The Battle for Time - Week of May 1

May 9, 2016 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, Content Editor

Since the fire in Fort McMurray first hit the city last Tuesday, what's dubbed as "the beast" has now spread to affect over 150,000 hectares of land.

Now a week in, 80,000 citizens have been evacuated, 1,600 structures (mainly homes) are damaged, the power grid is down and the water is undrinkable. 

In all the chaos, Canadians everywhere have stopped in their tracks.

This is what captured our minutes this week. 

Here's why:

1. There's a hero video that sums up the crisis in one go (not to mention all the other videos that have left us captivated yet devastated). This one citizen's drive out of a post-apocalyptic-looking Fort McMurray is what makes it real for Canadians across the country.

2. There are corporate dollars fuelling the momentum of content. These companies got the chance to use their names to help (and in some cases, not be so helpful). 

WestJet has been flying evacuees to safety and even allowing pets to ride in the main cabin (and receiving an outpouring of support for it). 

Labatt halted all production to make cans of "Labatt Water" for evacuees and firefighters, as a part of its Canadian Disaster Relief Program. 

There have been some gaffs though, namely Air Canada's computerized revenue system that made it look as though the airline was hiking prices.

Other worthy mentions include TD Bank, GoodLife Fitness and Boston Pizza.

3. We're seeing news agencies and individuals alike generate and package content in interactive formats.

Specifically, Kyrstyn Mrochuk took the size of the affected area and placed it onto maps of various cities around the world to show the scale of the disaster. 

It's these kinds of engaging formats that take something as incomprehensible as the size of this disaster and put it into perspective for those watching nationally and internationally. 

4. There are countless human interest stories that connect us with real people. 

Like this CBC story, of a Winnipeg truck driver who was overwhelmed by people taking him up on his offer to fill his truck with necessities for evacuees. 

Courtesy of CBC Manitoba

Stories are made more powerful when they paint a picture of the people involved. 

So all in all, it was the compelling and shocking videos, real-life stories, corporate involvement and endless social sharing that justifiably made Fort McMurray the winner for the Battle for Time. 

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention. 

What will win this week?

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The Battle for Time - Week of May 1.