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Keyboard warriors!

Maybe it’s because I am getting a bit older and my skin is thinning somewhat, but more and more, I am getting annoyed with these Keyboard Warriors© who like to furiously and constantly hammer out their frustrations with <insert topic here> and the incompetence of the . That is all well and good. We are free to tappy-tappy on our screens or keys to our hearts’ content when the universe is perceived to be askance.

And hey! Exercising this freedom is one way to hold politicos to account. No more can your local School Board Trustee, Councillor, MP, MPP, Prime Minister or Assistant Dog Catcher (if you’re in the States, cuz they elect EVERYONE down there!) hide in their leather appointed offices sipping their lattes and pretending not to hear the mobs at the door! No way, uh-uh! Those warriors will track you down and give you a good whippin’ on Twitter or on Facebook or Instagram, etc., etc. You will be humbled, humiliated and dragged through Swamps of Digital Slime!©

But for the sake of all we volunteers and activists everywhere: if you’re not happy about something, please do more than take pot-shots!

Keyboard Warrior© guys and gals are everywhere – quick to point out faults, deficiencies or inconveniences in their communities but slow to step up and get involved and do something to change the things that they finds so objectionable.

There are a couple of these Keyboard Warriors in my community and on my Twitter feed. Most of their venting is aimed at a couple of the local Councillors, but the Mayor himself is often the target. I mean, this one guy blames the local politics for EVERYTHING! Hydro trucks blocking bikes lanes, dirty road signs, faulty card readers at city parking spots, snow on the sidewalk… the list goes on ad nauseum. I’m not saying that local pols shouldn’t be informed if services levels are not up to snuff, but geez, do they HAVE to be berated for EVERYTHING?

And when they run out of tangible things to complain about, said targets are then told they are wasteful spending, ego-driven, budget-unconscious, deaf-to-the-community, anti-cyclist demagogues.

So fine – feel free to complain. But you know what? I never seen one of these Keyboard Warriors out in the community working to improve it in some way. I don’t see them volunteering at a school, their community association, their place of worship, their kid’s hockey team.. nada. I’m a pretty plugged in guy in my neck of the woods but have never seen one of these Keyboard Warriors© or have heard their name mentioned in a community involvement context.

So, Keyboard Warriors©? Go ahead and whine all you want. Because to me and lots like me, until you pick up that clipboard, run some soccer drills, volunteer at a community health centre or organise a potluck community dinner, I’m paying little attention.


Credit where due…

I’m becoming increasingly impressed with the degree to which some public and private organisations are using social media to improve customer service.

Case in point: the hydro pole in my elderly neighbour’s back yard had begun to tilt dramatically over the past year or so. So much so that my cable and phone lines were only about 7 feet off the ground. I was waiting for my neighbour to call about it, but when that didn’t happen (honestly, I don’t think he even noticed it or remembered after I chatted with him about it last fall) I figgered I’d give the utility a buzz.

So, I go on their site to find which of the numerous emails and phone numbers I should use, when I noticed they were on Twitter. So, what the hell, I like to see now and then if organisations actually use their SM accounts and don’t just have them to show that they’re hip.

I Tweet the problem late Saturday afternoon and what do ya know, I receive a Tweet back Monday morning asking me to DM (that’s direct message, for those not in “the know”) them with the address. I complied and what do ya know (again), my daughter calls me on Tuesday morning (in a panicky voice cuz the poor girl cannot imagine a house without electricity) to say that a Hydro Ottawa guy came to the door saying that the power will be out for a half hour or so while they fix the pole.

Sent Tweet on Saturday, April 13. Receive Tweet back on Monday, fixed on Tuesday.

Now THAT’S how to use SM to improve customer service…


From the Twitterverse…

Best Tweet of the day:

joebyer 6:13pm via Flipboard

Expecting Fox to report on the death of “cyclist Neil Armstrong” any minute now.
Retweeted by LadySnarksalot


If you want to see…

… how utterly pathetic CPC trolls can be, and you’re on Twitter, check out the Tweets spewed out by @RobertRoss4.

