Introducing CanTags: On May 1 local becomes a seven letter word

Social media is great for discovering our world and connecting the globe. Locally? That's a little bit trickier.

CanTags wants to change that. A CanTag is a seven letter tag or keyword you can use to share your news with your neighbours, and everyone else.

It’s simple. The first part of the CanTag are the first three letters of your city or town: e.g. WIN for Winnipeg. Then, add the topic of your content in three or four addition letters: ARTS, BIZ, SPO, etc.

You can find the evolving and crowdsourced list of proposed CanTags city codes here. And, a growing topic list is evolving here. has decided to adopt and help evolve CanTags. We’ll be using them to tag our stories, videos, pictures and other content. That way we’ll be able to gather and deliver local and even hyperlocal stories for you, our users.

And, you can help. If you have an original picture, story, video or website you want us to aggregate and share on, just add RAB to front of your tag. So, a Winnipeg-based photo of an arts events you’d like us to share would be tagged: RABWINARTS or rabwinarts (case doesn’t matter).

At we think local coverage aggregated at a national level is one way Canadian citizens can work together to cover themselves. CanTags will help us all do that, together. We’re pleased to support this grassroots effort.

What about Twitter? Twitter has already established the ideal way to access CanTags: a #hashtag before the code (i.e. #WINARTS) will make it more searchable. With the addition of tags, whether it's an essay-length blog post or a 140-character comment, your ideas will be able eventually reach everyone interested in the conversation.

CanTags will officially launch across Canada on May 1, 2009, in conjunction with the globally celebrated LocalDay, a global Twitter event organized by E-Democracy.Org.

How you can help define CanTags

Twitterers can direct their input with @CanTags and adding the #CanTags tag to the tweet allows everyone else to see it as well. You can also email the guide's editor, at cantags[@] (remove the square brackets beside the @ first). If you'd like to help edit or expand this guide, please contact @geoperdis on Twitter, or by email.

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