Tara Tiger Brown

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just prowling around

Twitter is Greater Than YOU

I recently tweeted “I have thought long and hard, and decided to stop following ppl that have no causes other than their own. I’m sorry. and once again, 140 characters doesn’t explain properly what my message is.  It’s pretty simple really.  We all know by now that Twitter is an amazing way to get your message across to many people in a short amount of time.  What I am hopeful for, and asking you to think about, is not just using it to satisfy your own ego.

I have checked most of the Twitter pages of the people I follow and was pretty sad to see that some are just tweeting to get followers and as many replies as possible and replying back to people that reply to them about whatever self-marketing they are spewing.  If all you care about is getting fav’rd then that’s concerning to me.  It is also very heart-breaking to me that many of these people are my personal friends and I know they aren’t heartless, so I hope this makes them think at least for a second about changing their tweeting ways. Take a minute to read your last 10 tweets and ask yourself what their purpose is and if a single one helps someone other than yourself.

It is effortless to take advantage of this amazing platform to help your fellow man, woman, child, animal, insect whatever.  It doesn’t have to be for something great like saving the world from deadly disease, it can be as simple as trying to help someone get a job, finding a lost pet its way home, letting others know about an issue in your neighborhood.

I am fully aware that we all use Twitter in different ways, I’m just saying that if you don’t use it on occasion to help someone or something other than yourself, then it makes me think you are using Twitter as a marketing tool and I really have no interest in continuing to allow you to indulge on my time.

Lastly, just because I unfollow, doesn’t mean that I don’t consider you my friend, just means that I have a different view point than you on how you are utilizing Twitter.  We can exchange phone numbers if we need to text each other.

Clear now?

Namaste.

Filed under: life, twitter

#followfriday is like trekking to the stars, but…

Wow, look at me , writing up a blog post two weeks in a row about #followfriday. For this installment, I bring you a lovely lady that I have never met in person, but feel like I have gotten to know virtually via Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. I have attempted to get together with her when I lived in San Francisco but we lived on opposite ends of town and you know how that goes.

I also want to point out that I picked her as this week’s choice BEFORE the Wired article “100 Geeks You Should Follow on Twitter. Yes, I am that good. Plus, as you can see from my comment on that site, she is one of four people out of 100 that I actually agreed with.

I don’t want to distract from the awesomeness, so without further adieu, I bring you, Bonnie Burton (@bonniegrrl). There are so many reasons I like Bonnie, but most of all because she constantly flatters me. Ha! No, seriously, flattery gets you every where. Alright alright, putting my ego aside, she finds the most random articles and scifi stuff and it’s like a gift, 24 hours a day. I don’t think that grrl sleeps. Plus, she is always positive and upbeat, just look at her avatar, how adorable is that?

She was so humble when she got the nod from Wired, stating that she isn’t a web celebrity. Whatever!! She is totally a celeb in my book. She is an Editor and Content Developer at Lucas Film, has a Vlog “Ask Bonnie”, writes for Geek magazine, etc. etc. etc. Just look at this grrl’s resume!

OK, I don’t want to get too carried away here, it’s not like she is a goddess. OK, well maybe she is. Anyway, if you want to follow someone awesome on Twitter or wherever else online that she is (because I don’t think there is anywhere that she isn’t) that you need to go to http://twitter.com/bonniegrrl and click on Follow.

Carry on. Namaste.

Filed under: twitter, , , ,

I don’t believe in #followfriday, but…

I don’t believe in #FollowFriday on Twitter because no one ever gives me a quality enough reason in their tweets to take their advice. I spend quite a bit of time reviewing who I follow because I need to manage my valuable time on this planet and I’m not going to click on someone’s name just because you say so. If I notice some intelligent interactions going on between someone I follow and someone I don’t, then I will check them out and see what they are all about.

That all being said, I deeply value the people that I do follow, and want to do more than a trite shout out, so I am going to write up thoughtful posts that explain why I follow a particular person or company. I’m going to try dang hard to do this regularly but don’t hold me to it because I suck at blogging. Most of the people I will post about I follow on more that one network or service, or yes, IRL, and my main hangouts include Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, various music blogs/aggregators, and Facebook. I have been known to hang on 4Chan, but that’s like Anonymous. Hmm, maybe I can post about him.

On this maiden voyage, the person that I am going to let you know about is Anthony Volodkin or @fascinated on Twitter. Anthony is behind Hype Machine, which is my favorite music aggregator. Most of the music I tweet about includes a link to it on Hype Machine. I recently met Anthony in Austin at SXSW after a virtual connection over Twitter. He put on an excellent panel “Help! My iPod Thinks I’m Emo” which was one of my favorites, and later I had the chance to chat him up some more over lunch. In addition to working on cool shit, Anthony is a very modest, cool and chill guy. When I send Anthony bug reports (via Twitter) he is always quick to respond and very appreciative of input even though I probably annoy this shite out of him (I still want my Songbird integration back!!). I work at Topspin and many of my coworkers are also acquainted with Anthony as the music + software services circle is pretty small, and all of them think he is pretty cool and admire his work. So ya, I’m a fanboy and became even more so when I read a tweet of his that he was hanging out with @moot. OMG! Lastly, he has decent music taste which I am pretty particular about and if you know me, you know I wouldn’t follow a poser.

