Registration Day, 2011 Search for Miss Teen Canada

2011 Search for Miss Teen Canada World, ticket to Talent Show in Hotel BallroomInside the 2011 Search for Miss Teen Canada World

Saturday July 9th was a very special Registration Day for at least seventy five participants in the 2011 Search for Miss Teen Canada – World, as one by one teen girls age 14-18 from all across Canada checked their luggage into the sponsor hotel in downtown Toronto to start their week long adventure. One at a time they met each other in the lobby and corridors the massive historic hotel complex at the base of the city.

In the antechamber of one of the enormous ballrooms, they found Michelle Weswaldi and lined up there to present her with their head shots, and CDs filled with pictures, videos and audio that they recorded at home in which they demonstrate their acting, singing and special skills for the upcoming talent show.  After a brief question and answer with the Pageant Director they went and joined the others on the carpet of the large empty room.

2011 Search for Miss Teen Canada World, Michelle Weswaldi the Pageant Director, There’s a nervous energy in the place as the teenagers meet each other in person for the first time. When I arrived they were sitting on the floor in a huge  75 bodies-wide circle, telling stories about their trip getting here, and their plans for the rest of the summer. But in the back of their minds they must be thinking that their plans could change… One of them will be crowned 2011 Miss Teen Canada – World and will be flying south to Houston Texas where she will represent all of Canada in a quest to be 2011 Miss Teen World. Once crowned 2011 Miss Teen Canada – World, that young person’s life will be changed forever as they’ll be required to fly all over North America meeting local dignitaries and celebrities presiding over regional pageants.

contestsnt line up to get their buttons and pins for their sashes and crownsAs the 2011 Social Media Director I spoke to the assembly for about twenty minutes, and we discussed the brand new Miss Teen Canada Blog Network and the difficulties that some of them were having with the interface. I explained WYSIWYG editors and cautioned that what you see in the backend is sometimes not what you get in the post, and it can be very frustrating.  I was keen to council them NOT to cut and paste Word docs directly into the Visual editor of their WordPress blogs, but rather paste it into the html editor first, and even better is to paste into notepad or a text file editor to ‘sterilize’ the text before using the html editor to insert pictures and links.

Anthony is a volunteer with a tough job, Miss Teen Canada WorldWe talked about the sidebar widgets and whether anyone had ever clicked through the ads. The all voiced their opinion that the TWIG ad at the bottom the screen should be removed. We talked about making incentives for corporations to pay them in iTunes credits, or Paypal to review beauty products or movies or TV shows.

I explained just exactly how good blogs can make their authors famous. Each of the contestants in this challenge has already completed three different writing assignments on the blogs. Their 3rd and last assignment asked each blogger to dream up a TV show idea and cast themselves as the star. Then we asked them to pick two companies from among the official MTCW sponsors to fund their concept. They had to explain why these sponsors would be interested in funding their TV pilot and in the act of thinking like a sponsor they see the value they bring

50 regional title holders gather in the ballroom of the Miss Teen Canada World to wait for the others Here’s the Miss Teen Canada Blog Network on Squidoo – this assembly of teen bloggers from all across Canada is really quite a remarkable social media innovation in its own right. Last year, or perhaps it was two years ago now I wrote about how teaching the contestants to blog and linking them into a network could grow this ‘beauty pageant’ to new heights. How the Blog Saved The Beauty Pageant details how this flimsy blog network could be grown year by year into a powerful new broadcast medium.

Each participant’s blog has a video player, and we hope to integrate user generated videos into the system next year, and perhaps even later this fall. We need a better Flickr interface so each participant can post their own pictures. We need custom Facebook plugins so each girl can display her own wall. And finally, most importantly we need a custom RSS feed widget that shows every participant’s post in chronological order – 10 on display at all times, headlines and text beside their avatars, one click and readers are transported to the author’s blog.  It would multiple our readership ten-fold. Already Blogs Canada has expressed an interest in securing the RSS feed from the network. And this is something I could also put in the sidebar of Canada Blog Friends.

The week continues until July 25. There is fun and excitement in store for this

Link to Maram’s post on lushhouse, and Arob12’s post about launching the Miss Teen Canada Blog Network and how Lenzr Corp helped Michelle pitch an improved video net to ad agencies and corporate sponsors.

Here”s a two minute video that I shot in the ballroom on the afternoon of July 9th 2011 in which I asked about fifty of the teens to introduce themselves and their title. Before  I started taping one voice informed me that someone else had tried to do this earlier and had soon run out of memory on their camera card. I feared she was right, so I asked everyone to be quick and we would try and circle the entire assembly of about fifty regional title holders in under two minutes. ..

If you’d like to see the two hour competition this year, you can buy tickets on Ticketmaster for the July 16th main event, the 2011 Search for Miss Teen Canada – World at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
190 Princes’ Blvd.
, Cne Grounds, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3. The show starts at 8pm and is approx two hours long, and I believe the tickets are $60 each. Unlike previous years, this time its assigned seating – your ticket has a seat number and that’s where you’ll be sitting.