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Social Circles: This Week in Social Media (October 27, 2014)

Each week, Social Circles brings you the biggest news from behind the social networks. Keep up to date with the latest trends, breaking news, and expert analysis from across the web.

This week’s wrap-up includes the web’s newest platform which promises to pay users, updated privacy measures for Canadian military personnel, and Facebook’s new app which takes mobile users back to the days of chat rooms.

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Carleton’s Anniversary Hashtag Gets a Makeover

Launching a hashtag to promote your brand often provides great potential to expand your reach, connect with fans, and use the power of the masses to help build up reputation. But as Ottawa’s Carleton University found out today, it also provides rife opportunity for subversion.

The school launched a new public awareness campaign this morning to celebrate its 75th anniversary, that follows the theme “Distinctly Carleton.”

As part of the launch, Carleton revealed a new website (as well as a special campaign page) and unveiled massive portraits of famous alumni like former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, writer Lynn Coady, journalist Nahlah Ayed, and Ravens basketball star Philip Scrubb, among others.

Part of the launch also included a hashtag campaign.

It didn’t take long for students and faculty to give the hashtag an entirely different meaning.

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Twitter Activism on a Local Level: The Day a Bridge Tweeted

“I am frustrated….I am alone and cold and I have been left all alone here for a long time!”

These words make up the biography for the “Airport bridge” Twitter account. That’s right, the airport bridge.

Snapshot of Airport Bridge Twitter account

The Twitter account continuing to play up the non-human character.

Launched Monday of this week, the account personifies one of Ottawa’s longest-running municipal disasters, a proposed pedestrian bridge originally scheduled to be completed in October 2011. Nearly three years later and $4.5 million over budget, the bridge remains incomplete.

The bridge has faced a number of problems, from faulty concrete that needed to be torn down and re-poured to rethinking its entire design. While the city expects the bridge to be complete by this year, no construction is currently underway.

As a result, one fed-up citizen decided to take the matter into her/his own hands, and where better to turn than social media?

After a relatively quiet first two days, the Huffington Post published a story about the Twitter account on Wednesday night, when it had 35 followers. By Thursday, the account had taken off. At the time of writing, the bridge’s account was up to over 620 followers.

While the creator of the account has been extremely loyal to the idea of being a personified version of the bridge as opposed to revealing his/her identity, s/he has remained active in pursuing media attention.

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Ravens Survive Gee-Gees in Capital Battle

Published on The CIS Blog on January 12, 2014.


The stands were packed, the benches fired up, and the referees’ whistles put away in this past weekend’s big matchup between heated cross-city rivals #9 Carleton and Ottawa. And while the cliché of “the game being closer than the score reveals” is used a lot, it was certainly true in this one. Despite Ottawa outplaying the Ravens for much of the opening period, Carleton were able to escape with a lead after twenty minutes before opening up a 4-0 lead in the second, en route to a monstrous 5-2 victory.

Ravens Down Ottawa

Kyle Brown

The highly anticipated, crushingly physical game got off to a flying start for the Gee-Gees, who tested Carleton’s backup goaltender Francis Dupuis early and often. Within the first seven minutes of play, the garnet and grey had created a flurry around the Raven net, outshooting the home side 7-0.

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OUA Men’s Hockey Mid-Season Wrap-up

Published on The CIS Blog on January 2, 2014.

It’s been thirty years, but the Queen’s Golden Gaels finally find themselves back in the CIS Top 10 with OUA teams set to hit the ice again and enter the second half of the season. As the games begin to mean more and we come out of the turn and into the final stretch of the playoff push, here’s five of the biggest storylines from the conference over the first half, and that are worth watching as we begin the second.

Gaels on Top

It took until the eighth week for Queen’s to finally crack the top ten and take the eighth spot. In spite of three other OUA teams placing ahead of them in the voters’ eyes, the Gaels find themselves atop the conference standings with a two-point lead on #5 McGill. More impressively, despite racking up two losses in overtime and three as a result of shootouts, the Gaels remain undefeated in regulation, the only team in the OUA who can claim that (the only other in CIS is the #1 Calgary Dinos).

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Top Programs Kick Off Basketball Season in Ottawa

Published on The CIS Blog on November 6, 2013.


Some of the top men’s and women’s basketball programs in the country opened their seasons in Ottawa this past weekend, including both defending CIS champions. Here’s our recap of those games:

Tough Start for Windsor

Following a strong regular season that saw them finish atop of the OUA West last season, the Windsor Lancers looked to rebound from a disappointing missed opportunity to play in the CIS Final 8 basketball championship last season as they lost to Lakehead in the OUA bronze medal game. However, things looked optimistic for the Lancers, who entered the season ranked sixth in the nation. Unfortunately for them, the schedulers weren’t so kind, forcing Windsor to open their season on the road at the opposite end of the province against the no. 1 Carleton Ravens and no. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Coming off of their ninth national championship in the past eleven years, it should be no surprise that the Ravens entered the season ranked atop of the CIS Top Ten. Led by legendary coach Dave Smart and a returning class of standouts including Phil and Thomas Scrubb, as well as Tyson Hinz, Carleton looks poised to contend in achieving their campaign of “Again for Ten.”

It was a high-profile affair to kick off the season at the Raven’s Nest, with a good-sized crowd walking into the arena on a red carpet draped with Ravens cheerleaders on either side while the band provided a traditional university sport soundtrack. A rendition of the national anthem before the game topped off the classy beginning, and the game began.

It took only four seconds for Carleton to put up their first points of the season, as Thomas Scrubb dunked the ball on a fast break off of tip-off. From there, Carleton never looked back, in a game that didn’t see a single lead change. Windsor was able to keep it close through the first quarter, trailing only 23-16.

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Change is Good

Published in Ottawa Magazine, May 2013 issue.


How a terrible accident a decade ago turned software engineer and government worker Jith Paul into a key player in Ottawa’s film industry.

Many filmmakers would say they started on their path the second they picked up a camera as a child.  Others realized if it the first time they watched a film that truly inspired them.  For Jith Paul, however, it was the injury to a vertebra in his back that launched his film career.  In 2002, Paul, who was working as a software engineer at the time, fell while working out at home, injuring his back.  In the aftermath, he worked with an occupational therapist to relearn how to walk.  But as he took care of his physical recovery, Paul’s mental focus was on how to follow his dream of working in the film industry.

Now, just over a decade later, the 41-year-old finds himself overseeing–he jokingly labels himself president, CEO and janitor–Treepot Media, one of Ottawa’s fastest-growing production companies.  But how does someone make such a drastic jump–from a secure job consulting with the government to a player in the notoriously unpredictable film industry?  ”Sometimes you need a catalyst to reorganize your priorities in life,” Paul says.  ”And after the back injury, I decided maybe film was something I wanted to try more than just as a whim.”

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