If you’re on Facebook you may have seen the ad that encourages you to tell your stories about living in, working in, or visiting Edmonton.
Submitting a video makes you eligible to win a prize of $5,300 of your hard-earned tax dollars. A written or audio story makes you eligible for a prize of $3,500. This site has been up and running for a few months, so it is worth taking a look at what’s on it.
In such a creative city, one would expect to find thousands of entries. No such luck. At the time I am writing this, there are only 170 stories on the site. Even more depressing is that only 93 of those stories are actually submitted by visitors to the site. The remaining 77 stories and videos have been paid for by the city’s communication mavens. More depressing still is the lack of comments on the stories that have been posted.
The good news is that given the paltry number of entries, you would stand a pretty good chance of winning if you submit a story. The bad news is the response to this initiative has been underwhelming to say the least. There’s no counter on the site, so it’s hard to tell how many page views there’s been. The most popular story has had 3,400 views. Not too shabby you say. But let’s put that number into perspective.
Thomas Trofimuk is not a name you are probably familiar with. But you are probably going to hear it a lot in the next few months. Trofimuk is one of those creative types of which this city is so proud.
His third novel, Waiting for Columbus, which by all accounts is likely to be a bestseller and which is being considered for a movie, will be in stores in late August in Canada, the United States and Britain.
Trofimuk has his own website that gets about 500 unique hits a month from all over the world, and to date he has had more than 50,000 page views. Those are impressive numbers for a guy with no tax dollars to use to get his name out to the world.
So what’s my point here? Well, maybe rather than paying a Toronto-based consulting firm to advise us on how to tell Edmonton’s story, the word wallahs at the city should have just asked Trofimuk.