Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Why Twitter will endure


Twitter is a social media website, where you can post an update of 140 characters or less to your followers. You can follow other people and they can follow you back. It's a simple, yet very useful tool to get the latest news, friend updates and even get involved in interactive discussions (with some limitations.)

Personally, I love Twitter. It's very useful and my number one destination to get the lastest news updates and friend statuses. Unlike Facebook, every update is shown in a small rectangular box, along with the latest updates always showing up on top, so that you know what happened in the world recently. Updates without the clutter is what you want and get from it.

It's also a discussion tool. I participated in a journalism discussion (hashtag: #journchat) on Twitter last Monday, talking about the role of journalism while social media is dominating. One of my tweets during the discussion was re-tweeted twice, and I felt great about it. I felt like my opinion mattered.

It was a tweet about how social media can enable the creation of jobs in journalism. I believe Twitter can create new jobs in all kinds of industries. Social media is a common communication tool in modern society, and it's great business if your company is out there in the world wide web, presenting itself in a professional fashion while targeting a huge audience of internet and social media users. You absolutely cannot go wrong with asking your company if you can create a social media section for them. Your business could boom within days!

And what if you want to hear more about your favourite celebrity, musician or athlete? A lot of them use Twitter nowadays. You can look them up in a search, find their page, click the "follow" button, and voila! You are now enabled to see what your favourite celebrity has to say without looking like a creepy teenage Justin Bieber stalker!

What can I say? Twitter is a brilliant invention and I love using it. I can stay in touch with my friends around the world, and read the news on the same page! Wow!

Some Twitter terminology:

Tweet: An updated posted to your Twitter page

Hashtag "#": A tool used to identify a trending topic

"@": Identifies a person's username.

Followers: The people who see your tweets, and you are a follower, when you read the tweets you want.
If you are now convinced by me to use twitter, I suggest you follow me. My username is @BryanWrede.

See you on there!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Glued to the bandwagon

The life of a fan of the Jets hasn't been easy for the past 15 years. Nor was it for the first week of the regular season. 

The first game was a no-brainer almost. Our team was under stage fright for most of the game, because there was a lot of pressure on them. History was made for Winnipeg's hockey books, but it just wasn't what we wanted. Nevertheless, a standing ovation erupted and the fans saluted their new darlings and it made me so happy. Jets fans around the world were just glad that hockey is back where it belongs. 

The second game was much better, but they still didn't win. The Jets lead 2-0 after the first 10 minutes of the game in Chicago, and their lead was taken away from them when the Blackhawks scored 4 unanswered goals before Kyle Wellwood got the visiting Jets back within one, and they kept pushing, which wouldn't pay off for them. I felt more pride in my team that evening, because the Blackhawks are a big and respectable team, and the Jets showed they won't go down without a fight. 

The third game against the Coyotes...well, all I can say is: The heart of the team was missing. I didn't like watching the game, but I swallowed my pride and watched it through. I distracted myself by observing how cool the jerseys look, and stared at the nice brick red of the Coyotes home jerseys. 

I've seen a few people rage-quit (internet term for being very upset at something, then quit it) the Jets after that game, but I didn't let myself throw off the bandwagon. I'm not that kind of person who quits on a team for not being able to win. So let me tell those folks that gave up already: If you don't stick with your team if they lose badly, you are not a real fan. True fans stick with their team, no matter what, and that's the cold, hard truth.

Thus I chose to wear my Jets shirt to classes on Monday, because I kept my faith in the team. I had a feeling the Jets will be stepping up their game, and put some hard effort on the ice. And look at what happened tonight: They beat the Penguins. 

Told ya so.


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Guten Tag!

Wie der Titel meines Blogs schon sagt, ich bin ein Deutscher. Und das stimmt auch.

Ich bin im Jahre 2004 mit meiner Familie aus Deutschland nach Kanada ausgewandert um ein neues Leben anzufangen. Zum Glueck hab ich beim Englisch lernen nicht meine Muttersprache vergessen. Ich war in der achten Klasse beim Umzug, und sich mit zwei Sprachen auf einen Mal rumzuquaelen war sehr hart. Es ist heute noch schwer, meine Deutsch-Kenntnisse unter Beweis zu stellen, besonders wenn ich 95% meines Alltags auf Englisch kommuniziere.

Na ja. Nach 7 Jahren in Kanada kann ich sagen das ich ein neues Zuhause gefunden habe, wo ich mich pudelwohl fuehle: In Winnipeg. Bitterkalt im Winter, Mueckenarmeen im Sommer, aber ich kann nicht klagen.

