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Translink Buzzer Blog

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The Buzzer blog editors are speaking at the 2013 Northern Voice Conference!

Come join us at the Northern Voice conference!

Come join us at the Northern Voice Conference!

Since 2005, the yearly meet up to be at if you’re into weblogging and social media in general is the Northern Voice Conference. I wrote one of my first Buzzer blog posts when I attended the 2011 conference.

This year, myself and Jhenifer will be speaking at it! That’s right, we’ll be talking about the five plus years that TransLink has been blogging and in social media in general. Our talk is called Social Media Hits and Misses: Tales from a Middle-aged Social Media Progam and it’s on Saturday, June 15th from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. We’ll be taking our audience through a journey of TransLink social media and what we’ve learned along the way. It’s going to be fun!

The conference is two days and runs from Friday, June 14 to Saturday, June 15, 2013. There are a lot of great talks going on, so, you’ll wanna check out the schedule before Friday!

Spotlighted in 24 Hours!

Look, it's Jhen in 24 Hours!

Look, it’s Jhen in 24 Hours!

I clean forgot to mention that TransLink’s social media work was spotlighted in 24 Hours newspaper last Friday, April 5, 2013!

Check out the article here: I got to speak on behalf of the TransLink social media team and its fantastic work. Especially our Twitter account, which now tops 30,000 followers!

Life on transit: talk Buzzer history in a Google Hangout today, March 27, 2013!

translinklifeontransit

For March/April 2013, we’re spotlighting Life on Transit—observing and illuminating the quirks and habits of daily transit rides around our region!

Update: our Google Hangout has wrapped and here’s the video above!

As we mentioned last week: today we’re talking about The Buzzer, our 96 year old transit newsletter!

Join us for a Google Hangout today for a video chat. The details:

  • Date and time: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 – noon to 1pm!
  • Where: Online! The Hangout can be viewed on our Google+ profile page. You don’t need a Google+ account to watch the stream!
  • Who: Jhenifer Pabillano and Robert Willis, Buzzer editors!
  • What: All about the history of the Buzzer, plus answers to any questions you might have.
  • Be aware that this is our first Hangout, so it won’t be perfect, though we’ll do our best!

We’ll post the Hangout here as it happens! Check back at noon or later today and you can see exactly how it all went down :)

Life on transit: let’s talk about the Buzzer in a Google Hangout, Mar 27, 2013!

translinklifeontransit

For March/April 2013, we’re spotlighting Life on Transit—observing and illuminating the quirks and habits of daily transit rides around our region!

Buzzer logos through the years!

Buzzer logos through the years!

Well, there’s no mainstay of transit life like The Buzzer, our 96 year old transit newsletter!

So we’d like to offer a chance to learn more about our dear Buzzer with its current editors in a modern way: a Google Hangout!

A Google Hangout is a live video chat run through the Google+ social network. We’ve never done a hangout before, and we’d love to see if it’s a great way to chat with you guys!

So if you’d like to join us, here are the details:

  • Date and time: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 – noon to 1pm!
  • Where: Online! Here’s the Google Hangout event listing. The Hangout can also be seen on our Google+ profile page.
  • Who: Jhenifer Pabillano and Robert Willis, Buzzer editors!
  • What: All about the history of the Buzzer, plus answers to any questions you might have.

As well, if you’re interested in participating live in the Hangout via video, send us a note!

Be aware that this is our first Hangout, so it won’t be perfect, though we’ll do our best. And if we don’t see there’s very much interest in the Hangout for next week, we’ll cancel the event and let you know :)

The Buzzer blog is back!

We've corralled the computers and we're back on track!

We’ve corralled the computers and we’re back on track!

Woop woop—the Buzzer blog is back!

We’ve finished our (unexpected) spring cleaning from Feb 14 to today, and now we’re happy to be back delivering TransLink news and updates. Hope you didn’t miss us too badly!

Some notes on our rebirth:

  • We’ve lost all the comments dating between February 8 and 14, which I think were about 5 in total. So sorry if yours was one of them!
  • The TransLink 101 posts will continue until second week of March, as we didn’t get to post them up while the blog was down.
  • I know the Buzzer blog survey ended Feb 20 while we were down – I’m looking to see if we can get the survey up for a bit more time. Edit: we did it! The survey is now up and will close March 8, 2013, at 5 p.m.

