State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – 2009 Year in Review

Welcome to the State of the Edmonton Twittersphere: 2009 Year in Review, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton in 2009!

I’ve done my best to ensure that everything is accurate, but take all the data you see here with a grain of salt. If I make any changes, I’ll update at the bottom of the post.

The source of the data is a combination of Twitter and Twitter Search. If a user has his or her location set to Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, or matching lat/long coordinates, they are considered an Edmontonian.

If you compare the monthly statistics here to my monthly State of the Edmonton Twittersphere posts, you’ll notice they are slightly different. The monthly posts represent a snapshot – over the year I got better at identifying local users, retrieving missing updates, etc. This posts reflects the most up-to-date information I have been able to gather.


I identified just over 14,000 local users who posted at least one tweet in 2009. In December, I identified 5654 local users who posted at least one tweet throughout the month. Our peak for active users was in November, at 5989.

Here are the 2009 summarized statistics:

# of tweets by local users: 2,410,017
# of tweets by local users containing #yeg: 138,047 (5.7%)
# of tweets by local users that were replies: 868,722 (36.0%)
# of tweets by local users containing links: 477,637 (19.8%)
# of tweets by local users that were retweets: 112,463 (4.7%)
# of tweets by local users that were twooshes: 84,180 (3.5%)

Here are the numbers above in graphic form:

And here’s a closer look at the total number of tweets posted by local users per month:

The 2.4 million tweets posted by local users in 2009 works out to about 4.6 tweets per minute. Just over half (52.2%) all of tweets were posted between 9 AM and 5 PM.


Starting in mid-July, I improved the way my systems track hashtags. Looking at the data now, I’m struck by the sheer number of hashtags that have been used by local users! From mid-July through December of 2009, I identified 29,469 unique hashtags. Here are the top ten:

  1. #yeg
  2. #Oilers
  3. #ff
  4. #ableg
  5. #followfriday
  6. #yegtraffic
  7. #fb
  8. #fun140
  9. #edmonton
  10. #yyc

Of course, #yeg is far and away the most popular. To put it into perspective:

Here’s what the tag cloud looks like without the top ten hashtags:

Another interesting stat related to hashtags: there were 437 unique tags used that started with #yeg. Here are the top ten:

  1. #yegtraffic
  2. #yegfood
  3. #yegtransit
  4. #yegfringe
  5. #yegchange
  6. #yegcc
  7. #yegphoto
  8. #yegfoodbank
  9. #yegsafetymtg
  10. #yegtweetup

The average length of a hashtag (excluding the #) was 11.25 characters, while the most common hashtag length was 9 characters. Hashtags four characters or less in length were used 2.25 times more than hashtags ten characters or more in length.


Twitter started reporting the client used to post updates in mid-February, so the data below is for almost the entire year. In total, I identified 754 different clients that were used by local users to post updates. Here are the top ten:

  1. web
  2. TweetDeck
  3. UberTwitter
  4. TwitterFon/EchoFon
  5. Tweetie
  6. txt
  7. Twitterrific
  8. twitterfeed
  9. TwitterBerry
  10. mobile web

Here they are in graphic form:

In total, the Twitter website accounted for 39.2% of all updates. The top ten clients together accounted for 82.2% of all updates.


Here are the top ten most followed local users:

  1. revtrev
  2. Pat_Lorna
  3. wearestereos
  4. DrBarryLycka
  5. subunit1
  6. LesM
  7. DarleneV
  8. dragonage
  9. dancinginlife
  10. redneckmommy

There are 181 users with 1000 followers or more, and 1449 users with 100 followers or more.

Here are the top ten most listed local users:

  1. DaBaby
  2. revtrev
  3. dragonage
  4. redneckmommy
  5. dancinginlife
  6. paradepro
  7. Pat_Lorna
  8. lealea
  9. gsiemens
  10. wearestereos

There are 2799 users who appear on at least one list. Among those, the average user appears on ten lists.

