The CRTC fumbles, again.

The CRTC ruled this week that Bell Media cannot hold exclusive rights to streaming NHL and NFL games to their mobile devices.  This means that Bell must allow other cellular providers, like Telus and Rogers, access to their licensing deals with both the NHL and NFL so they can stream live games to their devices as well  This comes out of a challenge from Telus after Bell successfully negotiated rights deals with both the NHL and NFL.  where do I even begin…….

First off, I often criticize the CRTC of being anti-consumer, and on the surface this seems to be a very pro-consumer move.  In some ways, it is, I am more against the CRTC overstepping what should be reasonable, and this goes far beyond reasonable.

This ruling essentially means that no media company in Canada should be allowed to have exclusive rights to anything, which is unbelievable to me.  Competition is built on companies trying to get an advantage over their competitors.  For media companies, that means offering content that no one else does.  That is a strategy that will attract subscribers and viewers.  The CRTC ruling, in essence means that a media company cannot try to gain a competitive advantage over another media company by offering exclusive content.

This ruling hurts the entire chain.  Gaining exclusive rights to broadcasts is often expensive for that company.  While I'm obviously not privy to the dollar amounts, I find it very hard to believe that buying exclusive rights to streaming NFL games especially were cheap.  I would imagine that there was a bidding war for this type of content, with Bell winning out in the end because they offered the NFL the best deal for them.  Under this ruling, when future deals are negotiated what is the incentive for any company, Rogers, Bell, or Telus to really bid for content, when they know in the rules that whoever wins the rights will have to sell content to the other two as well.  This will mean fewer bids, for less money, for that content.

The CRTC's theory on this is that no one should have to choose their wireless carrier based on what streaming content they offer.  While there is some argument to that, and I do believe that Internet providers should be a pipe for customers to get whatever data they want, I can appreciate that these content deals drive the competition between them.  If Telus wanted the streaming rights to the NFL, they should have provided a better bid than Bell did.  Simple as that.

I'm not saying this move is anti-consumer.  Because in many ways, it is pro consumer.  However, I believe it is anti-competition, which is anti-consumer.  Competition is good in every business.  It means that each company is constantly striving to be better, because if they don't, their customers can walk away.  Competition is almost always good for customers because competition makes for better service.  But this week, the CRTC has decided that they have the authority to kill competition between companies in Canada, which is really the scary part.

The CRTC has proved yet again that they have no idea how to actually regulate or manage anything.  It is time to overhaul a dinosaur that has existed long before the internet was invented, and has demonstrated time and time again that it simply does not understand how to regulate an industry that looks nothing like it did at the inception of the CRTC.  If the CRTC cannot understand new media, it needs to stop trying to tell the industry how to work, as all it does in the long run is hurt the consumer.  It is as simple as that.

[Read] - Bell's streaming deals breach CRTC rules

The Twitter redesign - it's about the people

Yes, the Twitter redesign is different. No, there are parts of it I don't like either. But yes, it is better for Twitter.  Too much is being made of how it's changing too much and it's not the same way it was 5 years ago.  People say the same thing about Facebook, and last time I checked, they're doing pretty well.

Twitter is not the same service it was even 2 years ago.  Twitter has changed from what was essentially a combination of a text messaging replacement and a group messaging system to a communication platform.  It has evolved far beyond what anyone, myself included, thought it could.  The recent changes to Twitter make that more evident than ever.  Twitter has become more about connecting people and discovering information.  It should be no surprise that "connect" and "discover" are two words that feature prominently in the new Twitter design, but more on that later.