Last but not least, we’re happy to see you all again! Chatter away in the comments as you will :)

Love on transit for Valentine’s Day 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

As we all know, transit is one of those public places where people make connections—and love is no exception!

For Valentine’s Day 2013, I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and revisit some love stories that started on our system:

But love on transit is happening all the time — just check out the pages of pages of I Saw You ads in the Georgia Straight, with sightings on all our transit modes!

And as always, if you have a transit love story to share, please feel free to share in the comments :)

Take the 2013 Buzzer blog reader survey, and you could win a FareCard!

What a diligent Buzzer blog reader filling out their survey might look like! Test

It’s been two years since we did our last Buzzer blog reader survey, and we’d like to check in with you again… AND add a little reward!

As always, we here at the Buzzer blog are dying to know more about you, our readers, and what you guys think of the blog so far—plus where you think we could improve for the future.

So we’ve put together a 19 question survey, and if you fill it out, we’ll enter you in a draw to win a FareCard!

Even if you’re just a casual reader, please do take a few minutes and fill out the survey, and tell all your friends to as well :) We want as many entries as we can get to ensure we have a great picture of our readers.

The survey will close on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 and we’ll do the draw for our winner that day too.

Edit: Owing to our downtime over the past few weeks, the survey will close on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 5 p.m. A new link is posted below!

Click here to take the 2013 Buzzer blog reader survey!

(And don’t forget – we have a Buzzer newsletter reader survey too!)

#TransLinkTalks…tonight!

The fun starts at 6:30 PM tonight!

It’s late notice, but if you do find yourself in Downtown Vancouver tonight and you want to learn more about how we run our social media program at TransLink, Jhen and I will be talking for a couple hours tonight! Here’s a link to the event.

The event is put on by The Social Media Network who are the same people involved in the 2013 Social Media Awards. The event is $5 and starts at 6:30 PM (we’ll probably start around 7 PM). We’ll be taking questions, so, if there’s something you’ve been dying to ask us we’ll try our best to answer you.

Make sure you say hi if you’re able to make it! If you can’t make it, the hashtag to follow the event is #TransLinkTalks. See you online or in person!

 

 

A reminder to vote for our three nominations for the 2013 Social Media Awards

The Buzzer blog is one of our three nominations for a Social Media Award.

In case you didn’t get to read our last post on this subject, we’ve been nominated for three 2013 Social Media Awards!

If you think we’re deserving of these nominations, please feel free to vote for us! The three nominees with the most votes in each category will then move onto the finals where a panel of seven judges will decide who deserves to win each award. The winners will be announced on March 28, 2013.

You need to have a Facebook account and will be asked to download the voting app. Since the process to vote is slightly more complicated than other online voting methods, we thought we’d provide some direct links:

Best company blog

Best social video channel

Best social campaign

If you don’t want to vote for us, we’re fine with that. There’s some pretty interesting/great social media to vote for. We wish everyone nominated good luck (although we actually hope we win at least one :)!

 

TransLink is nominated for three 2013 Social Media Awards!

We’re starting off the new year with a bang by being nominated for three 2013 Social Media Awards! We were technically nominated under the company category for best blog (this very one), our Facebook Transit Pet Peeve Battle and for TransLink’s YouTube channel last year, but the shortlisting for the final awards starts on January 10 so it feels more immediate now.

The Social Media Awards

The SMAs are the creation of the Social Media Network. The SMN serves as a conduit between university students interested in social media and the social media industry. Together with the very popular local blog Vancity Buzz, who are presenting the awards, a variety of awards are up for grabs for both the student and company categories.

If you like what we do, vote for us!

The way the awards work is that you first have to be nominated. We were nominated for the three mentioned awards in the company category in December of last year. Once nominated, anyone can vote online for who they think is the best in each category. Voting is open between 7pm on January 10 until February 21, 2013 here.

Update: Direct links to vote!

Best company blog

Best social video channel

Best social campaign

The three nominees with the most votes in each category will then move onto the finals where a panel of seven judges will decide who deserves to win each award. The winners will be announced on March 28, 2013.

We’re honoured to have been nominated alongside our colleagues at The Canada Line and so many other talented students and companies who are making social media such an exciting and fun area to work in!

 

 

Merry Christmas from the Buzzer!

No ugly sweaters, but big on Christmas cheese!

