Published in the September 18, 2012 issue of The Edmonton Sun.
Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.
Author Marty Chan shares on Twitter what Edmonton means to him
It’s a snapshot of Canada as seen from the perspective of one Canadian, one week at a time. Edmonton’s own Marty Chan (@Marty_Chan), a children’s author, playwright, and very active local Twitter user, has just wrapped up a week of sharing what Edmonton and our country means to him, through a Twitter project called People of Canada (@PeopleofCanada).
“The general theme is to represent Canada but Canada is so vast, I thought I’d also try and focus on Edmonton, just so people can see that Edmonton is unique and charming,” Chan says.
People of Canada launched just a few weeks ago and mirrors itself after the popular @Sweden Twitter feed, which is run by a different citizen of Sweden each week. The project is meant to showcase what the country is like from various perspectives by rotating through weekly tweeting curators.
“Sometimes we’re all a little clueless about what happens on the other end or what other places in the country are like,” says People of Canada creator Divyesh Mistry. “Canada is a big country and not even those of us who’ve lived here all our lives know everything.”
Chan was just the third curator chosen for the project and posted about day-to-day Edmonton events, the food scene, and different Alberta connections and tidbits. He helped one man who was trying to decide which Canadian university to go, he talked Canadian politics and healthcare to another tweeter and initiated a number of Twitter games and trivia to get people interacting with the account.
His clever and funny voice drew people into conversations — many sharing their own opinions of Edmonton and Canada with Chan.
“I just didn’t want to be the only person tweeting about the cool things in our city, I wanted to make sure that different voices were coming in so people get a real sense that Edmonton has a great community,” Chan says.
Chan attracted more than 200 new followers in just one week and says he received responses from not only Edmontonians, but people from all across Canada, the U.S. and even overseas.
“A lot of times people said “Oh I didn’t know that about Canada,” he said.
He considers his week curating People of Canada a success and I don’t think anyone would disagree.
I’m thanking Chan for giving the world a glimpse of who we are, through this interesting Twitter project but I’m also putting a challenge out to the rest of you wonderful Edmontonians.
Just because someone from Edmonton has already been a curator doesn’t mean an Edmontonian can’t be chosen again. Canadians of all ages, occupations and from all walks of life are encouraged to participate.
Apply to @PeopleofCanada. Share your perspective.
Show the world what our city and our country means to you.
Some Tweets of the Week
@astridrosemarin: So… Edmonton. Ya’ll need to learn to let people off the train before you get on. That
LRT won’t leave until you’re on it, promise! #yeg
@Red_Devil: Such a gorgeous day in #yeg!!! So happy I got to spend it outside, even if I was doing yard
@RissyRuthy: Sometimes I wake up & all I can think about is eating a #bacon cheeseburger. This
happens far too often… #yeg #yegfood #cheese #cravings
@adrianajayers: There are so many things I forgot I liked about you #yeg.
@David_Arsenault: Anyone else love the first day in September that you can see your breath in the air?
Autumn in #yeg.