Archive for the ‘Vancouver Blogs’ Category

Vancouver Blogs: The Vancouver Sun knows the internets


Maybe I shouldn’t be sarcastic with the title, maybe they do know the internet. I mean they at least know the fundamental fact that the best way to get traffic is to mention people by name. It’s the same thing we used to do in the student press, a front page picture of a rock band would only get picked up by fans of that band but a front page picture of a bunch of students would get picked up by the students, their friends and anyone who wanted to sleep with any of the students pictured.

It was circulation gold.

So when NowPublic, the people who don’t seem to understand Creative Commons licenses so spam you four times a week on Flickr asking to use your photos, the Vancouver Sun must have thought “Hey NowPublic is already repurposing all of our content as large block quotes and calling it ‘Citizen Journalism’ we might as well get involved in a link baiting scheme with them.”


Been gone so long


Apologies for not posting for a little while.  First The Georgia Straight said they’d pay me to write for them, and I was sort of shocked by the fact that there’s money to be made in this writing thing, so I started doing that [tgs][tgs].  It didn’t help us win best local blog [tgs] but being paid in actual money is even better.

I’d like to thank Tim, Ryan and Castewar for keeping things going during my downtime.  It’s really great to have authors contributing to the site, and though I’ll be doing the typical recruitment campaign shortly it’s nice to know that the blog is in a position where if I get busy it’s not laying fallow.

Vancouver food blogs: like eating but without the calories

Motomachi Shokudo

Here at Metroblogging Vancouver we do a fair amount of food blogging [mbv], but we’re certainly not what you would term a food blog.  Increasingly though people who are in the know, meaning my fiancee Lydia [iatl], are telling me that there’s some pretty good local food blogs that I should be paying attention to.  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical, I like writing about food but from my (granted limited) experience of food journalism most of it’s lazy, repetitive and cliche.

Surprisingly though there are some really good Vancouver food blogs, and after the jump I’ll talk about two.


We’re all tough behind the keyboard

Powerbook keyboard

Ah blog wars.

We’re all tough behind our keyboard and everyone is brave when they can say things using a fake name.  I’ve been pulled into a few cross blog arguments, and I generally end up feeling dirty afterwards.  Typically they’re boring, the internet equivalent of watching the kids in the special class in grade four fight over who stole whose Muscle Men toys.  However like the playground dust-ups they most closely resemble its hard not to stand around chanting “Fight, fight, fight” when one is going on.

Goodness knows how this one started.  Possibly when Sean Orr of Beyond Robson, whose life goal is to defeat poverty with sarcasm, called the people at new local blog Vancity Buzz cocks [br].  The two sites have been going back and forth from there, mostly arguing over the fact that Orr is left wing and the pseudonomous bloggers at Vancity Buzz are right wing.  Or bar stars.  Or both.

Whatever they are they’re active, like a bunch of rabbits given Viagra in a completely irresponsibly run science experiment they’re posting at a rate that threatens to fill up all available internet storage by 2009.  Sadly nobody alive will ever be able to read all of their posts, because the layout looks a lot like someone vomited onto a scanner bed and just uploaded that as a .tiff file.  How can a default Blogger template look so ugly?

Eventually everyone will get tired of yelling at each other, and go back to their business of posting about clubbing, or making snotty comments about things on the internet and the rest of us can go back to kickball or whatever normal kids did during recess.

Me?  Well I spent most of my recesses online arguing about Star Trek.  Now that’s a blog war I can get interested in.

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.

Waste not, want not

Buzz shoots a square watermelon
Photo by Buzz Bishop

Update: I, er, should have at least noted Jeffery’s July 14 post describing these melons in their natural environment.

My fairly good friend and local media personality Buzz Bishop had an interesting post regarding Urban Fare’s square watermelons, imported from Japan.

Buzz was seriously irked by the mere idea of an exotic melon from Japan, for various reasons, and his commentators took some specific umbrage at the potential carbon footprint of these transoceanic melons.

Now, I’m not defending the idea of square melons per se (they’re a novelty, and a pricey one, for sure) but I do like recycling, so I’ve reproduced my comment on the fuel required for shipping these things below.

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.

So here I am. Big deal.

So they asked me to blog here, and I said no.  They asked again, and finally after some promises that they wouldn’t use my real name or face I agreed.  I took this name because I quite like the book that it’s from, and if you need to be told then maybe you should look at The Urban Dictionary.


I don’t leave my house much.  I used to live downtown, where the action is.  But have you seen rent these days?  Now I live out in the suburbs and what am I going to do out there?  I mean I could walk to the 7-11, but a man can only drink so many slushes in one day.  It’s twenty-minutes to the Starbucks.

So maybe that disqualifies me from being relevant here.  Maybe the fact that I’m using Folgers Coffee to give me pep each morning means that I’m not Vancouver enough.


Here I am.  If you don’t like me I’ll go away.

It’s fairly simple.  I’ve been thrown to the lions in a Roman Coliseum.  Thumbs up or thumbs down lads?

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.

How the Hippies shaped Vancouver

Via David Drucker [lm]:


I knew Vancouver had it’s own fling with ’60s hippiness, and clearly we’re one of the most left-coast of the lefty cities on the continent even today, but I was completely ignorant of how much the ’60s and in fact a great influx of hippies had on the development of the city. From the fact that we don’t have a big freeway slashing its way through the heart of the city, to the formation of Greenpeace and even Vancouver’s current political believes all can be traced back to the Summer(s) of Love.

David Drucker found the video above on YouTube from Evening Magazine, a Seattle magazine style show, that demonstrates just how much the hippies shaped Vancouver.

It does seem quite jolly in the clip, but my uncle moved to Vancouver from Edmonton during this period of time and after getting further into a developing drug habit vanished forever. So while it turned out alright in for the city, it wasn’t without a few casualties. I also wonder how much of Vancouver current issue with IV drug abuse began to first develop during this period. Having grown up in the interior I know that the solution to most problems with the homeless, or drug users, is to just ship them to Vancouver.

Also I love how the narrator in the video says Kitsilano.

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