My Twitter Ah-ha Moment

There are about a million reasons why I think Twitter is so great – but this was my initial “ah-ha” moment.

Eric had been @ThatEricAlper for a few months and he would be there at the computer for what felt like hours on end tweeting and retweeting. As if Facebook and all of the other social media platforms that he was involved with weren’t taking enough of his time, now this Twitter was part of his life – and by marriage – mine too. He was discovering the many opportunities and benefits that were there for the taking, one tweet at a time. He was meeting new people, networking, laughing and sharing. He sang its praises and urged me to get involved. I resisted. Strongly. I’m busy – I have a daughter, a business and a house to take care of. I had a great group of like-minded business women that I network with. I have friends to visit with that I don’t see nearly enough of. What did I need to get involved with another social media site for? He’s persistent. He’s smart. More often than not, he knows what he’s talking about. I gave in. We sat down together and got a Twitter account set up for me @NameYourTuneCDs. Still I was resistant and for the first few weeks my Twitter voice was actually Eric.

One night I gave in and sat down give Twitter my undivided positive attention. It went on for hours. I couldn’t pull myself away. The roles were reversed and it was Eric who kept coming downstairs to the office to ask “when are you coming to bed?” “you’re still at it” “ok, I’m going to sleep”. That last one was at about 2 o’clock in the morning. For the first time, our roles were reversed.

Because Eric had started my Twitter account, I was following a lot of bloggers that included social media, music, family and moms. Most of them were not people that I knew personally. It began slowly, tweets of condolence, love and support for mom whose young daughter passed away from complications that were the result of being born more than 11 weeks prematurely. Heather Spohr chronicled her pregnancy and life with Maddie through her blog The tweets grew in number, urgency and emotion. The hardest thing for a mother to witness is the loss experienced by another mother. Here were hundreds of women from across the US and Canada , reaching out to offer their support. I couldn’t tear myself away. Then, slowly, the avatars in my stream started turning purple – it was Maddie’s favourite colour.

One of my oldest and dearest friends had a little boy that lived for only a few days due to complications with his lungs. She was the first of my friends to have a baby. It was a dark moment. To this day my friend will tell you that what helped the most was knowing that there were people that were thinking about her. There was nothing we could do. All of the casseroles, lattes, loves of home-baked banana bread could not fill her loss. The love from friends and her community is what she needed.

I saw an offer from @temptingsam to help turn your avatar purple and how could I not? Within 10 minutes Samantha (who I had not met before that moment) emailed me my purple-washed avatar. That night I became part of a community of women who were rallying to support a mother in need. These women and mothers were offering support and sharing in the grief of another. I tweeted that night more than I had in the weeks since I signed up to Twitter. The relationships became real. That night it became clear to me that Twitter offered up so much more than networking and promoting. Through my eyes that night it became a place to share, to give and take. It was powerful and lasting. I get chilled and warm at the same time when I think back to that night.

Twitter also gives people the opportunity to do more than talk – it often compels people to act. In the weeks that followed dozens of Marches for Maddie were organized across the country to raise money in her memory for the March of Dimes. 

In the year-and-a-half since then I have never doubted the ROI of Twitter. The community that lives there celebrates, laughs, grieves and cries. It is a community that shares everything from struggles to triumphs and all of the mundane things that happen in between. The over-riding characteristics are support and presence. What we are need and crave the most, it’s right there on your desktop.

I have been fortunate enough to take my desktop experience of Twitter to the real world. It’s like being able to walk around on the set of your favourite movie or sitcom – but better – these people are real.


Originally published at

Baby Names and Band Names


It’s Juno weekend in Canada and we’re getting ready to honour and celebrate our country’s diverse and talented music community. Last week was Canadian Music Week and I had the chance to talk with two musical Dads. Chris Murphy, father of two boys, is from Toronto-based Sloan, who won Best Alternative Album in 1997 for One Chord To Another, and is nominated this year for Best Rock Album forDouble Cross. Josh Zucker, father of one little girl, is from the Toronto-based hardcore punk band, F**cked Up, whose band’s very name is problematic. They are up for the Juno for Best Alternative Album this year, for David Comes To Life. I asked them about their kids’ names and, of course, I had to talk to them about the interesting choices for the names of their bands.

What are your children’s names? What inspired their names? Did you honour a special person, place, thing, or memory?

Chris: Francisco and Santiago. My grandfather’s name was Frank, and my wife Rebeccca’s father is from Mexico City, so Francisco is the Spanish Frank. I felt we couldn’t have a kid named Frank Murphy—it would be beyond boring—”Frank Murphy…CBCNews…Glace Bay.” We were frankly relieved to have the Spanish option, as there seemed to be a reason to rule out every regular old name we could think of. Rebecca’s father campaigned hard for Arturo. By the way, his name is Arturo.

Francisco was a compromise. It felt a little goofy having such an exotic sounding name attached to Murphy. Everyone who asked his name couldn’t seem to believe it when I told them. By the time Santiago was born, I was used to Francisco’s Spanish name, so it rolled off my tongue a little easier.

Josh: My daughter’s name is Lior Isadora (paternal last name) (maternal last name).

Lior is Hebrew for “I have light.”  We thought the name had a nice ring to it and had some magnitude, while being obscure enough not to sound hippyish, like “Mountain” or “Eclipse.” My grandfather’s name was Isidore and her middle name comes from him.  He had my mother and three other daughters who were all very close with him, and we knew they would play a big role in Lior’s life, so we chose to honour him by naming her after him. Everyone remembers him as kind, humble, and generous—all values we want to instill in our kid.

Both our last names are in there too, with my partner’s name getting the ever-important final position. I’m not a fan of the hyphenation thing, because it has no future to it—like two generations down the line, those names are going to start getting a bit monstrous – but I wanted her to carry both of her parents’ names. In the end, we thought my partner’s last name following “Lior” just sounded better, but I’m also in favour of just bringing back the matriarchy for last names as a rule, because it’s simple and obviously makes way more sense.

Chris, why did you choose to name your band Sloan? Is there a story there?

Chris: Our friend worked in a factory, and his French boss called him ‘the slow one,’ and his nickname became Sloan and we stole his nickname. It’s not a great story, but I will say that I am thankful that the name is maybe not cool, but at least inoffensive. Bands who think their name is hilarious—like Toad The Wet Sprocket, or Haulin’ Oats, or JFKFC, to name but a few – might be awesome, but I will never know, because their band names are too dumb.

Josh, the obvious big question is for you, since we’re here talking about names. Fucked Up —how, why did you choose to name your band?  Did you anticipate problems getting media using your name? What has the reaction been?

Josh: The band name was chosen ten years ago, way before we ever considered this a band that could get nominated for a Juno, and way before I ever could’ve conceived that I would be answering questions about how I chose my daughter’s name, on a blog called the Yummy Mummy Club. That being said, we wanted to choose a name that millions of people a day would be inadvertently exclaiming, because back then, we believed in the power of repetition and magic and the collective consciousness. From the start, people either thought the name was pure idiocy or pure genius, or that they just heard wrong. We didn’t anticipate much media commentary of any kind, but it has been fun to see the hemming and hawing and the contortions different media have resorted to over the years—from heavy use of the asterisk to the New York Times just calling us, “The band with the unprintable name.”

It will be interesting to see how CTV announces them in their category. The Juno Awards, after all, is a nationally broadcast event.

Originally published at Yummy Mummy Club