Category Archives: Weekly roundups

Sunday Roundup

… that really is a Monday roundup because today is Thanksgiving (in Canada). Which am spending alone and turkey-less and working. (But don’t worry about me–I’m fine :))

So I’ve been really busy in the past few weeks but I found some interesting stuff for you to read anyway.

On Hummingbird604…

I saw Visions of Vancouver. Great set of plays with interesting form (focuses on voice, not movement), and I saw a couple of actors I’ve seen on TV before, in Endgame and Sanctuary.
The team went to a beer launch at Granville Island Breweries. Beer! Cheese! Information about malt! I had a great evening and you should totally try the beers.
I went to a design exhibit. The location was a bit sketchy (DTES) but I discovered that design work is a lot like writing: lots of trials, errors and revisions.
I saw Broken Social Scene at their last Canadian concert. I used to listen to them a lot as an undergrad and I heard some songs again with pleasure. Someone throwing something at me was NOT pleasurable, however.

About digital books and stuff…

Google publishes the Dead Sea Scroll Project. Now that’s what I call awesome. One of the beauties of digitization: you can make any old thing (or VERY old thing) available to everyone with access to a computer. No need to visit dusty archives anymore!
A competitive analysis between iPad and Kindle Fire. First, the Kindle Fire won’t be available in Canada for a while, and second, I probably won’t be getting one, but it’s still interesting.
Matthew Ingram writes about the future of digital books, as usual. This one is about the possibility of a totally free Kindle (albeit ad-supported) and what that would do to the publishing industry. Now where’s that novel I want to write?
Awesome analysis by BookTwo about the new value of text in the social context. Now that’s what I call interesting thoughts about books that still preserve the value of literature. Go James Bridle!
The New Yorker thinks about digital books, too. I don’t know if I’ve featured this one before, but if I haven’t then here it is. And if I have, well, sorry about that :p
And a last one by Sam Harris because I love this topic. It talks about how people increasingly expect written content for free. But writers still need to make a living, so how do we deal with that?

Web writing and content

Ghostwriter Dad gives you tips to cut your writing time. Depending on your field some of it might be borderline unethical but it doesn’t matter in some cases.
Rahel Bailie describes how writing isn’t about the 4 Cs anymore. She’s one of the foremost experts on content management and she lives in Vancouver. Neat!
A little motivation. If we run the show, why haven’t we taken over the world already?


Raincoaster talks George Carlin and Occupy Wall Street. I’ll be at Occupy Vancouver for sure, if even for just an hour or two. Something is happening here.
In the same vein, Anthony deRosa (Reuters) says we shouldn’t dismiss the movement. The mainstream media is doing its best to discredit it, but social media is counteracting it.
Some thoughts about the current state of undergraduate education in the US. There’s a certain bias here, but I need to agree that universities are increasingly selling to the lowest common denominator… and charging more for it. Fight grade inflation!

And that’s all for this week folks… enjoy your day off!



Filed under Personal, Weekly roundups

Sunday Roundup–September 18th to 24th

Good Sunday everyone! I hope you enjoyed probably the last warm Saturday of the year in Vancouver… and if you’re elsewhere, well, I hope the weather was kind to you as well.

On Hummingbird604…

This week was absolutely insane. Along with all the Social Media Week stuff (see summaries here, here and here), I went to a bunch of events (not all of my posts are out right now though)

True Love Lies at the Cultch. Great play if you can catch it before it goes at the end of the week!
Eat! Fraser Valley. That was last Friday but the post came out later this week. Great food!
I went to the ballet. This is only the giveaway post, with my review post to come later today. It was beautiful and moving.

Tech, web, social media…

This GigaOm post explores the issues of privacy with the Web 3.0. As people use social media more and more, more and more of our lives are being exposed for all to see. Do we need guidelines to use that information?
Speaking of ethics: it’s a great time to study applied philosophy. Rob Cottingham writes (and draws) about the potential ethics issues we will have soon.
I’m starting to fall in love in Matthew Ingram’s coverage of electronic publishing. This is a fascinating field and I wonder why more academics aren’t putting their head to it.
Stephanie Bennis reflects about connecting, the social space and technology. Is the technological mediation of our personal communications hurting our relationships?
I’ve lately become interested in what social media can do for society aside from selling useless stuff to people. This article is a great introduction to the new field of “social good”.

Writing and blogging…

Write to Done presents a post about how to build “writer’s endurance”. Nothing new here that experienced writers don’t know, but it’s a good refresher.
Ghostwriter Dad is writing the ultimate blogging guide. Again, nothing that hasn’t already been said, but all put together succinctly and efficiently. If buying blogging books bother you, this post is a good start.
The ebook has increased the number of readers in the US. That’s a good thing, right?

Academia and the crisis of the humanities

Don’t be fooled by the title: this article clarifies a great deal about what we can do as humanists. Everyone, not just academics, should read this.

All right everyone, hope these readings are interesting and/or useful. Lots of interesting stuff coming up this week (I’m hoping to get an interview with someone occupying Wall Street soon), so stay tuned!


Filed under Weekly roundups

Sunday Roundup–September 11th to 17th, 2011

Yeah I know I skipped my roundup last week–just too exhausted from a day on Granville Island.

