Well, here we are, Edmonton. Time to shut off the lights and close down the joint.
Two or so years ago, if you had told either of us that we’d reach this point – 1500+ posts, a 6 part TV series, a variety of live webcasts, a fancy pants best blog award and the funniest, smartest, best-looking audience in the city – we’d have called you crazy. And not just because we lacked a basic understanding of the INTERNETS (the files are IN the computer?).
the edmontonian has come farther than we ever thought it could, and honest to God, no one is more surprised by that than we are. So we’d like to take this last minute to thank you guys, truly, and from the bottom of our hearts, for welcoming us into your lives for the last 2+ years. Whether you were writing or reading, talking or listening, commenting or contributing – every time you guys took a chance and got involved, trusting us with your stories, your submissions or your attention, we marveled. We marveled that for some reason, in this metal box full of lol cats and juggalos, you chose to talk to us. There is no greater compliment, and we have been humbled by it every single day.
As you may know (we talked about this with our friends at the Unknown Studio), we didn’t start out as Edmonton enthusiasts. In fact, neither of us were particularly thrilled to find ourselves living in the City of Champions, but we decided to make the best of it and kill some time by starting a website. And two years later, here we are.
That is likely the biggest thing we’ve learned from the edmontonian: that when you stop trying desperately to get somewhere else, and you show up to what’s really happening right here, right now – magic happens. Every time, without fail.
You get one life, guys. Let’s make a joint agreement that we won’t spend it waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect bank balance, the perfect job opportunity, the perfect weight, the perfect education, the perfect someone. Figure out what matters to you and go get it – not as a means to get somewhere else, but for its own sake; because you love it so much it keeps you awake at night. That’s all we ever did, nothing more – and it turned out pretty well for us.
So let us dedicate the last two years to all of you guys – for your ideas, your kindness, your generosity, and more than anything, for giving us a reason to show up right here, every day. There are no words to ever sufficiently express our appreciation, our respect, our love. If the edmontonian was ever anything special, it was only because of you.
Until we meet again!
Jeff and Sally
Yup, we’re packing up the edmontonian world headquarters for tomorrow’s last day.
Sally and I never set out to make the edmontonian our blog. Sure, we had our names all over it editing submissions and authoring a majority of items, but the edmontonian was always supposed to be a community blog. Jeff and Sally could always go get their own damn vlog.
Whether it was a conversation about A Taste of Edmonton and deep-fried foods that spawned its own video, photos that made up many of our quirky looks at the city, writers that posted items here when they certainly had plenty of other good stuff going on, or collaborating with Edmonton’s online content generatOne year of thanksors, it was joining forces and cross-posting that took the edmontonian from a blog belonging to two people to a true community news source.
Some contributors wrote one post, others became synonymous with the site. Some of our same website contributors made appearances on our ShawTV show, but new friends helped on that too. And we always had a steady crew of commenters (and we consider them part of the overall Edmonton conversation).
Together, that group of people is what made the edmontonian such a good time.
(Photos are deep frying and democracy. Two things we take very seriously.)
When we published our feature on the Culina family of restaurants we began with a note that said: A little backstory: Sally and I wrote this story for a new Edmonton food magazine…alas it never hit the news stands. You, dear friends, can still enjoy our glowing words about Culina.
The Culina story remains one of my favourites for a number of reasons. Brad Lazarenko is passionate about food and I could have spent days interviewing him. Culina puts out amazing food. We landed some great photos from a friend of a friend who got married at Culina Mill Creek. But my favourite reason to mention the story in our long look back is that it highlights something the Internet has made possible in journalism: no story need go untold.
Sally and I wrote the Culina story after pitching it to the editor (I think he was the editor?) of a new Edmonton food magazine. But that magazine – of the old fashioned paper variety – never saw its first issue printed. So, we had a finished story and photos and nowhere for them to go.
Wait. Scratch that. We would have had a finished story and photos and nowhere for them to go if this was 1998. But we had an Edmonton-focused website that suited the story just fine.
If this was 1998 we probably would have then tried to pitch the story to a few places. And if no other editor would have run the story it would have sat unpublished next to my seven unfinished novels. Thus, the great advantage of the Internet is the wide, and free, availability of publishing tools.
As I mentioned in an interview on the end of our website you can begin telling your Edmonton story right now. You can tell the stories you don’t hear in traditional news (or from other blogs) and you can probably do that as well as anyone.
