About Crackmacs

Our Avatar, courtesy of Mandy Stobo of Bad Portraits. Thanks Mandy!!

 

About Us.

Crackmacs is the username we adopted back in 2009.

Crack Macs is the nickname that Calgarians gave to the 24/7 Mac’s Convenience store located at 7th avenue and 8th street southwest in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

We’ve lived downtown for quite a long time, and during the summer of 2009, we ended up moving in right beside Crack Macs. The downtown life is entertaining and something we weren’t strangers to, however once we settled in, we noticed a huge uptick in bizarre things happening outside compared to what we had been used to, and we wanted a way to ‘journal’ it. Twitter was emerging at the time and it seemed like a good place to do it. So on August 31st of 2009 http://twitter.com/Crackmacs was born.

The first tweet.

Crack Macs on 7th Avenue

The history of Crack Macs runs deep, having existed many years if not decades before we started using it. The Mac’s location used to be notorious as a place to avoid if traveling downtown, due to drugs, drunks, assaults and worse. It was not lit very well, there was a train station attached to it with lots of room for people to do things without being seen, there were always people out and about at all times of the day and night. As the name suggests, crack and other drug use was rampant by people in the parking lot and surrounding area. Quite often people would offer to sell you drugs if you just so happened to be walking by.

Beside Mac’s was a train station, called 8th street station. This train station was a large part of the Crack Macs … operation? The way it was designed left a lot of blind spots, and people could quickly make a deal then jump on a passing train to leave the area quickly. Eventually this station was demolished and moved.

The original 8th street LRT station was opened on May 25th, 1981, and closed down December 19th, 2009 to make way for the new 8th street station. As part of a 7th avenue refurbishment project, a brand new station was constructed one block east of where the old station was and the old one was demolished. 8th street station, the first one, was often the scene of fighting and people doing shady things. You may remember the story of Gage Prevost being pushed to his death over a $10 drug deal gone bad.

Old 8th street station

This new station is much more open, longer (to accommodate 4 car trains), much better lit, more accessible, and overall a big improvement to the previous station. The new platform is attached to Century Gardens park, which is good and bad. It’s much nicer, being beside a park, but at the same time it’s often used as a gathering spot for shady people. As well, shady people still exist around Macs, but it’s not like it once was.

About Crackmacs

As mentioned earlier, Crackmacs was created to journal or catalog the crazy happenings in our neighborhood and what it’s like living in downtown Calgary. We started out by simply sharing things we saw and heard down on the street from our balcony. Updates were quick, sporadic, and occasionally included pictures or video. We would share anything too, good, bad, ugly, it didn’t matter. We wanted to share what life was like from an anonymous and neutral point of view. From the beginning, we’ve never wanted to be part of the ‘story’ with what we’re sharing either. You’ve never seen us taking selfies or making ourselves the focus of the content. Whatever we’re sharing is the focus 100% of the time. Again – good, bad, or ugly.

When we started Crackmacs on twitter, we really didn’t have much experience in social media. We had been part of the Livejournal scene and the usual messenger programs (and IRC), but the twitter account was something new. We started off pretty slowly, no schedule of tweets or anything like that. It actually took almost 2 years to break 1000 followers.

Once we started getting a bit of a following, we noticed something. We could help other people with our account!

We actually became one of the larger accounts in Calgary that wasn’t tied to some kind of business or company, and for little guys/random people, it was difficult to get their message out there. The larger accounts like @GlobalCalgary weren’t about to start retweeting random people, but we could – and did. Not having any kind of mission statement or corporate rules on what we shared, we started helping out anyone that asked. We would search out interesting local content that wasn’t ours, to retweet and signal boost. Lost dogs, foodie content, lost people, events, small businesses throwing parties, you name it.

Although our Twitter account has grown considerably larger, we still retweet and share content for Calgarians that need a signal boost. Tag us or send a DM. In addition to Twitter, our other accounts have been growing steadily.

Some demographics and stats.

  • 95% of followers are local to Calgary.
  • Majority of our followers are aged 25-35.
  • More than 50% of our followers are female.
  • 100% of our reach is organic.
  • 2-3 million impressions per month (twitter).
  • Average of 45,000 profile visits per month (twitter).

Work With Us

Have an idea for something? We’re open to sponsored posts or content over social media. Give us a shout here or send a Twitter DM.

For sponsored posts and tweets please keep in mind, it needs to be something relevant to Calgary, and something our readers would be interested in, and something we would typically take part in ourselves. We would never spam our followers with fake testimonials or insincere support for something. Without them, we’re nothing. For example, we take public transit, so you’ll likely never see a sponsored post about renting cars or which new Jeep you should buy. Until we bother getting our drivers licenses 🙂 Maybe 2017 is the year!

We’ve always been 100% genuine in anything we’ve shared, and that will not change, even for money.

Did you know the FTC requires bloggers/celebrities to mention when they’ve been paid to promote something? See for yourself. As such, any content that matches that criteria will be clearly labeled as SPONSORED in each post. We’re not in the United States, but we’ve always been straight up with everyone and want to keep that trend going.

 

Brands We’ve Worked With

Click on each logo to visit their website and check them out.

 

The Spesh YYC

The Spesh runs a mobile app that features local restaurants and food joints. Good way to find something to eat if you’re indecisive.