SxSW 2010 PanelPicker: “Social Media and the Olympics: A Case Study”

Your support is kindly needed

South by Southwest 2010 is just around the corner and once again it is time for the community (YOU) to help select which panels will make the cut! I submitted an idea for a session on “Social Media and the Olympics” and I hope you’ll consider voting for it. I think this session will be especially relevant since SXSW will be taking place after the closing of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. We’ll be sure to have plenty of stories from trenches!

Please Vote “YES”!

Social Media and the Olympics: A Case Study – Robert Scales + panelists

Coverage of the Olympic Games is dominated by IOC’s contracted rights-holder and accredited major media conglomerates however some feel there is a role for grassroots documentation of both sporting events and the cultural context. The related conundrums are discussed by social media makers who covered several Olympics Games.

You can also see “Then and Now.. Citizen media and the Olympics”, a video recording of the panel I co-hosted at Northern Voice 2009.

Who Am I?

Robert Scales is one of the Co-founders of Raincity Studios – a pioneering open source and Drupal development agency in Vancouver, British Columbia. Pathway: Critiques and Discourse In Olympic ResearchHe is an advocate of Social Media and is often witnesses espousing on open source business models.

As a gonzo journalist, Scales has covered events including the Olympic Games in Turin and Beijing, the Dali Lama’s visit to Vancouver and rock bands and tech luminaries at SXSW. Besides the various social media channels, his reportage appeared in MSM outlets as diverse as the BBC, 21st Century Herald (Shanghai), and Warsaw Daily.

Winner of a 2006 Canadian New Media Award, Robert also teaches at Vancouver Film School and acts as an advisor on various Boards. He participated in the Canada World Youth cultural exchange program as well as various social change workshops and training programs. He frequently presents at (un)conferences around the world about open source tech, business and culture.

How can you connect with me?

Thank you for your Support!

Raincity Studios “Made in Vancouver”

Raincity Studios is listed along side 9 other companies in the current issue of WE. The West Ender Cover Feature:Made In Vancouver.

Our city is a hotbed of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. From the fashionable to the ecological, here are 10 businesses — new and established — we think are at the top of their game.

We are honored and exited to be featured with some of Vancouver’s greatest and most innovative companies.

Here’s what they had to say about Raincity:


What it is: trailblazing online-community host

Why them? Rising from the wreckage of 2002’s internet bubble bust, technologist Robert Scales was in search of something new. At the time, Vancouver’s open-source and Web 2.0 scene was very much in its infancy, and Scales set out to chart new territory in what was then known by his contemporaries as the Wild West of new media. He became the sole founder of Raincity Studios in 2003. Since then, the influential Gastown headquarters of the social media and technology consulting firm has evolved, becoming known as the pioneering hub of Vancouver’s new-media scene. True to the multifarious nature of open-source technology itself, Raincity Studios is difficult to define in one stroke — the company creates templates for websites built in Drupal (an open-source content-management system), delivers graphic-design services, and helps companies build websites which, in turn, build community capacity. Sounds like the future? Well, it’s all happening now. (

Also on the ” Made in vancouver” list:

In our opinion, this list is only a small fragment of the amazing talent that is present in this city.

As Vancouverites, we are lucky to have an empowering community and amazing support to help us harvest the innovations and creativity that is found here.

Without this community and the support of our friends, employees, family and peers, perhaps we would be telling a much different story today… Thank you everyone for the support you have given us over the years.

Barcamp Vancouver is This Weekend! and Barcamp Beijing and Shanghai are just a few weeks away…

Thanks to Jordan Behan for an exellent post. Like Roland, I just shamlesly reposted…


Barcamp Vancouver, the 2007 edition is fast approaching, so get ready to get your Barcamp on. Unless of course you’re not already signed up, because the pattern is full, Ghost Rider. The pattern is full.

This year’s Vancouver event is already well over-booked, with a waiting list of over 70 people! So this post is more for the folks who are already signed up to attend.

Those of you not in Vancouver are encouraged to search for your local event, or find details at that same site about how you can organize and host your own. Take a cue from the likes of Kris Krug and Robert Scales, Vancouver’s own adopted sons, who are teaming up to plan Barcamp Shanghai and Barcamp Beijing. Leave it to them to return to the land of the Great Wall with their free-spirited, open-sourcedness to host an unconference in a place where free speech doesn’t even exist.

Kris also wants to remind folks that he’ll once again be hosting Photocamp at the Vancouver event, so bring yer cameras.

