PDA

View Full Version : Our mention in McKeen today...



RichardS
13-11-2006, 08:57 AM
Monday » November 13 » 2006

We're off on a free-wheeling stream of consciousness. Try to keep up
Not-so-deep thoughts on everything from CFR to juvenile footbaggers, Glenora lawyers to Saskatchewan gopher lovers

Scott McKeen
The Edmonton Journal


Monday, November 13, 2006



Bite-sized column today. Think of it as mini-donuts for the mind.

What's that? Mini-donuts aren't good for you? OK, think of it as cod liver oil for the mind.

What's that? Cod liver oil tastes yucky. OK, think of this as a loosely knit collection of stream-of-consciousness thoughts written by a guy with a short attention span, seasonal affective disorder -- where in hell did the sun go, by the way? -- and a guilty conscience for shooting gophers that time on the farm. OK? Off we go.

- Love the new marketing scheme by Edmonton tourism, aimed at our friends in Saskatchewan. The slogan -- "Edmonton hotels are gopher-friendly" -- deftly pokes fun at the arrogance of the Calgary Stampeders, who banned Saskatchewan's beloved football mascot, Gainer the Gopher, from last week's western semifinal.

Mind you, the marketing scheme is mostly unnecessary. Half of Saskatchewan already lives in Edmonton. And when the other half visits, they stay with relatives.

- Personal pet peeve: People who send e-mail with information contained in an attachment. If you want us to read your hype, don't make us work for it. I'm boycotting all e-mail attachments. Well, unless it's a picture. I like pictures.

- Hey, here's a potential marketing slogan to aim at Calgarians: "Sorry, no vacancy. Try Regina."

- Last week's column on council pay hikes raised the ire of some councillors. One accused me of writing just like a certain tabloid columnist. Harrumph. I may work overtime, but I didn't make my career out of it. (If you have to explain the joke, it isn't funny.)

- No complaints about the salary column from Coun. Janice Melnychuk. She had reasons, though. I forgot to mention Melnychuk as one of three councillors who voted against the 13-per-cent pay hike.

- If footbag players keep e-mailing me with juvenile comments -- long-story short, I once said they had no talent -- they risk losing their lofty standing in the global sporting community. (OK, let me explain. The joke is this: Footbag has no standing in the global sporting community).

- It's not that I oppose fair pay for city councillors. It's the timing, stupid. You don't vote yourself a 13-per-cent pay raise at the same time you're fighting for a better deal from neighbouring communities, nor when you're about to hike taxes.

- The online forum of civic patriots called Connect to Edmonton, or C2E, is looking for input and ideas on improving our fair city. Up for grabs is a trip for two to London. Residents of Sherwood Park are not eligible, unless they agree to be annexed by Edmonton. (Maybe I'm joking. Maybe I'm not.)

- Here are my winning ideas. A year-round heated pool in the river valley. And a world-class winter festival. Then give Londoners free trips to visit us, instead. Slogan: Have a pint, under northern lights.

- Connect to Edmonton is a fabulous idea in itself. Engaged citizens can discuss all things Edmonton on a web forum. The easiest way to find the website is to type "Connect to Edmonton" into Google. You have to become a member to enter the C2E contest. But it's free.

- OK, I have one major problem with C2E. It describes itself as an "autonomous, non-political global community." That stretches credibility.

C2E is sponsored by city hall, Economic Development Edmonton, the chamber of commerce and Edmonton Airports. Proponents say the sponsoring agencies haven't meddled once. But if you're taking their money, you're not autonomous. One day, they'll meddle. I guarantee it.

- A feud is breaking out in Glenora over a major condominium project at 142nd Street and Stony Plain Road. A recent show-and-tell by the developers, Humanity Projects, at the Provincial Museum ended in a debacle. The microphone and lights were turned off in the theatre when the crowd refused to leave at the end of the presentation. A spokesman for the developers swears they weren't the ones who turned off the lights to force the crowd out of the theatre. Nonetheless, that was the impression left.

Can't wait until this one reaches city council for debate. Glenora, if you didn't know, is a place of old and new money. Be warned, council: There be lawyers there.

- On a final note, last week I attended the Canadian Finals Rodeo for the first time. Yes, I was out of my element, but I walked away with nothing but respect for the athletics and pain endurance of rodeo cowboys. CFR is a hoot. And a holler.

