Category Archives: Social Media

It’s Not the Band I Hate, It’s Their Fans

By Jay Menard,

“It’s not the band I hate. It’s their fans.” Yes, I am gearing myself up for Sloan’s appearance this weekend at the Western Fair’s Beer & BBQ Show, but that’s beside the point.

That lyric also perfectly sums up the way I feel about some of the participants in our municipal campaigns. And the danger for the candidates is that they’re going to suffer from guilt by association.

London, especially on Twitter and other social networks including our local paper’s comments section, is easily likened to a playground. Whether it’s puerile name calling or taking their figurative ball and going home when they don’t get their way, we see a lot of the worst in discourse.

I had hoped during a municipal campaign things would change, but I haven’t seen it yet. Continue reading

Anonymity Rules

By Jason Menard

It’s easy to see the world in terms of black and white. Filtered through the prism of personal interest, right and wrong can be very clear. But step back and look across the entire spectrum and what seems clear is often muddled by shades of grey.

Ideally, everyone would put their name to what they write or say, on-line and off. But we don’t live in an ideal world.

Continue reading

No Good Deed Goes Unpublished?

By Jay Menard

I know some were inspired by Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi’s call for London to conscript his “Three Things for…” idea to encourage good deeds in the community.

Instead of being inspired, his call just made me sad.

Let me start by saying that I have no issue with the intent behind Nenshi’s Three Things for… idea. I just don’t know what it says about us that we need to have something like this at all.

Are we, as a society, so stuck staring into the palm of our hands that we don’t see the need around us and act accordingly? Has social networking made us so narcissistic that an action will not exist until it has received 30 retweets and a couple dozen Facebook likes?

Do we have to change the old adage from “no good deed goes unpunished” to “no good deed goes unpublished?” Continue reading

Gold or Filthy Lucre — The Politicking of Information

By Jay Menard,

When it comes to choosing for whom I want to vote, I take my cues from the Bard of Mersey, because more and more it’s getting harder to know who you can trust.

In John Lennon’s song “God,” he lists off a number of things in which he doesn’t believe, ranging from religions to politicians to philosophies to musicians. At the end, he quietly intones, “I just believe in me.”

John follows that up with “Yoko and me. And that’s reality.” And since Yoko’s not on my speed dial, I have to trust myself. In today’s world, that’s an even more challenging proposition.

Thanks to social media and the Internet, we have access to a wealth of information. But that wealth has vastly different values – ranging from pure gold to filthy lucre. And, sadly, there are far too many snake oil salesmen and women promising one thing, but working only in their own interests. We have access to more information than ever, but that doesn’t mean the information is better. Continue reading

Engagement Doesn’t Equal a Guaranteed Win

By Jason Menard

Perhaps the term engagement gets a bad reputation because we’ve been so bad at defining what it means. I have some suggestions, but the one thing I do know is that engagement does not mean the equivalent of a guaranteed win.

It’s a topic that I think we’ve discussed almost ad nauseam, with little sense of resolution. But that may be a result of not truly understanding what engagement is, socially and politically.

That’s the problem with using empty, Biz-Speak-type words. They’re too open to interpretation and allow arguments to persist in an environment devoid of parameters. I have been quite vocal in my dislike of the term engagement, but the truth is that I really just dislike the way it’s been defined – or undefined as the case generally is. Continue reading