by William Needham Finley IV™

Category archive

Humor

Is La Croix Bad For Your Teeth? ITBlake Investigates

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ITBlake the intern visited Downtown Dental, one of our sponsors and the only ITB approved dentist, to ask some hard-hitting questions about La Croix and Tide Pods. Dr. Brett Wells was nice enough to take the time to answer. This is the peak of journalism.

Things ITBlake learned:

Drink 2 and 1/3 cans of La Croix per day

La Croix is not mouthwash

Tide Pods are incredibly abrasive and will probably kill you

Do not take your teeth out and wash them with Tide Pods

ITBlake also refilled the Downtown Dental La Croix refrigerator, because that’s one of his responsibilities here at ITB Insider™.

Overall, it was a very educational experience for ITBlake. He is now considering a career in dentistry. We’ll have more from his visit in a few weeks.

As ITBlake said, check out Downtown Dental for the tooth experience of your life. They’re located in downtown Raleigh at 205 Fayetteville Street.

You can follow Downtown Dental on:

Instagram @smilesbydtd

Facebook @DowntownDental

Twitter @DowntownDental2

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

ITBlake Learns How To Wash Cars And Be A Penguin Mascot

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ITBlake the intern came to me with a problem. He needed a summer job that would allow him the flexibility to be a famous intern and also play Fortnite (it’s a video game) constantly. I told him that I would help him find a job, despite being overwhelmingly busy with launching a podcast, running a media empire, and trying not to get sued.

We posted an ad and his résumé in the micITBit Facebook group.

We got a lot of great responses but ITBlake didn’t follow up with any of them. So I took it upon myself to find him a job and set up an interview.

I reached out to Scot Wingo, who was named 2018 CEO of the Year by The Triangle Business Journal. Wingo is the CEO of Spiffy, a local company revolutionizing car care. Spiffy’s convenience and eco-friendly process have made them a triangle favorite. With the tap of a phone screen, they bring car washing, detailing, and oil changes to you. Using the Spiffy app, you can quickly schedule an appointment and their professionally trained technicians show up with everything they need to make your car stand out from all the others in the White Memorial pickup line.

Wingo had the perfect job in mind for ITBlake. As you can see from the video, we pivoted from our original strategy of having ITBlake wash cars, and instead focused on leveraging ITBlake wearing a penguin costume while synergistcally standing on the side of (and sometimes in the middle of) a busy road to attract attention.

We generated over 1M impressions that day. To thank ITBlake for his hard work, Spiffy is offering our loyal readers $20 off a full wash or detail, or $10 off oil changes. Just use code “ITB” when checking out. You’re welcome.

ITBehind the scenes footage:

Dads Won’t Stop Fly Fishing In Orvis Parking Lot

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A new addition to the Ridgewood shopping center has area fishing enthusiasts flying high. After it was reported in the Development Beat that the new Orvis in Ridgewood had opened, dozens of dads from inside the beltline have flocked to the store’s parking lot. They aren’t just there to check out new gear. These dads are there to fish, or at least practice fishing.

With the flooding of Crabtree Creek becoming more common, combined with Raleigh’s new “pop-up” fishing holes that result from the city’s decaying sewer and water infrastructure, it’s no surprise that fishermen are taking to the streets to practice fly fishing. We spent some time investigating the phenomenon.


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“They come out at all hours of the day, all days of the week,” said one Orvis employee. “It’s like that scene in the movie Field of Dreams. They just start appearing from in between the rows of Tahoes and Yukons in the Whole Foods parking lot.”

An avid fly fisherman, who arrived at 6:00 am carrying his Orvis Battenkill reel in a monogrammed Filson case, shared his excitement over the new sporting goods store. “It’s just nice to get away from the office and come to the great outdoors. There’s no better place to tighten your loops and practice your back cast than a new Orvis parking lot,” said Davis Franklin, a commercial real estate broker.

“Surrounded by the beautiful stone facade and the traffic on the Wade Avenue 500, I can just close my eyes and imagine I’m hooking a bonefish on our annual Bahamas trip,” he added.

To recreate optimal fishing conditions, the store installed a livestream of a live stream. A video of a live stream in the North Carolina mountains is projected onto the side of the building while the soothing sounds of the water can be heard from the Bose surround sound speakers mounted in the parking lot.

The live stream livestream

The live stream livestream has been a huge hit, with many dads returning at night in their North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bags to simply watch the river. Customers have already requested that a livestream of graduations, childbirths, school plays, and music recitals be played so they won’t have to leave the parking lot.


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The lot continued to fill. Two dads wearing ultralight waders and Barbour vests in the 90 degree heat unloaded gear from their Yukons while debating whether to use a 4 weight or a 7 weight when catching bluegill at Lassiter Mill.

Nearby, a father was giving his son a lesson. “So this is called a wind knot. You’re going to get those if you keep tomahawking your cast like that,” he explained, as he placed a metronome on the curb to teach his son proper timing.


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One dad even brought a boat to the parking lot.

“I always try to snag some red drum while tooling around Rich’s inlet,” said Thomas Miller III, attempting to recreate those conditions by sitting in his boat that rested on the asphalt.

Another fisherman chimed in. “You might want to stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to in that drift boat, pal. I was about to bring my Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman out here and work on my double haul. Then my wife said all her friends that shop at Whole Foods might see me and think I was slacking off with their investments,” said Five Points resident and financial planner Vance Craig VI.


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“I’m just glad we’ve got an Orvis in Raleigh now,” added Craig VI, refusing to acknowledge the existence of the Orvis at Triangle Town Center. He went on to name-drop Orvis CEO Perk Perkins. “We’ve been giving Perk a hard time at the hunting camp for not having one of these inside the beltline. I told him I’d personally spend at least six figures a year if he’d just put one somewhere close.”



