by Borderstan.com June 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm 0

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.

"DC Flag"

Celebrate the third annual DC Flag Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

As many of you living in DC already know, District of Columbia residents have neither representation in Congress nor representation on the American flag. You are probably well aware of this because you live or work here and the issue seems to come up frequently. But outside of Washington, or the DMV if we’re being generous, this issue is less than a blip on most people’s radar, at best.

And so today, we find ourselves on the third annual DC Flag Day. The first thing that DC Flag Day organizers are asking you to do is to change your Facebook photo to a picture of the DC flag or a picture of you with the DC flag. If you head over to their Facebook page or the Facebook pages for LetUsVoteDC or Neighbors United for DC Statehood, you can show support by “liking” their pages, but you might also fins some photos that you’ll be able to use for your profile picture. Their goal with this particular initiative is to raise awareness across the country and the world of an issue that many people are unaware of.

DC Flag Day Rally

Later today, DC Flag Day will be holding a rally in Dupont Circle. The information for that is as follows:

  • When: Friday, June 14, 2013, 6:00 pm
  • Where: Dupont Circle
  • Program: Shadow Senator Paul Strauss
    Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
  • Sponsors: LUV DC, DC Vote, LuxuryDC, We Deserve Statehood
  • LUV DC will be distributing DC flag stickers and temporary DC flag tattoos at the event, which is expected to draw a large number of DC residents. Show off you DC pride by wearing DC flag apparel, DC flag tattoos (both real and temporary) and waving DC flags. There will also be an unveiling of a DC Voting Rights banner that residents are crowdfundin. The 16-foot banner will be hung across a street in DC on a later date if the fundraising goals are met by midnight on Friday June 14th. If you’d like to support this effort, you can do so here.

About DC Flag Day

DC Flag Day was born back in 2011 by Allyson Behnke and Brooke Lynn Locke. As Allyson says, “DC has a rapidly growing population of highly educated people, small business owners and urbanites. We also have a lot of longtime locals who love this beautiful city… but no one who lives in Washington, D.C. has representation in Congress or on the American Flag. Back in 2011 I had friends who got arrested in the name of DC Statehood, including my good friend Brooke Lynn Locke. We decided to found DC Flag Day to bring awareness to DC’s lack of representation.” As Allyson also pointed out in an email, “The iconic DC flag symbol consists of the bold ‘two bars and three stars’ modeled after none other than George Washington’s family crest. Washington fought against taxation without representation. Ironically, two centuries later, citizens in Washington, DC have yet to win that battle.”

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by Borderstan.com November 26, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,478 0

"Hinge"

Justin McLeod of Hinge. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Nick Barron. Follow him on Twitter @nbarron; email him at nick[AT]borderstan.com.

Do you trust your friends to proactively hook you up with someone you should meet?

With Hinge, you don’t have to.

A Facebook application that, in the words of founder and Borderstan resident Justin McLeod, “helps you privately meet dates within your social network.”

McLeod’s inspiration for Hinge came after Facebook friending a girl he thought was a good match for him, and with whom he shared a business school class. He discovered they shared common Facebook friends, none of whom had connected the dots and introduced McLeod and his classmate to each other.

It’s the use of Facebook’s social graph, the social network’s web of members, to connect friends of friends for dating that’s the goal of Hinge.

“We learn your tastes by you rating and answering questions about your current Facebook friends, then we search through your friends of friends to suggest your most compatible matches,” McLeod said.

Hinge isn’t online dating, though. It’s a game, and you can play whether you’re single or not.

“Taken folks can play as matchmakers and help improve their friends’ matches,” McLeod said.

After graduating from Harvard Business School, and meeting a girl his friends should have introduced him to, McLeod started working on Hinge. He mapped out the app, hired developers to build a prototype, and raised money last winter.

Hinge now has three full-time staff, McLeod, his co-founder Bennett Richardson and a lead engineer, AJ Bonhomme.

“We take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” McLeod said.

Team Hinge works out of The Fort, a startup accelerator in downtown DC.

Hinge is a player in DC’s much talked about tech startup scene, a community that’s more supportive than cutthroat.

“Everyone in DC wants everyone else in DC to succeed, and most fellow founders are always ready to do you a favor whenever you need a hand,” McLeod said.

Not much unlike, perhaps, Hinge lending a hand in helping you find a date.

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by Borderstan.com June 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

"Baby Bottle""iPhone"

Today's mom is a Media Mom, with a baby bottle and iPhone. (Leslie Jones)

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com

A recent CNN opinion piece, “Facebook threatens to ‘Zuck up’ the human race“, by Andrew Keen, got me thinking about my own dependence on social media. My husband sent me the article, thanks honey.

