The 2014 Boston Marathon will be extra special for me. The victims of last year’s bombings will be on my mind every step of the way, but so will the kids who stay at Christopher’s Haven, “a home for kids when cancer hits home.”
To support my participation in the Boston Marathon this year and give to Christopher’s Haven, please visit my fundraising page here, where you can make a secure online donation. Or you can donate by check — just make it payable to Christopher’s Haven and mail it to me at 33 Oakwood Avenue, Sudbury, MA 01776. Thank you for your kindness, generosity and support.
They are the over 100 different restaurants in the Boston area that you will find tweeting about eating that are included in a list I created recently on Twitter.
From a great gastropub like Deep Ellum to a classic steakhouse like Abe & Louie’s, a legendary sports bar like the Cask ‘n Flagon to a highly acclaimed Italian bistro like Figs, they’re some of the most popular restaurants around, places you can count on for good food and good times.
In this Twitter list, you can read what these restaurants are up to in 140 characters or less. You can learn more about their menus, their specials, their personalities and their histories. You can see some ridiculously amazing food and drink pictures, too.
Kudos to all these dining establishments for putting themselves out there on Twitter. Surely they’re benefitting by being more accessible, communicative, timely and relevant…by being just plain more social. Check them out in the embedded timeline below. Click on their Twitter handles and follow those you like best. Reading their tweets will tell you a lot about their eats.
Note: This post, “How Over 100 Boston-Area Restaurants Use Twitter,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on January 27, 2014. To read the post there, click here.
For me, the day started out like any other Patriots’ Day on which I’ve run the Boston Marathon, but it ended not with the anticipated feelings of joy and accomplishment. Instead, I went to sleep that night restless, worried and overwhelmed by a sense of sadness and shock over the two devastating bombs that had exploded near the finish line on Boylston Street.
That’s how a blog post of mine began on April 21 of last year, just six days after the 2013 Boston Marathon, an otherwise glorious event that was tragically marred by two destructive explosions along Boylston Street.
I wanted to put down in words while it was still fresh in my mind everything I felt about my experience that day.
The disappointment I felt in having my journey interrupted less than a mile away from the finish line didn’t matter. The thought of all the innocent victims of that senseless demonstration of violence and how their lives had been not just interrupted, but changed forever in such an awful way, was overwhelming.
Indeed, my excitement and enthusiasm over running the marathon was turned into sorrow and sadness for those who were in harm’s way and for a world in which terrorism is for some crazy reason so commonplace.
This year will be another story. This year, I plan to finish what I started that infamous day and go the entire 26.2 miles.
That’s right, on April 21, 2014, I’ll once again be joining thousands of other determined runners for that heralded, historic trek from Hopkinton to Boston.
It’ll be the 12th time I’ve run the Boston Marathon, my 15th marathon overall. And because I’ve been there done that so many times before, I know I’ll be tired and sore most of the way. But any aches and pain I have to endure that day will be nothing, of course, compared to what the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings experienced last year…or the hurt and heartache that kids with cancer – and their families – have to withstand.
Yes, I’ll be running the Boston Marathon this year with the bombing victims on my mind, and for the kids who stay at Christopher’s Haven with their families while they are being treated for cancer at a hospital in Boston.
Christopher’s Haven is a ridiculously cool nonprofit organization that was founded in 2001 by a ridiculously cool guy, Dan Olsen, who is a three-time cancer survivor himself. While receiving treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dan met families struggling to care for a child battling cancer while also facing the staggering costs of extended stays near the hospital. After surviving his third bout with the disease, Dan wanted to do something to help families like those he’d met. His dream was to create a haven for young cancer patients and their families, a place that would free them from any concerns about lodging, making it possible for them to focus on their children’s treatment and recovery. In Christopher’s Haven, Dan’s dream came true.