Craig VI then entered the store to purchase three new rods, a dog jacket, and a shotshell collar with an engraved brass plate for Birdie, his golden retriever puppy.



To keep potential customers in the parking lot longer, Orvis designed a custom OtterBox DryBox YETI container for cell phone storage. Customers can store their phones and be free from distractions as they perfect their casts.

“We want this to be a safe space for our customers while they practice the sport they love. I’m not sure anyone is improving, but they’re buying a lot of gear,” said an Orvis employee.

The store has done over $3 million in sales since opening last month.


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The N&O Praises Intern For Saving Iconic Sign

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A Broughton High School senior is finally being recognized by the media after a year of hard work. The News & Observer, a newspaper located in Raleigh, North Carolina, reported on the incredible story of how ITBlake the intern single-handedly saved a piece of history. Seriously, here is the article that features ITBlake the intern in the newspaper.

Over the last year, ITBlake spent countless hours managing a social media campaign using the hashtag #savethesign. The goal was to draw attention to the N.C. Equipment Co. building’s tractor sign (or is it a bulldozer?) that was in danger of being demolished along with the rest of the building. The campaign generated over 60 million impressions on social media and dominated brunch and dinner party conversations for months.


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ITBlake initially planned on taking legal action. “At first I thought about taking this to the Supreme Court of the world, but Stacy Miller was too busy dealing with Fyre Festival™ lawsuits. And if you can’t have Stacy as your attorney then there’s no point in even trying,” said ITBlake the intern.



In a last-ditch effort, ITBlake handcuffed himself to the sign for weeks, surviving on LaCroix and Rise biscuits alone. His dedication to the cause worked, as developers announced plans to save the sign and incorporate it into the new student housing development being built on the site.


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ITB Insider™ posted the news of ITBlake the intern’s victory on Instagram and Twitter.

The News & Observer’s Josh Shaffer saw the story and began to investigate. ITBlake’s story was so powerful that Shaffer featured it in his article on the history of the sign. Here’s ITBlake the intern’s big newspaper debut.

Once you get through the Kroger and Netflix DVD rental pop-up ads, you’ll see ITBlake featured in the article.

Many Raleigh residents were pleased to see the heartwarming story get the attention it deserved.

“It’s great to see the media covering stories that matter, instead of wasting time on articles about where Amazon will put their headquarters based on some “source”,” said Five Points resident and commercial real estate broker Vance Craig VI.


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“I don’t read the news because of my crippling addiction to micITBit and other buy/sell/trade Facebook groups. But I did see this on Facebook as I scrolled by a Kissy Kissy Dogs Day Out footie that was too small for lil Vance VII and it made me happy,” added Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, who runs an Instagram account featuring images of the best Wine and Design paintings in Raleigh.

As for ITBlake, he reacted to the news of his appearance in the news as any 18 year-old would. With a simple “Omg”.

Omg indeed, ITBlake. Omg indeed.


Baskin-Robbins In Cameron Village Closed And Dunkin Donuts Is To Blame

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Dunkin Donuts Just Ruined Your Childhood

Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village, an institution to generations of Raleigh residents for over 50 years, is closed. I was sent the picture below on Wednesday afternoon.

I was already exhausted from covering Webb’s victory, debuting ITBlake the intern’s house flipping video, editing the Development Beat, and breaking the news about Apple moving to NC (more on that later).

Still, I pressed on to read the letter written by the owners of the Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village. A sadness melted over me as I read each sentence.

According to the letter, the parent company of Dunkin Brands (aka Dunkin Donuts) thought the “location and the age of this store can no longer meet the brand standard” and gave the owners the choice to move to a different location. The owners declined and have decided to retire. That’s right, Dunkin Donuts kills jobs.


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The letter ended, “It has been an honor to serve such a loyal group of customers and we will close happily with fond memories,” which is the classiest and most mature way you can handle this situation.

I, however, am anything but mature. I will now destroy any argument in favor of the existence of Dunkin Donuts. First, what “brand standard” does Dunkin Donuts have? What even is Dunkin Donuts? Is it a donut shop or a coffee shop? I’ve never eaten their donuts, but I imagine they taste like rocks or dog food.


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For some reason, their coffee is an obsession for people from the North. Not the good North from Game of Thrones, the North that we roll our eyes at when their former residents, who now live here, try to coffee-splain how good Dunkin is to us. Full disclosure: I have some of their coffee K-cups and they aren’t even that great. I will be lighting those on fire in protest.

To align with their “brand standards” I assume they’ll build these Dunkin Donuts/Baskin-Robbins hybrid stores as stand-alone locations on some busy road instead of a nice upscale retail destination center nestled between some of Raleigh’s oldest neighborhoods and the best high school in the country.


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It’s pretty obvious that Dunkin was just afraid of moving into a location around the corner from Rise Biscuits and Donuts (one of our fine sponsors). Going head to head with Rise is a donut death wish.

I shared the picture of the letter on social media around 4:00 pm on Wednesday (before the “real news” outlets even knew about the story, obvi). By the time I posted this article, the social posts received an outpouring of comments from people remembering fond times they had there.

My own mom used to go there when she was pregnant with me, and look how I turned out. People recalled taking “field trips” there during school. Broughton legend Mary Holt Collins recalled the Broughton girls soccer state championship tradition of running from the track to Baskin-Robbins.

A few more comments (my comments in bold)

Scene of my parents’ first date – (this place literally created life)

Do they not realize the patrons don’t care that the store isn’t the typical chain?

So sad! My kids will be crushed!!!

Dunkin Donuts sucks.

Is anything sacred?

Every birthday cake for my sons special day has come from that store since they could choose their cake. So sad. It’s always busy and that family (not BR/DD) has always worked hard at customer service.