Step one is admitting you have a problem. I love my iPhone. I was late to the iPhone game, but it has quickly become an important accessory. I find that if I’ve accidentally left it at home when I go out, I feel irritated and cut off. And I don’t just use it as a phone. I check my email and Facebook throughout the day. It’s so easy; I just click on the little app and I can see my messages, pictures my family and friends have posted, and what the girl in my 10th grade English class made for dinner. Ok, so maybe that is something I could live without.

I like to think Facebook keeps me connected; and to some extent it does. Two of my cousins had babies around the same time I did and we share photos and encouraging comments. But I haven’t picked up the phone to actually call them, well, maybe ever.

And then there are the vacation photos of distant friends that make me feel pangs of jealousy:  a smiling couple lounging by an ocean-side pool in an exotic locale with fruity drinks. They look like they’re having so much fun; they’re so interesting and thin and rich and blah blah blah. Sometimes I like to imagine the dozens of really awkward, ugly pictures they had to weed through to get to that one shining, jealousy-inducing example, or the really horrible relationship-ending fight they got into right afterwards. I know; I have a problem.

An ABC news article published back in January, “Facebook: Friends’ Happy Pictures Make You Sad?“, by Matthew Rosenbaum, refers to a study done at Utah Valley University. “The more time students spent on Facebook, the more they thought others had it better than they did.” I’ll admit to feeling this way. I sometimes feel a little tied down, and wish that I too could go lounge on a beach with a fruity drink. Especially when it’s 1 pm and I haven’t found the time to shower yet.

But my concern about how Facebook is affecting me isn’t nearly as important to me as how it may be affecting my daughter.

Keen refers to an article written by Aisha Sultan and Jon Miller for CNN, “Facebook parenting.” They write that “in the case of our children, a permanent and public story has already been recorded about them before they have a chance to decide whether they want to participate or even whether the narrative is true to their own vision of self.”

Yikes. I’ve thought people were over-sharing in the past, especially reality TV celebrities, and imagined what their children might say about it when they’re old enough to care. And I try to keep my postings about Baby limited to cute photos and laments about my lack of sleep. But I am making a choice for her, however innocuous I may feel it is. What will it be like for the first generation of Facebook babies when they run for political office?  Will pictures of them covered in goo somehow factor into debates and, hee hee, smear campaigns?

But that’s a long way away. How is it affecting Baby now? For one, she thinks my phone is the bee’s knees and tries to stick in her mouth every chance she gets. And why shouldn’t she? Momma seems to think it’s pretty great.

After Baby was born, and I found myself stuck for hours every day in a chair nursing her, or rocking her back to sleep every two hours in the middle of the night, I discovered that checking Facebook was a great distraction because it only required one hand and half my concentration. I know, I’m supposed to stare lovingly into my daughter’s eyes every time I nurse her. But I’m with her 24/7 and there’s really only so much of that you can do, or I could do anyway. I began interacting with Facebook more and I developed quite an expansive community on Forestville. Take that fruity-drink-enjoying-beach-goers.

So Baby has grown up watching me attached to this phone. Yesterday I put it down. My new resolution is to try not to use it in front of her whenever possible. I can’t promise that I won’t post silly pictures of her doing cute things (and ones that are shot from my best angle), but it’s a start. Oh, and write a blog about her….

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,041 4 Comments

"Facebook"

Facebook. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Scott Thompson writes a biweekly column for Borderstan.com.

From Scott Thompson. Follow Scott on Twitter @foureyedblond or email him at thompson[AT]@borderstan.com.

I knew Facebook had entered a new era the moment Dancing With the Stars appeared on my newsfeed.

Said event took place Tuesday, May 22, at approximately 11:00 pm EST.

Up until that hour, I had been casually aware of a cultural shift taking place on Facebook. It began when wedding albums started to replace sorority formal pictures, and became quite apparent the first time a terrifying 3D ultrasound image parachuted from outer space on to my newsfeed.

However, on Tuesday evening, after discovering the following conversation between my mother and her Bunco friends, I realized that Facebook had undergone not only a cultural shift – but a permanent generational one.

BUNCO FRIEND 1: Watching Dancing finale. Derrick and Maria were robbed. They should have been in the finals. My vote is for Kathryn.  (Tuesday near Louisville, KY via mobile)

BUNCO FRIEND 2 : Didn’t see that one coming – of the 3 I think Kathryn was the best.

