Saturday, December 27, 2008

Recession is make believe in Winnipeg

With little surprise, the streets were lined with eager bargain hunters throughout the Boxing Day bonanza. People lovingly escaped their homes in droves to support the many deals being offered by Winnipeg's favorite big box chains and boutiques. But wait... isn't there a recession? Aren't we all out of money?

Of course we're not out of money silly... they'll just print more. Few are immune to the sickness that is consumption, whether we have the means or not. Credit is a driving force for many of us, being the main reason we get out of bed in the morning. Because I owe, I must go and earn to pay for that which I need; such as the $1 singing X-mas tree, regular $28, that some bozo in Winnipeg faught over at XS Cargo. Phew... we can sleep easier knowing this prized retail gem is now in such caring hands. But really, do you realize that for many people debt is the one thing in their life that they can rely. Knowing that everyday that are enslaved to pay back what can never be paid back. Knowing that you never can results in further spending as we can all rely on the one ultimate insurance for paying down credit... death. A great book about the sick relationship we all have with debt is Margaret Atwood's "Payback." A great read considering today's economic realities and the behaviours of today's consumer.

Do we even believe in recesssion anymore? Can anyone born after 1980 in North America really believe that one day there would be no food in the grocery store or new tune to download onto their Ipod? How can we? Anytime the economy heads into a dire situation, the U.S. government just prints more money. Money is debt people because once its created and borrowed you owe interest. The imaginary cost to borrowing something that doesn't really exist. Yes... as identified in a favorite movie of mine Zeitgeist: the Addendum (you'll have to Google it people as the link hyperlink wouldn't work) 97% of the money supply is virtual, only 3% is in its physical form.

So, we can all rest easy knowing that the sky isn't falling. Spend people, add some room on your credit card, take that trip you've been dreaming about. As the saying goes "you can't take it with you" and you know - when it boils down to it - you really don't care about the generations to come... "you got yours baby and I got mine."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winnipeg open for business... again

I recently read the article titled "Manitoba's Inland Port is open for business." The article discussed the appointment of the Board of Directors for CentrePort Canada - leaders in Manitoba representing transportation, construction, manufacturing and marketing . I then went on to Google each of the board members to learn more about their background and experience. (I would have simply went to the website for CentrePort Canada, but there isn't one) I was especially interested in the board's marketing expertise, based mainly on the article's title.

It seems Winnipeg has been open for business for sometime. This was the catch phrase used by Sam Katz when first elected as Mayor back in 2004, and can be found in a number of articles that used the slogan to promote Winnipeg to the world, including some by CentrePort Canada board member Bob Silver of Destination Winnipeg. These articles discuss all the beautiful amenities our city has to offer, along with the economical benefits such as cheap hydro. The message remains consistent with recent press on the city, but is anyone hearing it?

My concern is that if we've been open for business for this long, why is it that we still struggle so much to raise our profile as a city both nationally and internationally? Is is that we have little to offer or is it that only a few are getting the message?

With all the positive additions coming to the city between the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, the Inland Port and a potential new stadium to name a few, my hope is that the business leaders responsible for delivering this message will catch up to the new media available for delivery. We've seen a glimpse of this recently by Destination Winnipeg and their "Incredibly Cool" website, and the "Manitoba's Coolest Companies" online campaign on the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce website. The effectiveness of these campaigns is yet to be determined, but its refreshing to see the evolution.

My question: Is there anyone in Winnipeg with the expertise in new media to guide the good intentions of our business leaders as they battle to put Winnipeg on the international map? If so, we're open for business.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winnipeg Company helps Obama's Campaign for the Presidency

Well the company has been giving no comments for some time even though it has been well documented on the web by many webmasters that indeed Barack Obama had help and advise for his online campaign.

We came across the snippet on the official Obama HQ Blog which has now been removed.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need Barack Obama Blog

Over the last few weeks, hundreds of thousands of supporters have shared their thoughts and experiences with us, on both the campaign itself and the work that still lies ahead.

Through our online survey, through email, through the My.BarackObama community blogs and in the comments here on the HQ blog, you've shared your stories, your insights and your hopes for the future.

I would like to give thanks to Jerry Booth and his company Fresh Traffic for showing us the way forward online, their expertize has been invaluable in this campaign.

If this is true the company they are referring to are right here in Winnipeg, a press release went out in May 2008 when Jerry Booth came here.

If the rumours are right, he got the gig becuase he has Oprah Winfrey as a client and she is a friend and supporter of Obama, if true how cool is that for Winnipeg?