City Council approves downtown arena land purchase, postpones final decision on the project

The downtown arena project took a big step forward today as City Council voted to purchase the land proposed as the site for the project and the Katz Group made some concessions in order to further the negotiations. With options on the land expiring at the end of the month and a decision required by October 21, Council had to move quickly. They decided to postpone a final decision on the arena project until October 26, however.

City Manager Simon Farbrother provided an update on this week’s meetings in New York and the ongoing negotiations between the City and the Katz Group. You can view his presentation in PDF here. The highlights include:

  • There was no change in the maximum price approach (still $450 million), nor in the user fee (ticket tax) of $125 million, nor in the City’s contribution of $125 million ($45 million to come from the CRL).
  • There was no change in the location agreement of 35 years.
  • While the Katz Group reconfirmed its commitment of $100 million to the arena, the funding has been restructured as a $5.5 million lease for 30 years.
  • The LRT connection now has an estimated cost of $17 million.
  • The cost for the pedway over 104 Avenue (also known as the winter garden) will be split evenly between the City and the Katz Group, with the City contributing a maximum of $25 million.
  • The City will now operate the community rink.
  • The design process will now potentially commence before the province has confirmed any contribution.
  • The City will spend $20 million over 10 years to market itself through advertising at Oilers games (this is over and above the $450 million and will be introduced in a future City budget).
  • And the biggest change, the Katz Group agreed to waive the requirement for a non-compete clause with Northlands.

With Council agreeing to purchase the land and the Katz Group agreeing to waive the non-compete requirement, the project certainly feels like it is back on track. Terry Jones called Mandel the MVP and Katz the first star in the arena project. There is still the outstanding $100 million, however, and both parties will continue to pursue provincial funding for that.

For more on today’s meeting, check out David Staples’ column and Paula Simons’ blog post. And don’t miss The Charrette’s look at 311 call statistics.

Today’s Council meeting was the talk of Twitter, as expected. This graph shows the frequency of tweets posted over the four hour meeting:

Here’s a word cloud of all the tweets posted in Edmonton during the meeting:

The non-compete clause was definitely a big topic of discussion. For its part, the Katz Group issued a simple statement from Executive Vice President John Karvellas after today’s meeting:

We respect the City’s process and appreciate the time Council and Administration devoted to the arena project in today’s special meeting. We have the basis of an agreement that will enable us to move this project forward, subject to the approval of City Council on October 26, 2011. We continue to believe, as we have from day one, that this project represents a great opportunity to help revitalize our downtown and ensure the Oilers’ long-term sustainability in Edmonton.

The next step will be a non-statutory public hearing on October 24/25, with Council set to make its final decision on the arena project on October 26. As I mentioned earlier, if you want to voice your opinion on the deal one way or the other, the number one thing you can do is email your City Councillor.

Five Years with Twitter

It was five years ago today that Twitter officially launched to the public (the very first ever tweet was sent on March 21, 2006). It was also five years ago today that I signed up for the service. It has become my claim to Twitter fame (such as it is) – I was the 985th person in the world to join! More than 600,000 people joined Twitter yesterday, which is pretty amazing when you consider that it took more than 16 months for the first 600,000 people to join!

When it launched, Twitter was actually Twttr (no vowels). At the time I was busy working on Podcast Spot. We were always paying attention to what our competitors were doing, and one of the biggest names in podcasting at the time was Odeo. I remember reading that they had launched a side-project named Twttr, and I remember thinking “this is dumb” after I checked it out. I mean the idea was neat, without a doubt, but I couldn’t fathom why they would be putting resources into Twttr rather than into Odeo. Anyway, as you know Odeo died and Twitter took off, so obviously they made the right decision!

I’ve written over a hundred Twitter-related blog posts over the last five years. My early entries seemed to be all about Twitter’s infamous fail whale and how the service struggled to stay operational, though I did immediately pick up on the ability to track topics. It was well into 2008 that they were still experiencing issues with reliability. That was also the year that I organized our first ever tweetup here in Edmonton (with help from Melanie and others). In June of 2008, I was down in Calgary for BarCamp and did a presentation on Twitter. After chatting with Wil at the bar afterward, I decided we should borrow the city hashtag idea from Calgary (they were using #yyc). The first #yeg tweet went out on June 20, 2008 (I wrote a bit more about that here). Exactly two years after Twitter launched, it purchased Summize, the search engine that now powers Twitter Search. That was a big deal, as it made the service much more useful. It also made it possible for me to start tracking the Edmonton Twittersphere, and I posted my first look at those statistics in February 2009. That seemed to give the local scene some momentum, and a month later I was at CTV talking to their newsroom about Twitter. That was the turning point in Edmonton, in my opinion. A lot of people joined after they ran the Twitter story, and I think the fact that CTV embraced the service gave it some legitimacy. The local Twittersphere has been growing in size and influence ever since.

