Posted by: Paul Jenkins | October 23, 2008

Social Media and the Federal Election

The C Team 

Conservative Party of Canada

  • Facebook – 17,832 supporters; no wall; no discussion board
  • Twitter – 1,123 following; 1,066 followers; 71 updates since the start of the election
  • myCampaign – A virtual campaign office for Conservative supporters.  It’s an online action centre, helping spread the conservative message, raise money and recruit volunteers
  • Interesting fact – Of the four photos of Stephen Harper on the Conservative Party of Canada’s homepage, the Prime Minister is only wearing a sweater in one

Green Party of Canada

  • Facebook – 5,341 supporters; 905 wall posts; 47 discussion topics
  • Twitter –  680 following; 691 followers; 117 updates since the start of the election
  • Elizabeth May’s blog – May’s blog is front and centre on the Green Party’s website.  She’s written 129 posts since the election was called
  • Interesting fact – The website has an upcoming events calendar that details where May will be each day of the campaign.  It isn’t interactive, but it is helpful

Liberal Party of Canada

  • Facebook – 14,236 supporters; 4,369 wall posts; 61 discussion topics
  • Twitter – 1,976 following; 942 followers; 87 updates
  • Create a page – Write your own message of support, collect secure donations online, share your photos and videos.  Only 55 Liberals have participated.
  • Interesting fact (thanks to Mary’s keen eye) – Right after the being nominated to lead the Liberal Party, Dion exceeded his number of Facebook friends

New Democratic Party of Canada

  • Facebook – 24,736 supporters; 3,957 wall posts; 232 discussion topics
  • Twitter – 1,322 following; 1,338 followers; 145 updates
  • The Orange Room – The campaign’s most comprehensive social media endeavor, the Orange Room is “a one-stop shop for anyone looking to find – and share – media related to the New Democrat election 2008 campaign.”  It’s citizen-drive media, blending “the best of YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and blogs to keep you engaged.”
  • Interesting fact – The NDP website has a page of blogging tools (banner ads, video, Twitter box, NDP themed blog template)
* Data recorded on election day – October 14, 2008
Posted by: Paul Jenkins | September 15, 2008

Big Home Hunting

Wien, Austria

It’s a Saturday afternoon in the summer.  Paul’s in Toronto; looking to move to a place both bigger and cheaper.

Apartment hunting, he says, especially bargain apartment hunting in Toronto, is too often a fruitless endeavour.

In the search for one’s next home, Paul feels, one must wade through the crap speckling the intestines of the Toronto market.  And mark his word, there’s a lot of shit out there; he’s got his rubber boots on.

A Kafka accented one bedroom basement apartment with prison cell sized windows, anyone?  It’ll cost you a grand.

Interested in a two bedroom featuring thirty-year-old purple shag carpeting as it’s only upgrade in 100 years?  It’ll run you a cool $1,200 plus utilities.

By comparison, Paul’s lady and Paul, for example, could be paying for a mortgage in St. Thomas – his hometown, some 200 km southwest of Toronto – for what he pays in rent; or so his friends paying a mortgage and living in St. Thomas tell him.

Not only is Toronto’s rental market out of control, centrally located accommodations for purchase are similarly absurd.

Paul’s been to an open house where cellar ripened salami greased his back and more than three dozen Jesus, Mary and Joseph statues stared him down – an unrenovated house from the 1950s that would later sell for a half million dollars.

Of course, these prices are probably justified.

Why wouldn’t you pay a premium to live in a “trendy” neighbourhood where two people were shot this past week at a local pub and where a girl was shot in the adjacent subway stop last winter?

Paul responds, “you wouldn’t!”

He’s moving in a week.

* As you might have guessed this was written a while ago – as best Paul can remember, a summer Saturday.  He’s happy in his new home.

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | July 24, 2008

Welcome to Angerville – Population Me

Paul visits Angerville

If Americans were a little more successful in manifesting their destiny I’d be living in the States right now – not the humble Dominion of Canada I instead call home.

And if I lived in the States right now, I’d take this year’s Toronto weather to Judge Judy’s court of justice and sue the damn bastard for all the sun it had.

You see, it’s raining – again.

Listen up weather, if I wanted to live in an overpriced city with relentless precipitation, I’d move to Vancouver; where at least, if the sky did clear, I’d get a pretty view.

And it hasn’t even been hot this summer, just humid.

I’ve never sweated so much in 20 degree weather – for my American readers, I believe that’s 2(5X-2Y) in your crazy Fahrenheit system.

Alas, the sky’s ceiling has sunk to my waist.

I’ve got smog dripping down my coin slot and it’s not very pleasant.


