Vancouver’s hungry for open dialogue on media and ethncity

Me in Media: The Team
Photo credit: Jeremy Lim

Last Tuesday, the United Nations Association in Canada and Schema Magazine co-hosted Me in Media, a public town hall to explore how we can make Vancouver a more inclusive city through media.

CoopCulture helped sponsor the event and, as its Director of Online Media, I put together the social media strategy to promote this free event.

As always, it’s gratifying to see an event come together after months of patient planning over coffee, Skype calls, phone calls and Google Docs.

But most importantly, it’s invigorating to be in a room filled with likeminded people who are passionate about the same thing that drives us to volunteer our time: how we can use media to make positive change.

Over the course of two hours, people sent out 352 tweets that included the event’s hashtag, #meinmedia, and we became a trending topic in Vancouver.

Screenshot of Trendsmap showing trending topics in Vancouver

Five days after the event, the number of total tweets has risen to 661. In fact, the most recent 50 tweets have reached 20, 453 people and produced 47,707 impressions according to TweetReach.

Screenshot of Tweetreach, showing reach of most recent 50 tweets for #meinmedia


The numbers show how hungry we are for more events like #NetCulture and Me in Media where we can come together, be candid and brainstorm new ideas.

Check out our live blog below for a tweet-by-tweet transcript of the evening.

What do you think our next town hall should tackle?

Live Blog: #NetCulture: Stories of Culture + Diversity in Social Media

Woot! On Tuesday, April 5, I’ll live blogging #NetCulture: Stories of Culture + Diversity in Social Media right here. Speakers from our culturally diverse communities will share how social media has helped them strengthen their identities, roots and friendships. Go to for the full agenda and list of speakers, bios and presentation topics.

Social Media—Where We All Share Status

Immigrants among Vancouver’s highest social media content producers

Twitter escultura de arena

Last week, Delvinia and Environics Analytics published a new online study about Canadians’ social media habits. Among other trends, the study revealed the high rate of adoption of tools like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn among immigrants trying to maintain old networks and establish new ones.

#NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity

The results struck a chord immediately given the fact I’m volunteering to support #NetCulture, an upcoming event on April 5 where six local speakers from Vancouver’s culturally diverse communities will share how social media has helped them strengthen their identities, roots and friendships.

Based on the study, it’s no coincidence that #NetCulture will take place in Vancouver. In fact, Canada’s three largest and most diverse cities— Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal—are responsible for producing “more than three-quarters of all Canadian social media content.” And as major urban destinations for immigrants moving to the country, these cities are natural hubs for events like #NetCulture.

Stellar Speakers

Veronica Heringer, one of the six speakers at #NetCulture, immigrated to Canada from Brazil and now runs where she writes about social media marketing, PR, advertising and the ups and downs of being a foreigner in Canada. From documenting her quest for citizenship to publishing periodically in Portuguese, Veronica epitomizes the “young, upwardly mobile immigrants” building a network by creating engaging content online.

Immigrants are also more likely to meet in person with people who they connected with online than rural Anglophones or upscale suburban Francophones. This thread will weave through Paola Viviana Murillo and Norma Ibarra’s presentation at #NetCulture. is a virtual plaza that links Latinos and educates local Vancouverites about Latin America. Paola and Norma will discuss how they help create virtual connections on that translate into successful offline events.

“A disproportionate number of older immigrants are also contributing to the online dialogue,” the study reveals.

Aptly, retiree Ashok Puri who came to Canada in 1969 will speak at #NetCulture about his experiences couch-surfing in Nepal, Mexico, China and India. Plus, he just launched his own blog, Papa Puri’s Kitchen, where he’ll post on travel, food and Ayurvedic health topics.

Jay Catalan and RJ Aquino—recently profiled with other emerging leaders from the Filipino Canadian community in Living Today—are using tools like Facebook to drive awareness of their initiative. Tulayan, Tagalog for “bridge,” is a volunteer-run group that hosts cultural events as diverse as a 10-week language program and Pinoy story time at VPL to networking over wine and keso (cheese).

Way Too Azn’s Ray Hsu and Zi-ann Lum will showcase how they harnessed social media to respond to recent portrayals of Asians in the media—helping to spark a national debate about multiculturalism and inclusiveness.

For the “interculturally minded,” Jordana Mah will uncover how Schema Magazine has used social media and the web to highlight people, events, and issues that speak to a generation that is moving seamlessly through cultures rather than between them.

C U @ #NetCulture

The survey of 23, 144 Canadians’ social media habits nicely sets the context for next Tuesday’s discussion. But statistics are only half of any story. For a far more intimate and lively look at how each of us can use social media to share stories of culture and diversity, I’ll be in a front-row seat at #NetCulture.

To register for this free event, please visit

Photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa

#NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity in Social Media
Photo Credit: nrivera

On April 5, local storytellers from diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds will share how they’ve used social media to create meaningful communities online with interested members of the public at the Vancouver Public Library. #NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity in Social Media is a free event co-sponsored by the VPL, Net Tuesday Vancouver and Cooperative Culture—an initiative spearheaded by my friends, Ajay Puri and Sean Stiller.

The event is designed to showcase how individuals (and organizations) are using tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to strengthen and celebrate their diverse identities, roots and connections. In Kety Esquivel’s words, “multicultural social media looks at difference and acknowledges we are not all the same.”

As the VP of Digital Strategy at Ogilvy Public Relations and a long-time advocate for the Latino community, Kety will join the event as the keynote speaker via Skype. She will take questions so I’ll be re-reading her article, 3 Reasons You Should Care About Multicultural Social Media & 3 Tips for Multicultural Social Media Success in preparation.

The main act is six rapid-fire talks loosely based on the “PechaKucha” style of presentation. Each of the speakers will have seven minutes to share their personal stories. Stories will range from Ashok Puri’s tips on joining the global couch-surfing community through Facebook and YouTube to how Jay Catalan and RJ Aquino are using social media to create a bridge for young Filipinos in Vancouver to connect with their culture, heritage and history.

Kety & Ashok
Kety Esquivel
Kety Esquivel
Ashok Puri
Ashok Puri
Jay & RJ
Jay Catalan
Jay Catalan
RJ Aquino
RJ Aquino
Ray & Zi-Ann
Ray Hsu
Ray Hsu
Zi-Ann Lum
Zi-Ann Lum
Paola & Norma
Paola Viviana Murillo
Paola Viviana Murillo
Norma Ibarra
Norma Ibarra
Veronica & Jordana
Veronica Heringer
Veronica Heringer
Jordana Mah
Jordana Mah

Once all the presenters have spoken, they will form a panel and field questions from the audience. For me, this is another excellent example of peer-to-peer sharing in the local community that complements events hosted by industry experts.

What will you ask #NetCulture speakers? Step up to the mic on Tuesday, April 5 at the VPL or post/tweet your question to @CoopCulture. On the day of the event, you’ll also be able to follow along via live blog.

#NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity in Social Media

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

The event is free, but advance registration is required.

#NetCulture Registration