Here are the top ten most active local users:

  1. bevurlee
  2. britl
  3. angelzilla
  4. AndyGroenink
  5. TrinaMLee
  6. Gen22
  7. GeneralTekno
  8. stygldpnyby
  9. FWEE4U
  10. akomuzikera

The top one hundred active local users posted 27.2% of all tweets.

Here are the top ten most replied to local users:

  1. britl
  2. bevurlee
  3. angelzilla
  4. bingofuel
  5. ZoomJer
  6. akomuzikera
  7. mastermaq
  8. stygldpnyby
  9. Sirthinks
  10. frostedbetty

Here are the top ten most active local users using #yeg:

  1. iNews880
  2. edmontonjournal
  3. Sirthinks
  4. mastermaq
  5. ZoomJer
  6. ctvedmonton
  7. cbcedmonton
  8. BrentWelch
  9. DebraWard
  10. livingsanctuary & britl

Twitter Posts

Here are some of the interesting Twitter-related posts I wrote in 2009:

Final Thoughts

I’m continually amazed by the local Twitter community here in Edmonton! Local users have used Twitter to meet one another, to do business, to effect change, and to support the less fortunate, among other things. The community is not led by anyone, instead it self-organizes, and because of that it has accomplished some amazing things. I can’t wait to see what 2010 brings!

Something to watch for in 2010: geotagged tweets (sending your latitude and longitude along with your tweet, usually via your mobile phone). By default, geotagging is disabled on Twitter, you must enable it in your settings. Thus far, just 270 local users have done so.

Thanks for reading my State of the Edmonton Twittersphere posts over the last year!

Edmonton in 2009

Last year I did a recap post called Edmonton in 2008. You can’t recap something as large as an entire city, but I did find the post useful to refer back to. I thought I’d do the same kind of post again this year, for the same reason. Over the last few weeks I’ve been gathering links to articles, statistics, and more related to Edmonton in 2009. I’ll update this post as I find more.

News Articles for 2009

Other Recaps for 2009

Facts & Figures for 2009

  • Population of Edmonton: 782,439 (source)
  • Number of calls to EPS reporting suspected impaired drivers: 9,201 (source)
  • Home sales: 19,139 (source)
  • Average single-family house price: $364,032 (source)
  • Average condo price: $240,322 (source)
  • YTD Passengers at EIA as of November 2009: 5,561,131 (source)
  • 2009 CFR Attendance: 83,904 (source)
  • 2009 Capital EX Attendance: 717,966 (source)
  • 2009 Edmonton Fringe Ticket Sales: 92,279 (source)

Leave a comment if you’ve got something else I should add to the list – thanks!

Top 10 Edmonton Posts for 2009

I wrote a lot about Edmonton last year, on a variety of topics! Which posts were the most popular? Which posts got people talking?

Here are the top 10 Edmonton posts by traffic:

  1. Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Crime Mapping tool now online
  2. Edmonton Transit (ETS) officially launches Google Transit trip planning
  3. The Last 24 Hours on Twitter: Storm in Edmonton
  4. Edmonton’s LRT now extends to South Campus
  5. Transforming the City of Edmonton IT Branch
  6. West & Southeast Edmonton LRT Route Recommendations
  7. Taking Edmonton’s Technology Community to the Next Level
  8. Airport Passenger Statistics for Edmonton & Calgary
  9. Edmonton Transit (ETS) – The Every Day Way
  10. Social Media and the Edmonton Storm

Close behind were these two:

And here are the top 10 Edmonton posts by comments:

  1. Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Crime Mapping tool now online
  2. Taking Edmonton’s Technology Community to the Next Level
  3. Reporting live in a world with Twitter
  4. How far beyond the city does Edmonton Stories reach?
  5. Airport Passenger Statistics for Edmonton & Calgary
  6. State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – February 2009
  7. Twitter lovers: watch out for baseball bats!
  8. Idea: Proud Edmonton Tech Company badge
  9. State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – June 2009
  10. Newspapers, cities, and the local web

Thank you for reading & commenting – I’ll do my best to make 2010 even better!

