Priceless Hashtag. Thank you Rob Ford!

After our wonderful Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, finally admitted to doing crack, twitter exploded with his priceless gem of an excuse, ‘In a drunken stupor’

#Inadrunkenstupor is currently trending on Twitter and people are having lots of fun with it.  When a hashtag like this comes around it burns like a wildfire and people love it.  Usually these ones that take off are based on a slip of the tongue or a huge mistake like the one from our wonderful Mayor.

Imagine what a positive hashtag for your brand could do if it took off like this.  Doesn’t happen that often as it’s not usually the positive onesthat creates such a huge trend.  But we can still sit back and enjoy the power of a good hashtag!

Check out some of the good ones that are coming out right now:

I once entrusted my ex-gf with my password to FB, but chalk that up to being #inadrunkenstupor

I once ate 5 Big Mac’s in a row #inadrunkenstupor

Just renewed my Bomber season tickets! #inadrunkenstupor 😉

I got myself #inadrunkenstupor before an Echo & The Bunnymen concert & totally missed the show. Still pisses me off 28 years later.

Sometimes I make out w girls #inadrunkenstupor

I still believe the #torontomapleleafs can win a #stanleycup #inadrunkenstupor !

I drank Pepsi #inadrunkenstupor

Teens already getting #inadrunkenstupor tattoos instead of #yolo #TOpoli

I watched the Notebook #inadrunkenstupor

And there are just so many more.  Check out some other great ones on Huffington Post Canada or on BlogTO

In a drunken stupor

In a drunken stupor



















You’ve reached your Hashtag limit.

I know I’ve previously written about how the hashtag can bring people together with similar interests plus it can be very useful when used right at events.  And these purposes are all great.  However, the other day I was explaining the correct use of hashtags to a friend and she asked if there was a limit to them in a tweet or Facebook post?  The answer is YES!  No question.  And there should be parameters put on what you can include after you type that powerful ‘#’.  But not everyone seems to understand that.

I thought I would test out my theory (not just mine) that people will throw a hashtag in front of just about anything.  So I just randomly put statements together and threw a hashtag in front of it and I found that these are actual ones that people have used.  Now more than just one person are using some of these, so they are almost a trend, but should they be?







The question is why?  The last two were just included in a tweet by one person and no one else has used it, for good reason.  Do people think that their crafty and original way of putting a hashtag in front of a few words strung together, will start some big trend?  Here’s hoping for their sake. Tell me, what are some of the craziest hashtags that you’ve seen?

I think that the truly funny side of hashtags is the use of them on all words in a tweet.  You will even find that people put them on words like ‘for’, ‘some’, ‘a’ and various other prepositions, conjunctions and joining words.  Here some of the ones I found just by searching #some and #for.

Last day at work tommrrow ! #Finally #Can #Take #Some #Time #Off

Happy sunday ♥ Reminder: #dont #forget #to #save #some #time #for #Jesus!!!

#treat #candies #follow #pjsparty #for #fun #followme #hollowen #minnesota #mn #unitedstates

#me #selfie #specs #curly #hair #blue #eyes #day #out #bored #duckface #pout #for #a #laugh

Do these people have any idea what the purpose of the hashtag is?  What must Chris Messina (Hashtag Inventor) be thinking when he sees what has happened to his invention?

There is so much good that can come of using the hashtag correctly.  But it seems like, in many cases, it’s being used for evil (or annoyance) and not good.

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake sum is up best, I feel.



Tourism and Social Media – Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island - Lighthouse

Recently, I was lucky enough to travel around Prince Edward Island (PEI) and was extremely impressed by how the various tourism groups, attractions and cities made such great use of social media, especially Twitter. As a traveler and social media consultant, what they were doing impressed me on many levels.

Most of the social media teams I virtually came across realized the importance of using social media as marketing tool, from the initial info-gathering months before my departure, to the post-trip compliments from various people, tourism boards and attractions.

In June, when I made the decision to go to PEI for the first time, I tweeted at Tourism PEI and within a span of 10 days, I was introduced to events on the Island, various tourist outfits and other groups that I could communicate with – all that from one tweet asking their tourism board for some suggestions.

Initial Tweet to @GentleIsland

When I reached out again a month out from my trip, I posted the following tweet and that opened the floodgates to many conversations for the coming weeks.

 Month away tweet

By way of tagging various others in tweets, I was introduced to @PEIPotatoes, @PEIFlavours, @OutdoorEx, @IslandFroYo, @Joeysfishing, locals with suggestions of their favourite places and further conversations with @GentleIsland.  Through those conversations, I was able to narrow down my choices, plan activities better and get some feedback and suggestions from others.

Before Twitter, the planning process would have taken longer and I would not have been able to access people outside of my immediate circle by word-of-mouth.  Now by using social media for something like tourism, where word-of-mouth is so important, you are able to widen your circle of experts to the networks of people who might only follow one similar profile, like that of @GentleIsland.

When I was just days away from my visit, I decided that Twitter was a good way to check in with places I wanted to visit to see if they would be open and could make other recommendations.  This led to a great Twitter conversation and relationship with @PEIBrew, that would continue throughout my travels on the Island.

 @PEIBrew and @CharlottetownPE

Once I was on the Island and enjoying the suggestions of @PEIBrew, the tweets and tags inspired @CharlottetownPE to join the conversation, which continued right until I was back in Toronto.

