Getting to know The Edmontonian(s)

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The first time I met Jeff Samsanow was actually at the same event where I rekindled my friendship with Unknown Studio co-host Scott C. Bourgeois. It was an Edmonton Tweet-up at a bar that no longer exists — or rather, the structure still exists, but it has a new name. That’s Edmonton for you.

I think it’s safe to say, after only knowing Jeff on Twitter beforehand, that I liked this guy right away. We chatted for a bit, discussing such things as roadkill and where we could go in the next ten minutes for dessert. It was the start of something wonderful, and it involved cheesecake.

Sadly, I wouldn’t see Jeff again for a long time… Months later, in fact, at a chance encounter at another downtown pub when Mack and I were crashed (it was a good crash, though, and I don’t mean drunk either). This time, Jeff showed up with community pillar Brittney Le Blanc, as well as his awesome wife Sally Poulsen, who I also liked immediately. And not just because she always calls me dude, but because she’s hilarious and smart. If Sally and Jeff weren’t already married to each other, I’d marry them both, then suggest that they also marry each other in a strange union the likes of which probably aren’t legal in Canada, but which would shock the human race into an era of peace and love.

So you can imagine my delight when the two of them agreed to be guests on the Unknown Studio. And not just because they’re awesome people (which they are), but because they’re entrepreneurial community participants not content to sit on the sidelines and whinge about the things that make them sad. They’re down there in the trenches getting shit done.

I think that’s part of the reason why, back in June 2009, they launched TheEdmontonian.com, a hyperlocal news blog featuring content for and by citizens and well-wishers of Edmonton which you should read… after you finish reading this.

The Space Ghost effect

I think it would be fair to say that Jeff and Sally are fans of the Unknown Studio (please, one or both of you, correct me if I’m wrong). And as you’ll hear in the episode we recorded with them, what they’re trying to do with TheEdmontonian and what Scott and I, it turns out, are trying to do with the Unknown Studio is to provide hyperlocal infotainment — a word you’ll learn I also dislike.

But our two squads (can two people be a squad, I ask you?) being of similar minds, I noticed a bit of a Space Ghost effect taking place… You see Space Ghost, himself the host of a talk show, would often ask his guests questions about himself. “What do you think of my show?” “What do you think of me?” “Are you getting enough oxygen?” I’m extremely self-critical, and I don’t want to be the guy who has people on to talk about himself. Myself. Me.

And I don’t think it came across that way, it’s just a little niggling my brain has placed in front of me.

Enough about me

Regardless of limited self-flagellation, I will say this: I read The Edmontonian every day, and have since it was launched. Not every post, but I’m on there checking it out, seeing what my compatriots have discovered from having their fingers on the pulse of the community. And between the morning headlines, the light-hearted stabbing at the reputation of such hallowed concrete and glass monoliths as Commerce Place, and the actual interviews, reviews, and other stories they publish, it’s a great online resource. One of the best hubs the Edmonton community has online.

And they and the other little hubs are all in good company.

Mine.

(Sorry, I just had to get that in there.)

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