[email protected]

© The Edmonton Journal 2006








Copyright © 2006 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.



I spoke with Scott yesterday and I know full well of his concerns. Truthfully, I understand them as PROMOTE had them prior to getting into this. Let me lay a few things out here...

1. The sponsors had to agree 100% that their sponsorship was for server space and some money for site design. In order for the core group of volunteers (including myself) to even come online and start this, we wanted in writing the guarantee that they would allow this site to flourish uncensored except for pornography, spam advertising, accusations that result in litigation (false accusations), and items that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To their credit, the folks from the EEDC do this on their own time and after hours. The design company (http://www,pivit.ca) has received some remuneration for the more complex aspects of the site, but they too have devoted countless volunteer hours to this project because they too believe in it. One Pivit staff member is a volunteer moderator and admin of the site, which is not on company time.

2. There have been many harsh criticisms of the city, the airports, the EEDC (none on the Chamber yet :)), and not ONCE is there record of any post being deleted due to their pressure. In fact, the airports and the EEDC have come online to defend and/or explain their positions, as well as articulate any counter arguments. I know the mayor’s office is more than aware of C2E as they have written to me saying so. Mayor Mandel is heavily criticized on the site for his stance on 23rd avenue and other projects, yet I have not one solitary complaint from the mayor’s office on this forum. He and other councilors are also praised, and I know they see the value.

3. We have even more sponsors in the works that are 100% committed to this project. Anyone else who wants to step forward and donate to make this bigger is welcomed as well. We will tell you the same thing and we will not accept your donation unless you agree – this donation is for the idea of C2E and the feedback it brings. This includes both positive and negative feedback towards the sponsors themselves. Negative feedback will happen. Your ideas will be challenged. You will be criticized. Check your ego at the door. What they see is a unique chance for Edmontonians to ESCAPE "committee-itis" and have a free and open forum to exchange ideas 24X7X365. We are the closest to a true direct feedback method or even direct democracy that the city has. No one has to drive to a session to be heard. No one has to e nervous in front of a mic and stammer and stager over mic fright while losing their points in the process. No one has to worry about anyone knowing that Joe Schmuckatoli posted this, giving even more freedom to be honest. The sponsors recognize the absolute POWER in this forum, which is why they are here and which is why our promise to pull this out of their reach the second they try to exert pressure on us is real. They do not want to lose this portal. Trust me, they read it. Councilor comments tell me they do.

4. Sponsorship with these bodies gives us something rather than taking it away - credibility and access to the decision makers. A rag tag fugitive fleet (I love the old Battlestar) of posters has a hard time getting noticed as we found out with PROMOTE Edmonton's very same attempt (in fact, PROMOTE's forum is the basis for C2E). Politicians, newspaper columnists, and businesspeople have access to us and because the sponsors have such faith in us, they also believe that we are going to be around for awhile.

5. You will notice that there is NO banner advertising. That too is a condition of sponsorship. Your recognition will be in the links page only as the idea is bigger than your company. Sponsor ONLY of you agree. This is not ad revenue in any way.

Simply, where else can the city and others get immediate feedback on each and every idea and mine for ideas without being buried in committees, union issues, and politics? An idea is born here, people type with pillows or razor blades depending on your position, changes occur, and a great idea is the result. All within the span of a few hours and with input worldwide, on the poster’s schedule. That in itself is more powerful than any letter to the editor, any public forum, and any lobby group. That is what they pay for, and that is what they would be completely STUPID to destroy.

grish
13-11-2006, 09:10 AM
if C2E is getting a cut from the sponsors, then I would like a cut of all those millions of $$... :wink: :wink: :D

RichardS
13-11-2006, 09:44 AM
Your cookie and slice of 3 week old lemon meringue pie is in the mail....via Cairo....

grish
13-11-2006, 10:16 AM
hope it doesn't come in stale. looking forward to getting what is mine.

RichardS
13-11-2006, 10:18 AM
:D sweet...

ShermanT
13-11-2006, 11:15 AM
Good stuff Richard. The concern about who has the power when it comes to C2E is a valid one, and it was one of the first things brought up when C2E was just an idea. Trust is the foundation of this community and it is something that is hard to regain once it is lost. Hopefully C2E will never do anything to break the trust between the community and the organization.