I have always been a web user of Twitter. Over the years I have used apps on my mobile phones, text messaging, and I’ve dabbled with apps like TweetDeck and HootSuite, but my primary interface remains the Twitter website. I was particularly happy about #newtwitter, though I know a lot of you didn’t like the redesign (at least initially). It’s kind of incredible to think back to the time when Twitter didn’t have retweets, mentions were just replies, and hashtags were rare. The addition of lists was another thing that changed the way I use Twitter. I’m often asked how I can possibly follow nearly 6000 people and the answer is always “I don’t.” I use a combination of lists and search to pay attention to certain people and/or topics! I rarely, if ever, look at the timeline. It look me a long time to get over that – early on I definitely felt like I didn’t want to miss anything! Twitter is still largely the same as it was in 2006 (at least conceptually), but the changes that have been made have really had an impact.

I don’t know what Twitter will look like five years from now, but it certainly shows no signs of going away. I look forward to its continued evolution, and I hope Twitter continues to have a positive impact here in Edmonton!

Special thanks to Jeff and Sally for the Twitter birthday post today! And yes, I need to get on with updating stats!

Media Monday Edmonton: Introducing YegNews.com

After many months of preparation and hard work, a new online newspaper called YegNews.com is set to launch tomorrow, providing Edmontonians with a new option for local news. Alain Saffel, a former journalist and active member of the local social media scene, and Scott McKeen, former columnist for the Edmonton Journal, are the duo behind the new site, and about a month ago they sat down with me to talk about the new project.

“We want to increase the amount of local reporting,” Scott told me. Both men firmly believe that good journalism is important to communities, so increasing the amount of reporting that takes place in Edmonton is a key goal for the new site. While the focus initially will be on Edmonton, the hope is that the site will be regional in nature, covering the capital region. “We want to do a service for the city,” Scott said.

Noting that Scott used to work for the Journal and that a number of people have either left or been let go from that organization recently, I asked who would be writing for the site. “We want to create a community of journalists, to mentor and train them,” Scott replied. The hope is to attract a mix of experienced and fresh writers. Both Alain and Scott will be contributing regularly to the site, and there are at least nine other people ready to contribute content including Jenn Parks (formerly with the Edmonton Sun), Dave Clark (former editor of the Sherwood Park News), Sarah Hoyles (formerly of CBC), and John Korobanik (formerly with the Edmonton Journal). While the writing style will be “accessible”, it won’t be constrained within some of the boxes of the mainstream. “We’ll focus on print and photos, but we we really want to stress creativity in the styles of presentation,” Alain said, suggesting lists, infographics, and other visual elements will be common. Contributors will be encouraged to learn from one another.

Initial topics that will be covered on YegNews.com include City Hall, local business, and technology, areas that Alain and Scott feel are underserved at the moment. “Technology is what’s going to sustain Alberta over the long-term, and I haven’t seen much coverage of it in the three years I’ve been here,” Alain said. Some crime issues will be covered in columns, but it likely won’t be a focus. There will also be a certain amount of service journalism, perhaps making use of open data provided by the City. “People want to know when their sidewalk is going to be fixed,” Scott told me. While the site won’t be making use of any wire stories, Alain said they would consider using local blogs to augment original content, as long as they are Edmonton-related.

The project has been self-funded thus far. “It’s cheaper than ever to start something,” Alain said. They’re using WordPress to power the new site, and will be making use of Flickr, YouTube, and other free/inexpensive services to host multimedia. Given the small budget, social media will be a key focus for driving interest in and traffic to the site. “There are lots of people on Facebook in Edmonton, so we’re going to try to reach people that way,” Alain said. Readers will be encouraged to participate by submitting tips and story ideas, and the site will feature comments. “We want the comments to rise above,” Alain told me, saying they would be enforcing some accountability. A longer-term ambition is to have an ombudsman for the site.

The revenue model is for the site to be supported by advertising. “This is going to pay the bills,” Scott told me, noting that both he and Alain are committed to making the project work. While the site will feature some Google ads, the goal is to have mostly local advertising. “We want the living local ethic to be a driving philosophy,” Scott said. “There’s a lot of benefits to spending your money at local independents.” Contributors are volunteering initially, but as soon as it is financially possible, they’ll will be part of a profit sharing program. “We want to reinvest the earnings back into journalism,” Alain said.

YegNews.com is an ambitious project. The message on their splash page right now reads: “Edmonton’s online newspaper providing Edmontonians with original, interesting & informative breaking news, politics, opinions & more.”  It’s exactly the kind of experimentation I’d like to see more of. West Edmonton Local is still going strong and I think it has shown that there’s room for more local voices and reporting, at least at the hyperlocal level. And GIG CITY seems to be doing okay focused on arts and entertainment. It’ll be interesting to see how YegNews.com fares with a wider focus.

