b5media is Looking for a Director of Content

Picture of Mount Everest. “We are here” points to a spot halfway up the mountain. “We’re going here. Wanna come along?” points to the summit.

b5media, the company where I hold the title of Nerd Wrangler, is looking to fill a couple of director-level positions.

First, a Job Opening for Techies

Yesterday, I posted an article titled b5media is Looking for a New Director of Technology. If you think that taking on the challenge of building, maintaining and growing a LAMP/Wordpress-based network of blogs at a startup located in a very cool part of a very cool city, I strongly suggest that you read the article!

And Now, a Job Opening for Creatives

The other director-level position we’re looking to fill is Director of Content.

This is a tricky position to describe. It might help to start with an explanation of what b5media is, and I’ll do it by analogy. Consider Conde Nast, the magazine publishing company. They have a a portfolio of magazines — Wired, Modern Bride, Architectural Digest , Vogue and GQ, to name a few — each of which falls into one of its categories, which include Technology, Bridal, Home and Fashion. One of the director-level positions at Conde Nast is Editorial Director, who provides editorial oversight over all the magazines in their portfolio; all the magazines’ editors report to the Editorial Director. The Editorial Director is also responsible for developing new magazines for their portfolio.

The Director of Content position at b5 is analogous to Conde Nast’s Editorial Director. Like Conde Nast’s portfolio of magazines, b5’s portfolio of blogs is divided into categories (we call them channels), such as Business, Entertainment, Lifestyles and Science & Health. Just as Conde Nasts’s Editorial Director provides editorial oversight over all its magazines, b5’s Director of Content provides editorial oversight over all its blogs. b5’s Director of Content is also responsible for developing new blogs for its portfolio.

We’ve done pretty well so far, growing b5 from a collection of 5 blogs (that’s where the “b5” comes from) into a network of over 300 blogs with a total of 10 million unique pageviews a month. Our goal is to take this growth to the next level, which means going beyond our current audience, the type of people who generally read blogs, to the mainstream. We want to have the most-read sites on the ‘net, enjoyed by both hardcore and casual ‘net users. We want to make it big. We want to kick ass.

And the Director of Content is going to be a key player in that plan.

Here are some points on the position:

  • We’re looking for someone who has serious experience managing online media for a major U.S. or Canadian media company.
  • We’re a blog network, so you need to have a deep understanding of blogs, blogging culture and blogging best practices. It would help if you had some experience with other media (such as non-blog wenbsites, in print, radio, television, etc.).
  • Experience with content management systems and managing content production (that is, editorial timelines and calendars) is important.
  • Just as important as what you know is whom you know. You should have solid contacts in the various branches of the content biz.
  • Our CEO Jeremy Wright says the we’re looking for “someone with 5-7 years experience in the world of creating, managing and deploying content (with at least half of it at the “management/deployment” level)”
  • We’re a startup company, and as you might expect, it’s a startup work environment. We work hard, but we play hard too!
  • The position is Toronto-based — you have to either live here or be willing to relocate here (we’ll cover relocation costs).
  • Our office is in a pretty cool part of Toronto: a nexus of Chinatown, the club district and the funky boutique street, an area where a lot of startups and creatives have set up shop. If you’d like to see what our office looks like, see this article.
  • Bonus: We’ll provide you with a laptop and a Blackberry!
  • Double bonus: You’ll often be collaborating with me!

If you’re interested in the Director of Content position, feel free to contact me or our CEO, Jeremy Wright.

Uncle Sam: I want you for b5media


I Need a Business Card Like This

W.W. Green’s very interesting business card
Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

You Don’t See Bondage Pants Deals Like This Every Day

Seen on Queen Street West yesterday:

Sandwich board on Queen West: “Bondage Pants now $60 - 65″


Tucows Job Fair This Saturday!

Squishy cowsMy old workplace, Tucows, is holding a job fair this Saturday here in Toronto. They’re looking for customer service representatives and tech support analysts to join the herd. Tucows is a great palce to work — I worked there for four and a half years as their Technical Evangelist, racking up a lot of valuable experience working with great coworkers and customers.

The job fair takes place this Saturday, March 29th, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Tucows offices at 96 Mowat Avenue (off King Street West, a block east of Dufferin). It’s an opportunity to talk one-on-one with the customer service and tech support managers and find out more about the company, as well as a chance to tell them what you could bring to Tucows.

If you’re planning to attend the job fair, be sure to read this article in the Tucows Blog that covers all sorts of topics, including:

  • What to bring
  • Tips on how to “ace” the job fair
  • A video featuring Sherry Azim, who’s in charge of recruiting
  • A “top ten” list of reasons to join Tucows

If you’re looking for a job at a successful tech company and you think you can fill a tech support or customer service rep role, go to the Tucows job fair this Saturday, and tell them Joey sent you!

