Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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My friend Jen just wrote a blog about April in Colorado, and how it can snow at any time. It’s times like these when I am glad to live in Portland. Sure, it might rain a little bit, but this past weekend’s weather can only be described as epic. It also happened to coincide with my birthday, and the completion of a new backyard mini. Since you’ll probably ask, the ramp is at Steve’s house and is the culmination of his dream since the age of 8. If you are nice I will take you there.

So in short, we ate, we drank, we skated and I made a web video, of course.
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I am supposed to be writing a story about the BMX finals at the LG Action Sports Tour, but the thumping alt rock beats of MXPX are sort of distracting me. So I figured I’d link to the two stories I’ve already written because I know you are dying to know about all the action in the Inline Vert finals and have no idea where to find out!

Day one Recap:  Halloween references, shake ups in the inline world and an attempt to make gansta rap sound interesting.

Inline Vert finals: At least someone new won so there was a somewhat interesting story to go with this one.

During all this I managed to get a snowboard story published too. Well ok, I wrote it awhile ago and it just went up. But check out my not-so-obvious video choices on snowboarder.com.

I am back in Seattle for the second weekend in a row, this time for a warmer, but much longer event, the LG Action Sports Championships. While in appearance this event is on the scale of a Dew Tour, it seems when I mention it to people the most common response is, “What’s that?” I’ve been here for two days, but the actual event doesn’t start for an hour. So far, the most action I’ve actually watched is a skateboarding bull dog shredding and slobbering on the street course this morning.

So far I’ve just been shooting some head shots and making famous people hold up YoBeat stickers for my own benefit. I got some big names such as Jamie Bestwick, Chris Gentry and most importantly Anthony Furlong. I also realized that through the wonders of WordPress I could upload them all and set them to go live once a week, which is going to revolutionize Nick’s job, on Mondays at least.

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I would say the most notable thing about these events though, is the rollerblading division, which remarkably, still exists. You’d be amazed at how many people still rollerblade. It’s actually quite popular in foreign countries and since this is one of their biggest events, lots of people make the trek from afar. They also get sweet musical guests such as The Game, Pennywise and MXPX.  All in all, it’s sort of like traveling back in time. I’m even going to recycle my costume from last year in the case that we get done with the web stuff early enough to go out.

It looks like I may have secured myself some work with a new snowboard site that’s launching on October 23rd. I am stoked because it will hopefully replace the void left by Future in the snowboard world, and my bank account, and in this economy…

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because in my research of the new site’s parent company, I ended up at Ryan Sheckler’s site. I felt like I needed to preface this with a story because what I found on this site made me really embarrassed to be there. However, it was funny, so I will share it with you here. Here’s a screen shot of his recent friend’s photos. Too much really.

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I don’t know when it happened, but it seems I’ve become one of the people in snowboard “journalism” others look up to. When I was just starting out it was people like Dave England, Dave Carnie and yeah, even Pat Bridges for me. I still have a hard time feeling good about comparing myself to these people (and not just cause I am a girl) but it seems like are some people out there who would. One thing all these guys shared, other than being funny dudes, was that I was a little bit afraid of them. Pat used to invite me to breakfast and I would show up to find him smoking cigs and playing pro boarders in his underwear, so that’s the main reason he made me nervous… But mostly, I think it’s that they were doing what I wanted to do, and doing it well. I remember I called Dave England for the first time working on a feature for Crossrocket, and as I fumbled to explain who I was, he nonchalantly replied, “Yeah, I know who you are.” It was probably one the highlights of my career.

Anyway, I guess now that I’ve got some years under my belt, and some steady work (although I could always use more!) I am willing and qualified to give some advice. So here are my top 5 tips for “making it” as a freelance writer in action sports.

1. Don’t ever expect anyone to edit you. This is not to say you will not be edited, and often for the worse, but don’t assume someone else will fact check. Check the spelling of everyone’s names. Proofread! Run spell check. Basically, turn in everything you write ready to be published. That way nothing can slip through the cracks.
2. Practice what you preach. Action sports are about passion and it’s much easier to gain respect if you can keep up. Seriously. And if you’re not good, at least have fun doing it.
3. Go the extra mile. Now I am one of the laziest people I know, but it’s no reason not to actually put effort into your stories. Offer readers something they don’t already know. Do what the editor wants and then do a little bit more. Worse case scenario it gets taken out, but it will likely cut down your workload over all: chances are it won’t come back for revisions.
4. Pay attention to deadlines. Honestly, every action sports “deadline” is negotiable, but you’ll still get more work if editors know you’re going to get it done, and close to on time.
5. Be cool. With iChat (the best invention ever for freelancing) it can be easy to become a nuisance. Use it to check in and remind people you exist, but if you start getting brief (or no) responses, back off. In person, don’t be afraid to talk and show your personality, but don’t be annoying. Sure, you can be a great writer, but if no one wants to deal with you, you’ll never get any work.