Congratulations to Alain and Scott on making it this far! I can’t wait to check out the site tomorrow and I look forward to seeing YegNews.com evolve over time.

Roundup: The Royal Alberta Museum is moving downtown

It’s amazing how big news can just seemingly drop from the sky sometimes! Yesterday’s big announcement here in Edmonton was that the Royal Alberta Museum will be rebuilt downtown:

A new comprehensive Royal Alberta Museum will be built in downtown Edmonton starting this year, featuring twice as much gallery space, direct connections to public transit, proximity to the Arts District, and the ability to host major international exhibits and rare artifacts. The new museum will be equipped to showcase both Alberta’s history and its natural wonders, and will be free of the limitations of the current museum site.

The new museum is expected to cost $340 million and is set to open by 2015. Budget 2011 includes $180 million over the first three years of the project, which includes $30 million from the Federal government. Here’s a rough rendering of the building:

For a better look, check out this video from the Province introducing the new concept:

[googlemaps https://www.youtube.com/embed/xkbxfUSWgh0″ frameborder=”0″ width=”524″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”>

Here’s where the site is located (click here for Street View):

Lots has been written/recorded about the project already. Here are some of the things I have come across that are worth checking out.

From the Edmonton Journal:

The current museum will stay open for the next four years. Discussions are just starting on what to do with the old museum and the rest of the property in Glenora, although a portion will eventually house a new residence for the lieutenant-governor.

“Right now, I can tell you it’s not going to be condos,” Alberta Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett said. He said it’s “very unlikely” the land will be sold to private developers.

From the CBC:

Stelmach said the museum land could be the future home of the Edmonton terminal for a high-speed rail line to Calgary. Land for a Calgary station was purchased in 2007.

Paula Simons picked up on that as well at The Edmonton Commons and added:

There’s no denying the real attractions of this site. It would be accessible by LRT – especially if the city were to “activate” the dormant LRT stop, known as Future Station, that’s already roughed in under the Brownlee Building. It would be linked to the existing pedway system. It would be a block east of that proposed arena and entertainment district, assuming such a thing actually comes to be built. It would be a way to push attractive development into the Chinatown/Boyle/McCauley area. It would make the Churchill Square/City Hall precinct a true arts centre. And it would be a fabulous companion to the AGA – a tourist draw in the heart of the city core. It might also help to give impetus to develop on the Station Lands site directly to the north – and even integrate with possible plans to turn Mary Burlie Park, just to the north of the proposed RAM site, into a Chinese garden and cultural centre.

From Global Edmonton:

The decision to move to a new location was made because of size constraints at the old location, and because the construction process would have forced the museum to close for a significant amount of time while the construction was in progress. As a result, the province says the cost to build on a new location will be less than the cost of trying to redevelop the old site.

From CTV Edmonton:

This spring, a competitive bidding process will seek out a private sector consortium to design and build the new facility.

Finally, while I like the spirit of David Staples’ latest column, it’s unfortunate that most of the words are dedicated to the arena, not the RAM. Still, it is great news for downtown!

What else have you come across that is worth sharing?

What’s the population of Edmonton’s downtown? Depends on the time of day.

Revitalizing our downtown is constantly in the news lately thanks to the proposed arena project. I’m glad that the issue is top-of-mind for so many people at the moment, and I hope we can keep that interest going. I think everyone agrees that Edmonton’s downtown does not currently represent our city as well as it should.

There are lots of factors that go into revitalizing an area. Probably even more that go into revitalizing a downtown. But there’s one factor in particular that for me stands out above all others. Residents.

I think if you really want to revitalize an area, you need to get more people living there. We’ve already seen this play out in Edmonton to a certain extent. Here’s what our downtown population growth has looked like since 1986:

Keep in mind the population has really only slightly more than doubled in that time. Not what you would call really significant growth. And yet look at all of the positive changes we have seen downtown in that time! This article by Lawrence Herzog from 2003 covers some of the changes up to that point quite nicely. People regularly point to 104 Street as a positive example of change downtown. It’s why Sharon and I bought here.

The factor that most often comes up as vital to revitalization however, is the number of people working downtown. Sometimes the argument made is quite compelling too. Whenever I hear that argument, I think of this graph:

It’s incredible how widely the population varies from the weekend to a weekday. And this doesn’t even take into account students and all of the other groups of people that might be downtown on a weekday. Is our downtown population 12,000 or 68,000? It absolutely depends on the time of day!

Why does nearly everything downtown close so early on weekdays? Why is almost nothing open downtown on Sundays? Why isn’t downtown changing as fast as we’d like it to? I think that graph tells a very significant part of the story (see below for an explanation and sources).

