Twitter

The Joke's On Me

Yesterday, I stumbled upon an observation I thought was accurate. It seems the Jokers in the various iterations of Batman tend to depict their era's drug of choice. I shared this image in the tweet below.

That was about 18 hours ago. Since then, my Twitter notifications have been bombarded with retweets and favourites. We're at about 1000 of each.

That's nice and all, but it's not my content and whoever created the original image misspelled 'heroin', so I've received dozens and dozens of smart ass replies like this one.

There are plenty more, trust me. Nobody thinks I know how to spell heroin, but I do.

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One Little Tweet Can Make a Big Difference

Last Sunday, while walking in the neighbourhood of New Toronto, I came across a sign. Flowers were stolen from a children's garden at Second Street Junior Middle School. I took this photo of the sign.

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I also sent out this tweet.

The next day, I heard from a reporter at CTV Toronto. He wanted more details and thought this would make a good news story. They sent over a camera crew and aired this story on the 6pm news on Monday.

Students in Etobicoke were angry to find that flowers from their school garden have been stolen.

As part of a “green project,” parents and students planned to maintain a garden of flowers, fruits and vegetables at Second Street Junior Middle School throughout the summer.

But when students went to water the plants, they were gone.

“I’m very, very upset. Give them back right now,” one young student said. The students raised $500 to create the garden.

According to parents, the most expensive flowers in the garden were targeted by the thieves. 

“I was really upset that someone would come steal from a children’s garden,” one parent said. 

A sign was put up after the theft, calling out the thieves and asking for the flowers to be returned. 

The fruits and vegetables that grow in the garden are destined for a nearby food bank.

I was then contacted by Robin Evans Clarke who saw my tweet and wanted to donate money to the flowers fund. I passed on the contact info I had for one of the parents helping out with this project. That's when she started an Indiegogo campaign.

In less than a day, with a little help from Reddit, she raised her target of $500.

It's awesome watching the community step up like this, turning lemons into lemonade. And to think it all started with a little tweet...

Update: July 18, 2015

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Our Twitter in 1985

Shared by @retrontario with a comparison first tweeted by @scroll, channel 10 was our Twitter in the mid-80s. Here's a snippet from July 10, 1985.

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Whose Tweet Is it, Anyway?

Whose Tweet Is it, Anyway?Following the Royal's extra innings win over the A's last night, Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons tweeted at Blue Jays all-star Jose Bautista. Usually, such rhetorical tweets don't get a reply from the athlete mentioned. This time, Joey Bats responded.

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Good for Bautista, right? I was one of over 1900 people to retweet his response because it was so out of the ordinary. But what if Jose Bautista didn't write and send that tweet? What if a PR firm managed his Twitter feed?

It looks like that tweet was actually sent by someone at the PR firm responsible for Bautista's Twitter feed. Personally, I avoid following all verified Twitter accounts when the owner of the account doesn't do their own tweeting. I have no interest in hearing from a hired PR firm.

I'd like a list of celebrities who manage their own Twitter account. Someone should create a definitive list. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Joey Bats would make that list.

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The Power of Now

The Power of NowYoung people born into the internet age will never fully appreciate how crazy instant and borderless it all is.

At 3:48pm, I received an email from a Caterina who found me after Googling for Arnold Lanni's email address. Arnold Lanni, who I first wrote about here, is a former member of Frozen Ghost and Sheriff. Caterina's husband is also an A. Lanni and she's been getting voicemails intended for Arnold.

A half an hour later, thanks to Twitter, I had touched base with Arnold Lanni and forwarded to him a message left with Caterina.

It still blows my mind. An hour ago, I had never heard of Caterina and had never connected with Arnold Lanni (although I did own Nice Place to Visit on cassette). What an age we live in.

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Merging Social Media Accounts

Over the past year we’ve seen the rebranding of several Toronto staples, namely the LCBO and the Beer Store. While the logos have only been affected so far, branding changes may spill over into their online profiles at some point. So if they want to rebrand their social media accounts they’ll have to make some technical changes so that their online followers can continue to keep up with the latest ‘booze’ news without missing a beat.

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lcbo

It got me thinking: how do you keep your online following after rebranding, or even merging? I’ve done some exploring on social media sites to find a solution. So when and if companies decide to rebrand or merge, subscribers can easily find them.

Twitter
When you change your username on Twitter, it will also change your URL. And, you’re done. You can even change your name multiple times, if you’re indecisive. This is about as easy as it gets when it comes to merging or rebranding social media accounts.

