Owl or Nothing

* 1890s Advertisement for Globe and Mail provided by Toronto Public Library


When was the last time you immersed yourself in Aurora’s “ONLINE, real time, interactive gathering place that connects people, government and business in a local market via the voice of the most important member of the community”.

I’m talking of course about habachat.com.

I last commented on the site “driven for the community and run by the community” in this March 2013 post here: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/aurora-blogs-and-community-forums-2013-review/

If habachat’s goal is “to be YOUR number one destination site where local inhabitants can share local experiences, recommended products and services, get local discounts, find local events, rate and recommend products and people to help you connect local consumers to the people in their community.” they’re doing an incredibly shitty job at it.

Launched back in mid May of 2012 This Crapped Aurora piece: http://www.snapaurora.com/index.php?option=com_sngevents&id%5B%5D=400772 described habachat as:

“Leveraging the power of social media, this innovative social network aims to connect all local community members to become the premier online destination for shopping, recommending/referring and connecting consumers to local experts and businesses.”

Strip away all the meaningless buzzwords and tell me one thing that is “innovative” about habachat?

More puzzling is how it perceives itself as a “social network”? let alone the “premier online destination for shopping, recommending/referring and connecting consumers to local experts and businesses.”

It gets better:

“Habachat is essentially a modern day virtual town square where residents can connect with each other and with local associations, businesses, schools, churches, and charities. Best of all, the platform is free to use and is powered by the residents of our towns. They encourage members to add local stories and events, rate and refer local businesses as well as redeem special offers and coupons from local merchants.”

Habachat is not a “platform” any more than it is a “modern day virtual town square”.

Efforts to engage the pitiful few “members” the site managed to attract after spending over 6 months in beta have failed to translate into anything of substance and residents certainly have not jumped at the opportunity to “connect with each other and with local associations, businesses, schools, churches, and charities.”

Using the waybackmachine I rewound habachat.com to February of this year: https://web.archive.org/web/20140209093446/http://www.habachat.com/

With a navigation schema employing 11 tabs in its primary navigation habachat more closely resembled a mass of undigested parts found in a owl’s pellet than a social network.

I particularly like this pompus claim: “We help the local communities, businesses and people become socially influenced while accomplishing great things.”

How has anyone, any business or even Aurora itself become “socially influenced” as a direct result of habachat.com?

As that seems impossible to ascertain perhaps we can investigate what “social influence” habachat has built itself by looking at its touchpoints on popular social media sites.

Habachat’s YouTube channel has a total of 3 videos:

It’s storify account shows a mere 5 stories:

Where on Pinterest there are zero pins:

LinkedIn has a pathetic 7 followers:

What makes that number exceptionally pathetic is that it is 1 less than the # of employees the same profile claims Habachat has.

Moving over to twitter habachat boasts over 2,100 followers, but tweets go without favorite or retweeting. But hey that’s a lot better than an affiliate account for Vaughan which has a single follower:

Over on Facebook the habachat page has a total of 931 likes, and where that may sound impressive when scrutinizing the account’s activity it reflects the flatline of twitter failing to register any likes, shares or comments.

Perhaps that’s because content found in this stream isn’t local to Aurora Ontario at all, but instead contains items from a Newspaper named “The Aurora” based in Labrador City, NL: http://www.theaurora.ca/Opinion/Columnists/2014-10-14/article-3902481/What-happened-to-Halloween%3F/1

Not exactly consistent with the delegation habachat made to the town’s Sesquicentennial committee on December 19, 2012 where the minutes read:

Ms. McGrath and Mr. Newnham provided a brief presentation and materialentitled, “The Effective Use of Social Media for our 150th Year”. The benefits of building an effective social media site as a tool to showcase the Town of Aurora were discussed.

Back at habachat.com you’ll notice the site navigation for Aurora’s virtual ghost town square has been dramatically reduced from 11 tabs to two.

With these two tabs representing events that never even happened:


So these are the “great things” habachat accomplished by leveraging its impressive social influence?

What a steaming pile.

AuroraClicks.com went the way of the dodo and habachat seems content to follow its path into extinction.

The only remaining question is Whoo gives a shit?


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