But routine is one of the best tools for disciplined production of blog posts, so here we go:

On Hummingbird604…

Got myself some chocolate swag. There’s a Reese Mini giveaway going on… you might want to enter.
I saw a musical that made me cry from the first song. It’s a musical about bipolar disorder and I couldn’t stop thinking about how my father didn’t get a chance to heal. He didn’t miss.
A couple of weeks ago Jessica and I visited the Portobello West fashion market. There was a LOT of jewelry, but none for guys, unfortunately.
I went to a wine tasting in Gastown. I met a few bloggers and tasted delicious wines, my favourite being Haywire’s Pinot Noir.

In web design and content news…

Great infographic about the basic no-no’s of web design. As a web copywriter I also need to take design in consideration even though I’m no designer. This infographic has great pointers.
Problogger gives tips on how to make posts more shareable. My experience lately has been that my most shared content comes through a bit of luck–the right reader at the right time starting a retweet chain. But you can help it happen, too.
Ghostwriter Dad discusses the reality of the writing business today. While I don’t think everything in this post applies to me, it gives a good perspective on being a writer (and accepting that fact) in today’s world.
I’d Rather Be Writing proposes a writing ability spectrum. Although I do believe that everyone can write, I don’t think everyone can write well. As an ex-academic I’m pretty much at the right end of the spectrum, but there are very bad writers who write books as well.

In the publishing industry…

Matthew Ingram reports on the Google Library project. What constitutes “fair use”? How close are we getting to a society where knowledge is open-source, no more controlled by publishers for the sake of money?
The ebook is such a new medium and yet has changed more often than printed books themselves. Rethinking the ebook means that we’ve already figured it out… have we? I still want to see some scholarly research defining the ebook within the publishing, communication and literary fields before we start “rethinking” it.

Here’s my roundup for the week. Anything to say about any of these topics?

Also, do you enjoy these roundups? Are they useful (or in webspeak, are they “well-curated”?)

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Sunday Roundup

Lots of stuff this week, let’s start with HB604 stuff and posts elsewhere:

I reviewed False Pretences. A traditional comedy from one of England’s most beloved sitcom writers.
Here’s a giveaway! Middle Eastern fusion music show with belly dancers this Thursday.
Do you like acrobats? Another giveaway for a Fringe acrobatic show that is both funny and dangerous.
I visited a couple of bars. This is my new blog project, let me know what you think!

About writing:

Encouraging other writers is important. Writing can be a hard and lonely life, but you’re not alone. Thanks to social media, we can all share and discuss together.
Diversify your networking circle. As creatives we like to hang out with other creatives, but you can gain knowledge and contacts by moving outside of your comfort zone.
Write Better offers a great post about SEO and web readers-friendly writing. You can never read enough about the topic.
More about writing for the web. A bit thin on the theory, but good general tips.
One type of blog post for every week of the year. Not that I plan on doing a webinar anytime soon.

Lots in the world of education and journalism this week:

Science, arts, social media and teaching. Interesting thoughts about the lack of computer programming skills taught in school–is programming more important than software usage in the long run?
I like it when people do awesome things with classic books. Who wants to work on an interactive Middlemarch with me?
Academic publishing is making tons of money while not contributing to the maintenance of universities. Maybe one of the reasons why academia is in such trouble right now is that its outlets is making a ton of money off its back without giving back.
Newspapers must embrace the social media evolution. Have newspapers become obsolete? Is television journalism going the same way?
More about the state of journalism. I’m no journalist myself, can anyone chime in on the topic?

Random stuff to end this long list:

Crafty cakes. Edible yarn? I’m all for it!
This makes me happy. Not hiding my political bias here…
China bans songs. Nothing surprising there, but why would they bother to ban insipid American pop music?

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Sunday Roundup

Interesting reads I found this week:

Hugh MacLeod is giving up Twitter and Facebook. Are Facebook and Twitter making you lazy about your blog content?
Women who wear less clothing live longer. Guys, you finally have a scientific argument for convincing your girlfriends to walk around naked in the house.
Illegal book downloads aren’t really a problem. Writers care more about being read, it seems. And book sales haven’t actually dropped, either.
A French company started a lingerie line… for little girls. We already have an oversexualization problem with teenagers. This is definitely over the line.
What’s happening with Wikipedia? The pace of content is slowing down and Wikipedia needs to rethink its writing and editing model.
We’re all journalists now. If you use Twitter, you’re now part of the media. How do you use your power?
Is focusing on productivity actually hurting your work? Multitasking is a myth and being productive is not always the best way to get ahead.
Blocked? Learn some brainstorming strategies.
We all feel blocked at one time or another, but it’s easy to get out of it.

What happened on Hummingbird604:

I went to the PNE to try some fair food. I tried deep fried pop tarts, a poutine hot dog and BBQ ribs from pit masters.
We’re giving away tickets to the International Tap Dancing Festival.
There’s still a few days to go and only 2 people entered!
I saw CATIVO–a shocking play about the captor-captive relationship.
Review by Lois Patterson.
I had dinner at a wine bar on Commercial Dr. It was very good and the place has a variety of gelato to choose from.


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