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Translink Buzzer Blog

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TransLink wins three 2012 APTA AdWheel Awards and one IABC Gold Quill Award including best blog, best Twitter channel and best Facebook campaign!

Our 2012 Gold Quill Award of Excellence!

We got some great news this morning. We won three 2012 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Adwheel Awards (note: their page hasn’t been update with this info yet)! We won for best blog, best Twitter channel and best Social Networking (e.g. Facebook/Myspace).

We took top honours among “public transportation systems with more than 20 million passenger trips annually,” which means we won top prizes among the largest public transit systems in North America. The AdWheel Awards celebrate the best in marketing and communications from APTA members. It’s a huge honour to win!

The blog has taken top honours at APTA before in 2010. TransLink has also won a handful of APTA awards in the past, but we’ve never won so many for our social media work. We won three of four social media awards up for grabs!

Having the blog recognized for a second time is wonderful. As you know, the blog would be nothing without all of you readers who contribute everyday. We can’t say enough about the Buzzer blog community!

It gives us great pride that our Twitter channel has been awarded. We are regularly asked by other organizations about how the channel is run so they can emulate some of what we do. This award is another indication that we’re onto something useful and appreciated with our customer service on Twitter. We want to give a big thanks to all of the staff on the Twitter team for doing such a great job everyday! And, like the blog, our Twitter channel would be nothing without our customers communicating with us and being so supportive of what we do on Twitter!

This is the second award for our Transit Pet Peeve Battle Facebook campaign! Earlier this summer, the campaign was awarded a 2012 IABC International Association of Business Communicators Gold Quill Award of Excellence in the Social Media category. IABC is, “a professional network of about 15,000 business communication professionals in over 80 countries.”

If you’re not familiar with this Facebook campaign, here’s a link to it and a blog post. The Transit Pet Peeve Battle was also won the Best of the Best destination within the Social Media category. This means that we beat Kraft and Memorex for the best campaign!

There’s some great work among the other winners of IABC awards this year. Check ’em out!

 

 

 

Buzzer bloggers away, returning Wed July 4, 2012

Dearest readers: Robert and I are both away this Tuesday, but we’ll be back to answer your comments and e-mails on Wednesday, July 4, 2012.

Here’s some handy links in case you need info/help while we areoff:

See you all soon!

Bear with us: we’re figuring out the blog posts for the next while

It's a bear. Bear with us. Get it? Ha!

Hi all!

This is Jhen here—for those of you who might not know me, I am the first Buzzer blogger, who went on maternity leave last year. But I’m back now! Hello!

I wanted to put up a note to let you know that blog posts might be sporadic for the next week or so — my counterpart Robert will be staying on (yay!) and we’re in the process of sorting out our workflow and other sundries.

So, you know. Hang tight! We’ll have this all sorted out soon enough.

Robert away until next week

See you all online next week!


I wanted to let you all know that I’m away until next Monday, April 30. I’ll be posting a couple of items in my absence, and Tina Robinson will be checking in on the blog periodically.
There’s a lot of great conversation going on concerning funding, so I hope to follow up on that topic (and others of course) when I return.

Have a great week. I look forward to our discussions!

Introducing Tina Robinson

Tina Robinson

Tina will be helping out with the blog for a short while. Welcome Tina!

I’d like to introduce you to Tina Robinson. She’ll be helping out with content on the blog in December. I will be away until the end of the month, but I leave you in good hands. Please give her a very warm welcome!

Hello Buzzer readers! I’m looking forward to helping Robert out with the blog this month and hopefully having some conversations with you.

I grew up here in the Lower Mainland (Burnaby, if you must know), and have been a long-time transit rider. I have fond memories of getting on the SkyTrain during Expo ’86 and looking down at the sea of people waiting to get on what was then a new and exciting technology for the region. 25 years later and you’ll still often find me riding the buses and SkyTrain to get around the city (and I also use my bike as part of my commuting repertoire).

Growing up riding public transit in Vancouver and Burnaby, I became a long-time reader – and fan – of the print Buzzer (Anyone else remember the random and silly quotes sprinkled through the old issues from the 80s? Maybe you read them while listening to a Rick Astley cassette tape on your Walkman?). As you can imagine, I’m excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the Buzzer blog, and look forward to hearing your comments and ideas over the next few weeks.