I said five so that’s the list, but one more in conclusion: Diversify. When freelancing never put all your eggs in one basket, it’s called job security.

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This whole YoBeat thing is sort of inconvenient, since I now have ANOTHER website to update.  But I just trained intern to update, since I am leaving for Canada tomorrow and will be in wakeskate world for the whole week. Hopefully he doesn’t blow it and I will be able to delegate more of the updates to him. Either way, I actually put some effort into today’s post, about the Oregon Trifecta. Meaning I edited a video. It’s not my best work, but it has it’s moments. You can check out the whole YoBeat post here.

I also did a blog for Fuel.tv which is a lot wordier. You can probably tell I wrote this one first for that reason. The same photos, but some deep thoughts, so check this one out too.

I also joined Twitter. It’s like a webpage just for facebook status updates but now you can stalk me yet another way if you feel so inclined. http://twitter.com/brookegeery

I was an early adopter of the internet, and like any one who’s been around something for awhile, I think it’s crazy how much it’s changed. But one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s how much fun it is for some people to be anonymous assholes. I’ll admit, I used to try and stir shit up in the Snowboarding Online chat rooms when I was a teen, so I understand exactly what is going through people’s heads. For the most part it’s harmless, but after all the intern drama on Alliancewakeskate.com, one of my contribs sent me this article and I got a little scared. I mean, I like my identity and good credit. But hopefully none of my internet haters are that serious!

Anyway, most of the time I brush off the haters. Right now you would think I’d be especially good at it because of all the positive response to Yobeat. But for whatever reason, yesterday it got to me. Nate suggested I start a “burn of the week,” but unfortunately, none of the haters are very clever. So I just wanted to complain about it for a minute instead.

In better news, Yobeat is awesome. Everyone is stoked and I finally got a chance to write my bamboo-hoo story. We also got talked about on almost every site that would remotely care and I even got interviewed for Fuel.tv. Sadly though, I think I may have been a bit harsh with some of my answers, so they are probably never going to use it. It made me laugh though, so I will give them a few more days and then post the whole thing on here.

I now I have a dumpster at my house, so this weekend will be spent throwing stuff out, and hopefully making it to trifecta at least once. Here’s a photo I shot of it last year that I like.

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What big news I mentioned? here is the official release:

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Snowboarding’s original blog, Yobeat.com, relaunched on August 8, 2008 in celebration of its 11th anniversary. Actually the relaunch had nothing to do with the date or the anniversary. That’s just when it was done.

Yobeat.com started in 1997, the brainchild of Brooke Geery and Rachel Cotton. Over the past eleven years it has gone through many incarnations, ruffled feathers, been banned from major events and of course, entertained anyone doing a google search for Macho Man Randy Savage or snowboard parks.

The original philosophy of Yobeat was to tell it like it is, and that remains unchanged. Sure, not everyone likes it, but that’s how you “make it” on the Internet. With the new format, including videos and comments, we’re embracing Web 2.0 full on. No, we don’t have a social network, but maybe we’ll make a facebook group, or you can be friends with us on Myspace (myspace.com/yobeatmagazine).

Be sure to add Yobeat.com to your bookmarks. We’ve been making fun of snowboarding since 1997, and we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

http://www.yobeat.com

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I am concluding my trip to California a day early, not just because I can, but because I officially did everything one could possibly need to do to have a REAL California experience. I saw pro skateboarders and surfers, heard plenty of Sublime, ate tacos and burritos, and Pat Duffy even mistook me for a waitress and tried to order a beer. But things really hit a pinnacle when a 5.4 earthquake struck this morning. I was standing in the Transworld Offices and felt the ground shake for a solid 5 seconds. It was pretty much awesome. A few of the people who were further inside the office didn’t even feel it, and were bummed, so I feel extra fortunate. I was able to get an earlier flight out, since apparently hysteria hasn’t struck and not everyone wants out, although it is the number one topic of conversation. Pretty exciting.

The weekend went well. Took some photos, wrote some stories, even got blogged about. I will post links to all my groundbreaking coverage of women’s action sports this week, but apparently they do not have high speed internet in the Orange County airport and I am far too impatient to wait for stuff to load right now.

Oh yeah and RIP Scrabulous. Productivity may go up, but at what cost. AT WHAT COST!

Now that I’ve finally made it (please see my interview referenced below) , I feel like it is only right to pass my success on to others. Yesterday intern and I went to Glenhaven to do “research” for the go211 spot checks we are working on. I had my little point and shoot camera and was randomly snapping shots, when i suddenly realized one of the young kids who was ripping seemed to be purposely doing so for me to take photos of him.

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The photoshoot turned into a video shoot and intern said he “was going to get all Jon Holland on this shit!” Our new friend Kyle was shredding, and we got some ok footage. I figure a Youtube video was in order. Maybe he can use it to get sponsored!

Either way he called me this morning to go skate, and I told him we were going wakeskating! This should be fun.