May 26, 2009

yMedia student evening - tomorrow!

Keen to land your dream job after uni?
Set yourself apart from the herd...
while helping out a community group...
going in the draw to win up to $5,000 in cash prizes...

If you study communications, media, Web, Computer Science, or similar, the yMedia Challenge is for you. Also open to recent grads (within 6 months of graduation).

The yMedia Challenge connects tertiary students with community groups and top businesses
through new media projects.

Come along and find out more - no time-wasting presentations, just a bunch of dense, useful info tailored especially for uni students.

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

6:00pm - 8:00pm
4 Gundry St, Newton, Auckland

September 26, 2008

be green or be gone

So maybe caring about the planet is not an either-or thing where you're either for environmental protection or against it. Often, most of us do care about the Earth a lot - we enjoy our beach holidays and our forests. Time and again, we just need a kick up the pants to change our habits, no?

An easy start is eDay, a cars-only drive-through recycling event which gives you the opportunity to recycle old computers or mobile phones in an environmentally sustainable way. For more info, click here.

eDay will be held on the 4th* of October 2008 in regions around New Zealand.

Computer collectables charity auction, live from Sat 4 Oct.

The event was launched in Wellington in 2006 with an extremely successful pilot sponsored by Dell. Fifty-four tonnes of unused computer hardware were collected in one day. In 2007, eDay was extended to 12 locations throughout New Zealand where a total of 6,900 cars dropped off 415 tonnes of e-waste. This included more than 26,000 computer items including monitors, CPUs and printers....

  • mobile phone chargers can be recycled to recover copper
  • handsets and accessories can be recycled to recover the plastics
  • circuit boards inside handsets can be recycled to recover precious metals such as gold, silver and other materials like copper, lead and zinc
  • rechargeable batteries are recycled for their nickel, iron, cadmium, lead and cobalt.

On average, over 95% of the materials collected on eDay will be diverted from landfills.

Volunteers are required for eDay to assist with logistics at each eDay drop off site. Volunteers are needed to help direct traffic, interview drivers about their awareness of e-waste issues and remove computer equipment from cars. Sign up here.

September 22, 2008

The secrets behind the speech-maker

Fear number two: death. Fear number one: public speaking. Our keynote speaker from last week, John Mazenier (NZ Country Manager of Sun Microsystems) was a huge hit. Here, he shares a few nuggets sourced from Toastmasters:
  1. Know the room. Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.

  2. Know your audience. Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It's easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

  3. Know your material. If you're not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practise your speech and revise it if necessary.

  4. Relax. Ease tension by doing exercises.

  5. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.

  6. Realize that people want you to succeed. They are just as scared of public speaking as you are. They’re on your side!

  7. Don't apologize. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience's attention to something they hadn't noticed. Keep silent.

  8. Concentrate on the message -- not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly toward your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate.

  9. Turn nervousness into positive energy. Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.

  10. Gain experience. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking.

September 12, 2008

Well, well, Welly

Apart from the projector favoring PCs over Macs; a whole new Powerpoint show hurriedly thrown together; and a bumpy quick-change in the bathrooms (Pam and I have developed a whole new relationship with our gym bags and public toilets); everything last night went smoothly.

At the yMedia Wellington Awards, the night turned when Paul Matthews from the NZ Computer Society announced that NZCS, Sun Microsystems, RecruitIT, IBM, and Summer of Code (SoC) were each putting $200 on the bar as a gift to the Wellington student crowd.

So Paul Matthews, John Clegg (SoC), John Mazenier (Sun), John O'Leary (IBM), John Wyatt (RecruitIT), and Liz Hampton (IBM) - here's a huge cheers to you again, for such a well-timed/well-received/well-intentioned gesture. Thanks also to the very cool Southern Cross Bar for hosting us for free.

Thanks also to Dave Turnbull (ChromeToaster), Rod Drury (Xero) and Dave Ralph (Creo) for coming along to present the prizes and sharing their words of wisdom with the crowd.

Well, well, Welly - all of those who came last night have made yMedia feel very welcome in this city, so thanks again. It feels like a million thank-you's have been said over the past three days, but John Mazenier's keynote address reminded me that
"the hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."

