Dec 22 2008

Vancouver’s Social Media Scene Does Social Change

There’s tough times all over and in Vancouver, the poor and marginalized are suffering even worse than usual under an Arctic freeze-up. Kudos to Vancouver’s bloggers, twitterers and other geeks for stepping in to save the day.

Gillian Shaw reports today on a Twitter flash mob assembling in the downtown eastside to distribute warm clothing (Vancouver Sun). An excerpt:

“Here’s a coat,” said Steve Jagger, a Vancouver tech entrepreneur on Twitter as @sjagger, rooting around in the bottom of a bag to come up with something for a homeless man looking to warm up. “No, take this one instead, it’s a better fit and it’s cool.”

Kudos also to John Chow, who has raised over $12,000 for the Union Gospel Mission at a time when Vancouver’s hungry and homeless appear to need our help the most. John is better known for being better known – with 44,203 registered subscribers, his “Make Money Online“-themed site probably beats the readership of most Canadian print publications. Way to give back.

Miss604‘s Best of 604 Awards raised $1,800 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society (which included my donation as well).

Meanwhile, Beautynight stuffed 500 Christmas stockings for their clients hoping to make positive lifestyle changes.

I often blather on about social media and Web 2.0 stuff, so for all you out there who were wondering about whether Twitter and social media really matter, here are some great examples of instant successes that have brought about positive change in the community. It actually works. If anyone else has come upon other examples of this kind of social-media making a difference locally in the last while, go ahead and leave a comment with the details.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Vancouver’s Social Media Scene Does Social Change”

  1. Monica Hamburgon 22 Dec 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I am so happy you mentioned Beautynight – Caroline is a good friend of mine and works so hard for Beautynight. I’m glad to see it getting traction from great bloggers like you.

    P.S. I mentioned the Fearless City cell phone drive recently on my blog – another drive which is pretty impressive and used Twitter. (Post here: ) (I like the fact that we both used the term”blatter on”. Are we paranoid that we both do this, or just self-aware :)

  2. Monica Hamburgon 22 Dec 2008 at 2:42 pm

    P.S. Info about Fearless cellphone drive cause is here:

  3. raincoasteron 22 Dec 2008 at 8:52 pm

    The Phones for Fearless campaign is ongoing, and Twitter is such a key part of it; I don’t think I’ve been off Twitter for more than an hour of non-sleep time for the last four days!

    And today we started on Facebook, too. I’ll get some free time just in time to get a New Year’s Day hangover…

    But we’ve gotten donation offers from Chicago, Germany, and Australia. It’s amazing how fast this has spread!

  4. Carolineon 28 Jul 2010 at 11:53 am

    Thank you so much!!! In preparation for Beauty Night’s 10 year anniversary celebration, I googled your article.

    I think there is a great deal of need for those who are marginalized. There is also a great amount of need to become included. I think it is great that everyone continues to contribute and I hope that what evolves out of these contributions are opportunities for those that are served by the programs we donate to are able to become empowered and become an integral part of the community.

    Through Beauty Night, we have had several of those who participate in our programs start to volunteer and eventually find employment.

    Thank you to everyone for making things inclusive so we can continue to work together!

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