Sites that I referenced during my keynote at yesterday’s Social Capital


Great to meet many of the readers and contributors to this blog at Saturday’s Social Capital conference.  One consistent thing about people I meet through Twitter: you’re all good people.  I had to duck out after lunch to get to a family event out in Perth… wish I could have said hello to more of you.

I was the keynote speaker to kick off the conference yesterday, and I talked about “Building Our City Through Social Media”.  I referenced several web sites that my readers suggested as great examples of people/group who are using social media to build a better city.  Here they are:

  • National Capital Freenet – An incubator of some of the values and ideas that are prevalent in Ottawa’s social media community.
  • Apartment 613 – For the attention they give to arts and culture.
  • West Side Action – Eric Darwin’s obsessive (in-a-good-way) blog about his neighbourhood.
  • Losing It Ottawa – An online support group for people losing weight.
  • Foodieprints – They’ve done as much (if not more) than any chef or fancy restaurant in building Ottawa’s food scene.
  • Karla at Global Pet Foods – Back during the #ottawablows wind storm in June, one of Karla’s employees was severely injured when a tree fell on her.  Almost immediately, Karla used social media (and mainstream media) to get the word out and start raising funds to help her out.
  • Ottawa Cupcake Camp, Twestival, Blog Out Loud Ottawa – A trio of events that fundraise and/or bring people together face-to-face.  The online equivalent of the Legion or Lion’s Club for the digital generation.
  • @QuartWatch – Not everything has to be serious or high-minded to count as city building. This twitter feed is one man’s way to help his fellow citizen beer drinkers find cheap quarts.
  • Mayor Jim Watson – suggested by Ben Wood, who says: “I have to give props to Jim Watson… he takes on positive, negative, and constructive comments from Ottawans and addresses them for all to see, which is a great thing for a city mayor to do.”
  • Ben also runs I Heart OC Transpo.
  • Year2Give – Christine Taylor’s year-long project chronicling her volunteerism and challenging others to join her.
  • …and two OttawaStart projects:
    1) OttawaStart Community News – a free service for local businesses / organizations / individuals.  They can sign up and post press releases and event listings directly to our site.
    2) OttawaStart Weekly Event Round-Up – a response to people who think Ottawa is boring.  Every week a roster of 30+ contributors suggest great local events.  Always an eclectic and unexpected list of cool events in our city.
  • I also mentioned the Ottawa Senators Facebook page and Twitter feed – which you should follow even if you’re not a big hockey fan, so that you can pretend to be informed the next time people are talking about the Sens at a barbecue or around the coffee pot.  And if you’re talking about organizations who are building our city and giving back to the community, the Sens should be high on your list. 

All great examples of “city building” using social media.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Another good listing of local blogs doing good things can be found here: Essential Ottawa Blogs … but there are so many more great people doing great things with social media in our city.  Feel free to add your favourites to the comments below.

I’ll write more on this topic later in the week, stay tuned…

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Glen Gower

Glen is the owner and founder of He lives in Stittsville, one of Ottawa's most exciting suburbs.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the quick and thorough post of those references. Helpful and informative!<br /><br />Best,<br />Sean

  2. Thanks for posting these – I followed a bunch, but you saved me from tracking down the rest 🙂

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