Edmonton Transit in 2009

I think 2009 was a very interesting year for transit in Edmonton! There were a number of big successes, such as the launch of trip planning with Google Transit, new LRT cars, the opening of the South Campus LRT Extension, experiments with dedicated bus lanes and smart cards, the release of data for developers, lots of support for transit to the Edmonton International Airport, completion of major construction on the South LRT extension, and of course, the approval of the NAIT, West, and Southeast LRT lines. There was also some sad news, such as the violence against bus drivers and other security issues. And finally, some transit news from 2009 is either positive or negative depending on how you look at it, such as the end of trolley buses.

TransitCamp EdmontonSouth Campus LRT Grand OpeningSouth Campus LRT Grand OpeningMack & DonETS PlatinumMy Bus StopWest & Southeast LRT Announcement

Here are some of the transit-related headlines from 2009:

Also: you can see the monthly In Transit newsletters here.

Some data points for 2009:

  • The 15th annual Stuff A Bus campaign collected 31,000 kg of non perishable food items, and $17,000 in cash donations.
  • On February 1, 2009, the price of an adult monthly pass rose $7.75 to $74.25.
  • In its first six months of operation, 311 fielded 116,437 calls related to trip planning, 63,980 calls related to bus information, and 6,037 calls related to transit fares. Transit was the most commonly requested service.
  • ETS Statistics and ETS Statistics for 2009 (will be updated).

TransitCamp Edmonton Competition

At the TransitCamp Edmonton event on May 30th, it was announced that ETS was releasing route & schedule information in the Google Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format for everyone to use. We decided to hold a small competition, to spur interest in developing applications that made use of the data! The competition closed November 30th, and I’m happy to finally share our two winners:

  1. MyStops by Grayscale Apps
  2. ETS Trip Planner by Waclaw Lany

MyStops, as you probably know, is a very popular iPhone application that gives you quick access to the schedule information for your favorite bus stops. Waclaw’s trip planner combines the stop number functionality of the official ETS Trip Planner with Google Maps routing.

Our judges, Councillor Don Iveson and Edmonton CIO Chris Moore, evaluated the submissions using three criteria:

  • Usefulness to residents
  • Visual appeal and usability
  • Inventiveness and originality

Congratulations to Andrew, Sinan, Sari, and Waclaw!


This should be another big year for transit in Edmonton. The last of the old GMC vehicles were retired in 2009, which means that ETS is now running a 100% accessible fleet. The South LRT extension is scheduled to open in April, and construction on the North LRT extension has begun. The U-Pass pilot ends this year, so a new deal will be negotiated, and NAIT students might get to join. And hopefully at some point the trolley wires will be completely removed! I can’t wait to see what else 2010 has in store for us.

Don’t forget: the Donate-a-Ride campaign is on until January 31!

Keep up-to-date on the latest transit news and announcements on Twitter using the #yegtransit hashtag!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments or via email.

Edmonton Tech in 2009

What another fantastic year for tech in Edmonton! I think 2009 had an excellent mix of events, product launches, company successes, and much more. Below I have tried to recap as much of it as possible. I did my first recap post like this last year – you can read it here.

STIRR in EdmontonCrazedCodersFree beer! London PrideDemoCampEdmonton9Start Me UpENTS Grand OpeningLeveraging Technical Expertise Locally


Again we had a great year for DemoCamp, with five events (five, six, seven, eight, nine). The year started off with STIRR, a networking event for tech founders, funders, and others. In early March, the Alberta Entrepreneurs Bootcamp took place at the University of Alberta. Our second BarCamp event was held in June. In July, Edmonton’s first UXCamp took place. The annual Edmonton Code Camp took place in September. Though it wasn’t exactly a tech event, open data played a large role at ChangeCamp which took place in October. That same weekend, Flash in the Can (FITC) brought Flash developers together. November started with the annual ICE Conference, featuring a new startup focused event called Start Me Up. A couple of weeks later, the Leveraging Technical Expertise Locally open house took place – the pilot will get underway in Q1 2010. Also in November the City hosted an Open Data Workshop, another big step on the path toward open data in Edmonton. The month finished off with the iPhone Dev Camp. The year finished off with the first Startup Drinks, put on by Digital Alberta and Startup Edmonton. Watch for much more from them in 2010.

