Digital Access

What's happening on timescolonist.com
Bryna Hallam

Bryna Hallam

  • Twitter

Bryna Hallam is the Times Colonist's digital news editor. Before joining the paper in 2011, Bryna was an arts editor at a cycling magazine, a copy editor at the Globe and Mail and a journalism trainer in Sierra Leone. She attended the University of Victoria, where she studied linguistics and professional writing and publishing.

  • Digital Access blog: A guide for the Oct. 20 civic elections

    It's the night before the municipal elections, and lots of people are looking for information, so I wanted to outline some of the tools and resources we've created. First off, head to . . .

    Bryna HallamOctober 19, 2018

  • Get help avoiding capital region summer roadway construction zones

    I never seem to remember that the intersection of Cedar Hill Cross Road and Shelbourne Street is blocked by construction. You can't drive through and it's a pain turning left onto Shelbourne. . . .

    Cale CowanJune 26, 2015

  • MORE! Our interactive farmers market map keeps growing

    Update No. 2 A second update to our map, this time from reader Tom Allen, who alerted us to overlooking the Swap & Shop at Western Speedway. In fact, the popular and huge flea market has never . . .

    Cale CowanJune 16, 2015

  • Having trouble finding the TC Android app?

    Some of that may be my fault. I wrote in a previous blog post near the end of May that we were still awaiting a new Android mobile app for Times Colonist content. It turns out some users were just . . .

    Cale CowanJune 2, 2015

  • More about that new Times Colonist app

    We've all had some frustrations with the new Times Colonist mobile app. Me included. I've received many emails and phone calls about the new app, which I discussed in some detail in a previous post. . .

    Cale CowanMay 26, 2015

  • Our new app is here! (sort of)

    Our new app is now available. In fact, it’s been available in the App store for more than a week. I've been waiting to write about it, hoping I could discuss a fully functional, rock-solid app that. . .

    Cale CowanMay 11, 2015

  • Learn how to make a beer bong from bull kelp

    If there's a better example of the West Coast lifestyle, I haven't seen it. While Facebooker Mark Zealand was fishing on the Ogden Point breakwater with "cousin Roger," he decided to . . .

    Cale CowanApril 29, 2015

  • Wrong-way driver on the Pat Bay Highway (video)

    You hear about wrong-way drivers on the highway, but you often only see the carnage they leave behind. Because of the trend of dashboard-mounted cameras (a bane to cops everywhere), you get to see . . .

    Cale CowanApril 17, 2015

  • You must see these five guys sing goodbye to Target (video)

    While driving past the Hillside mall on the weekend, I noted to my young passenger, 8, that the signs were down at the Target store. "Why?" I explained they didn't sell enough stuff to . . .

    Cale CowanApril 13, 2015

  • Bear with us while we fix our mobile apps

    One of four ways to get your daily Times Colonist information is on a brief hiatus. The mobile app for Apple and Android devices is temporarily out of commission, having stopped updating new . . .

    Cale CowanApril 7, 2015

  • Cows on the loose! See how it played out on social media

    After the dust settled and the two wayward steers are presumably back on their way the slaughterhouse, I had a look through the social media feeds to see what kind of impact the two unlikely media . . .

    Cale CowanMarch 25, 2015

  • Instagramming our way into your hearts

    I will be the first to admit that I had to be convinced that Instagram was a platform where the Times Colonist needed to be. There is no indication that it does what an online news editor wants: . . .

    Cale CowanMarch 24, 2015

  • They don’t call them killer whales for nothing (video)

    The sight of a killer whale throwing a sea lion into the air isn't something you get to see every day. Thanks to Louis Jobidon, we have that opportunity. The video, shot in February off Hornby . . .

    Cale CowanMarch 18, 2015

  • Violent Victoria police takedown has people talking (video)

    Would it have made a difference if the Victoria cops were wearing body cameras when they made this arrest? This Facebook video is making the rounds early this week as people offer comments on . . .

    Cale CowanMarch 3, 2015

  • Would you pay to comment on an online news story?