To sum it up, if you are into music, like someone that is modest and down to earth, smart, travels, and travels in interesting circles, Anthony is your dude. I hope that I gave some good reasons as to why I follow Anthony around virtually and consider that connection valuable.

Namaste

Filed under: twitter, , ,

Save the Sea Kittens!

Peta announced a new campaign to rename fish to “sea kittens.” The idea is that people wouldn’t want to eat them if they had a cuter name. I asked my fellow tweeters the following:

“Dear fellow Pescetarians, would you stop eating fish if they were called “sea kittens?” @officialpeta’s new campaign. http://bit.ly/hyVw

This started a flurry of responses:

>> bronwynlewis: @tara “every time you order sushi, god kills a sea kitten”?

>> bronwynlewis: instead of ordering sushi now, i’m going to order “raw sea kitten”

>> jpdefillippo: @tara I’m going to stop eating the poor sea kittens. Furthermore, to save the animals I’ll just eat the humans. 1 PETA pita please.

>> seanbonner: @tara won’t someone please think of the sea kittens and their poor, wet fur.

>> MackReed: Because “Sea Kittens” are tasty

I had sushi the other day and I didn’t think once about the yummy fish I was eating as “sea kittens,” so the campaign hasn’t affected me. It has however provided me with entertainment such as this game by Peta where you can dress up your own “sea kitten!”

Here’s mine:

peta-__-save-the-sea-kittens-__-create-your-own-sea-kitten

Create Your Own Sea Kitten at peta.org!

Filed under: life, twitter, ,

iPhone Anonymously Returned

Here are the facts of the iPhone saga as I know them. I am trying very hard to give the facts only and not opinions or gossip. I would like to move on from this now. Thank you for your support, even criticisms because I have learned some very valuable lessons.

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

I hosted a party at my house

At the end of the party, I could not locate my iPhone

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I still could not locate my iPhone. My roommate, Jason and Sean all helped me look

I received an email from Nick Starr stating that he left his iPhone at my house

After many Facebook mails back and forth Nick suggested that the iPhones were stolen. He was the first to suggest this to me, not the other way around

Via Twitter and Facebook mail, Nick stated that his friend Ben could be a suspect

I tweeted that I was going to the police to report my iPhone as stolen

11:00PM someone in a dark hoody with the hood over his head came marching towards me and Sean right outside my house just as we were leaving the house

This individual was Nick. He said Melodi informed him that the iPhones were dropped off at my house

I looked in the mailbox just before we left the house (where I tweeted I wanted my iPhone delivered) and they were not there

Nick seemed shocked that the iPhones were not there

Sean and I went to the police station.  I reported my iPhone as stolen and mentioned that Nick also claimed his phone was missing

Saturday, Oct. 18th, 2008

I purchased a new iPhone because I thought I wouldn’t get mine back

Monday, Oct. 20th, 2008

A white plastic bag with my iPhone and a white iPhone showed up in my yard at the bottom of my stairs

My roommate said that she saw that same plastic bag in the corner of our yard near the fence Saturday morning but she thought it was garbage (a lot of garbage blows into our yard)

The downstairs neighbor said she did not place the bag at the bottom of my stairs

Conclusion is that someone threw the bag over my fence on Friday nite.  Then somoeone other than myself, my roommate or the neighbor moved the bag Sunday nite towards my door so I would see it

I went to the police and gave them all the evidence including my iPhone and the white iPhone

The police returned my iPhone to me and still have the white iPhone

The police would like for me to pass on to Nick Starr “we are very very interested in you.”

Filed under: annoyed, life, twitter, , , ,

Has anyone seen my iPhone?

Lots and lots of twittering about my iPhone debacle, so I wanted to give you all my side of the story.

I had a party for friends on Thursday nite because my friend Jason Defillippo was in town and is an excellent Rock Band guitar player.  I thought it would be fun to get a few people together to try out Rock Band II and smoke a little hookah.

I created the event on Facebook and invited friends and set the permissions to allowing guests to bring friends.  I tweeted about the party and asked people to direct message me or @ reply me for the address in case I wasn’t following them for some reason.

