For a number of years … how many …? Auckland has had its own magazine – http://www.metrolive.co.nz/. Reformatted in the last few years to a larger tabloid version it’s full of glossy advertisements, very interesting articles about today’s relevant regional topics and plenty of suggestions for things to do, place to see, food to eat, etc, etc. It’s often funny to pick it up and read the letters to the editor, finding some readers affronted enough to put pen to paper and complain that the magazine is too Auckland focussed … that’s the point! Have a browse!
The residents of Franklin Road in Auckland are renown for their annual Christmas light displays. In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d link to other Auckland bloggers and Flickr folk who have posted on these festive folk’s frolics.
PJ – with an eye for the quirky
Idle Vice – taking the organisers to task
Click Attack – the lights at dusk
Robyn Gallagher – photographing the unlit lights
NZPA – the stock shots from the pros
As I mentioned two days ago, the city council are keen to ban billboards and the billboard companies are not best pleased. Now the Sign and Display Association are joining those on the ‘shell-shocked’ side of the debate, having learned that the ban could well apply to the enourmous free-standing and roof line signs so beloved of the fast food chains. I have to say that, from an aesthetics point of view, I agree; the character of streets the world over has been lost or devalued by the gaudy clutter of plastic and vinyl. Just today, I heard a scientist on the radio stating that a large percentage of three year olds who were unable to offer their family’s surname could, however, recognise and associate McDonald’s golden arches logo with food.
Chief among the SDA’s concerns are increased business costs and the always-popular looming job losses (though wouldn’t all the changes in signage increase business and jobs?). If the bylaws goes ahead unaltered, all signs above verandas will be prohibited, size and style of signage will be restricted, signs will have to comply with the new bylaw within 18 months of it coming into force and dispensations will last no longer than five years.
The council will be seeking comment from businesses and public between January 15 and March 2.
Yesterday, Auckland City Council took the first step towards banning advertising billboards in the city centre.
Apparently, the thinking behind this move is that the ban, if ratified next May, will help make Auckland an “international city”, though quite how isn’t clear. Adverts such as the one featuring All Black Dan Carter in his underwear are popular talking points in the streets and around watercoolers for obvious reasons. However, those promoting the ban claim that folks would prefer the opportunity to appreciate naked buildings and the urban landscape than a near-naked Mr Carter. Let’s be honest, architects and city planners, your neat cornice work and fancy window details just don’t have the same eye-candy appeal as a 200ft rugby player or supermodel in the skinny.
The proposed bylaw would see billboards disappear from Hobson St across to Anzac Ave, Britomart, Karangahape Rd and the Viaduct Harbour. It would also mean the removal of billboards from around retail areas like Newmarket, Ponsonby, Parnell, Otahuhu and around the Valley Rd shops in Dominion Rd.
I can see both sides but I’m still not sure about the move making Auckland an international city. Having lived, worked and visited a good many cities around the globe, I have found funny, inventive billboards a common sight – and not one that necessarily detracts from the landscape. On the contrary, I doubt Piccadilly Circus or Times Square would have the same tourist pull without the billboards and neon lights.
As the advertisers would say, watch this space.
Obviously spooked by the appearance of Metroblogging Auckland, the New Zealand Herald web site is undergoing a hasty revamp and will launch it’s fresh look on Monday. As well as stylistic changes for tried and tested content like breaking news, the site will be re-engineered for easier navigation, will feature more hi-res images and promises more in the way of multimedia content.
Elsewhere, the competition are using different techniques to grab and keep their market share. The Otago Daily Times provides online content in a fairly traditional fashion but offers various paid subscription options on digital editions of its print version. However, The Dominion Post, the second largest paper in the country and centred around the capital Wellington doesn’t offer online content.
I heard about all this from the always interesting Mediawatch with Colin Peacock & Cushla Managh on National Radio. Last Sunday’s programme (Windows Media) concerned the changing nature of news reporting and the balance that newspapers are now trying to strike between printed and online content. Likewise, Radio New Zealand are, like broadcasters the world over, providing an increasing amount of broadcast and original content in podcast form.
Don’t hold your breath for the print edition of Metroblogging Auckland. Instead, why not check out the other 50 cities in our network and extend your world view?
Snow Patrol’s output to date is on my youngest teenager’s iPod as well as mine. So, as it was she, the budding indie rock chick, who told me about the gig in time to hit TicketMaster, it only seems right that she gets the other ticket and goes to her first ever gig. I can’t remember who I saw at my first gig but I can recall the anticipation, buzz and excitement that preceded going to a concert as a teenager. I saw it all that (and a little disbelief) in her face when I called her over to look at the email confirmation on my iBook. As a grumpy old man-in-waiting, I am shamelessly flattered that she’d even be seen at a gig with her Dad. I suspect that the thought hasn’t crossed her mind yet and I’ll be having to promise that I won’t dance or sing along when the time arrives.
Despite having populations smaller that some US states, New Zealand and Australia can lay claim to producing the stars of two of YouTube’s most successful vlogging hits of 2006.
Kiwi Jessica Rose was outed earlier this year as the struggling actress behind Bree, the subject of the LonelyGirl15 video blogs. The outing did her no harm as the ‘teenage’ video diary soap opera continues to occupy the No.1 Most Subscribed slot months after Bree and her production team were unmasked.
On the other side of The Ditch down in Tasmania, the real life vlog of the dancing and yoga-practising Emmalina has taken her up to the No.22 Most Subscribed slot. This in spite of a three month filming hiatus brought on by viewer criticism of her dancing and yoga.