hello, yes, this is raincoaster

hello yes this is raincoaster

hello yes this is raincoaster

So, it’s been awhile, no?

For those of you who’ve missed updates at the ol’ raincoaster blog, since the last time this blog was active I’ve:

  • Started and run Canada’s premier hacktivism and cyberwar news website, The Cryptosphere, currently on hiatus. During its active period it was linked to by sites all over the world including the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Newsweek, and more (although not any Canadian ones, which is weird). And I was quoted by Time magazine. So, that was nice.
  • Moved about twenty or thirty times, as I paired my burgeoning cyber-career with a sideline as a pet-sitter. After one too many cancellations, I started charging good money with 50% up front and non-refundable, and otherwise, this really couldn’t be a viable option. But the fact is, that’s a horrible way to live, always trying to line up gigs so you’re never homeless.
  • Been homeless for periods of time, because of the whole making-no-money-from-website thing, combined with pet-sitting gigs that didn’t line up. Thank god for good friends, that’s all I can say.
  • Moved back to Ottawa, god help me, to stay with a cousin who has a medical condition that means he should not live alone. The idea was, I rest up and recover from the gruelling life I’d been leading while doing him a favour. Didn’t quite work out that way.
  • Shortly after arrival, fell down an entire flight of stairs, landing on the back of my head and my elbow. The elbow shattered into gravel, so that gives you a rough idea of what my brain went through. My sister heard the fall, and investigated immediately; when she found me no more than three minutes after the fall, there was a pool of blood around me three feet in diameter. The medical team were quite surprised I didn’t die. Me too, considering…
  • Was examined in Emergency and told my elbow was not broken. Five weeks later, when I went back because it wasn’t healing as well as the rest of me, I found out that was false. It had been turned into what the bone doctor called “gravel”, and so they had to schedule me for surgery. I now have six inches of steel in that elbow, and even five months of physio will not allow me to straighten and lock that elbow, ever again. There goes my career in yoga.
  • Slowly recovered. The fall happened at the end of September 2016, and I literally don’t remember anything other than some of the hospital, until Halloween. I only have patchy memories of the next few months. It was June of the next year before I felt like myself again. I kept trying, and failing, to get back to work, and because even my capacity for self-awareness was damaged, I couldn’t understand why I was having difficulty.
  • Got laid off from Passcode, so was fully unemployed in a province where I didn’t officially exist and thus couldn’t get benefits.
  • Over months proved to the government not only that I existed, but that I was a Canadian citizen who had entered the country legally. Got, piece by piece, all of the identification I needed, so now if I want I can go get a driver’s license, only nobody here will let me borrow their car, so I’ll have to pay a driving school. So I need to make some money.
  • Started back to work, first at a content farm, which is unchallenging, but at least it’s steady, pays promptly, and covers my bills. Then got a gig with a new news site covering blockchain, and they’re very interested in my specialties of crime and social justice. And they pay TOP RATES. I’ve already got an assignment there, so I just need to get the email questions out and do the research and then bang an article into shape. Very excited about this.
  • Just tonight, had a tryout for a 9-5, M-F crime writing job. We’ll see how I do at this, but they already know my work and are keenly interested. It’s in the same time zone as Ottawa, so that works out well, and it’s a four month contract, which would give me enough of a cushion that when I go back to BC I wouldn’t need to scramble or feel desperate.
  • Speaking of which…

I just gave Ontario my notice.

It’s been…sticky, humid, swarming with insects, sleeting, coated with ice, 90 minutes from downtown via bus on a good day, expensive, fattening, boring, Tory, racist, uncultured, and dull. And I’m leaving.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s not really Ontario I hate, it’s just the extremely bland, suburban part of it that I’m marooned in that I hate. And I know BC isn’t perfect. Half of it is on fire right now.

But I know where I belong, and I know the places that call to my heart. I know that, when I sit on the bus in Vancouver, nobody moves away from me just because my hair is blue. I know that BC takes public transportation much more seriously than Ontario does. And god, the food is SO MUCH BETTER.

Also, my friends are there.

During my two years in Ontario I’ve made precisely 4 new friends, none of whom live in Ottawa. I’ve been deliberately avoiding social occasions, because I don’t want to form emotional ties to this place, and the plan has worked.

Two of those four new friends have offered me a pet-sitting gig over the Christmas holidays, right through to mid-January, and they’ve included: an offer to stay with them in December for free, three weeks of paid pet-sitting, and an airline ticket home to BC at the end of it. So, although I had hoped to be out of here sooner, I said yes. I’ll shift my stuff to The Sister’s basement at the end of November, bid my cousin adieu, and prepare to become a BCer again.

I’m gonna need more Gore-tex.

 

Advertisements

come see me at social media camp in Victoria, May 5-7

Who likes free lunches? EVERYONE! Who likes saving money? Pretty much those very same people! Now you can attend Canada’s biggest and best purely social media conference in one of the world’s prettiest cities, save $100 on registration, and have lunch on and with me. Given the number of lunches other people have bought for me, it’s kinda the least I can do.

Kittens explain social media, they explain everything.

Kittens explain social media, they explain everything.

Yes kittens, I’m headed back to the #YYJ for another Social Media Camp, Canada’s largest social media conference, in gorgeous downtown Victoria. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s literally true and I don’t know anyone who isn’t thrilled at an excuse to go to this spectacular city.

