books on the radio

In Need of an Exorcism? Street Ads, Chatroulette & Demonic Possession (by @seancranbury)
August 28, 2010, 1:55 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

We’ve all been there.  A family member or friend has become possessed by some malevolent force from beyond this realm and we need some help.

Traditional store-bought solutions prove fruitless and even personalized phone messages from the likes of John Tesh aren’t helping.

Luckily, there’s a recent street poster campaign in Vancouver that offers some alternatives:

Adverts for Exorcists: Only on Commercial Drive.

Oh, alright, I’m kidding about the whole demonic possession* thing, but this ad pasted to a telephone pole on Commercial Drive caught my attention earlier today.

I took the photo and uploaded it to Facebook right away. That started a conversation as people wondered WTF was going on with this.

A savvy telegenic exorcist with a street team and a twitter account?

Does that even make any sense? What dimension are we in again?

Some research into the website that’s mentioned on the poster – – reveals that it’s all a part of a clever online/social media campign in support of a brand new Lionsgate horror film called The Last Exorcism.

Thanks to my nefarious friend, Katie Kruger for doing some eldritch online research and digging up this amazing Chatroulette sequence.

I don’t know if the movie is any good but the social media campaign built around it certainly shows some imagination.

(I should probably go see the movie and write something more in-depth about it.)

* If you or someone you know is actually possessed by a demon or the ghost of Martin Short please contact @NicBoshart for a book deal.

by Sean Cranbury

(cross-posted from the BookMadam site)


William Gibson: No Maps for These Territories

As the publication of William Gibson’s Zero History creeps ever closer – and the possibility of an interview with the author on BOTR arises – I’ve been performing some informal research.

Above, I’ve posted a short video excerpt from a movie made in the late nineties by Mark Neale called No Maps for These Territories.

Here’s how the movie is described on wikipedia:

On an overcast morning in 1999, William Gibson, father of cyberpunk and author of the cult-classic novel Neuromancer, stepped into a limousine and set off on a road trip around North America. The limo was rigged with digital cameras, a computer, a television, a stereo, and a cell phone. Generated entirely by this four-wheeled media machine, No Maps for These Territories is both an account of Gibson’s life and work and a commentary on the world outside the car windows. Here, the man who coined the word “cyberspace” offers a unique perspective on Western culture at the edge of the new millennium, and in the throes of convulsive, tech – driven change.

That’s just too amazing. I cannot wait to get my hands on this movie.

I think that we should host a post-geographic screening in Vancouver at W2 Storyeum some time very soon.

You Will: The Future According to AT&T in 1993.
August 27, 2010, 9:42 AM
Filed under: Enthusiasms | Tags: , , ,

Thanks to my friend Monique Trottier for pointing out this series of strangely imperative tv ads from the days before Amazon.

What will the world look like 17 years from now?

Thoughts on Applying to Present at #BNC11 in Toronto

Samantha Francis from BookNet Canada has posted the call for proposals for the BookNet Canada Technology Forum to be held on March 24, 2011, at the MaRS Centre in Toronto.

I attended the 2010 version of the BNC Tech Forum and it was interesting and educational. I wrote about it here.

Bob Miller and Richard Nash rocked the opening slots, Dominique Raccah delivered a great presentation, Ian Barker of SymText and Hugh McGuire of BookOven provided much-needed balance to the paranoia-inducing RFID session.

There was a party at the Pour House afterward courtesy of the awesomeness of Open Book Toronto and the Book Madam.  Guinness was consumed, I got to catch up with David Leonard, Clare Hitchens and Kimberly Walsh among many others.

All was good in with the world.


But now maybe it’s time to start thinking about taking the next step, from attending/organizing conferences to  crafting a presentation that will create discussion. Help to move the conversation forward.

I’ve been working on the above presentation for a few months now – sharing/openness/P2P/infinite digital space – and I will be presenting it at the Surrey International Writers Conference later in October.

Can this presentation be recast and improved enough to be accepted for BNC11 in March? I think that it can.

Any suggestions on what direction I should take it? Thoughts on what/where I should focus?

The Networked Nonprofit: An Interview with Allison Fine

Allison Fine and Beth Kanter have written The Networked Nonprofit.

Click to hear my interview with Allison H Fine about the Networked Nonprofit.

