Tag Archive | "VANOC"

Re-cap of VANOC World Press Briefing and Olympic Resistance Network Press Conference

Ready to wow the world

Photo by Dave Olson

Following up on our Open Letter to VANOC, here’s a quick re-cap of observations and experiences at the Worldwide Press Briefing and the Olympic Resistance Network press conference, November, (Thursday) 20, 2008.

Kris Krug and I went to Canada Place and were rejected entry to the VANOC worldwide press briefing event. We had hoped use our experience crowd-covering previous Olympic Games to discuss how social media can enhance the accredited media’s coverage and also provide deep documentary into the fan experience and lesser-known athlete’s stories.

Alas, we were asked (demanded) to leave and watched over by a handful of Vancouver Police Officers apparently because Canada Place is private property. Outside we chatted about the issues of openness, and homelessness with media and protesters.

In the afternoon, we attended the Olympic Resistance Movement press conference at the Anti-poverty Committee’s headquarters where several native Elders expressed their concerns about the games impact on environment and culture and a lawyer from Pivot Legal Society discussed the broken promises about displacement, housing and security and a gentleman from the Work Less party broke down the Millennium construction loan guarantee boondoggle.

Names and details and audio coverage to follow.

speaking to CTV

Photo by Dave Olson

Olympic Worldwide Press Briefing photoset

Checking in from Canada Place video

Greg Andrews of Tech Vibes offers his opinion of our outreach efforts and VANOC’s lack of community translucency:

I don’t have to tell you that the 2010 Winter Olympics are coming to Vancouver, because we’ve been hearing about it regularly for the last few years. But who gets to tell the story? Raincity Studios folk and local mavens of social media Dave Olson and Kris Krug wrote the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee (VANOC) for permission to attend today’s Worldwide Press Briefing, but received no response. About 200 representatives of various international press organizations have come to the city to be briefed on press services and facilities, and to tour Olympic venues. Unlike many Vancouverites that were outside the event in the rain protesting the Olympics, Olson and Krug had intentions of journalism, not protest. Between them and Raincity CEO Robert Scales, they’ve unofficially covered the last four Olympic games, in addition to Olson’s blogging and podcasting of Canucks hockey. Krug posted to Twitter as they tried to get in:

assembled media

Photo by Dave Olson

Got stopped at the door. “if you guys are here to protest pls go accross the street”. Now they’re checkin our credentials.We were just escorted from the building. We had better access, even a welcome in Beijing and Torino.

@todmaffin agreed they can’t make us go home. but we’re not here to protest in the rain, we’re here as jounalists.

Unfortunate to see this outcome, but not surprising. VANOC has seemingly been given whatever power and money necessary to shoehorn this elephant of an event into Vancouver. This includes suggesting that business close during the Olympics, and trademarking phrases of our national anthem. Recent elections have proved the power of online media in getting stories out whether mainstream media gets around to it or not. The online conversation about the Olympics happens regardless of VANOC’s approval. It becomes their choice to be a part of it, or alienate it.

Posted in Vancouver 2010Comments (0)

Checking in from the VANOC Worldwide Press Briefing (video)

KK and Uncle Weed check in from Canada Place after being rejected entry to the VANOC worldwide press briefing event. We had hoped use our experience crowd-covering previous Olympic Games to discuss how social media can enhance the accredited media’s coverage and also provide deep documentary into the fan experience and lesser-known athlete’s stories. Alas, we were asked to leave and watched over by a handful of Vancouver Police Officers. Outside we drink coffee and chat about it.


Posted in Vancouver 2010Comments (0)

Open Letter to VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations from Social Media Makers

NOTE: Sent to VANOC {mediarelations@vancouver2010.com, pressoperations@vancouver2010.com} Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008.
Cross-posted at: urbanvancouver.com, 2010.dailyvancouver.com, nowpublic.com, etc.

Hello VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations,

I am writing today on behalf of Raincity Studios, a Vancouver-based social media company who owns and publishes a suite of media properties. We had hoped to talk about social media (blogs, podcasts, twitter, wikis etc.) at the World Press Briefing this week, however we did not receive any response from the applications we submitted to participate in the event. So, as per Mr. Furlong’s suggestion at the Vancouver Board of trade meeting last week, we are liaising with VANOC.