John spoke about how people who work for multi-national corporations are essentially, still, just people (yes... they have hearts).
At the start of the night, he had watched the video that Team Anna_Jamie_Josh had made for Alzheimers NZ, and was visibly moved by a brilliant post-it installation which the team did.

They stuck heaps and heaps of post-it notes around a popular corridor at their uni. Anyone who knows Alzheimers, recognises the gesture.

"You have no idea how poignant that is," he told me.

The gratitude he publicly expressed for the project itself, and for community groups like Alzheimers AZ, echoed that warm-and-fuzzy feeling that buzzed around the Auckland Awards last night. And it reminded me that each thank-you message opens doors for repeating whatever attracted the gratitude in the first place.

Huge congrats to our Wellington winners - Team Ignite - Liz Hands, Nicola Edhouse and Ian Loveridge, for their work with the Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

And once again, thanks to all our sponsors, students and community groups for taking up this opportunity, and giving yMedia a thousand more opportunities in the process.

September 11, 2008

Awards night in Aucks

And so another yMedia whanau meet-up came and went with last night's Auckland Awards. Ah, the warm-and-fuzzy 'family' vibe was there (albeit one of those estranged families where everyone knows others' names but not necessarily the fine print of their histories).

Stephen Tindall spoke, recalling how the Warehouse's decision to take a chance with electronic technology back in the day largely propelled it to success. The theme of the night was the changing importance of digital media, the new addiction that young people have to this technology, and of course, the spotlight was on the fantastic projects from this year's Challenge.

Massive congrats to the Auckland Winners: Team Open Eyes (Kyle Meszaros and Kevin Cooper) who worked with 'Community Connections'. We'd also like to congratulate all the other participants for producing some amazing blogs, Facebook pages, websites and so on.

For Pamela and myself, having Bon, Jade, Joe, Sheena, Nathan, Red and Anthea as quasi-co-hosts of the evening was a definite highlight. Telecom's gift vouchers of $400 to the winning teams, one set for Auckland one for Wellington, were also a lovely surprise.

We're very aware that the people in the room last night - the 2007 participants, our sponsors, judges, community groups, and 2008 students - are yMedia as it exists today.

In Ancient Greece, gathering in the forum was a part of daily life. In 1960s America, rallies and marches were part of the student experience. At the turn of the 21st century, it's becoming increasingly harder to drag people out of their homes and into real-world, face-to-face activities on a Wednesday night.

And so we'd like to thank everyone again for coming out and for making it another warm-and-fuzzy night.

August 21, 2008


The past weekend 15th and 16th August marked that massive design affair, Semi Permanent, a two day conference where leading 12 international and local designers of various mediums - Graphic Design, Film, Art, Illustration, Web Design, Photography, Interactive Design to name a few, are invited to speak to Auckland's design heads.

I went along on Saturday and found the seminars to be heart, brain and soul fodder. Naturally some speakers were better than others, choosing not only to show off their portfolios but also to explain at length, their preferences, inspirations and processes as well as offer insights on both the design industry and life's lessons.

Dumbo Feather, Pass It On magazine founder and editor Kate Bezar told an inspiring story of her industry journey, photographer Derek Henderson was refreshing in his simple and honest approach to taking photos, Debaser proudly showed off their music artwork skills and procedures and Danny Yount his impressive TV title portfolio and I won a gorgeous, huge typography poster from brand identity agency Sea Design which I can't wait to get mounted and display on my wall.

But like many others, my favourite on the day was undoubtedly Stefan Sagmeister who enthralled with a humourous, awe inspiring and touching presentation based on his book 'Things I have learned in my life so far'. See his website where you too can contribute to his project of art and learning.

The event has a festival vibe with the Curvy and Misery gallery exhibitions opening a day prior, a goodie bag with a beautiful Semi Permanent 2008 book for a keepsake and an after-party to wrap it all up. A incredibly useful and successful multi-discipline design forum for creatives.

Last year after I attended a playful and colourful interactive gallery exhibition in Melbourne, Experimenta Playground which completely blew my mind, I was terribly curious about the logistics of interactive. So on Tuesday I actually attended a sort of continuation of Semi Permanent, an intimate interactive design workshop with two speakers from Day 1 of Semi Permanent I'd missed because I was ill.