As simple of a concept as Twitter is, it actually hit a point where it did become very complicated to use, especially for newer users.  The first time you see "RT @wunderbar this #coke commercial is so #winning: bit.ly/1234" (note that is not a real link), how are you supposed to make sense of that?  RT, what does that even mean?  What is the email sign doing there? why are we putting pound signs in front of random words, and what is this bit.ly thing?  It may seem trivial to those of us who have been using Twitter for years, and in some cases literally invented some of those things.  (@replies, hashtags, and retweeting were all originally things users did to try to overcome shortcomings of the service that Twitter eventually embraced and built into the service.)  Twitter, in all of the simplicity, was becoming complicated.  The new design is there specifically to tty to make it simple and more accessible again.

Twitter's new design is focused on 4 things.  Home, connect, discover, and Me.  Home is pretty self explanatory, that is where your twitter feed is, and where you will spend most of your time.  Connect, or @connect as it is branded, combines things like suggested followers, replies, and retweets.  this is very akin to the "activity" feed that twitter launched a few months ago.  I didn't like the concept of the activity feed before, but after looking at it for a few days now, I can see the value.  It is a good tool to see everything that is happening related to you, including who has started following you.  the "Me" part is also very simple, that is your profile page. In an unfortunate UI choice that is also where Direct Messages are now found.  I *really* dislike that, and hope that they move DM's to somewhere more obvious soon.  Having them in the profile page is stupid at best.

Discover, or #discover, is the most interesting part of the redesign.  One of the most powerful features of Twitter has always been the ability to search twitter to find out what people are talking about, right now.  The power of being able to see what thousands or millions of people are saying at the same time about the same thing cannot be under-estimated.  Whether it be during the Egyptian revolution in the spring of 2011, current news events, sporting events, or elections, the ability to do this is something that we have simply never had before.  Twitter has been trying to harness this power for a long time.  Summize was the first way to search Twitter, and it was so good that Twitter bought it way back in 2008.  From there, Twitter introduced Trending Topics, which aimed to show what the most talked about things were on Twitter as they were happening.  #Discover is the evolution of that.  Discover takes trending topics and evolves them.  No longer about providing just the topic itself, but to provide some context.  Beside the trending topics will be news stories about them, integrated into the page.  It is an interesting new use, and one that I do think will put the idea of the hashtag, trending topics, and search into the forefront of how people use Twitter, as it is much more streamlined.

Twitter also overhauled their apps.  Twitter for iPhone, Twitter for Android, and Tweetdeck all received significant updates.  Twitter for iPhone and Android have nearly identical UI, and integrate the new features.  Now, I've never been a big Twitter for Android user, but I have been forcing myself to use it for the last few days.  I can say that I don't hate it, but that I wish it performed faster.  It is faster than it was before, but I think I still prefer Tweetdeck for Android.  I'm going to keep using Twitter for a while, but I see myself going back to Tweetdeck shortly.

Tweetdeck is another matter.  Tweetdeck has always been known as the power users' Twitter.  It was powerful and could do more than 95% of users would ever need, and had more customization options than I even knew what to do with.  Tweetdeck, like Twitter, was overly complicated, and too complicated for most users to even understand.  Twitter bought Tweetdeck recently, and released Tweetdeck 1.0.  This has been very controversial, because Tweetdeck has taken some of that power away.  Gone are some of the customization options.  Gone is some of the features such as Foursquare account support, and most of the Facebook support has been cut.  The UI, while similar, has been completely overhauled.  Things are now displayed inline instead of in another column or as a focus stealing picture frame, which is consistent with the rest of the Twitter UI.  Searching is now easier, and the information is displayed in a way that is easier to see.

That doesn't mean that it is all good.  There are many changes to the UI which I frankly hate.  How columns are handled now is frankly terrible.  instead of a simple horizontal slider to move between columns, especially when you have a number of them, has been replaced with large buttons at either side of the end columns, switching between 2-3 at a time.  It is a very unfortunate UI choice which takes away many of the great advantages the column layout has.

some of the options taken away will be missed, and power users will complain that getting to others takes an extra mouse click or two compared to previous versions.  Some will dislike that the colour scheme cannot be customized, and some will dislike how it has been "dumbed down" somewhat.  Personally, i'm going to miss some of it too, but the changes to Tweetdeck and Twitter are much more positive than they are negative.

