Thoughts of a Toronto-based PR consultant. A focus on the PR profession and the charitable sector, with forays into arts, society and politics.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tolerating Twitter-lite, for the tweets that rock my world

There are times I rue ever venturing into the Twitter universe. So many of the tweets are so light, so ephemeral... do I really need to know that a fellow PR-type here in Toronto really enjoyed the grilled fish at some restaurant that probably waived his bill for the mention?

But then there are flashes of brilliance, that demonstrate how rich the universe of Twitter can be. I followed the Iranian democracy protests via Twitter, and I now avidly track the tweets by Nicholas Kristof, the extraordinary foreign correspondent for the NY Times who with his wife and fellow Pulitzer-holder Sheryl WuDunn (wouldn't you love to sit at their dining room table??) wrote the stunning book/wake-up-call to the world "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide."

Last week Kristof's tweet read thusly: <<A Kenyan girl's question echoes in my mind: "Should I keep sleeping with the man who pays my school fees?">> That 140-characters-or-less statement hit me like a ton of bricks. Her simple question says so much about this upside-down world. I just can't shake thinking about her, and the millions of other children in the world facing equally awful dilemmas.

And now, my admission: despite my lifelong love of the NY Times, despite my interest in women's rights in the developing world, I had never heard of Kristof until Stephanie Nolen's tweet sent me to him. I now read his columns in the Times avidly, and my copy of "Half the Sky" is on order. I fully anticipate that it will rock my world.

So I'll continue to tolerate the annoyances of Twitter-lite, for these flashes of brilliance.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beauty, eh?

This Tuesday, November 3 is Art with Heart at the gorgeous Carlu. It's Casey House's biggest fundraiser, a 16-years-strong auction of contemporary art raising funds for their services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Toronto community.

This year's collection has a fun, edgy Canadian slant we're dubbing "Contemporary Canadiana." The art is absolutely glorious, and the bidding spectacle always makes me giddy.

Want a feel for the night? The event website includes a promo video that I co-produced with the amazing Lisa Lightbourn Lay.