First Friday March: Silent Auction at Epona and Oak

Let’s hear it for the kids!

Have you heard of backpack buddies? It’s a sweet program that packs six healthy meals and two snacks in a bookbag for kids from a “food-insecure homes” in the area.

Epona and Oak, a boutique in City Market, teamed up with them to host a silent auction of kid-created artistic masterpieces ~ fondly called “messterpieces” ~ this First Friday, March 1.

The artwork (sneak peek!) will be hanging around the shop for you to bid on, and Larry’s Beans and Centro will provide some food and drink. All proceeds are donated to this stellar kiddos food program.

P.S. Kimbap is a new Korean restaurant opening at Seaboard Station this Friday. Gimbap, or Kimbap is a popular Korean dish made from steamed white rice (bap) and various other ingredients, rolled in dried laver seaweed (gim/kim) and served in bite-size slices. Follow on Facebook or Twitter, and learn more at

In the 2 minutes before the social media event began

Last night I went to Ignite Raleigh, an event held at Lincoln Theater for local folks who have an interest in shaping and growing the Triangle. Page Crawford (traffic on NCB17) and Jake Fehling (her husband) emceed, while Ryan Boyles and Tim Arthur hosted the event.

There were 15 speakers who, for the most part, focused on how social media has affected their lives — both personally and professionally.

But, the most thought-provoking thing that happened to me last night was in the 2 minutes right before the whole thing kicked off. And perhaps this is the essence of Ignite Raleigh and what makes participating so rewarding.

The guy beside me says: Scheduling tweets can be compared to sending a cardboard cut-out of yourself to a meetup. Doesn’t this behavior reduce authenticity on social media?

My response was first that this comparison is not sound. A meetup is held at one location, at one point in time. Twitter, like all social media, is constant. It’s always. So, in order to “reach” people at the time they might be viewing their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or G+ feed, a strategic brand will post at various times throughout the day or week.

And that strategy, plan, and timing all depends on the brand and what they’re trying to achieve.

As for the question of authenticity. Yes, scheduling tweets can influence authenticity. If you, as a person or brand, are scheduling tweets for the sake of it, blindly following some now-known rule that social media is an important part of engaging customers and potential clients — you are more likely to be posting things that are NOT RELEVANT. The goal is to stay relevant.

To be relevant you must:

  • know what and/or who you’re talking about
  • be referencing something fairly recent or that pertains to a current topic of coversation
  • have something unique to say about it

For the last one, I think that Janet Kennedy’s call for us to have fun with social media applies. What you have to say or impart doesn’t have to be the dropping of knowledge bombs, blowing everyone out of the water. It just has to be you. Have fun with it and be yourself. There’s nothing more unique, or relevant, than you.

A sunset like tonight

I love it when the sky seems to know what I’m thinking.

Downtown Raleigh has beautiful sunsets and because we’re not a super sized city, we’re able to see them pretty well, at least for a little while.

This is one thing I love about Raleigh—that it’s a small town afterall. That citizens have a say in government and how our downtown and surrounding areas are built, created, and maintained. That our voices are valued, though they may differ. And oh, they do. But we also agree on a lot and come out together to support our festivals, markets, races, friends, neighbors, strangers, and businesses. Startups have particularly excellent soil to grow and push down roots in, here.

We are a vibrant, strong, smart community of people — from doers and makers, to say-sayers and taxpayers.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Commuter Transit

Do you get that we need to double the bus system in Wake County? Because our population is set to double in 20 years.

This video from the Capital Area Friends of Transit got be psyched! (Not to mention it features our wonderful mayor and Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat.)

If this sounds like a long way away, and not that important — For one, just hop on I40 at 530pm or 6pm any day of the week — and second, realize that this means our population is steadily, heavily growing as we speak, from right now until 2033. The other arm of this issue is that our region is demanding this change in order to continue to be one of the most quickly progressing cities in the country in terms of happiness — this includes startups and big business, places to buy groceries, to run and train for runs, to walk your dog, to push your kid in the stroller or watch them play soccer, to meet people and network or fall in love. (Our education system is also under great stress to figure itself out.)

All of this is being brought to your attention because as a citizen of Raleigh, you’ve got to value it. Understand it. And when the time comes, put your vote and voice behind it. It’s not a question of ‘really being involved’, because with or without trying, you’re a part of what gets said and done around here.

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