When thinking about the changes to Twitter, I've tried to look at it through someone else's eyes.  One thing that is easy to forget, especially for power users, is that Twitter is not being made just for us anymore.  It is being made so anyone can jump into it and not feel overwhelmed.  Twitter is a platform, and a platform has to appeal to everyone.  That means making it more accessible, which is what it is now.  While it has lost some of the "power" that it had before, I would argue that Twitter now has even more power, because there will be even more people using it, and the real power of Twitter is in the people.  If 100 million new people join Twitter after this re-design, which is possible, and even likely, that means that there are 100 million more people to search.  I said at the beginning that the real power of twitter is in the ability to find out what people are talking about right now.  The more people there are talking about things, the better a metric it is.  That is what Twitter wants.

Now, let's not kid ourselves.  Twitter is a business, and the real reason for this redesign is advertising.  Twitter has been experimenting with promoted items for a long time and this only makes it easier.  Brands and companies are easier to promote now, the #Discover page really begs for advertisers to attach their news stories to trending topics, and the @connect page will make it even easier for Twitter to suggest new people and brands for a person to follow.  This is a brilliant move by Twitter simply because it will make advertising on the service much more valuable without compromising much of the user experience.

I don't mind the dumbing down of the Twitter service, I don't even mind the prospect of more advertising, as long as the result brings me a better service than it was before.  While the changes last week have been very jarring, and change the service more than some people like, overall Twitter is a better service today than it was two weeks ago.  The power of Twitter is in the people, and that is evident now more than ever.

The Rapidly Changing Internet - Online Advertising

The internet.  Probably the greatest invention of the information age.  It is revolutionizing how we do everything.  From communication, to shopping, to consuming information, to advertising, to working, and much more.  Unfortunately the internet is advancing and changing so much that it can be hard to adapt to.  Unfortunately this is leading to some pretty severe growing pains as Governments and agencies, as well as businesses and individuals are all trying to adapt, with varying degrees of success.  The biggest problem is the fear that comes with new technologies.  Those who do not understand or know how new tools and technologies work are more likely to be wary of them, and those people can hold us back.  There are many parts of this that I'm going to touch on, but I want to start with online advertising and how more specifically targeted ads can be the most valuable advertising that there is, and why we should embrace that, not be afraid of it.

I've chosen to talk about advertising first not because it is the obvious first choice, but because it is topical.  Canada's privacy commissioner recently ruled that some types of targeted advertising on the internet violate Canada's privacy laws, and needs to change.  This to me show just how out of touch our privacy commissioner and privacy laws are with the future of communication and media.

Let me start by talking about old media, or traditional, advertising.  I'll mostly be talking about TV advertising, but this still generally applies to other mediums like news print and radio as well.

Traditional advertising has a very simple model.  Companies sell a block of advertising, and all viewers watching at that time will see it.  That may sound like a great method, but it is actually pretty inefficient.  Advertising usually targets only a subset of those people that are watching.  For example, an advertisement for Gillette razors may be very relevant to someone like me, a mid 20's male.  But a 12 year old girl could be watching at the same time, and that commercial has zero value to her.  That means that out of the two of us, the advertisement is only reaching 50% of the audience with the targeted effect.

Now, ratings and demographics play a huge role in traditional advertising.  Higher rated TV shows will have more expensive ad spots because there are more people watching them.  A show like desperate housewives will have more advertisements targeted towards women, because more women than men watch that show.  During Saturday morning cartoons I'm more likely to see ads for toys than I am for R-rated movies.  Traditional media depends heavily on ratings and demographic information, because it can try to target the most appropriate ads at the shows that would have the appropriate audience.  That's why the male 18-34 and female 18-34 are such sought after viewers among networks.  But even with all of the data that they can get, there is still a large part of the audience that will watch an advertisement where it is simply not relevant to them.

