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AHA MEDIA is very proud to be featured in Gillian Shaw’s article on Social Media as a new Olympic Event

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

With many humble thanks to Gillian Shaw of the Vancouver Sun for her article

The other games: Tweeters, videographers …

From bloggers to citizen journalists, the way we see and experience the Games has changed

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/other+games+Tweeters+videographers/2126923/story.html

AHA MEDIA in Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER – Social media is the new Olympic event, with the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games giving Vancouver’s fast-growing social media community a chance to showcase its talents and technology.

While the Olympic movement is taking small steps into a world where conventional news services share an online space in which everyone is a publisher and producer, Vancouver’s grassroots social media is already seen as a forerunner.

The upcoming Games are giving rise to a range of social media offerings from the official 2010 hosts to contributions from citizen journalists, tweeters, bloggers and online video producers who will share their city and their Olympic experience with the world.

April Smith is already a winner and the games haven’t even started.

Once homeless in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, the 24-year-old Smith – known as AprilFilms on Twitter – has turned her life around thanks to a mentoring program that taught her new media skills ranging from web design to mobile video. Equipped with a video-enabled cellphone, Smith will be participating in the Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition, part of the 2010 celebrations.

“New media has meant a new life for me,” said Smith, who has co-founded AHA Media, a fledgling startup that fosters new media learning among downtown eastside residents.

“Back in the day I, lived in and out of the most horrible places you could think of. I was living on the edge. It really has been the saving grace to do computer work and have a home where I can lock the door.”

The stepping stone for Smith came in the form of the Fearless City Mobile Project, an initiative in which residents and artists of the downtown eastside receive training in mobile media and use their new-found skills to document stories and issues in their neighbourhood.

“There was support for me that helped me change my life,” said Smith. “I’m now teaching basic media skills to others to help them make the transition, to go on to a different future.

“It opens doors for them.”

As a Fearless City Mobile project co-ordinator, Smith is participating in Fearless City’s CODE Live and Bright Lights editions. The projects will include streaming videos created by local residents and shown on giant screens at W2, a community media arts centre opening this winter.

It’s that community conversation – a dialogue – that separates social media from conventional media and it’s a transition that the International Olympic Committee is grappling with.

Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Group, one of the world’s largest advertising companies, recently told the IOC that interactive online content is crucial in attracting young audiences today.

The Olympic movement is adding its own contributions to the social media offerings, but it is a step forward that is not without its stumbles. Most recently, the IOC sent a cease-and-desist letter to Richard Giles for sharing photos from his trip to the 2008 Beijing Games on Flickr.

While the IOC was quick to defend its position, the incident is a sharp reminder of the pitfalls and challenges facing both sides in adapting to new technologies.

“It really comes down to fair play,” said Graeme Menzies, director of online communications for Vanoc. “If somebody is trying to take advantage, then that’s not OK. But if people are saying we love this, we think it’s great, we want to talk about it and share it, that’s awesome stuff.”

Menzies said his organization is recognizing the popularity of social media tools and integrating them into its newly relaunched website.

While the global Olympic movement is starting to shift attention to social media, critics say progress is slow and opportunities to showcase Vancouver have been missed.

“Vanoc has been reaching out to the community to better understand social media, but it has been slow to adopt it,” said Kris Krug, a W2 director and Fearless City Mobile mentor, who participated in symposiums at both the Turin and Beijing Olympics on how new media is changing coverage of the Games.

“Citizens, athletes and corporations will all be making media, whether it’s part of Vanoc’s official strategy or not.”

Krug, along with Dave Olson and W2 executive director Irwin Oostindie and other new media veterans in Vancouver, is organizing the True North Media House, a grassroots campaign aimed at encouraging social media coverage of Olympic sporting and cultural events.

“I have done quite a few presentations on how grassroots media-makers can embrace the Olympics,” said Olson, who said the 2012 Summer Games and 2016 Winter Games organizers are already demonstrating a “more progressive” approach to social media.

“I have been saying, come on Vancouver we can help facilitate this sea change in the way media is consumed,” he said. “The motivation for me is because I work in this field here in Vancouver, but also as an Olympic enthusiast.”

Olson said the True North Media House has garnered international attention but it faces funding challenges.

“We have talked to the BBC, CNN – people from all over the world are contacting us,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of interest in a grassroots project like this.”

Vancouver Sun

gshaw@vancouversun.com

RESOURCES

http://www.twitter.com/2010tweets: updates from the Vanoc communications team

http://www.twitter.com/CTVOlympics: updates from 2010 broadcast partner

http://www.twitter.com/TNMGH: Twitter profile of the True North Media House, a project aimed at giving social media practitioners a centre for the 2010 Games.

http://www.facebook.com/Olympics: official Facebook page for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games with link to Torch Relay interactive site.

http://www.twitter.com/W2Woodwards: updates from W2 Community Media Arts, a participant in the Cultural Olympiad.

http://www.youtube.com/vanocwebteam: Vanoc’s YouTube site

http://twitter.com/quatchi: one of many social media sites that have picked up on Olympic-related names, this Twitter profile named for Quatchi, a 2010 mascot, bills its bio as “NO GAMES ON STOLEN NATIVE LAND!,” but has been quiet except for a few tweets.

http://www.netvibes.com/studentslive: website for student social media participation in the 2010 Olympics.