DanC
13-11-2006, 11:41 AM
Well said Rich.

IanO
13-11-2006, 12:32 PM
im sick of this red tape watergate mulroney run site.


oh wait, no im not....i love it.

well said rich.

drizzle
13-11-2006, 12:39 PM
Had my first look around here today, and it seems pretty civilized. Good idea, and if the moderators maintain the overall civility of the site, there is a tremendous potential for the exchange of ideas which could enhance the quality of life in our fair city.

IanO
13-11-2006, 12:40 PM
Had my first look around here today, and it seems pretty civilized. Good idea, and if the moderators maintain the overall civility of the site, there is a tremendous potential for the exchange of ideas which could enhance the quality of life in our fair city.

welcome and thank you......thats what the mods are there for, for me im just here for the fame.

DanC
13-11-2006, 01:02 PM
I'm here for the infamy.

Kenn
13-11-2006, 01:17 PM
Scott makes an interesting comment about C2E "sponsorship."

He says, "But if you're taking their money, you're not autonomous."

I can't blame him for this incorrect perception as he likely doesn't know that three of the four "sponsors" haven't contributed any money whatsoever to C2E. And EEDC's nominal contributions have been focused on website development as per the direction of the C2E Steering Committee and member feedback.

(EEDC supports C2E because it wants to encourage the free-flow of ideas and collaboration to improve this community. The global connections of C2E's diaspora of Edmonton enthusiasts also creates a unique competitive advantage for our region.)

As well, EEDC receives no special consideration for the resources and significant volunteer hours expended on the C2E project. EEDC has been criticized and applauded online by some members ... EEDC responds online ... nothing could be more transparent.

Perhaps the C2E Steering Committee should just review use of the word "sponsors" in case anyone else leaps to the false conclusion that C2E has any agenda-influencing affiliations.

Kenn

DanC
13-11-2006, 01:19 PM
Thank you for the response.

ThomasH
13-11-2006, 01:25 PM
Well said Richard, and thanks for your response Kenn.

mick
13-11-2006, 01:36 PM
Nice plug by Scott McKeen. However, I find the concern with sponsors quite interesting. I'd be interested to guage how autonomous he believes the journal or media in general are from the advertising money that drives the business?

North Guy66
13-11-2006, 01:41 PM
Well, nice to see McKeen promote C2E.

RichardS:
Perhaps you should write a letter to the editor or to Scott McKeen, with your above points, to clarify the "autonomous, non-political global community" issue of C2E.

ShermanT
13-11-2006, 02:01 PM
Nice plug by Scott McKeen. However, I find the concern with sponsors quite interesting. I'd be interested to guage how autonomous he believes the journal or media in general are from the advertising money that drives the business?

Good point. Even though Scott's articles and newspaper are protected by the freedom of the press clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, whereas I doubt anything on C2E really is, you are right to question just how much influence advertising money buys...

DebraW
13-11-2006, 02:40 PM
Scott makes an interesting comment about C2E "sponsorship."

He says, "But if you're taking their money, you're not autonomous."

I can't blame him for this incorrect perception as he likely doesn't know that three of the four "sponsors" haven't contributed any money whatsoever to C2E. And EEDC's nominal contributions have been focused on website development as per the direction of the C2E Steering Committee and member feedback.

(EEDC supports C2E because it wants to encourage the free-flow of ideas and collaboration to improve this community. The global connections of C2E's diaspora of Edmonton enthusiasts also creates a unique competitive advantage for our region.)

As well, EEDC receives no special consideration for the resources and significant volunteer hours expended on the C2E project. EEDC has been criticized and applauded online by some members ... EEDC responds online ... nothing could be more transparent.

Perhaps the C2E Steering Committee should just review use of the word "sponsors" in case anyone else leaps to the false conclusion that C2E has any agenda-influencing affiliations.

Kenn

I did not “leap to the false conclusion that C2E has any agenda-influencing affiliations.” I believe that most people (especially those who post to C2E) do not have this perception either. However, I am not as naive to think that EEDC C2Es “nominal contributions” are just because “it [EEDC] wants to encourage the free-flow of ideas and collaboration to improve this community.” I believe the actuality lies somewhere between the first and the second sentence of Kenn’s post “also creates a unique competitive advantage for our region,” and that is okay. Brainstorming comes in many forms and sometimes the best ideas and solutions come from the least likely source(s).