And you don’t have to wait for permission from some crusty old editor to do it.
How necessary was it to have Darth Vader yell “Noooooo!” when he thows the emperor down some random bottomless pit in Return of the Jedi? Did George Lucas worry the audience might not understand Vader experienced a poignant revelation watching his son, Luke, get tortured by Palpatine’s finger lasers? We need an auditory clue because the scene’s inherent tension and emotion didn’t spell it out enough for us? I mean, come on, George!
Look, George, the special editions really don’t bother me that much. Cleaner special effects and cool rings around explosions get me clapping like a seal turning tricks for fish, but when you change fundamental moments in a classic film, that is just irritating! It’s bad enough we have to watch Greedo shoot first, ruining an age old sci-fi debate for nerds (while also making Han Solo less cool), but now, if we want a hi-def version of the original trilogy in our collection, we have to listen to the same cringe worthy dialogue James Earl Jones was forced to utter in Revenge of the Sith? Fuck you, buddy!
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say to you, Lucas, your antics are distracting me. I’m supposed to be talking to the edmontonian’s audience. What’s up guys? Anything new?
…the edmontonian is ending?
It feels like such a short time ago I wrote the first of my many rants for the edmontonian. When I looked into the archives I was shocked to find that my first contribution came way back in September of 2009. That’s like a million years ago…or two years ago, depending on your understanding of math.
Jeff once told me I have a gift for making things that shouldn’t be controversial, controversial. I’ve made a habit of drawing ire writing about nuclear power, speed limits, the downtown arena and, of course, that first 2009 article extolling my love for the city centre movie theater. That piece somehow got me called me judgmental and pretentious!
I’ve really enjoyed my time contributing to Jeff and Sally’s collaborative local project. the edmontonian gave a voice to the everyday shlub and his angry keyboard, a chance to factor into a larger discussion about his city, province and country.
Unless you go after SEE Magazine. You’re not allowed to do that.
I am truly grateful to have been a part of the edmontonian, and to count Jeff and Sally as friends. They are two of the most supportive people I have ever met; I swear if I told Sally I was running for President of Canada she’d say “Yeah, man, you could totally be president!”
So as I begin my campaign to become supreme chancellor of Canada, I bid the readers of the edmontonian a fond farewell. Thanks for reading.
(As we wind down our days at the edmontonian, we’ll be looking back at some of our favorite posts, stories, items, etc from the last 2+ years. Feel free to submit your own.)
I particularly enjoyed 2009’s Southgate Mall rebrand, because it was a triumph of the internet!
We could all get together online and make smart ass-y jokes about the big glittery August 5th signs, and then “cover” the event by getting our mall opening bureau chief (read=our friend) @egranado -who is no longer at that twitter handle, BTW – to tweet us pictures from inside the launch.
INTERNET NEWS FTW!
(As we wind down our days at the edmontonian, we’ll be looking back at some of our favorite posts, stories, items, etc from the last 2+ years. Feel free to submit your own.)
One of my earliest posts is still one of my favourites. Talking about Whyte Avenue’s empty, and abandoned, gas station lots shows what hyper-local news is all about.
About the same time we started up the edmontonian, the gas station on Whyte, at 100 Street, closed up. The owners opened a new repair shop in the Ottewell neighbourhood, but more than two years later that lot in Old Strathcona sits empty.
Abandoned gas stations aren’t something unique to my neighbourhood, nor is it a story that’s too small for the daily news to jump into, but I think I was the first to talk about this particular lot. And that only happened because I live nearby. Hyper-local news is all about stories that are not yet on the radar, or won’t get on the radar, for the bigger mainstream and traditional media outlets.
That is, to me, one of the reasons blogs, podcasts, and social media is thriving. The Internet isn’t hurting traditional news because it’s more fun or mobile, the storytelling is just that much more personal. It’s on street level, and you can hear from those living right beside the story. Talking about a gas station that’s left a hole in the community, a new bar that’s going to open, or something that’s annoying you, can create a rallying point, bring a story to light, and just connect people.
This website has taught me that you cannot have a great Edmonton conversation without connection. And connection and conversation are two things news and information should be about.
One of my favorite series of posts was Doorwatch ’09 – a string of posts about the broken door at downtown shopping centre Commerce Place.
