Blogging on Breakfast Television Edmonton!

This post is coming to you this morning from the BT Edmonton studios downtown on Jasper Avenue. This week has been Bloggers Week on BT, and I’m thrilled to be closing it out! This is the third time I’ve been the “blogger in residence” – the first was in 2010, and I kicked off Bloggers Week last year. It’s always fun to hang out with Ryan, Bridget, and the rest of the gang, and being a media junkie I love getting a behind-the-scenes look.

Ryan & Bridget on BT Edmonton

Yesterday Ryan interviewed Mayor Mandel in the kitchen in what turned out to be the story of the day. Mandel was very candid with this opinion on Councillor Diotte, who announced late in the afternoon that he will run for mayor in the fall election. Here’s the video:

Another big topic of discussion in the studio this morning is the Gawker story that Toronto mayor Rob Ford smokes crack cocaine:

Rob Ford, Toronto’s conservative mayor, is a wild lunatic given to making bizarre racist pronouncements and randomly slapping refrigerator magnets on cars. One reason for this is that he smokes crack cocaine. I know this because I watched him do it, on a videotape. He was fucking hiiiiigh. It’s for sale if you’ve got six figures.

Pretty strong accusation and a number of media outlets are treading carefully with their coverage. Apparently Rogers legal has informed the Breakfast Television crews across the country that they shouldn’t talk about Rob Ford and the crack cocaine scandal.

One of the things Ryan and I talked about was this week’s big arena news. We touched on some of the outstanding questions that I think we as Edmontonians need to start looking at in more detail. Then Dave Cournoyer joined me at 7:10am to chat about who else might be running for mayor. The three of us agreed that we don’t think Mandel will run again, and Dave and I shared our thoughts on Iveson, Sohi, Leibovici, and other potential candidates for the big chair.

Bay City Rollers on BT Edmonton

Today’s musical guest was the Bay City Rollers who are in town for a show this weekend. Everyone was bobbing their head to Saturday Night, Saturday Night! Fun fact: they just sang, no instruments actually were played. In fact, the studio guys had to get something to silence the drum kit so the drummer could hit the drums!

I was able to quickly plug tonight’s Truck Stop: Ginger Beef Throwdown, taking place from 5-8pm at the Royal Alberta Museum. Four trucks, four ginger beef-inspired dishes, you decide who goes home with bragging rights. Hope to see you there! I also got to touch on the Yeggies and some of the amazing content producers that we have here in Edmonton. Ryan asked me to mention one you might not know about, so check out The Wanderer Online if you haven’t already!

Kerry Diotte and Ryan Jespersen

At 8:40am, newly announced mayoral candidate Kerry Diotte was in studio for an interview with Ryan. He took the high road in response to the Mayor’s comments and focused on some of the challenges he sees (such as our debt load). I had a good chat with him off-camera, and he sounded upbeat and ready for a long, hard campaign.

The crew in the studio is always so friendly and accommodating. Thanks Dale, Greg, and Phil!

Dale, Greg, Phil

I’ll leave you with a small blast from the past. Here’s a segment I did with Ryan on BT back in 2010 on social media – it’s what got Ryan tweeting!

Thanks to Ryan and everyone else at BT Edmonton for having me on the show today, it was fun!

Media Monday Edmonton: BT Bloggers Week

I had the pleasure of kicking off BT Bloggers Week bright and early this morning on Breakfast Television! Every day this week a different blogger will be in the studio with Ryan Jespersen, Bridget Ryan, and the rest of the BT Edmonton crew. This is actually the second time I have done this – the first was back in August 2010. I’m very happy to see that it has been expanded to a full week this time!

Here’s the lineup for the week:

Monday through Friday, you’ll meet six of Edmonton’s most influential online commentators – MasterMaq, daveberta, KikkiPlanet, Kevin Kossowan and The Unknown Studio tandem of Adam Rozenhart and Scott C. Bourgeois. We’ll learn what prompted these bloggers to get started in the first place, what issues they see as most important to Edmonton, how they see blogs differing from other forms of media and a whole lot more (prompted by your tweets, facebook and email feedback).