The numbers are certainly not encouraging:

  • As of 2009, downtown Edmonton’s population was 11,572. That’s just 1.5% of our total population.
  • As of 2010, downtown Edmonton’s workforce was roughly 67,700. That’s just over 10% of our total labour force.
  • Current plans call for the addition of just 12,200 new residents residential units over the next 35 years, and an increase in residents to 24,000 by 2030. We more than doubled the population in 23 years, why are we slowing down for the next 35 years? That’s about the same pace as we have seen over the last 20 years.
  • According to the Downtown Business Association’s most recent employee survey (PDF), just 6% of people who work downtown also live downtown. This despite downtown being one of our two biggest employment centres (the other being the University of Alberta, which is just a short LRT ride away).

So I don’t buy the argument that we need more people working downtown. If anything, we need more of the people who work downtown to choose to live there also. We need to want to make the changes downtown needs, and we need to make decisions that support that. If we want to meaningfully revitalize downtown, this picture has to change!

There’s a lot more to this discussion of course, but I find this to be a useful way to remind myself of the importance of residents. What do you think?

Sources: Municipal Census 2009, 2010 Downtown Resident Survey (PDF), 2010 Downtown Employee Survey (PDF), 2010 Business Recruitment Resource (PDF). The surveys come from the Downtown Business Association, and I used them to calculate the numbers in the graph. The times, 6am to 7pm, come from the Employee Survey. On weekdays, the green portion is essentially the number of people who both live and work downtown, which is an average of the 6% of employees who say they live downtown and the 29% of residents who say they work downtown. There are a bunch of assumptions made, of course, such as the assumption that if you’re a downtown resident and you don’t work downtown, you work and are somewhere else between 6am and 7pm.

Will Edmonton be a second-class city without the new arena?

Last week City Council was again discussing the proposed downtown arena. Though Administration provided an update at the Wednesday meeting, it certainly didn’t feel like much new information was brought forward. Details on the proposed Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) were delayed yet again, this time until the first week of April. The meeting did not go well.

Mayor Mandel seemed to be upset that progress had stalled. He wants Council to make a decision in the next month or so:

“It’s enough already. I think we’re going around too many circles and let’s make a decision.”

But there was another comment he made that stood out:

“Either we build a new arena or we become a second-class city, which in my mind we don’t want to be.”

I’ll admit that comment even surprised me. Does Mandel really think we can’t be a first-class city without building the new arena? Is the project really a make-or-break one for Edmonton? Boosterism has long been a part of this debate, something Dave covered back in January. And as our Mayor I think Mandel needs to be Edmonton’s greatest champion, a role he has definitely not shied away from while in office. But is there no hope for Edmonton if the arena project doesn’t go ahead?

“My choice of words probably wasn’t right,” Mandel admitted when I asked him about it. “It’s just that when opportunities come up, you have to make a decision. Edmonton in the past hasn’t made an effort to seize opportunities that have come up.” It’s a good point, I think. You can’t simply wait for things to come along, you have to go out and get them. If we want to take Edmonton forward, we need to make a concerted effort to do so. “You’ve got to fight for things,” Mandel said.

Mandel stressed the need to improve our downtown. “Cities are evaluated by their downtowns, not their suburbs. Edmonton’s downtown has a long way to go.” I asked if that meant we had to have the arena. “There’s millions of ingredients that go into it,” he said. The arts community and our IT sector were just a few of the examples he cited. He of course thinks the arena is one of those ingredients, however. “The arena with a good financial deal will make Edmonton better.”

Stephen Mandel at Candi{date} Sept 29, 2010

When discussions get intense, people say things without fully thinking them through. I think that’s what happened to Mandel last week with the second-class comment, but he’s certainly not the only one who has made regrettable comments. Is it true that “the anti-arena faction is out in full force” as David Staples suggested (archive) a couple of weeks ago? I think it is, and there have certainly been some puzzling comments from them as well. The debate needs people on both sides, to help us tease out the details and ultimately arrive at the best decision for Edmonton. Mandel has decided to support the arena. Others have decided to fight it. A good debate is healthy for Edmonton.

On Saturday, Gary Lamphier writing in the Edmonton Journal reminded us that there are many key questions about the project that have yet to be answered (archive):

Although Mayor Stephen Mandel seems determined to wrap up the Seinfeldian arena "debate" — such as it is — in early April and push the project ahead at Mach speed, it’s hard to see why with so many key questions unresolved.

With weeks to go before a pivotal report on the project is presented to city council — following which councillors may have little time to reflect on it before they vote — it’s puzzling that so many key questions remain unanswered.