Wow. The dude clearly hasn’t a life. Probably paid by the CPC to sit at his computer all day and think of anti-progressive vitriol.

They, um, should re-evaluate the quality of this investment.

  • Once again the Liberals prove themselves to be double-speak hypocrites.Harper will be PM until he gets bored. eh NDP #cdnpoli
  • YABBUT STEPHEN HARPER RODE AN ATV ON SOME SAND!!!!!!!!!!! says the Liberals we honest crooks eh FRANKIE BOY #cdnpoli
  • Come on now. It’s the Liberals. Is anyone shocked by this? This is the Party of corruption after all. EH QUE VOTERS #CDNPOLI

For the record, I am sitting outside on this beautiful Saturday, typing this on my phone… then it’s off to mow the lawn and later out to dinner with my wife this evening.

I have a life.


Lots of Twitter bitterness…

… these days. And on both sides of the political spectrum.

Decorum, it seems, has taken a vacation.

The worst Tweets I have seen have lately been attacking and mocking the late Jack Layton:

RT @JohnnyJesus: Do you think #dearjack called the girls Olivia when he was getting Shiatsu’ed ? #ndpquestions#ndp#dearjackmeoff#CdnPoli

I know the Left has been increasingly and equally vitriolic, but I haven’t seen them attacking the recently dead.

How far is too far, folks?


Using FB and Twitter…

…seems to be becoming popular as direct lines to an omnipotent, omnipresent being. And I’m getting quite bored with it all.

Specifically, I’ve had quite enough of Facebook updates, Twitter tweets that go something like this:

“I know 99% of my friends won’t re-post this, but please do if you believe that prayers work / Jesus loves me / God is great”, etc.

Just saying…

Yeah, I’m an atheist, but seriously, do Christians really believe that Jesus has a Facebook account? That he tweets? The Almighty is LinkedIn?


Oh well, I know that these posts won’t go away. I could just give up social media altogether if it bothers me that much, eh?



Friday miscellany…Twitter edition – Hudak and junk food too!

Things I am learning about Twitter.

  1. Don’t try to engage those who are so blinded by dogmatism that they can’t even wish you a good morning without first judging your views on the CPC law and order agenda.
  2. Don’t take things personally. There are some real jerks in the Twitterverse.
  3. Do defend what you say but if confronted with facts that refute your argument, back down instead of going off on an irrelevant tangent.
  4. Respectfully acknowledge those with whom you engage – even if you disagree with them.
  5. Play nice – be polite.  Rudeness does not get you anywhere and undermines your legitimacy.


Some Tweeps are pretending that they are really in the HoC on the Government side during QP. Instead of answering a question or engaging in debate, they come back with a completely unrelated missive in response to a legitimate comment.

Let me show you.

baldjam(me) baldjam: So what happens after the Cons run out of fugitives?Make more fugitives?Will I become a fugitive?Will u? #cdnpoli 5:03pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite
CanadianSenseCanadianSense: @baldjam U seem out of touch with the public opinion on many files including those found inadmissible. #cdnpoli 5:07pm, Aug 18 from TweetDeck
baldjambaldjam: @canadiansense Sorry. Not following. What public opinion and which files and what are inadmissible to whom? 5:12pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite
baldjambaldjam: @canadiansense I wondered that since crime & punishment is the #CPC‘s calling card,what would happen if all the bad guys were caught? 5:27pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite
CanadianSenseCanadianSense: @baldjam Do u know the # of people deemed inadmissible(s) status we can’t find? 5:33pm, Aug 18 from TweetDeck
baldjambaldjam: @canadiansense Huh? And Holy Crime Superhero! Why do you have to be so damned rude? #cdnpoli 6:43pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite

CanadianSense CanadianSense: @baldjam That was quick, no more defense of illegal aliens, now U want to protect pot smokers? #cdnpoli

No. I didn’t follow either. I really think that some of these guys have so many convos going on at once that they mix up their venom!