I usually start my day fairly early, but not 6am which is when I arrived at the studio this morning! The show was underway by that time of course, but they were on a break and I was able to get setup at the blogger table.

Bloggers Week on BT Edmonton!
Bridget on the couch!

I feel like I had a lot of screen-time, which was great. We covered a lot of ground! You can see the three bigger segments here:

  • Segment #1 – we talk about the City Centre Redevelopment, my Edmonton notes, and when I choose to share an opinion
  • Segment #2 – we cover What the Truck?! and some of my favorite blogs
  • Segment #3 – I share some thoughts on how media is changing

Bloggers Week on BT Edmonton!
Ryan doing a segment on WISEST

Bridget was in studio for a while, but actually spent most of the morning out at the Valley Zoo (segment 1, segment 2). It was a little surreal to be talking to her one minute, and then to look up at the monitor and see her learning about armadillos the next! I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Bridget on-location in the past, so I know she brings all the energy of the show with her wherever she goes. Still, it must be tiring to be travelling all over the place!

Bloggers Week on BT Edmonton!
The computers used to show things on screen

There’s no question that Ryan is an engaging, high-energy guy, but he’s definitely more than just a pretty face on your TV screen! What you don’t often get to see is how hard he works behind-the-scenes. In between segments, Ryan is busy setting up the next shot, preparing visuals, clarifying information, and much more. He’s constantly buzzing! It was an absolute pleasure to see him in action today.

Bloggers Week on BT Edmonton!
With Ryan Jespersen on the BT Edmonton couch!

Thanks to Ryan, Bridget, and the entire BT Edmonton crew for having me on the show this morning. Everyone made me feel very welcome and comfortable and that made the three hours absolutely fly by. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see how the rest of Bloggers Week unfolds!

You can see more photos from the morning here.

Recap: Trip the Light

trip the lightLast night was artsScene Edmonton’s Trip the Light, a unique after-hours party and showcase of local artists. With a brand new board for 2012, the event was a great introduction to the new artsScene Edmonton and is hopefully a sign of things to come. Trip the Light was completely sold out, so Sharon and I were lucky to be on the guest list – thanks to artsScene for that! New co-chairs Erin Elizabeth Ross and Miranda Wulf and their team put on one heck of a party – it was certainly the place to be in Edmonton yesterday evening.

We asked Erin where the name came from, and she said it was a play on the phrase “trip the light fantastic”. As Wikipedia explains, the phrase has come to mean dancing in an imaginative manner. In the sixties and seventies, it was commonly used to mean “let’s go out and have a great time!” The organizers decided to drop the “fantastic” to shorten it, but wanted to channel that message.

Held at the Breakfast Television Studios, Trip the Light was an opportunity for people to experience an unconventional event space in the heart of downtown. I understand that it took a lot of negotiation and compromise to secure the space, but it was totally worth it. The studio worked really well as a venue, with lots of room for a stage, DJ tables, a photo booth, two bars, and more. Guests even got to sit on the BT Edmonton couch, and the Good Women Dance Collective partied in the elevator! It was particularly cool that they left the cameras and lots of other equipment in the studio. One of the monitors was setup with Twitterfall tuned to the very popular #tripthelight hashtag.

Trip the Light

Trip the Light
Ryan Jespersen

Trip the Light
Miranda & Erin

After DJ Alex Faid had gotten everyone warmed up, Mitch Holtby (aka Mitchmatic) got up on stage to perform his high energy mix of rap and music creation. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, Mitch impressed the crowd by playing the saxophone in the middle of rapping. Follow @Mitchmatic on Twitter to find out where he’s performing next!

Trip the Light
DJ Alex Faid

Trip the Light

The headline performer was local rock band Scenic Route to Alaska, made up of Trevor Mann on guitar and vocals, Murray Wood on bass, and Shea Connor on drums. They had back-to-back shows last night – fortunately their first gig at the Yellowhead Brewery was not far away! Sonic 102.9’s Band Of The Month for February, Scenic Route to Alaska did not disappoint. Follow @scenicalaska on Twitter for upcoming show announcements!

