Speaking at blogging conference Feb. 21

I am delighted to announce that I [Briana] will be speaking at Northern Voice (the blogging conference in Vancouver) on the topic of hyperlocal blogging. The title of my presentation is Passionately Local: Blogging about your own backyard.

Here’s the synopsis of the talk:

Blogging may be an opportunity to reach a worldwide audience, but with Tenth To the Fraser, we’ve narrowed our focus considerably to cover only issues and ideas that relate to the city of New Westminster. 

In this talk I’ll share the benefits of hyperlocal focus to both blog authors and the community, how to make hyperlocal coverage interesting, the role of placeblogs in the media ecosystem, and how to use Twitter, Facebook and other tools to connect with other locals and grow your audience. 

The conference is Saturday, Feb. 21, 9am-5pm. My bit is scheduled for 11:30am. The conference is, unfortunately, sold out again, but if there is enough interest I’d be happy to arrange another presentation here in New West. If any of you are going, please come up and say hi. I’d love to meet you in person! 

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They love us, they really love us!

In TenthToTheFraser’s short little life, we’ve made a big splash. Okay, I can’t take credit for any of it – I was just approached as a civic-aware, once-a-new-westie-always-a-new-westie girl to pen my piece for this blog only about 6 weeks ago – but we’ve been cited in the paper, recognized on other blogs, scooped almost every other major outlet, big or small, on New West’s electoral standings, and now we’ve been nominated for the Canadian Blog Awards, in the “Best Local Blog” category.

It’s up to you, New Westies – now that we all feel so bad for how terrible the voter turnout was in the recent municipal elections, exercise your francise between November 23rd and 29th by voting for Tenth To the Fraser: click the link on the sidebar, or below. You can vote once per round of voting, per computer. (Round 2 is next week – don’t worry, we’ll remind you.)

Vote Here for TenthToTheFraser for Best Local Blog

That’s a big community wave in a small town for such a short time. Who knows, maybe 102tF will become as big as the Hyack Anvil!

Royal City Bloggers and Journalists Agree: We Suck at Voting

Who really won the recent New Westminster 2008 municipal election? Not us, because we are a bunch of chumps that can’t make it to out to stuff a slip of paper into a box. Do we harbour some long hidden fears of elementary school gymnasiums? Terror at the nasty chance of an electoral paper cut?

Our manifest idiocy has not gone unnoticed by the scribbling classes. Even here, at Tenth to the Fraser, we have noted our past 26.2% participation lameness. Now, with renewed evidence of our callous disregard for our franchise, Shelley Fralic boldy scolds us in today’s issue of the Vancouver Sun (Nov14, 08, A4) ,

In short, our growing pains, while an indication of a bright future and a solid economic base, are profound.

So you’d think the citizens of my town, who chose this place to live, would give a damn about what happens to it.

And you know, Fralic is not alone in her keen perception. She rightly points out that while New Westminster is the kind of town where you can meet with several generations on a bright day in the park and know all of them, we must reconcile that community spirit with the dearth of spirit that is made plain by this year’s dismal showing. Pat Tracy from the Record agrees in her blog and wants to cause a ‘hoofra’ of her own and call attention to the fact that with such apathy, even large families can sway a sizable portion of the poplar vote.

Strengthening the chorus of those who decry the poor participation, Niki Hope eloquently reminds us of what I have heard and also hold to be true, that:

It is pretty sad that so few people bothered to walk a few blocks to help determine how their hefty taxes will be spent and who will help guide their children’s education.

Now after that kind of drubbing, and from so many sources, come on citizens! I want to see you volunteering at the Shiloh Church food bank, donning an or joining a municipal committee. We owe it to ourselves to vote and further to participate in a meaningful way in our city. Dance with seniors, hug a hooded teen (or whatever); anything to ameliorate our mass participation in nothing on voting day.

What the…?

Okay, there is simply no accounting for my previous post, and for that I apologize. It doesn’t make that much sense, I know. Just chalk it up to election overexposure. Too many burger polls at Burger Heaven.

But I had to post again after reading so many of the comments, especially those from Poli-Sigh and Anonymous in exchange with the City Communications Manager and both Briana and Will (co-editors of the blog) on this post and others. Can I just say how great it is to see people getting into discussions like these? I know when Will and Briana approached me to help them write for this blog, I was initially a little skeptical about it but it’s neat to see the traffic increase and the types of discussions that are being started in the comments.

I feel like I did when the Orange Room first opened (sigh) – perhaps there really are people out there in our fair city who really care about what happens to it and have ideas about how to make it the best it can be! I’m struck (again) by the thought I have everytime we have a municipal election – especially in a city as small as New West – though we are voting for leaders for our city, this does not remove our responsibility to contribute our time, our ideas, and our energy to make it the city we want!

So, dear readers – what do you want to see happen in our Royal City?