The Chorus Gigatown campaign is only 9 days old, and yet Oamaru, a town of just 12,000 people with a reputation among New Zealanders as being where “nana lives” has turned out to be a social media barnstormer, producing over 110,000 votes to date, more than 25% of the total number of votes cast so far.
What can possibly account for this success? Well, Oamaru has proven before that when it comes to matters of civic pride, we are second to none. This was amply demonstrated when it came time to vote for New Zealand’s “sharpest town” a few months ago, which Oamaru won handily, mobilising our townspeople and our friends all over the world to vote for us (and then, too, we had more votes than the other five contenders combined).
Another reason for Oamaru’s success is that we are actually a lot more clued-in to social media and the ways of the modern world than our reputation as New Zealand’s “Victorian Town” would suggest. That’s one reason why the NZ government chose Oamaru as one of the two pilot towns to trial online census forms, rather than the traditional mail-in forms, and we wowed them with higher-than expected submission rates.
But we can use all the help from our friends around the world to help make Gigatown a reality for us (if you don’t know what’s at stake, one town in New Zealand will be chosen to be wired to the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest internet connection, turning it overnight into a magnet for high-tech investment and into an instant cutting-edge technology hub for the entire region). If you would like to help, here’s what you can do:
1. Go to the Chorus NZ Gigatown website (www.gigatown.co.nz) and click on “Join Up”, where you can register with either your Facebook or Google+ account. Then it will ask you to select the town you support. Please choose Oamaru, since doing so gives us 10 more points just like that!
2. Go to the Oamaru Gigatown Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Gigatown.Oamaru) and post on there, or comment on other posts, but always adding either #gigatownoam or #gigatownoamaru (but not both!) to your comments. It’s important that there be other meaningful text besides that tag, too, since otherwise it may appear to the Chorus watchdogs as an automated post, which would be disqualified.
3. If you’re on Twitter, then post tweets using the hashtags #gigatownoamaru or #gigatownoam (but again, not both) along with some other text, images, or whatever you like. Each of these will count as a point, as will any retweets of other posts with the same tags.
4. These same hashtags used on other social media platforms count automatically, too, such as Instagram and YouTube. Blogs on WordPress or Tumblr using the hashtags count as well, but only if you have first registered them on the Chorus Gigatown website.
The rules of the competition are subject to change at any time, and there is a lot that is still not 100% clear about the competition, so you might want to sign up for updates on a special site that Oamaru has set up, gigatown.oamaru.org.nz. There you will find all the information you could possibly want about this competition, see all the posts with Oamaru’s hashtags in one place, and generally support us in our bid to be the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest, as well as sharpest, town!