Janice Braden joined us for the OurYXE podcast this week where we talked for a little over an hour about the Municipal Planning Commission, architecture, affordable housing, and city building. Â It was a great discussion and I learned a lot from Janice. Â Next weekend we are looking at chatting withÂ Shaun Dyer, the executive director of the John Howard Society. Â We will be talking about corrections, crime, and our community.
The OurYXE podcast sat down and interviewed Councillor Zach Jeffries (you may know him from such roles as Campaigning for Ward 10). Â We had a good discussion about suburban sprawl, the North Commuter Bridge, and his lucky campaign shirt. Â It’s worth a listen.
Of course if you can’t get enough of Saskatoon politics and policy, you can subscribe to the OurYXE podcast via RSS, iTunes, or just stop by every Monday and see who else we have tormented (next week it is Councillor Charlie Clark).
For those of you who are tired of reading what I have written; I have put together a new medium to grow tired of; a podcast. Â Sean Shaw, DeeAnn Mercier and myself (along with some soon to be announced contributors) are going to talking city politics, urban planning, and other issues that affect us as a city at ouryxe.ca. Â We have some great guests lined up and at times it can get rather testy but a great city needs a place to debate things and talk about new ideas. Â This just happens to be one of them. Â The RSS feed is live and we hope to hear back from iTunes in a couple of days and I can post that link. Â The first episode can be found online here. Â Expect to hear our episode with Councillor Zach Jeffries to go live as soon as our iTunes page goes live.
Last week DeeAnn talked me into heading up with her and Jules to Blue Mountain Outdoor AdventuresÂ near North BattlefordÂ to take some photos and video of the 2013 Western Canadian Championships for biathlon. Â On Sunday the three of us drove up and checked things out. Â All of us ended up taking photos of competitors and coaches from all over western Canada. Â When there wasn’t someone racing by, there was the cracks from the gunfire (reminded me of being at home).
There were races happening the entire time we were there so there was always something to take a picture of. Â The weather wasn’t that bad out. Â I was cold yet was only wearing a hoodie so it wasn’t too bad out. Â By the time I got home and edited the shots, I took a couple hundred photos which I uploaded to a Flickr photo set and Blue Mountain’s Flickr group page.Â
What surprised me was how big of sport biathlon is out in Western Canada and also how big of an event these championships are. Â There were a couple hundred competitors, coaches, and family members out at Blue Mountain with clubs as far away as Canmore, Hinton, Jasper, and from places in Manitoba. Â The other thing that surprised me was how young some of the racers were.Â
From what I saw, everyone was having a good time (except for this guy who broke a ski while starting his race) and the weekend went off without a hitch.
While in Edmonton we got lost. I found out that no one in the car can read a GPS and I was driving with them navigating. Not only that but NO ONE at Hope Mission would give Katie or DeeAnn an address. Great discipline but a big time pain in the neck as we were trying to figure out where to go. While we were driving, DeeAnn was trying to persuade me to spam my friends with the Lighthouse Facebook page so they will â€œlikeâ€ it. Somehow she started to explain Facebook to me and never really clicked in that not only was I probably in really early, I was in so early, I left before it got cool. Twitter is much more my style. As I have said, what the strangers I know on Twitter are doing are more interesting to me than what my friends are doing on Facebook.
So for about 30 minutes, she was evangelizing Facebook to me while I just ignored her but she did make some good points about if we are trying to make social change, we should use the mediums we have at our disposal and Facebook is one of the things we have at our disposal.
As much as I hate Facebook, I need to be using it more effectively than logging in once a year (generally in January). From now on I plan to log in a couple of times a week if for no other reason than to reply to some of the messages and post some things to The Lighthouseâ€™s page. According to experts, an organization needs to spend about six hours a week to social media for it to be effective. I donâ€™t have six hours a week but DeeAnn seems to (she is The Lighthouseâ€™s director of communications and it is part of her job). That being said, I realized that more and more people are going to our Facebook page expecting to find that I show up more than once a year.
As for Google Circles (cue tumbleweed), it is so quiet that I am not sure if it is worth my time and effort. If I had to choose between the two, I think I would choose Facebook. I am not sure I would use it if it wasnâ€™t for the good work DeeAnn has done with it at The Lighthouse but she has so I need to be a part of that as well. I care a lot about social change and that means taking the message to where the people are. As for Google Circles, it doesnâ€™t even seem to have a functioning API which is shocking considering it is coming from Google. Twitter canâ€™t post to it, Feedburner canâ€™t post to it (and it is owned by Google). Maybe that is intentional but I doubt it. There just isnâ€™t very much content that you can put on there without going to the site. If things change, maybe Iâ€™ll head back but for now, it doesnâ€™t capture my attention.