But, I have only myself to blame… shouldn’t try to engage these types in a meaningful debate. Too bad, because there are those out there with whom I do not agree politically BUT can still have a good back and forth… damned extremists.. which leads me to…


Tim Hudak – Ontario’s version of a Tea Partier…

I was very disappointed to see a talk by former Premier Bill Davis (he used to be my Grandfather’s lawyer, ya know!) disrupted by a few of the ol’ Double-Double’s flunkies. This is a tact used by the We Don’t Want to Hear Facts. Facts are Socialist Tea Party in the States. Show up at a public event. Spew meaningless venom. Leave.

Hudak supporters/candidates showed up at a speech by Davis in Brampton to hold up a sign saying “don’t let them fool you!”  Aside from being unclear, (i.e. who’s doing the fooling to whom??)  its also disrespectful to a former leader of their own party.  There was some question as to whether the three holding the sign were there at the invitation of Davis and whether the sign was directed towards the Liberal Party.  However a friend who is more in the loop on such political matters says that this would be contrary to the purpose of the event and that Hudak has been trying to disassociate his party from so called “Red Conservatives” for some time now. The fact that this situation is ambiguous is a statement in itself.  An article in this morning’s Brampton Post reported that the three Conservative candidates were not invited and had to be asked to move away from the podium as they were blocking the view to the speakers.

Yup. Time Hudak = Tea Party North. Don’t need jerks like these at Queen’s Park. Don’t need U.S.-style divisiveness.

Oh wait, we already HAVE that!


You want to be well-informed about the economy? Worried about the market ups and downs? Wondering if you should lock in that interest rate on the mortgage? Follow Stephen Gordon on Twitter (@stephenfgordon) or read his columns. This is informed information.


Check this tasty treat out – served at the CNE this year… but even Coke won’t allow its name to be attached to this 1000 calories heart attack in a cup!


What a summer, eh? At least if you were in my neck of the woods. Yeah, it’s winding down now but I cannot remember the last time we had consistently beautiful weather for such a long period of time! But, alas, the season will turn soon…

Happy last couple weeks of summer everyone!



Update – Ottawa Twitter riding hashtags for #elxn41


There is another movement out there to have the 2011 election hashtags in a more intuitive format than basing them on the standard Elections Canada descriptors. Here are those for the Ottawa area ridings.

  • Ottawa Centre -#ottc
  • Ottawa—Orléans – #otto
  • Ottawa South – #otts
  • Ottawa—Vanier – #ottv
  • Ottawa West—Nepean – #ottwn
  • Nepean—Carleton -#nepcar
  • Carleton—Mississippi Mills – #cmm

I guess the choice over one or the other will become evident in the coming days.


If you are in Ottawa and follow politics on Twitter, you need to know which hashtags to follow. So in a fit of community service, I have compiled the following list.

If you do not live in the area or are not on Twitter, please ignore this post and go back to your regular business.


  • Ottawa South  #r35064
  • Ottawa Centre #r35062
  • Ottawa—Vanier #r35065
  • Ottawa West—Nepean #r35066
  • Ottawa—Orléans #r35063
  • Nepean—Carleton #r35052
  • Carleton—Mississppi Mills #r35012

Thanks to for this!


Is the blog really dead?

Warren Kinsella thinks so.

Do you?

Has the blog been surpassed by Twitter and Facebook as the communication tool of choice? Already?

Food for thought.

My take is that blogs will go back to being what they were in the early years (10ish years ago) – very narrowly-focused issue-based discussion forums – rather than rambling prose wandering  across all levels of subject matter and quality.

Blogs are not dead but will undergo quite a transformation in the next few years.

But my crystal ball is in the shop for repairs right now…

And I’m not quite ready to pack in Trashy’s World just yet…


Mubarak – overthrown by Twitter?

Is Hosni Mubarak the first Dictator to be ousted with the help of social media?

The Twitterverse has been rife with updates on the uprisings – Tweets from within Egypt. The authorities tried to shut down information networks but to no avail. Protesters used social media to get the word out to each other and the rest of the world. Popular uprisings succeed only if momentum is maintained, and the social media fed into this momentum.

Yet this is indeed great news. But questions remain.

Will the Army relinquish control when free elections are held?

Dictators are often replaced by dictators – will this be the case in Egypt?

What country is next?