Memorable videos of 2013

It’s the end of another year.  Can you believe it?  There have been some fun/special videos that have kept me entertained and informed this year.  I’ve put them all together in my annual memorable videos blog post.  So sit back and enjoy!  And if you have others to share, even if they are not from 2013, please do.  We can all use a good laugh! Happy New Year!  All the best in 2014 from Long Legs Productions!


Just in case, here is the link to the video.

Le papier ne sera jamais mort / Paper is not dead on ! from INfluencia on Vimeo.

And in memory of one of the greatest men/leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela, I share these videos with you!

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.


What I’ll be watching this 2013 TV season.

It’s is coming up on the most wonderful time of the year, season premiere season.  Gee, I feel like I’ve said that before.  But, it truly is.  All the excitement of the fresh new shows.  The return of your old favourites and maybe some new ones you’ve picked up in the off season.

You wonder which shows to include in your viewing schedule?  Which ones you should by-pass?  And which ones you will leave until the off season or until recommendations from your other friends who are just addicted to TV as you?

We can’t watch them all and we definitely can’t PVR (DVR) them all.  So what to do?  Well, I’ve put together my choices for new shows that I’ll be giving a chance, at least at the beginning, this season.  Would love to know what yours are.

This TV season looks like the theme is the return of favourite actors from days gone by.  From Robin Williams to Michael J. Fox to Allison Janney and more.  With great credentials like these actors have and memories of how they made me laugh before, I will give their shows a chance.

The new show Mom with Allison Janney, who I love in comedic roles, and the hilarious Anna Faris is definitely on my list.  Really looking forward to this one based on the previews and the cast.


The cast of The Crazy Ones brings together a few old favourites.  Some that go much further back than others.  Back to the days of Nanu Nanu.  Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Hamish Linklater, who I loved in the The New Adventures of Old Christine.


Taking a bit of a break from comedy, I’m thinking that I will give Hostages a chance, thanks to the great casting which includes the awesome Toni Collette.


Really, I don’t have to say much more than Michael J. Fox.  The Michael J. Fox Show is near the top of list for me this season.


As the season of favourite actors from years gone by continues, up comes Sean Saves the World with the hilarious Sean Hayes and the one and only Linda Lavin who played Alice in one of my childhood favs, Alice.  Kiss my Grits!


I’m liking the cast of Trophy Wife, as another West Wing actor returns to TV, Bradley Whitford, plus the funny Malin Ackerman and straight shooter Marsha Gay Harden along with a few others.  This one has some potential I think.


What are you all thinking of this new James Caan comedy, Back in the Game?  Are you going to give it a try?  I like him and the kids look like they’ll be funny.  The cast looks like it’s got some funny characters.  I’ll give it a whirl, at least the first week or two.


I’m not 100% sure about this choice, but as a lover of the sarcasm of James Spader from his Boston Legal days (one of the best shows), I’m considering this show, The Black List, on a very trial basis.


So I ask this again, what are you thinking about watching this season?  Would love to know and as the season begins tell me how you are feeling about the shows you’re watching and tell me what I might be missing out on.

Happy TV watching!


Canadians, we are so Apologetic and Giving.

I was out with some international friends the other night.  We were: Two Brits doing a short working holidays in Canada, a Canadian and a Brit who live in Beijing and 3 Torontonians.  An interesting group with various life and travel experience.

Our Canadian friend who lives in Beijing start talking about how different people are here compared to China and how things have changed in Canada over the passed few years.  It was interesting what he brought up.

The most obvious and the one we all realize, the use of SORRY!  Do you ever stop to think about how many times you say sorry in a day?  Us Canadians use that as our go to response for just about everything.  My friend’s very recent example and experience was a funny one.  He was at the bottom of a staircase about to go up and a few people were at the top about to come down.  Now this should really happen with nothing more than a smile at each other (that is, at minimum, the reaction in Canada), but he said that he started up and they started down and he could already hear their ‘sorry’ before they were even near each other.  Nobody actually did anything that warranted a ‘sorry’. But that’s our go to for putting anyone out in the slightest.

As I heard the other day, ‘you step on some one’s foot in a bar and everyone around will say sorry’.  Why the heck do we do this?  It’s far better than ignoring or being rude, but how and when did we become the ‘Sorry’ Nation?

He also noticed that people in lines, give others so much space.  When we are at a Tim Hortons (Timmy’s) or the like we leave all kinds of room between us and the person ordering, similar to what we do when someone is using the ATM.  Why and when did this start happening?  What we don’t want people to hear us ordering our X-Large double double and sprinkle donut?  This does drive me crazy also, and I will happily close the gap when I’m up next.  As my friend point out, you do something like in China and 6 people will find a way to bud in front of you.

While on the topic of Timmy’s, my other Torontonian friend and I mentioned about how people are buying strangers their coffees.  Well, this stopped the conversation for all the internationals at the table.  They just didn’t get this.  Was this some Urban Myth we spoke of.  No, it’s true.

We explained to our friends that people will go through the drive thru and leave money to pay for the person behind them.  Usually just a few bucks for the strangers coffee.  We have a strong drive thru culture here that is not in many other countries.  And really there is no reason for these acts of kindness.  People just want to ‘pay it forward‘.

The Brits said that there was no way anyone would do this in the UK.  And my friends living in China agreed.  Now, the drive thru culture in Canada makes it possible to do this without any interaction or any uncomfortable situation. I’m sure that people do this in restaurant also. Why do we do it?  We just want to make someone happy.  We are definitely a giving bunch.  But, I’m sure that we would find a way to throw a ‘sorry’ in there some how.

What stories do you have about ‘sorry’ or giving that you can share with us? Would love to hear how you ‘pay it forward’.

Lessons I learned from my Pa.