C2E is that source.

Open, honest and autonomous dialogue of any kind must always be encouraged and supported to allow a community to not only be strong but to thrive. Criticism should bring change and applause hopefully a desire to maintain and build upon the applauded efforts. Maintaining the “status quo” is never tolerable and I have embraced C2E as a conduit for change.

Moreover, I post to C2E because “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Edmonton is not perfect but I will not be just a critic I want to be a solver as well. Edmonton is my home and I want to champion it wherever and whenever I can. The best ambassadors are those who care. Care enough to speak (post) and care enough to follow though.

RichardS
14-11-2006, 12:33 AM
Well, nice to see McKeen promote C2E.

RichardS:
Perhaps you should write a letter to the editor or to Scott McKeen, with your above points, to clarify the "autonomous, non-political global community" issue of C2E.

Already done. Scott and I had an e-mail discussion on this as well. I firmly beleive him when he says, "Connect to Edmonton is a fabulous idea in itself. Engaged citizens can discuss all things Edmonton on a web forum." He definitely believes in the idea.

Kenn, good idea on teh wording of "sponsorship" We've used that term in reference to the business world (sponsor is not necessarily monetary, but more of an idea).

How can one say"fully engaged in promoting and utilizing the idea of C2E?"

m0nkyman
14-11-2006, 12:46 AM
How can one say"fully engaged in promoting and utilizing the idea of C2E?"

Howzabout calling them donators to the cause. Sponsorship indicates a financial quid pro quo that donations wouldn't.

ThomasH
14-11-2006, 01:19 AM
I checked the word "donator" in the dictionary, and it works but for some reason the dictionary dosn't mention anything about donators. "Supporters" might be the word to choose.

m0nkyman
14-11-2006, 01:23 AM
I checked the word "donator" in the dictionary, and it works but for some reason the dictionary dosn't mention anything about donators. "Supporters" might be the word to choose.

"C2E is made possible through the generous donations of the City of Edmonton, EEDC, EIA and many volunteers"
Phrase it how you wish... Check how PBS and NPR phrase things...

RichardS
14-11-2006, 01:28 AM
The city didn't donatre money....just time...

we need to stress that those on the steering committee do check their egos at the door, and that even they too are volunteers.

m0nkyman
14-11-2006, 07:41 AM
I checked the word "donator" in the dictionary, and it works but for some reason the dictionary dosn't mention anything about donators.

Apparently I was tired when I said that. Donor would be the correct term. :oops:

mick
14-11-2006, 12:32 PM
Ceres - don't want to get off topic but (i guess I will) the Charter protects the media from Government interference not private business. A business can withdraw their advertising dollars anytime they want. This is the classic refrain of those who bemoan 'corporatization' of the mdeia and claim they simply serve power interests in society. Similar to arguments about politicians and campaign contributions.

ShermanT
14-11-2006, 02:09 PM
Ceres - don't want to get off topic but (i guess I will) the Charter protects the media from Government interference not private business. A business can withdraw their advertising dollars anytime they want. This is the classic refrain of those who bemoan 'corporatization' of the mdeia and claim they simply serve power interests in society. Similar to arguments about politicians and campaign contributions.

Yes I understand what you mean (hence my question about how much influence advertisers really have). My point was that the organizations that Scott and his newspaper would be protected from, are the same organizations he seems to be worried about meddling with C2E.

northendboy
15-11-2006, 12:11 PM
Yes, the media is corporately controlled. Perhaps that's why McKeen lamented the appearance of corporate influence over C2E. It's an interesting dilemma. Can you challenge the establishment if you're in bed with it? If, for example, a legitimate protest and petition began on this site against EEDC or Edmonton Airports, would those agencies stand by and allow it to happen? Here's a better question: If there were a legitimate need for a new citizen movement to challenge the establishment, would it want the establishment looking over its shoulder? In other words, if I were the establishment, I'd be happy to be "inside" with the critics, so I could quell dissent and strategically manage the discussion. But then again, maybe C2E is just a site for people who want to throw around ideas, not pursue them politically. Because if you pursue them politically, this might not be the place to do it. Does Air Canada let Westjet know their business plans? Ah, maybe that's a bad example.