Trip the Light
Scenic Route to Alaska

Food was provided by Bistro La Persaud and consisted of two-bite quiche tarts and salad rolls. Yellowhead Brewery served up beer all evening, while wine was provided by Cono Sur Vineyards and Winery. There was a silent auction featuring the awesome Joker mural by The Daft Punk artist, and everyone left with a small piece of art also created by Daft Punk.

Trip the Light was lots of fun! Slightly reminiscent of Electric Circus, I think it showed what an awesome combination unconventional event spaces and local artists can be.

artsScene Edmonton will be hosting a new Behind-the-Scenes event this year with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival. For details on that and other upcoming events, keep an eye on the website and follow @artsSceneEdm on Twitter. To see more photos from Trip the Light, click here.

Behind the scenes at Breakfast Television in Edmonton!

On the BT Edmonton set!A couple of weeks ago, Ryan Jespersen invited me to join him on BT Edmonton for a segment on blogs in Edmonton. The idea for that segment quickly turned into live-blogging the entire show, which I thought would be a fun opportunity!

So this is my post about my experience on Breakfast Television in Edmonton. I’ll be updating it throughout the morning (at the bottom). I’m also live-tweeting, of course.

To the right, you can see my “blogging desk” on set. Cool huh? In addition to checking out all the other guests this morning, I’ve got full access to check out the set, control room, etc. And I’m doing two segments on blogging: one at about 7:20am, talking about the business side of blogging, and one at 8:40am, talking about some of my favorite local blogs that you should be following!

On the BT Edmonton set!
Behind the camera!

For my first segment on the show, we talked about blogging, how I use it, and why businesses might want to get into it. Some of the things we covered:

  • Blogs are the stars of social media! A blog can be a great hub for all of your online activity, much like how I have mine setup with the buttons at the top.
  • It’s important to post consistently. Doesn’t have be every day, but it should be a consistent schedule, so that you know when to post and readers know when to expect something new!
  • Always turn on comments. Give people an opportunity to respond, and your blog will become much more valuable.
  • A good place to get started: WordPress.

The next segment will cover some of my favorite local blogs!

On the BT Edmonton set!
The Control Room at Citytv. These are the folks that make sure everything is running smoothly!

On the BT Edmonton set!
Ryan and Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel on set. The studio filled with people to get a glimpse of the supermodel!

On the BT Edmonton set!
Ryan outside, discussing Miracle Treat Day. Proceeds from any Blizzards sold at Dairy Queen locations in Edmonton today go toward the Stollery Children’s Hospital!

During my second segment on the show, Ryan asked me about five of my favorite local blogs. It was a difficult question to answer, even though I obviously had some time to prepare for it. In the end, I decided to give them a longer list, and together with the producers we narrowed it down to five that made it on air. Here are some of my favorite local blogs (the first five are the ones that appeared on the show):

I read a lot more blogs than these obviously, but I check all of those pretty regularly (using Google Reader). Enjoy!

On the BT Edmonton set!
The on-air personalities getting ready to close out the show!

On the BT Edmonton set!
BT Edmonton ends today with a performance by Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

It was a fun (and early) morning for me. It’s always interesting to get a peek behind the curtain, to see how a live show like BT Edmonton works. A few other thoughts on the experience:

  • There was a little bit of chaos in the studio at times, but not as much as I was expecting actually! It seems like a well-oiled machine. I thought it was interesting that they had a schedule with times down to the second. Obviously they deviate from it a little depending on how long people talk, but they stayed amazingly close to the plan.
  • The camera guys are so important. They setup the shots, and make everyone on screen look good. They’re the ones who run the studio on the ground (I guess you could say the control room runs it “from above”).
  • The control room was, as expected, pretty cool. Love the screens all over the place.
  • I thought the 3 hours would go by slowly, but before I knew it, we were done!

You can see the rest of my photos here. You can watch both of my segments here.

Thanks to Ryan and the entire BT Edmonton team for the opportunity!