Category Archives: Uncategorized

Obituary for Joan Abbott

Abbott-Joan of New York and Maine passed away on February 4, 2011,after a long
struggle with leukemia .She will be missed by all her family and friends.
Survivors : Carolyn Woodard, sister, and husband, David, Lincoln Abbott, brother, and
wife, Elizabeth. Nieces and Nephews: Sandy Abbott, Kacy Baumann and husband James,
Eleanor Woodard and wife, Toni LeBlanc, Lincoln Woodard and wife, Caroline. Grand
Nieces and Nephew: Sarah and Christina Baumann, Caitlin Duncan, Raya Perez, Elena,
Benjamin, and Anna Woodard. Memorial Service: Saturday, February 19th, at 2pm, South
Congregational Church, 949 Main St., South Glastonbury CT 06073
Donations: New York Presbyterian Hospital, Department of Hematology/Oncology
PO Box 123, New York NY, 10021 or Museums of Old York,., PO Box 312, York,


Isthmus. (December 2008)

There's a growing Isthmus between: journalism, columnists, bloggers, etc. on the left side…

Social networking, networks, business card exchange, etc. on the other side.

Twitter is an isthmus where the two are meeting, and we don't have social conventions for that yet. People feel a little awkward and confused at first..


helps people learn about each other

do things together

just talk

make each other laugh

make each other think

they can help each other when something goes wrong

they can work together to do more than they could alone

they can do all that as a part of their everyday lives rather than having to stop and go do it

ps. i love me (#awesome Valentine to/from an 8 YO boy)

Just got this in email from a friend. #AWESOME! May we all help our kids dare to be awesome! – LJF

My 8 YO had a school assignment to bring in a pillow case and write a love letter to himself. The instructions are to use the pillow case on valentine's day eve, have a flashlight next to their bed, and read it in the morning.

Here's his letter:

Dear Me,
I am proud that I am a mathematician, scientist, experimenter, and sports team player.  Also I love my illustrations and text in my writing.
I am proud that I am a good big brother.
I am proud that I am a great builder.
I love that I am a nice person.  I love that I sleep with the most stuffed animals.
I like that I have the most lego sets.
I like that I have very precise folds on paper airplanes.
I like that I know a lot of words.
I love that I love school.
ps. I love me


I love my kids!

Glossary of Twitter terms from Twitter for Dummies

AFAIK: Abbreviation of As Far as I Know.

bot: An account run by an automated program. You can find good bots, such
as the ones that pull in all breaking news headlines from a media outlet.
But you also can find bad bots, which put out only generic tweets, usually
filled with links to Internet marketing sites or porn. You can often spot these
bots by a generic “hot chick” avatar or their uneven follower/following ratio
(meaning that they’re following hundreds or thousands of people but have
only a few following them back).

DIAF: Abbreviation of Die in a Fire; expresses extreme anger with a person or
about an idea.

direct messages: Private messages sent to specific Twitter users in your net-
work (abbreviated DMs).

dweet: A tweet sent while under the influence. Drunken tweeting can be
amusing for your Twitter stream, but it can have lasting consequences for
you because Google indexes all tweets. Be careful with dweeting!
early adopter: The enthusiastic people, often closely tied to the Silicon
Valley digital-media community, who tend to be the first to use a new gadget
or technology. Twitter’s early adopters, for example, are the ones who joined
before or during the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference in March 2007,
when Twitter made its first big splash.

FailWhale: The image of a cartoon whale that appears when you try to load a
page on the domain when the domain’s servers are overloaded.
In Twitter’s early days, the tiny startup was known for unreliability because
its rapid growth had outpaced its server power. Back then, the FailWhale
made an appearance as often as several times a day, and many Twitter users
casually use the expression FailWhale to show disapproval of anything on or
off Twitter that isn’t working properly. But don’t get too worried: The days of
the FailWhale’s rampant appearances on Twitter have been over for months.

FTL: Abbreviation of For the Loss. The opposite of FTW, FTL is a quick way to
show disappointment or dissatisfaction.

FTW: Abbreviation of For the Win; a quick way to show appreciation or
enthusiasm. The term comes from gamer and hacker speak. Many of the
shorthand abbreviations on Twitter have their roots in the vernacular that
arose in video games, hacker forums, or instant-message programs as far
back as the 1980s.

FWIW: Abbreviation of For What It’s Worth.
hashtag: Words preceded by the # symbol. Basically, hashtags flag something
as a keyword for searches. They’re surprisingly powerful, as real-time (but
virtual) events, and even communities can (and do) form around them. At the
time of writing, #journchat is a community of PR pros and journalists who
discuss their trade every Monday evening.

IMO or IMHO: Abbreviations for In My Opinion or In My Humble Opinion.
metrics: A way to measure what the service means for business and individu-
als as it relates to return on the time invested. Because Twitter has so many
analytical applications built on its API, you can find tons of Twitter metrics
After using Twitter for a little while, check out your Twitter grade at (
microfunding or microgiving: A means of using microblogging to raise char-
ity donations. Several Twitter apps, such as TipJoy (,
specialize in microfunding, and nonprofits, such as charity: water (www., have made Twitter microfunding a priority.
microsharing or microblogging: The niche of social media that encompasses
Twitter. Other services — such as Jaiku, Pownce, and Plurk — have also spe-
cialized in microblogging, but none of them has achieved anywhere close to
the following that Twitter has. Several microsharing services have already
been shut down by their creators.

mistweet: A tweet that you send in error, either because you send it to the
wrong person or you accidentally send a public tweet that you intended as a
DM. Either way, it’s a tweet you regret sending.

noise river: While you add more and more people to your Twitter stream,
or if you turn on Show All @Replies (in your Twitter settings), you’re going
to see more and more tweets. You may have to put forth more effort to sift
through to the good stuff. Twitter users who start to encounter this problem
sometimes start to refer to their Twitter stream as the noise river.

OH: An abbreviation for overheard. Used to anonymously quote something
funny that you heard, usually in real life. OHs look like this: “OH: ‘Did some-
body smell bacon? Because I sure did.’”
To see all tweets that are prefaced with OH, follow @overheard on Twitter.
@replies: Public tweets directed at specific people — anyone can see them
and jump into the conversation.

RT or R/T: Stands for retweet, Twitter’s equivalent of quoting. If you come
across a tweet that you want to quote, giving credit to the original user, type
RT at the start of a new tweet, put the Twitterer’s username in an @reply
format, and copy the contents of the tweet. A retweet looks like this: “RT
@pistachio Boston – outdoor skating party this weekend, Sunday at 1pm. DM
me if interested?” By putting RT at the front of the retweet, your also make
sure that everyone can see your tweet because some members choose to
turn off @replies that are not directed at them.
Keep in mind, however, that retweeting adds characters to a tweet and may
force it over the 140-character limit. If that’s the case, you might just want
to link to it directly, instead. When prolific Twitter users put out a tweet
that they want people in their network to retweet (for example, when they
announce an event or charitable cause), many of them consciously keep it
short to prevent that problem.

spammers: Spammers clutter up your Twitter stream (if you choose to
follow them) and, just like with e-mail and other Internet tools, they send
you useless content, usually trying to sell you something. Luckily, spamming
on Twitter is hard because you don’t have to follow anyone, and because
Twitter works hard to remove accounts that are trying to take advantage of
others and violating their terms of service (TOS).

tweeple or tweeps: Some Twitter users say tweeps to refer to the Twitter
community overall, whereas others use it to refer only to those in their
tweet: Either a noun or a verb. Your 140-character updates on Twitter are
called tweets, and you can also say, “I tweeted.”

tweetaholic or twitterholic: Someone who’s addicted to Twitter. Many avid
users toss this term about in a self-deprecating way if they find themselves
using Twitter more often than seems normal. Also, the term twitterholic can
refer to (, a Twitter metrics
application that measures the relative popularity of Twitter users.

tweetup: A pun on meet-up, tweetup refers to a gathering of Twitter users
organized through Twitter. Tweetups can take many forms: a get-together for
Twitter users who happen to be in the same town for a concert or festival,
locals who want to try out a new restaurant or bar, or even a late-night meet-
ing of karaoke enthusiasts.

twinfluence: Short for twitter influence. Can be based on criteria such as
number of followers, how often they’re retweeted, how many people @reply to
them, or any other variety of metrics. An actual site at http://www.twinfluence.
com that social network analysis to approximate the influence of different
Twitter accounts.

TwitPic: One of the most popular third-party applications built on Twitter’s
API. TwitPic lets you upload a photo, often from the camera on your cell-
phone, to TwitPic (, which automatically sends a tweet
that links to the picture and provides the caption of your choice.
twittcrastination: Using Twitter to procrastinate on a project or an unpleas-
twitter: Can be used as a verb (“I twittered that”) but not a noun. Note: Don’t
say “twit” (“send a twit” is never correct, for example) because of that word’s
negative connotations in some parts of the world.

Twitter squatter: Much like a domain squatter on the rest of the Web,
someone who claims the Twitter username that corresponds to a popular
brand name or the name of a famous person, often in hopes of some kind of
personal gain or monetary profit. Luckily, the guys behind Twitter deal with
these people quickly if the person or brand in question wants that name back
(William Shatner, Steve Wozniak, and others have been victims of squatters).
You’re also not allowed to squat on any account name without using it as an
active account. New users can request (and frequently receive) usernames
abandoned for more than six to nine months.

Twitter stream: The constantly updating and flowing timeline of everyone
that you choose to follow on Twitter; also called a feed.

Twitterati: A pun on literati and glitterati, these are Twitter’s perceived
A-listers whom users want to follow or be followed by. It’s a lot beside the
point of Twitter, which is to connect to the people that interest you the most,
not just the most popular. Fortunately, bona-fide celebrities are starting to
tweet, and with time, this word won’t mean very much.

twitterverse: The universe of people, tools, applications, and services on
Twitter, meaning the entire Twitter community and ecosystem of other
related things.

Highlights from today at Fenway

(Recap from tweets with a little more explanation)

Omg. Omg. Omfg. I am TOTALLY going to cry on Friday. Game over. #NHLWinterClassic 
(outside Fenway)

Fenway from the ice (video) (snapshot just after i stepped on the ice) (oops i was holding the camera sideways, argh!)

Sk8in (this one had ALL the pics and NO explanation, just trying to fit the all in) me with John McKenzie (am i even spelling it right?) OMG i am on the field at FENWAY!!! the ice, from the entry to it  the ice, from just outside the boards from the bench, looking back at the "home plate" stage

Press conference of @NHLFlyers and @NHLBruins alumni talking about the teams' histories 

(group photo, MacKenzie & a bunch of others, including Derek Sanderson)

(and lastly)

It's like Santa's village down there-steadily milling with people prepping big show. The stage: home plate shaped

Why I unfollowed YOU last night

Want to know why @pistachio no longer follows you? Me too! Nobody knows what happened. I just know that YOU were not “unfollowed,” there was a bug of some sort. 

Something caused the account’s following and followers to fluctuate wildly for a few hours last night, shortly after I received an (erroneous) notice that the acct was going to be suspended for mass following and unfollowing. By the numbers: 

Before: 40k following and 45k followers.
During: all over the map: many as 17,000 cut from follower AND following lists
After: 24.7k following and 40k followers.

UPDATE: During some troubleshooting of the account the following number dropped even further to ~17,000. We’re rebuilding the follow reciprocations but there is a cap of just 1,000 per day on that. It will take pretty much until my birthday, 1/21, to return follow everyone affected. Sorry!

Never have made sense of what happened. Even a rogue script (follow-back or clean those who have unfollowed) does not explain the 17k variation on the # of accts FOLLOWING @Pistachio. Luckily the acct settled within 2500 of the original followers number. But I did hear from a lot of people confused why THEY suddenly weren’t following me, and it took a few days to climb from 40k back up around 43k.

Which means that about 16,000 accounts were involuntarily unfollowed, and 5,000 had their follow of @pistachio removed. Hoping to get as much restored as possible. The good news is that while it may take a few weeks, there are tools so that eventually I can restore everyone who still follows me. At 1k/day limit on following, that’ll take a while.

Meanwhile, PLEASE @ reply me anytime you want to say hello. The only reason I reciprocate in the first place is to offer a private channel (DM) to get in touch. I TRULY value, welcome and appreciate your voice.