Today, Danny Hooper writing in the Edmonton Sun offered some compelling reasons to move ahead with the project (archive):

We are not the arctic outpost some think of us. This is a vibrant, energetic, resourceful, caring, and fun community, yet I don’t think our downtown best makes that statement. And I think it should.

Where some see a downtown that feels dull, disjointed, and at times lifeless, I see a blank canvas. The Katz group have at least brought out the paint and offered their vision of what our city centre could be. Of what it should be. And we’re all welcome to pick up a brush.

Maybe it comes down to perspective, as is so often the case with difficult questions such as this one. Do you choose to see the arena as Mayor Mandel does, as an opportunity to enhance our downtown that we should at least make an effort to capitalize on? Or do you choose to see the arena as those against the project do, as an expensive pet project that will do little to help Edmonton’s core?

There are no guarantees in this debate. Edmonton will not be relegated to “second-class” status if the project dies, nor will Edmonton automatically be world-renowned if it goes ahead. There’s obviously no secret recipe either, or we’d have already turned downtown around. Whether you support the arena or not, it’s important to recognize that revitalizing our downtown and becoming the city we want to be will take much more than any single project.

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – 2010 Year in Review

Welcome to the State of the Edmonton Twittersphere: 2010 Year in Review, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton in 2010! You can see my recap of 2009 here.

I’ve done my best to ensure all of the data in this post is accurate, but I make no guarantees – use it at your own risk. The data comes from the Twitter API, and has been collected over the past year. 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, and thus a “local user”.

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 – this post reflects the most up-to-date information I have been able to gather as of the end of 2010.

Summary

Here are the highlights for 2010:

  • There were 22,000+ local users.
  • Those users posted more than 4.9 million tweets. That works out to 9.4 per minute.
  • Of those 4,948,409 tweets:
    • 381,752 contained #yeg or one of the #yeg-related hashtags (like #yegfood) (7.7%)
    • 357,206 were retweets (7.2%)
    • 1,715,507 were replies (34.7%)
    • 668,368 were replies to other local users (13.5%)
    • 1,331,306 contained links (26.9%)
    • 191,060 were twooshes (exactly 140 characters) (3.9%)

Let’s look at users. While more than 22,000 local users were on Twitter last year, only 10,200 of them were active during the month of December (active means they posted at least one tweet). But that was up from just 5601 who were active during the month of January.

When 2010 started, local users were posting about 260,000 tweets per month. By the end of the year, that number had grown to more than 525,000 tweets per month.

This chart gives you a sense of the trends over the year. I think it is interesting that the lines for #yeg-related tweets and retweets are almost identical (red and green).

Roughly 50.8% of all tweets in 2010 were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM. Not surprisingly, the number of tweets posted between midnight and 7 AM is quite a bit lower than the number posted during the day and early evening. There seems to be an early morning (9-10 AM) and late night (9-10 PM) spike.

If we look at days of the week, we see that more tweets are posted on Tuesday and Wednesday than on any other day.

In the chart below I have plotted the number of tweets posted per day for each day of the year. The trend is clearly up, and the spikes and troughs reveal some interesting events. Election day, October 18, saw the most tweets posted at 23,234. On average, 13,558 tweets were posted each day in 2010.

Users

Here are the top 25 most followed users:

  1. revtrev
  2. Pat_Lorna
  3. biofeed
  4. randyfritz
  5. dragonage
  6. masseffect2
  7. NHL_Oilers
  8. wearestereos
  9. DancinginLife
  10. subunit1
  11. MathieuBisson
  12. MilesSTEREOS
  13. LesM
  14. patkstereos
  15. todd_herman
  16. hccedmonton
  17. redneckmommy
  18. worldprofit
  19. DrBarryLycka
  20. mtubes
  21. paradepro
  22. TSNRyanRishaug
  23. garrymullen
  24. mastermaq
  25. DarleneV

The average local user has 120 followers. Just 420 users have more than 1000 followers.

Here are the top 25 most listed users:

  1. biofeed
  2. revtrev
  3. randyfritz
  4. NHL_Oilers
  5. masseffect2
  6. dragonage
  7. paradepro
  8. redneckmommy
  9. Pat_Lorna
  10. DaBaby
  11. DancinginLife
  12. rootnl2k
  13. gsiemens
  14. edmontonjournal
  15. TSNRyanRishaug
  16. wearestereos
  17. brentcetera
  18. NiCoLeKoScH
  19. ctvedmonton
  20. gcouros
  21. cbcedmonton
  22. mastermaq
  23. lealea
  24. CityofEdmonton
  25. britl

The average local user has been listed 5 times.

