Another Canadian election has come and gone. Programmed mainstream media coverage was again, less than inspiring. I found that to truly enjoy this national exercise, you have to watch it in the company of friends, as you would a Saturday afternoon hockey game.
I spent election night online. Using a variety of free sources, I was able to watch the results as they came in. Using Twitter, it was possible to know results in eastern Canada before the blackout lifted here in Alberta.
Here are some of the tools I used to monitor the 40th Canadian Election:
- Twitter — dedicated default communication channel. CB Radio. Fun. By using Hashtags, you can focus your discussion to others who monitor the same Hashtag (Channel). The best election Hashtag was #CanadaVotes. Oh, and yes, please do follow me on Twitter 🙂
- TweetDeck — Twitter application that allows you to group, sort, filter, slice and dice your incoming Twitter flow. In the screenshot of my election night desktop, it took up my left-hand 22″ monitor.
- Google Chrome — having multiple browser windows open at once would prove challenging to Firefox. I have 20+ plugins so I run a Fat Firefox. Chrome is lightweight and each instance runs independently; if one window crashes, the others stay running. I had four instances of Google Chrome running in my second monitor (17″) on the right.
Ok, that’s the tools, now what was I doing with them?
I’ve already mentioned that TweetDeck was my main communications medium for the evening. The back-and-forth discussion amongst people monitoring the #CanadaVotes channel was insiteful and entertaining. It was great engaging with other Canadians in a national discussion.
On my other monitor, I had Google Chrome running (in clockwise order):
- CBC Website — live results map of my ridings of interest
- CBC Website — live national results map
- CBC Website — live streaming TV coverage (sorry, it doesn’t show)
- Globe & Mail website — Live national results chart broken down by party
At one point, I did have another two windows onscreen containing Global and CTV coverage, but frankly, there wasn not enough new or insiteful commentary, so I reduced the redundancy and dumped them.
Overall, watching the various media sources and participating in the Twitter traffic was the best way to engage in, what many believe to be, a somewhat mundane national exercise.
Your turn, what did you use to monitor the results? Traditional media? New media? Comments are open!