Upgrade 2009

No Sleep + Conference= Fun For You!!! - January 4, 2008

So I am going crazy. I'm just throwing that out there. If don't remember your name by the time this conference comes around I am sorry. If I sound a little melancholic I'm sorry. But trust me this is going to be a blast and as soon as I see the fruits of my labours I will a happy man.

Please forgive me in advance if you freeze to death and please have a good time and make sure you learn something and make sure you dance and make sure you make out with somebody…if you’re into that kinda thing.

Some more pleading: Please make sure you guys bring your papers/send me your papers before hand so I can play this game at the meet and greet. Also make sure you talk to Monte from the Tyee because he really wants to talk to you and he came all the way from Vancouver for this thing.


Things To Bring To Nash!!!- January 3, 2008

This is a quick list of things you should bring to make your stay in my fine city pleasant (note please read to the bottom as these are in no particular order):fficially crunch time.

1) A Winter Coat: It can get really cold in Saskatoon to dress appropriately. Make sure you at least have a winter coat if not long underwear and woolly socks. Right now it is minus 30. Consider yourselves warned..

2)Bring Your Papers!!!! Those of you who haven't sent me your papers might just ruin my fun little game. Bring your papers for design critiques regardless, but also bring extra to spread them around. If you want to get your papers critiqued digitally make sure you bring a digital copy on disk on a flash drive.

3)Clothing for The JHM Awards Gala: Look your best for this night! You don't want to end up like me last year looking like a fool in running shoes.

4)Comfortable but presentable clothing for the rest of the time in the hotel. Like, what you would wear to the office.

5)going out at night clothing. 4 nights have events planned in the city and although only one of them is formal(ish), you might want to dress up a little and look nice for strangers. Of course, this is me talking and I really don't care what you dress like.

6) Bring skates if you want to go ice skating and a hockey stick if you want to play shinny! There is a rink right across the street from the hotel.

7)On a happier note bring a swimsuit! We have an indoor water slide at the hotel!!!

8) Bring laptop if you got one.

9) ID to get into bars, etc (age is 19)

10)things to amuse yourself for the drive/flight (books, music, Rubik's cube, etc.)

11) A REUSABLE COFFEE MUG!!!!!!!!!!! please. i just makes sense. disposable cups are for chumps.


Three More Weeks - December 18, 2008

It is now officially crunch time. In three weeks I will trapped in hotel with three hundred journalism nerds for what is sure to be one of the most memorable national conferences ever...if it is not memorable you guys won't even remember how unmemorable it was so either way the Sheaf and I both win.

Our fearless leader Rob Fishbook has been in town the last couple weeks just to make sure that I don't screw this thing up and he has been a huge help. With his help most of the loose ends have been tied up and we seem to be on track. Thanks Rob. You are my hero. In other news, I really need you guys to send me your papers. I want to play this cool meet and great game we came up with a summer school. Each person gets a someone's paper in their delegate bag and on the first night it will be their soul mission to find someone from that paper and critique it for them. Sounds pretty cool hey? But it is only going to work if you send me your papers.

If you have suggestions/questions it is never to late. If you want to hear more of my ramblings about the conference visit our Twitter at http://twitter.com/Upgrade_NASH. Hope you guys have a great break from school and production.


Waterslides! - December 2, 2008

There are only a few weeks left until NASH, and I have been spending every waking moment huddled inside coffee shops, wacked out on caffeine, hunched over my computer answering emails, nagging sponsors, and figuring out budgets... I am going crazy and it is all for you.

Not only are the speakers going to be amazing, the fancy hotel, the awesome concerts, the food, and the on-site water park is going to make this a NASH to remember. I know that flight costs are making this a more expensive trip than usual, but please do all that you can--stretch your budgets, bankrupt your papers, hitchhike, mortgage your house--to make it here. This is our chance to prove that CUP has a real home outside of the big urban centres. I need your help. Desperately. And come on, there's a waterslide in our hotel!

Ps. There will be a new speakers list up later this week with some exciting surprises.


Note from the Newsletter Coordinator - November 7, 2008


My name is Josh O'Kane and I will be coordinating the daily conference newsletter for UPGRADE 2009 in Saskatoon, SK this January. To make sure everything runs smoothly – and to get everyone involved, of course – I'd like to encourage anyone interested to volunteer for the newsletter.

For the newsletter itself, I'd ideally need 3-4 volunteers per issue to pen previews and reviews of major seminars and speakers at the conference. Once a speakers' list is finalized, I hope to get a hold of some of them for interviews to run some preview stories, if anyone is interested in that. I also need reviews of keynotes and major seminars at the conference to be written the night they happen.

I'll also need photographers to shoot events, seminars and keynotes.

If you're interested in this at all and will be at the conference, please let me know by dropping me a line at newsletter@cup.ca. Your byline will be seen by everyone at the conference, so it's a great way to get noticed by tomorrow's community of journalists! There are only so many spaces for stories and photos, so again, if you're interested at all, please contact me so I can arrange assignments.