Joel Gethin Lewis and Toxi explained the advantages of open source frameworks and processing, of the community aspects, commercial viability and the kind of DIY nature of creating interactive pieces such as repurposing webcams for a couple of dollars to create magnificent new technological tools. I was amazed by how fun, effective and dare I say it, simple, interactive designing could be.

July 28, 2008


Adele and I (Pamela) attended the Computerworld Excellence Awards at Sky City on Friday night and were quietly stoked when we didn't win the Youth ICT Award as neither of us had prepared speeches...(pathetic I know). The two that did win it (Shane and Craig Smith for Language Perfect) spoke so well that it was pretty much destined to be that way for the sake of the audience.

So I kicked off my shoes, relaxed at my table and chilled out a little. The couple next to me were from Meridian Energy and it was interesting to hear about the sustainable ICT project they have just implemented. The food was served and it was amazing. Adele and I always order one of each of the mains and then eat half and swap.

But no sooner had I wiped the beef jus from my chin, Frankie Stevens (MC) was announcing yMedia as one of the finalists for an award not on the programme. Gasp. Sure enough, the winners of the Judge's Choice for Best Value was yMedia. Lights flashing. Music *pumping*. Cameras on our table. I'm scurrying to find my shoes under the table and pick the meat out of my teeth and straighten my hair and flatten my dress and arghhh so we are on stage. And we thank everyone we can think of. And I do a plug for our blog and our competition. And they laugh us off. And it's over. And we are holding a 2.5kg solid metal trophy that looks like a famous award of some sort.

Awesome. Thanks Computerworld :)

July 18, 2008

Wellington Teams Announced

In Wellington so far we have:

Team Anna_Josh: Anna Hermann and Josh Stuart from Massey working with Alzheimers NZ.

Chocolate Fish: Shannon Bayliss and Elena Claxton from Natcol working with Diabetes NZ.

Capital D: Rathana Prak and Kano Sricharoen from Natcol working with the Downtown Communitity Ministry.

Ignite: Liz Hands, Nicola Edhouse and Ian Loveridge from Massey working with OPC.

T 'n' T: Tom Crook and Thomas Frauenstein from Natcoll working with the Youth Development Trust.

{META}: Alex Nijathaworn, Kelly Cheeseman and Ryan Christie from Victoria University working with Pablos Art Studio.

Three D: Kelly Gordon and Alex Hayden from Natcol working with the Real Hot Bitches Dance Troupe.

Dotcomm: Amanda Argyle, Kate Bourke and Jayne from Massey working with the Whitireia Community Law Centre.

Good luck everyone!! Remember to keep checking in to see whats happening!! :)

July 17, 2008

Auckland Teams Announced

As teams are getting confirmed, we will announce the successful students and their organisations.

In Auckland so far:

Team Hamburger: Kenneth Williams and Tim Holmberg from AUT working with YouthworX
(check out their blog:

Hutch and Hughes: Sandra Hutchison and Rachelle Hughes from MDS working with Preventing Violence in the Home.

Digital Fix
: Aurelie Rivalant, Miles Mason and Kat Gibb from AUT working with North Shore Women's Centre. (

Jessica van Dammen and Katharine Maude from MDS working with The Discovery Foundation.

Aditi Gulati and Ju Zhang from UoA working with the NZ Sign Language Teachers Association.

Open Eyes: Kevin Cooper and Karoly Meszaros from MDS working with the North Shore Community and Social Services.

Awesome, we're super excited to see these guys setting up their blogs. Check back here for regular updates! The Challenge site will profile all the students soon :)

July 14, 2008

Semi-Permanent 2008

One lucky student team will win tickets to Semi-Permanent 2008 at The Edge, Auckland between August 15th and 16th.

Semi-Permanent is a design event consisting of a conference and side events includ exhibitions, competitions, workshops and parties. It's a week long celebration of all things design. Graphic Design, Film, Art, Illustration, Web Design, Photography, Visual Effects, Animation, Graffiti, Motion Graphics, Stop Motion; all these things and more. Semi-Permanent explores the diverse and exciting design world bringing together exceptionally talented artists and designers to speak at the event.

The prize is being sponsored by The Church - a collective of designers, motion artists and interactive bodies whose purpose in life is to challenge what is, connect with what is possible and be the creation.