Hello Neighbour!

Note the neighbourly Canadian Spelling! Like you I’m a BC’r too!

Here’s a question for everyone… What do the following people have in common? Michael Campbell, Michel Fortin, Sylvie Charrier, Alice Seba, Jason Potash, John Alexander, Robin Nobles, Derek Gehl, Andrew Goodman, Jim Carroll and NOW Sherman Hu!

ANSWER: They are all part of an elite team of experts who are putting Canada on the map in the internet marketing space. [ASIDE: Sorry to anyone that I missed in the list above. I’m sure there are many other notable Canadians that I’ve just not bumped into yet.]

Anyway, let me get to the matter at hand – why you and Mrs. Santa should feel comfortable choosing me to receive your ‘Complimentary Exclusive Backstage Pass’.

From a 30,000 foot view (that’s 9,144 meters for us Canucks)… it’s because your Word Press Tutorial Series would be instrumental in helping to create an international buzz for an upcoming, high-profile Public Art event – right here in Vancouver!

Being from the Vancouver area yourself, you probably caught some of the media coverage of the ‘Orca’s in the City’ event back in 2004. This was an initiative that linked up talented BC artists with prominent corporate sponsors to create beautifully painted, life-size statues of baby orca whales.

These public art monuments decorated the streets of Vancouver and Victoria for about 6 months before being auctioned off to raise money for charity. Approximately $800,000 was collected with the proceeds supporting BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, Easter Seal Operations, and the Canucks for Kids Fund.

Well… my wife [Cindy Lietz] was one of the creative artists involved with the ‘Orca’s in the City’ – Round One Event. Since this event was such a huge success, the organizers have announced Round Two – this time using statues of the Spirit Bear, an endangered wildlife species up here in the Pacific Northwest.

Now Cindy has been graciously invited back to participate in Round Two of this ongoing Public Art series. Very Exciting!

So here’s where you come in Sherman. I would love to leverage your Word Press Training Course to create a highly interactive blog that will create international buzz for the upcoming Spirit Bear Project.

There are many cities around the world that could benefit from hearing about Vancouver’s successes in the Public Art arena. The best way to accomplish this is to tap into the power of the Media. And from what I’ve been learning, RSS and XML are powerful tools for attracting media attention – I guess primarily because of the buzz and interactivity that is associated with a successful blog.

My goal would be to create a blog site that allows observers and participants to follow along as the Spirit Bear project unfolds. I would like to also post general content and articles about the many benefits of orchestrating a city-wide public art event. This information would hopefully plant the seed for journalists to publish stories in their local newspapers and magazines – stories that would inspire others to launch public art projects in their own cities.

Here are just a few engaging ideas that could be used to start conversations in a Vancouver Spirit Bear Blog initiative:

– Dialog with the many Spirit Bear artist personalities… some of whom have attained ‘celebrity’ status based on the demand for their works.

– Input from corporate sponsors and their reason’s for getting involved.

– Case studies of past projects from other cities (i.e. Chicago’s Cows on Parade; Toronto’s Moose in the City; There’s probably several more to showcase as well).

– Stories about spin-off benefits from a tourism perspective.

– An interview with blogging expert (you guessed it…) Sherman Hu, about how average people could participate with and contribute to the Spirit Bear Blog – even if they’ve never even blogged before!

– My wife’s Spirit Bear design concept in particular, is perfectly suited for ongoing and interactive dialog. She is one of the more unique contributing artists in that her approach also involves the adorable talents of young children. All of her paintings are conceived from original drawings done by real kids. It will be a very collaborative effort.

A blog would give these kids (and their parents) a venue to publicly share the wonderful stories about their individual masterpieces. It is these endearing stories that add so much value to Kids Art over time.

Children grow up so fast! Cindy and I have a passion for helping to preserve the memories of their youth in a meaningful way.

Besides the time we are donating to the Spirit Bear Project, we have also just invested in the newly released ‘Website Video Secrets’ course from Jim Edwards and Mike Stewart. I know… I know… they’re not Canadians. But they do seem to be leading the way when it comes to teaching non-techies like me how to harness the power of full motion and screen cam flash video streaming. Cindy and I felt this initial investment would play a key role in helping us to capture and share the Spirit Bear Public Art Story as it unfolds.

So… why did I share that little Jim and Mike tidbit with you…? Because as much as I would love to invest in your Word Press Video Tutorial Course when you officially launch next week, my cash funds are already tapped out.

Hopefully this entry will inspire you to choose me and Cindy to receive your ‘Complimentary Exclusive Backstage Pass’.

The timing is perfect. Vancouver’s Spirit Bears are scheduled to hit the streets as of May 2006, and the pre-launch activities are just getting under way now. By choosing us, you can feel really great about participating in a worthy cause – a cause that is also worthy of benefiting from your extensive knowledge of Word Press as a blogging tool. I promise to implement your ideas and suggestions right away, and to also communicate our experiences and successes back to you, as they happen.