(First published at http://liveworkplay.ca/blog/2013/12/30/topfive2013/)
We asked ourselves “What were the TOP FIVE LiveWorkPlay stories of 2013?” To answer that question we used the insight statistics from our Facebook page. This is far from perfect (not every LiveWorkPlay story finds its best expression on Facebook) but we can say with confidence, the top five definitely attracted massive attention! There were a few stories we did not include. The passing of former LiveWorkPlay member Rob More was by far the most read story on our Facebook page and on LiveWorkPlay.ca and we did not include it here. That story stands alone. We also did not include stories about staff members. There were some news features about our co-leaders Julie Kingstone and Keenan Wellar (in the University of Ottawa Tabaret Magazine and Globe and Mail Careers Section in particular) that were also heavily read, and also the announcement of the birth of baby Hannah (staff member Anthony Stratton) that had the “likes” going through the roof. This one and only photo of the staff team was also a big hit. Some stories covered by (but not about) LiveWorkPlay that attracted thousands of views included sharing the news of an award given to our good friend and social capital champion Al Condeluci in Pittsburgh, and the recent class action lawsuit settlement and apology in the legislature to victims and survivors of the Huronia, Rideau Regional, and Southwestern institutions.
Some stories from December continue to attract readership, and would likely have made our list if given more time. These include coverage of the amazing Festive Family Feast (with many sub-stories including Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant, Rob More Good Life Award, and Matt Suttie/Imperial Coffee video) and the speech given by Cooper Gage at a United Way Ottawa cabinet meeting. Cooper and his volunteer match (and LiveWorkPlay board member) Alexis Dusonchet also ranked in the top ten with readers after their story appeared in Ottawa Metro and the story of Phil and Catherine’s match also had readers buzzing in a big way.
Our top five featured stories in no particular order are as follows:
A story during National Volunteer Week that focused on how LiveWorkPlay facilitates the development of relationships. The amazing photo with Emily and Ellyce certainly didn’t hurt. Discussing the many different types of volunteers at LiveWorkPlay and how they contribute to the lives of individuals and the community attracted a lot of interest, and was an important part of presentations to the YAI Conference and Person-Centred Practices conference.
Some reflections on the trip to Washington, D.C. no doubt attracted visitors who wanted to view the videos and photos, but it was more the story of how members from LiveWorkPlay interacted with other travelers on this Ottawa Valley Tours trip that had people sharing the story with others. Our readers were also touched by a retelling of the encounter with a stranger who was moved by the obvious enjoyment of everyone in the group.
The Recipe for Success Charity Auction is hardly news, since it happens every year, but we had a big spike in interest about it in 2013, probably because there were a lot of newcomers who were tweeting it and posting about it on Facebook. There was also the rumour that someone had fallen through the stage and crashed into MC Sandy Sharkey. To find out if this is true or false you’d need to go to the 3:55 mark of this video.
The last two stories both took place on the evening of June 6! At the annual United Way Ottawa gala, LiveWorkPlay received a Community Builder of the Year award for Belonging to Community. It was a big moment with an amazing speech by Vaughn McKinney from The Parliament Cleaning Group who stood alongside employee Jeremy Robin and told the story of how LiveWorkPlay brought them together. Then Julie and Keenan made a few brief comments and accepted the award on behalf of the LiveWorkPlay community, who were watching the ceremony via Skype while taking part in Engines of Success!
Last but not least, the Engines of Success annual recognition banquet. This event received massive attention, not only while it was being hosted, but in the days and weeks to follow. Perhaps the many fans of The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro had a lot to do with all of the extra interest, as they accepted the 2013 Community Ambassador award for their efforts in promoting the employment of people with intellectual disabilities.
In conclusion, these five examples were statistically among the most popular moments, events, and stories of 2013, but they are just that: examples. What an analysis of our networks also shows is that we have a strong community of supports who are always interested in what individuals and organizations are doing to make Ottawa and the rest of the world a more inclusive place for all!