In brief, we’d like to have a conversation about how to allow fans and amateur media makers to document their Olympic experience while keeping out of the way of the IOC IP lawyers. As a company and as individuals, we’ve produced extensive, non-accredited coverage of Beijing 2008, Torino 2006, SLC 2002, and Nagano 1998. With the next games literally in our neighborhood, we’ll be hosting an independent, international media centre at our Gastown loft office. As part of this, we’ll organize events like photo walks and aggregate fan-made content for the enjoyment of a worldwide audience. We’d like to work with you to do this for mutual benefit.

As you likely know, Vancouver is a hub of innovative journalism with companies like ourselves, Now Public, and others plus renowned conferences like Northern Voice. Raincity Studios/Bryght is also an “official weblog service provider.” My colleagues Robert Scales and Kris Krug were published in the academic paper “Pathway: Critiques and Discourse In Olympic Research,” participated in the 9th International Symposium on Olympic Studies in Beijing and will be presenting about the experiences at the noted SXSW Interactive conference in 2009.

Among my colleagues and myself, we’ve posted thousands of photos, dozens of audio and video podcasts along with hundreds of blog posts, updates etc. from several Olympics. Additionally, we’ve cooperated with mainstream media and published Olympic-related coverage in the LA Times, BBC online, plus outlets in Poland, Brazil, Shanghai, and so on.

In Torino, Scales and Krug (and others) tested cutting edge equipment for Comvu and produced a cross-ocean symposium “Athletes and Social media” between Turin and Vancouver. In Beijing, they tested camera for Qik and contributed to many mainstream media outlets. Our own media properties include DailyVancouver.com, UrbanVancouver.com, Hockeynw.com, plus dozens of other presences, and we are allied with dozens of other media properties in BC and around the world.

Mr. Scales is China desk editor for Now Public and has presented to numerous international business groups about Olympics and business. Mr. Krug is ranked #4 on Vancouver Sun’s “Internet Most Visible in Vancouver” list, both Krug and Scales were included on Tech Vibes “Vancouver Digital Media People to Watch 2008″ list and appear on various other “best of” lists.

As for myself, I’ve produced extensive photo essays of event venues and published interviews with Canadian athletes like Duff Gibson, Ross Rebagliati and Crispin Lipscomb and written magazine articles about Olympians. I also appear on CBC Radio One discussing sports culture and new media as the producer/host of the Canucks Outsider podcast.

Bear in mind, aside form the occasional stipend, we do this work for no pay.

We are aware of your obligations to media rights holders and are seeking to provide an entirely different sort of coverage than the accredited media provide. We are not looking to cover events per se but are instead interested in covering the cultural stories, athletes’ families’ stories, and stories from fans who saved and traveled from around the world for this experience. In other words, we plan to encourage and aggregate fan coverage of the individual’s “on the street” experience of the Games. We are locals who have watched (and helped pay for) the development of the Games since before the Plebiscite – as a result, we are tuned in to the issues and excitement surrounding the Games.

To begin our liaison relationship, we would like to attend the media briefing portion of the Worldwide Press Briefing on Thursday. We would also schedule a follow-up conversation with the appropriate point of contact to discuss how we as a weblog vendor company, and as individuals, can be involved in providing amateur coverage of Vancouver/Whistler 2010.

With Best Regards,

daveo (and Robert Scales and Kris Krug)

Dave Olson
Community Evangelist

PS These links will provide a flavor of our point of view:

* Raincity Studios Olympics posts: http://raincitystudios.com/search/node/olympics
* Olympic overage at Daily Vancouver: http://2010.dailyvancouver.com
* Beijing kick off post: http://raincitystudios.com/blogs-and-pods/daveo/beijing-2008-social-media-backpack
* Krug’s Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/kk/tags/olympics
* Scales’ Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/raincitystudios/tags/olympics
* Olson’s Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/tags/olympics
* You Tube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/robertscales
* Olympic Outsider podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/olympicoutsider
* Scales’ Olympic coverage on Now Public: http://my.nowpublic.com/user/6247/assignments
* SLC 2002 photo/video essay: http://olsonboys.org/galleries/olympic-gallery.html

Posted in Culture, Fans, Vancouver 2010Comments (2)

Big Questions about China, Olympics, Social Media etc.