CouchSurfing – (Currently Untitled) – Part II

Our Alma – Ass Backwards – Part VI

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | June 20, 2008

CouchSurfing France – Bonjour L’Etranger

Eiffel Tower, Paris, FranceI am going to France this evening for the wedding of two of my university roommates – it’s being held in a small town in the Alps next Saturday.

Sandra, my lady friend, and I, are arriving in Paris a week before the celebration to travel our way through the country. Of course, we have no money, so we’re doing it on the cheap – renting a car and couch surfing from the capital to Orleans, Dijon, St. Etienne, Marseille and finally to Embrun – the latter a sleepy little alpine town with cheap wine and great cheese – the site of the wedding.

CouchSurfing is a social application that allows strangers to arrange accommodations with each other. It’s like Facebook, but with a more singular purpose – to bridge cultures, encourage dialogue and provide places to sleep.

It’s really quite a phenomenal social experiment. I hope our own experience will serve as testament to its idealism. Either way, I’ll let you know how it goes.

We are staying with an art teacher in Orleans because Sandra’s an art teacher and artist. We are visiting a man in Dijon whose couch surfing profile acclaims him as a good cook and connoisseur of wine. We then intend to visit a young family in Saint-Etienne before arriving in Marseille – where we’ll visit an English teacher and her boyfriend.

We’ll then retrieve my other university roommate from the airport on our way to Embrun for the wedding – where we’ve rented a home for the week. We conclude our trip with an overnight drive to Paris for our flight home.

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | June 10, 2008

Stupid Baby


Can knowing less be helpful?

As I start out in my career as a PR professional, I am trying to position myself as a credible authority on social media – a source of information to such questions as:
• What the hell is it?
• How can it be used?
• How has it been used?
• Is it measurable?

I’m not an authority yet, however. For one, I haven’t even broken into the profession. For two, I’m not convinced the technological proficiency of certain targeted audiences is sufficient to warrant such methods. Read More…

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | June 5, 2008

Welcome to Toronto. JUMP!

somewhere on Bathurst

To truly claim the experience of a city as your own, you must first live through one of its winters. I moved to Toronto in September, 2007. I earned my T.O. patch this past winter – when the season’s old man put me in a half nelson and gave me a noogie.

In fact, it was the worst winter I’ve ever experienced. Worse than Edmonton, where it snowed near Labour Day; or Seoul, where acid would literally fall from the sky; or Sarajevo, where fog would persist in the valley city like a glacier for weeks on end.

Read More…

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | May 28, 2008

Our Alma – The Fire – Part V

Alma College Historical Plaque

* Two youths (15 & 16) have been arrested for the Alma College fire. Read this Globe and Mail article for details.

It’s a sad day for St. Thomas

A fire that started just after 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday quickly engulfed Alma College, reducing the former girls’ school to little more than an empty shell of its former glory. Smoke was visible as far north as downtown London and as far south as Port Stanley.

The timing of the fire came less than two weeks after the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) agreed to the combined City of St. Thomas and George Zubick (Alma’s owner) request to demolish Alma College. Early Thursday morning, Constable Anders Nielsen said “with the help of the Fire Marshal’s Office, we have determined that it is arson.” Alma College is now a crime scene.

Ironically, at the same time that fire fighters were battling the blaze in St. Thomas, petitions to save Alma College were being delivered to Ontario’s Legislative Assembly in Toronto.

Elgin-London-Middlesex MPP Steve Peters took time from the afternoon question period to lament the passing of this historical treasure.

Alma College on fire

Read More…

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | May 14, 2008

Mere Suggestions

Markham St., Toronto, Ontario

This is such a since you didn’t ask post. I present to you, Paul’s eight tips to office success – with a PR bent.

1. Try to keep most of your e-mails to 30 words or less. It takes longer to do at first, but it sharpens what you say.

2. Say yes to every task you’re assigned. I babysat 18 square feet of sod a few weeks ago as part of my internship at Habitat for Humanity Toronto.

Read More…

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | May 3, 2008

the poopsicle project

Next to Edmonton's city hall

In the summer of 2004, I pushed a small outhouse on three wheelbarrow wheels, with an inside to hold a cooler, through eight Canadian cities selling poopsicles – frozen, fair trade, organic bananas coated with dark chocolate – for three dollars each.

I used the poopsicle project to say to as many people as possible, “excuse me, I’d like to be heard.”

National Post

It worked. I made front page in a regional version of a national newspaper, was pitied in a Montreal editorial, and told to grow up and get a real job by a writer of an Edmonton daily. I was on TV – the news in Edmonton and Calgary, and MuchMusic’s Speaker’s Corner.

My key message was simple, consume crap.

Read More…

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | April 24, 2008

Twenty Twitter Tweets

1. The three best cities in the world, in order: Montreal, New York and Dubrovnik.

2. I always feel like I need a bath after I ride the TTC.

3. PR = networking with all known media to as many audiences as you are able to identify. Read More…

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