[This article was also posted on Global Nerdy.]


b5media is Looking for a New Director of Technology

Wild-haired guy surrounded by old computers

Farewell, Aaron

Aaron BrazellIt’s official: Aaron Brazell, the Director of Technology for b5media (where I hold the title of Nerd Wrangler), is leaving to pursue other projects. When he joined the company, it was a startup literally operating out of a garage and running on shared hosting. We’re now a blog network of over 300 blogs with a total of 10 million unique pageviews per month. I’ve worked with him for a mere three weeks — and one of those was spent at the South by Southwest Interactive conference — but he’s a solid guy, and his skills are evident in his work and the high regard in which he is held.

Here’s an excerpt from his “farewell” post in his blog, Technosailor:

It’s been a great ride, but now it’s time to look forward and explore new territory. Recently, through my interactions with so many wonderful people in the DC technology community, the PodCamp community, the larger social media, business and technology communities, my appetite for something new and challenging has been overwhelming. I’ve had several conversations with Jeremy Wright, our CEO, over the past months exploring this stuff and he has been amazingly supportive, as has the rest of the b5media team.

An exact date has not been set, as I want to make sure a replacement is found and brought up to speed, however it will probably be within the next couple of months.


Uncle Sam: I want you for b5media

With Aaron’s departure comes a job opening for a new Director of Technology. Could it be you?

Here are some points on the position:

  • You must either live in or be willing to relocate to Toronto. If you have to relocate, b5 will cover the relocation costs.
  • We’re looking for an intermediate- to senior-level developer who’s worked on customer-facing web applications and properties.
  • Our systems run on the LAMP stack and WordPress.
  • b5media is a startup, so you’d have to be comfortable working in a startup environment. We work hard, but we play hard too!
  • We’re a blog network, so we need someone who’s passionate about blogging.
  • You’ll be leading a team of techies working both locally (in Toronto) as well as remotely.
  • Super-duper bonus: you’ll also be working closely with me, as I’m the tech project manager!

Here’s what Jeremy Wright, b5’s CEO, has to say:

End of the day, we hire smart people who like to have fun and really want to build great stuff that tens of millions of people are going to see. The challenges for this year are significant, but so is the opportunity. In fact, by this time next year, this individual will be leading a team of 15-20 folk building some of the most widely used tools in the blogging world.

If you’ve got questions about the job or b5, feel free to email me, but I also strongly recommend that you also email Jeremy (after all, he’s the CEO). We’re looking to fill this position as quickly as possible — if you think you’re our Director of Technology, let us know!

[This was also posted on Global Nerdy.]

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

New Accordion!

Joey deVilla playing his new Hohner accordion
Photo by Sean Galbraith.

A couple of days ago, Sean Galbraith was cleaning out his parents’ house and came across his mom’s old Hohner Verdi IV accordion. She told him that it had one oiwner prior to her and she believes it’s from the early 1960s. She hasn’t played it in about 15 years and suggested that Sean find a good home for it. Sean sent me an email asking if I’d like to adopt it, and without hesitation, I said “YES!”

I dropped by Sean’s place last night to pick up the Hohner. I brought a pair of accordion straps, which was a good thing, as the original straps have long since worn away to almost nothing. I gave the accordion a test play and Sean took some photos, two which are shown here.

Joey deVilla playing his new Hohner accordion
Photo by Sean Galbraith.

The accordion has a single set of reeds (no switches) and a full 120 bass buttons (which provide two rows of bass notes, major, minor 7th and diminished chords). All the keys and buttons seem to work, and I’ve been able to get decent volume out of it. Although it needs tuning — it has been lying dormant for 15 years, after all — it has that Hohner sound. I need to book some time to take it up to Caringi Accordion House in Woodbridge and have Mr. Caringi give it a tune-up.

The Hohner’s going to be an excellent addition to my collection. Sean, once again I’d like to thank you for thinking of me when you found the accordion. Rest assured, it’s found a home where it’ll be loved…and played!

Just So You Know….

Big Gay Al Just as Big Gay Al has a gay animal sanctuary (see the Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boat Ride episode of South Park for the whole story), I have a sanctuary for accordions…gay or straight.

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)


Metronauts banner

Last year’s TransitCamp — an unconference where both citizens interested in Toronto transit as well as Toronto Transit Commission people could meet and discuss ideas and solutions — was not only a success; it also spawned a number of spin-offs, including similar conferences in San Francisco and Vancouver.

This year, TransitCamp returns under a new name, Metronauts, and in a couple of forms:

  • Metronauts Transit Camp (Saturday, April 5th): Once again, it’s a gathering where you don’t just attend; you also set the agenda and participate actively in the sessions. Unlike last year, this unconference isn’t limited in topic to just Toronto public transit, but all forms of getting around Toronto and surrounding areas. If you travel in and around Toronto, we want your input! Remember, this gathering isn’t about complaints, it’s a brainstorming sessions for ideas that Metrolinx (the body formerly known as the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority) will take into consideration.
  • The Metronauts Site: A site whose purpose to foster discussions about getting around Toronto and surrounding areas, whether by public transit, walking, bicycle, private vehicle and so on.

I’ll be posting about Metronauts from time to time, especially with Metronauts Transit Camp coming up soon. Watch this space!

Additional Reading