Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Texting Tutorial

For Real?

I just received an e-mail from a PR person asking if I'd like an interview with a 'text expert'. Followed by these important texting tips:

Texting is not just for kids anymore as more and more parents are climbing out of the dark ages and embracing the communication method of the future. This ‘new generation’ of texters may pride themselves on finally catching up to the 21st century, but they still have a lot to learn before their texting forefathers (i.e. their kids) will fully accept them into their texting community.

Below are a few helpful tips from Predicto Mobile (, the leading online and text message based survey company, for parents looking to successfully integrate into the texting community:

1) Learn the lingo: There are pre-established acronyms like LOL, TTYL and BRB. Not every sentence is meant to be written using only the first letter of every word.

2) Don’t invade their tech space: Don't text your kids until they text you, otherwise your kids will think you’re a poseur

3) Use but don't abuse: Don’t be the next of victim of text addiction.

4) Make it all inclusive: Make sure you have an all inclusive rate plan so you aren’t like “OMG” when your cell phone bill arrives

5) Just Say No: “Sexting” is inappropriate at any age

6) Don't text and drive: Texting accidents are becoming increasingly common. Recent studies have shown that drivers who text are four times as likely to crash.

“Texting is an appealing way for parents to reach their kids while simultaneously boosting their “coolness” factor,” says Eyal Yechazkell, CEO of Predicto Mobile. “But parents also need to be careful they don’t over do it. Kids are pretty astute and can sense when their parents are trying too hard.”

Thanks for the tips, I think.
WTF? (now there's a texting acronym I'll likely use!)


Monday, July 13, 2009

Starting the Reinvention Process

Since this issue of Wink South is all about reinvention, I thought I'd share what was 'my first stop on the road to reinvention'. It happened in 2006. You can read about it in this article that ran in The Boston Globe.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I’ve seen so many sunsets in my lifetime, and each time I’m enamored by that big orange ball descending ever so gracefully into the end of an earthy backdrop. I’m usually sitting on a beach, or a pier, somewhere in Florida or the Caribbean, when I witness this ethereal act of God and nature. I’m always awestruck.

But just a week ago, I witnessed something even more spectacular.

I wasn’t surrounded by the peaceful presence of surf crashing against the rocks, I didn’t have a cocktail in hand and my best friend by my side, rather, I was sitting in the Sarasota airport. It was 6:30 in the morning, and I was waiting to board a flight back to Boston—exhausted, and yes, hung-over--- after a weeklong business trip. I was too tired to even sip my coffee, and barely managed to make chit-chat with two company acquaintances sitting nearby. All I wanted to do was go to sleep. And, then Mike, a colleague, said, “Take a look at that.”

I followed the direction of his finger and couldn’t believe my eyes. “Is that the sun? Rising?” It was nothing I’d ever experienced before. Never. Hard to believe, especially for my traveling companions who promptly responded, “Oh, c’mon, you never pulled an all-nighter in college?”. Well, I did, but I gather at the time I was not interested in the rotation of the earth.

I sat and watched the sun ascend. It was, is, the best thing I’ve witnessed since the birth of my kids.

I don’t know why I was so taken by what is an everyday occurrence, but it was one of those moments when you put your life in check.

On my flight down, I sat next to an engineer. We talked about construction and building automation, and that little black box that holds all of the secrets of a plane in flight. He knew, because he built those boxes. He was also a retired army officer: A former Commanding Officer in Iraq. He told me stories of his mission, which included bombs, fatalities, fear, and, purpose.

From that point on I noticed the kids in army garb walking through the airports. Where were they going? Where had they been? What had they seen? I was just a mere mortal, on a business trip. They are heroes.

Sometimes I don’t think I get it. I read the paper, I watch the news, I hear of the horrible stories of the world. And, yet, I go about daily life not worrying about what’s happening anywhere else. That sunrise—for whatever reason—grounded me, connected me, and more importantly, brought me back down to earth and made me appreciate all that I have: All that we have, safe and sound on the South Shore.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Port Charles

We Love! Port Charles (Not the daytime soap, the dipping sauce!)

