Social Media Column: Chive On, Edmonton

Published in the July 16, 2013 issue of The Edmonton Sun.

Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.

Chive On, Edmonton

The classic British motivational phrase ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has been tweaked many times over the years but no new iteration has caught on quite like ‘Keep Calm and Chive On.’

You’ve likely heard it. It’s used by hundreds of thousands of devoted members of theCHIVE, a website that features collections of funny and interesting photos.

theCHIVE began in 2008 and at the time boasted about two page visits a day. It’s since grown to an impressive 750,000 daily visitors, with a huge following from all over the globe — including here in Edmonton.

Locally, there’s a team of devoted ‘Chivers’ that run the @ChiveEdmonton group, whose main goal is to promote the Chive way of life.

So what is the Chive way of life?

“It’s the way of life of a great community of misfits, hooligans and sexy creatures,” explains Stephanie Pring, a member of the @ChiveEdmonton team.

“When we say ‘Chive On’, it means we support our troops and all first responders. It’s about working hard and playing harder. It’s about paying it forward through random acts of kindness. It’s about coming through to theCHIVE charities and coming through for one another.”

My experience with theCHIVE starts and ends with Cat Saturday — a weekly photo gallery featuring, you guessed it: cats. My fiancé, however, would classify himself as a Chiver: checking images on the website on a daily basis.

“Maybe they’ll put it on the CHIVE,” he said excitedly, when I told him I was doing a column about the local Chive community and a Chive Edmonton meet-up planned for July 27.

The meet-up is the second one of the year. The first one, held in April, drew a crowd of about 30 local Chivers, who also helped raise more than $1,000 for the Edmonton Food Bank.

The July 27 meet-up already has 100 confirmed guests and through ticket sales alone, has raised nearly $3,000 for the Soldier On fund, which provides support for Canadian soldiers and veterans suffering from mental or physical injury.

Pring says supporting charity and connecting with one another offline is huge for Chivers.

“We all have the same mindset and we all enjoy the website. These meet-ups are a way for us to get together and meet each other, do a bunch of good things and create new friendships,” she says.

“It’s about taking an Internet culture and bringing it out into real life.”

From an outsider’s perspective, it’s amazing to see how people so strongly identify with the website, how their faces light up when they see someone wearing a shirt, or how they cry out when they see a vehicle drive by with a Chive decal.

“You do feel an automatic connection,” Pring says.

For more information on the July 27 meet-up and to connect with local Chivers, tweet @ChiveEdmonton or search Chive Edmonton on Facebook.

In the meantime, KCCO!

Some Tweets of the Week

@amacexo: The best decision I’ve ever made: moving to Alberta ❤ I have the most AMAZING people in my life. I wouldn’t trade them for the world #yeg

@_courtneyo: Taking my time walking the Ave – errands day is definitely a happy day when you live in @oldstrathcona. All is good in my neighbourhood.

@Donks88: The #Henday with no delays is an extraordinary roadway. #YEG

@rlesueur: People watching today. Always interesting. Just like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. #yegpeople

@leemulvey: The best part of sitting at a car mechanic’s shop: listening to people mimic the sound their car is making. #carrepairs #yeg #napaautopro

Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!

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