Published in the November 20, 2012 issue of The Edmonton Sun.
Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.
Snowplow, sander tweeting in Edmonton as snow flies
When snow falls in Edmonton, attention quickly turns to city crews and the equipment used to deal with the white stuff.
Drivers are quick to complain about the poor job that’s done plowing, blading, and sanding streets.
The city’s first big snowfall of the season had me thinking of two Twitter users who see the brunt of the complaints front and centre on social media:
The Edmonton Snow Plow (@yegsnowplow) and the City Sander (@yegsandtruck).
The snowplow parody account is run by an Edmontonian who is not a city employee and tweets, for fun, as a snowplow, while an actual sand truck operator runs the sander account, though the account is not affiliated with the city.
Both accounts were created last winter and both users say they hope their tweets about the snow-clearing process helps Edmontonians understand crews are doing the best they can.
“If by tweeting it can make people see that side of things, maybe it can alleviate problems between us and the taxpayers,” City Sander tells me.
“I felt there was a need to reach out to Edmonton and communicate with the people I serve, in the hopes of creating a better understanding of what I do,” says Edmonton Snowplow.
City Sander and the Edmonton Snowplow tweet about the weather, parking ban notices and replies to Edmontonians who question or complain about snow clearing. The sander takes a more serious approach to his tweets, while the snowplow goes for humour.
“If anything, I provide a way for Edmontonians to vent and maybe have a laugh at the same time,” Edmonton Snowplow says.
“Parking bans are one of the biggest things I try to tweet about,” says City Sander. “The bans are integral parts of our job now and if I can help get people to move their vehicles, it saves us the headaches of working around them, and it also saves people money by hopefully preventing them from getting tickets and tow charges. I don’t tweet all that often, and never while driving, but I do put thought into it.”
Both users say they’ve been well received.
“It’s nice to hear the positive comments and the well wishes from the Edmonton Twitter population,” City Sander says.
“That means a lot to this chunk of metal,” says Edmonton Snowplow.
Their tweets, depending on the account or situation, are informative, humourous and provide a good perspective and reminder to Edmontonians – that crews really are trying their best, something that often gets lost in the complaint-mix whenever there’s a snow event.
Thanks City Sander, Edmonton Snowplow, and all other city snow-clearing crews. I appreciate your work.
Some Tweets of the Week
@_trishaflores: There are some incredibly sweet bus drivers… There needs be to more #yeg
@unknowingyou: With passionate people in this city, it’s hard to know what I’m soon leaving behind. It actually makes me weepy #yeg
@nolanryanF1: Very grateful for the good Samaritans who helped push me out of the snow today, there are still good people out there #yeg
@jenniferkdavis: Hate when small businesses close during regular business hours without even an explanation on the door #yeg #smallbiz
@Albertagirl46: Caught who was going through our garbage. 4 magpies and a squirrel. Interesting cooperative model. But boy do they flash attitude. #yeg