The ice cream is good but the owner is great. A real loss to me and my family.

First blockbuster now this…all our good report card rewards disappearing

I’d like to mourn this loss the only way I know how, by eating an entire mint chocolate chip ice cream cake by myself in a dark room listening to The Connells. But I can’t do that. Not in a “I can’t sit around at a time like this! I’m going to stand up and fight for what’s right!” kind of way. I mean I literally cannot buy a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake anymore.


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Therefore, I am calling on a city-wide boycott of all Dunkin Donuts stores, products, commercials, advertisements, and anything related to the company. If we can’t have Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village, Dunkin Donuts can’t have our customers in Raleigh. Last night, I put a plan in motion.



This is just a start. I haven’t even talked to my attorney Stacy Miller yet to see if what Dunkin is doing is even legal. If we work together who knows what could happen.


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ITBlake Flips A House

ITBlake Flips A House

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ITBlake the intern has been working hard over the last year. We’ve seen him complete multiple workout classes, cover the Raleigh Christmas parade, and much more. We’re excited to finally share the results of one of his passion projects. Early on in his internship, ITBlake came to me and said, “The real estate market is booming. I want to learn how to flip houses.” So I arranged for a house to be purchased in Five Points, and told ITBlake to watch as many episodes of HGTV renovation shows as he could.

After watching countless episodes of the hit show Fixer Upper, ITBlake learned how to flip houses. He just finished renovating a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,407 square foot home at 404 W Aycock Street. ITBlake spent days working on the project, only taking breaks to walk down to Roanoke Park and play Fortnite on his phone.

We produced our own HGITB episode to show off all his hard work. We also figured this would be a hit with his target demographic, because nothing appeals to ITB moms more than ITBlake and home renovation projects.

As you can see from the first episode of the series, ITBlake thought of everything:

Space for parking multiple Yukon XLs from Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac (Hey Mark)

“Baby in a wall” storage, great for those with new babies who need to get some rest

Quartz countertops – also known as “rock” countertops


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Plenty of room to throw produce to Jimmy as he leaves for school

Stove capable of cooking steaks, pasta, sauces, and more

Everything is designed to be very cute

Harry Potter bathroom

Master bedroom with a clock

Efficient shower for ITBlake and his future wife Emma Watson

Furniture from micITBit- NO POMS

A storage shed with doors that lead into the storage shed

(This is an actual house for sale. Contact John Hawkins with Fonville Morisey for details.)


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Here are some before and after pictures:

ITBlake Goes to Burn Boot Camp (VIDEO)

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ITBlake the intern survived his first Burn Boot Camp West Raleigh workout. I’m sure many of you are wondering why I would force him to stop playing Fortnite and actually do some work by attending this class. Not to get all Cambridge Analytica here, but our analytics have shown that ITBlake #content appeals to females between the ages of 25-44. It just so happens that the majority of Burn Boot Camp members fall into this demographic. ITBlake is an intern of the people, so having him attend a class was a no-brainer. As I told ITBlake in the video, this is his tribe, and you can’t spell tribe without ITB.


Even though we knew there would be a lot of ITBlake fans at the class I wanted to make sure he would be accepted by our target demographic. To be safe, I had him walk into the class with a monogrammed Lands End bag filled with La Croix, Pirate’s Booty, fruit pouches, and Paw Patrol fruit snacks.

As ITBlake worked out, I posted a few clips to my Instagram Story. The response was overwhelming. Below is just a small sample.


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I put a few other projects on hold and spent two days editing the video, which we’ll be submitting to Sundance and The Academy. In just over a week, the video has been viewed over 7,000 times on Facebook, has over 5,700 impressions and 152 likes on Instagram, and 674 views on Twitter (Twitter does not seem to be a big fan of ITBlake workout videos).


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A lot of people saw the video and asked “How did he survive? Does media empire insurance cover loss of interns?” Thankfully, Mary Holt Collins (Broughton legend, and one half of Humdinger Juice) was there to guide him. Shout out to her brother, Colin Fickes, for inventing juice and being a Broughton legend as well. 

Now that ITBlake is in peak physical condition, we’ll focus on finding him a summer job. We’re also in talks to give him his own show. Stay tuned.


Time Warp at the City of Raleigh Museum

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As the state capital, and the most important city in North Carolina, Raleigh has a unique history worth celebrating. If you’re looking for a night on the town where you can celebrate history by reliving the past, then look no further. Raleigh’s hottest party is Time Warp, and it’s coming up on April 21st. This 1970s themed blast from the past is the creation of the City of Raleigh Museum.

Since opening in 1993, the museum has collected and cared for artifacts, curated exhibits, and provided programming related to Raleigh’s history and heritage. Time Warp supports the museum’s mission to “Preserve Raleigh’s Past for the Future.” This party has everything, including:

Beer, wine, an assortment of LaCroix mixers, and a signature cocktail poured by ITBlake the bartender

Hors d’oeuvres and plates from some of your favorite Raleigh restaurants

A dance contest and a costume contest judged by our friends Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Joe Ovies, co-host of the Adam and Joe show on 99.9 FM The Fan

A Trolley Pub piñata filled with Bose noise cancelling headphones so you’ll never hear another WHHHOOOOOOO again

An auction of local art and a silent auction of items from Raleigh’s finest businesses and restaurants

Exhibits of ancient artifacts found in Raleigh, including:

Blueprints for the Weather Dome™

The street light from the DrunkTown ad. This will be available for photo opportunities.

Holy water blessed by the Pope during his visit to Raleigh

Recently discovered dinosaur fossils from Dix Park that will be used as a liquor luge

Plans for the Downtown Canal™

The mimosa glass from the first pre-noon brunch

There will also be an after party at Foster’s, where “Murder On The Dancefloor” will play on repeat.