The party was going well; I knew everyone there or knew of them. There were one or two people that I didn’t know but many people vouched for them.  Then Nick Starr showed up at my house with a guy I didn’t recognize.  Right away my stomach became queasy and I expressed this to my friend Angela. I had recently met Nick at the Mimosa Factory event that he organized.  When he introduced himself, the first words out of his mouth were that he wanted to commit suicide off the Golden Gate bridge.  Me and my companions all looked at each other in complete shock and didn’t have any idea how to respond.  Interestingly enough, a few days later, there were a bunch of tweets that Nick Starr has publicly tweeted that he wanted to kill himself.  I was later to find out that he has done this a bunch of times and its either a cry for some serious help or a publicity stunt.

Back to the story. Nick showed up at my house and I just had a bad feeling.  I didn’t want to turn him away because someone said he was invited by Melodi (who I don’t know) and Melodi was invited by Kara.  I figured, OK, there is some vouching here and everyone at the party at least knew of Nick Starr if they didn’t call him a friend.

Party continues, I try to be a good hostess and introduce myself to Nick and his companion Ben.  We even played Rock Band together.

It gets to be around 11:30pm or midnite and most of the guests have left.  I was on the couch with Sean posting pictures to Flickr and then decided to get up and clean the kitchen.  I put my iPhone down on the table next to the couch and that is the last time I saw it.  BTW, its a Black 3G iPhone with a brown rubber cover with blue flowers. Here’s a pic.

Sean was on the couch and I saw Nick sitting with him. I thought it was odd because almost everyone except maybe one or two people had left.  I looked again and Nick was gone.

That night I looked for my phone because I knew it was low on battery and wanted to plug it in, but I couldn’t find it.  The next morning I looked again and Jason and Sean also looked for it. Couldn’t find it. I looked again and again.  I went to check my email, and received the following from Nick Starr:

Hey thanks for having us over last night. I think I left my iPhone on the coffee table. It is a white one with no case. Is there any way I can meet you somewhere and get it at some point?

Thanks again for the rocking party,

Nick Starr

I thought, hmm, that’s weird.  I replied:

Thanks for coming!

No, I don’t have your cellphone. But I lost mine. Its black with a brown cover. I really wish I could find it because my dog is really sick and I need to call a vet. 😦

-Tara

His reply:

Wait my phone isn’t there? someone took it? wtf….oh man. ugh

Then I started getting really suspicious. What made him think that it was stolen all of a sudden? And some people told me that he is always poor and complains about not having money.

At this point I was pissed off.  We exchanged a few more emails and then this is what sealed the deal for me was this email:

I was invited by Melodi who I’ve known for a while now…I’ve only known that guy for 3 days now…I will ask him.

And this tweet from Nick.  Seemed clear to me that he was trying to put the blame on this Ben guy because no one really knows him.  So in my mind I was thinking about 3 possible scenarious: 1)Ben took it and Nick knew about it. 2) Nick took it 3) Ben took it and Nick didn’t know.  Either way, Nick brought this guy into my house and I as far as I’m concerned, needs to get my phone back or pay to replace it.

A lot of other emails, IMs, tweets, etc. occurred throughout the day.  I spoke to my Dad who is a Private Investigator and he said that the first email that Nick sent me was very suspicious.  I went to the Mission Police Department to report this crime and they said the same thing.

At this point my phone has not been returned.  It cost me $500 and now I have to pay another $500 to replace it.  More than the money which completely sucks, I am so sad that a fun party with my friends has turned into something really sad. I hate that someone came into my house and stole from me after hanging out with me.  I hate that I am so angry right now while I am planning my wedding.  I am trying to get past this.  Really really trying.

Here are my lessons learned:

1) Events on Facebook need to be private if they include your house address.  Can’t trust anyone to keep that information private even if you invite them as a friend.

2) Trust your instincts. If you have a queasy feeling about someone, ask them to leave.

3) During a house party, only allow new people that you don’t know into your house if they have at least one other person there that you trust and will vouch for them

4) Keep all documentation of any crime and take it all to the police with you. There is an online crime reporting site, but going in person means you can provide print outs.

5) Get house or renters insurance that includes a rider for electronics

6) Know who your friends are.

Thanks everyone for your help and support in trying to get to the bottom of this.

Filed under: annoyed, life, twitter, , , , , ,

helllzzzzz yes!

So, a little craziness went down on Friday and I have felt the need to respond to all the comments – both supportive (thank you so so much) and the less than supportive.  Some of you have also made me feel like I need to justify what happened and this makes me very sad, so I’m going to tell you what the deal is and then let it go.  I also just need to sort it out myself so this might not be most eloquently written post, but sometimes emotions can’t be nicely organized.

To answer the most frequently asked question over the last 2 days “Are you really engaged? Or is it Internet tomfoolery?” The answer is Yes.  Yes, I am engaged to Sean Bonner. And I am ecstatic. Overjoyed. Very very happy. 🙂

For those that don’t know me or Sean very well, you may think that it was some publicity stunt or a cry for attention. Trust me, I had no idea that the response would be as huge as it was.  If I had known, then I would have thought twice about responding over Twitter.