Now, lets look at some of the various online advertising models.  Google, which makes the vast majority of their money each year through advertising, has the simplest, but easiest to understand model.  a company can buy a keyword on Google.  When a user does a search that includes that word, that company's advertisement appears in the search results.  So if I search for "coke" and the coca-cola company has purchased that keyword, I'll see an ad for coca-cola in my search results.  simple, but yet very effective.  It means that only people who are searching for something will see that ad.  If I don't' search for coke, I'll never see a coca-cola ad.  Simple as that.  Google uses keyword advertisements in almost all of its products.  in Gmail, if an email has a phrase relating to coke, a coke ad will appear on the right hand side of the page.  Simple, effective, and un-obtrusive.

Now, our activities can also influence advertisements we receive.  I'm going to use Facebook as the example here, as it is again, the most relevant.  All of the information a person puts into Facebook, whether it is their relationship status, hometown, interests, favourite movies, etc, allow advertisements to be targeted at them.  All of those "like" buttons you see all over the internet now, Facebook collects data on those too.  The goal is to provide you with the most targeted and relevant advertisements possible.  Did you just change your relationship status to engaged?  Well then Facebook will start giving you ads about wedding services.  IF you just got engaged and are female, then you are likely to get an ad for wedding dresses.  If you seem to "like" a lot of news stories relating to the Ford Motor Company, you will see a Ford ad. Like the Edmonton Oilers, you might see an ad for Oilers merchandise.

These types of ads are hugely valuable to companies, because it allows them to provide ads *only* to people that they would be relevant to.  If you are not getting married, there will be no ads for wedding services.  If you don't like coke, no coke ads.  It allow each ad to be so specifically targeted that it does not have to appeal to anyone except the target demographic.  This makes each advertisement more valuable for the both the company selling the ads, as well as the one buying them.

Now, as a consumer, someone looking at ads, I know that I would much rather see an ad that is for something that would actually matter to me.  Don't' get me wrong, if I never saw another advertisement again it would be great.  But since advertising is part of our lives, I really want to see something that matters.  I'd much rather see an ad for razor blades than makeup, for example.  And why would a company want to direct a makeup advertisement towards me?  It makes no sense for them, just as it makes no sense for me.

Now, there is an argument to be made about privacy.  That's a topic I'm going to talk about more later, but my belief is that how these ads are targeted towards me are in ways that are a natural extension of what has been done in the past.  Do you honestly thing that if 20 years ago that if companies could have targeted their advertising in this specific manner they wouldn't have?  the only reason they didn't was because there was no way of knowing.  Now, I'm sure this is true for most people, but I'm not one to hide many of my likes and interests.  It is by no means a secret that I like Coke more than Pepsi.  I will tell people that without a problem, so why should I care if an advertising company knows that.  Sure, that information should be used appropriately, but this is true for any and all information.  All the data is used for is to give me a better experience, which is what I want.

What the privacy commissioner has said is that information about how targeted ads work should be clear and visible to users.  I have no problem with that, as it is something that should be disclosed.  After that, it gets, well, stupid.  The privacy commissioner wants websites to stop using tools that users are "unaware of."  Honestly, that is shortsighted.  There is an argument to be made that if a person "likes" soothing on Facebook that it does actually constitute something that a user actively interacts with, and Facebook has disclosed this.  Things like changing a relationship status in Facebook are less obvious, but I would still argue that Facebook does disclose this as well, and a user has to actively put this information into Facebook.  IF they do not want that, they don't' have to.  When thinking about Google, the privacy commissioner's argument is even more wrong, because it only displays ads directly related to something a user does.

