Start with a beautiful time-warped seaside town (19th century England for the model), with a large and growing retirement community. Add in an old boy’s network that for decades has had its liver-spotted hands wrapped around the throat of the City, so that things like city planning, social networks and business communities are dominated by the same established voices.
Sprinkle in a prodigal son/daughter phenomenon, that sees disgruntled children heading off to more vibrant and forward thinking communities in their callow youth, only to return with their own families more or less espousing their parents conservative view of the way things should stay the same here, thereby extending the cycle.
And there’s old Victoria for you.
Now, spread a layer of emerging social media networks over the top and you end up with a remarkably different flavour.
As Janis La Couvée commented on our blog yesterday, Victoria has an active culture of people who have used Twitter to meet face to face. This has created the counter-culture business community that the old boys’ network has no part in: they don’t even get it, let alone like it.
All of a sudden, it’s a new game:
- Tweetups are regular and well-attended.
- Paul Holmes led a push – and succeeded – to have June 30th declared Social Media day by Mayor Dean Fortin.
- Social Media Camp on October 3rd is going to be huge.
- Our Twestivals out-pull Vancouver’s.
The result is a dynamic new vibe led by people who embrace growth, challenge, change and collective spirit…and they don’t even have proper names: b_west, RussLoL, cpudan, lacouvee, footbutterguy, YukariP, tpholmes, Rod_Phillips…these are some of the new voices of influence in our town.
Victoria is leading the way for communities across the country. Not a bad place to be as the digital worm turns!