Here are the top 25 most active users:

  1. EdmontonBizcaf
  2. WCIJobs
  3. rootnl2k
  4. etownmelly
  5. DWsBITCH
  6. Lekordable
  7. ZoomJer
  8. CommonSenseSoc
  9. trinamlee
  10. GuitarKat
  11. EdmontonCP
  12. gcouros
  13. SaySandra
  14. Jaisabella
  15. frostedbetty
  16. angelzilla
  17. PoisonLolita
  18. Edmontonsun
  19. DebraWard
  20. Cokebear17
  21. RECEdmonton
  22. Sirthinks
  23. britl
  24. Leask
  25. fraygulrock

The top 100 most active users accounted for 18.5% of all local tweets.

Here are the top 25 most active users using #yeg (and #yeg-related hashtags):

  1. yegsphere
  2. edmontonjournal
  3. EdmCa
  4. rootnl2k
  5. iNews880
  6. oilersff
  7. DebraWard
  8. Edmontonsun
  9. WeatherEdmonton
  10. ctvedmonton
  11. EdmontonBizcaf
  12. WCIJobs
  13. cbcedmonton
  14. DWsBITCH
  15. Sirthinks
  16. ZoomJer
  17. livingsanctuary
  18. mastermaq
  19. fraygulrock
  20. yegtraffic
  21. Lekordable
  22. gcouros
  23. BrentWelch
  24. frostedbetty
  25. bingofuel

The top 100 most active users using #yeg and its subtags accounted for 51.8% of all #yeg-tagged tweets.

Here are the top 25 most replied to users (by other local users):

  1. ZoomJer
  2. PoisonLolita
  3. britl
  4. CommonSenseSoc
  5. Wildsau
  6. angelzilla
  7. RockstarJodie
  8. SaySandra
  9. bingofuel
  10. frostedbetty
  11. GuitarKat
  12. Sirthinks
  13. confessionality
  14. KikkiPlanet
  15. akomuzikera
  16. Rainyfool
  17. JenBanksYEG
  18. DebraWard
  19. FeliciaDewar
  20. mastermaq
  21. adampatterson
  22. lonesomebilydad
  23. LauraSem
  24. Pokerclack
  25. BrentWelch

The top 100 most replied to users accounted for 32.8% of all local replies (replies from one Edmontonian to another).

And here is what I think is the most significant list, the top 25 most retweeted users (by other local users):

  1. edmontonjournal
  2. ctvedmonton
  3. mastermaq
  4. CityofEdmonton
  5. dantencer
  6. cbcedmonton
  7. bingofuel
  8. iNews880
  9. Paulatics
  10. ZoomJer
  11. NHL_Oilers
  12. britl
  13. TrafficEdmonton
  14. joshclassen
  15. BrentWelch
  16. sonic1029
  17. yegfoodbank
  18. davecournoyer
  19. SimonOstler
  20. Edmontonsun
  21. JasonGregor
  22. EdmontonHumane
  23. chrislabossiere
  24. DebraWard
  25. Sirthinks

A total of 103 users were retweeted by other local users 100 times or more. Just 18 users were retweeted by other local users 1000 times or more.

Hashtags

The most commonly used hashtag was #yeg. Local users used #yeg roughly 6.5 times more than the next most popular hashtag, which was #FF. Here’s a word cloud of the top 1000 hashtags, including #yeg:

And here are the top 1000 without #yeg:

The average length of a hashtag was 13.7 characters (including the #). There were hashtags that were just two characters, and hashtags that were 140 characters. Here are the top 10 hashtags:

  1. #yeg
  2. #FF
  3. #oilers
  4. #edmonton
  5. #alberta
  6. #ableg
  7. #yegfood
  8. #FollowFriday
  9. #yegvote
  10. #fb

Here are the top 10 #yeg-related hashtags:

  1. #yegfood
  2. #yegvote
  3. #yegweather
  4. #yegtraffic
  5. #yegcc
  6. #yegtransit
  7. #yegarena
  8. #yegmusic
  9. #yegarts
  10. #yegfringe

Clients

There were more than 2000 different clients used by local users to post tweets in 2010. Here are the top ten clients:

  1. web
  2. TweetDeck
  3. Twitter for iPhone
  4. ÜberTwitter
  5. Twitter for BlackBerry®
  6. Echofon
  7. twitterfeed
  8. HootSuite
  9. API
  10. Twitterrific

Text messaging was the next most popular client. Here are the top ten in graphic form (percentages are of the total number of tweets, 4.9 million):

The top ten clients accounted for 76.2% of all local tweets in 2010.

Final Thoughts

Twitter continued its impressive growth all around the world in 2010, and Edmonton was no exception. Though the number of people with Twitter accounts in Edmonton pales in comparison to the number of people with Facebook accounts, I don’t think that is necessarily the best comparison to make. You need a Facebook account to access most things on Facebook, you don’t on Twitter. Twitter reaches far beyond the 22,000+ local users with accounts.