Online tracking of Children is another thing that the privacy commissioner wants stopped. Now, while I can see the argument that a child can't be reasonably expected to understand how all of this works, but what is being asked for is nearly impossible.  Using google as an example, if a 12 year old uses Goole to help with school homework, Google has no way at all of knowing who is making the search, just what the search is for.  The search could be made by a 12 year old, or a 70 year old, and Google would not know the difference.  For other services there are methods to combat at least part of this.  For almost all online services users must be 13 years of age to sign up, and have parents permission.  Now, admittedly this is probably one of the most broken "rules" in existence, but at least it is there.  In an age where companies have very little control over who actually uses their service, it would be impossible to keep one demographic out.

I really do believe that the type of targeted advertising we see on the internet today is the best kind of advertising ever seen.  It may seem a little off putting at first to think about an advertisement directed solely at an individual instead of a group of people, but this allows for a much better experience.  Just because it is new, does not make it bad for us.  I would argue that Google and Facebook have revolutionized advertising in ways that the TV networks could have only dreamed of 20 years ago.  Just as technology enables us as users to do more today than ever before, it allows the same thing to companies.  They should not be punished for using the tools at their disposal to create the best possible experience for a user simply because our laws are outdated and cannot keep up with said technologies.  That type of fear will only hold us back, not move us forward.  It doesn't mean that there is no privacy; There are things I choose not to share on the internet.  But if I'm willing share it, I want it to be used to give me a better experience.  That is why it is there. The future of advertising is here now.  In fact, it has been here for a few years.  The companies that embrace it, like Google, are doing immensely well.  Last time I checked Google was making more money than I can really comprehend through advertising sales.  This is not going away, and those that fight it and try to stop it like the Privacy Commissioner's office has will be exposed as outdated as they are, and will be left behind.

[Read] - Privacy Commissioner sets new guidelines for online ads

Playing politics on social media

Politics and religion.  If you ask your parents or grandparents the two things that should never be talked about among family, that that is it.  They will say that no good can some from talking about politics or religion in large groups, because often times someone will have a strong opinion that most others will not like, and that it can divide and break families because there are such strong feelings on the subject.  And apparently, they were right.

 

The 2008 presidential election was widely regarded as the coming out party for social media use in politics.  President Obama successfully used Facebook and Twitter to help him get the youth vote.  Now how much that actually helped can be debated, since many people would argue that he was going to win that election anyway, but the sheer effectiveness of the use of social media cannot be denied.  Obama and his staff clearly understood how important those types of tools are to reach the younger generations, the ones that are more and more becoming the voting bracket that will decided elections.  Their depth of understanding is evident based on the frustration that Obama's administration has had with the restrictive tech policies of the US government.  Obama basically had to beg and plead to be able to have a BlackBerry after he became President, and even after he won, his BlackBerry is heavily encrypted and can only communicate with a handful of other phones/devices.

There were even glimpses of use of social media during the 2008 federal election in Canada, which was a few weeks prior to the American one.  It wasn't nearly as prevalent, but the people that were on social media used it to talk, debate, and learn about the issues. Those politicians who used them had a much more engaged community of voters.

The community of people on social media, Twitter especially, was much different in 2008.  During the 2008 Canadian and Federal Elections I was able to have active, constructive debates and discussions with people from all over the country, continent, and sometimes even planet about things that were happening in those campaigns.  It felt good to be able to engage with a group of people who didn't simply engage in partisan politics.  Regardless of who people supported, we could talk, and not berate each other.  I will never forget the night of the US election in 2008.  I was alone in a hotel room in Moncton, New Brunswick, and I was able to watch on TV, as well as engage on Twitter as results came in.  I felt much more connected to what was happening that I would have been had I simply been alone in a hotel room with no real communications tool.  that day really changed my thoughts and opinions on Twitter, and was the first time that I felt that it was really something that could change how people communicate, and I think I was right.

Now, let's fast foward to late 2010 and 2011.  The use of Facebook and Twitter has exploded.  There are 750 million Facebook accounts and 250 Million Twitter accounts.  Almost every politician, or at least their campaign/staff office, has a twitter account.  The level of engagement it much higher, especially with the youth vote, than it was 15 years ago.  Not everyone uses social media effectively, but I think it is obvious that it can't be ignored anymore, and at least one person working for most politicians seems to agree.