    Let me answer that for you: Not bloody likely. But that's the solution offered by Tablet magazine, an online Jewish news, politics and culture publication that has faced the same dilemma with . . .

    Cale CowanFebruary 23, 2015

  • A Canada Post Christmas miracle in February

    The funniest thing about this story is that I remembered to send my parents a Christmas card at all. Better yet, we included school pictures of the boys, key-chain photos of them and a gift card to. . .

    Cale CowanFebruary 17, 2015

  • Travel back in time and over the Malahat (video)

    The B.C. Ministry of Transportation has made available a spectacular piece of history. It's a three-minute-and-38-second time-lapse video of driving from Victoria to Duncan in April 1966. "You. . .

    Cale CowanFebruary 9, 2015

  • If you just can’t wait for Super Bowl commercials (video)

    This Sunday, get set to watch the best television commercials of the year. In between these mini masterpieces there will be a football game. Because we just can't wait to be sold stuff, the Super . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 28, 2015

  • You won’t believe what happened next . . .

    There are websites today whose only reason for being is to create viral content on the web. The headlines are unmistakable click bait, such as the title of this blog post. What happens next is you . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 26, 2015

  • Only B.C. Ferries can cause this kind of outburst (video)

    It's happened to me. It's happened to you. The ferry is leaving and you are left on the wrong side of the Salish Sea. Imagine it happened on New Year's Eve. Just be thankful no one caught your . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 20, 2015

  • Exotic cat on the loose most popular online story of 2014

    Looking back on the most-read online stories of 2014, news led the way. Of the 25 stories on last year's list, 12 of them are what we'd call "hard news." There are also seven "oddity. . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 6, 2015

  • Scaredy-cat pug wins battle with two pit bulls

    During the summer, while visiting my kids' grandparents, Jack, my eight-year-old son, and I decided to take Cricket, the family pug, for a walk on an undeveloped piece of land nearby. It's the kind. . .

    Cale CowanDecember 29, 2014

  • Trust us, we’ve been verified!

    When you are using Twitter to beat up on the Times Colonist, how can you be sure your message is being delivered to the right people? After all, among the things Twitter is known for, fake accounts. . .

    Cale CowanDecember 19, 2014

  • “Tuques” and disappearing tweets

    I doesn't seem to matter how much evidence is presented, Canadians (and Times Colonist readers) will spell "tuque" however they want. As the chart above illustrates, "toque" . . .

    Cale CowanDecember 16, 2014

  • Building a better Christmas lights tour

    It's almost that time of year when we bundle up the kids, the dog and the old folks and hit the road in search of twinkling seasonal bliss. Christmas lights on our neighbour's home that create &. . .

    Cale CowanDecember 8, 2014

  • Watch Lisa Helps’ Victoria mayoral win unfold on social media

    Nothing happens in slow-motion anymore. If enough people think it's significant, you can watch anything develop in social media. Here's how the Lisa Helps' victory looked: [View the story "Lisa . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 17, 2014

  • Hashtag your way to an informed evening of #yyjelections (video)

    I'm the first to admit that hashtags can be ridiculous. However, they can also help you quickly cut your way through the avalanche of Twitter, Instagram — even Facebook — to find information that . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 14, 2014

  • Some readers challenge the notion that it gets cold in Victoria

    It's cold outside. Can you feel it? After I bundled my family into the car the other night, we all commented on how cold it was as I rushed to get the heat flowing. When I glanced at the car's . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 12, 2014

  • The photographs that you didn’t see

    One of the great things about being the web editor is that my mistakes never last for long. If someone points out a typo, I can just correct it and carry on with my life like nothing happened.* It's. . .

    Cale CowanNovember 6, 2014

  • How did we vote before the Internet?

    If you think it's an exercise in overinflated bureaucracy having 13 municipalities in the Capital Regional District, just imagine the poor news editor trying to keep track of all of those . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 4, 2014

  • Online polls (about teachers): How to be taken seriously by the wrong people

    The Times Colonist website has a polling function that had not been used until last week. If you look at the poll, there's a line at that bottom that very succinctly states: "This is not a . . .

