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Showing posts from April, 2010

How Your Facebook Gets Phished and Your Twitter Gets Taken

Last summer I felt like a rockstar on twitter. I had finally got into the groove, comfortable with "tweeting" and I was gaining followers like never before. Over ten a day follower emails were coming into my inbox, announcements like "Benjamin White is now following you on twitter" ... I was getting pretty good at this social media thing! By the end of one week, when I should have had a few hundred followers, I still only had 70. Something wasn't adding up but I was too busy to figure out why, so I assumed people were just rapidly following, then un-following me as some kind of retarded marketing tactic. Then it started getting out of control... 30, 40, 50 new followers a day. It was becoming a nuisance, cluttering up my Gmail, so I logged into twitter to turn off those annoying email alerts. When the alerts kept coming, that's when I knew. Nobody was following me. Twitter wasn't sending me those emails. It was phishing.

Phishing is simple. You get a ph…

A Day In The Life Conference - Next Weekend! April 24th, 2010

Hey Designers - Have you ever thought to yourself, if only I knew the right people then I could do "x"? Or if only I could find the right research about this problem I'm trying to solve? Or maybe you realize you need a fresh perspective on life in order to come up with some really creative solutions? Well, if you're in the DC/Baltimore area then here's your chance to get all that and more!

Check out A Day In The Life Conference


Some great speakers will be presenting some interesting sessions:
The Business of Design140 Characters or LessBranding YouThe Designer & The CommunityThe Green Movement & The Creative IndustryMaking the Transition from Print to WebNetworking 101: Make It Work For YouThe Client Is Always RightTypography: More Than WordsWill It Print?And more!Studioroom will be there, I hope to make some new friends and get lots of inspiration with you.

Friends Don't Let Friends Get Screwed by the Real Estate Market

Dear Friends,

I'm trying to buy a house here in the Baltimore City. I've been shopping here for over a year and since I'm new to Baltimore, and new to the house buying process, I'm really confused... I need advice and it occurs to me that many of my facebook friends have some good advice for me about Baltimore real estate, Maryland real estate, and home buying in general.

Most of what I'm looking at are small, older houses (or row houses). All of them need a bit of work, nothing is great. All homes I'm looking at are at least 60 years old. My budget is about $200k (would prefer to pay less) and so many places need so much work that when I tour a house I see tens of thousands of dollars, if not a hundred or more, in remodeling & repair work needed. It's a bit insane.

The only homes that have been selling over the past year have been either "very nice" homes or "bargain priced" fixer-upper homes. But 98% of the homes listed are neith…

Struever Bros. - Belvadere Square Does Not Need a Subway Sandwiches

I just learned that a Subway Sandwiches franchise will be the newest tenant at the Belvadere Square marketplace... a marketplace in my community filled with local gourmet food vendors. How a national fast food chain fits in to a unique and upscale place like the Belvadere Square is mystifying.

Hey Struever Bros., We all know commercial leases are down, but it's not fair to existing tenants or patrons to dump a Subway on us just because you want to get more rent. The Dunkin Donuts kinda sucks too. 

The landlord is Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse.  As a real estate developer who has been "creating communities in Baltimore for 30 years" - you would think they understand a thing or two about... um... creating communities. This is not fair to the neighboring residents, the patrons of Belvadere, who have been trying to improve the community. We are the ones who ultimately pay for the marketplace. Nobody is happy about this. There are other Subways close by, up York Road in m…

Hey ZipRealty.com - Please Fix Your User Experience

So I'm looking to buy a house finally. It's tricky. There are A LOT of places for sale but most of them are pretty dumpy. Now I understand why new construction is so appealing despite its boring style. Anyway, I'm using ZipRealty.com to help me find a home to buy because it's like the ebay of realestate websites. Sorting through hundreds of potential homes (yes hundreds) is really difficult. We all know that sellers like to exaggerate the appeal of their houses as much as possible. We all know that the whole house buying process seems rigged in favor of sellers and agents. The marketplace of real estate is really vague and I feel like this is intentional. I wish ziprealty.com was more like Google Finance - but it's not and I'm stuck with it for now.

So... there are a few things Zip should be doing from a User Experience perspective which would help me, and every other buyer, but they are not.... 

HEY ZIPREALTY, PLEASE FIX THESE THINGS ASAP!!!

#1 What is the deal w…