Josh (newsletter@cup.ca)

This is just a test - November 6, 2008

In preparing for this conference I have tried desperately to immerse myself further into the digital world. I've started a blog, a twitter feed--neither of them get read I assure you. That's what's so bizarre about the Internet: for the most part I am just launching myself--my words, my ideas, my musings--into the great digital abyss. I mean really, who is going to read my blog or my Twitter feed if there are millions out there? The really weird thing is I think this is part of the charm. I don't need people to read my stuff. I think it is really fun just to be myself and write about it. So in this post, instead of giving you another update on speakers and conference events (the speaker's list should be up very soon I promise), I thought I'd take this time to see if anyone's actually reading this thing. If you are, send me an email (chuck@cup.ca) and you'll receive a prize when you come to Nash. If you aren't, I guess I'll never know.


Here we go - October 22, 2008

As January fast approaches, things around the Sheaf are kicking into high gear. I am currently in the process of amassing a huge list of interesting speakers, informative workshops, party DJs, American Apparel t-shirts, and legions of dedicated volunteers who are going turn the cold prairie winter into the hottest journalism party this province has ever seen. The list of confirmed speakers should be up on the website any day now and it is shaping to be a quite the lineup. Some highlights include: Jesse Brown from CBC's SearchEngine, Jonathan Goldstein from Wiretap, Ian Brown from the Globe and Mail, Brian Gable, the editorial cartoonist from the Globe, and a whole host of others. I'm not at liberty to mention any other big names because they haven't yet answered my confirmation email, but believe me there will be some great surprises. Besides the keynotes, there will be a whole host of workshops about everything from basic journalism training to aboriginal and minority reporting to philosophical discussions about the future of our craft.

As if learning all about journalism from the industry's best and brightest weren't enough, I've booked a whole host of social activities intended to keep you nice and loose during your stay in our fine city. There will be DJs, dancing, gigantic snowball fights, indie-rock bands, glow-bowling, and a few other things to keep you nice and socially lubricated while you buddy up with your journalism colleagues from across the country.


Web Saavy - October 12, 2008

I will be the first to admit that I am no guru when it comes to the Internet. This is will be the first blog I've ever updated on a regular basis (if I can get my Internet friends to show me how to update it). Maybe it's appropriate, then, that in a little under four months I will bombarded from all sides by people who know everything there is to know about computers, blogging, the Internet, Photoshop, and yes--good old fashioned journalism.

I expect all of you will be there too. Some things that are sure to convince you that traveling into the heart of Saskatchewan winter will be worth your while: the host of CBC Radio's Search Engine Jesse Brown, Globe and Mail editorial cartoonist Brian Gable, Canada's creative non-fiction guru Ian Brown, Roy Macgregor from the Globe, and Susan Ormiston from CBC's Ormiston online. And that's just naming a few.

In the coming weeks and months this list is sure to evolve into a week that no one will forget. If delegates do forget , they can blame it on the extracurricular activities, not the speakers. There will be hands-on workshops, design critiques, digital how-to sessions, round table discussions, and plenty of journalism nerds to talk shop with. Oh yeah, there will be dance parties too. And dance-offs (but only because they are mandated by CUP policy).

It's looking good, but I still need help. Please, please, please send me ideas for workshops and seminars and speakers. I am only one brain, and if the Interweb has taught me anything, it's the more brains the better. Just look at what Wikipedia has done for us lazy college students. I don't have to remember anything anymore!


Best Nash ever! - August 11, 2008

First off, let me say this: You may have your doubts, but UPGRADE is going to be the best NASH ever. Seriously. I quit my job and moved to the coast just so I could work on the conference all summer long (it had nothing to do with the beach, the coffee, or the surfing I swear). Now I am back in Saskatoon and ready to make UPGRADE a week to remember.

As you may have gathered by our catchy title, UPGRADE is all about new media, technology and what I like to call "the evolving landscape of journalism in the 21st century"--basically, I'm talking about the Internet. The web is changing our craft dramatically. Articles are no longer stagnant cryptograms pressed on columns of broadsheet; they are interactive languages flush with hyperlinks, blog posts, user comments, and pop-up ads. Photos are no longer still images, but rather moving multimedia slideshows that tell their complex, evolving stories. Television and radio are soon to be replaced by their online cousins: podcasts and streaming videos. What does this mean for us the journalists, the reporters, the photographers, the radio personalities, the news anchors? What kind of mess has this series of tubes gotten us into? UPGRADE will help us figure it all out. The Internet is your friend. I promise. After all you are reading a blog post right now.

Since I have your attention, I also have a favor to ask. Since this conference happens every year there is a fair bit of institutional knowledge behind them, meaning I am working off the rubric set up by previous years. Although I am grateful for this (believe me I couldn't have made it this far without it) it sometimes means it's hard for me to think of new ideas. I need you guys to help me out of this rut. I need all the advice I can get. From old Cuppie veterans to newbies, I want to know what you want out of this conference. What did you like about previous year's conferences? What didn't you like? Do you know of any speakers who would be willing to come here on the cheap? I need your help. Seriously. Please email me at chuck@cup.ca.