Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hi, I'm The Government. Nice To Meet You

I applaud the fact that President Obama's administration has created the Office of Public Engagement, and my fellow countrymen have a similar resource. It shows a willingness to listen to the people that put them there a bit more, but, really, they had to right?

Let me just say that I am not a politics junkie by any stretch of the imagination. I've lived in Canada for nine years now, and will only be applying for my citizenship this year. Not to vote -- although I will, probably for the Green Party -- but because the Americans always hold me for an hour in their immigration centre when I drive across the border! It will make things much easier to live here in this great country.

To my mind, there seems to be some form of election taking place here in Canada all the time. Democracy is the ideal, but now it can be taken to the next level with forward-thinking governments claiming their Twitter presence, and allowing citizens to criticize their actions in an open and accessible form.

That's why I love social media -- it can be applied to ANY aspect of life. People in any profession can use it, or those that just love to hang out online with like-minded people. If I wanted to chat with curry fans, I'm sure there's a network or Facebook group somewhere. If not, that's cool ... I will set one up. For free.

There's a big issue going on in Toronto at the moment with the Tamil protests. They stormed the Gardiner Expressway on Sunday, and are at Queen's Park today. Some people are pissed off that this is very disruptive, which the Gardiner blockade certainly was, but these people do have a right to protest as far as I can tell.

Twitter is keeping up, as expected. I foresee more sophisticated methods of using social media in the future to tie in with these types of demonstrations.

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