Edmonton New Media Roundup 23

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The past little while has been heavily IRL for me — I spent a lot of time at events, talking to people in real life, as opposed to reading or listening to their stuff online. But every one of those opportunities had its seeds in connections made on Twitter, so there’s the new media angle (or what will have to suffice as one).

EdCamp Edmonton, an unconference organized by teachers and held at Lillian Osborne Senior High on Nov. 5, was all I had hoped it would be. I attended to learn more about teaching, as I find myself doing that a fair bit now, both at MacEwan University and at the Edmonton Journal media lab. I was not disappointed. We learned too much to convey here, but you can get a sense of it from this Google doc compiled by the participants. I used Storify to curate the day’s Twitter chatter. If you want the whole stream, check out #edcampyeg.

- The Advertising Club of Edmonton brought Leslie Ehm in for the second installment of its Cultivate speaker series at the Art Gallery of Alberta on Nov. 3, and I was lucky enough to be her warmup act. She gave a funny, perceptive talk exploding several myths around the idea of creativity. To sum up: Creativity is not magic, or a gift you’re born with; it’s a process, and you can participate fully in that process if you free your mind from judgmental, safe thinking that holds you back. You’ll find the highlights on the Twitter stream at #cultivate.

- Ehm’s talk was especially enjoyable because of all of the serendipitous connections to other discussions I had participated in that week. Douglas Merrill, the former CIO of Google, spoke about what it takes to innovate and win in the Nov. 2 keynote at ICE, the tech conference organized by CIPS. Just like Ehm said, it involves getting messy. Merrill’s advocacy of embracing failure gave Owen Brierley and me a nice lead-in to our little session on “Fail often, fail fast” later that afternoon.

- I also had the pleasure of participating in a salon organized by Andy Grabia on Oct. 29, a lovely evening of conversation among a small group of clever and interesting Edmontonians, many of whom connected or at least reconnected via Twitter. Andy’s salons are conducted under Chatham House rules — what’s said in the room stays in the room. But he did release this snapshot of the evening, created by Fish Griwkowsky. In other Andy news, the display he curated of Gilbert Bouchard’s comic-book collection, which I wrote about earlier this year, opens Nov. 18.

- Next up on my agenda is WordCamp Edmonton, to be held Nov. 18 and 19 at the Shaw Conference Centre. At $40, it’s a very reasonably priced opportunity for professional development and networking among those who use WordPress (or want to, for that matter). Read co-organizer Mack Male’s post if you need more convincing. I’ll be giving a session on the Saturday called “Beyond Bloggers vs Journalists,” a discussion of what mainstream journos can learn from bloggers, some examples of collaboration, and some experiments we’re working on at the Journal media lab.

Wow, new record for shameless self-promotion. Enough. Here’s what some other people are doing:

Tamara Stecyk has been blogging again, which is a good thing. She did her first Storify this week to go with a post on the surprising reaction she got to a tweet about man caves.

— I neglected to hail Felicia Dewar for her gargantuan and ultimately successful effort to win $100,000 towards the development of Brintnell Park. Anyone who follows Felicia knows how hard she worked to win the Schneiders Picnic Anywhere contest, and it’s nice to have a happy ending to the story.

— Urban planning student Paul Giang has a thought-provoking guest post on the Royal Alberta Museum debacle on The Charrette. He argues that it would be best to leave the RAM where it is, thus solving the funding squeeze.

— I know way too many people participating in Movember this year. Anyone got a good way to decide who to give to? You can keep track of some local Movember goings-on here.

— November is also National Novel Writing Month, and Marty Chan is conducting his marathon-writing project in public. What an amazing writer-in-residence he has been for the Edmonton Public Library. He will be a very hard act to follow.

KikkiPlanet.com, Kathleen Smith’s online magazine, has a new issue, featuring two Twitter power couples: Kari Skelton and Ryan Jespersen, and Rene and Kari Mayer.

You can always find more new (and old) media news on Mack’s Media Monday, and his weekly Edmonton notes are a good way to catch up, too. You can talk to me on Twitter or Google+, or in the comments below.
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