Now, the community that participates in social media today is, as mentioned quite different than 2008.  The main reason for this is simply tonnage.  There are more people on social media now than there were 3 years ago, and because of that there are more voices, and that is not always a good thing.  I subscribe to two different theories that apply to social media today.  One is that a person alone can be smart, but people are significantly less smart.  That is the mob mentality.  The other is John Gabriel's Greater Internet Theory.  I'll let you look that up specifically, but the SFW version of it is that giving someone anonymity and a large audience usually ends badly.

Because of the sheer volume of people who now actively use Facebook, Twitter, etc. I find that it is much harder to be able to talk about anything political, or really, any controversial topic there anymore; especially Twitter.  On election day in Canada in 2010, I took to Twitter, like countless others did, to be part of the conversation.  But I found that nearly everything I said was met with responses from people that bordered on hostile.  Even when I was simply tweeting the current results of the election and how many seats each party was leading in, I had responses that ranged from "THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER" to "WHAT ARE PEOPLE DOING I'M MOVING TO MEXICO." A simple tweet of "Conservatives only 15 seats from a majority" was met with the most hostile response, claiming that people like me were ruining the country, and that I should have been ashamed of myself for voting for Stephen Harper's Conservatives.  The worst one told me that by voting conservative I had given my support to taking away a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.  I was simply stunned, mainly because I have never once told anyone who I have voted for in any election I have voted in since I was 18.  People assumed that I had voted Conservative simply because I said that they were only 15 seats away from a majority.  I would have said the same thing had the NDP or Liberal been in that position.  I guess I would have been accused of voting for them in that case.  Partisan Politics have invaded social media in a big way, and in a way that is detrimental to the overall experience of using that social media.

Let's now come to today.  In Edmonton there is a big debate happening about a new downtown arena.  I'm not going to turn this into a debate about whether or not public funds should go into the arena, but every time I have given my opinion on Twitter on what I think, I'm always met with a few responses that simply tell me that I'm wrong, and that I don't know what I'm talking about.  Now honestly, that's fine, tell me you disagree with me, but then tell me why, or give me your idea.  People who know me know that I love having a good, constructive debate with anyone, but as social media has exploded in popularity, that is becoming harder and harder.

It comes back to the mob mentality.  The larger the group or audience, the more likely we are to have bad apples in that group.  For me, this has changed how I use social media.  It won't stop me from talking about things sometimes, and I still use it to follow current events of course, but how I actually engage is changing.  I don't actively engage in debate over politics anymore, and when I do, it is very limited.  I'm not going to stop entirely, but I'm learning to pick my spots a lot more, and for those that do reply with useless responses, well the block button is a wonderful thing.

Social Media is a revolution, in both a good way and a bad way.  I've talked many times about how I love social media and have found many good uses for it, as well as how it has changed how I interact with people.  Social Media has literally saved lives, and let people connect in ways that simply did not exist 5 years ago, and that is a wonderful thing.  But as it has opened to more and more people, the regular conventions of conversation now apply, more than ever.

Politics and religion people, politics and religion.

The Vancouver Riots

I am embarrased and ashamed.

After Boston won the Stanley Cup, chaos erupted in downtown Vancouver. I'm sure you've seen the pictures, and watched the video.  It was something that we shouldn't be seeing in a country like Canada. Just 16 months ago, Vancouver hosted the Olympics in what many can agree was one of the most unifying moments this country has ever seen.  The world watched Vancouver celebrate the winter olympics, and watched Vancouver, and the country, celebrate our game.  Last night and today the world again has been watching, watching a city burn.  They watched looters destroy businesses, and violent fights.  Exact numbers aren't yet known, but there have been several stabbings, and all we can hope for is that no one died in the riots.

