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October 2007

Podcamp Boston 2

Podcamp_boston_3 I had a great time today at Podcamp Boston 2, a new media expo at the Boston Convention Center full of podcasters, bloggers, and other new media folks.

There was so much energy in the room - with everyone taking pictures, blogging, podcasting,  and twittering - it was reminiscent of SXSW.

The big news is that there were about 1400 registrants this year, up from 200 last year (the first) when the event was held at Bunker Hill Community College. It was nice to see so many out-of-towners that came to our fair city just for this event!

Pcb_keynote_2 Besides attending the "Unkeynote" by Christopher Penn & Chris Brogan, I joined sessions by John Havens, Kevin Mullins, Beth Kanter, CC Chapman, and Mitch Joel. I have insights to share on the topics of transparency, social media metrics, and other tricks of the trade, but they'll follow in subsequent posts when I have more time to write.

Tonight is all about Halloween and the Red Sox!

The Go Team

Go_team_band The Go Team played a high-energy set at the Paradise last night that had the crowd jumping through a variety of tracks from their debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, and their new release, Proof of Life.

Based in Brighton, England, TGT is a 6-person band that plays a mixture of pop, hip hop and funk reminiscent of the Beastie Boys and even a little Neneh Cherry (courtesy of Ninja, the freestyle lead vocalist).

This was the first time I saw the band, and they were great. Most of the members play multiple instruments and take turns with vocals, drums, guitars and keyboard (and one harmonica) while dancing around zealously on stage (as evidenced by these grainy cell phone pix).

Goteam2 Goteam_2 The packed crowd didn't stop moving and jumping for the entire set. Added bonus: the show ran from roughly 10-11:30, and we were able to run nextdoor to T's Pub both before and after the concert to catch the Red Sox and BC games.

If you missed the show, check out their recent appearance on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic show or the sample tracks on their MySpace page.

Wilson's Farm

Headless_horsemanWith this unseasonably warm weather (80 degrees in Boston on October 22nd!) it's a good time to catch the waning days of the Farmers Markets. Today there are two: Harvard University and Copley Square.

I enjoy them all, but always return to Wilson's Farm, which I visited again this week, in all its Halloween finery - complete with hay-bale scultpures and a haunted carriage ride in the evenings.

The Fall flowers and pumpkin selection is enormous, and of course everything else is spectacular as usual:

BeetsPeppersPumpkins Strawflowers


Toro_logo I finally visited Toro this week, thanks to my friend Ryan, who is a regular at this South End tapas bar. She's right: it's fantastic.

We went on Tuesday night, which was a smart choice - if you get there at 6pm before the crowd hits, there's plenty of on-street parking (meters) and prompt seating in the funky, dimly-lit dining room. Toro_2

It has sort of a rustic feel - lots of wood and copper (tin?) with communal tables, walls of wine bottles and a large bull's head (el toro!) overseeing everything. There are also a few sidewalk tables for the warm weather.

I enjoyed a delicious salad of roasted beets, goat cheese and hazelnuts, followed by smoked duck drummets with fresh quince, while Ryan had her usual meal of foie gras with pear and bacon chutney and thinly sliced skirt steak with caramelized onions. All of it - including the basket of warm bread and specialty cocktails - was delicious. I can't wait to go back and try the short ribs, corn on the cob (their signature dish!) and churros con chocolate.

Toro is yet another great addition to the South End which continues to keep Boston on the fine dining map.

Ziki Cards

People-focused search engine Ziki.com is running a promotion with online print shop Ooprint to provide its members with 100 free business cards, emblazoned with the Ziki logo and url.

There are 30 designs from which to choose, including the Web 1.0 version (containing your contact data), Web 2.0 version (with your personal tag cloud), or the Web 3.0 version (featuring the URL of your Ziki profile only). There is a simple-to-use online customization process which allows you to modify all of the data as well as upload a logo or image and change the colors/fonts.

Here's my 2.0 sample:
Ziki_card_4 It's a nice promotion between the two companies as it provides brand & product exposure for both, and a real utility to the end consumer.

I imagine it will likely appeal to small business owners/sole proprietors/independent consultants (i.e., those most likely to use a self-serve online printer and willing to use Ziki-branded cards).

But I've also seen more and more young people using these types of calling cards  (Flickr has some, too) to exchange personal information with new contacts (rather than the staid old business card). And the nice thing about Ziki is that can aggregate all of your online content in one place, serving as a portal into your other sites or networks. 

The physical card is a nice strategy for Ziki, too, as it continues refining its positioning as a "people search engine," giving its members one more way to be found.

I'm curious to know how many people actually take them up on the offer.

Related posts:
Ziki: Be Visible
MyZiki Update

Blue Walls of Jodhpur

I came across this stunning photo in the October issue of National Geographic magazine (click to enlarge):
Jodhpur_2 Taken by Belgian photographer Jean-Pierre Zwaenepoel, the caption reads: "The blue walls of Jodhpur (India) traditionally marked homes occupied by high-cast Brahmans. The rooftop langurs, believed by Hindus to be avatars of the monkey god Hanuman, freely roam the city." [links my own]

Each month, National Geographic publishes breathtaking photos like this one in its Visions of Earth series. Well worth a look.

Verrill Farm

Verril Farm
I took a drive out to Verrill Farm in Concord today, at the suggestion of one my readers (thanks, EJ!), and he was right: I did enjoy it.

Just driving around Concord is beautiful at this time of year, and the town is anything but short of road-side stands full of pumpkins and mums.Gourds

Verrill's is more than a stand - it's a 200 acre, working family farm, complete with flowers, fruits, and vegetables, plus a full bakery (with custom orders), deli, and a refrigerator full of pre-made meals (everything from mac-n-cheese to lamb shanks). In fact, Verrill supplies fresh produce to many well-known Boston area restaurants.

Tomatoes Here's what I picked up:

  • yellow tomatoes (they had red, green, and purple as well)
  • a purple pepper
  • fingerling potatoes
  • purple string beans (which I'd never seen before)
  • spicy corn salsa (which I just enjoyed over tortilla chips with melted cheese)
  • pepper jack bread
  • and a single-serve pumpkin-maple pudding for good measure :)

Dinner I also picked up a free copy of Edible Boston, a quarterly magazine that "celebrates the diverse food and delicious culture of the Greater Boston Area."

Related Posts:

Summer Farmstands

Goudreault Farm