News   Aug 05, 2020
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News   Aug 05, 2020
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News   Aug 05, 2020
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Anagram TTC map

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billy corgan19982

Guest
Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boosters?

From Eye

Crapping on the fans
Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boosters?

When blogger Robot Johnny (also known as John Martz of www.robotjohnny.com) spent an afternoon creating anagrams for each of the Toronto Transit Commission's 69 subway stations, he did so out of love for wordplay and public transit. He had no idea the project would culminate in him receiving his first legal order to cease and desist.

Inspired by a remixed map of the London Underground he saw posted on BoingBoing.net, the Toronto blogger inserted his rearranged names (Summerhill became Mush Miller; Davisville became Valid Elvis) into a look-alike TTC subway map, complete with the familiar TTC logo, font and colour-coded subway lines (pictured above). The anagram map was an instant hit in the blogging community, which began linking to it within days.

Instead of welcoming the free publicity, however, the TTC demanded Martz remove the map from his site, threatening legal action if he continued to use TTC intellectual property. Martz redrew the map without any of the familiar iconography and posted it again -- less fun, but still worth a look.

The whole ordeal is just one example of how the TTC continues to shoot itself in the foot by failing to embrace the ones who love it most. Last July, when TTC management got wind that Sean Lerner was going to stage some guerrilla theatre on TTC property to promote his independently created TTC Subway Rider Efficiency Guide --a palm-sized brochure filled with helpful tips on traversing Toronto's subway stations -- they demanded he cancel the event.

In 2004, when Spacing magazine publisher Matt Blackett (a.k.a. Eye Weekly's m@b) contacted the transit commission with an idea for a promotional project, they never returned his call. Since then, the magazine has sold over 40,000 Toronto subway-station buttons, and though Blackett still mentions working with the TTC every time he's interviewed by the press, he has yet to hear a peep from the commission.

Support from the TTC aside, Lerner and Blackett received loads of media attention for their work. Both have gone on to produce other transit-related projects and events -- Spacing's exhibition showcasing art inspired by the TTC, In Transit, recently wrapped up at the Toronto Free Gallery; Lerner contributed a film to the exhibition on Toronto's longest escalator, located at York Mills station.

What the TTC -- a reliable but unimaginative gang of engineers -- seems to have missed (or ignored) is the rising cult of Toronto transit. There's a whole generation of people who are not just riders but actual fans. This type of viral, fan-based marketing -- complete with one-inch buttons worn on shoulder bags and lapels, and websites offering little-known facts -- is usually reserved for rock stars. Instead of angering this community by serving up cease-and-desist notices or ignoring their calls, the cash-strapped TTC should work on forging relationships with the people who provide them with free publicity. They should be encouraging this kind of work, not discouraging it.

The TTC may be good at engineering -- it runs what may be the most efficient transit system in the world -- but it's terrible at marketing (witness the dumbass "our driver is a hero because he did his job" campaign). Luckily, there's a growing transit booster movement in Toronto that has been happy to pick up the slack. When the rest of the public complains about fare hikes, the boosters come to the TTC's defence. When people gripe about crowded trains, messy stations and infrequent service, the boosters remind them of the TTC's more endearing qualities. These people are mythologizing our transit system. That's something this city needs.

Here's an order for the TTC: cease and desist from alienating your fans. They're doing all your promotional work for you.
 
A

AlvinofDiaspar

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

Does the TTC management have absolutely NO sense of humour (or on that matter, better things to do)?

AoD
 
M

miketoronto

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

TTC needs a complete overhaul of its head office.

I think the people in there just have no vision anymore, and they gotta move up with the times, or go do something else.
That goes right from planning, down to marketing with the lack of vision in that place.

But then what do you expect. The TTC still thinks that making people ride buses in Scarborough for one hour to access a subway station, is o.k.
 
D

dan e 1980

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

i think maybe they think that some of the terms used in the anagrams might be offensive to some and since it looks like a ttc map, they don't want to appear to be linked to its production.

of course, they could always look the other way and leave alone the people that choose the better way.
 
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rbtaylor

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

they don't want to appear to be linked to its production.
In the original map this person used the TTC logo and color scheme. It looked very much like a real map aside from the station names.