I had the honor of being one of the first to try a new sauce for steak, chicken, pork, burgers, etc. It's called Port Charles, named after the creator of this concoction (Charlie) and an important ingredient (port wine). Read my review.

And then order some of your own. It's FANTASTIC!


Port Charles Red Wine Reduction Sauce

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Print is Not Dead! ....yet.

With the Boston Globe newspaper sitting on shifting sands and unsure of its sustainability as a print product, the debate continues on the state of the newspaper industry.

Print vs. electronic news is not a new debate, however.

We (journalist/newspaper/magazine people) have been grappling with this for several years. We saw it coming with the advent of the Internet-- not its early roots as a network for government and academia-- but, more specifically, when business began to embrace it. That was, I would say, in the mid-to-late 90s.

Back then, I was a cub reporter at a weekly technology newspaper, called PC Week (later renamed, eWeek to reflect, what else, the ‘electronic’ age). Software companies would come in to brief us on their new application that would give businesses a presence on the Web. We’d nod, and smile, and ask poignant questions like, “Why does a retailer need to sell their merchandise on the Internet?” “Who is going to shop that way?” “What’s the return on investment expected to be?”

Fast-forward ten years: It’s the only way I shop.

About five years ago, I took a class at Harvard Extension School on local journalism taught by two editors at the Boston Globe. They were fantastic teachers, and, it was because of them that I later got my chance to become a Globe correspondent (thank you Dave and Mark!). During one class, they brought in the Globe’s online editor to discuss how news writing works on the Web—a fairly new concept for mainstream media at the time. It is meant to be a dynamic, real-time platform that can be interactive and proactive, it was explained.

The question I had, however, was, “Will you just repackage stories from print to the Web, and vice versa? And, if not, and the Web is so dynamic, how do you make sure the print product doesn’t become stale as a result, in which case, readers and advertisers may lose interest?”

The three editors looked at each other as if I had just exposed a horrible secret. Turns out, they had been having those conference room conversations for months already. It was an unresolved question…And, it appears that it still is.

As a journalist, and someone who loves to sit at the table every morning with her Boston Globe newspaper, scanning the stories, turning the pages, leaving it open to come back to later, I don’t want to see the demise of print news. But as someone who actually reads the major news stories on the Web first (when I log on at 6:00 a.m.), and has watched major shifts in technology—and business-- unfold in front of my eyes, I know you can’t stop the inevitable.

Print, I hope, will never go away completely. But when I look at my kids, and how they get their information—even textbooks are repurposed on the web—I do imagine there could be a time when information is 100% electronic.

Now is the time to figure out the news formula of the future.


Thursday, April 2, 2009


So it seems that stripping has become a lucrative career path. Yes, I mean taking off your clothes and dancing around a pole. Apparently, women impacted by this incredibly crappy economy are shaking their money-makers—literally. And, they are making huge bucks!

I found the news reports about this latest trend interesting and somewhat entertaining. White collar working women are making extra money on the side-- which in some cases can be six figures! I didn't put much more thought into this latest trend until recently when a friend mentioned she was checking out the 'adult entertainment' industry as a potential path.

At first, I thought it was a joke. But she was serious, she had already done some research. Research? Like, finding out the average salary range, the credentials required, and who’s hiring? I listened. I understood the points she made. And, then, when she said, “But, I don’t think I can do it”, I let out a sigh of relief. “I don't think you should do it,” I said.

Was I right to insert that opinion? I’ve been thinking about it a lot since that conversation. Who am I to tell another person what she can or can not do? Desperate times call for desperate measures. I guess…I don’t know. What would I do?

After much thought, I would have to say, if I were in need of money I would shy away from taking center stage as a pole dancer. Mainly because the thought of being naked in a crowd feels more like a bad dream (you know the one, you are standing in the train station or sitting in a class and realize you forgot to get dressed-- or, am I the only one that's had that dream?)The other big reason pole dancing is not in my immediate future is because I can't dance-- which I believe is a prerequisite.

So, as you can tell, I've already put some thought into this. My question to you is: How do you feel about the “from jobless to topless” trend? What would you do?