Facebook
Twitter is my preferred social media site, but most brands have multiple online presences and Facebook is almost always the next stop. When you want to change your address and name on Facebook, make sure you choose wisely. You only have one opportunity to do so. The same applies for vanity URLs.

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LinkedIn
LinkedIn makes it easy for companies to merge accounts or rebrand. All you have to do is change your company name in the settings area. Then LinkedIn will automatically update the URL to reflect your new name. Sometimes you will be left waiting, so feel free to contact the site if your URL has not been updated within a few days.

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Remember: your company’s LinkedIn account is always associated with a person at your company. So make sure that the creator is a long-term member of the team. Managing LinkedIn pages is usually left up to a digital marketing professional, but creating the page should always be done by the CEO or another permanent member of staff.

Google My Business (Formerly known as Google Places)
While you can change the name of your company, Google My Business does not offer a way for companies to change their vanity URL if a merger or rebrand has taken place. So you are stuck with the old one. As of now, the only change you can make is casing of the letters.

This is the only situation in which you will have to create a new page if you want to reflect the new brand. However, you can’t transfer reviews from an old page to a new one. With Google My Business, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to merging or rebranding.

Other Accounts
After tackling the big online presences, it is a good idea to claim accounts for your new brand on other social media sites. While Pinterest and Instagram may not be everyone’s cup of tea, you may want to have these accounts handy for future use. Who knows? Maybe, someday, Pinterest may be a great fit for marketing your brand or next new product.

For Mergers: Which Account To Keep?
Since there is no way to actually combine two social media accounts, you’ll have to pick which one you want to move forward with. This usually comes down to choosing the account with more followers. Then on the other account, be sure to redirect all of those followers to the newly rebranded page.

Changing and merging your social media account settings is the easiest part of a rebrand or merger. It should only take a few days to update your accounts to make sure that you maintain your web presence and social authority.

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Norm MacDonald on The Summit Series

Henderson Scores For CanadaThe 40th anniversary of "The Goal" is mere days away, and Norm MacDonald has tweeted his memories of the 1972 Summit Series. It's an amazing read.

Speaking of, it was said in 1972 that Canada was the best in two things: Hockey and Wheat.

The Soviets always won The Gold Medal, though, and Canada never did. You see, the Soviet Amatuers, all servicemen, were very good.

The Captains and Majors and Colonels found time in their busy schedule to practice their forechecking.

In 1972, they decided it was time to play the real Boys of Winter, and The Summit Series started.

Game one would be played in the House Richard built, The Montreal Forum. The Canadians were confident? No, they were cocky.

No less a broadcaster than the mighty Foster Hewitt, the man who first said "He shoots. He scores", is lured out of retirement to voice it.

Hewitt has as much trouble with the French-Canadian names as he does the Russians.His mangling of Cornouyer's name especially vexing to me.

I'd never seen a game from the Forum not called by Danny Galivan and Dick Irvine, but this was history and so was Foster Hewitt.

It is constructed as an 8 game series, with no overtime, and my friends and I are outraged. What if it's tied. That's not hockey!

The men on the ice in pregame looked odd, buzzcuts, workmanlike, without style, odd. I was only 8.I didn't know what CCCP meant.Still don't.

The puck is dropped and the real Cold War begins. NOW!!!!

3 hours later, eyes stinging, cheeks wet, nose running. Inconsolable. 7-3? Impossible. As stunned as Dryden must be, I thought.

In Toronto, things go well, the universe unfolding as it should as our Prime Minister was fond of saying. Canada wins 4-1. Series is even.

And after Maple Leaf Gardens, it is on to Winnipeg and my worst fear comes true. Hockey Anathema: A Tie. Series remains even.

We are all very disappointed. I read my hockey cards constantly and tell my friends not to worry. But I am worried. Very worried.

In Vancouver now, for the final game before we go to Russia. The crowd is booing my heroes. I can't believe it. Some are cheering the enemy.

Team Canada, now stripped of home-ice advantage by its very fans, loses another. Phil Esposito, the Boston Scoring Machine, lashes out.

And now my heroes land in Russia. None have ever been there.

They are put up in a decidedly shabby hotel and are surrounded at all times by an intimidating KGB presence. It shows the next day. We lose.

The old folks start saying The Russians are a better team, play a better style of hockey, old time, never unmoving. The kids disagree.

But scores don't lie. The Red Army leads 3 games to 1, with a loathed tie, and there are 3 to play on Commie Ice with Commie Refs.

Their names are household now in Canada. Kharlamov, Yakushev, Tretiak. Game 6 and we are very scared.

And then, in game 6, the old time hockey faces the new style when assistant coach John Ferguson, the first goon ever has a word with Bobby.