Out of order for a year or better by the time I wrote about it, the posts about the Commerce Place door rank among my favorites for a few reasons: first, they gave me a means to vent my unholy fury about how much I hated the fact that no one cared enough to fix the door.
Second, I was fortunate enough to be able to find a lot of other people who had just as much of a deathwish for that door as I did. It’s a powerful thing to experience, a whole group of people saying “You are not taking crazy pills, and we feel your pain” – even if your pain is as inane as the mild inconvenience of having to walk a half-block out of your way to get to work.
When I learned that other people found Commerce Place to be just as hilariously frustrating as I did, I realized something that I hadn’t during my days working in “real news” – that stories don’t have to be big or dramatic or tragic to matter. I think it’s easy to forget, in a world with so much tabloid journalism, celebrity culture and the pervasive attitude that “if it bleeds, it leads!” – but what you do, what you experience, and who you are matters . Your story is important – even if isn’t dramatic, or glamourous or likely to be made into a W Network movie of the week (p.s. watch for Barbara Hershey in “SALLY’S DOOR: A WOMAN’S JOURNEY OUT OF COMMERCE PLACE” next fall).
There are no small stories. Thanks for teaching me that.
Bad news, gang. Jeff is out of commission today! We spent an evening in the ER (don’t worry, he’ll be keeping all his digits. And even I lobbied hard for him to be given a few extras, to increase his BLOGGING POWER)!
He’s a-ok, but needs a day off from filling up your INTERNETS with BLOGS. You’ll find him back at the same bat time, on the same bat channel, on Wednesday morning. And in the meantime, feel free to head to the comments and guess what ailment landed him in the ER. (My hope is that we can spawn an urban legend of a man who gained superhuman strength after being bitten by a radioactive otter).
Hey kids, part five of our ShawTV series ran last night – the episode was “edmontonia.” True story, the best part about doing the show, is that despite the super long hours and the super non existent pay, we get to meet all kinds of very cool people and learn about all kinds of remarkable, well, edmontonia.
But! While it’s all well and good to be indie TV producers, one of the down sides to working all guerilla style on the edmontonian presents is that we make mistakes. Case in point, the good folks at Twin Library graciously lent us their song “Shaking Hands” for last night’s episode – and I totally forgot to credit them for it in the broadcast version of the show. :( x 1000.
This may seem like a relatively small deal (in fact, that was what Twin Library said – they were incredibly understanding about it when we emailed them to say we’d caught the mistake and it couldn’t be changed for broadcast) – but we take the fact that anybody shares their work with us very seriously. We consider it a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with so much stuff, from music to stories to contributions – so we feel like pretty giant wangbots when it gets screwed up.
So I would just like to take a moment this morning to tell you guys that Twin Library is a very classy musical organization (that’s what bands like to called, right?), and I would like to thank them for a) their song and b) their incredible graciousness over my robbing them of the celebrity of a public access TV credit. Enjoy their excellent work below.
P.S. One more thing – we’ve had a lot of compliments about the music featured in the show. While Jeff and I would love to act like giant hipsters who are on the cutting edge of all things local, the truth is we discovered the majority of the bands by searching artists tagged “edmonton” on bandcamp. If you have any interest in local music, it’s an excellent place to start.
There is a lot of great music being produced here in our city.
We have had one song, which will be in this Sunday’s episode (“edmontonia”) playing on repeat for the last couple of weeks. It’s called “Connecting Flight,” by Souvs, and it’s fantastic.
Take a listen:
One of my other new favourites (among the dozens of songs I now love) is “Birds” by The Fight. I am anticipating their new album.
And we have raided the Old Ugly album collection. Because Old Ugly is an Edmonton gem.
But, then, we remembered there was a reason we spent an hour on YouTube looking at confetti cannon videos.
(READY THE CONFETTI CANNONS!)
Two-years-old. Now we get to be all cranky and agitated and you just have to deal with it. Ha!
Yup, two years ago, on this very day, Sally wrote the post that launched a blog. I quickly followed that with a post of my own (Stop upstaging me, Poulsen!) and we kicked off an Edmonton conversation that’s still going. It’s neat to look back at those first two posts and see that most of the goals and aspirations we had for the edmontonian actually happened, and are still being worked on today.
It’s also crazy to think about actually being around for two years. I’ve had couches that didn’t last that long.
This isn’t mine and Sally’s website though, it’s only here because people want it to be here. Without contributors, commentors, and an Edmonton conversation I don’t think we stick around this long.
