

Last night, a fire of unknown origin, tore through nearby businesses, including Zocalo Mexican restaurant, Slickety Jim’s, Lugz Coffee, and Kishu Island Sushi. Fortunately spared was the apartment complex next door. Ironically spared was the old Scotia Bank building on the corner of Main and Broadway, which for the past year has served as a showroom, sales center for a proposed condo complex to be built there in the future.

While no one was hurt, thanks to the fast action and overwhelming force of the Vancouver fire department (the news says 8 engines from 3 stations were called to the scene), traffic was a pain all day, as rubble was hauled out into Main street, presumably to easier soak the debris without risking any hidden fire to spread. Both lanes were down at least until 3PM (and may still be blocked for all I know – I’ll have a look shortly.)

I liked Slickity Jim’s. I liked Lugz. And I had a decent, happy-hour special at Kishu a couple of times. So I’m sad to see them go, as they will no doubt be replaced by something far less funky.

Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

The folks at MBHQ

How many shootings is it now? This has got to stop.

What’s going on here? I’ve lost count on how many shootings the Lower Mainland has had over the past month. Shootings happening in shopping centres, in broad daylight, directly in front of a four year old boy

Some say it has to do with a certain family with gang ties, others say it’s a series of revenge killings between the UN and Red Scorpion gangs. Some others say that it has more to do with silencing certain people before they go to the cops.

Why can these groups have free reign to spread such fear? How did it get to this point where these groups are left unchecked? Where are the laws that are supposed to protect us from these groups? Where are the deterrents? Are there deterrents? Why are those who deal drugs or commit gun crimes given such light sentences? I understand that there was legislation to impose maximum sentencing for crimes involving guns, but that it’s currently being held up by the senate.

Just a little frustrated… I’d like to know your opinion.

Introduction to Comic Book Production

In a town where you can learn to make everything from buttons to video games (and, oh, science and stuff), it takes a lot to stand out as particularly cool. Personally, learning to make comics ranks pretty high.

Local scribbler of note, Steve Rolston is rapidly filling up open spots for the three classes he’ll be teaching this year (starting as early as January 12th.) If you’re looking to learn something new or perhaps fill in a few blanks and remove the final hurtle to making your very own comicbook, perhaps this is for you.

In this course, students will be guided through the various stages of creating a four-page comic, including: script writing, character design, thumbnailing, penciling, inking, page structure, panel composition, and storytelling. Students will be using Adobe Photoshop software to add lettering and greytones to their artwork, and explore how to develop a plan for pursuing their personal aspirations within the medium of comics.

Students in this course should have strong drawing skills, and submit a small portfolio upon registering. Those with minimal drawing experience can take our other courses in Basic Drawing or 2D Animation before taking this course. You should budget approximately $50 for art supplies. This course is taught by an award-winning comic book artist whose credits include Emiko Superstar, The Escapists, One Bad Day, Pounded and Queen & Country.

Pre-requisites: Drawing portfolio (up to 6 samples of artwork)

Instructor: Steve Rolston

Monday evenings (12 Classes), 7:00-10:00pm
Fee (CDN): $595 (No GST)

2009 Start Dates:
January 12, May 11, September 14

Here’s a PDF overview of the course [pdf], which goes into even more detail than the link above.

Nuff said!

[UPDATE] It turns out, a friend of mine took Steve’s class a couple of years back, and I got to watch him put his four-page project together. Very cool stuff, which ultimately led to him being included in the latest Historyonics compliation comic (produced locally – lots of good stuff.)

On the iPhone

2008-08-02 10:10:15 -0700, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

If you’re one of the ten or so Canadians that have bought an iPhone since its launch on July 11th, then you might want to check out our site via your mobile Safari.

The mobile version of Metroblogging Vancouver has been up and going for a few months now, however this might be the first time that a large portion of us Canucks get a crack at decent mobile internetting.

Introducing The Hub


If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

We’ve got a boatload of new authors but you can still climb aboad the good ship Vancouver Metblogs


As you might have noticed we’ve added one new 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 on the ground running full steam ahead with a number of great posts.

We’ve got a few more in the wings in various stages of undress, just climbing into their costumes before their cue. Which perhaps does not go with the previous metaphor of running, nor the picture of the large Canadian Naval ship in Coal Harbour that I took on Canada Day that’s sitting just above these words.

The point is we’ve got some good stuff on the way, but we’re still looking for new authors. While some blogs might be looking to assign authors to a beat, locking someone in as the theatre blogger, or food blogger, we’re pretty free form here. You can blog about anything you want as long as it’s got something to do with Vancouver.

That’s right, we put it in our title so we figure we’d better stick to the Vancouver topics.

We’re looking for someone who can commit to a semi-regular blogging schedule, aiming for an average of two to three posts a week. However we’re all human, and we understand that people go through periods where life, school and work can get overwhelming so we’re pretty flexible here.

If you’re interested throw me an email at jefferysimpson at metblogs dot com. If you’ve got any questions, well that email works for that too.

The Vancouver Five: Twitterers

Picture 1

Maybe you’ve been hearing about this Twitter thing, or maybe for you it’s old hat by now. Last week I explained how Twitter and the kindness of strangers helped me find my way when I got lost in Burnaby [mbv], and now I’d like to take a page from Blogging LA’s book [bla] and present a list of some great Twitter reads from Vancouver.

If you’re not quite clear on what Twitter is, or why you should care about it, check out this wonderful short video [cc].

  1. Buzz Bishop [twt]: Vancouver radio personality and tech writer, Buzz is an active Twitterer and often uses the service to reach out to readers for ideas for his column in 24 Hours.
  2. Sarah! [twt]: Sarah’s my fiancee’s roommate, and a very funny Twitterer.
  3. Raul [twt]: There are different levels of Twitter frequency, and Raul certainly is active.  Following him on Twitter is kind of like following about three feet behind him wearing a long trench coat.  If you get my drift.
  4. Tod Maffin [twt]: The CBC tech radio guy was of course an early adopter of Twitter, and still uses it regularly today to promote his work and share a bit of his personal life.
  5. Vancouver Metblogs [twt]: Oh how tacky, I worked in a little self-promotion here.  That’s right, ten minutes before everyone abandoned Twitter for FriendFeed we totally set up a Twitter account for Metroblogging Vancouver.  With Vancouver specific updates, as well as notices of when we post something new it gives us that Web 2.0 street cred we crave.

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.

A Vancouver blogging meetup: Metblogs is drinking so why won’t you?

The Library Pub

It’s meetup time again, and after months and months of no getting together the Metroblogging Vancouver crew want you to come on out.  All of our bloggers and you the readers are invited, as we come together to drink, chat and drink. 

Will our adventures be blogable?  Will we have Flickr ready poses all worked out?  I say yes and again yes.  Our special guest for the evening will be Metroblogging co-founder Sean Bonner whose in Vancouver for a few days.

This Tuesday May 20th come down to the Library Square Pub at 7:30 pm and partake in the fun.  If you can please RSVP in the comments.  Metbloggers please check the authors’ forums or email me to confirm that you can make it.

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