    Cale CowanSeptember 9, 2014

  • Know how to identify a real Internet troll

    Do you know what an Internet troll is? According to the Urban Dictionary: "A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issues. . .

    Cale CowanAugust 18, 2014

  • Map created with a little help from our friends

    One night about six weeks ago, I got a query from the city desk, wondering if we had an online resource for outdoor markets in the Capital Region. We did not, I responded, but we could create one. . . .

    Cale CowanAugust 12, 2014

  • An eNewsletter: necessity and absurdity

    I hate it when someone uses a word incorrectly. Worse, I hate when I use a word incorrectly. Did you know, for instance, that "enormity" doesn't mean really big? It refers specifically to . . .

    Cale CowanAugust 5, 2014

  • Learn more about the TC . . . and you don't even have to read!

    I'm here to help you, gentle digital reader, discover all there is to love about the Times Colonist and its digital products. So let's put some of the "multi" into multimedia news . . .

    Cale CowanJune 20, 2014

  • Are news website paywalls putting people's lives at risk?

    We share links to a lot of our stories on Facebook. We do this because it's where potential readers are. More than one billion of them, in fact. We put our stories in front of these billion or so . . .

    Cale CowanJune 18, 2014

  • Dogs are better than cats . . . and horses and birds and lizards and rodents and one cow

    Before you run me out of town, let me explain. Perhaps "better" isn't the right word. Maybe "more popular?" Or at least dogs have owners who are slightly more willing to take . . .

    Cale CowanJune 13, 2014

  • You love your pets — and we have the photos to prove it

    I think what is most remarkable about the photos sent to the Times Colonist by our readers is the abundant use of exclamation points. You don't just love your pets. You love your pets! Second is the. . .

    Cale CowanMay 30, 2014

  • The mysteries of Press Reader revealed (or how to read the newspaper on your iPad)

    UPDATE NO. 2: Press Reader has restored services and the Times Colonist E-edition is working again. They have also updated the iPad app and that is working as well. The bad news is that it now looks. . .

    Cale CowanMay 16, 2014

  • For those of you who hate popups!

    First, we dealt with complaints about not having a link on our webpage to the E-edition of the Times Colonist. Today, we answer those who want a way to quickly sign in to their website account to . . .

    Cale CowanMay 2, 2014

  • Gutless subservience to an unseen master

    A note I received from a reader, politely asking for clarity on our policy regarding the enabling of comments on stories. My response follows: What is it with the TC and its gutless subservience? . . .

    Cale CowanApril 29, 2014

  • Help Marty the Marmot top D.C. poll of mascots

    Here's another opportunity for Greater Victorians to help our beloved Marty the Marmot top a poll for squirrel-like mascots. Washington Post blogger John Kelly has introduced his readers to nine . . .

    Cale CowanApril 10, 2014

  • Judy provided the straw that broke the camel's back

    This week, we got this note from a digital reader: " . . . I am so frustrated. Every time I try to read the paper online, for which I have an account, I can not find the link. Would you PLEASE . . .

    Cale CowanApril 4, 2014

  • Everyone likes a good April Fool's Day joke. Right?

    I get uneasy when newspapers run April Fool's Day jokes. All day long, I find myself reading stories and wondering if they are true or not. I don't want to be the April Fool. But the day after this . . .

    Cale CowanApril 2, 2014

  • What's app-ening? Problems are finally fixed

    After an excruciating six days, the Times Colonist app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices is operating normally this morning. New stories had stopped flowing into the app last week. As I . . .

    Cale CowanApril 1, 2014

  • Olympic hockey is bad for business

    This morning, I was doing what I normally do: making sure the Times Colonist website was up and running with new and interesting content for our readers. The problem was that you guys weren't . . .

    Cale CowanFebruary 21, 2014

  • Why iPhones are better than Android phones

    You can apply all sorts objective (benchmark processor speeds) or subjective ("it just feels better") arguments to the great smartphone debate. But I have a black-white-reason why I like . . .

    Cale CowanFebruary 20, 2014

  • E-edition offers a well of untapped reader opinion

    First there was the letter to the editor. Then came the online comment. The latter is great source of reader interaction, both with the newspaper and other readers. It can be a vibrant exchange of . . .

