This post, I should begin with, was fuelled by the fact that I spent the last few days in Toronto. A place that I do love - but found myself missing London. My hometown. I wondered what was happening what was happening in my absence and missed being here. My home. Despite the fun I was having there. This post I suppose if targeted towards people who are new to this city, but also comes with a couple of disclaimers. Important ones at that:
1) I am by no means an expert. This is to say that there are an infinite number of ways to become a part of any community and what follows is only my opinion of how one might begin to get involved with a become an active member of the city.
2) You are an expert. Only you can decide if you want to be part of London and exactly how this might best be accomplished. What will follow is pretty specific and fuelled by a combination of beer and home-sickness - despite the fact I sit in downtown London at the time of writing.
Alright, so - here you are, presumably new to the city and/or deciding you want to be part of the community at large. Where to start? Why? So many questions ...
It's clear to me now that this post stands no chance of being the post I want it to be. Why? Well, I've been up since early this morning - took the family to the Ontario Science Centre and then, around dinner at this point, spent an agonizing few hours driving home.
I then spent some time updating contests on the eh list, next -- added some pictures to Canucklehead.ca and well, now it's midnight and I've decided to write this. After more then a few beers - always a mistake. Regardless, I've decided to do it, so let's at least get started - if only to get your foot in the door - you can always contact me for additional information - perhaps even a future post will be in order. Where should I start? For me, and I'll admit this is totally biased - you should start with twitter. Open an account now, I'll wait ....
Alright, did you start an account? Super, now go ahead and throw that way. You won't be needing that. Well, we might come back to that later ... but let's move on for now. No wait - since you're already there, I suppose I can give you a few tips. Most importantly, you should do a search on #LdnOnt and save it. There is a TON of good stuff there. I won't go as far as to tell you who to follow, but if you check the hashtag often enough, you'll soon figure out who you need to keep an eye on.
Speaking of #LdnOnt - (and disclaimer alert: shameless self-promotion) you're going to want to go ahead and start tuning in to the TV show of the same name. Season 2 of #LdnOnt starts on September 6th and yours truly serves as community producer and co-host. (I ask a different member of the twitter community to host with me each week - could be you!) and does a wrap up of our city each week. However, I'm (sadly) not the only game in town - you're going to want to read the Metro and the London Community News as well. I suppose you could read the LFP as well, although not all would recommend it - especially those at http://www.altlondon.org/. Still, you could do worse than to listen to AM980 once in a while. Oh, and over and above my show, you can go ahead and watch Rogers London - because local matters.
Alright. Next? Well, I'd personally suggest going to a city council meeting at least once, if for no other reason than if to see who exactly is running the show, and to see who exactly you agree with and such. Along the same lines, try to make it to Pints & Politics, which advertises itself as politically neutral and will give you a chance to see others who care about the city as much as you do.
I could go on. Really I could. But So tired. I suggest getting involved with a local charity. (Maybe I'll suggest a few in a future post. As well, visit and get to know the core, In short, do stuff and let your opinion and presence be known. Do NOT be intimidated if yours does not match others - all are equally important. I really have to go. in the interim, be good to yourself -- and each other.