Edmonton Notes for 6/5/2010

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Edmonton’s Food Bank showcased the winners in its Expressions of Hunger contest at City Hall on Tuesday, which was National Hunger Awareness Day. The works will be exhibited at a few locations around the city until July 7.

Edmonton's Food Bank: Expressions of HungerEdmonton's Food Bank: Expressions of Hunger

Edmonton Notes for 5/29/2010

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

It has been another very wet weekend in Edmonton. Here are a couple of photos of today’s City Market Downtown and the Highlands Street Festival:

City Market Downtown - May 29

City Market Downtown - May 29City Market Downtown - May 29

Highlands Street FestivalHighlands Street Festival

Highlands Street FestivalHighlands Street Festival

You can see more photos here.

Edmonton Notes for 5/22/2010

Hope you’re enjoying the long weekend so far, despite the cooler, wet weather we’re having! Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

With a little sunshine after all this rain, flowers are going to grow like crazy! Here’s one I got from the launch of The Way We Green:

The Way We Green

Edmonton Notes for 5/15/2010

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Demolition of the old Mayfair hotel started this week. It’ll make way for the Mayfair Village:

Mayfair VillageMayfair Village

Today marked the start of the City Market Downtown for 2010! More than 13,000 people had walked through by 12:30pm. You can see more photos here.

City Market Downtown

City Market Downtown

City Market Downtown

UPDATE: Completely forgot to mention this: the provincial government has publicly endorsed Edmonton’s bid to host EXPO 2017.

Edmonton Notes for 5/8/2010

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Police are cracking down on cyclists who use the sidewalks, with a focus on Whyte Avenue. Is this really the best they could do for signs?

No cycling on sidewalk

MediaCamp Edmonton & Hacks and Flacks Night

Today marks three months since our initial planning meeting for MediaCamp Edmonton, an event taking place this Saturday at the Shaw Conference Centre (on ShareEdmonton). There are more than 130 people registered already, from a broad range of organizations and disciplines. We’re going to have some great discussions on the future of media!

The day will start off with a panel discussion, moderated by MediaCamp Edmonton instigator and EdmontonJournal.com Editor Karen Unland. Our panelists are:

The panel loosely represents the various audiences we think will be at MediaCamp – mainstream media, social media, public relations, and technology. I think it’s going to be a great way to get everyone warmed up for some great discussions throughout the day!

After the panel, we’ll give everyone an opportunity to pitch topics and then we’ll build the grid for the day (MediaCamp is an unconference). Some of the topics we’ll likely cover include:

  • What’s a mash-up and how do I do one to tell a local story?
  • What can journalists do with open data, and how?
  • How is social media being used effectively by mainstream media?
  • Which journalism best practices need to be fostered in social media?

As with all unconferences though, you get out what you put in. If you’re passionate about a particular topic or idea or question, pitch it!

Right after lunch we’re going to do something called Lightning Talks, which are quick, five-minute presentations on a tool, idea, or trend. It’ll be a great way to find out about some interesting things that you can follow-up on later. If you’d like to lead a lightning talk at MediaCamp, let me know.

I’d like to thank all of the people who have helped to organize MediaCamp Edmonton, as well as our sponsors: EEDC & the Shaw Conference Centre, Guru Digital Arts College, ShareEdmonton, Athabasca University TEKRI, CTV, and Grovenor School. We’re looking for additional sponsors – if you’re interested, please let me know ASAP.

The City of Edmonton has organized a media mixer called Hacks & Flacks Night for Friday at Metropolitan Billiards downtown (on ShareEdmonton). It’ll be a great opportunity to meet some of the people that will be at MediaCamp the next day. If you’re interested, register here.

Stay tuned to the MediaCamp Edmonton website for updates (and streaming video of the panel) as well as #yegmediacamp on Twitter. Hope to see you at the event!

Edmonton Notes for 5/1/2010

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Edmonton Notes for 4/24/2010

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Edmonton Notes for 4/17/2010

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Rexall Place was packed (for a lacrosse game) yesterday for the Edmonton Rush game. They lost to Calgary in overtime, but won tonight in Washington!

Edmonton Rush

Twitter, Embargoes, and Breaking News

At the end of March, Global Edmonton’s Lynda Steele, one of our city’s most prominent media Twitterers, abruptly said goodbye and deleted her account. She suggested that Global was consolidating accounts, which understandably raised the ire of many local users (for more check out Adam’s post). Last week, a different truth emerged, thanks to a tweet from CBC’s John Archer. He posted this PDF (archive) of a letter sent from the provincial government’s Public Affairs Bureau to Global Edmonton (it has been clicked more than 550 times). In it, PAB Managing Director Lee Funke informs Global Edmonton that for breaking the budget embargo, they would be denied access to any embargoed information until the end of 2010. Lynda was the one who broke the embargo, by posting tweets before the 3:20 PM budget address, so that’s likely why she left Twitter (though there may be other reasons too).

Much has already been written about whether or not the decision is warranted, and even whether or not we need embargoes in this day and age. For more, check out Dave’s post. As someone who continually pushes for open, accessible information, I think you can guess where I stand. And with that in mind, and in addition to the PDF letter above, here are some of the facts.

The four tweets that started all of this, written by @lyndasteele:

BREAKING BUDGET NEWS – Another record deficit, more money for health care and hope for recession recovery. #yeg #ableg [2/9/2010  3:16:44 PM]

The budget deficit for the coming year is projected to be 4.7 billion, almost double what was projected in last year’s budget forecast. [2/9/2010  3:17:08 PM]

Most of the new spending is going to health. 1.7 billion dollars more this year, [2/9/2010  3:17:20 PM]

Edmonton will receive about 100 million dollars less fr province – for Calgary the shortfall could be 150 million. #ableg [2/9/2010  3:17:53 PM]

And then, for whatever reason, she didn’t tweet again until 5:17:01 PM to plug Hugh MacDonald talking about the budget on the Early News.

Her final tweet:

Hey all – Global consolidating twitter…for all your daily news – check out @globaledmonton – take care – it was nice to know ya! [3/31/2010 1:37:41 PM]

It didn’t take long after that was posted for the conversation to get underway. Dozens and dozens of tweets were posted defending Lynda, and asking for more information on the decision. Of course, only a handful of people knew what was really going on, and none of that made it onto Twitter until the letter was posted.

Global Edmonton itself followed up with a tweet a couple of hours later at 3:58 PM:

GM Tim Spelliscy corrects bad scoop. GE is NOT consolidating accounts, not now or ever. Our personalities will continue to Twitter. [3/31/2010 3:58:38 PM]

Shortly afterward, there was a @fakeLyndaSteele account and the conversation continued for a day or two.

Will this affect social media use by the media?

There’s not much to say about the embargo, is there? There were clearly defined rules broken, and as a result Global Edmonton faced consequences. I think you could make a strong case against having embargoes in the first place, but that isn’t going to change what has already happened.

I do think it’s unfortunate that Lynda Steele is no longer on Twitter because of all of this. Not that I thought she was the best or most trustworthy user, but she was a highly visible member of the media experimenting and pushing the boundaries. I hope that this debacle doesn’t turn other members of the media off from exploring further social media use. Instead, I hope this can be used as a case study to learn from.