I am a long time volunteer for the Chamber of Commerce in High River, AB.  During the time I’ve been involved in increasing the Chamber’s presence on the web. I am excited to present this online newsletter/blog for the benefit of the Chamber, its members and others who may find it of interest.  This site is intended to be an addition to the official site at High River Chamber of Commerce.

This blogsite is presented as a part of my assignment for a course in Web Design I am taking at the Academy of Learning in High River, AB. This course is presented online through a partnership with Sessions.edu Online School of Design. 

In this exercise I have set up accounts with Twitter, Digg, Flickr, YouTube and of course, WordPress. The Chamber already has a Facebook page that is cared for and fed by another volunteer but it will be my responsibility to keep these pages updated with timely information regarding the Chamber of Commerce and its membership.

 I had my reservations about using Twitter for the Chamber, but during the sign up process for it I was pleased to note that the World Chamber of Commerce has a twitter feed.  I believe Twitter can  come to be a valuable tool, provided our membership is willing the embrace it as such.  We are a rural oriented community near Calgary, AB and while we do have a number of citizens who commute to Calgary the town is also heavily involved in agriculture and business enterprises conducted right here in our little home town. So the challenge will be to have people in our community remembering to follow us.  The town of High River has recently started using Twitter as a part of its emergency response program; so it isn’t a totally new concept to our community.

The word ‘twitter’ is defined as: short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. Which to its devloper, Jack Dorsey, seemed a perfect example of what it was.  Launched publicly in 2006, Twitter has quickly become a part of the online culture, with many celebrities using it to maintain a more personal contact with their fans.  Even the current president of the USA, Barak Obama has a twitter account.  The messages are called Tweets and followers are referred to as Tweeps (twitter plus peeps) in the currently acceptable venacular of web lingo.  

Along  with the Town of High River, AB, many cities and towns are using Twitter as a part of their emergency response programs as well as daily informational ‘tweets’ about traffic issues, road closures and other ‘quick bursts of information’ perhaps more consequential than originally intended.  Twitter is very easily accessed by apps on various smartphones as well as the almost old fashioned online website access.

Of course, the fun part of Twitter usage  is still about being able to tweet with your favorite celeb.  As a cynic, I’d venture that while some celebrities probably do take twittering with their fans seriously, there are a fair few who employ someone to strategically tweet about upcoming ventures and performances.  Celebritydom is, after all, a business and exposing one’s business to the largest audience is a tried and true method of creating revenue. 

In just a few short years, from a closed system to world wide access, Twitter recently entered into other worldly communication with this noteworthy Tweet.

“The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message was posted from the International Space Station by NASAastronautT. J. Creamer on January 22, 2010.  By late November 2010, an average of a dozen updates per day were posted on the astronauts’ communal account, @NASA_Astronauts.”

Just as it’s become common place for companies to include a URL in their print ads, it’s equally as common to have a Twitter feed as well.  Some have ventured as far as saying that if you’re not on Twitter you’re not fully connected to the world.

What makes Twitter such a shining example of Web 2.0 for me, is how dynamic it is. This isn’t just some message posted on a forum somewhere waiting for people to find it. This 140 character message is ‘pushed’ out to the followers of the party sending the Tweet, inviting response, commentary and sometimes even action from its recipients.  You don’t even need to follow all your faves on Twitter, as many other media sources often quote Tweets as part of human interest and in some cases, hard news stories.

-Your Chamber at Work