MY MOTHER: They all were great but I agree that Kathryn was the best. But boy am I ever going to miss watching William shake his bum!!!!

BUNCO FRIEND 1:  Those football players always have a huge fan base. He was good but she was awesome. Oh well… next year.

BUNCO FRIEND 2:  Oh I’m right there with you. He was nice to watch ;p

BUNCO FRIEND 1: Amen. I think Bruno is going to miss him too! ;0)

BUNCO FRIEND 3:  Haha! I love this! I loved Maria and Kathryn! Great season!

Like most mid-to-late twentysomethings,  I do not watch Dancing with the Stars.  I have no idea who Derrick and Maria are, and I will likely have permanent emotional scars from reading one… two… three… four exclamation marks after my married mother’s public use of the word “bum.” However, Tuesday night’s conversation did provide me with valuable insight into the future of Facebook — or, as many in my generation would say, its end.

Not more than seven years ago, The Facebook (as it was called) was an innocuous website designed solely for use on college campuses.   Right from the start, it introduced new words and phrases into my generation’s social lexicon — “friend request,” “profile picture,” “poke.” Our parents had nary an idea what those phrases meant when they came up during the 2004 Thanksgiving dinner conversation — and we relished that exclusivity.

Today, Facebook is a $100 billion dollar, publicly traded company with more than 600 million registered users around the world. News outlets use it to pump out stories. Companies use it to sell clothing.   Above all, “others” use it – other generations, both younger and older.

According to recent statistics, 46.4% of Facebook users are under the age of 25 and 27.5% are over the age of 35.  As a result, the words “Prom” and “orthodontist” now have prime real estate in newsfeeds. Boozy 60th birthday photos will soon eclipse boozy 30th birthday photos. Most shocking, Stein Mart — the mythical land our mothers used to frequent “because you wouldn’t be-LIEVE the brands you can find in there” — has, at last count, 269,257 Facebook followers.

It’s the end of an era.

As a frequent Facebook user, I can in no way criticize the uncharted joys and addictions others generations discover when they register for Facebook — nor do I encourage a Facebook purge of anyone too young or too old to quote Saved By the Bell. But I do lament for the good old days when Facebook was the unique property of my generation — of our time — of our zeitgeist.

I feel the same way I imagine my parents would feel if I ran on stage at a Doobie Brothers concert within minutes of their arrival, grabbed the mic, and announced to the world, “LIKE!  It looks like you and Mom are having fun! Call me tomorrow. Love, Scott.”

Yes, the Doobie Brothers are open for all to enjoy. But please remember — and respect — who discovered them first.

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by Borderstan.com March 21, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,779 1 Comment

"LGTB March Against Hate Crimes" "Borderstan"

The Tuesday night march started at IHOP in Columbia Heights and made its way to Cobalt in Dupont. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez and Matt Rhoades

A group estimated at more than 500 people walked from Columbia Heights to Dupont last night to recognize the victims of recent hate crimes against members of the LGBT community in DC, and to call attention to the problem still face gay and transgendered people in DC. The event was organized on Facebook by friends of one of the victims , Daniel, who was shot March 11 at the IHOP restaurant in Columbia Heights after an incident which involved anti-gay slurs. Police have listed the incident as a hate-related assault with intent to kill.

Starting off at the IHOP at 14th and Irving Streets NW, the group walked to Georgia Avenue and Irving Street NW for a second brief ceremony at the site where another gay man was beaten and robbed on March 12; he suffered a broken jaw. According to Kyan Brady, one of the March organizers, both of the men were released from the hospital yesterday, March 20.

What is a hate or bias crime? Wikipedia says: “In crime and law, hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation,disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, sex, gender identity, social status or political affiliation.” What does the term mean under DC law? Check out the DC Police definition of a hate crime.

Patrick Pressman, one of the March organizers said he believed that DC Police had estimated the crowd at 520 people. Pressman said the turnout was definitely in the 50o to 600 range. More than 700 people had said they would attend on the Facebook event page.

Video and Photos of March: More Borderstan photos on our Facebook Page. The march drew a great deal of local media coverage, including The Washington Post, as well as local TV stations. Video of the march is available at ABC-7NBC-4CBS-9 and Fox-5. The Washington Blade has posted a photo gallery from last night’s march as has The DC Center on flickr. (A hat tip to Chris Wiggins for organizing media coverage.)

