Top five social media destinations

Do you live your life in 140 characters are less? Have you almost lost your life several times because you had to get that shot of a crazy cab driver uploaded to Facebook? If this is anything like you, here are five cities you’re just going to love.

NetProspex has ranked the cities in the United States by social media activity, and the results are not at all surprising. Using the NetProspex Social Index (PDF), which the company developed, it was able to rank activity across a number of social media platforms, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Here are the details on the methodology:

The data was mined from their database of business contacts. There are three components to the score. First there is social connectedness: the number of employees with at least one social media profile. Second there is social friendliness and reach: the average number of connections per employee across major social networks. Third is social activity: the average number of tweets, number of followers, and number of users following.

So, who wins? Take a look below:
1. San Francisco: home of Twitter and long-time tech city, is this really surprising?

2. San Jose: okay, like San Francisco but not as cool … pretty easy to see this one coming

3. New York: 8 million people with nothing better to do and plenty to TwitPic

4. Austin: who knew the country’s sexiest city would also be one of its most socially connected? Hot people flock together and like to stay in touch

5. Boston: another tech center, especially the metro area, and there really is nothing better to do up there …

[Thanks @zimmermitch, photo by Laurie DePrete]

Stench in newly renovated San Jose terminal building compared to outhouse

The newly renovated terminal A complex at Norman Mineta airport in San Jose has a bit of a smelly problem. For months, staff have been complaining about an unbearable stench in office areas and the crew break room.

The smell is so bad, that odor neutralizing machines and large fans have not helped. So bad in fact, that the airport purchased picnic tables so the staff could escape the stench and sit outside during their lunch break.

Nothing the airport tried in the past five months has helped, so now airline officials are threatening to withhold thousands of dollars in rent payments until the airport operator fixes the situation.

Continental Airlines general manager Urban Grass (awesome name) said “it’s got to be resolved somehow.” The smell has stunk up his accounting area and employee break room, and that the sewage smell in the United and US Airways offices down the hall is “horrible.”

Like everything in the airline industry, everyone is very concerned about the issue, but continues to point fingers at someone else when searching for a guilty party.

The only upside is that passengers are not affected by the stench, and no baggage is flying home infused with the smell of San Jose sewage.

[Photo credit: Flickr/Andrew Feinberg]

NYC tops U.S. list of most expensive cities

It’s not exactly shocking to see that New York City is the most expensive city in the United States. Groceries, gasoline and other items tend to run a tad more than twice the national average. Whether you rent or buy, you’ll spend a fortune in this city, where the average price for a home is $1.1 million and an apartment, on average, will cost $3,400 a month.

So, how can so many bloggers live here? Remember: these are averages. That means someone has to be on the underside of them.

Housing prices were also among the reasons why San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. worked their way into top spots on the list. Average home prices shot past $600,000 in all four of these cities. In Austin, the average home price is a much more modest $226,998, and it’s even more comfortable in Nashville, at $201,020.

The measure used to determine the cost of leaving in each of the cities is based on expenses in six categories: groceries, housing (rent/mortgage), healthcare, utilities, transportation and miscellaneous items. The prices of 57 goods in these categories were used.Six of the most expensive cities in the country are in California, with four of them among the top 10. Texas has four – Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Most of the costliest cities are on the two coasts, though Chicago (14), Las Vegas (18), Phoenix (25) and St. Louis (35) made the top 40.

The most surprising appearance on the list of most expensive places to live is Detroit. Even though it’s plagued by unemployment of 16.7 percent, utilities are expensive. Electricity costs an average of $243.56 a month, compared to a mere $141.64 in Atlanta.

The ten most expensive cities on the list are:

  1. New York City
  2. San Francisco
  3. San Jose
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Washington DC
  6. San Diego
  7. Boston
  8. Philadeplhia
  9. Seattle
  10. Baltimore

Check out the full list here.



[Photo via MigrantBlogger]

Southwest apologies to deplaned mom

Pamela Root, who was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight Friday, will receive another chance to fly on the airline. She and her son were removed from a San Jose-bound plane when her two-year-old son wouldn’t stop screaming “Go! Plane! Go!” and “I want Daddy!”

In addition to an apology, the airline gave her a refund and a travel voucher for $300. Root had hoped to be compensated for the portable crib and diapers she said she had to buy, but alas, that wasn’t in the cards.

I have to admit, this seems like a tough call. While it’s never easy to boot a paying passenger, you need to balance that against the eardrums of everyone else who shelled out for a ticket. Of course, a bit of compassion for kids (who don’t know any better) is necessary, but that’s little consolation to everyone else.

It looks to me like Southwest made the right call in both parts of this. It removed what was obviously a problem for the other passengers, and it more than compensated Root for the trouble. Southwest is out a few extra bucks for the decision, but that seems to be a small price to pay for the goodwill it earned with the remaining fliers. And, it swiftly apologized and compensated the mom.

Mom and kid booted from plane, demand apology and compensation

It’s easy for passengers to grow annoyed with kids on planes. There’s nothing worse than hearing a scream and knowing you’re about to be part of a captive audience for several hours. Yet, flight crews usually show a lot more tolerance. Hey, they’re on the plane to earn a paycheck. Every job has trials to be endured. Pamela Root’s son, however, was too much for them.

Kid and mom were kicked from the Southwest flight from Amarillo, Texas to San Jose, California, because the former was screaming, “Go! Plane! Go!” and “I want Daddy!” Root believes the kid would have piped down once the wheels were up, but the plane’s staffers didn’t want to roll the dice. Root and child were escorted off the plane.

Of course, the 38-year-old stay-at-home mom has her list of demands. In addition to an apology, she’s looking for compensation for a portable crib and diapers that she needed to buy for the unplanned extra night away from home. I’m curious as to why. She’d need the diapers anyway: the kids bowels, I suspect, work just as well in Amarillo as they did in San Jose — no more, no less. And, where did the kid sleep the nights before she bought the portable crib? Were they unable to stay where they had been for the trip? Did she not feel like it?

Hmmmmm …

As to the apology, I’m sure she apologized repeatedly and profusely to the flight crew and other passengers, right?

If anyone was on the flight and can shed some light, please leave a comment, thanks!