Note to our readers

Posted by: | April 18, 2008 | 18 Comments

Hi everyone: I just recieved an email regarding the new Voter Funded Media system:

Only 15 people are registered to vote. Needless to say this is bad for democracy, because I can get my three roomates and brother to vote and sweep the contest. Now then.

As approved by AMS council, VFM is now running on a continuus model that offers smaller prizes for media on a monthly or bi-monthly cycle

From (Mark Latham’s site) here are registration and voting instructions:

Email your UBC campus-wide login ID (not password) to
mark[at] I forward them to UBC staff, who usually upload them Mon
Wed & Fri mornings. You only need to register once for the whole year of
periodic contests. (Better do this by April 27 if you want to vote in this
contest period ending April 30.)

Log in at
Click on “VOTE – VoterMedia”. You vote once in each contest period.

While this registration process is a bit cumbersome, it’ll only cost you one email. Of course we’d love if you choose us, but check out all the other worthy media too. They’re listed at Any prize money we win will be chiefly dedicated over the coming months to transitioning into a new and more dynamic blogging platform.

In other news, I’ve written about 5000 words in the last 30 hours. And still one thesis to go. Sigh.


18 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous on April 18, 2008 5:58 am


    Thanks for clarifying this – I wondered exactly how it worked. I can’t register because I am leaving UBC shortly.. but I can’t help but wonder if many people will register.

    Why don’t we just cross reference the student numbers of AMS members with their CWL IDs? This data could then be uploaded to Vista.

    This sounds too easy, so I know it won’t work. But I know if I didn’t know what VFM was and I just logged into Vista and found a note about it I might get interested.

    -Gordon Hawkins

  2. Ashley on April 18, 2008 6:14 am

    Ditto from me on the clarifying this. I had previously completely missed the part about having to send the email, and consistently wondered why I couldn’t see the Vote – VFM option on my Vista!

    I, apparently as does Gordon, wonder why we can’t just have all students automatically registered for this. There’s no registration required beyond regular student registration to be able to vote in the regular AMS elections, so why these? I suppose it’s something to be worked on, following the outcomes of this whole experiment by Mr. Latham, eh?

    Also, I do feel your pain on the paper-writing. Probably less than you, but still, I hate this time of year. All I want to do is sleep. Is that so much to ask for? :(

  3. Blake on April 18, 2008 8:44 am

    Mark is working on making voter registration automatic – I don’t remember precisely, but I think he told me that it should be ready for next September.

  4. Mark Latham on April 18, 2008 4:17 pm

    I agree with Gordon and Ashley that it would be good to simply register all students for VFM voting on Vista. There could be some objections to this, so I requested it along with the alternative of self-enrollment by clicking on a link and logging in.

    Both AMS Council and UBC Instructional Technology favoured self-enrollment rather than registering all students. UBC IT expects to have self-enrollment working on Vista by about August 2008.

    FYI I’m posting the number of registered voters at

  5. brittany tyson on April 18, 2008 10:16 pm

    Gordon, that sounds like an absolutely practical way to do things.

    However, student numbers are not captured by the CWL ID, and are instead stored in the UBC Student Information System, which is protected from being shared with the AMS by various privacy regulations (Personal Information Protection Act, Fredom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, etc.). We encountered this problem last summer when we were trying to implement the AMS link system, and came up across all kinds of roadblocks – legal and technical – that I assume would also be a problem when implementing the VFM contest. However, Vista probably captures this info, so maybe there’s an easy way out here…?

    My two cents.

  6. Anonymous on April 19, 2008 12:58 am

    Brit, I figured as much. Oh well, I knew it must have been harder than i thought!

    But.. it sounds like a fix is in the works. VFM rocks, keep it up!


  7. Alfie on April 19, 2008 3:53 am

    On a wild note, do you guys find anything to say about Vista, the new WebCT at UBC? I am trying collect some student feedback so that a better system can hopefully be implemented.

  8. Patrick Meehan on April 19, 2008 4:27 am

    I havent heard a single person complain about Vista, they all say its amazing. I have to agree, having hated WebCT, this is like going from Web 1.0 to web 2.0

    Umm… almost literally.

  9. maayan kreitzman on April 19, 2008 6:05 pm

    Serioulsy? I couldn’t see the difference. Except that whenever I would try to download something from my Vista course, it sould reroute me back to the loging page repeatedly. Thus – worse than web CT. This was last year thought, when they were only running it for a few courses, so maybe it’s improved??

  10. Alfie on April 20, 2008 12:24 am

    By next year, UBC will have all the courses removed from WebCT and transferred into Vista. So if it’s a mess, you better speak up. Because the few times i talked with UBC admin, they are more than amazed that the system has problems, which is really shocking to me. and the people running the IT Office does not seem to be any better on this topic either. They are quite “out of touch”, in my opinion.

  11. Anonymous on April 20, 2008 3:26 am

    Vista has its own problems. Navigating the menu bar was a real problem when I was using it.

    Everyone in my english 301 class found it to be a real pain to figure out where our assignments and due dates were located.

  12. Ashley on April 20, 2008 8:28 am

    I think Vista would be better if my profs knew how to use it. My one prof had enabled every single option available on vista, when all he did was upload notes and handouts onto the main homepage. And it took my other professor 2 months to figure out how to just upload articles on it.

  13. Patrick Meehan on April 20, 2008 10:22 am

    Agreed, my only complaints so far are that profs need to be taught how to use it properly.

  14. Anonymous on April 20, 2008 4:25 pm

    keep the comments rolling. the more and the more specific the problems are , the better.

  15. MitchRite on April 21, 2008 8:53 pm

    I tried to cast multiple ballots, but it wouldn’t let me.

    What gives?


  16. Patrick Meehan on April 23, 2008 5:12 am

    up tp 41 voters! Not a bad shift.

    In related news, I voted today.

  17. Blake on April 23, 2008 6:24 am

    Wow, 41 is quite impressive. That almost encourages me to update my VFM during exam period. Almost…

  18. Stephen McCarthy on April 23, 2008 6:51 am

    What’s wrong Blake – I update during exam period ;) (with a broken hart no less)

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