An after-after party will be held in the Village Subway, where The Connells will perform.

We may have misunderstood some of these details while talking with the museum. Check out the Time Warp event website for accurate event information and tickets. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, check out the sponsorship opportunities.

What: Time Warp 2018

When: Saturday, April 21, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: City of Raleigh Museum – 220 Fayetteville Street

Patagonia Unveils Seersucker Line

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Raleigh Residents First In Line For Patagonia Seersucker Collection

Patagonia fans had been waiting months for this moment. The famously preppy outdoor brand entered the world of Seersucker on Thursday, just in time for Easter. Patagonia held a secret pop-up shop at Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Cameron Village to debut the new line.

“We wanted a look that would be multifunctional. This line is perfect for folks who will never set foot on a hiking trail, but still want to display the prestige of Patagonia. We also included items that cater to the .06% of our customers who do go outdoors and want to do so in style,” said Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia.

The Patagonia Seersucker line consists of the following:

Patagonia Seersucker Suit – $499

Classic seersucker stripes trace a sharp, clean-lined design on this suit. Self-stuffs into chest pocket with carabiner clip-in loop. This luxe layer is perfect for your collection.

Bucks – $100

While these aren’t seersucker, they do pair perfectly with the other items in the collection. Four eye lace-up with a non-marking rubber outsole.

Seersucker Dress (monogramming available) – $329

This structured skater dress is perfect for an Easter service at St. Michael’s or White Memorial. The half sleeves feature an eye-catching flared design, while the upper thigh length hemline maintains a babydoll look.


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Fleece Vest – Men – $99

Classic vest made with midweight Synchilla-sucker polyester fleece. Great for hiking the paved Raleigh Greenway.


Down Vest – Women – $99

This classic Down Sweater-sucker Vest is lightweight and windproof, thanks to the 800-fill-power Traceable Down. The perfect warmth for waiting in your climate controlled SUV in the Root or Lacy pickup lines.


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Down Sleeping Bag – $519

An elegant, real-world bag, built with the best materials available. Performs in all conditions, including summer camp at Sea Gull or Seafarer, and neighborhood sleepovers.

The collection was an immediate hit. A manager at Great Outdoor Provision Co. said that about 200 people were waiting in line for the store to open on Thursday morning. The Patagonia Seersucker items were gone in approximately 16 minutes.

A Five Points couple hired ITBlake the intern to wait in line overnight and hold their spot. “This stuff is going to sell for triple in micITBit,” said Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, referring to the secret closed Facebook buy/sell/trade group with over 9,000 members.

Her husband, Vance Craig VI, added, “Now we can slightly stand out while still wearing the same clothes as everyone in our peer group.”



Administrators at White Memorial Presbyterian Church rejoiced upon hearing the news. “Every Easter we try to break the world record for most Seersucker at a religious service. This clothing line will definitely help,” said an unnamed church official. The current Seersucker world record is held by White Memorial and was set in 2017.

Patagonia has already increased production of the Seersucker line after seeing the success of the pop-up shop.


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My Valentime’s Day With Juliet From Customer Support

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I spent my Valentime’s Day falling in and out of love with a woman named Juliet, for real. I will now share this tragic love story exactly as it happened. For context, Juliet works for Buffer, a company that created an online tool used to schedule social media posts. I pay $10 a month for this service and have used it for almost a year to make running the media empire a little easier.

Everything was working just fine until Tuesday night. Buffer, a company that employs 80 people, wasn’t putting the correct images in my posts. I looked on their site for support and found that they didn’t have a chat option. I was instructed to fill out a form and Tweet at them. So I Tweeted at them.

I spent the next 36 hours chatting with who I thought would become the love of my life. I shared most of the story on social media already, but I’ve decided to turn the saga into a play so that I can add “playwright” to my LinkedIn.


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This post pairs well with “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits playing on loop in the background. 

Act I

Prologue

We begin our play on the eve of Valentime’s Day. Love is in the air, but one in the house of ITB Insider is forlorn. It appears that house Buffer is not honoring their vow to post the words of William Needham Finley IV to his coveted social media platforms. William is outraged at this injustice. After searching far and wide for a contact page, he turned to Twitter, to express his rage.

The night came and went with no reply. The next morning, Juliet appeared and caught William’s eye.

Could this be love for William on Valentime’s Day? He doth not protest, but replied right away.

Seven minutes passed, which in Twitter-time is almost an entire day. He tweeted once more at his potential bae.

Juliet replied and included a smile. William was smitten, even after waiting a while. 


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Act II

Juliet slideth into to the DMs, and immediately dropped the L-word. William kept it cool, even as his emotions stirred. He began to explain his strife. William went on in great detail, since social media is his life.



Time ticked away as Juliet failed to reply. William thought about eating a Tide Pod, the most lit way to die.




Before eating the Tide Pod, William reached out one more time. If this didn’t work, he’d call Stacy Miller to report this heinous crime.

After putting it all on the table, a reply was received. But this reply came from Daniel, and William felt deceived. In between each message it took Daniel four hours to type. If this were a dating app, to the left William would swipe.


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Act III

There was no mention of Juliet, where did she go? It was up to William to determine if Daniel was a friend or foe.


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Night came, and from Juliet not a peep. William had lost hope and went to sleep. The morning arrived, and with it came Juliet’s replies. William threw the Tide Pods aside, and couldn’t believe his eyes.

Juliet’s message spoke of living in a different time zone. William knew this meant that they would never…..be together romantically.

He checked his Twitter mentions and saw Juliet taking the blame. But he still wasn’t sure if this was just another game.

William knew it was better to Tweet like nobody’s watching, and always love with the upper hand. So he ended things with Juliet and continued binge watching Homeland.

