Andromeda Strain

To say I was sick is like saying the sun is hot. Understated.
Flu bugs massacred me for the past three days, and I worked two of them thanks to an overloading on flu-meds.

Really, I had no choice but to be present on Tuesday night for the Tech Event at Phog. I wanted it to be everything it could be, and I wanted it to succeed. I had to be there.
It succeeded.

Darren, from was there to capture the event in pictures, and to learn a little thing here and there about social media and blogs. Although, he knows a HELL of a lot more than the average bear (me included).



Me, trying to contact my brother Todd for video conferencing.


I’m set up here, getting ready to begin the night. The drugs are working, and I can’t wait to see people taking notes.


My brother Todd, via video chat on Google Talk, from South River, Ontario (near Algonquin Park). He runs an eco-tourism business up north, and is a key figure in tourism. He teaches tour operators how to get more out of their business by using the web. CHECK IT OUT HERE! He was incredible, sharing info about WordPress blogs, social media in general, and doing so with humour and clear discussion.


Paul Synnott is seen here, braving the Mac (he’s a PC guy, politically and technologically) to give amazing insight on a few things including RSS feeds.

It was great to see the turnout, which was commented on by other attendees. However, as I feel like a perfectionist at times, I was a little let down by the lack of musicians and artists. You know, I wonder whether they just doubted that this night could offer them anything valuable, or worse, if I was able to deliver something worthwhile. David Dubois (The Locusts Have No King) was there, photographers were there, teachers were there, crafters were there, and small-business owners were there. I am grateful for their presence, not only to make the night possible, but because I feel this might enrich their experiences as musicians, photographers, teachers, crafter, and small business owners. How could a musician not come to Phog on a Tuesday night at 7:30pm to get information that usually costs $50 or $100 when the same info comes from the mouths of paid “professionals”.

Yes, I got a litany of e-mails with apologies and legit excuses, but I was there, with a fever, for them (you). You see, being a part of this web, this community of the creative class, we have to help each other out. And not because there’s money being paid for it, but because it strengthens that community, adds vitality, and brings the “creatives” closer together. Did Phog make money? Yes. Did it make what it could have? No. I was planted in the stool on the other side of the bar for most of the time, making sure that this night flowed and stayed problem-free. That was my objective for the night. If it was a simple bartending night, I would’ve begged Frank to work for me. There is a direct and indirect benefit to hosting something like this in our place, no doubt. We sell some drinks. But to see the names of attendees popping up on Twitter, the new blogs being registered and designed, and the local community coming together bit by bit (after 3 days, mind you) the indirect benefit is something we will all reap.

Rino, from Black Kettle Bistro messaged me with a question about WordPress blogs. The moment I read it, I heard a ringing from my computer. It was Rino (having installed Google Talk on his gmail account [free]) wanting to discuss his issues with a video teleconference. Still feeling sick, I answered without thinking how mangled I looked, or the fact that I had woken up 30 minutes prior (2pm). We chatted about the event, and about his blog (ironing out some of his issues), and discussing the unfortunate disability of the Windsor arts community to seize this opportunity. Here’s Rino’s blog, which is less than one day old, set to promote his business and whatever else he chooses to put out there. You should check it out. His eagerness, along with that of all the other participants and extremely amazing speakers is intoxicating, and I think it’s something that we can afford to have more of…

…May I suggest, that the next time something like this happens, and you are a musician or artist in the city of Windsor…make sure you are present. Just be there. Sometimes the best things ARE free.

If you aren’t sold, maybe someone who was there can sell you on it. I mean, they actually applauded after each presenter!

To recap what you missed:
Todd Lucier taught about WordPress blogs and the power of the web, and Web 3.0…where it’s heading. Wow.
Rodd Lucier prepared a ScreenFlow production about Creative Commons, which was so informative, I had no idea of 90% of the content.
Dan Misener also prepared a ScreenFlow production (very funny and honest) about Twitter. It worked. People are JOINING!
Lama Alsafi did a live presentation about Youtube, and how to use it more effectively. Including how to understand more about your viewers, and how to get more views on your videos. A lot of heads were turned during this presentation.
Michael Johnson got a lot of blood flowing to the brain when he discussed Google Maps, and how ANYONE in the creative class can make them interesting and relevant in promoting/sharing their work/ideas.
And last but certainly not least was Paul Synnott who taught about uber tech talk…RSS feeds and how they can be used to maintain a blog AND a Twitter feed without even typing a word. He also taught about some nifty tricks! Awesome!

I’d like to thank all those who came.
I’m indebted to all those who decided to help me teach this information, including my brother Todd Lucier, another brother Rodd Lucier, one of my best friends Dan Misener, and friends of the creative class – Michael Johnson, Lama Alsafi, and Paul Synnott.
See you next time.


9 responses to “Andromeda Strain

  1. Thanks for the update, Tom. Didn’t realize you were that sick! You hide it well.

    I’m going to have the video from the event up sometime this weekend. Going to throw it up on as they don’t have the 10-minute maximum time restriction that YouTube has. Will let you know…

  2. It’s too bad that you didn’t get more musicians and artists out, but maybe that’s just not the audience for this afterall. If the people who came out are the alternative journalists, the social organizers, the teachers, and local small business owners, then it WAS a huge success!

    Maybe the last thing musicians and artists need is yet another piece of technology keeping them from making more art or music. And in some ways, I’m more interested to see how the alternative journalists, the social organizers, and the teachers might use these technologies than musicians or artists.

    That being said, I’m sure if you tried one of these nights again, you would get more artists and musicians out, just by virtue of the word being spread around a bit more about the success of it. For sure.

    • My good man. It was clearly a success having the wonderful group we had…alas…it was ME running this night. The “music venue” guy trying to bring something fresh to the music community, artists, etc. and they chose to dog it. I am forever grateful to the people who DO come out to live music show, who DO come to special events…but I just wonder why someone would avoid a free event like this. I think the arts community is frightened. Of what, I cannot guess. Success me thinks.

  3. Most of the buzz that I saw prior to the event was on facebook and your weblog, and some of the people you’re trying to reach are the people who don’t use any kind of online social networking at all. Including a flyer in Artcite’s mailing might have helped to get the word out to some of those people. I’m sorry that I was too busy with my own stuff to think of that before now, but for next time.

  4. Great night Tom. I think you’ve definitely tapped into a need in the community.

    Considering the time constraints, maybe next one can be a themed night, just blogging, for example. Short presentation to start and then people can break out in small groups led by experienced users to work on specific issues.

    PS. I’ve added Rino’s blog to WE Speak.

  5. The websites for the art groups in this city really need a makeover. I can’t think of one that doesn’t need an update. The Art Gallery of Windsor, Artcite, Arts Council, Common Ground, Nancy Johns Gallery… I see the Arts Council has done a few updates though. But it always struck me as odd how the creative groups don’t seem to be so creative when it comes to their websites. Art students on the other hand, have a lot more creativity going on with their websites.

    I don’t mean this as an attack on them though. I keep trying to want to help them out, but it’s frustrating at times.

  6. i would not use the word frightened. more like lazy!

  7. Sounds like you had a really great night. Wish I could have been there in person. Good on you for putting this together, and thanks for letting me take part virtually!

  8. Was this an all ages event? If it was, all ages events (EVEN IF THE ARE NOT MUSIC ORIENTED) should be advertised all across school cafeterias and shops near schools. The students need to be introduced to these types of things and especially introduced to the phog and its local… emphasis.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s