Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good news, everyone!

Yes, it's a Futurama reference.

But there is, indeed good news! Some bad news too... let's hit that first.

I applied for the 2009 Foreign Correspondents Programme organized by the government of Finland. It looks like a great, all (mostly) expense paid trip to the country I long to visit: an amazing experience with (probably) amazing people discovering the amazing sights, sounds, and corporations that are so inbred in Finnish culture. The annual program takes place in August, which is great, because Finland is kinda like Montreal in terms of weather (minus the humidity).

However, I wasn't selected for this opportunity.

No hard feelings, though, because there are so many sporting events happening in Montreal in August that it would have been a shame to have to refuse potential work and not be able to build contacts for more potential work because I was on the trip of a lifetime.

Hey, there's always next year, right?

Meanwhile, the job scene seems to be opening up for me. Just as I was posting one of many Facebook surveys I've filled over the years - stating that my wish for 2009 was to establish a better flow of work - I get a call from Dome about a work opportunity.

And here comes the good news, folks!

I've got my first Dome gig! I'm booked to work boxing at the Bell Centre in Montreal this weekend... and I can't wait!! It'll definitely be different than the usual hockey, which has become pretty straight forward after 3 years of doing the job. Boxing, however, is a whole different world. And it'll be interesting to work for a broadcaster other than CBC.

Just when I thought I was done being thankful for this chance to prove my worth on the TV tech production scene - ie, a day later, I get asked, booked, and confirmed to work the UFC event in Montreal in mid-April.

Two days, two gigs. Pretty awesome track record, huh?

I'm not expecting any calls tomorrow, but you never know ;)

I'm honestly really glad that things are kinda starting to fall into place. I love this industry and the people who work in it, and as much as I feel that I'm intellectual enough to do something more journalistic, this is where I want to be right now. Things change, though, and I'm keeping all my options open because I am interested in journalism and current affairs and documentaries and new media and social media and so much more...

... and one day, I'll probably switch gears and settle down with a nice full-time permanent job. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep playing the freelance game and hope work continues to pile up.

To TPTB: Thank you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

On #IN09


What a whirlwind couple of days IN09 was! I really should have blogged about it earlier, but when I came home to Montreal, I also came home to a pile of work. Not that I'm complaining...

But I digress.

Last week, I flew to Toronto for The Interactive Exchange, formerly known as ICE, which took place from March 17 to 19, 2009.

It was amazing. I met so many interesting people with so many interesting thoughts, working on so many interesting projects. These people are truly innovative. They have experience being successful in our tumultuous times. They have great ideas about where the industry should be headed.

Sure most of the creative ideas came from social media types while traditional media emphasized that they wouldn't work as a business model... (Check out #IN09 on Twitter for all the fun.)

Still, an amalgamation of points from both sides might lead to sustainable platforms, both in terms of business and content. Don't ask me which points though... I'm not that smart!

Some highlights?

  • The huge use of Twitter. Including the Twitter wall and panelist David Crow tweeting while on stage for "Future of the Medium (2): The New Rules".
  • Meeting people I only knew online and making new contact who have become online friends.
  • Discovering the variety of opportunities in interactive media, from news to gaming to social networking.
  • Seeing what everyone else is planning, implementing, raving about, working on...
  • Realizing that ethnography, aka the socio-anthropological impact of anything online is what really interests me.
And most importantly...

Finding out that there IS hope for the industry. Even though a lot of the news-related panels were a bit defeatists, I'm actually more optimistic now than before because I know the depth of creativity and the willpower of all those involved in helping the industry survive... no matter how different it will look and feel once it emerges from the turmoil.

Every panel I attended, whether I was there by choice or because I was assigned to it - via my super sneaky plan to get into IN09 by volunteering - gave me a wealth of knowledge and helped me grow as an online media content producer and enthusiast. Some filled me with wonder and others with so much information that I'll probably take another couple of weeks to finish processing it all.

And so, while this post was meant to be super insightful and full of goodies you may have missed if you didn't attend IN09, I'm just gonna leave it at this. And maybe I'll revisit the topic in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, check out the Twitter stream. It's worth it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why I Walk

In the past few weeks, I have been donating all my extra time to a very important charity project. After years of sitting back and watching the event unfold, I have joined the World Partnership Walk organizing committee.

Those who have read my blog before already know about the cause. The Walk is an annual event in 9 cities across Canada to create awareness about global poverty and raise funds to find a solution to it. It's actually the largest international development fundraiser in the country, and 2009 marks its 25th anniversary!

Happy 25th, World Partnership Walk!

Of course, now comes the part where I reach out to you and ask you to contribute to the cause. You're probably expecting me to tell you some sob story about the extremely poor children in Afghanistan or Africa who live on less than $2 a day, some of the 3 billion people who do. Or maybe you think I'll try to convince you by telling you that the Walk can truly help transform the lives and livelihoods of some of the poorest countries in the world, giving them hope for the future.

Well, all that is true. But here's why you should support the World Partnership Walk:

Global poverty is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Even during these tough economic times, there are people poorer than you and I, more desolate and desperate. The recession is even tougher on them.

The truth is that fighting global poverty is a war, and one that we can all contribute to ending. Last year, 40,000 Canadians raised more than $5 million via the World Partnership Walk, and every cent of it went to AKFC - that's Aga Khan Foundation Canada, a non-denominational, not for profit organization - international development projects that help communities help themselves.

Every cent. There's 0 overhead.

The Walk is organized almost entirely by volunteers like myself who donate time and energy and sacrifice sleep (lots and lots of sleep) to help change the world and give hope to those less fortunate than ourselves.

This year, I know we're all strapped for cash. But we've shown in the past that being Canadian, being human, really, is being compassionate. Giving a little when we can't afford to give a lot, but hey, at least we're giving!

This year, I want you to WALK with me. I'll take your money, of course, because that's definitely an important step to eliminating global poverty. But I want you to join me on Mount Royal Park near Beaver Lake on Sunday, May 31st in Montreal (and most other Canadian cities), and walk the walk.

Why do I walk? Because I care. Because I can - and not because I have to for basic needs like food, water, education...

I walk because it's my little way of making a tangible impact.
Changing the world. Spreading hope. Being a hero.

Just like we always dreamed...

To help me reach my $1,000 fundraising goal, click on my personalized World Partnership Walk page at:

While you're there, maybe you can create your own page, and together, we can make the world a better place. And make sure to receive all the latest Montreal World Partnership Walk updates by following @WPWMtl on Twitter.