Pa and I

He was always Pa to my sister and I.  Never Dad or Daddy!  He was definitely a unique soul that taught us so many lessons in his own special way.  Some just for her and some just for me.  And many that we both carry with us to this day.  We were the number one priority in his life.  I can’t remember him ever missing any major event, concert, swim competition or other sporting event.

There were so many lessons, but here are a few that I feel many could learn from:

1. Always use Common Sense

It’s amazing how far this will get you in life.  When you see or are part of a situation, it’s common sense that will always help you make the right decision. You would that common sense is easy to come by, but I don’t think it is. I think that my parents had to be allow me to make those kind of common sense decisions from a young age based on how they brought me up and the lessons they taught me.  At that young age, I made the wrong common sense decision for sure, but it was my great parent who let me make those mistakes and calmly taught me what the better choice would have been.  This is definitely how I can, to this day, still be in a situation and have those learnings in my head so I can make what I feel is the common sense decision.  And 95% of the time they are the right decision for me.  But, I’m still learning, like we all are every day.  But, I know that his voice will always pop into my head saying ‘Just use common sense’.

2. Think Before You Speak

Along with common sense, this was definitely a lesson that was drilled into us. One of us more than the other, but needless to say, we heard the statements ‘Use your common sense’ and ‘Think before you speak’ on a weekly, if not daily basis when we were growing up.  My father had some high expectations when it came to this.  He wanted us to always take a moment and make sure what we were going to say was well thought out, clear and intelligent.  Most of the time we got this after saying something not so thoughtful and far from intelligent.  But, with that being drilled into us, it has made us better speakers and contributors to conversation today. And that has been a lesson well learned and one that stays with us and constantly goes through our heads.

Sometimes, it’s really too bad that more people didn’t learn that same lesson.

3. Prioritize Family and Friends

There is no question in my mind that we were the main priority in my dad’s life.  He worked hard for us.  He was always available when we needed him.  And never missed an opportunity to be with us.  Sure we didn’t have all the fancy things that many of our friends had, but we had the most important thing, a dad who put us ahead of anything else.  And when he was with us, he was truly with us.

The world is definitely different today than it was when I was young.  There were not as many distractions as there are today.  So many things that can pull your attention away from your time with family and friends.  But, it’s really just a conscience decision to put away the technology, the work and the other distractions and give your undivided attention to the family situation you are in.  Because believe me when I say, that distractions are not going un-noticed.

4. Quality Time is important, no matter where it happens

As we got older, we all got busier and didn’t have that same time together around the dinner table that we did when we were younger to chat and catch up.  But, that quality time can happen anywhere.  And my dad made sure of that.  As we were a one car family, my dad became a taxi service ever night after arriving home from his long work commute.  Pick me up, drop me off, pick up my sister, drop off her, then back to pick me up and finally home.  But, it was those times in the car that my sister and I remember the best from our teenage years.  We had discussions about so many topics with each other.  From school, to part time jobs, extra curricular activities or just what was being discussed on the radio on CFRB that night.  And that was back when CFRB was not just talk, but music also.

It was in those short times in the car that we not only had his undivided attention to talk, but also a place where were learned about current events, music and so many other interesting topics.  I definitely think that is where our appetite to learn and know more started.

It’s these four lessons, along with so many others, that have helped tremendously through the years.  Because of these learnings and lessons that we hold so dear now that he is gone, we know that we can make the best decisions possible and know that we were loved and always heard.


Before Midnight – 18 years and 3 movies later

Back in 1994 I enjoyed a summer living in the UK during university.  I was working and traveling around.  Much of it by train.  Train travel has a certain romance to it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that has romanticized meeting a someone while watching the countryside go by, falling into deep conversations about the most interesting topics and then having that moment when you have to make the decision to continue on your trip or take a chance and get off the train with them.  Well, that did happen.  Only it happened in a movie that following year.  That movie was ‘Before Sunrise‘ with Ethan Hawke (Jesse) and Julie Delpy (Celine). Here’s the trailer to remind you.

This movie was so unique.  It was completely based on intense dialogue between only two characters, in one day of their life.  The backdrop of the beautiful city of Vienna that they walked through played the interesting 3rd character.  ‘Before Sunrise’ for me was perfect timing to remind me of what I, and many of my traveling friends, had felt or dreamed while traveling that previous summer.

Then smartly, nine years later, director Richard Linklater, brought Ethan and Julie back together.  They wrote the a movie that was real time, nine years later in these 2 characters lives.  Each of them had moved on with their lives, but never forgot that moment in time ‘Before Sunrise’. As Jesse and Celine’s paths cross again in Paris, we get to enjoy the intense dialogue between these two in ‘Before Sunset‘.  Over the nine years their lives had definitely changed, but love is love.

Then again, nine years later, Richard, Ethan and Julie came together to give us the next stage in these two people’s lives with the new movie ‘Before Midnight‘. This time set in a small town in Greece, we welcome a few more minor characters as these two people’s lives have now grown together.  Children, careers, lives and intense love all play a big part in this third installment.  Just like the previous two movies, Jesse and Celine give us real dialogue as they walk/travel through gorgeous scenery, which is still playing that important third character of the movie.

I’m not sure what it is about these movies, as my life has not taken anything close to the same path as Jesse and Celine.  Maybe it’s because we are similar ages in each.  Possibly my love of travel.  Or how I romanticize travel and what that first movie represented to me. But I really enjoy these three movies, as I don’t find that I can be as drawn into certain movies, nor find such dialogue intense movies, like these.  I know that many will not feel as I do, but there is just something about having these movies as a constant during my adulthood growing up years (yes we continue to grow up as an adult). These characters have come back into my life every nine years and have offered me an interesting view on life (maybe not mine), while making me stop to remember that very first movie and that time in my life.


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!