The well-respected and highly retweetable duo of Beth Kanter and Allison H Fine have written one of the best books on social media published to date.

One of the best social media books yet published!

The Networked Nonprofit is an excellent, if not inspired, book that helps to contextualize the tools and fundamental ideas at the core of the social media revolution.

Many books have been written about social media as tools for connecting businesses with their customers, improving bottom lines and bringing marketing to the networks.

Some of these books are excellent – Brogan & Smith’s Trust Agents, Barefoot/Szabo’s Friends with Benefits, Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation to name just three – and many more are average, mediocre or worse.

Beth Kanter and Allison Fine turn their focus on the nonprofit space. Their book is a blueprint for helping traditional nonprofit organizations become ‘networked’; more open and active in the digital space.

The book has an excellent website – – that you should check out immediately for more info AND they have started a wiki which I think is pretty amazing.

More organizations should embrace the wiki, I think.

Anyone who is working to help traditional organizations transition to the social media space, whether they’re nonprofits or not, needs to read this book.

To my friends working with traditional book publishers, you need to read this book!

I hope that you enjoy the interview.  Thanks to Allison H Fine for being kind enough to take the time to answer my questions and to Beth Kanter, who unfortunately couldn’t make it for the interview but kept in touch anyway.  Also thanks to the good people at Jossey-Bass/Wiley – Erika and Meredith – for making this interview happen.

Here’s an example of some of the excellent thinking and writing that happens in this book:

Networked Nonprofits are simple and transparent organizations. They are easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage people to shape and share their work in order to raise awareness of social issues, organize communities to provide services or advocate for legislation. In the long run, they are helping to make the world a safer, fairer, healthier place to live.

Networked Nonprofits don’t work harder or longer than other organizations, they work differently. They engage in conversations with people beyond their walls–lots of conversations–to build relationships that spread their work through the network. Incorporating relationship building as a core responsibility of all staffers fundamentally changes their to-do lists. Working this way is only possible because of the advent of social media. All Networked Nonprofits are comfortable using the new social media toolset–digital tools such as email, blogs, and Facebook that encourage two-way conversations between people, and between people and organizations, to enlarge their efforts quickly, easily and inexpensively.

Zero History by Willaim Gibson: Drops on September 7th, 2010
August 13, 2010, 1:09 PM
Filed under: Enthusiasms | Tags: , , ,

Hubertus Bigend returns to us again in William Gibson’s new novel, Zero History, from Putnam.

Dropping in early September the book is positioned to rampage across the crowded fall book season.

Very much looking forward to the arrival of Zero History.  We’ll definitely be reviewing it here and working on getting an interview.

We Support Vancouver Is Awesome (And So Should You!)
August 6, 2010, 10:12 AM
Filed under: Enthusiasms | Tags: , , , , ,

I wrote this letter of support for Vancouver is Awesome this morning.

I share it here to show BOTR’s solidarity with VIA and to encourage other creators, cultural figures in Vancouver to write letters of support, too.

VIA is a visionary collaborative cultural project. It supports us and I believe that we should give that love back.

Vancouver is Awesome. That is all.

To Whom It May Concern:

It is my pleasure to write this message of support on behalf of Bob Kronbauer and Vancouver is Awesome (VIA).

VIA is an unique and powerful voice for an emerging and vital cultural sector within our city.  It provides opportunities for new local voices to be heard, it showcases
creative projects and people, and it has become a daily go-to location for people throughout Vancouver.

What impresses me most about VIA is that it is an ‘idea driven’ project focusing on positive stories about Vancouver as a growing, creative, culturally sophisticated – and dare I say it – worldclass city.

In a time of deep concern within local cultural sectors VIA has emerged as a chorus of creative voices offering optimism, hope and fun to our community.

It is making a difference in the lives of people across this city and has become a
destination site for tourists coming to Vancouver and looking for interesting things to do while they’re here.

As curator of Books on the Radio I look to VIA for inspiration and ideas about how I can make my own projects better and connect more deeply with the Vancouver

VIA is a project/website/cultural force that I completely support and I encourage our civic leaders to stand behind it as well.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for further positive commentary on VIA.

Sean Cranbury, Curator/Host/Regulator, Books on the Radio