What is Barcamp, You Ask?

For a comprehensive “What is BarCamp” lesson, visit the rules page, or the BarCamp wikipedia entry. In short:

BarCamp is an ad-hoc unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join.

When you come, be prepared to share with Barcampers.
When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.

After last year’s event, I was so amazed at the things I learned and the people I met that I wanted to help out anywhere I could this year. So I joined (invited myself onto) the organizing committee, and thus I feel it is my duty to share a bit of Barcamp How-to.

So here are some details and a bit of “what’s-what” for the local gang, as stolen from James’ info email that went out this morning:

A Barcamp Vancouver Hotlist

  • If you can’t make it, and you’re on the list, please give up your spot. Spread the word about this too, there’s still tons of cool folks waiting to be among the lucky few. If you can’t come, let somebody know and have yourself replaced on the wiki.
  • T-shirts are always the hottest topic, and this year will be no exception. They are fuschia in color (I’m not making this up), and as last year will going for a suggested donation of $20 at the door.
  • If you’re ready, go to the wiki and look for the “Topics” headline, and share a few words about your presentation. The more you share now, the better chance of being selected on the day, and likely a better turnout as well.
  • Bring your tools: cameras, laptops, mobile devices and any other cool gadgetry as you deem fit. And while you’re at it, bring an open mind, and your best ideas. There is always something to be learned, and plenty to be blogged as well.

And Lastly, A Schedule of Events:

Friday, August 17: food and drink at the Alibi Room

  • Appetizers all evening
  • Drinks starting at 6:30 pm
  • We’re in the private area downstairs
  • The Alibi Room, 157 Alexander Street @ Main (map)
  • Sleepover at Workspace, 21 Water Street, Suite 400

Saturday, August 18: conference day all day

  • Start at 8:30 AM with day organization
  • Pastries and coffees available
  • Pizza lunch to be delivered at noonish (special diet grub is also available. Yes, your special diet. Zak thinks he has them all covered)
  • Workspace, Suite 400 – 21 Water Street (map)
  • End at 5:30 PM

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, feel free to leave it in a comment below, or ask an organizer:

* KrisKrug –
* RolandTanglao –

* RobertScales –

* ZakGreant –
* JamesSherrett –
* IanivSchweber –
* MeganCole –
* JordanBehan –

* AaronGladders –

I for one am eagerly looking forward to it. If you happen to bump into me this weekend, please say hello. Whether we’ve already been acquainted or if we’ve never had the pleasure of meeting, I’m always in the mood to say hi and have a conversation. See you then!


I will be at the Allibi Room on Friday and you can find me floating around on Saturday, if you want to chat, feel free to pull me aside of just come say hello.. I will also do a second part to my Open Source Business Development presentation that I did last year at Barcamp Vancouver and Shanghai.

Speaking about barcamp Vancouver, Beijing and Shanghai on CBC French Radio.

I am just reading some notes in French to get ready for my interview on CBC French Radio (Monday, August 13th 2007 @ 7:20am) about Barcamp and Ad Hoc events.

I felt a bit uneasy, although I did grow up in Montreal, I am unfamiliar with the tech lingo in my native tongue.

Anyway, here’s a series of links that I used to get up to date and I will mentioning tomorrow morning:

  • I sure appreciate all the work that is being done translating and supporting multiple languages on the web.

    DrupalCon Boston 2008 – China Session Proposal need your vote

    Jacob Redding, John Zhu and myself are proposing a session for the upcoming drupalcon in Boston, March 2nd to 6th 2008.


    China is beginning to adopt Drupal and since its slated as the next “India” in terms of an outsourcing hub what does this mean for the Drupal world. Join this round table discussion on the state of Drupal in China. Who is using Drupal? What companies are there? How does Drupal fit into the country’s development? Why is Drupal in China important? What are the barriers to entry for a business or a developer?


    Marketing and Business but also Community and Core. Drupal in China is as much about building a community as it is about business.


    • Things will start off with introductions of some of the Drupal shops in China as well as an overview of the state of Drupal and OSS in China.
    • We’ll discuss the current community in China and how developers are connecting with each other to work on projects. The use of,, IRC, etc.
    • An overview of the translation work being done to help promote Drupal within China.
    • The floor will always be open for questions and comments.