I don't remember the riots of 1994. I was 7 when they happened, and didn't really care what was happening in the world.  But I, like many others, have seen the videos of it, and were appauled at how Vancouver acted in 1994.  After the Olympics of 2010, many thought that Vancouver was past that. Clearly, they were not.

Now, lets be clear.  The people who rioted for hours were *not* the majority.  There were over 100,000 people in downtown Vancouver last night for the game.  Only a few thousand were really involved in the riots, with only several hundred likely doing the most damage.  The type of people that will do something like this are the type of people who would have done the same had Vancouver won.  They were a group of people who were just looking for an excuse to incite a riot, and having 100,000 people in a (relatively) small area to basically serve as cover for them was an easy setup.  Many of the worst rioters covered their faces with bandannas to try to hid their identity.  The people who would do this are the type of people who were prepared to do this.  Not many people who would "spontaneously" join a riot would even think of doing something like that.  Those people knew exactly what they were doing, and they were there for one reason, and one reason alone.

I stayed up very late last night watching live coverage of the events, and it sickened me to watch people causing that much damage.  I am almost afraid to look at the pictures that will come out this morning, of the charred vehciles, glass and garbage in the streets.  This riot will cost millions of dollars, and the people who will be hurt the most are the small business owners.  It is disgraceful.

It is shameful that a small group of people have put a black eye on the most beautiful metropolitan area in the country.  Here we are, the morning after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the game almost seems like a distant memory right now.  At a time when we should be celebrating our sport, we now have this to deal with.  Instead of talking about hockey, the playoffs, or the final, we have to try to defend our country's image and our reputation to the world.  There are many countries in the world where hockey is a sport that they barely know the name of, but this morning they are talking about Vancouver, for all the wrong reasons.

The worst part of this is that Vancouver, Canada's olympic city, has now list the wonderful respect and reputation it garnered worldwide in February 2010 during the Olympics.  The years of planning for that event, and the wonderful 2 weeks that the world witnessed have been erased, replaced with pictures of cars on fire and people looting businesses.  A small group of people have done this, and destroyed Vancouver's reputation to the world.

MAny efforts are already being made to work to clean the city up.  The Vancouver Police are asking everyone who was downtown last night to submit their video and photos so the police can identify those who caused damage, and bring them to justice.  Facebook groups are being organized to help clean up the streets of downtown Vancouver, as well as posting pictures of those who did take part in the riots. While I don't necessarily recommend putting the pictures directly onto Facebook, I hope that the Police get everything they need.

I'd also like to say that CTV had by far the best coverage of the riots last night.  While other news organizations stopped their coverage for part of the night, CTV pre-empted everything, and continued to cover the riots, even after I finally went to bed.  Their reporter on the ground, Rob Brown, did a simply sensational job covering this, along with his camera man.  They put themselves in danger to bring what were by far the best pictures and video I could find last night.  Last night CTV provided an example of journalism at it's best, and I thank them for that.  On a similar note, all of that coverage was streaming live on CTV's website, which is where I was watching it.  that was also a great example of how "traditional" journalism can use new media to provide news, and I wish it happened more often. I've been saying for years that news should be streamed live to the internet, and this only cemented that.

Here I am, about 12 hours after the Stanley Cup was awarded to Boston, and I've written nearly a thousand words. Not about the game, or anything to do with the game.  I've written a thousand words about the shameful act of a few thousand people who decided that last night, they were going to do everything they could to destroy a city.  I know that the majority of the people in the lower mainland were not involved with this riot, but that does not change the fact that the morning after, we are not talking about what we should be talking about.  We are talking about one of the most shameful things I have ever seen in my life.  It is very unfortunate because 10 years from now we will not remember the amazing run by the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. We will not remember some of the truly fantastic hockey games along the way in the playoffs, and we will not remember how Boston was able to celebrate their first win in 39 years.  We will remember Vancouver, and the night the city was set on fire.

I am embarrassed and ashamed.