Category Archives: Social Networks

Thank you Yelp!

There was a sheer excitement that accompanied moving to Boston, quickly followed by an intense trepidation. Ben and I decided on Boston last spring and moved into our home over the course of four days in June. The seemingly never-ending pile of boxes, the bare rooms and the looming task of re-painting the walls was daunting. But it was the idea of making Boston my home that was far more intimidating.

I grew up half hour outside of Boston but never quite earned the right to say I was from here, rather I always had to specify that I was from right outside the city. Everyone always says home is where your family is. So by those standards, upon walking into our new abode I was home. But I define it as far more than that. Home is knowing where we can get scrumptious egg white omelets for a Sunday brunch, where we can wander when we are craving thai, italian, indian, etc. where we can waste countless hours over pastries and a cup of tea and a book, which boutiques can make my paychecks seem a distant memory, and of-course where the closest J. Crew is.

Well, within a month, the walls were painted – a beautiful shenandoah taupe for the master bedroom and a deep slate blue for the living room. The contents of the boxes made their way into shelves and closets, onto the walls and finally out of the way. And I discovered Yelp.


Based on the community’s reviews, I found City Girl cafe down the street for a hearty sandwich on a busy day. S&S Bakery for our leisurely breakfasts. wish or moxie, the cute boutiques that Ben would soon wish I never found. Gaslight in the south end and Villa Francesca in the north end for date nights. Border Cafe for margaritas with the girls.

In January, after months of eagerly perusing the reviews to determine weekend plans, I began yelping. It was addictive, sharing my thoughts about all the spots I was discovering! This morning, I woke up to an email from a fabulous Boston yelper, whose reviews Ive been counting on since my move, inviting me to join the Elite Yelpers from Boston!

We just returned from the grocery down the street, where the check-out people know me by name now. I’m lazily lounging in a fully furnished house. And I have this amazing feeling of being part of a community that helped me make Boston feel truly like home.



Filed under Personal, Social Networks, Uncategorized

A Mighty Little Box


I suppose I’m a Facebook snob.  I created my profile on Facebook before the time of news feeds, throwing sheep or giving gifts of lipstick and penguins.  The clean appearance of the profile appealed to me then.

I’ve been wary of the superwalls, graffiti and bumper stickers that are tacked on to chaotic profiles now.  I diffidently adopt applications that align with my interests – like the causes application or the “Where Have I Been” travel map.  I’m shamelessly careful not to clutter my page, even voting applications, groups and profile information off to maintain order.

Last month I received a Facebook gift from one of my favorite non-profit bloggers, Beth.  It was a tiny pink and green gift box and in it, a donation to the organization of her choice.   With each gift you buy with this Changing The Present application, you can make a donation to any of the non-profits that have teamed up with the application.  I scoured the organizations to return the gift to Beth and introduce it to other friends of mine.

The application introduced me to Freedom from Hunger, a non-profit I donated to by presenting little pink and green facebook gift boxes to ten of my friends.  So today, there is a box on my profile that displays the first gift I received from Beth.  In my news feed, where I normally hastily delete any activity to minimize that box as much as possible, I have retained the information about my own Changing the Present gift giving so anyone who stumbles across my profile may find this gift – one that I find far more distinctive and meaningful than animated teddy bears and balloons.

This Christmas, my family and friends made donations to Freedom from Hunger in my name.  My parents sponsored a program that allows 378 young mothers in a 3rd world country to be educated so they can help guide their daughters into a better life.  The card that accompanied their donation and thanked me for my support was nestled under the tree in a large sage green box with a deep pink bow wrapped around it.  Apparently, tiny colorful boxes on Facebook can lead to life-size change.

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Filed under Social Causes, Social Media, Social Networks

Facebook Takes a Bite Out of Crime

I suppose Facebook is something ingrained in me by this point, as brushing my teeth or checking my email. It has steadily intertwined itself in my life as a simple and always useful platform to connect and i’ll admit it… stalk friends, family and the randoms who somehow made it into my network.

CNN reported today that a hate crime on Georgetown campus was solved with the help of the popular social network. A victim of what the police are calling a hate crime assault began trying to find suspects within his network.

The metropolitan police department then compiled a spread of profiles with similar appearance and the victim was able to identify his attacker.

Facebook wears many hats, and as the site grows and grows they can add this to their collection.

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Filed under News, Social Media, Social Networks