Headin' Back to China

Continuing on with the coverage of "China, The Olympics, Social Media, Symposiums, etc." mini-series, I’m am co-opting Olympic scholar Dr. Andy Miah’s questions for the panel he is organizing at the 9th International Symposium on Olympic Studies, in Beijing, August 5-7, 2008.

My point in doing this is to stimulate some discussion to push my own perceptions and resolve my own conflicts. You see, I am big fan of amateur sports (personally i prefer winter Olympic events) and an ardent advocate of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and someone who hopes for a greener planet. In some ways, I see these three as not jiving within the China paradigm. On another hand, i wonder is it really my place to ask an ancient culture why they do things they way they do?

As such, I question my personal (not professional) emotional investment in the athletes’ struggle. Should I watch them strive for greatness on the CBC while the background struggle seems so much weightier? Or are the Olympics a time for healing and celebration where understandings are fostered and differences sorted out? In other words, should i participate in the Olympics from my couch or from the streets!

beijing by KK

I invite you to offer your answers to Dr. Miah’s questions. The comments are open for your opinions on China, the Olympics, Social Media, etc. – be frank and polite (and avoid ticket selling and other spam).

Media Access and Control

* Briefly describe whether or not you see the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as
a focal point for media transition in China.

* Will foreign journalists obtain the level of access they require to
undertake their work?

* Will the temporary legislation designating additional freedoms for foreign
journalists produce different coverage of China than we have seen before?

Politics and Focus

* Is political transition within a country a reasonable expectation to have
of the Olympic Games?

* How will commentators summarize the Beijing Olympic Games in
the closing minutes of television coverage at the end of the Closing

* Will the Olympic media focus, to the same degree, on sports, compared with
other Games, or will other narratives dominate the coverage?

the forbidden city

Social Media

* In what way are new media platforms enabling new forms of journalism to
surround the Beijing Olympics?

* In February 2008, the IOC released blogging guidelines, which indicate
that they do not consider blogging to be a form of journalism. Do you think
there is merit in their assertion?

* What kind of convergence is visible around old and new media in China, in
the context of the Beijing Olympic?

* Is citizen journalism politically prescribed in China?

* Claims have been made about China’s rising Internet population and its
surpassing the United States. In what ways do you perceive the utilization
of new media as distinct within China, compared with other nations?

More Questions

* In this context of social media, freedom of press expression, and background of security and political posturing, what other questions come to mind?

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, FeaturedComments (0)

Speaking about the Olympics at New Media BC Day

Technology Branding 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

New Media BC Day

Scales and Krug here at Presentation Centre at the Great Northern Way Campus, the new home for New Media BC and the future home for the Centre of Digital Media. Today is all about bringing together different sectors of technology, government representatives and members of the VANOC team.

With the Vancouver/Whistler Olympic Games kicking off in a mere 1163 days, now is the time to initiate the vision and branding for how we are going to best represent ourselves to the world. With billions of people from around the globe watching in 2010, it will be a precious time to define BC and Canada for perhaps the 25 years following, so who do we want to be? Is this a time when we can take advantage of this opportunity to change the way the world views Canada?

Using the latest in digital technology is an integral aspect in branding us as a world leader in new media. Just some of the ideas that were generated and expressed today with respect to new media and technology influencing our image in the 2010 Games:

  • Let us shape new technology of the future, and not just be a part of it.
  • Make the roof of BC Place a virtual world, a projector screen enhancing the experience of the live audience, so that in turn, the television audience is experiencing the same positive, exhilarating feeling.
  • Utilize real-time rendering: the ability use the computer to create characters, scenes, locations, and have each interact with one another – live imagery and computer generated imagery
  • Collaboration between local companies here in Vancouver is an essential aspect of contributing to best-representing ourselves as a city, a province and a country.
  • Bring the intense desire for community that has been found through the avenue of Second Life to connections and the possibility of virtual communities to the Olympics. One idea was to run the Torch through absolutely every location and community from coast to coast!
  • We are speaking to the group about how the media and therefore the coverage of the games has changed, due in no small part to new technologies and companies, and to showcase how Raincity and Bryght can be of great help and service to growing online communities leading up to 2010.

