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The New Age Journalist: An Interview with BostonTweet

Eat. Tweet. Run. Repeat. In just 140 characters, Tom ‘O Keefe, otherwise known as @BostonTweet, informs an entire city.

In a world where newspapers are almost obsolete, Twitter stands at the forefront. Breaking news is available with the simple refresh of a page. Hashtags divide topics. Posts are either “favorited” or ignored.

Anyone and everyone is a journalist.

Join almost 163K people and follow @BostonTweet

Join almost 163K people and follow @BostonTweet

‘O Keefe began BostonTweet in November 2008 in response to the great financial crisis. Done with his desk job as an equity research analyst, he craved something new. He founded a series of startups: WiredAlumni, Research Connect, Bizak, and infoMedMD. Then, using social media and his background in finance, ‘O Keefe partnered with companies such as Groupon and PingUp to help businesses in Boston boom.

Since then he has successfully used social media to promote small businesses, raise money for charity, and create a network of connections throughout the city of Boston and beyond.

He does not stop at just Twitter though. ‘O Keefe also founded¬†#DownloadBoston and Flutter, and is currently working on another project. Though he cannot provide details about the new project at this moment, he says, “If everything works out, this will be big.”

According to the¬†website, “#DownloadBoston is a local movement to increase the awareness of Boston-based consumer startups in this city and beyond.” People use the hashtag to draw attention to small businesses just starting out and help them in any way possible to flourish. ‘O Keefe has established a community around the city, allowing people to get the word out about mom-and-pop-type stores and eateries.

Flutter takes that sense of community a step further by giving back to charities and rewarding those who donate. Everyone who donates $10 to a charity is entered to win that actual “experience.” This allows everyone an equal shot. It is what ‘O Keefe considers “a backward auction.” He adds that they have raised “almost $12,000 for charity since June.”

“The affordable $10 donation increases the number of people who experience charity, which also increases the number of people who experience happiness,” the website explains.

Photo provided by @BostonTweet

Photo provided by @BostonTweet

Originally from the lakes region of New York, ‘O Keefe graduated from Boston College in 1995, and has not left Boston since. “Boston is manageable.” He adds, “I can run into people I know all over the city. That doesn’t happen in New York.”

Though he made much more money with a regular job, ‘O Keefe enjoys the excitement of his life now. He does not have the normal 9 a.m.-5 p.m. work schedule.

“I just ran 11 miles,” ‘O Keefe responds when asked what a typical day looks like for him.

“I wake up, I check tweets and emails, I run for an hour or two.” From there, it depends on the day. “After this, I will probably go eat lunch and then head over to Boston Calling.”

The Phantom Gourmet reports, “First he eats, then he tweets, Tom ‘O Keefe is a restaurant lover and social media legend.”

Beyond eating and tweeting, ‘O Keefe is also an avid runner. He ran the Boston Marathon this past year and plans to do so again next year, as well as possibly another marathon or two in between.

What is his favourite spot in the city though? “Well, I am always here [Pavement Coffeehouse].” As far as the outside world goes, “The Boston Public Garden is gorgeous, and I like running along the esplanade.” From his tweets, he appears to frequent places like Anna’s Taqueria and the Publick House.

As far as Twitter goes, he says, “It never stops.”

Heather Alterisio ’17 is a Staff Writer for the Hub. She can be contacted at alterisioh@emmanuel.edu or on Twitter @HeathAlt.

Posted by on October 14, 2015. Filed under Around the Hub. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.