Boy, that was challenging writing in German again. Folks, Google Translate is your friend now.

Friday, 7 October 2011

A familiar snout returns

These are the three things that I love about NHL hockey:
1. The game itself, because I love playing and watching hockey.
2. The jerseys, because I find every one of them to be eye candy, due to their unique designs and colours.
3. The mascots

"What!? How could you like mascots over much more important details, like the players? Bawww, you're nuts!"

Let me explain. Mascots are not only one of the hardest working people...uhm, creatures on a team, but they also bring entertainment to the fans and bring a side to a franchise which kids can connect to. They're fun to watch, and are ambassadors of fun 24/7.

I personally enjoy mascots not only for the show they bring, but also the unique way they represent their franchises. Like Al the Octopus, the Red Wings mascot. His tentacles represent the amount of games a team had to win in the playoffs in order to win the Stanley Cup back in the "Original Six" era. Not to mention how many octopi are thrown on the ice at Joe Louis Arena during the playoffs.

Of course, some mascots some teams have don't make much sense, if any, like Harvey the Hound of the Calgary Flames. I'm sorry, Calgary, but I don't see a connection here. If you had a horse with flames as a mane and a tail, that would be an awesome mascot. I don't know what Harvey is supposed to represent. To me, mascots have to make sense, regarding connection to the team and to the city and province/state.

Which brings me to the NEW Winnipeg Jets mascot unveiled today. It's none other than...Mick E. Moose!

Yes, as read here: Jets recall Mick E. Moose, True North brought back the old Moose mascot. An awesome move in my opinion, because "Mickey" is already a widely-known mascot to Winnipeg and Manitoba, and embodies the history of True North and introduces it into the new Jets era. He's a fun character, and who doesn't love a moose wearing aviator goggles? That's badass, people!

Welcome to the big league, Mick E.! Stay awesome! 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Election night

Oh boy, elections. This time, it's the Manitoba provincial elections. A much anticipated battle is upon us, as the main contenders for seats in the legislature are yet again the NDP and the PC. As a New Democrat, I hope that Greg Selinger wins with his party, but I do not think that it'll be by a mile. Hugh McFadyen has had a good run in his campaign too, because a lot of Manitobans are looking for change in politics this year and the PC party is the leader for change. As for Jon Gerrard (Liberal), and James Beddome (Green party)? They were the supporting cast all this time.

A lot of the attack ads this year repeatedly attack a party on a certain topic, and stuck to it throughout the campaign. Above is an NDP attack ad, accusing McFadyen of planning on privatizing MTS and Hydro, and firing 1000 nurses.

It's a good strategy used by the NDP, because Hydro and MTS are two companies that are dear to Manitoba, and privatizing them would hurt business in my opinion. It doesn't feel right to privatize a company that a province relies on. Firing nurses is wrong too, because health care is a huge issue here, and politicians would never put it on the back burner, because of how many people rely on efficient health care. It's a right to have good health care, and all political parties have their stance on it. 

The PC party also had good attacks on Selinger, but weren't as effective in my opinion. McFadyen has been throwing around rumors, telling that Selinger is continuing hallway medicine, and promises to build safer communities. I don't know how he will afford all his promises. Then again, all parties have made big promises, which made it hard to believe for a lot of people, if they can do it or not.

It's been an entertaining run from a people's perspective, and it'll be hard to predict who will win. I believe that the New Democrat era will continue.

The power of three-man music

Here's one interesting fact about myself: Once I hear a song that I love very much, I can't stop listening to it until the end of the day. This has always been the case for me. It just feels so good to take in the work of a great artist that is put into lyrics, rhythm and sound. And once you're in the vibe, it's almost impossible to get out. Here's one of them: Muse - The Resistance

Lately, the music of Muse has been stuck in my head. I really like Muse, and I really admire the effort that three-man bands like Muse put into their work. I love bands such as Rush, ZZ Top, The Police and so on, where it's just three guys making music together.

Three-man bands are not very common, and a lot of them are barely heard of. I admire bands like these, because of how hard they work together to make a song work and how much chemistry is produced between all band members. Of course, a lot of people are not aware of bands like these, but they should put their attention to them. What some bands can do with just three guys is simply brilliant, and I love it.

Here's a treat from my favourite band Rush: Bastille Day

Rock on!