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, Featured, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010Comments (0)

The Vancouver Sun: More Words From Scales

Foreign Newsprint and Blogging on Mainland China

Last week, The Vancouver Sun published an article featuring a Richmond-based Digital Newspaper company, NewspaperDirect Inc., which has just signed the first deal for foreign newsprint to be printed on Mainland China. Founder Easiprint Co. Ltd. in Beijing will print foreign newspapers for same-day delivery – a historical first for China.

Wency Leung, the writer of this piece, interviewed Robert Scales and Kris Krug, from Bryght, back in May, prior to their first trip to China. Having had met with political and prominent business figures in China, Rob spoke with Wency again last week, to give her a sense of what the blogosphere does in fact look like on the ground, and what his feelings are of the Chinese approach to the media in China.

Here is an excerpt from her article:

Robert Scales, president and CEO of Vancouver-based web development firm Raincity Studios, said he hasn’t seen any indication that foreign bloggers and online journalists will be restricted during the Beijing Olympics. The company is aiming to work with Chinese web hosts and other companies in preparation for the 2008 Games. On a trip to China in May, Scales said he posted blogs on his site from Beijing without any difficulty.

“It seems like China is really opening up for a coming-out party for the 2008 Olympics. I think they want to have good representation,” he said. He added that Chinese authorities gave no sign they’d crack down on web content. “There’s no indication of this yet,” he said. But, he noted: “If there is, they’re keeping it secret and not making it publicly known.”

You can read the full Vancouver Sun article online.

Rob and Kris are heading back to China in September to further their research and establish more business relationships in conjunction with the China Access 2008 project.

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 2010Comments (0)

Krug and Scales Featured In The Vancouver Sun: Business In China

Robert Scales from Raincity Studios and Kris Krug from Bryght are featured in today’s Vancouver Sun article, “Canadians Trying To Land Beijing Contracts”. Vancouver Sun reporter Wency Leung came into our offices a few days ago to interview Robert and Kris and spoke with them about their upcoming trip to China, getting a scope and understanding on how Raincity and Bryght is looking to effect and learn from the tech and new media industry in Beijing, in conjunction with preparing for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Vancouver Sun Article Excerpt:

Vancouver-based new media partners Bryght and Raincity Studios, which are working with China Access 2008, also see opportunities at the Beijing Olympics for B.C.’s technology companies.
“We think there’s a huge market opportunity for us to do work with Chinese Internet service providers, and Chinese hosts and Chinese web development shops,” said Kris Krug of Bryght.
He added that a presence at the Beijing Games will also help Bryght and Raincity Studios prepare for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.
“We have an interest in learning as much as we can [at the Beijing Games] so that we can find out what companies and teams and countries are looking to do online around the 2010 Olympics,” Krug said.

Kris and Rob head over to China on Thursday for 2 weeks, getting on the ground and exploring first-hand the opportunities that potentially lie ahead.

Tomorrow they will be attending the China Access Forum, meeting people from other local BC companies who have already successfully initiated business in China.

You can register for the event on the China Access website and mark it on your upcoming.org account as well.

Listen Live to a reading of the article.

Wency Leung will be tracking Rob and Kris in China and will be following up with their progress upon their return.

Posted in VideosComments (0)

Oslo Olympic Flag Ceremony with Governor General ~ Olympic Outsider podcast #7

Canada’s Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean (a Haitian refuge who immigrated to Quebec as a child), and Vancouver Mayor Mayor Sam Sullivan were on hand – along with a phalanx of officers of everykind – to reveal the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympic flag. I headed out from North Vancouver via transit to attend and watch the pagaentry. After stealthing into the media event, I asked VANOC CEO John Furlong a few questions on a snowy Vancouver morning.

Download: Oslo Olympic Flag Ceremony with Governor General
Olympic Outsider podcast (.mp3, 19:00 8MB)

Olso Flag Ceremony

Photo by Dave O – more on Olympic Flag Reception at City Hall photoset

Posted in Podcast, Torino 2006Comments (1)

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