AHA MEDIA were very proud to be interviewed by Gillian Shaw, Digital Life and Technology journalist for Vancouver Sun Newspaper

October 17, 2009 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA were very honored and proud to be interviewed by Gillian Shaw, Digital Life and Technology journalist for the Vancouver Sun Newspaper :)

SUN1127 GIL 1.jpg

 

Gillian Shaw  will be highlighting AHA MEDIA’s style of citizen journalism with cellphones that have built in cameras to help create new media and social media content.

AHA MEDIA is very proud to say that they will also be camera operators for the upcoming W2 Fearless City Mobile projects with Bright Lights and with CODE Live (part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad).

 

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Below is a photo of Bill Keay, Staff Photographer of Vancouver Sun taking photos of AHA MEDIA

Bill with Cellphone Cameras

In the following video, Bill Keay, Staff Photographer of the Vancouver Sun newspaper photographs April Smith together with Hendrik Beune, Peter Davies and Ken Glofcheskie of AHA MEDIA for an upcoming article in the Vancouver Sun about social media in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, written by Gillian Shaw, who is the Digital Life and Technology journalist for Vancouver Sun Newspaper

This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a Nokia N95 mobile cameraphone. April is passionate and skilled in making Nokia films by exploring mobile media production through the camera lens of a cellphone. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith@AprilFilms on Twitter or Facebook.com/AprilFilms

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Below is a photo of Bill Keay, photographing April Smith

Bill and April

AHA MEDIA thanks Bill Keay, Staff Photographer and Gillian Shaw,Digital Life and Technology Journalist for the Vancouver Sun for their excellent work! :)

AHA MEDIA is very proud to have one of their photos of Oppenheimer Park selected for inclusion in newly released eighth editon of Schmap Vancouver Guide !

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

From:

Emma J. Williams Emma Williams

Subject:

Schmap Vancouver Eighth Edition: Photo Inclusion

  Hi AHA Media,I am delighted to let you know that your submitted photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released eighth edition of our Schmap Vancouver Guide:

3619986700_a14bf48fe9

Oppenheimer Park
www.schmap.com/vancouver/sights_parks/p=65638/i=65638_10.jpg

If you use an iPhone or iPod touch, then this same link will take you directly to your photo in the iPhone version of our guide. On a desktop computer, you can still see exactly how your photo is displayed and credited in the iPhone version of our guide at:

Oppenheimer Park
www.schmap.com/?m=iphone#uid=vancouver&sid=sights_parks&p=65638&i=65638_10

Finally, if you have a blog, you might also like to check out the customizable widgetized version of our Schmap Vancouver Guide, complete with your published photo:

www.schmap.com/guidewidgets/p=33184676N04/c=SL28032253

Thanks so much for letting us include your photo – please enjoy the guide!

Best regards,

Emma Williams,
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides
www.schmap.me/emma.jwilliams/

P.S. We’re now tweeting Vancouver restaurant and bar picks at
www.twitter.com/vancouverpicks
If you’ve a favorite you’d like us to tweet, please visit
www.schmap.me/picks/vancouver

AHA MEDIA meets the SPUD Patrol on Hastings Street in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

August 11, 2009 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA was very pleased to see the SPUD Patrol giving away baked potatoes with butter, sour cream and onions in front of the Hastings Street Garden and Onsite on East Hastings Street in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

http://www.spudpatrol.com

Serving Potatoes to Unrecognized Devas – SPUD. The word “Deva” is from Sanskrit, the Indian sacred language and means “angel” or “divine being”. SPUD patrol has become a sweet and simple way for everyday people to do something tangible to show their love for those who are suffering. SPUD patrols are now beginning in cities around both the United States and Canada

SPUD Patrol 6

SPUD Patrol 9

SPUDS were enjoyed by both types of people – the Hungry and the Helpful

SPUD Patrol 14

SPUD Patrol 16

Below are photos of  Jeffrey Armstrong, Founder of SPUD Patrol http://www.spudpatrol.com speaking with Ken Glofcheskie of AHA MEDIA

SPUD Patrol 22

SPUD Patrol 23

SPUD Patrol is very welcomed in Vancouver Downtown Eastside :)

SPUD Patrol 24

SPUD Patrol 26

SPUD Patrol 27

SPUD Patrol 28

SPUD Patrol 29

SPUD Patrol 30

To see all 30 Photos of SPUD Patrol, Please see our Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ahamedia/sets/72157622011129214/

April Smith of AHA MEDIA reunites with RJ Dempsey for another photo together!

July 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Over a month ago, April Smith was photographed with RJ Dempsey to participate in Pivot’s Hope in SHadow 3 day photography contest in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) where the theme was ” Heart of the Community”

http://ahamedia.ca/2009/06/06/aha-media-to-participate-in-pivots-hope-in-shadows-3-day-photography-contest-in-vancouver-downtown-eastside-dtes/

RJ and April

We are proud to say Peter Davies of AHA MEDIA  photo of RJ and April is a finalist in Pivot’s Hope in Shadow  Top 40 photos out of  5,400 photos taken !!

Peter Davies and his photo of RJ and April

Today. RJ Dempsey and April Smith reunite again to take another photo – this time in color!

RJ and April - Pivot Hope in Shadow

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