Bobby Clark, the toughest great player of all time, is told by Ferguson that Kharlamov's ankle looks sore and might need some attention.

Clarke, like a surgeon, slices both tendons and sends Kharlamov hobbling out of the game and back to military service.Who's intimidated now?

Canada prevails in a low-scoring game by this Series' standards with a 3-2 victory. The winning goal is scored by Paul Henderson.

The Red Army would play The Flyers years later, and they would remember Bobby Clarke. Bobby would remember Moscow, and Flin Flon, too.

We go to Game 7, and hopes of winning the series, are pretty much gone now. But we need this win or we have to start a Game 8 as losers. My friends and I agree. If we lose tonight, then Game 8 will see the ice of Moscow stained red with Russian blood.

We win 4-3. The winning score belongs to Paul Henderson. And now there is hope. The biggest fear for me is the fear that I had had since the start. A tie.

And now worse news comes. The Soviets, who had gone to great pains to make this thing an 8-game series with no overtimes, make a statement. The Soviets say there will be no tie after all. If this game ends in a tie they will claim victory, as they have scored more series' goals.

Oh, well, I'm sure it won't come to that.

Game 8. There will be no school in Canada today. A history class? Ridiculous. History instead. But there is school, I'm told in the morning. You can watch at home or at school. School with the older kids from grades 5, 6, and 7.

The gymnasium is packed. Blue mats are everywhere. The teachers are like children today. "We're gonna win", I say to anyone, "You'll see. Cournoyer will score the winner."

"Helluva time for Bobby Orr to be hurt", the Latin teacher says. "Goddamned Commies", says Mr. Rose.

The puck is dropped and all is silent. The entire first period is very tough to watch. But we get through it. Together. In the first intermission the gymnasium is alive with raw nerve. The young all say we will win for sure. The old men don't.

Mr. McCarthy has a new explanation for our upcoming national loss. It's the WHA's the real culprit. Team Canada with no Bobby Hull. Harrumph. The second period is like taking a punch in the gut from the school bully.

I go outside so the big kids won't see my tears. Mr. McCarthy, smoking a cigarette. "Don't worry kid, things don't work out a lot in life."

The unimaginable is 20 minutes away now, the gym is grim. But Esposito scores and we all go nuts and we're running in the gym now. Sitting cannot contain this.

And then the greatest moment in my life.

Yvan Cournoyer, my hero, scores and ties the game. Or does he. My elation pushes me into the arms of an old lady that taught me geography. Everyone is everywhere, cheering. And I replay the goal in my mind. And I see that something is missing. The red light.

And I see the little M climbing over the boards and into the crowd, we are all surrounding the TV on wheels now, Eagleson is there. The score counts. The game is tied.

THE SERIES IS TIED!!!!!!!! And still a half a frame to play. But no extra time.

That was the deal.

And now talk turns to the tie scenario. "A tie's a tie" says Jimmy, "and it don't matter what the Russians say." Maybe, they'll play overtime because nobody expected this, I say. I had expected it in the way of dread.

I'd rather The Russians score than it end up a tie, I said very quietly and to myself, and then felt very bad about having said it.

Two minutes left. The old man I don't know says we'll win the rematch and this time we'll have Hull, and Sanderson too. Trudeau will see to it. There's only a minute or so left now, but Cournoyer was on the ice and an small boy's hope has no bounds.

We're all on our feet now and Team Canada has it in enemy territory. Cournoyer has it. "Cournoyer is my guy" I yell. Everyone knows this.

Cold wars don't end in ties.

Cournoyer blasts a shot. Henderson has a chance to redirect it but falls and crashes into the boards behind the net. The puck gets past 2 Russian defensemen and finds the stick of Espo, who swats it toward the net. And now from nowhere is Henderson.

It's just Henderson and Tretiak now. Everyone else alive watches. I feel like I'm choking. Henderson, so close to the Russian netminder, shoots and is denied, but then the second. Henderson scores with 38 seconds left. The nation is in unbelief.

The old come to their feet. I go to the air. I'm still there.

I've always liked Norm MacDonald. I even liked Dirty Work.

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Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture Dump

Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture DumpAndy Gray from Sports Illustrated is tweeting Toronto-centric pictures this afternoon.