BACKGROUND: Earlier in the day yesterday, I cleaned out ~3,000 accounts @pistachio was “following back” that did not follow @pistachio anymore. Most were “churners” who follow, wait for follow-back, then unfollow to increase their numbers. After the cleanout was done @pistachio still followed about 41,000 accounts. A couple hours later I started “following-back” accounts that follow @pistachio.

And that’s when the chaos broke loose. Still no word from anyone on what happened, how or why.

If you were unfollowed it was NOT intentional and I hope it WILL be resolved soon. 

Believe me, mass re-following and mass-auto-DMs are not fun for me either. 🙂 For a couple of years now, @pistachio has tried to reciprocate every follow. This is because I believe in extending the ability to privately DM unless someone abuses that privilege. It’s actually been years since @pistachio followed anyone first. If we connect or I like your stuff I have other ways I keep an eye on your stream. 🙂

What I actually SEE of Twitter on the @pistachio acct is only DMs and what is @-addressed to @pistachio. I use a separate account to keep tabs on colleagues, family, etc. I frequently drop by your page whether we follow each other or not. I also watch search terms.

Happy New Year all of you, and if you see anyone frustrated or offended over me “unfollowing” them, please let me know so that I can reach out? Thanks kindly!


launch day: jitters & fun news


this email to my parents sums it up best.

photo credit Damon Cortesi (c) 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Laura Fitton <>
Date: Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 12:13 PM
Subject: launch day: jitters & fun news
To: Dave or Cyndi Fitton <>

all is on course – LOTS of blogs are going to cover our website launch today. i am really happy and surprisingly calm , sitting in my hotel room working.

definitely a little keyed up, but not bad. my friend Anil Dash who has launched stuff before just gave me a little pep talk via IM – "it's the starting line not the finish line."

i am doing the last few bits of work before heading over to the conference for the day. meanwhile in Boston the guys are kicking butt – fixing bugs, adding features, they've gotten an incredible amount of work done in the past few weeks. oneforty has an amazing team now. we're very lucky.

great article in MassHighTech this morning that I did not know was going to be ONLY about us (i thought he was interviewing many companies that started in recessions)

and a great laugh — Pee Wee Herman was the surprise guest at the conference last night and i got the chance to give him a copy of Twitter for Dummies… (see pic attached)

video it cuts off right as i give him the book but i'm amazed that someone caught it at all. it all happened very fast… here' how i described it to my editor at Wiley…

that's just how my life's been the last 2 years. these little moments just seem to happen. i was holding the book wondering how to give it away at that event. then he appears (surprise guest) and starts to struggle with how to tweet.

it was like a hammer from the sky whacked me on the head.

then the fact PeeWee mugged with the book and that my friend damon just happened to nail the photo of it. crazy. perfect storm.

Anyhow, love you guys! Talk to ya later.


Cory Doctorow on being a Career Activist

A note from Kevin Marks: I liked this bit in Cory(Doctorow)'s Makers book:

"Here’s what being a career activist means: you are on the road most of the time. When you get on the road, you meet people, have intense experiences with them—like going to war or touring with a band. You fall in love a thousand times. And then you leave all those people behind. You get off a plane, turn some strangers into best friends, get on a plane and forget them until you come back into town, and then you take it all back up again.

“If you want to survive this, you’ve got to love that. You’ve got to get off a plane, meet people, fall in love with them, treasure every moment, and know that moments are all you have. Then you get on a plane again and you love them forever. Otherwise, every new meeting is sour because you know how soon it will end. It’s like starting to say your summer-camp goodbyes before you’ve even unpacked your duffel-bag. You’ve got to embrace—or at least forget—that every gig will end in a day or two.”

Laura’s “Rules”

i think the absolute central challenge in life is to learn to not be afraid of who you actually are.

1. be kind and fair to everyone.

2. don't worry whether or not anyone likes you.

3. help people.

4. ask.

5. act. (get excited and share it)

6. love yourself.

7. love others. (try radical forgiveness)

8. gratitude for everything.

9. hope is your only hope. (and fear is your only worry)

10. be present.

BONUS: adversity is an opportunity: ask yourself, when something goes wrong, "what bullet did i just dodge?"