From the Buzzer family, including our extended family of blog readers, to your family, we wish you a wonderful Christmas Day and happy new year!

2012 holiday schedule reminder and warmest wishes for the season

Have a happy holidays on transit everyone!

Hello readers. We want to remind everyone that our 2012 holiday service schedule starts on Monday, December 24, 2012. You can find all the details on the Winter Holiday Service Schedule page. For the very latest on transit service conditions or more detail on these items, check the TransLink Twitter account and TransLink Alerts page, call 604-953-3333 or watch CTV Morning Live.

Please Note: The Buzzer blog is on holiday until at least Thursday, December 27, 2012. Tina and Stefanie will be checking in, but brand new content (we’ve scheduled some content over the holidays) won’t be online until the new year.

We see this blog as an extended family that includes all of you! So, please have a happy and safe holidays season everyon.


Watch for The Buzzer bloggers on CTV Morning Live!

Our very own Robert Willis on CTV this morning!

Just a quick note: did anyone catch Robert on CTV Morning Live this morning?

You weren’t seeing things! A few of your humble Buzzer bloggers will now be providing occasional morning transit updates for the region on TV.

Both Robert and Tina Robinson, another of our Buzzer contributors, will be filling in from time to time when Derek Zabel, TransLink’s regular CTV Live correspondent, needs a much-deserved break.

And if you’d like to keep up, Robert will be on TV again on Monday, December 24, 2012 and Tina will be on Dec 27, 28, and 31, 2012 :) Feel free to drop a note and tell them how great they look on television!

Introducing some new and return editors to the blog

Our new and newish Buzzer blog editors from left to right: Tina Robinson, Pamela Findling and Stefanie Lee.

It’s always greatly appreciated when your colleagues lend a helping hand. At TransLink, we have some great colleagues who you’re going to hear more of on the blog in the near future. Communicating with our riders is a constant job and one that we want to do well. Part of our commitment to always trying to improve how we communicate is having Jhen work on a special project for roughly six months or so. That project is our regional transportation strategy for 2045. It’s a big job and one that determines our priorities for the region well into the future. It demands a full-time communicator, and Jhen is taking it on with gusto!

While Jhen is focused on this new project, I’ve been asked to help out with more communications planning for TransLink. With Jhen being seconded from the blog for this short time, I’ll be the main editor of the blog. However, with more of my time being devoted to non-blog matters, I want to make sure we continue to have regular content on the blog and answers to your questions. This is why we’ve asked our ever-talented colleagues to help us out. Here’s our star Buzzer blog lineup!:

I'm still here and my photo hasn't changed either!

Tina Robinson – Regulars to the blog will remember Tina’s introduction to the blog last December. They’ll also remember her post about Bus Driver Appreciation Day (she’ll be blogging about this year’s event as well), and more recently, her contribution to the Managing the Transit Network series and the UBC community shuttle consultation and others content. Tina is a big fan of the blog and is more than excited to be contributing.

Pamela Findling – You may have noticed that Pamela has already contributed to the blog. Pamela joined us in April of this year, and she’s turned out to be a jack-of-all communicating trades. Pamela’s a great writer, and I’m sure you’ll love to read her posts.

Stefanie Lee – I asked Stefanie to introduce herself. She’s going to be great addition to the blog! “New to the Buzzer Blog scene, I have transit know-how from working at Coast Mountain Bus Company, and blogging experience from Canadian non-profit OpenMedia.ca. You can read my tweets on @TransLink and @TransLinkMedia, and soon you’ll read my blog posts here!”

As always, we love to hear your feedback and ideas for the blog. We have some fun things planned for the holiday season which our Buzzer blog team is already working on. Stay tuned!!!

Look: we’ve got our APTA 2012 awards!

Our 2012 APTA AdWheel awards!

As mentioned before, we won three 2012 APTA AdWheel Awards—and we finally picked them up in person!

The AdWheel Awards are given out by the American Public Transportation Association, and they recognize the best in marketing and communications from transit agencies across North America.

We won for best blog, best Twitter account, and best social networking (for our Pet Peeves campaign), and we picked up the awards at the annual conference in Seattle yesterday!

Sadly, we didn’t manage to win the grand prize for our category. That honour went to the viral video entry from Orange County Transportation Authority!

A big congratulations to all our colleagues who won awards this year: check out the full list of award winners on the APTA site. You can also see a few photos from our part of the award ceremony below!