There were many active tech groups in Edmonton this year. The Social Web Meetup continued going strong. The Edmonton Flash User Group held a number of monthly events, in addition to FITC. Agile Edmonton had a great second year, with regularly monthly events. Other active groups included the Edmonton .NET User Group, the Edmonton Microsoft User Group, the Edmonton Web Design Meetup, and TechWing Wednesday.

With 2009 being the breakout year for Twitter, it’s no surprise that the service featured prominently in Edmonton’s tech scene this year. The first Photography Tweetup took place in April, and the group met a few more times later in the year. Also in April was EdmontonTweetup4, and in June we held EdmontonTweetup5. We held two Twestival events this year, in February and September. In November, the community once again got together to wrap gifts for Santas Anonymous. The last major tweetup of the year, the Holiday Tweetup, took place in December. There were many other smaller tweetups throughout the year. I’ll have more on Twitter in Edmonton in 2009 next week.


It’s hard to keep track of all of the news that happens in a year, but here are some of 2009’s most interesting Edmonton tech stories:

And here’s the collection of Edmonton Startup Index posts at Techvibes:


I’m really excited for 2010. I think we’ll see accelerating growth and change in the tech community, based upon the strong foundation laid during the last two years. Here are a few things to watch for:

All the best in the new year!

Have another event, story, or link that should be included above? Let me know in the comments or via email. Thanks!

Your Guide to ICLEI World Congress Edmonton 2009

Edmonton is hosting the ICLEI World Congress 2009 from Sunday, June 14th through Thursday, June 18th. More than 500 mayors, councillors, and other delegates from more than 800 cities around the world will visit our city to discuss environmental sustainability. The conference takes place every three years, and provides opportunities for peer exchanges, knowledge sharing, on-site visits, and more.

For the City of Edmonton, this event is a chance to show off just how “green” we are to the rest of the world. There have been a number of related announcements over the last few weeks from the City:

I’d expect more announcements from the event. Each day of the conference has a theme:

More than 20 speakers have been announced, including Mayor Stephen Mandel, Alberta’s Minister of Municipal Affairs Ray Danyluk, Deputy Mayor of Vancouver and ICLEI President David Cadman, and the founder of ICLEI, Jeb Brugmann.

I’ll be blogging and tweeting some of the more Edmonton-focused sessions next week, and will be attending a number of the events that have been planned to coincide with the conference. Here are some of the things you can check out:

Lights Down Stars Up – photography exhibit
On display at City Hall until Thursday, June 18th, FREE

Gone Green – art exhibit
On display at City Hall until Wednesday, July 1st, FREE

That’s Edmonton For You – live music and entertainment
Sunday, June 14th from noon to 3:00pm at Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, FREE

Pecha Kucha Night – Edmonton Volume #4 – ideas inspiring sustainability
Tuesday, June 16th from 6:30pm to 10:30pm at the Shaw Conference Centre, $9

2009 Emerald Awards Ceremony – recognizing Albertan environmental initiatives
Tuesday, June 16th at the Citadel Theatre, $?

Resilient Cities: Responding to the Crash, Climate Change, and Peak Oil
Thursday, June 18th from 7:00pm at the Shaw Conference Centre, FREE

Bikeology Festival Day – velo-love in Edmonton
Saturday, June 20th from noon until 5:00pm at Beaver Hills House Park, FREE

Reuse Fair – bring your unwanted household items (pdf)
Saturday, June 20th from 10:00am to 3:00pm at King Edward Park Community League, FREE

The Works Art & Design Festival 2009 – sustainability is a theme this year
Friday, June 26th to Wednesday, July 8th at Sir Winston Churchill Square, FREE

Also, June is Bike Month in Edmonton.