    Cale CowanFebruary 17, 2014

  • If you aren't up in the night to watch, catch Olympic coverage here

    We have a ton of Sochi. Breaking news. Local stories. Medal standings. Daily schedules. Sport-by-sport updates. And video players. Two of them. Bookmark this right now: http://www.timescolonist.com. . .

    Cale CowanFebruary 7, 2014

  • It will be a Super (Bowl) weekend

    UPDATE: The Super Bowl player is on our homepage now and will stay there with special video content through the game and until Monday. night. When it comes to sporting events, none come bigger than. . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 31, 2014

  • Commenters, it was a heck of a weekend

    Profanity. Racial epithets. Fake names. Name-calling. Cruelty. All of this in the comments sections for stories on our website. Most of them overnight on Sunday. I won't go into the specifics of . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 28, 2014

  • Social media debate tilts toward providing news for free

    That was me posting on the Times Colonist Twitter account yesterday during a friendly debate about the merits of newspaper paywalls. More specifically, it was a discussion about the merits of . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 22, 2014

  • Betrayed by my own Twitter feed

    When is something private no longer private? When you post it on Twitter, of course. Paulina Gretzky knows this. Any of the Kardashians know this. I know this. Here's my less explicit example. At . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 13, 2014

  • Now you can (easily) know every day what’s in your stars

    As 2013 drew to a close, we counted up what people were looking at on timescolonist.com. That led to this popular list of the 25 most-read stories of the previous 365 days. But there were many more . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 10, 2014

  • Spoiler alert!

    The Canadian junior hockey team led us to a bit of controversy last week, but not because they failed to deliver a gold medal to a hockey-obsessed country. It turns out we rubbed one or two . . .

    Cale CowanJanuary 6, 2014

  • Times Colonist's top 25 most-read online stories of 2013

    When looking back on the most-read stories of 2013, it's not surprising that the foiled Canada Day legislature bombing plot is front and centre. Tuesday, July 2 was the single-biggest day for . . .

    Cale CowanDecember 31, 2013

  • I also don't think we should have to pay for gasoline, food and HBO

    I spent a big chunk of my morning moderating comments on this story. It was partly because when talking about sex, you have to mention sex, which triggers our language filters and flags the content.. . .

    Cale CowanDecember 23, 2013

  • Our 'new' website is now one year old

    Update: Since first posting this blog entry, I went back to see who has come to see us in our first year with the new website. Over the past 365 days: 20 million visits 8 million visitors 45 million. . .

    Cale CowanDecember 12, 2013

  • Facebook: The good and the bad (which is really also good)

    Facebook is great. I have a friend and rarely a day goes by that I am not aware of some sort of food she has prepared and eaten. Without Facebook the part of my brain that stores that information . . .

    Cale CowanDecember 6, 2013

  • Upping our social media presence

    Sometimes people chuckle when I tell them how many "friends" I have on Facebook (98 — I've been told I shouldn't admit to a number so low). I'm not that concerned since I have to search . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 21, 2013

  • At long last, an Android app

    After much hard work and testing, the Android app for the Times Colonist is available here on the Google Play store. (^ A screen image taken from the new Android app for the Times Colonist reveals . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 13, 2013

  • We have so much Victoria Royals content, it's almost embarrassing

    At the beginning of September, we decided we needed a web page dedicated to our WHL hockey team, the Victoria Royals. So we built one: http://www.timescolonist.com/royals Easy to remember, easy to . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 8, 2013

  • Just one of the differences between Victoria and Toronto

    One of the great things about the digital age in which we live is that it allows us access to news and pictures from around the globe. How else would we be aware of the many and varied exploits of . . .

    Cale CowanNovember 1, 2013

  • Hey, Android users!

    We are finally testing our Android app for the Times Colonist. I can't say exactly when it will be available, but this is a step in the right direction. If you are an iPhone or iPad user, you can . . .