For never was a story of more regret, than this of William Needham Finley IV and Buffer’s Juliet.

Exeunt

I expect someone will erect a golden statue of these screenshots to memorialize this love story forever, just like they did in Romeo and Juliet. I’m going to send this over to Raleigh Little Theatre to see if they’ll let me perform this play. I also need to call my lawyer, Stacy Miller, to see if Juliet and I were together long enough to be common-law married. If you’re interested in the movie rights to this saga, please contact Stacy Miller at Miller Law Group. Thank you.

Oh, and I moved the real Prologue to the end because I figured people would get bored and stop reading. Here it is:

Prologue

Two Twitter accounts, both alike in dignity,

In the Twitterverse, where we lay our scene,

From a customer support request comes great malignity,

Where civil Tweets make civil DMs unclean,

From forth the fatal DMs of these two foes,

A pair of star-crossed millennials begin and end their romantic life,

Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

Do with their death bury their followers’ strife.

And the continuance of media empire ascension,

Is now the 13 screenshots of our blog post,

The which if you with patient eyes do pay attention,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to make the most.


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Seaboard Wine Chosen As Exclusive Retailer Of ITBlessed Glasses

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In a move that many are calling a “game changer,” Seaboard Wine & Tasting Bar and ITB Insider have leveraged synergies to provide customers with one of the hottest products on the market. The highly coveted ITBlessed wine glasses, part of the Shop ITB home goods line, are now available exclusively at Seaboard Wine for $15 each (or 2 for $25).

Analysts are already praising the move. “It’s absolutely genius. Having the creativity to pair a wine glass with an established company like Seaboard Wine, who sells wine, is brilliant,” said wine and retail analyst Serena van der Woodsen.

After successfully launching a fashion line and home goods line in December, William Needham Finley IV decided it was time to expand into physical locations. “The online store has been great, but I wanted people to experience the craftsmanship of our products in the right environment, while shopping local,” said Finley IV.

The decision was seen as “revolutionary” by industry experts. “The timing aligns perfectly with Valentine’s Day. Having the foresight to know that a holiday is coming up and then to execute something like this is rarely done in the world of retail. You don’t see other media empires making those types of moves,” added Serena van der Woodsen.



The markets reacted positively within minutes of the news breaking.

“With the help of Seaboard Wine, and all of the micITBit members and ITB Insider readers who drink rosé alllll daayyy, we’re expecting at least $6 million in sales in the first week,” said Finley IV.

Located at 802 Semart Drive #118 in Seaboard Station, Seaboard Wine & Tasting Bar has served Raleigh for over 20 years. We’ve partnered with them to bring our readers the ITBest wine and rosé.


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ITBest of the Week February 5

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Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a look at the most important events of the last week. It’s like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital. I waited until Monday to post this so I could include ITBlake’s QOH picture from the weekend. You’re welcome.

ITBlake the intern goes to Queen of Hearts

ITB Insider Donates to White Memorial

lululemon turned me into an ITB Mom

Tracy On A Plane

Development Beat

Dogs of ITB of the Week

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ITBlake Works Out for Queen of Hearts

ITBlake the intern had a busy week preparing for Queen of Hearts. To get him in peak physical condition, I had him take a workout class at PBX®. You can read the full story here: ITBlake Prepares for Queen of Hearts. Or watch the highlights below.

I can’t decide what my favorite part of the video is, but I’m leaning towards ITBlake talking about how he didn’t know what a breathalyzer was during his freshman year.

After surviving his PBX® class, ITBlake was ready for QOH.

Stay tuned for his recap, coming this week.



ITB Insider Donates to White Memorial Silent Auction

I was honored to be included in the Silent Auction at White Memorial’s Valentine’s Dance on Friday. I gladly donated some t-shirts from my fashion line and some koozies and ITBlessed wine glasses from my home goods line. All proceeds went to the Love and Friendship Fund for the WDS school. This fund helps provide scholarships for students who need financial aid, training for teachers, and other resources. I didn’t see any other media empires donate items, so I’m going to assume we’ve got the inside track on heaven. #ITBlessed


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lululemon Turned Me Into an ITB Mom

I now own lululemon pants (for men) and I’m never taking them off.


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Tammy On A Plane

Be like Tammy.



Development Beat

NC State’s Carmichael gym is getting a makeover, Pizza Times opened in downtown, Michael’s English Muffins opened, O-Ku Sushi is coming to The Dillon, and more news.

Development Beat: Carmichael Gym Demolition, Restaurant Openings


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Best Dogs of ITB of the Week

Watson can’t believe it’s finally Friday. @along_came_watson

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Reese shows off how tall he is with an impressive pupstand. @reese_the_corgi

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“On Wednesdays we wear bow ties.” – Winston the golden pup @rileysmall_

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Sampson looking regal AF as he rules over Five Points. @goldendaysofsampson

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Winnie, hiding from the rain and the Mondays. @winniethe_minnie

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Skully’s not looking forward to Monday. @thegoldenskully

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Duck the Corgi @duckthecorgi

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Indi, heading into the weekend. @raleighnaround @indianajones_the_frenchie

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ITBlake Prepares for Queen of Hearts

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To have ITBlake try out your workout class, or anything else, contact business@itbinsider.com.

February is here and love is in the air. ITBlake the intern has been busy getting ready for the biggest night of his life; senior year Queen of Hearts. Also known as QOH, this formal dance held at Broughton is a tradition unlike any other. It’s more important than the Deb Ball and the Governor’s Inaugural Ball combined. People have children just so they can one day attend Broughton and go to Queen of Hearts. It’s that important.


