Podcamp Toronto 2011 – Saturday afternoon #pcto2011

The second part of the day began with a very interesting talk by Brian on the psychology of websites and how our inner mechanisms can be used to build trust and get people to like us, read more of our content, or buy from us. It was a basic talk that didn´t try to delve too deep on the subject, an impossible task since he only had 45 minutes and he also had to keep it accessible to everyone.

Playing with the Kinect

I was then off to a session called “Why we podcast” featuring a panel of well known podcasters that I’ve never listened to just because my interests lie elsewhere. Nevertheless it was a very lively conversation on what motivates this group of people to podcast regularly and keep doing it despite there not being any money (nor getting girls, as Keith complained repeatedly).

After that I moved a few doors down to hear how to get started in games journalism. I admit that PC games are my thing, and getting paid for playing games sounds like a good thing. However, to get to that stage you have to go through a lot of what sounds like hard work that will eat into your game playing time. This session tried to make that transition a bit easier and provided a few good pointer on what you could do and a bit more insight on what’s involved.

And finally, to end the day I went to the session on photojournalism with HiMy Syed (I met him years ago in the first Jane’s Walk, he led one). Unfortunately there was not enough time to go through everything he had prepared, but in the short time available he did share several very good and important points on making your photographs available and selling them. I wish there had been time to go into a deep discussion on Creative Commons vs traditional copyright, but I guess that could’ve easily taken half a day all by itself.

In all, an excellent first day of sessions, learning and sharing.

Podcamp Toronto 2011 – Saturday Morning #pcto2011

One of the things I keep intending to do is start podcasting, though I’ve dabbled in it a couple of times never have taken it as a regular thing. But I keep wanting to do it, and so I keep coming to Podcamp Toronto to share experiences and learn from those already doing it.

So, this morning instead of my usual 2:00 pm wake up time I raised up at the break of dawn and made my way down to Ryerson University.

The sessions have been pretty good this morning. I attended first the “Hello World” Podcast, mostly to know about the process of making a podcast quickly. One of the things that stops me from making a regular podcast is the time in production and all that. I’m not fancy, I prefer to make something quick and just throw it out there. And this session was really good for that. Paul took us quickly through a script, shared his hardware and software tools used for the occasion and had us record a quick minute audio and sent it to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Good for a start.

For the second session I chose a talk on Podcasting as the “new” media tool, Karim Kanji, host of the Social Media Show, and a last minute fill-in (sorry I didn’t get your name). It was an interesting and lively conversation between presenters and participants, talking about recording equipment, coming up with content, and putting it out there. Good stuff. And @marcopolis was there as well.

The session on podcasting as the 'new' media tool

To end the morning I headed up (it was on the third floor) to listen to Ryan Wiseman speak about videocasting, or podcasting video, or whatever the kids call it. It was very nice to see how he’s done it and also how some of the big players do it as well. It’s amazing how much one can do these days with relatively little equipment.

It’s been great and I’m really looking forward to the afternoon sessions.

Earth Hour: Nice, but ultimately empty gesture

The logo for Earth Hour
Image via Wikipedia

Ok, before the earthlites crucify me let me be very clear: I do accept the evidence that Earth is warming, and I do accept the evidence that human activity seems to be the most important or one of the most important factors contributing to this warming. I am not a global warming denier and I do care about our continuing existence on Earth. However, this doesn’t mean that I accept the most catastrophist scenaros as likey, most of the presented solutions as viable or that I care that much about life on Earth since life on Earth will continue with or without us (for most of its existence life on Earth was not that much to talk about anyway). I also don’t think that Earth is a conscious organism that can be ‘hurt’ by our actions.

And it was like this that I attended Earth Hour 2009 in Toronto. I must say I was deeply disappointed. For an event that’s supposed to raise awareness about energy conservation, global warming and green issues, they sure spend a lot of energy. Not only promoting the event but also by the people moving from their houses to the event, and the concert. Of course, let’s not forget about the concert, there has to be one in each of these gatherings.

I understand the reasons of the organizers, but it’s unlikely that any of those not saving energy now will start saving it now. Or that governments will adopt responsible energy and development policies since no one is really sure what those should be. Remember that the adopted policies shouldn’t only limit existing industry, but allow the development of new, cleaner ones to emerge plus train people and invest in education.

In my opinion I think it would be much better to organize the Earth Hour around a series of knowledge building activities than the empty gesture of turning lights off that will give the chance to some people to feel better about themselves without actually having an impact.

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Festival de Jazz de Toronto 2008

Este fin de semana fue el vigésimo Festival de Jazz en las playas de Toronto. Como siempre, los grupos estuvieron geniales, un buen tramo de la calle Queen y el parque Kew Gardens fueron tomados por bandas de jazz y amantes de la música.

Aunque el festival es de jazz las bandas son de estilos muy variados: rock, rythm’n’blues, folk latinoamericano, big band y ritmos afrocaribeños.


Blackboard Blues Band

The Sultans of String

Taurean Clarke Quartet