The march ended at Cobalt lounge at 17th and R NW, where  a fundraiser was held for Daniel, the shooting victim at IHOP –proceeds are going to help cover his medical costs. In addition to a donations bucket at Cobalt, Cobalt General Manager Mark Rutstein said the business was donating a portion of bar receipts to Daniel’s medical fund and that the DJs and the evening’s drag show performers were also donating the cost of their time on Tuesday night for the fundraiser. There is also a Facebook Page, Benefit for Daniel, where you can make a donation through PayPal.

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier was at the kickoff at IHOP, along with Councilmembers Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), and Council Chairman Kwame Brown. The marchers were also joined by some members of Occupy DC who came to show support.

Donations

The organizers have also recommended two organizers where you can make donations in addition to the Benefit for Daniel Fund:

"LGBT Marcrh Against Hate Crimes" "Borderstan"

Click above for more images on Facebook from the March 21 march against ant-LGBT violence in DC.  (Luis Gomez Photos)

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by Borderstan.com October 20, 2010 at 12:15 am 1,750 0

Mary Burgan Borderstan Movie Fan

Mary Burgan is the Borderstan Movie Fan.

Mary the Borderstan Movie Fan’s column on movies runs every two weeks. Mary Burgan is a retired professor of English and association executive. Her previous reviews are listed at the end of this post.

I am a latecomer to Facebook. I joined three years ago when my son told me that being on Facebook was the main way to get to see pictures of my grandchildren. I have now been friended by 47 people, and six are waiting, partly because I don’t know who they are.

I am not friends with two of my teenage grandchildren, for they informed me with subtle charm, that “Grandma, I reserved Facebook for my friends from school. You can e-mail me, and I’ll answer right back.” I wrote back that “I understand.” But I still worried about what they were sharing with all the world except me on their Walls.

Having seen The Social Network I’m still worried, for the story of the invention of Facebook is so full of sex, lies, and You Tube, that I fear for my grandchildren’s reputations and/or sanity.

I do recommend The Social Network, as a fascinating movie, though I doubt that those who are not on Facebook will get the thrill of recognition that comes when the film reveals the origin, say, of the category on the subscriber’s “Wall” that tells whether you are single and what your romantic preferences are. In addition, the film has very clever dialogue and a fantastic piece of acting by Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the putative inventor of Facebook.

(more…)

by Borderstan.com August 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm 0

Borderstan map

Follow Borderstan on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr. Get RSS feeds for latest posts.

Are you a regular Borderstan reader? You can stay current with news from the Dupont-Logan-U Street area without having to go to the Borderstan home page periodically to check for new posts. Get RSS Feeds and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find photos from special events at our Flickr page.

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The RSS Feed button is at the top of the right navigation bar on the Borderstan home page. The feed buttons for each section are at the top of each section page.

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“Like” the Borderstan Page on Facebook (borderstan) and then add it to your Facebook Wall feed. We use the the Networked Blogs application on Facebook to automatically put up posts from the site. However, we put additional links to news about the Dupont-Logan-U Street area and DC on our Facebook Page–items that do not warrant separate posts on the site.

Twitter

Follow Borderstan on Twitter (@borderstan). New posts are tweeted and you will pick up the links to stories on Borderstan. We also retweet news and items of interest from our friends on Twitter.

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by Borderstan.com July 19, 2010 at 7:31 pm 0

Dupont Circle Logan Circle U Street NW Borderstan

Get RSS Feeds and follow Borderstan on Facebook and Twitter.

Are you a regular Borderstan reader? You can stay current with news from the Dupont-Logan-U Street area without having to go to the Borderstan home page periodically to check for new posts. Get RSS Feeds  and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find photos from special events at our Flickr page.

Sign up for an RSS Feeds

You can get a feed for the entire site and/or each of the six sections:

The RSS Feed button is at the top of the right navigation bar on the Borderstan home page. The feed buttons for each section are at the top of each section page.

Facebook

“Like” the Borderstan Page on Facebook (borderstan) and then add it to your Facebook Wall feed. We use the the Networked Blogs application on Facebook to automatically put up posts from the site. However, we put additional links to news about the Dupont-Logan-U Street area and DC on our Facebook Page–items that do not warrant separate posts on the site.

Twitter

Follow Borderstan on Twitter (@borderstan). New posts are tweeted and you will pick up the links to stories on Borderstan. We also retweet news and items of interest from our friends on Twitter.

Flickr

For special events, we post photo albums on Borderstan’s Flickr page. You can also become Borderstan’s friend on Flickr. You can find these albums on Flickr: Dupont Celebrates Spain’s World Cup and Soccer in The Circle: June 10, 2010… and more.

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