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This year’s Queen of Hearts theme is Jurassic Park, which made me incredibly jealous of ITBlake. If someone doesn’t make their Tahoe look like one of the Jeeps from Jurassic Park then the entire senior class should be held back a year. I was going to make ITBlake wear an inflatable T-Rex costume, but we couldn’t find a tuxedo with arms that short.


Since this is such an important milestone in ITBlake the intern’s life, I wanted to do anything I could to make it the best night ever. I started by asking my friend Chrissy Teigen (who follows me on Twitter) for advice on getting him a date.


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Chrissy is super busy going to the Grammys and has a baby on the way, so I thought about reaching out to someone local. It just so happens that a contestant on this season of The Bachelor lives in Raleigh. I ran this by ITBlake to see if he’d want to go with her. Then we saw this video of her saying she would drink her own urine, which was a deal breaker for ITBlake. To each their own.

A post shared by Jenna Cooper (@jennacooperfit) on


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Just as I was about to turn to the micITBit Facebook group for advice, ITBlake found a date. The least I could do was get my friends at PBX® to host a special class and help him get in peak physical condition. As you can see from the video, he was a natural. His ability to go from rapping to almost dying from exhaustion was inspirational.

Now that he was in peak physical condition after one workout, I had ITBlake come up with some tips on how to have a good Queen of Hearts. Sure, he left out the dinner recommendations and a lot of other details, but we can’t expect him to plan the entire event. That’s what ITB moms are for.

ITBlake’s tips for QOH

1. Don’t eat Tide Pods, it’s not worth it

2. Rise biscuits and donuts are great for late night

3. Drink a lot of La Croix

I couldn’t have said it better myself. We’ll keep you posted on how ITBlake’s last QOH goes.



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ITBest of the Week January 26

in Humor/ITBNN by
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Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a look at the most important events of the last week. It’s like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital.

Twitter is lit over Taco Bell Cantina news

Fyre Festival Still Burns

Chrissy Teigen follows me on Twitter

Grandma tries to sell 30+ years of Playboys on Facebook

UNC System spends $250,000 on a new logo

Dogs of ITB of the Week

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Inside Taco Bell Insider

When James Borden covered the Taco Bell Cantina in this week’s ITB Insider Development Beat I figured we’d get the standard replies of “Ugh, Hillsborough Street is losing its character.” While that reaction was shared by many, it was heavily outweighed by people who were ecstatic over this news. Exhibit A: the engagement stats for my Taco Bell tweet.

That’s a lot. The blog post had over 12,000 pageviews in less than a week. As a result, ITB Insider will now be known as “Inside Taco Bell Insider” and will cover everything Taco Bell related. I was going to put all the Twitter reactions here, but there were too many. Here are the ITBest.




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Fyre Festival Still Burns

Earlier this week, Vice published a story about how Fyre Festival attendees were getting e-mails that could potentially be scams. Vice and a few others had seen my Tweets about these emails that I posted in December.

Since I have a PhD in Fyre Festival, I was quoted in the story: Fyre Festival attendees are worried they’re getting scammed again.

The e-mails we received were offering things like dinner with LeBron James, meet and greets with Taylor Swift, and tickets to The Masters, Burning Man, the Met Gala, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, and other events that I’m sure will be lit, fam. I’m just speculating, but I assume the guy/company sending these e-mails probably bought the Fyre Festival email list from Billy McFarland, the founder of Fyre Media, and is now using it to offer Fyre attendees tickets to these events. I don’t know if these offers are actually legit, so I’ll probably just buy tickets to each event and see how things go.


The Vice story brought Fyre Festival up in the news again, which resulted in this:

Which leads to my next topic…


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Chrissy Teigen Is My Best Friend

Well, now it’s official. #itbffs #bffs

A post shared by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on

When I saw Chrissy Teigen’s tweet about the Fyre Festival e-mail story, I assumed it meant that she now thought of me as a friend. I figured this was as good a time as any to see if she would help ITBlake the intern get a date to Broughton’s upcoming Queen of Hearts formal. So I tweeted the following:

I followed up by Tweeting a link to a video of ITBlake the intern.

ITBlake the intern doesn’t actually need any help getting a date to Queen of Hearts, but I knew it would be great for him if he could put “Chrissy Teigen knows of my existence” on his college applications.

And now, he can.



Grandma Tries to Sell Playboys in My Facebook Group

This is not a joke. The title says it all, but there’s so much more to the story.

Grandmother Attempts to Sell Three Decades’ Worth of Playboys In Facebook Group

UNC System Logo Unites All

The UNC System paid $250,000 for a new logo that has now unified all 17 of its academic institutions. From Appalachian State to UNC-Wilmington, fans of every school were united over the fact that spending $250,000 on a new logo and rebranding is absurd. Yes, I realize that includes research, branding, marketing and so on, but it’s still an absurd number for a logo that no one even cares about to begin with. That didn’t stop me from throwing my hat in the ring for the next time they need a new logo.

Full disclosure: I am red/green colorblind. But it looks like that won’t be a problem based on their approval of the new logo.


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Best Dogs of ITB of the Week

Look, Palmer, everything the light touches is ITB. 📷: @zaa1169

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Snow dog staring contest. Swipe ➡️. 📷 @helickteeva

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Sampson, kicking the week off with a good dig. @goldendaysofsampson

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This brunch isn’t going to make itself. 📷 @marksanchezsimmons

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Snow golden loves the snow. 📷@katiezsmith

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Jalapeño the Frenchie, fashionable AF in the snow. @jalapenothefrenchie

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@rowyn_the_giant_coyote playing snow fetch.

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Grandmother Attempts to Sell Three Decades’ Worth of Playboys In Facebook Group

in Humor by
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ITBreakdown: A grandmother posted “30++ years of playboys” for sale in micITBit, a private Facebook group that I run. People had a lot of questions. This serves as a historical record of the event. Everything in this post is real.