The list of everyone that’s helped us, including writers, photographers, sponsors and advertisers, designers, video producers, and those involved in the edmontonian celebrates democracy (our election show), Saturday Night with Samsonow (basically a vehicle for Pepe) and the edmontonian presents (our new show on ShawTV), are way, way too numerous to thank. (You can also poke around the Guest Blogger, Feature, and opinion categories for a quick snapshot.) I’d totally leave people out and feel awful. I hope some of them pop into the comments so you can thank them personally. (And lots of them are on Twitter too.)
Edmonton is a great city. It’s not the world’s best, the largest, or the most nougat-filled, but it’s a great place to live. There are amazing people, fantastic businesses, fun activities, plenty of sports, tremendous music and art scenes, gorgeous geography, and passion. Sure, there are bad things, but every city has those too.
We are proud to have discovered Edmonton’s best and creative sides, and we are prouder to be able to share that with Edmontonians, Albertans, Canadians, and moon people.
(FIRE THE CONFETTI CANNONS!)
The only thing bigger than 60 minutes of local TV is a trailer promoting 60 minutes of local TV.
Remember to change your PVR settings to account for the hour-long episode this Sunday.
If you are anything like us you set your PVR a week or more in advance of the TV shows you’re going to watch. Heck, you might even have some series recordings set.
So, it is in the spirit of cracking open the PVR files a few days later, only to find the President talking about something or other, or some program you’ve never heard of (but your PVR appears to enjoy) instead of the show you really wanted to watch, that we are giving you a heads up about this Sunday’s episode of “the edmontonian presents.”
It’s going to be one hour.
The first three episodes of the series were 30 minutes. This weekend’s episode – “food” – is 60 minutes.
Make sure you record the edmontonian presents at 9 AND 9:30 this Sunday. We’re not just repeating at 9:30, it’s gonna be the second-half of our giant food episode.
the edmontonian presents: food – for an hour.
Because we could not contain all of the Edmonton deliciousness in a mere 30 minutes.
Since we’re always looking for excuses to plug our ShawTV show “the edmontonian presents” (Sunday nights at 9pm on Shaw cable channel 10), we figured we could do so every now and again while actually making it worth your while.
If you’ve seen episode 3: spring then you know there are exercise workstations through the Alberta Legislature pedway. There’s even a workout mat for you to use at one of them. (Something we did not know before working on the show and exercising with Defining Eve’s Alex.)
So, we’ve got a lovely Edmonton prize pack from Whyte Avenue print/art shop Vivid Print for someone who works out down there.
Just e-mail us a photo of you working out at one of the the Alberta Legislature pedway exercise stations, or post a link to a photo in the comments (if you Twitpic, upload to Flickr, or something like that), and we’ll enter you into a draw for:
That’s a whole lot of great Edmonton landmarks and locations (including the Alberta Legislature). Plus, you’d be getting some exercise. It’s winning all around!
While we know how much you guys love the fact that ShawTV runs our half-hour tv show twice in a row on Sunday nights, we’ve decided to mix it up for our June 12th episode and make the episode an hour long.
We wound up with so many great Edmonton stories that we couldn’t bring ourselves to cut anything. But this has created a small problem – we have but a finite number of ads at the moment, and producing an hour long tv show with twice as many commercials as normal will mean that you guys will be enduring the same ads OVER and OVER (kind of like using the CityTV app, amiright? PANTENE PRO-V ZING!)
Anyway, to avoid that situation, we have created a standardized ad template – and for a donation of any amount, we will make you an advertiser in our show. Want to mention your band? Promote your blossoming VCR repair business? Proclaim your love of fine deli meats? We really don’t care what you want to say, as long as it’s fit for broadcast – that means it adheres to broadcast guidelines, features nothing dirty or that will get us sued (C’mon, we know how clever you kids are, you don’t need to work blue.) and is local.
Here’s how this works: click on the “DONATE” button below, and enter however much you want to donate (seriously, we’ll take as much as you can give us) in order to get your ad. When you go to the checkout window, you’ll see this:Click on the “What is your ad for” link and enter the details you’d like featured in your ad.
Here’s how the ad will sound:
“the edmontonian presents is brought to you in part by: (The thing you want to advertise). (A sentence clearly stating a fact about the thing you want to advertise). (A place to learn more about the thing you want to advertise).”