This year I’ll be speaking on Marketing the Mystery; in other words, how to use social media to drum up interest in something when you’re not actually allowed to say what it is. I’m using the @WhatsPineApple campaign that we’re running for Steve Wozniak as my specific material here. What’s PineApple? All will be revealed by Woz at the Business Rocks conference in Manchester, April 21-22, which means I’ll finally be free to talk about it by the time Social Media Camp rolls around.

social media camp

I may or may not also be doing an informal chat-style talk on how writers can use social media to boost readership and sales. That depends on finding a room for it, or alternately on attendees buying me pints at the pub. I’m easy, and Victoria is the spiritual home of the Canadian brew pub tradition.

AND thanks to organizer Paul Holmes, I’ve got a juicy discount code for you, kittens! Regular camp tix are $699 and go up to $999 for the Rock Star pass, but a limited number of camp tickets have been made available at $599. But with this sweet, sweet discount code you get $100 off whichever package you buy, and you get a free lunch, on me. And with me. This is good news for you, as I am a restaurant snob and will take you somewhere nice, I promise. Your super-secret discount code is: Raincoaster.

Clicky, clicky, you know you want to. $200 off Canada’s best social media conference AND a free lunch with your humble editor in one of the world’s best undiscovered foodie destinations. DO EET. Guy Fawkes mask optional, we’re not formal here.

Social Flow: How to Win with Social Media without Losing Productivity (a new raincoaster media workshop

Social Flow Workshop logo

Social Flow Workshop logo

Social Flow Workshop: How to Win with Social Media Without Losing Productivity

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Mike isn’t well and we’re going to have to postpone our February 4 workshop in Vancouver. We’re going ahead with our February 21st workshop in Victoria, so we hope to see you there. Vancouver workshop will be rescheduled to March.

 

Who: Noted social media trainer Lorraine Murphy and “productivityist” Mike Vardy (editor Lifehack.org)

What: Social Flow: How to Win with Social Media without Losing Productivity

When: 10-4, February 04/2012

Where: ING Web Cafe, 466 Howe Street, Vancouver BC

How: Register here for the Social Flow workshop

It’s a social media struggle!

Wrestling with the idea that you can’t possibly become better at promoting yourself or your business through social media without it harming your productivity?

Well, wrestle no more.

Taking part in Social Flow: How to Win with Social Media without Losing Productivity is your ticket to championship gold in record time!

Social media trainer Lorraine Murphy and “productivityist” Mike Vardy (editor Lifehack.org) will guide you through the ins and outs of managing the social media profiles that keep you both active in your work and telling the public about your work all in one go.

Topics covered include:

  • How to Make Gmail Your Best Friend
  • What Task Manager is Right For You
  • Why Your Email Inbox is Not the Right Task Manager for anyone
  • Improving your Social Flow in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the new kid on the block, Google+
  • Why Planning your Social Media output is Integral to Your Social Flow
  • How to Avoid Falling Prey to the Perpetual Automation Machine
  • What Calendars are actually For
  • How to Increase Your Social Flow Using Hashtags, Twitter Lists…and more

This hands-on boot camp will not only get you on top of your social media profiles, but it will get you on top of what you need to do make sure they add attention to your business rather than subtract your attention from your business.

Register to attend an upcoming Social Flow workshop

Mike Vardy

Mike Vardy

Mike Vardy is the writer, speaker, and “productivityist” behind Vardy.me and the productivity parody site Eventualism. Vardy’s candid satire has made him a desirable speaker on an often dry topic, delivering talks on the topic such as “Hacking Lifehacks” at TEDx Juan De Fuca. Currently a Managing Editor at Stepcase Lifehack, Vardy has contributed to many popular productivity websites and publications, including David Allen’s GTD Times and Productive Magazine. He lives with his wife, daughter and son in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Social Media Workshops in Yellowknife

raincoaster media, yo

raincoaster media, yo

Just a quick note that over on raincoaster media and in Facebook I’ve got the announcements up for two new Social Media Workshops, these ones in-person, in Yellowknife at Chef Pierre‘s Aurora Conference Centre.

Social Media for Political Campaigns is Wednesday

and

Social Media for Business is Thursday. Both run 1-5.

And then at the end of the week I’m headed to Vancouver (via a 17-hour flight, thanks a lot, AIR CANADA!) to speak at Social Media Week on the Blogging Technology Panel, emceeing the Social Good Summit, and participating in the Guerrilla Mashup event.

Operation Global Media Domination: the intellectual situation

We’ll try not to be smug about this.

Julian Assange Smug Life. I got 99 problems but a snitch ain't one

Julian Assange Smug Life. I got 99 problems but a snitch ain't one

We will fail.

Today we got a link and some actually decent traffic because a post from the ol’ raincoaster blog was excerpted at the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, bringing to four the number of universities which have used this blog in either their academic publications or their course materials.

This almost makes up for a recent, and high-profile, local blogging conference at whose keynote someone else was publicly thanked, at length, for the job that I did. No, really, that was me. On the other hand, I guess this makes me the Executive Director of W2 by default; I sure hope the salary is good!

But I’m SO over that!

In bonus good news news: our Iron Maiden/Bollywood mashup unicorn chaser is going the teensiest bit viral, and if you’ve clicked Play you know why. And speaking of music, we know the music on our WWII Dogfights in Colour YouTube video is intolerable, but we got paid $95 to put it on and if you want it off, make us a better offer.

We note further that the appalling music hasn’t stopped it from getting over one million hits. Let’s give it a few more, eh?