A Funny Thing Happened in the Facebook Forum

Something magical happened on Sunday night in micITBit. First, let me explain micITBit.

micITBit is a secret and private Facebook group used mainly by Raleigh moms as a forum to buy and sell smocked clothes, furniture, Lilly dresses, and other mom stuff. Like many other buy/sell/trade or “BST” groups, micITBit cannot be found by simply searching on Facebook. To gain entry, one must be added to the group by a friend who is already a member.

The group operates like Craigslist, but on Facebook and without the serial killing (so far). It even has its own language and rules (yes, there are rules, otherwise World War III could break out at any moment). In short, a seller posts a picture and description of an item to the group and buyers comment “Interested!” to purchase. If someone has already commented “Interested!” the person next in line will comment “Next” in hopes that the person ahead of them will get stuck in the White Memorial pickup line or get hit by a bus, preventing them from following through with the purchase. It’s very cutthroat.

The majority of transactions are “porch pickups” or “PPU” which means the seller leaves the item on their front porch and the buyer leaves cash under the doormat after picking the item up. It is an entire economy that I knew nothing about until last year. I’m convinced that because of these groups there is roughly $4 million in small bills sitting under the doormats of Raleigh homes on a daily basis.


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So why does a 33 year-old single guy start a Facebook group for moms? Like pretty much everything I do, it started as a joke. In April of 2017, a similar group with 15,000 members shut down. That’s a whole other story for another day, but it resulted in mass hysteria and I became a hero for these people when I created micITBit. Members joined my group and began using it for real. A lot. Here are the stats on group activity from the last 28 days.

Over 64,000 posts, comments, and reactions from 8,570 members. That is insane. Here’s the demographic information for all you advertisers out there. (Email me at wnfiv@itbinsider.com if you want to talk ITBusiness.)


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You may be thinking, “Wow, you’ve got a captive audience of thousands of people with similar interests. You must be making a fortune off of the people using your Amazon affiliate link and your eBates link. What a great decision!” Yeah, not really. Creating this group was the worst decision I have made while running a media empire, and possibly the worst decision of my entire life. Yes, Fyre Festival was a dumpster fyre, but I at least made some money off of it and got to spend time with my lawyer and ITBFF Stacy Miller because of all the lawsuits. As the father of micITBit, I have to deal with constant complaints from total strangers. I have some wonderful moderators that help me run the group, but it’s still a huge time suck.

The silver lining of micITBit is that it provides some of the most hilarious #content on the internet. I am now ready to share these moments with the world. We begin by taking a look at a night micITBit will remember the same way they remember the moon landing or the New Year’s Eve episode of The O.C.


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Without further ado, I now present “And the Playboys Gonna Play Play Play Play Play: A Screenshot History of 30++ years of playboys.”

The names and faces of the innocent have been redacted. We’ll call the original poster “Martha.”

At approximately 8:04 pm on January 21, 2018, Martha posted the following to micITBit:

Here are the pictures she included in her post:

One odd thing I noticed (I’ve been watching The Wire recently) was that the date on the computer clock was 10/18/2017. Was the clock wrong or were these pictures taken over three months ago? Were these pictures from an earlier attempt at selling 30++ years of Playboys? If so, why was she unsuccessful?

Now, I’m not judging Martha at all. I just think she should have known her audience better. You’re offering hundreds of Playboy magazines to a group that consists mainly of married women. Sure, the handful of guys in the group could have been Interested!, but do you not realize that the same internet that you’re using to post these Playboys was actually invented to replace these types of magazines (or so I’m told)?

A member of micITBit mentioned me in a comment, alerting me to the post.

What followed resembled being in an AOL chat room with 50 friends who were all freaking out over this real time train wreck. I was genuinely amazed by the post and wanted to know more. I even thought about buying these and reselling them. They’ve got to be worth more since Hugh Hefner passed away.



There were questions about whether Martha was real. Someone discovered she had posted another item for sale in the group, proving that she at least was a real person selling more than just hundreds of Playboys.

That’s when the most important question of the night was brought up. (GUC and EUC mean Gently/Good Used Condition and Excellent Used Condition).



I wanted more answers on the number of Playboys.

micITBit members did some investigative work to confirm this was real.

Someone pointed out that the $1,350 price was a bit high.



 




Someone offered a trade for some Teen Vogue issues.



 

The comments were coming in so fast that I got distracted while playing my first HQ trivia game and lost.

People started suggesting that ITBlake the intern look into this.



Since we were on the topic of magazines, I figured most of the group members would jump at the chance to own an issue of 16 with JTT on the cover. Note: I don’t actually own this, but I was sure I could find it on eBay if someone wanted to buy it from me.



 

The group continued to investigate.

At this point, I believe Martha began to understand that there would be no buyers in this group. She deleted the post and I removed her from the group. I felt somewhat bad about doing that, but I was honestly doing it for the greater good. The comment sections in these BST groups are not for the faint of heart. One time in a different group a mother told another mother she hoped her child “breaks its neck” in a dispute over a pair of snow bibs. I’m not making that up. Plus, I have a #brand to uphold. What if one of those Playboys fell into the wrong hands and ruined a marriage? I can’t have that on my conscience.

 

There were many more comments, but I couldn’t keep track of them all. As a founder, it is my duty to recap this event for all the micITBit members who uncharacteristically were off of Facebook for 30 minutes and missed this saga. I truly hope Martha finds a buyer for all of those Playboys.


ITBest of the Week January 19


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ITBest of the Week January 19

in Humor/ITBNN by
ShopITB.com

Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a look at what I deem to be the most important events of the last week. It’s like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital.

Broughton Teacher Crushes Jeopardy!