I'm a Toronto-centric kind of guy who loves sports (and gets Sports Illustrated every week), so I'm collecting them all here along with Andy's accompanying tweets and some commentary from yours truly.


jays

AG: Jack Morris, Dave Stewart, Todd Stottlemyre & Juan Guzman pose at a 1993 SI photo shoot

TM: Damn, I miss these days. I once stalked Stottlemyre at the CNE to get his autograph.


argos

AG: Toronto Argonauts owners Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky and John Candy attend a 1991 game

TM: The kids and I just watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles. A few months ago, we watched Uncle Buck. I miss John Candy.


vince

AG: SI photographer John McDonough took this great shot of Vince Carter

TM: Nope, I'm still not ready to make nice.


felix

AG: Felix Potvin and his cat pose for a 1982 (sic) SI photo shoot

TM: Of course, Andy meant 1992. Speaking of stuff I miss, damn I miss Felix Potvin and this Leafs team that made the Conference finals twice in the early 90s.


huskies

AG: How amazing was this Toronto promotion (from 1946 Knicks-Huskies game)?

TM: I hate the name "Raptors" and wish we had gone with "Huskies".


wells

AG: Get your cigar, recline your La-Z-Boy. We're going with Toronto photos all day. David Wells is excited!

TM: I saw STP and RHCP with David Wells... sorta.


domi

AG: Tie Domi and Lyle Odelein get acquainted during a 2000 game between the Leafs and Devils

TM: My old pal.


marcus

AG: Marcus Camby poses for a photo at Raptors Media Day in 1997

TM: I can't believe Camby is still playing. He's old... he's my age!


danny

AG: Blue Jays shortstop Danny Ainge in action

TM: NBA star Danny Ainge started at third for the Jays back in 1981. Here are the other starting third basemen in Blue Jays history.


theismann

AG: Joe Theismann in action with the Toronto Argonauts during the 1972 season

TM: This is the first photo, outside the Huskies ticket, that doesn't bring back memories.


cousins

AG: Cousins Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter in 1999

TM: T-Mac never seemed happy.


Gruber

AG: Kelly Gruber celebrates Toronto Day at the SI Vault (for @GrubersMullet and Gruber lovers everywhere)

TM: Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly.


robbie

AG: Roberto Alomar lays out for a catch during the 1992 World Series against Atlanta

TM: The greatest Blue Jay of all-time.


fans

AG: Toronto fans celebrate after the Blue Jays won the 1992 World Series

TM: I'll never forget.


barfield

AG: Jesse Barfield and his son let their Soul Glo before a 1996 (sic) Blue Jays-Orioles game

TM: I loved Barfield, and I love this picture. There's my Exhibition Stadium in what is likely 1986. Barfield had a cannon for an arm.


wendel

AG: Wendel Clark scores a goal during a 1993 Caps-Leafs game

TM: All heart.


tim

AG: Canadian legend Tim Horton played 18 seasons for the Maple Leafs in the '50s and '60s

TM: That's right, kids. Tim Horton was a Leaf. In fact, he was one of the greatest Leafs.


keon

AG: Dave Keon and Pierre Pilote chase down a loose puck during a 1967 Maple Leafs-Blackhawks game

TM: I missed Keon's entire career, but I caught his return.


roger

AG: Brian McNamee stretches out Roger Clemens before a 1997 Toronto-Baltimore game

TM: Roger Clemens, part of baseball's lost generation.


bosh

AG: How did Chris Bosh let SI take this photo of him?

TM: Bosh was more Vince than we realized. Go Celtics!


joe

AG: SI's Chuck Solomon with a great aerial shot of Joe Carter scoring the winning run of the 1993 World Series

TM: Joe touched 'em all, and it's been all downhill since then.


robbie2

AG: Toronto Day is over as I have to meet Robbie Alomar at his Skydome hotel room for dinner. Hope you enjoyed

TM: Fess up, Toronto. How many of you slept with Roberto Alomar?

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The Leafs Official Twitter Feed and What It Could Learn From the Kings

The Leafs Official Twitter Feed and What It Could Learn From the KingsThe Maple Leafs' official Twitter feed isn't bad. It's informative and engaged, and it says "cheers" a lot. It practically has a personality...

But then there's the Los Angeles Kings' official Twitter feed. Now it has personality, and even likes to trash talk.

Here's their infamous taunting of Canucks fans following their win in round one.

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And this one is fresh...

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If we ever have a reason to be so brash, I'm hoping the Leafs' Twitter account takes a cue from the Kings and becomes as fun. If you can't lighten up on Twitter, what's the point of being there?

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10,000 Tweets

twitterI first joined Twitter in 2008 as a social experiment. Would people use Twitter as an RSS alternative?

In early 2009, I started complementing the twitterfeed tweets with actual status update tweets. Now three years later, I see I've hit 10,000 tweets. That milestone is as good a reason as any to remind you to follow me on Twitter.

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If you're on Twitter, let me know your handle in the comments so I can make sure I'm following you.

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