June 17, 2011

From Vancouver to The World

Welcome to our Instant Life

Business owners and managers who have yet gone deep with a digital presence often worry about the time commitment, the ability to manage the content, the sheer volume of information and the return on their investment.

This week we watched in disgust as thousands of people went on a rampage in downtown Vancouver moments after the Canucks lost their second bid at a Stanley Cup. Over a hundred people have been arrested so far, clearly a tiny fraction of those who should be brought to justice, and a couple of hundred people were injured which in itself is a miracle. There have been incidents like this in the past where lives were lost.

Good Versus Bad

The actions are inexcusable. If you are upset that your team lost a hockey game, go home and smash your own house and car. But the very tools that were used to broadcast the Vancouver events to the world in an instant this week will slowly turn positive in two distinct ways.

There is video evidence of the actual people who did the damage and hurt others. It astounds me how anyone can destroy property, hurt others and happily film themselves doing it. There are thousands of Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube accounts littered with the names and images for authorities to sift through but the bigger question is one I’m not sure we can answer – why did this happen and if the Canucks had won, would it have happened anyway? It’s easy to say a small group of thugs started it – time will tell – but that doesn’t excuse thousands – yes, thousands – of others joining in.

Bad Turns Good

But the other positive result is that in mere hours, hundreds of Vancouverites were on the streets cleaning up their city and tens of thousands of supporters were spreading the news through various Facebook groups. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful, clean, fun, engaging cities on earth. If you have never been, I implore you to do so. If you have been, go again and let’s not let the bad ones prove what some are suspecting is a long hill to climb to improve the city’s reputation.

The digital age gives us reasonably inexpensive tools to spread ideas quickly. The social web has opened up avenues to people who share our interests all over the world. But the events of Wednesday night in Vancouver remind us the responsibility we have with our web presence and content.

Let’s remember our responsibility as human beings.

Kneale Mann

image credit: thescore
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