Tag Archives: Online Communities

The Tiny Temblor of ’11

24 Aug

Right at 1:51, Washingtonians I follow on Twitter announced that there had been an earthquake there:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/106061360194002944″%5D

Interesting, I thought.

Even more interesting was two minutes later when the old, historic brick building in which I work began to shake and rumble, its bricks and windows creaking from the strain of infrequent and unexpected movement. For about 5 – 10 seconds, everything shook and thanks to the Tweets from Washington, I was instantly able to rule out a passing truck or explosion.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/106061635336146944″%5D

The 5.8 magnitude quake centered in Virginia was felt from Georgia to Quebec, all of which are situated on the same tectonic plate.  Almost instantly, Twitter lit up with jokes about how the quake was Obama’s fault (parody quickly became reality on that one), that people should text “DONATE” to a number to donate a $1 to buy East coasters another latte to replace the one they spilled, and this picture began appearing, showing the “devastation” from the quake:

It wasn’t a big deal and no one got hurt, which is good. It was one of those shared experiences that helps people flex their humor muscles and try to get a superswarm badge on Foursquare (no dice).

Did you feel it? Did you know what it was right away? Where were you at the time?

#BuffCashMob: Nominations, Please

2 Aug

This past weekend, Chris introduced us to the #BuffCashMob idea, which he describes as

Rather than do the slacktivist thing, posting links to businesses we like and writing on their Facebook pages, let’s get out, en masse, and show them some straight up cash love. Buy their goods, pay for their services, patronize their establishments. And have a great fucking time doing it!

The goal will be to get 100 people to “flash mob” a local establishment to spend $10-$20 each on the goods and services offered. No discounts, no coupons, no special deals. Just spend $10 in their business.

Think of it as a reverse-Groupon. Instead of businesses offering crazy discounts to get people to mob their stores, the Buffalo hivemind is going to take the initiative and spend money for goods & services at posted prices. The best way to promote and grow Buffalo business is to support and patronize them.

The thought for the inaugural #BuffCashMob is that it ought to probably take place around 5:30 this Friday, perhaps at a local watering hole as a Twitter meetup happy hour. But really, what it is, is up to you. Fill out the form below or Tweet your nominations using the #BuffCashMob hashtag, or by @replying to the @BuffCashMob Twitter account. We’ll post a poll Thursday of the top three semifinalists, and announce the winner Friday morning.  Happy voting!


Commenting in 2011

18 Jul

Margaret Sullivan is right; the Buffalo News comment section has become more civilized.  Making people own their commentary is a good idea, and we’ve been having a lot of discussions lately about the way in which we allow comments, and whether they add much value anymore. Furthermore, much of the commentary takes place on Twitter or Facebook, post-sharing on those platforms. It was on Twitter, for instance, that someone validated my point that noise from the skyway is a non-issue at the Inner Harbor.  Going forward, the commenting system is going to have to change to reflect contemporary realities and capabilities, rather than further relying on decade-old technology with Gravatars.


Cowed CanalSide Crowdsources

30 Jun

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation’s implementation of “placemaking” is happening, guys!  Instead of ground being broken on a big store, (pshaw! – everyone hates big stores like what AM&A’s used to be!), which would, in turn, attract other businesses, we have this:

Food stand 1

No, seriously, the food shack under the Skyway is almost done! Soon, you’ll be able to eat food near the water. (Bathrooms may come shortly, too, ZOMG! And CHAIRS, GUYS! CHAIRS!)

Naturally, I’m coming off as snarky because I’m disappointed in the pace of progress, which has mostly been hampered by protests and threatened litigation.  Par for the course for any Buffalo development, really.  I hope – truly hope – that the most recent plans that ECHDC has for Canal Side, involving interpretive canals, a public market space, and build-outs for other retail and food outlets will happen soon.

We’re close to ten years out from the first announcement of Bass Pro. We’re now supposed to get excited over a shack that would look at home at any little league field.

To make matters more bizarre, the ECHDC is so proud of this shack that it’s holding a naming contest for it.

Not everything needs to be crowdsourced, guys. How about you bid out the food operation, and let the food operator choose the name?  Fred Kent and his PPS were paid six figures of taxpayer money for their Google Image Search and unscientific “power of ten” feel-good hocus-pocus. I seriously want our money back. After all, we could have built a second shack with it.

But we held our own contest on Twitter last week under the #ecshack (Erie Canal Shack) hashtag. Some of the entries:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/wnymediachris/status/84334020174938112″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/wnymediachris/status/84332632447516672″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/labgrrl/status/84333084278927361″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84332153952935936″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ccharvella/status/84335083980472321″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84330606359621635″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/TomDolina/status/84336873652232192″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/redsbasement/status/84336917436567552″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84329793084080128″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/drwarner29/status/84328763004948480″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/TomDolina/status/84324953847119872″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84324833210540032″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84321213501018113″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84321068101275648″%5D

For some reason, the Twitter search function isn’t working quite right, so a lot of my favorites aren’t available. Suffice it to say many of them involved “Shack” or “Shed”.

Disappointment breeds cynicism and sarcastic reaction – all three are growth industries in Buffalo.

The Soft Launch of The New WNYMedia

30 Aug

Today, we unveil yet another version of WNYMedia…we’ll consider it a “soft launch”.  We’ve still got a few things to work out, but we’ll be working on them through the course of the day.  The site design is based on feedback from nearly 1000 readers that we’ve received through various surveys we’ve done over the past six months.

Our plan is for WNYMedia to become a distribution point for what’s happening right now in our region.  We plan to introduce new features including live feeds, streaming video, podcasts, streaming radio, twitter/facebook integration and a consolidated feed of articles from our bevy of writers.  Our focus is on usability and ease of navigation, which were issues in the previous design.  Including our partners (Artvoice, WECK1230 and YNN), we’re creating upwards of 40-50 pieces of content each day, but we weren’t making it very easy to find or share.  We’ll have better tools for finding recent stories and an ability to track how they develop.

We’re adding all sorts of new functionality, but most importantly, this is a massive reorganization of content.  A reorganization of how we create, display, share and comment on the various articles we write everyday.

Previously, we created content which was published to an individual blog where everyone would read, share, or comment on the article.  We then aggregated links to the stories to the front page of wnymedia.net.

That’s changing.

Now, we will all be creating content on the front page of wnymedia.net.  You’ll see the excerpts of the articles along with the photo of the author who wrote it.  You’ll click the title to read, share or comment on it.  We’ll also aggregate the articles from each writer on their own author page, which you can access by clicking their name.

For now, poke around, tell us what’s broken, tell us what you like and what you don’t like, etc.

We’re just hoping this goes better than the Digg relaunch from last week