I’ve written about how we met, our relationship circumstances at the time, our friendship that turned into more during a roadtrip, and our deep stalker like infatuation for each other (ha ha).

Sean and I have brought up getting hitched, so it wasn’t a new idea.  In fact, when we were in Orlando for Izeafest, my Mum called me and asked if we were going to get married. The other day Sean’s Mum asked if we were already married.  Mums intuition is strong.

As I stated on BoingBoing:

For the official record…

Sean lives in LA and I live in SF. We tweet, Skype, IM, and txt each other all the time. I’ve written a bit about this…

https://tarabrown.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/ldr-hope-is-less-distant/

Asking me over Twitter was probably the most adorable, amazing, dorky, hilarious and appropriate move Sean could have made.

As for the in-person smooch, he gets to SF on Tuesday. 🙂

When we joked about getting engaged over Twitter, I never thought it would actually happen that way, but I am happy that it did.  At first I did think we were joking around but we Skyped with each other to discuss it and just knew its what we wanted. Hence no “sike!” reply.

To give you further insight into how I roll, I told my parents by emailing them the following:

Dear Mum and Dad,

Please read this:

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/10/10/tweethearts-blogger.html

Love,
Tara

My Mum hasn’t responded, but here’s my Dad’s response:

Subject: Nervous Breakdown

It is obvious that you have had a breakdown.

We are making mutual arrangements to have you committed

Love
Dad

As you can see, even if he is concerned, he is lighthearted about it. 🙂  Sean and I are going to Vancouver in a couple of weeks so we will see how he really feels. 🙂

Some of you have personal biases about how long a couple should know each other before getting married.   That’s fine, everyone can have their opinions. I just ask that you don’t state them in a way that is hurtful to me because those are your beliefs and sometimes when expressing them to me, it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong.

The bottom line is this.  Both Sean and I were in relationships that were unhappy, and we stuck them out for longer than we should have.  We learned from experience what we do and don’t want from a relationship and we were very very lucky and fortunate to find each other.  We know that we are very happy together. We both want to live in the now and commit ourselves to each other.  I’m not going to go on and on about how much I adore and love Sean and am happy every minute that he feels the same way about me.  But its true.

Thank you so so much to all of you that have sent your congratulations and love and support. So many people I don’t know but hope I can meet one day.  To those of you that have a hard time with it, I am sorry that you feel that way. I hope it doesn’t come between us.

Lastly, I want to thank Ryan McMinn for introducing us at a cafe during SXSW 2008 and Jay Goldman and David Crow for being apart of that too. Note that they are all Canadians. Of course.

Now, onto Space Pirate/Ninja/Zombie/Cowboy wedding planning.  Please note that Jason Defillippo has already requested the job of being my Maid of Honor although Angela Baxley is still fighting him for it.

I totally stalk Sean Bonner

I totally stalk Sean Bonner

Filed under: life, twitter,

My 5 days of crazy @ SXSWi

I started out a South By Newbie and now have the battlescars to prove I was there.  Not a lot of sleeping to be had because there were just too many things to do and too many people to meet and chat with.  Bottom line, I highly recommend it if you are prepared to break out of your shell and show your extroverted side, otherwise I’m not sure that listening to panels is going to provide you with the full on experience. It was a well worth slog that will never be forgotten. 

Here are some of my fave things from south by interactive:

Fave App:  Bitstrips.  Hands down, this is the coolest avatar builder/interactive social software app that I saw. And built by Canadians!!

Emotional moment:  PostSecret keynote.  The secrets were heartfelt, someone proposed and the reply was ‘yes’ and someone pleaded for wellwishers for her ill sister

Everyone had:  iPhones and Moo cards and Macs. Everyone.

Best party: Tie between the Etsy party @ the TapRoom (I wored Alix’s Threadless shirt) and the digg party @ the Ranch.

Best venue – Pangaea where the Facebook parties were held.  Apparently a FB investor owns it.

Best recovery:  Zuckerberg @ the Facebook garage session.  You might have heard about the famous interview

New hero:  Jane McGonigal from Avantgame.  She is girl power all wrapped up in one.

Coolest gadget:  Tie between bloxes and mimobots (ya happy tree friends!)

Most used service to communicate with peeps: Twitter

Craziest moments:  too many and what happens at sxsw, stays at sxsw (until someone posts on Facebook…) remove tag, remove tag

Same type peeps I met: Canadians!! Lots and lots and lots of my people were there. Yaaaa!

I have a lot more to report, but after partying until 4am, running back to my hotel to pack, and racing to the airport for NYC, I need to sleep!

Filed under: austin, bloxes, etsy, facebook, mimobots, postsecret, south by southwest, sxsw, twitter, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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