Blog on Short Hiatus

Hello everyone. I’ve had to rush out of town unexpectedly, so this is why I haven’t blogged much this week. The blog will return next week as usual. I look forward to bringing you some interesting posts in the very near future including one on the finale of the Transit Pet Peeves Battle.

Happy third birthday, Buzzer blog!

Wow, it’s been three years already?

hree candles for the Buzzer blog!

Three candles for the Buzzer blog!

Yup, October 6, 2008, was when the very first Buzzer blog post was published. The ambition was to give the most up-to-date information on transit issues and to create a forum for two-way conversation between TransLink and its customers. Over the years, the blog has grown in followers, look and content. This past year, the blog has documented transit history, the naming of our new smart card,  Burnaby Mountain Gondola – phase 2, Surrey Rapid Transit – Phase 2, the new mobile site, I Love Transit Week, and the 25th Anniversary of SkyTrain to name just a few. We also surpassed 13 000 comments just the other day!

My stint as editor is nearly halfway through (Jhenifer is currently away on maternity leave), and there’s still a lot I have planned as editor. These past six months have been a great learning experience about the many things in which TransLink is involved. I now feel I can start introducing some new ideas on top of the great regular features like Friday Fun Polls, Links & Tidbits, etc. One of the new items I have planned is a transit etiquette campaign I’m hoping I can share soon.

Thanks to all of you for your patience in waiting for replies to your comments. Besides the blog and Buzzer newsletter, I also contribute to our Facebook Page, Twitter handle, Foursquare Account (just starting to reinvigorate that one) as well as webinars and all sorts of online communications work for TransLink. So, suffice it to say that I’m busy but loving the gig! Finding the right person to answer your questions may take a little time, but I wanna make sure I get you the right answer.

On this third birthday, I’d like to give thanks to all the Buzzer readers who contribute their time and insighful thought to the conversation. This is truly a mature and nurturing community, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

Here’s to another great three years of the Buzzer blog!

Buzzer blogger away Mon July 25, back Thurs July 28, 2011

I’m away for a few days. I’ll be answering your comments and e-mails on Thursday, July 28, 2011.

Here’s some handy links in case you need info/help while I’m off:

Off-topic news: say hello to baby Linna

Hello world!

Hi everyone — Jhen here with a quick non-transit update from my maternity leave :)

Since some of you asked to be kept in the loop, I’m happy to announce my lovely daughter Linna was born about a week ago. She is healthy and happy and just delightful, and I suspect we’ll be having a lot of fun together this year.

Again, if you’re interested, you can feel free to visit Pabillano.com for assorted personal posts while I’m on leave. I hope you’re all having fun with Robert here on the Buzzer blog while I’m away!

Northern Voice 2011

Last week, I checked out the annual personal blogging and social media conference known as Northern Voice. The volunteer-run event at UBC is all about expanding the blogging and social networking community and learning from your peers. Most people who attended were from Metro Vancouver, but there were a few from other parts of the province, other areas of Canada, and even some from the U.S.

Besides the interesting and educational seminars with titles like Courting Controversy: Dancing with the Devil, Your Blog is Boring and Your Photos Suck, and Awesome-izing Your Podcast (where I learned things I hope to use in future podcasts for the Buzzer), I met a bunch of the people I follow (and don’t) on Twitter and the blogosphere.

Having all these interesting stars of social media captive in one place, I thought I’d take the opportunity to do my first video post using my iPhone. This was a spur-of-the-moment descision, so please bear with me on this one. Next time, I’ll make sure to find a nice flat surface and quite place to shoot my video! Regardless, I think this gives some good snap shots of how local social media and bloggers view public transporation in our corner of the world.

Farewell, dear friends! Jhen’s signing off for a year!

Me, riding into the shiny future. (Yes, this is an older photo :)

Well, as you may have heard, there’s a major event happening today — it’s my last day on the blog :)

Yes, as announced in February, I am on maternity leave as of the end of day on Friday, April 29, 2011, returning in May 2012. In my absence, the delightful Robert Willis will be handling the print and online Buzzer properties, and I’m certain he’ll take care of everything very well.

