Thursday, June 28, 2007

CBC's Facebook effort is not that bad

With my company's relaunch almost history, I'm finally able to step out of the bubble I've been in for weeks.

I've been able to read the news again - and you'll note the Net News items on the right are now mostly new.

An item today on caught my eye as it mentioned my current cyber-addiction, Facebook, and had a Canadian connection.

The article, CBC ‘wish list' experiment dogged by controversy presents a rather biased look at CBC's "The Great Canadian Wish List" project on Facebook.

Despite the hugeness of the bubble I was in, I can't believe I missed this project completely.

The Great Canadian Wish List is an attempt to encourage public discussion on items Canadians would like to see to make Canada a better country, in honour of our upcoming 140th birthday. I believe Facebook was used as there was already a sizable bunch of Canadians there (Canadians are world leaders in Facebook adoption), the technology was pretty much already in place, and to help capture a younger audience than the public broadcaster normally does.

Canadians can join groups to "Wish" for the items they care about. There are also discussions on the main group page and on the individual wish pages.

I joined tonight and its biggest shortcoming are immediately apparent: 1) this enterprise was hijacked by nut jobs with agendas 2) the generaly idiocy of many people. But it is not all bad.

Yes the top five wishes overall are:
1) Abolish abortion in Canada
2) I wish that Canada would remain pro-choice
3) For a spiritual revival in our nation
4) Restore the traditional definition of marriage
5) I wish tuition fees would be either lowered or eliminated

But then the next five are:
6) It's time for drastic measures to save our environment
7) Canada should keep abortions and gay marriage legal
8) A Canada where no one must choose between paying for rent and their medication
9) Proportional representation
10) Greener Canada

Some of these groups cheated to raise their wish and that is unfortunate. The article was quick to point out the CBC's faults for not maintaining tighter reigns. But to do so would have ruined the honesty (whether we like it or not) and uncouthness that is not only part of the fun, but the entire point.

I enjoyed voting for "Alaska should be part of Canada" as one of my wishes. But I also wished for help for the mentally ill.

The effort wasn't perfect, but then neither are people. For instance, there's a discussion on "I Hate Toronto" fueled, no doubt, by stupid, bitter trolls. But then there's also a discussion with even more posts on decriminalizing prostitution and that's not a topic conventional media or politicians are pushing for.

I applaud the CBC for trying something different and exploring innovative uses of the medium. Perhaps the other media outlets should spend less time criticizing other's online efforts and do something cool on their own.

No comments: