Friday, April 8, 2011

Where to Eat: St. Thomas & St. John, USVI

As you may know I grew on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Since I have lived in Boston for the past 9 years I have had a lot of questions to as what to do when people visit St.Thomas. Mostly it's around food because the others are obvious, go to a beach, sleep in the sun, and snorkel.

Here are restaurants I have been going to for years and highly recommend to eat at if you are Tourist. Please note the STT economy is wicked fickle so some of these place may be closed but if they are open go there, trust me.

Where to eat & what to drink

Red Hook

Downtown – lunch

North Side

  • Sibs (boston bah)
  • Magens Bay (Pizza and Painkillers – lunch)

St. John

  • The Lime Inn (local tasty island fish and steaks)
  • Asolare $$$$$
  • The Fish Trap (local tasty island fish and steaks)

Drinks to Order

  • Bushwacker
  • Painkiller
  • Rum punch
  • Soursap (local fruit drink no liquor)


Friday, March 18, 2011

A Glimpse Into The History Of Social Media

I'm currently enrolled in Full Sail University's Internet Marketing Masters program. This is a paper I wrote for one of my classes. I thought this would be a good blog post.

A commonly occurring debate among marketers is the original social medium. Some marketers say it was email, others say it was social bookmarking, and a few say it was Facebook. As this debate continues amongst the experts and gurus, there is no doubt that social media marketing is here to stay. To understand why the social media industry is popular, one must understand where it first began to know where it is going.

Industry expert Jeremiah Owyang (2009) points out that first and largest social network created was email. The reasons it is a social network are that it allows users to identify other users through a profile such as a signature, and it allows users to make connections by responding to each other’s emails. Also, peer ratings sent via email are just as trusted as they would be in a blog or wall post. Owyang also made a prediction that as social networks began to grow they would match email platforms or become the same as an email platform. With the release of Facebook’s new messaging platform in 2010, this prediction is proving to be true.

A first, and still widely used form of social networking is instant messenger. Free instant messaging platforms, such as AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), ICQ, and Microsoft Messenger allow connected users the ability to share information with one another instantly. Just like twitter, users of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) could reply to one another using @ symbols and # tags to mark certain activities. Now Twitter uses the same language to allow users to communicate with one another and tag events (Borders, 2009).

The first “real social network” created in 1997 was, allowing members to create profiles, invite friends, create groups, and view one another’s profiles. The site required an invite from a friend in order to grow one’s network. As SixDegrees began to push members more and more to invite friends, their social network began to fail (Nickson, 2009). At this point in time only one in three households in the United States owned a personal computer. In conclusion, a poor marketing strategy, plus the lack of in-home computer adoption may have resulted in the shortage of this social network’s adoption (Newburger, 1999).

In 1999 computers became a staple in the home and a new term was coined: “Web 2.0.” The creator of this term, DiNucci (1999) describes Web 2.0 as:

The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfulls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfulls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens. (p. 32)

With the coining of this phrase, new forms of Web 2.0 began to emerge, such as social bookmarking. Founded in 2003,, a social bookmarking site, allows users to bookmark sites, create catalogs of those bookmarks, and share them amongst friends. The founder of, Joshua Schachter, describes it as a grassroots hit that didn’t need marketing or advertising for it to take off. All it needed was one person to start using it. Also, Schachter didn’t apply any rules to the network’s tagging system, which allowed members to form rules and methods on their own (Surowiecki, 2006).

Other social bookmarking sites with different themes became popular shortly after the launch of These sites are Slashdot, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Shadows, Ma.gnolia, Furl, diigo, Blogmars, Blinklist, and Digg. Over the past five years, the popularity of these sites has ebbed and flowed depending on redesigns, posting method modifications, and new rules imposed upon users. Today companies are using social bookmarking to help with their search engine optimization strategies. Baker (2007), describes how effective social bookmarking can be for a company’s website: “social bookmarking can introduce a site to the search engines” (¶ 3).

As social bookmarking became popular, social networking began to revamp itself and take off. Two popular social networking sites that have had a major effect on today’s world are Myspace and Facebook. Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, who were working at an Internet marketing company, created Myspace in 2003. Before its creation, their initial fear was that revenue generated from the site through billboards and advertisements wouldn’t be sufficient because of the recent online advertising recession in 2001. Putting their fears aside, they launched Myspace, which became a huge success and hit its stride in 2006. Users could customize their profile pages, upload photos, connect with friends, and share music. The ability to share music allowed Myspace to be the go to place for bands just starting out in the music industry to get noticed (Krantz, 2006).

While Myspace was taking the world by storm, Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2003. It was originally launched on the Harvard University campus for students to network with one another online, and it soon began to spread to different colleges within the United States (Carlson, 2010). Users could not customize the aesthetics of their profile page but they could post videos, photos, and status updates.

In 2010, Facebook hit 500 million worldwide users. Unfortunately, at this point in time the popularity and use of Myspace was beginning to dwindle. As a result, 47 percent of Myspace employees were laid off on January 11, 2011 (Nakashima, 2011). A week before the Myspace layoffs, Facebook secured a new round of funding which raised their worth to $50 Billion.

As Facebook grew, a new social medium emerged, Twitter. Nations describes Twitter as “a cross between blogging and instant messaging, though even that doesn't do it justice” (¶ 5). Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has been broadly embraced amongst news reporters, writers, police departments, politicians, bloggers, and even companies. According to Van Grove (2010), over 100 million users signed on to become new members by the end of 2010. On September 10, 2010, TechCrunch reported 90 million tweets were sent daily (Rao, 2010).

In the past ten years businesses, consumers, and government have seen the world adopt social media in all its different forms. As Facebook and Twitter gain in popularity and user rankings, other issues do arise regarding privacy and content piracy. In the past, as other media such as television, radio, and newspapers grew, major regulations were needed to keep consumers safe and data from being pirated. Whether or not new regulations will help, the next popular media that emerges is going to take the world by storm and shift how information is consumed and produced.


Baker, L. (n.d.). 125 Social Bookmarking Sites : Importance of User Generated Tags, Votes and Links | Search Engine Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Borders, B. (2009, June 2). A Brief History Of Social Media. Brighter Marketing. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from

Carlson, N. (2010, March 5). How Facebook Was Founded. Business Insider. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

DiNucci, D. (1999). Fragmented Future. Print, 53(4), 32. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

History of MySpace | Random History. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Krantz, M. (n.d.). - The guys behind USA Today. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Nakashima, R. (2011, January 1). Myspace Layoffs: 47 Percent Of Staff Fired. The Huffington Post. News, . Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Nations, D. (n.d.). What Is Twitter? - Twitter Explained. - Web Trends. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Nickson, C. (n.d.). The History of Social Networking. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from

Number and percentage of home computer users, by type of application and selected characteristics: 1997 and 2003. (n.d.). . Retrieved from

Owyang, J. (n.d.). Email: The First –and Largest– Social Network « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from

Parr, B. (2011, January 3). Facebook Raises $500 Million in Funding, Now Worth $50 Billion [REPORT]. Mashable. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Rao, L. (2010, September 14). Twitter Seeing 90 Million Tweets Per Day, 25 Percent Contain Links. TechCrunch. News, . Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Surowiecki, J. (n.d.). TR35: Joshua Schachter, 32 - Technology Review. Technology Review. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

US Department of Education. (n.d.). Number and percentage of home computer users, by type of application and selected characteristics: 1997 and 2003. Digest of Education Statistics. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Van Grove, J. (n.d.). How Twitter Users Changed in 2010 [CHARTS]. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Web 2.0 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Time for Facebook App Fall Cleaning

There has been a lot of news about the issue with Facebook applications sharing our data. Although I'm not shocked, it made me wonder how many apps I have. So I looked up how to delete them, how to find them, etc. When I took a look I had over 200 apps connected to my account and about 120 of them, I didn't need anymore and never heard of. Yikes! Time to do what I would like to call a "Fall Cleaning".

If you want to do the same here is how you do it, straight from the Facebook Help Desk.

You can manage your application settings from the Applications You Use page. To get to that page, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Privacy Settings page from the "Account" drop-down menu located at the top of any page on Facebook.
  2. Click the "Edit your settings" link under the Applications and Websites section towards the bottom of the page.
  3. Click on the application you'd like to remove. If you don’t see the application listed, you can find it by clicking the Edit Settings button towards the top right-hand side of the page.
  4. You’ll then see an expanded view of your settings for that application. From here, you can click the "Remove application" link. Once you confirm you’d like to remove the application, it will no longer have access to your data and be removed from your profile, bookmarks, and your Applications and Games Dashboards.

From the Applications, Games, and Websites page, you can also:

  • Remove unwanted or spammy applications
  • Turn off all platform applications
  • Control what information is open to your friends through applications and websites they're using
  • Control who can see your recent activity on their Applications and Games Dashboard
  • Edit your instant personalization and public search listing settings
It took a while and it was a pain but I would recommend doing it. I would love to know how many apps you removed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Is This a Joke? - The New England Dessert Showcase Saga Continues

A new email from Anthem Group regarding my refund. Another step to the process. Clearly no one knows what they are doing....

Hi Alexis,

Thank you for your email and I am sorry you did not enjoy your experience at The New England Dessert Showcase. We have spoken with the management of third party discount websites and the quickest resolution is to email them for a refund. The preferred method of refund was internally via Anthem because we want to ensure that you are refunded and refunded properly. With that said, as you purchased through Living Social, please email and please copy This will provide us with a record of your request. If they do not refund you please contact us and we will help facilitate your refund.

Now, each card is different- some may credit mid-week while others may wait until the next statement. It should be no longer than the next statement. I definitely want to see you refunded and will talk with any credit card company necessary if the refund does not go through for whatever reason.


Anthem Group - name changed to protect the slightly not really innocent

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Apology from The Anthem Group

Below is an email from Anthem Group apologizing for their mistakes. It takes major pumpkins to do this and I greatly appreciate them for doing it.


Please excuse the mass e-mail. This was the easiest way to connect
with everyone that has e-mailed, filled out a contact form, etc. We
were not open on Sunday because of post event wrap-up and have been
sorting through the e-mails, calls and ticket lists in order to get
back to everyone in the most efficient manner. You will receive an
individualized e-mail response over the course of the week regarding
your specific comment/request.

We do sincerely apologize for those that were unable to gain admission
to The New England Dessert Showcase or for any ill experience you had.
There was an unexpected and unprecedented amount of walk-ups
attempting to purchase tickets the day of the event. Although no
walk-ins were given admission, this did further clog the lines. The
hotel security staff also falsely informed many patrons that the event
was closed when in fact we were still allowing patrons in as there
were still several exhibitors sampling. There was enough to last to
the end of the day. Nevertheless, The Anthem Group accepts full
responsibility and wants to rectify the situation.

If you requested a refund and purchased through Anthem we will be able
to connect with you within the next day or so in order to authorize
this. If you requested a refund and purchased through a third party
site (Living Social, Groupon, CoupMe) we are simply waiting on these
sites to let us know if we should refer any refund requests directly
to the site itself, or if Anthem will be able to send a check for the
refund. Anthem prefers to handle the refunds internally as that would
be most efficient and ensure that no one falls through the cracks.
However, we do need to collaborate with these third-party sites before
action is taken on our end. Ideally, this should all be settled
today/tomorrow and we will then instruct you on who to contact at the
appropriate site, or get the necessary information from you in order
to process the request ourselves.

We assure you that all e-mails, calls, contact forms will be returned
this week. The process of verifying admission to the event, proof of
purchase and most notably waiting on the third party websites is time
consuming but we will rectify the situation as quickly as possible. As
a company that has been in business for ten years and has managed
events that (literally) have half a million more patrons, our entire
team understands the importance of the event experience. It is because
of that sincere interest in every individuals' experience and
expectations that we not only will move promptly but also personalize
each response as soon as we collect all necessary information.


Erica Johnson
The Anthem Group
The New England Dessert Showcase

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New England Dessert Showcase Fail


2 months ago I saw on Living Social a deal for half off the New England Dessert Showcase on Sept 18th, 2010. I was very excited because my boyfriend's birthday was coming up and I thought it would be an amazing surprise for him. He has a major sweet tooth.
So I purchased 2 VIP tickets which was supposed to include admission to the showcase, 2 VIP gift bags, and admission to a VIP party the night before.

So here's what happened...

Yesterday, Saturday September 18, me and 10 other friends headed down to the showcase that was supposed to start at noon. On our way there (a little after noon) a friend called me and told me that the line was over 400 people deep and they hadn't opened the doors yet. We got there and she texted me to say the line was moving so we rushed upstairs. To our surprise the line was going all the way from the Copley Westin in the Prudential Center. A very very long line. We figured since it was moving we would just go a head and wait in line.

That was not to be. We got in line and a hotel person came up to tell us it would be a 2 hour late the show was OVER SOLD and OVER CAPACITY. It would be a 2 hour wait. A guy walked by at the same time and said don't bother it sucked, too crowded, and is a waste of time. So guess what, my boyfriend who had been excited for 2 months to go to this event, could not go and neither could me or any of my friends. The chances of an over capacity event having any dessert left after a 2 hour wait was definitely slim to nothing.

b. Sell tickets in wave time slots or extend it to 2 days
c. Tell people to purchase tickets there and when the show is sold out it is sold out. So that all of the people who PRE-PURCHASED tickets don't get left with a ticket and NO DESSERT
d. Do not put tickets on LIVING SOCIAL and GROUPON without a cap. YOU WILL SELL OUT AND OVER SELL.
e. You better issue refunds to every single person who was not able to attend this event due to your under planning and over selling.
f. Apologize to the Copley Westin for what you put them through, not a single person going was happy and a fair amount of people were rude to them. I didn't see a single person for you company come out and apologize.

In conclusion, I vow to ensure Anthem Group will be hearing fro me every day until I receive a refund for a very disappointing event. And I will never ever go to a single Anthem Group Event. Ever.

So thanks Anthem for ruining what was supposed to be an amazing birthday for a true sweet tooth.