“the edmontonian presents is brought to in part by delicious sandwiches. Sandwiches are made with bread. www.delicioussandwiches.com.”
“But what if I want to include some photos, or a video clip in my ad?”, you’re asking. Once you’ve paid, you’ll get an email from Paypal, with a confirmation number. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your confirmation number and a link to the photos/videos/materials you’d like to use.
And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you guys that you cannot just use Google images for photos – you need to to own the copyright for anything you submit.
So, if you’d like to get your mug on TV, to an audience of more than ones of people, here’s your chance. We’ll take your sponsorships until 6pm tomorrow (Friday).
But, if SEE Magazine doesn’t do a recount, and people out there like the edmontonian enough to cast a vote, I owe everyone who helps creates the edmontonian a big, big thanks.
This website (and TV show) aren’t the Jeff and Sally show. Oh sure, because we edit the blog we get to write as much as we want. But since the edmontonian is an online community newspaper; an interactive, collaborative, community hub, it can’t actually exist as the Jeff and Sally show. (more…)
We’re back with a new episode May 22!
There are still plenty of ways for you to be a part of the show. Check out our “helping” page for the edmontonian presents.
For those of you who missed it last night, here’s our first episode. Watch for 2 continuity errors in 2 different segments, e-mail us or post a comment when you see them – first person to point them out wins (more…)
We have broken free of our Internet tubes and will be on ShawTV (channel 10 for Shaw subscribers) tonight at 9pm. (Again at 9:30.)
Consider this blog post a safe place to let us know how you feel about that. And what you think of the program we call a “local news variety show.”
I think the kids call this a live blog. Let the conversation begin!
Here’s where we’ll be watching the show (until 9pm please enjoy our municipal election special):
Continuing our great tradition (at least today) of posting items that slyly promote our new show on ShawTV (Sunday night at 9pm!!!) let’s talk about Tim Gilberston. The man. The band. The music.
Tim Gilbertson play the Pawn Shop tonight. Before you get all up in my face about grammar, I said “play” because the band around Tim the man is called Tim Gilbertson (as opposed to, say, Tim Gilbertson and the Neon Sunglasses).
They’ve got a new video out. You might have seen “In The Ice” floating around the Internets in the last few weeks. It’s a rockier, fuller rock sound than previous, folky/rootsier songs from Gilberston. But one thing remains the same: it’s awesome.
OK, time to explain how this too all relates to our new show on ShawTV, “the edmontonian presents.” Tim and his bandmates will be featured in our first episode this Sunday. They play a song that is so melodically sweet it gets me right here, every time (I am pointing to my heart-area).
They kick off a national tour tonight at the Pawn Shop. It’s going to be one heck of a show, with Cygnets, Sister Gray, and Summer Games. Tim et al. won’t be back this way until a show in Hinton on May 22. Godspeed, good sirs.
Started by Garrett Johnson, who is currently living in Kelowna, as he puts it “taking a break from Edmonton and going to school for carpentry and cabinetmaking while I live for free at my parents house. Not very rock and roll. Everybody else [in the band] lives in Edmonton” – Brazilian Money has recently released an excellent new album called “This is not a Dream,” which is currently ranked second on CJSR’s top 30.
But, as I mentioned, this is ultimately all about us, so it also bears mentioning that Garrett and the Brazilian Money crew have been incredibly gracious in letting us use their fantastically kickass song “Ghetto Lung (Get Along Nah)” as the theme to our new show on ShawTV. The song appeared on last year’s CJSR compilation, and is but one selection from an excellent album that you can download over at their Bandcamp.
I super-creepily tracked down Garrett on Facebook, where he told me that the band’s anthemic, lo-fi sound actually started out as a recording project. (more…)
So, you might have heard about this show we’re doing on ShawTV. If only because we go on and on about it.
Well, episode 1 is set to premiere May 1, and we’re working like busy little bees over here at the edmontonian world HQ. It also means we need a few days to put the finishing touches on our first episode, and
start keep working on the following five episodes of the edmontonian presents.
That all means the website will be pretty quiet for about a week. (We’ll still be around, lurking, deleting incessant soup remarks.)
In the meantime, watch as much Parry Gripp as you can and think about being part of the television show by recording one of many short segments for us. (You can also e-mail me if you’ve got ideas or questions.)
Oh, and it’s Easter, so Sally needs time to hide a bunch of eggs for me to find on Sunday morning.
See ya next week!