22nd Annual SnowBall 14 Days Away!

Some of you may know this already (and some of you may be involved *cough* Amanda), but I’m involved with a non-profit called Santa Claus Anonymous which hosts a SnowBall every December to raise funds for children and family programs in Boston. The event is entirely volunteer run and 100% of the proceeds go to the 3 beneficiary charities, which are chosen each year.

Representatives from The Boston Scholars, one of this year's beneficiaries, pose with Santa in 2004.

Tickets are $65 each and can be purchased online or at the door.

Also, we’re looking for volunteers to fill about 30 hour-long shifts throughout the night. So if you have experience in, or any desire to learn, ticketing, registration, casino dealing, mall santas, or just being a good volunteer, please let me know.

Hope to see you there!

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Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 9:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Online vs Physical Community: What is at stake?

Last night, at a WBUR gala, I sat with one of our clients, Deborah Stone, who is an accomplished writer and professor of Political Science at Dartmouth, and we had a stimulating conversation about the fine line that online social networks rides between deteriorating and strengthening physical community and interaction.

The small New Hampshire town where she lives, Deborah said, was “the town equivalent of a depressed person.” No one in the town, which is made up mostly of older folks, knew each other, let alone what was going on in the town. The town lacked any sense of community or pride. So Deborah created a small town “glossy” newsletter where community members can submit stories or editorials, town happenings, and even profile local citizens. The newsletter, Deborah said, helped revitalize the town and she has seen a sense of community develop based on this publication alone. However, she posed to me this question: could an online community have this same effect on a physical community that the newsletter did?

I was stumped. Because in reality, I know for a fact that an online community or newsletter would not be effective in this situation. Because most older people don’t even have access to the internet, let alone use social networks. However, even the younger people in the town seem to gravitate toward a more traditional community. Deborah informed me that, in fact, the library is almost the social center of the town, even for young people. So in this instance, no, I do not think that an online community could come even close to building the sense of community that this town needed.

But the older generation has to face the harsh reality that technology is changing and with it are our communication methods. What is at stake is that our grandparents, and even our parents, are being left out of these developing social networks and communities and, therefore, miss out on valuable virtual interactions.

I have plenty more to say about this, but I don’t want to bore you to tears. I’d rather hear your opinion instead. Do you think that an online community can replace physical interactions and “traditional” media in order to create a sense of community? Pros/cons? What is at stake when transitioning between an online and a physical community?photo-online_community1

Published in: on November 18, 2008 at 10:27 am  Comments (1)  
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4th Annual November Birthday Extravaganza!

So every November my friend, Amanda, and I host a birthday extravaganza to celebrate our birthdays, as well as all of the other awesome people born in November (lest we forget P. Diddy [November 4th], Yanni [November 14th]; and Billie Jean King [November 22nd] to name a few). Like usual, we’ll go where the night takes us, but we’ll most likely start with bowling at Jillian’s and end the night on a high note (literally) at Jake Ivory’s, our favorite dueling piano bar.

The Extravaganza is on Saturday, November 22nd and the festivities begin at 8pm(ish). After months of planning, it’s finally here so don’t miss it!n1800567_36507944_9138

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

4th Annual November Birthday Extravaganza!

So every November my friend, Amanda, and I host a birthday extravaganza to celebrate our birthdays, as well as all of the other awesome people born in November (lest we forget P. Diddy [November 4th], Yanni [November 14th]; and Billie Jean King [November 22nd] to name a few).

Like usual, we’ll go where the night takes us, but we’ll most likely start with bowling at Jillian’s and end the night on a high note (literally) at Jake Ivory’s, our favorite dueling piano bar.

The Extravaganza is on Saturday, November 22nd and the festivities begin at 8pm(ish).

After months of planning, it’s finally here so don’t miss it!n1800567_36507944_9138

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The “Liberal Media Elite?”

So someone named Heather posted a survey of WordPress bloggers’ presidential picks last week and the results were unsurprising. But it got me thinking about all of the “liberal media elite” comments that Palin made during the election. It’s obvious, even by Heather’s survey alone, that the liberal media is in no way “elite.” In fact, the media is dominated by average Joe’s without an agenda other than to express their opinions.

One of reason’s Obama won was because he was (and still is) able to embrace user-generated media rather than just traditional media outlets. In fact, McCain and Palin’s appearances in traditional media (namely TV) backfired, and were used by bloggers and social media-users in support of Obama. Videos of the Republican pair’s appearance on SNL spread like wildfire in blogs and on Facebook. But this was only to the detriment of their campaign. Albeit, some conservative blogs, like Jonathan Martin’s Politico blog, saw it is positive for the GOP, but honestly the stint was just another chance for Palin and McCain to make fools of themselves.

Yes, I understand that there are conservative bloggers out there, but let’s face the facts: liberals tend to be more tech savvy and supportive of change and democracy – and that’s what social media represents.

Published in: on November 13, 2008 at 12:11 pm  Leave a Comment