Saturday, April 17, 2010

My 2-Year Love Affair With Twitter (And The Birth of WebTweet Montréal)

Photo taken from

I’m about to celebrate my second anniversary on Twitter. I joined the now almost mainstream micro-blogging site at the urgency of friend, and fellow Barackanista, McLean Greaves. At the time, McLean & I were fully invested in the U.S. Democratic race (well, as much as Canadians could be). Barack Obama’s name was yet to be on everyone’s lips but McLean & I were watching him closely. Greaves then told me about Twitter and how that’s where the real news about the campaigns could be found. He was right. Details from the candidates’ campaigns hit Twitter days before mainstream media would report them. Remember the celebrity-filled “Yes We Can” video? It hit Twitter about 10 days before any major news outlet reported on it and on its influence. In the media, 10 days is an eternity.

Fast-forward to November 4th: Election Day. McLean joined me in Montréal, from Toronto, to be the Head-Tech Producer at the pro-Obama electoral party I held at Opus Hotel. He had concocted the most elaborate and cool set-up so our guests could be connected to the planet. 2 giant screens: one with a CNN live feed, and another with live feed from similar Obama parties being held in such cities as Brisbane and Vancouver. The piece de résistence was the Twitter id he had created just for the event: @CanadaforObama. And, just like that, we were in touch with thousands of people who just like us, were ready for a new world order and who wanted to share their micro-thoughts, live and in 140 characters while awaiting the coronation of King Obama.

Also at the event, sitting at the media table where reporters were filing their articles for the next day, was Philippe Martin. I had known of Philippe only by reputation. He was and still is known as one of the pioneer bloggers in Montréal & in Paris. I had invited Philippe to be a blogger at the event. He responded enthusiastically and said, with even more enthusiasm: “Oh, and I’ll also tweet ”. – and so he did. Since then, Philippe has become not only a friend but also a lantern in my emerging career in social media. So it was no coincidence that he was the first person I went to see months ago when I had the idea to bring to Montreal a "140 Characters Conference". Philippe immediately put me on the right path with ideas and eventually, he introduced me to Claude Malaison who’s helping me making it happen with Michel Chioni at next month’s WebCom in Montréal.

Together, we’re producing & programming the first WebTweet Montréal: a conference on Twitter and on its influence on various industries (such as Fashion, Journalism, Politics, Business, Culture & Love). The conference will be part of the 8th edition of WebCom Montréal next May 26th. I’m excited about wearing not only the PR hat for the event but also that of co-programmer. And because I’m not a total geek, we’re also cooking up quite the cocktail party to close out the Conference.

Many distracters who dared criticizing Twitter without even having tried it, seem to think it, & other social media tools, distance people and cut them from the real world. Au contraire, dear dinosaurs. Twitter has connected me to worlds I have yet to travel to. It has made me taste restaurants even before I’ve set foot into them. It has enabled me to be part of political & social protests just by the simple acts of Re-tweeting and hashtagging. Most importantly, I’ve made new friends via Twitter and it has made me discover people, in my own City, who I cannot wait to meet. And that, is more powerful than any 140 characters put together.

For updated information on the upcoming WebTweet Montréal, follow us here. I look forward to seeing you on May 26th.


At Home with Kim Vallee said...

Looking forward to meet you at WebTweet. I hope that we will be able to show people that our tweets matter.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at could post it.


Martine | Le Groupe Milagro said...

Hi Alex,

What link are you looking for? I'll help you find it.

Anonymous said...

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