 @GahanBeer and @PEIBrew and Pumpkin Ale

It was these conversations during my trip around PEI that really made me feel like I was welcome and part of the Island family, even if just for a moment.  This may sound crazy but as someone travelling alone, I felt that I was travelling with others,  because @GentleIsland, @CharlottetownPE, @PEIBrew and @GahanBeer were interested in what I had to say and what I was doing.

It’s amazing what a difference it can make in your travels, knowing that someone is interested and cares about you having the best time that you can.  Not just a love-them-and-leave-them, out of sight and out of mind.  These social media teams really tried to make you feel at home, even if that’s not what their main goal was.

 Thanks PEI Tweet

Twitter is one of the best tools for customer service, when used the right way.  Much positive power can come from using Twitter, especially for small businesses.  But so much negative can also come from not using it properly or ignoring those that are trying to reach you through it. I will say that I did develop negative feelings towards the companies, many larger ones, that ignored my tweets when I tried to reach out to them.

PEI seemed to recognize the importance of social media, especially Twitter, to engage with potential customers and visitors in real time.  And by doing so and tagging others in the tweets, that opens the door to small and large business es working together towards the same goal: Putting PEI on everyone’s radar as a great place to visit.

This experience with social media (Twitter) and PEI tourism has really opened my eyes to what potential there is when I visit other cities and countries.   Do others do it just as well or maybe better?  Would love to see others try.


Hashtags truly do bring people together

TweetHashtagWe know that the Hashtag (#) is used to bring people interested in, or searching for, a similar topic together online.  Maybe you are looking for info/conversation on #audi or maybe #mcdonalds or just the #followfriday or #FF.  This helps us as we search for similar areas of interest.

But, recently that little hashtag connecting me with a friend that I hadn’t seen in ages.  I was at the Canada 3.0 conference here in Toronto.  I decided to tweet about how much I enjoyed the social media presentation by Jason Townsend from NASA. In that tweet I included the event hashtag #cda30, which is normal practice at conferences/events these days.  And it was just because of that simple little hashtag that my friend, who unbeknownst to me, was at the same conference and following the hashtag of the event, connected with me.

Within minutes, I had a tweet from her informing me that she was also at the conference and that we should connect for lunch.  And that was it, a date for lunch that day was made.  A few more confirmation tweets back and forth and an hour later we were sitting down to lunch and catching up.  I know that this revelation isn’t new and it’s far from a unique situation, but I found it very interesting.

Did you know that the hashtag was only created on August 23, 2007, by Chris Messina.  Many people were not even on Twitter yet at that point, nor heard of this ‘Hashtag’.  Now this little number sign or hashtag can bring people together online and in person.

I think about the process that would have had to take place years ago to have made that lunch between two friends at the same conference happen.  It might have just happened because of a chance meeting of paths crossing.  But most likely, not at all.

Remember, it’s that simple act of tagging and hashtagging that can be life changing just through the connections that you can make.  Remember to do it, but do it well.

Thank you Chris Messina and your hashtag!


What’s Old is New Again for Viral Videos

The word ‘viral’ is derived from ‘virus’ and medically we know a virus is passed from person to person just like we share funny and interesting videos from person to person.  Medical ‘virus’ rarely die and they continue to be shared and can come back to the same person or close to that person who once had it.  Just the same way that a viral video can come back.  You know the ones that you saw months or years ago that are making the rounds again.

I find this idea very interesting, not that they are coming back per say, but where have they been and what or how are they coming back into your world.  In the moment when a video first goes ‘viral’ we assume that everyone you know sees it because you post it on your Facebook or Twitter or other social media.  If it was in my feed, why didn’t all my friends see it and think it was interesting, funny or touching when I did?  Where were they that day or week?  Living under a rock, sick, on vacation?  Maybe they just didn’t think it was memorable or worth clicking on at the time.

This is intriguing to me and it was brought to my attention over the past few weeks when some of the following videos started popping up again by friends and contacts, as if they were seeing them for the first time.  I remember posting them, along with many others, months or even years ago.  How did these videos with such great popularity miss some of these people?  How did they become popular again? Have they just been making their way around the world and are now making a return visit?  All very interesting questions, I think.

Tell me, when did you see these videos for the first time?

This video was first posted on YouTube on Feb. 14, 2011.  I remember it being hugely popular at the time.  It was on every news show and was probably the most popular video of that day, possibly week or even month or longer.  But a few weeks ago, a friend posted it for the first time for her and many people liked and/or commented on the video.  Where did the video go and how did it come back?

Then there’s this Michael Bublé video in which a mom gets Michael to bring her son up on stage.  It’s from Dec 14, 2010, but in the passed month it has been showing up in my Facebook feed by many different people, who don’t know each other.  When I first saw it pop up, I thought ‘oh Michael has done it again’.  Then I watched the video and realized that I had seen it years ago.  What made this video resurface?  Is it because Michael is in the news again with a new album or that he’s hosting the Junos this year or what?  Maybe some one was searching him and came across this feel good video and felt that we all needed to experience something good and nice?  I don’t know.  Do you?


And then there is this video, which I seemed to have been living deep under a rock when it was popular back in, I assume, Dec. 2010 when it was uploaded to YouTube.  How did I miss something so hilarious?  Or did I see it at the time and maybe the memory isn’t what it use to be and I’ve forgotten it. I really don’t know, as this one has definitely made its impression on me.

The idea of a viral video really doesn’t just pertain to its immediate growth, but its ability to hide away after its initial popularity and to find life again at the most interesting times and by people you assumed saw it the first time.

So, you never know when your video might find life and become viral.  It could be right away and then never again, or immediately and again years later or it will just find its stride long after it’s initially uploaded.