    We hope to encourage discussion about the use of Drupal within China and bring to light some of the challenges and rewards when working with the country as many of the challenges faced in China are faced in other countries throughout the world. If you are interested in how China is using Drupal and who the players are and if China is right for you or your business attend and share your thoughts and opinions.

    Please take a second and vote for our session

    Barcamp Vancouver wrap up!

    It was great to be part of the organizing team of the second Barcamp in Vancouver.

    This is a shot of us sporting the “fuschia” shirts!

    BarCamp Vancouver 2007 Organizing Committee

    I did a session on open source business development, I am sure someone will write something on it and I’ll cross link. I was under the impression that my topic would not attract many people and 30 minutes would suffice, silly me! Room two was packed and half-hour was a tad too short, it seemed we where just getting started!

    I enjoyed KK’s photo-walk and I managed to get a bunch of pictures.

    kdon and kk

    A special shout to John for his iPhone for Canadians session, maybe the hi-light of my day! Yeah I know; geek!

    Again, a BIG “THANK YOU” to all our sponsors, without your help, this would be slightly less fun!



    Don’t miss our coverage of barcamp Beijing and Shanghai

    RCS 2007 late summer world tour!

    Kris has been bugging me for days about posting my traveling and event schedules.

    For some reason, August and September are always busy months for us!

    We decided to make our life a bit more complex this year and added a third barcamp on our list of events to organize…

    Hopefully we’ll post more details about each of these events coming over the next few months:

    Gnomedex 7.0 – Four RCS staffers are heading down to Seattle to see Chris, Ponzi, Schlomo, Corey, Jacob and the rest of the geekospher.

    Barcamp Vancouver – Vancouver's 2nd Barcamp is expecting to attract 180+ people. I’ve been helping with some of the organization and Raincity is sponsoring the event again this year. I am looking forward to kk’s photcamp and photowalk.

    Barcamp Beijing – The folks at China Access wanted to bring their event and the open concept of barcamp together. At the moment, we are still looking for a suitable location, we’ve lined up a good list of sponsors. We should have the location sorted this week, me hopes.

    China Access – Kris and I will again be presenting on Social Media and the Internet at this years China Access 2008 event for the creative services industries in Beijing. China Access, one of Raincity’s clients, provides services to international companies wishing to do business in China. They offer partnership opportunities and workshops to help growing companies penetrate the growing Chinese market.

    Barcamp Shanghai – Last year, I got the ball rolling and together with kk and a bunch of talented peeps we organized the first ever Barcamp in China. This year's event is carrying over a lot of that momentum, Jon and Andrea have been helping with the site and sponsorships. Wes will be cooking for us again. The folks at Tudou are providing us the space to host the event again and we currently have 8 sponsors including Raincity and 30+ attendees on the list so far. I am curious to see how the second Barcamp in Shanghai will go. I will be presenting on open source business development and social network marketing.

    GDC China – kk and I will be joining New Media BC and Hal Josephson at this years Games Developer Conference in Shanghai. I’m not sure what to expect there, but I will be in good company and I am sure it will be a great networking opportunity.

    DrupalCon Barcelona – The Raincity team is sponsoring the event and our logo was selected for the conference and t-shirts. Erik, Francis and I will be traveling to Spain to mingle, share and learn with other drupalites and drupalettes. I’m looking forward to seeing a few peeps including Matt, Noel, Robert D, Adrian and of course, we’ll be traveling with the Bryght boys so that will be an adventure in iteself!

    Also, I tend to use facebook events more than Upcoming now, so if you want to find out what I am up to, connecting with me via facebook may be your best bet.

    More to come over the next few weeks as we finalize our plans for the fall.

    Bryght & Raincity @ SxSW 2007, a video review

    Have you ever wonder what we do when we are not in the office?

    We attend keynotes, sessions and workshops, talk to new peeps at our trade show booth, meet with old friends and peers, we throw one hell of a party with our friends at blue flavor, and bryght and go see as many bands as we can at night…

    It’s been long overdue, but here it is without further delays.

    The 2007 Raincity / Bryght SxSW video review.

    Our 2007 SxSW experience was somewhat mixed; while most of the Interactive sessions where addressing an entry level audience, they did target both the film and music industries. I spent the bulk of the event at our booth in the trade show. That said, next year we will not be keeping our booth during music. I intend to take those days off to myself and enjoy as many bands as humanly possible in 5 days.

    We met too many people to hand in individuals kudos, but I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone we met.

    We walked away with some great new clients, you can expect to see those new projects in our portfolio soon.

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