So this year’s Boston Marathon will be extra special for me. The victims of last year’s bombings will be on my mind every step of the way, but so will the kids who stay at Christopher’s Haven. To give to this nonprofit organization, please visit my fundraising page here, where you can make a secure online donation. Or you can donate by check — just make it payable to Christopher’s Haven and mail it to me at 33 Oakwood Avenue, Sudbury, MA 01776.
Your donation will mean a lot to me, but it will mean much, much more to the boys and girls who have to undergo cancer treatment in Boston and their families who stay with them at Christopher’s Haven. Thank you for kindness, generosity and support.
To learn more about Christopher’s Haven, click here.
Here’s what I’ve written about running the Boston Marathon for charity in the past…
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part One)
January 18, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part Two)
January 24, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part Three)
January 31, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part Four)
February 7, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Update)
April 12, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Children’s Hospital Boston — and Hailey
October 31, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Children’s Hospital Boston — Update
January 30, 2006
Please Sponsor Bob’s Boston Marathon Run for Children’s Hospital Boston
April 6, 2006
A Memorable Boston Marathon for More Reasons Than One
April 19, 2006
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity (Yes, Again)
January 2, 2009
I’m Running the Boston Marathon for Christopher’s Haven
January 25, 2010
I’m Running the 2013 Boston Marathon for Christopher’s Haven
January 12, 2013
In this day and age, most businesses and brands realize the importance of having a presence on social media. However, far too many still don’t know how to attract an audience to these channels. They either mistakenly subscribe to the notion that if they build it, they will come, or they simply have no idea how to drive such traffic.
The good news is there are countless ways to generate more likes, followers, fans and friends. You can cross-promote your Twitter account on Facebook and vice versa. You can put your social media credentials on your customers’ receipts. You can promote your social channels on your own website, on your business cards, in your email signature, in a company newsletter and even in paid advertising campaigns.
But perhaps the easiest and simplest way you can call attention to your social channels is to put up a sign asking people to connect with you there. You can put this sign up on a wall, in the lobby, on the checkout counter, at a trade show booth, wherever your customers and prospects are most likely to see it.
For instance, The Shops at Prudential Center in Boston has a sign up along one of its walkways, as does the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, pointing patrons to their social channels. There’s a sign on the wall outside of Best Buy in Framingham, calling attention to their presence on Facebook and Twitter. I even noticed a sign in my dentist’s office — Millbrook Smiles — in Sudbury, asking patients to like them on Facebook.
The idea is to make sure your most passionate supporters in real life (IRL) are just as loyal to you on social media. The point is to use strong calls to action and good directions to drive them to where you live on Twitter, Facebook and the like.
Note: This post, “Using Signage to Drive Social Media Traffic,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on January 12, 2014. To read the post there, click here.
Over the years, I’ve created nearly 20 lists on Twitter, each of which you can see – and subscribe to – on my Twitter account here. I’ve put together a list of marketing, advertising and PR agencies, a list of nonprofit organizations and a list of those who have attended the Sudbury Social Tweetup, a monthly networking event in Sudbury (MA) that I co-host with FeedBlitz‘s Phil Hollows.
The biggest list I’ve created consists of 563 (and counting) media people, companies, outlets and organizations in and around Boston. And the smallest one is comprised of more than 20 Boston-area meteorologists, a list I turn to quite frequently to keep up with the latest weather forecasts, especially lately, given the fact that we’re in the throes of yet another cold, snowy New England winter.
You can check out the activity on this list below. Using a list widget, I embedded it as a public Twitter timeline, which means you’re seeing the tweets from members of this list right here on this blog post in real time. You’re getting the latest word in local weather from @nellyNECN, @pbouchardon7, @HarveyWCVB, @FOX25Shiri, @BarryWBZ and many others.
This is how I use to Twitter to keep up with the weather all year round. And how you can, too.
Note: This post, “How I Use Twitter to Keep Up with the Weather,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on December 30, 2013. To read the post there, click here.