Social Media Matters: Facebook growth seems unstoppable

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, April 27, 2012
Metro section

Facebook growth seems unstoppable

Facebook continues to bulldoze its way into the lives of Internet users – not that there’s anything wrong with that if you are careful with how you use it.

FacebookIn advance of an IPO (initial public offering), the company announced that its user numbers have grown to more than 900 million, while sales in the first quarter of 2012 hit $1.1 billion, resulting in a $205-million profit. According to a CNNMoney report, the number of Facebook users who visited the website in the first quarter of 2012 was 33 per cent higher than during the same period in 2011.

According to the report, of those 900 million users, Facebook estimates that about 45 million (or five per cent) are fake accounts.

Interested in New Brunswick genealogy?

If so, there’s a provincial government website that will set your heart all aflutter if you haven’t already discovered it: the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

The website is definitely one on which you can inadvertently end up spending literally hours, especially if you know the names of your relatives who passed away, were born or were married before 1961. Their searchable vital statistics area is fascinating.

I found copies of death certificates for some of my great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. These are interesting because the length of stay in the hospital is noted (if applicable), as well as the cause of death. There are many other details, including their birthdates and the names of their parents, making verification of facts that much easier. With so many similar Acadian (in my case) names way back when, it can get confusing. It seems like every boy was Joseph and every girl was Marie.

Mathilde Robichaud
Mathilde Robichaud

For instance, I discovered that my great-grandmother Mathilde (Robichaud) Cormier died on February 11, 1959, at the Hotel Dieu (now the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont University Hospital Centre) and spent eight days there before succumbing to coronary thrombosis and acute pulmonary edema brought on by hypertension (high blood pressure). It even states the funeral home that took care of the arrangements. In her case, it was Frenette’s Funeral Home and the burial took place in the Shediac Road cemetery.

Meanwhile, her mother-in-law was Antoinette (Gautreau) Cormier – my great-great-grandmother. She died on April 25, 1931, at the age of 83, apparently at home because no hospital is listed. Cause of death was a heart attack caused by chronic nephritis and arteriosclerosis. She was buried in the Shediac Road Cemetery on April 27, 1931, and the funeral arrangements were handled by Moncton Undertaking Co.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I suggest three YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to April 24. Have a favourite channel? Let me know about it and I may feature it here!

Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith

1) Straight But Not Narrow (6,893 subscribers): The recent beating death in Halifax of Raymond Taavel has raised questions about whether or not it was a hate crime (because Taavel was gay) or the act of a mentally ill man on an unescorted leave from a forensic psychiatric hospital. It may have been one or the other – or a combination of both. As the investigation continues, this may become clearer. In the meantime, as people throughout Halifax and beyond have come out to pay tribute to Taavel and protest his violent death, there are definitely straight allies for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community out there. Straight But Not Narrow is a YouTube channel hosted by and featuring straight people that is ‘working to positively impact the way teens view and treat their LGBT peers,’ according to its channel description. Celebrities featured on the channel include Cory Monteith – Finn on Glee – and Ryan Rottman who played Shane on the current revival of 90210. (Most popular video: Josh Hutcherson is Straight But Not Narrow – 570,703 views.)

Sharon Gless
Sharon Gless

2) The Trevor Project (14,057 subscribers): According to its YouTube channel description, ‘The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.’ The organization is based in the U.S. The channel hosts a number of videos, including public service announcements by celebrities such as Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, Sharon Gless of Cagney and Lacey and Queer as Folk, and Chris Colfer who plays Kurt on Glee. (Most popular video: Chris Colfer for The Trevor Project – It Gets Better – 1,120,237 views.)

Dan Savage
Dan Savage

3) It Gets Better Canada (275 subscribers): The It Gets Better movement was founded in the U.S. in 2010 by writer Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller. While the U.S. version of the YouTube channel is much more active than the Canadian version with nearly 44,000 subscribers and 3.5 million video views), the Canadian channel’s only video is worth checking out. The It Gets Better campaign aims to reduce suicides among LGBT youth. The only Canadian edition of the video series features Rick Mercer of The Mercer Report and ballet dancer Rex Harrington, among a number of others. (Most popular video: It Gets Better Canada – 228,568 views.)

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