Social Media Matters: Local blogger’s battle with cancer inspires many

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, July 29, 2011
Metro section

Local blogger’s battle with cancer inspires many

Susan Ehrhardt of Moncton received the shock of her life in late June when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma – cancer – at the young age of 23.

She had to leave the job she’d just started and faced an uncertain future. The odds of beating her type of cancer are excellent, but that doesn’t stop a person from wondering, “What if?” She’s remained incredibly positive and has been writing about her cancer openly and honestly on her excellent blog called The Great Balancing Act.

Friends and readers have rallied behind her in support. In fact, a recent auction on her blog raised $23,210 for her cancer treatment medications. Another $3,222 in cash donations were also raised, bringing the grand total to $26,432, nearly covering the entire cost of her chemotherapy drugs.

I love bloggers who open up like she has. It’s what blogging is all about!

Amy Winehouse’s death brings out the worst

If you were anywhere near the Internet last Saturday when the death of Grammy-winning British singer Amy Winehouse’s death was announced, you saw one of two things: shock and sadness from her fans – or vicious comments from those who thought she deserved what she got after years of alcohol and drug abuse.

Some also took great offence to those sending thoughts and prayers to Winehouse and her family during the same time a huge tragedy was occurring in Norway – the Oslo bombing and the mass murder of dozens of young people at a summer camp.

Microsoft had to apologize for a tweet it sent out shortly after Winehouse’s death. A public relations account for its Xbox device urged fans to purchase copy of one of her songs to “remember” her. The tweet read, “Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune…” Many thought that urging people to purchase one of her songs from Microsoft’s Zune service was a tasteless way to cash in on her untimely passing.

According to an article by Sarah Kessler posted to, Apple also posted a photo of Winehouse on iTunes urging fans to buy her music. They received a better response than Microsoft, however, and her Back to Black album quickly became the top-selling album in the iTune store.

The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck found herself an unwitting part of Twitter controversy surrounding Winehouse’s passing when someone with a similar Twitter handle as her name began posting vicious comments about Winehouse. Hasselbeck begged those posing as her to stop posting the comments and assured viewers she had nothing to do with them.

It almost seems unnecessary for Hasselbeck to need to tell people she wasn’t the one posting the comments, but the accounts were being mistaken for her despite the fact that anyone could clearly see it wasn’t really her simply by paying close attention to the handle. Unfortunately, many inexperienced Twitter users didn’t know any better and gave Hasselbeck undeserved grief over the issue.

Woman sues over failed Facebook romance

The breakup of Cheryl Gray and Wylie Iwan was no run-of-the-mill breakup. In fact, she was so upset that she ended up suing him after he called it off.

The two met while playing the online Facebook game Mafia Wars. After corresponding for a time, they decided to meet in person and Gray made travel arrangements from her home state of Michigan to Seattle. When Iwan backed out of the meeting, Gray decided to sue him for more than $8,000 for emotional distress, defamation of character and other charges, including her travel to Seattle and gifts she supposedly purchased for him during their online courtship.

Should be interesting to see how this pans out!

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I feature three YouTube channels that you may want to check out.

Amy Winehouse (number of subscribers not listed): If you’re a fan of the late singer, you’ll love this collection of videos of her greatest hits. While not all are available for viewing in Canada, many are. If you’re not familiar with Winehouse, this is a good place to get acquainted.

The Ed Sullivan Show (6,800 subscribers): Why this channel doesn’t have more subscribers, I’ll never know. Here, you’ll find many great performances by some of the entertainment world’s most popular stars. The quality of the videos is great, too – none of this grainy stuff you find on my channels! It’s just too bad that most of the clips are very short and only snippets of the full performances.

SuperPAC (2,000 subscribers): Are you a fan of the beloved and irreverent 1970s game show Match Game? If so, this is the place for you! Branded as a tribute channel to Match Game, you’ll find more than 200 clips from the show for you to enjoy.

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