To learn more about ICLEI and the World Congress happening in Edmonton, check out the following links:

Budget Day 2009 in Canada – track it online

Though a lot of information about the new budget has already been released, there are sure to be some surprises and of course, interesting discussions taking place throughout the day. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will deliver his budget speech in the House of Commons at roughly 4 PM EST (2 PM MST) today. All the major Canadian media outlets will have coverage, and some even have unique online coverage too.

Here’s how to track Budget Day 2009 online:

And a few other interesting links:

Here in Edmonton, the federal wish list comes in at $2.4 billion. I’m sure the capital notebook blog and Dave Cournoyer will have more on today’s news from a local perspective.

It’ll be interesting to see how the day plays out! I’ll update the post if I come across any more useful links – leave me a comment if you have one to suggest!

UPDATE: There’s a word cloud of Flaherty’s speech available here, and you can read the full text of the speech here.

UPDATE2: Here’s a PDF of the budget, courtesy of The Globe and Mail.

UPDATE3: The official Budget 2009 site also has the PDF and some other information, but is very slow.

UPDATE4: A number of responses from organizations (CUPE, CFIB, etc.) are available at Canadian Newswire.

Inauguration Day 2009 Around The Web

Did you miss the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama earlier today? Don’t worry, there are tons of resources online for you to check out. Here are some of my favorites, starting with this incredible image:

CNN was making a big deal out of this satellite image all day. Fortunately, BoingBoing posted a link to it this afternoon. Zoom in and check it out!

The most anticipated part of the day was probably President Obama’s Inaugural Address. The complete transcript is available here, and you can watch the video at CNN (or below).

Above is a word cloud of Obama’s speech, courtesy of ReadWriteWeb and They compare it to the inaugural speeches of Bush, Clinton, Reagan, and Lincoln too.

Here’s the oath and inaugural address, courtesy of CSPAN:

You’ll notice the oath didn’t quite go as planned but Talking Points Memo points out that Obama didn’t mess it up, Roberts did:

Roberts started the oath. Obama went a little more quickly than he’d anticipated. And then in the second stage of the oath Roberts got the words wrong. Instead of "I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" he said "I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully …"

There was a moment of awkwardness, but they eventually sorted it out. The swearing in is just a formality anyway – Barack Obama became President at noon EST even before he had taken the oath (they were slightly behind schedule).

Here are some other great links:

Know of any others? Let me know.

Finally it’s a reality – Barack Obama is President! Now the real work begins. I hope he’s ready.

Tracking the 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama online

The 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama is now just a few hours away! At 8am MST (10am EST) the program will begin, and by about 10am MST (noon EST) the oath of office and inaugural address should be underway at the United States Capitol. Two million people are expected to attend the event, with millions more following along remotely. I’ll be one of the many people using the web to keep an eye on things. Here’s how I plan to do it:

TechCrunch has a few more resources in their Guide to the Inauguration. Lifehacker also wrote a Guide to Catching the Inauguration from Anywhere.

Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration is a big deal. The cellphone carriers are bracing for a flood of mobile traffic, and have spent millions of dollars to upgrade their networks in Washington. Antivirus vendors are also preparing for the event – a large amount of inauguration-related spam and malware is expected. Curiously, the most popular search requests are related to Beyonce, who will be performing for Barack and Michelle’s first dance at the inauguration ball.

Need a blast from the past? Read about previous inaugurations at Wikipedia, or watch the videos.

Finally, keep an eye on At exactly one minute after noon (EST) the new website will launch. As the AFP’s headline states: is coming to the White House!

Anything else I’ve missed? Let me know!

UPDATE: Here are a few more resources: National Post liveblog, CNN & Facebook (very cool), Twingly Microblog Search.