    Cale CowanOctober 3, 2013

  • You're right, the E-edition log-in is too hard to find

    A reader rightly pointed out to us that it is now a bit of a scavenger hunt to find a link on our webpage to the E-edition. (The E-edition, for those who don't know, is a digital replica of the . . .

    Cale CowanOctober 1, 2013

  • Our good community events calendar just got better

    Our self-serve community events calendar got an overhaul this week, making it easier to find and a lot easier to use. It's in the same spot — right-hand side of most news pages, down about . . .

    Cale CowanSeptember 26, 2013

  • Twitter: It's just such a stupid name

    I remember the first time I heard about this thing called Twitter. It was a little more than five years ago and I was sitting in an auditorium filled mostly with journalists and students. We were . . .

    Cale CowanSeptember 19, 2013

  • What to do when your newspaper website won't load

    About a week and a half ago we had back-to-back days of trouble with our website. It wouldn't always load. I'm a newspaper editor, not a technologist, but I'm pretty sure that websites are more . . .

    Cale CowanSeptember 10, 2013

  • 10 reasons to not complain about paying for online news

    It was the kind of coincidence Alanis Morissette sings songs about. Less than a week after my last blog entry, which talked about the increased cost of an online subscription, our website . . .

    Cale CowanAugust 27, 2013

  • Website access will cost a little more on Sept. 1

    Today, it costs $6.20 per month to subscribe to the website edition of the Times Colonist. On Sept. 1, that cost is going up to $9.99. Outraged? Don't be. Trust me, it's a fair price. "Biased!&. . .

    Cale CowanAugust 14, 2013

  • Part 2: A visual guide to our iPad app

    First, if you haven't read the detailed visual guide for the IPHONE APP, I recommend you first go and read it HERE. Many of the functions are the same or similar for the iPhone and iPad apps. But . . .

    Cale CowanAugust 1, 2013

  • Part 1: We have an iPhone app! Here's how to use it

    The Times Colonist iPhone and iPad (more on this one later) apps have been available through the App store for about a month now. We've been quietly working out some of the bugs and things are . . .

    Cale CowanJuly 29, 2013

  • Is Wi-Fi really making us sick?

    I was once standing in a vacant apartment with a woman who said she couldn't rent there because the Wi-Fi signal in the area was making her feel ill. After she left, I pulled out my iPhone to search. . .

    Cale CowanJuly 23, 2013

  • This is what we call participatory journalism

    The way that I discovered the historic Tudor House Pub in Esquimalt had burned down was when I awoke at 6 a.m. and found an e-mail from a reader who had sent us several photos and a video. Further . . .

    Cale CowanJuly 16, 2013

  • Registering before commenting is not a plot to suppress free speech

    Q: "Why, as a subscriber wishing to comment via mobile, am I FORCED to register with Disqus or whatever it's called? Is not that suppression of speech? This is a blatant wrong. Fix this. I . . .

    Cale CowanJuly 11, 2013

  • Two ways to do our daily crossword

    Q: Why can’t I find the crossword puzzles on your web page? If they are not there, why not? A: Crosswords are not available on our web page. No puzzles have been available on our web page since . . .

    Cale CowanJuly 9, 2013

  • iPad and iPhone apps have arrived

    After a long wait and lots of requests, the Times Colonist apps for iPhone and iPad have arrived. Both are available for free download from the iTunes store (search "Victoria Times Colonist&. . .

    Cale CowanJuly 2, 2013

  • Reader wants to know what's with the annoying pop-ups on our website

    This question "pops up" with some regularity: "What is with this annoying Press+ pop-up, on the TC web site? This is the only newspaper site I go to that uses an annoying pop- up, . . .

    Cale CowanJune 28, 2013

  • When 30 days is NOT a month

    The Times Colonist website has a "metered paywall." That means we let you have a certain number of free views of our web pages before we ask you to pay. We keep track (meter) of your . . .

    Cale CowanJune 25, 2013

  • A blog for you, digital reader

    The most common question I get asked about our digital products usually has something to do with the subscription service for our website. The second is about leaving comments on stories. I have . . .

    Cale CowanJune 24, 2013


Find out what's happening in your community.

Most Popular