There were lots of tweetups in 2010, but fewer and fewer focused just on Twitter. Because so many more people have joined, even non-Twitter events seem like tweetups! I thought that geolocation might play a bigger role in 2010, but it didn’t really. Just 3124 users have enabled geolocation (up from 270 in 2009). Perhaps 2011 will be the year that geotagged tweets take off? You need to enable it in your settings.

I hope you’ve found this look at the Edmonton Twittersphere in 2010 interesting and informative. Thanks for reading!

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – December 2010

Welcome to the twelfth State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2010, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton, AB. You can see the stats for November here.

For information on the data, definitions, and other background, click here.

For December 2010:

# of local users: 10198 (an increase of 259 from November)
# of tweets by local users: 529387
# of tweets by local users containing #yeg: 37063 (7.0%)
# of tweets by local users that were replies: 191871 (36.2%)
# of tweets by local users containing links: 141953 (26.8%)
# of tweets by local users that were retweets: 34255 (6.5%)
# of tweets by local users that were twooshes: 22703 (4.3%)

Here are the numbers above in graphic form:

Here are the top clients used by local users for posting updates:

Some other interesting stats for the month:

  • Just under 50% of all local tweets were posted between 9 AM and 5 PM.
  • Local users posted roughly 11.6 tweets per minute in December (compared to 12.2 tweets per minute in November).
  • The day with the most local tweets posted was December 14 at 21297. On average, 17077 local tweets were posted each day (compared to 17527 in November).
  • Of the 191871 replies posted by local users this month, 78509 or 40.9% were to other local users.
  • A total of 1923 users posted 50 times or more in December. In comparison, 1667 users posted just once.

 

Here are the top ten most active local users (not including bots):

  1. PoisonLolita
  2. rootnl2k
  3. heyitsjam
  4. confessionality
  5. RyanPMG
  6. etownmelly
  7. CommonSenseSoc
  8. counterplot
  9. Jedimasterbator
  10. ZoomJer

Here are the top ten most active local users using #yeg (not including bots):

  1. Edmontonsun
  2. edmontonjournal
  3. iNews880
  4. cbcedmonton
  5. DebraWard
  6. kerrzy
  7. ctvedmonton
  8. YEGFoodGuide
  9. k97
  10. mcmanus17

Here are the top ten most replied to local users:

  1. PoisonLolita
  2. heyitsjam
  3. confessionality
  4. CommonSenseSoc
  5. JenBanksYEG
  6. ZoomJer
  7. Wildsau
  8. RockstarJodie
  9. KikkiPlanet
  10. Rainyfool

Here are the top ten most retweeted local users (by other local users):

  1. edmontonjournal
  2. JasonGregor
  3. mastermaq
  4. CityofEdmonton
  5. dantencer
  6. cbcedmonton
  7. ctvedmonton
  8. NHL_Oilers
  9. EdmontonHumane
  10. TrafficEdmonton

Final Thoughts

Edmonton finally broke the 10,000 active user mark! Aside from that, however, it was definitely a holiday month. You can see a noticeable drop in the number of tweets posted around Christmas. Also fewer tagged tweets and more replies in December, which suggests to me less news being posted and more conversation taking place.

I should have my 2010 year-in-review up later this week. If you’re interested, stop by Twitter Talks on Thursday evening for even more twittersphere stats!

As always, keep in mind that the stats above rely upon users setting the location field of their profile to something like “Edmonton”. Users who leave that field blank or who put something like “Canada” are not reflected in the above stats.

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – November 2010

Welcome to the eleventh State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2010, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton, AB. You can see the stats for October here.

For information on the data, definitions, and other background, click here.

For November 2010:

# of local users: 9939 (an increase of 318 from October)
# of tweets by local users: 525804
# of tweets by local users containing #yeg: 40905 (7.8%)
# of tweets by local users that were replies: 184033 (35.0%)
# of tweets by local users containing links: 145767 (27.7%)
# of tweets by local users that were retweets: 38958 (7.4%)
# of tweets by local users that were twooshes: 22722 (4.3%)

Here are the numbers above in graphic form:

Here are the top clients used by local users for posting updates:

Some other interesting stats for the month:

  • Just over 50% of all local tweets were posted between 9 AM and 5 PM.
  • Local users posted roughly 12.2 tweets per minute in November (compared to 12.0 tweets per minute in October).
  • The day with the most local tweets posted was November 23 at 20311. On average, 17527 local tweets were posted each day (compared to 17252 in October).
  • Of the 184033 replies posted by local users this month, 73837 or 40.1% were to other local users.
  • A total of 2030 users posted 50 times or more in November. In comparison, 1394 users posted just once.