But before I go, I just wanted to offer my thanks and appreciation to all of you who have been my companions on the blog since its launch in October 2008. It’s been a sincere privilege to bring you stories about TransLink, and it’s been fantastic that so many of you have chosen to make the Buzzer blog a key destination in your online travels.

I’ll be mostly off the blog for the next year, but I’ll keep you posted as any key events come along for me :) And if you really need to reach me, you can find my personal site over at pabillano.com.

Take care, keep reading the Buzzer, and have a great year!

One last reminder: take the Buzzer blog reader survey

What it may look like as a Buzzer reader diligently fills in our survey.

One last time: please take the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey, if you haven’t already!

Yes, I’m going to beat this topic to death, but it’s for a good cause: we here at the Buzzer (all two of us) are dying to know more about you and what you think of the blog so far—plus where you think we could improve for the future.

It’s only 12 questions long and we’d like as many of you to fill it out as possible, so we really get a sense of who our readership is and what you’re thinking!

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 :) The survey will close on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at noon (that’s tomorrow!)

Important note: I’m running this survey using SurveyMonkey, which is a US-based survey tool. So please take note that by clicking on the following survey link, you give your consent that any information you provide may be stored on servers outside of Canada. (PS: none of the questions ask for emails or personally identifying info, just general age/gender stuff and readership notes.)

Take me to the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

Reminder: take the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

What it may look like as a Buzzer reader diligently fills in our survey.

Just a reminder to take the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

Again, for the first time ever, I’ve put a reader survey together. We here at the Buzzer (all two of us) are dying to know more about you, and what you guys think of the blog so far—plus where you think we could improve for the future.

It’s only 12 questions long and we’d like as many of you to fill it out as possible, so we really get a sense of who our readership is and what you’re thinking!

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 :) The survey will close on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at noon.

Important note: I’m running this survey using SurveyMonkey, which is a US-based survey tool. So please take note that by clicking on the following survey link, you give your consent that any information you provide may be stored on servers outside of Canada. (PS: none of the questions ask for emails or personally identifying info, just general age/gender stuff and readership notes.)

Take me to the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

Friday fun & serious poll: take the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

What a Buzzer blog reader might look like while diligently filling in our reader survey.

Okay, this is both a fun AND serious poll for this Friday! For the first time ever, I’ve put a reader survey together. We here at the Buzzer (all two of us) are dying to know more about our readers, and what you guys think of the blog so far—plus where you think we could improve for the future.

It’s only 12 questions long and we’d like as many of you to fill it out as possible, so we really get a sense of who our readership is and what you’re thinking! 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 :) Also, the survey will close on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at noon.

Important note: I’m running this survey using SurveyMonkey, which is a US-based survey tool. So please take note that by clicking on the following survey link, you give your consent that any information you provide may be stored on servers outside of Canada. (PS: none of the questions ask for emails or personally identifying info, just general age/gender stuff and readership notes.)

Take me to the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

Introducing the new editor of the Buzzer: Robert Willis!

robert willis

Introducing the new editor of the Buzzer newsletter and blog, Robert Willis!

I’m pleased to introduce Robert Willis, who will be taking over the Buzzer while I’m on maternity leave! Please give him a warm welcome: we’ll both be posting on the blog for the next three weeks until my last day on April 29, 2011.

Hello everyone! I’m greatly humbled to be filling Jhenifer’s massive shoes (figuratively of course: Jhen has regular-sized feet) as editor of the Buzzer while she’s on maternity leave.

I have a background as a journalist, so you very well might bump into me on a bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, or West Coast Express talking to commuters and taking pictures. I also love robots and Japanese food… but I’m getting off topic.

There are so many stories to be told about transportation in Metro Vancouver. The challenge is to narrow in on what is most applicable and engaging for you the reader. I’ll be poring over your comments and emails for your thoughts on transit and the Buzzer and will use them as a compass (intended reference to our newly-named fare card) to help guide what I write. Of course, I’ll be continuing the many themes that Jhenifer has brought to the Buzzer like transit history and tidbits and links. Over the next few months, I also intend to introduce some new ideas and themes.

As a regular transit user, I rely a lot on TransLink like, I’m sure, most of you do as well. I’m excited to play a bigger part of our collective transit experience as the new editor. I hope you’ll help me continue the great stories and conversations Jhenifer has started!