The TTC did the right thing here. The publisher should have gotten written permission before publically posting those elements on their own map.

The new map with those elements removed or changed is perfectly fine.

Someone at some point would have confused it for something the TTC put out and complained. In general, the public body is filled with idiots who like to make a big fuss out of nothing. As a result companies are required to expend time and effort on stuff like this.
 
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shawnmicallef

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

^But I think the "net benefit" of goodwill and fandom the subway map created must outweigh whatever trouble some complaining nut might cause.

Does the TTC worry as much about other possible complaints, and act so quickly? Why did it take them years and years to finally give into the blind and start regularly announcing stations? Why is it taking them years to stop idling the busses? If the TTC is going to do "the right thing" they should do it more regularly.
 
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shmoopie nhi

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

TTC needs a complete overhaul of its head office.

I think the people in there just have no vision anymore. They gotta move up with the times, or go do something else.

And that goes right from planning, down to marketing.
So true. No more ads about TTC heroes, please! It seems like such a pointless campaign.
 
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miketoronto

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

shawnmicallef, I think the TTC made a big fuss, because the guy was using copyrighted materia. Those maps are copyright by TTC. You are not suppose to use the same design as they use, for personal use.
 
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jayomatic

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

maybe someone should take those hero ads and put a twist on them. The Anti-hero, not doing my job campaign.

for example

Meet Rob, TTC Bus Driver

One day as a group of thugs were picking on this young boy at a bus shelter, i pulled up and opened the door. As the boy raced up the stairs to get away from these thugs, i immediately stopped the boy because he didn't have exact change. So a boot to the face i gave him. As he fell down the stairs back to the sidewalk, i felt proud doing my job as a ttc employee. As i drove away i took a second to look in my rear view mirrors. The thugs were kicking and beating this boy at the bus shelter.

I love my job.
 
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rbtaylor

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

But I think the "net benefit" of goodwill and fandom the subway map created must outweigh whatever trouble some complaining nut might cause.
And when a group like SOS uses a map like this (should the TTC have ignored the version with official logos and colours) as a defense for publishing their own anti-Transit material using official TTC colours and logos, you might think otherwise.

Complaining nuts can be quite organized and capable at times.
 
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building babel

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

Meet Rick and Kevin

One day Kev and I were patrolling Christie station in our brand new plainclothes gear. We're hired to keep an eye on things in addition to the uniformed men. It was a quiet day. Too quiet by half. So we arrested some guy for loitering and resisting arrest. Man was he one pissed off, non-English speaking, new Canadian.

We love our jobs.
 
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shawnmicallef

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

rb> Yeah, you're right about the SOS, and the organization skills of nuts (we know all to well about them).

Still, STILL! Though "technically" the right thing to do....it made me mad.
 
S

shmoopie nhi

Guest
Re: Why does the TTC go out of its way to alienate its boost

Meet Rob, TTC Bus Driver

One day as a group of thugs were picking on this young boy at a bus shelter, i pulled up and opened the door. As the boy raced up the stairs to get away from these thugs, i immediately stopped the boy because he didn't have exact change. So a boot to the face i gave him. As he fell down the stairs back to the sidewalk, i felt proud doing my job as a ttc employee. As i drove away i took a second to look in my rear view mirrors. The thugs were kicking and beating this boy at the bus shelter.

I love my job.
Meet Rick and Kevin

One day Kev and I were patrolling Christie station in our brand new plainclothes gear. We're hired to keep an eye on things in addition to the uniformed men. It was a quiet day. Too quiet by half. So we arrested some guy for loitering and resisting arrest. Man was he one pissed off, non-English speaking, new Canadian.

We love our jobs.
:rollin Those are a hoot!

Perhaps I'm expecting too much, and perhaps we're too accustomed to the apathy of Torontonians, but the "heroic deeds" by employees mentioned in the TTC ads don't seem to be above and beyond the call of duty, and are certainly no more heroic than anything any Good Samaritian would do. Calling the police because someone is being assaulted? If you're standing there, you should be doing at least that, TTC employee or not.
 

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