 

Here are the top ten most active local users (not including bots):

  1. rootnl2k
  2. PoisonLolita
  3. etownmelly
  4. confessionality
  5. CommonSenseSoc
  6. counterplot
  7. ZoomJer
  8. RyanPMG
  9. brooke_bieber_
  10. ZamboniGuy69

Here are the top ten most active local users using #yeg (not including bots):

  1. Edmontonsun
  2. edmontonjournal
  3. iNews880
  4. cbcedmonton
  5. ctvedmonton
  6. mastermaq
  7. k97
  8. TamaraStecyk
  9. DebraWard
  10. Sirthinks

Here are the top ten most replied to local users:

  1. confessionality
  2. PoisonLolita
  3. heyitsjam
  4. Wildsau
  5. ZoomJer
  6. CommonSenseSoc
  7. JenBanksYEG
  8. RockstarJodie
  9. photoswithash
  10. SaySandra

Here are the top ten most retweeted local users (by other local users):

  1. edmontonjournal
  2. mastermaq
  3. ctvedmonton
  4. JasonGregor
  5. EdmontonHumane
  6. dantencer
  7. TrafficEdmonton
  8. Paulatics
  9. CityofEdmonton
  10. cbcedmonton

Final Thoughts

We got really close to 10,000 users in November! The number of tweets overall was slightly lower than in October, which is partially explained by the month having one less day and partially by the election that took place in October. The average number of tweets per day was almost exactly the same as in October, however.

I should have December 2010 and my 2010 year-in-review up later this week. Also, stop by Twitter Talks on Thursday evening for even more twittersphere stats!

As always, keep in mind that the stats above rely upon users setting the location field of their profile to something like “Edmonton”. Users who leave that field blank or who put something like “Canada” are not reflected in the above stats. More Information.

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – October 2010

Welcome to the tenth State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2010, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton, AB. You can see the stats for September here.

For information on the data, definitions, and other background, click here.

For October 2010:

# of local users: 9621 (an increase of 433 from September)
# of tweets by local users: 534809
# of tweets by local users containing #yeg: 47851 (8.9%)
# of tweets by local users that were replies: 187975 (35.1%)
# of tweets by local users containing links: 137406 (25.7%)
# of tweets by local users that were retweets: 41205 (7.7%)
# of tweets by local users that were twooshes: 19444 (3.6%)

Here are the numbers above in graphic form:

Here are the top clients used by local users for posting updates:

Some other interesting stats for the month:

  • Just over 49% of all local tweets were posted between 9 AM and 5 PM.
  • Local users posted roughly 12.0 tweets per minute in October (compared to 11.7 tweets per minute in September).
  • The day with the most local tweets posted was October 18 at 23232. On average, 17252 local tweets were posted each day (compared to 16783 in September).
  • Of the 187975 replies posted by local users this month, 74095 or 39.4% were to other local users.
  • A total of 2035 users posted 50 times or more in September. In comparison, 1323 users posted just once.

 

Here are the top ten most active local users (not including bots):

  1. rootnl2k
  2. PoisonLolita
  3. ZoomJer
  4. counterplot
  5. DWsBITCH
  6. Darmoon87
  7. trinamlee
  8. RyanPMG
  9. KikkiPlanet
  10. brooke_bieber_

Here are the top ten most active local users using #yeg (not including bots):

  1. Edmontonsun
  2. TamaraStecyk
  3. Sirthinks
  4. edmontonjournal
  5. iNews880
  6. ctvedmonton
  7. mastermaq
  8. cbcedmonton
  9. DebraWard
  10. BodyArchitects

Here are the top ten most replied to local users:

  1. PoisonLolita
  2. ZoomJer
  3. RockstarJodie
  4. britl
  5. Wildsau
  6. CommonSenseSoc
  7. JenBanksYEG
  8. TamaraStecyk
  9. KikkiPlanet
  10. Sirthinks

Here are the top ten most retweeted local users (by other local users):

  1. ctvedmonton
  2. mastermaq
  3. edmontonjournal
  4. NHL_Oilers
  5. JasonGregor
  6. CityofEdmonton
  7. dantencer
  8. cbcedmonton
  9. Paulatics
  10. chrislabossiere

Final Thoughts

October was a big month for Twitter here in Edmonton, thanks primarily to the municipal election. More users, more tweets, more tagged tweets, and more retweets. The busiest day of the month was election day (there’s a noticeable spike the in graph). Twitter was used to discuss the forums and other election-related events, to learn about the candidates, and to debate the issues. And on the big night, the candidates themselves used Twitter to capture the moment. You can see my election-related entries here.

Slowly catching up on my stats – I should have the rest of 2010 up soon.

As always, keep in mind that the stats above rely upon users setting the location field of their profile to something like “Edmonton”. Users who leave that field blank or who put something like “Canada” are not reflected in the above stats. More Information.