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The South Granville BIA: An Example of How Not to Use Twitter

Fact: The Internet is full of drama. Recently, I had a little bit of my own. As you may know, I've recently moved to South Granville and being interested in 'city things' I started looking at my new neighbourhood and it's potential for greatness. I sent a tweet to the South Granville Business Improvement Association about NYC's pop-up cafes that I personally think would do great in this area since there is a deficiency of outside cafe seating. However, my enthusiasm was immediately dampened by the SGBIA twitter account. The exchange went back and forth and, perhaps I was pushing too hard, but it went extremely negative. Since, the SGBIA has deleted their messages to me but I managed to screen cap about 95% of it. You can read most of the exchange here. I'm kind of astounded by their reaction and am stunned that one person who represents all the businesses along this stretch of Granville street could think this was an appropriate use of their twitter. What do you think?
At this point they said that I must not be that committed to idea if I'm not willing to put a proposal in (I didn't manage to get the screen cap). This is an agency with a $500,000 budget. Was I too cocky?

What I do know is that the person who promotes South Granville on behalf of the SGBIA on twitter shouldn't have their job.


  1. You can't see it, but I'm shaking my head in disappointment. If only South Granville could see that business improvement is also about community development. Good on you for trying.

  2. Wow. So turned off by @SouthGranville. Thanks for posting -- then and now.

  3. Brandon, this is very disappointing.

    You fail to mention that 3 days prior you came through with a 'you should do xyz like XXX BIA...' We gracefully accepted and thanked you for your suggestion. 3 days later we get another 'you should ...'

    There are lots of things we should do. The pop up cafe idea sounds great unless you read some other info on the subject or walk in my shoes and have done my job for as long as I have. When I attempted to give you a small sample of the obstacles you kept at it. There is a list as long as my arm why this particular suggestion would simply not fly - Transit requirements and use of Granville is the first.

    You have neglected to include my post where I suggested I handled things poorly. I should have accepted your suggestion (good - bad or otherwise) and walked away without comment. The truth is, I DID handle it poorly and I apologize.

    I would like to think that the SGBIA is a strong part of our community. We go far beyond our mandate when it comes to community development. We have been commended by great Public Space advocates such as Fred Kent for our efforts around public seating and streetscape enhancements. In reality we are on the same team and want to continue on that path.

  4. Really turned off by this blog post.

    "Fact: The Internet is full of drama. Recently, I had a little bit of my own."

    You created this drama and choose to make it even bigger, painting yourself as the hero and South Granville the villian.

    This post smacks of self-promoting and not so much about South Granville or the community as whole.


  5. Hi Roger,

    I did start the conversation. I'm not sure what you mean by self promoting as I have nothing to gain. People wanted to see the South Granville side of the convo which they couldn't because they deleted their posts. South Granville has already admitted that they shouldn't have handled it as they did.

  6. South Granville PR guy makes a point: make a proposal.
    Until then, your chips aren`t down. It`s one thing to draw light to the ideas, and that`s a fantastic start but you`ve gotta make firm proposals.

  7. Totally. I offered to look into it and asked if they've heard about the Greenest City Neighbourhood Grant (which is a pot of $100,000). I'm going to probably throw something together and see what happens.

  8. Do you not remember adding the "Hire Me!" tab on your blog? Increased traffic to this blog is a gain from your self-promotion.

    Should South Granville have left those twitter comments up for all to read? Of course not, the person acted inappropriately and the twitters were deleted.

    And instead of continuing onward in a positive and constructive in the community, you choose to post screenshots furthering the drama that "the internet is full of, Fact"

    Alot respect for South Granville

  9. Hey Roger,

    I forgot I had that up. I removed it as I've been employed for a while now. Sorry.

    Right. I think we're going to try and work together but I'm going to keep this up. As I say in the title it's an example of how not to use Twitter (for both parties).


  10. 'I think we're going to try and work together but I'm going to keep this up.'

    whether you realize it or not, you are sending very mixed signals. I have done my best to offer an olive branch. I was hoping you would do the same.

  11. Moving forward will be the answer in this one....What does forgiveness mean? We say "It’s okay," when somebody has wronged us which energetically is allowing for the behavior to happen again.

    In life there will always be times when we are affected by the actions of another person. When this happens, we often receive an apology. More often than not we say, "It’s alright," or " It’s okay," and by saying this we are allowing, accepting, and giving permission for the behavior to happen again. When we say "thank you," or "I accept your apology," we are forced to sit in our feelings rather than ignore them.

    There are many of us who feel that it is easier to brush off how we really feel than to express our discomfort with something that has happened to us. While this may initially seem like the best thing to do, what it really does is put us into an unending pattern of behavior; since we are not honest with another person, we continue the cycle of letting them overstep our emotional limits time and time again. By doing this we place ourselves in the position of victim. We can put an end to this karmic chain by first acknowledging to the other person that we accept their request for forgiveness; often a simple “thank you” is enough. To truly create a greater sense of harmony in our relationship, however, we need to gently, and with compassion, express our innermost concerns about what has transpired. By taking a deep breath and calling upon the deepest parts of our spirit, we can usually find the right words to say and verbalize them in a way that lets the other person recognize the consequences of what they have done.

    If we can remember that our response to others is important, we can begin to realize that trust and forgiveness go hand in hand. And when we react in a way that engenders a greater amount of honesty and candor, we will establish a more positive and empowering way of being and interacting others.

    Forgive and forget... the point is to create a great community. Remember this together and you'll be back on the same page.


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