It Snowed Again

Dinosaur at Dix Park

ITBlake Not Pleased Over Award Show

Raleigh Makes the Cut for Amazon’s HQ2

Best Dogs of ITB of the Week

Don’t eat Tide Pods

Broughton Teacher Crushes Jeopardy!

Lee Quinn, a Raleigh resident and teacher at Broughton, has been on Jeopardy! since Wednesday night.

Lee went in to Final Jeopardy with a commanding lead and won $22,400 on his first appearance. He returned to defend his title on Thursday night.

He’ll be defending his title again on Friday night at 7:00 pm on ABC11.


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It Snowed Again

This week saw yet another forecast calling for snow. As always, I checked with Seaboard Wine to get their wine forecast.

The forecast resulted in mass hysteria in the Cameron Village Harris Teeter.

With the forecast in hand it was time to see if Wake County Public Schools would be closed. They like to be coy about their school closing announcements, which drives a lot of parents insane. Fortunately, I’m a journalist and know how to get answers. They replied within minutes of me Tweeting at them.

There has been a lot of talk about the weather dome lately, so Bonner cleared things up.

With that settled, Bonner and I began doing meteorology.

Around 9:00 am on Wednesday morning it was decided to let snow fall upon the citizens of Raleigh.


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Dinosaur Spotted in Dix Park

If you build it, they will come. Take note, Raleigh.


ITBlake Was NOT Happy That He Couldn’t Attend an Awards Show

I was nominated for “Best Twitter Personality” by WRAL.

Unfortunately, ITBlake wasn’t old enough to attend the awards show. He was not happy.

WRAL cleared things up.

I took this to mean that WRAL is offering ITBlake exclusive coverage of the next award show, plus a possible Intern of the Year award. We’ll be launching our own “ITBest Awards” later this year. Read the full story here.

Development Beat News

City Market wants to add outdoor dining in a parking lot behind Big Ed’s. There’s also a 50+ tennis court facility being planned for somewhere OTB. Full story.


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Raleigh Makes the Cut for Amazon’s HQ2


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Dogs of ITB of the Week

Twinning. 📷: @zookiescrittercookies

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People Are Eating Tide Pods

For some reason, people are actually eating Tide Pods. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops. In the meantime, don’t eat Tide Pods.

PSA: do NOT eat Tide pods.

A post shared by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on


ITBest of the Week January 12

ITBlake Wasn’t Old Enough To Attend the WRAL Awards So We’re Starting Our Own

in Humor/ITB Intern/ITBNN by
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UPDATE: WRAL has responded. Apparently, they were just obeying the law. They have invited ITBlake to attend an upcoming award show. I assume this means he’ll get exclusive coverage rights and possibly an Intern of the Year award.

Age. Is it just a number, or perhaps a way to disenfranchise Raleigh’s younger citizen journalists? That’s the question many are asking after learning that ITBlake the intern was not allowed to attend the WRAL Voter’s Choice Awards due to being under the age of 21.

WRAL, a news station in Raleigh, held their annual awards event at Level7 in North Hills (JOTB) this week. After months of online voting, awards were given out in over 100 categories, with “Best Twitter Personality” being the most important. This year’s nominees were: Triangle Explorer @Trianglexplorer, Kaytee Smith @SciKaytee, Joe Ovies @joeovies, Bill Leslie @wralbleslie, and William Needham Finley IV. For real.

I received an invitation for myself and a guest to attend the event. Obviously, I planned to bring ITBlake. It’s my job to teach him about media empire stuff and this event was going to be the perfect teaching tool.


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ITBlake had been looking forward to the event for weeks. I hadn’t seen him this excited over something since the first time he met Stacy Miller. He asked me about the dress code at least three times (hoping it would be black tie) and even texted me the night before to make sure we were still going. That’s when we realized that this was a 21+ event. I checked with WRAL to see how strict this rule was.

They confirmed that ITBlake would not be able to attend because the bar would be open during the entire event.


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I didn’t know if this policy was the “law” or a devious plot by WRAL to keep ITBlake from becoming more famous. Were they threatened by him after seeing his raw talent on display at the Christmas parade? I thought about holding an emergency press conference at Broughton to announce an ITBoycott of the event, but I needed more time to investigate. The last thing I wanted to do was accuse WRAL of age discrimination if they were just obeying the law. Plus, it would be super awkward if I threw out accusations and then won the “Best Twitter Personality” award.

My investigation was put on hold so that I could break the bad news to ITBlake. As you can see from the video, he took the news pretty well. Our discussion brought up some valid points. Why couldn’t they let people of all ages attend the event and check IDs at the bar? Why not hold this at Crowley’s? Should the drinking age be changed? Was the First Amendment being “infringed” here? Are people under the age of 21 incapable of having value in our society?


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Instead of wasting our time worrying about what really happened, we came up with the genius idea to create our own awards. The “ITBest Awards” will be given out to the places that I think are the best in Raleigh. There will be no online voting to increase pageviews, no user submissions, and no opinions from others. Stay tuned.

As for the WRAL awards, Bill Leslie won the “Best Twitter Personality” category. I received honorable mention. That’s right, the host of the event announced that “William Needham Finley IV” received honorable mention in front of the whole crowd. What a time to be alive. #ITBlessed.

And yes, I’m fine with the result. I know that I’m more than just a Twitter personality. I’m a media empire. Oh, and I made sure to let WRAL know about the potential age discrimination when I took their feedback survey even though I didn’t attend the event.

Also, congrats to Rise for winning the “Best Biscuits” award. I’ve got a pretty good feeling they’ll be taking home an “ITBest Award” in 2018.

ITBest of the Week January 12

in Humor/ITBNN by
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Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a new series that looks back at what I deem to be the most important events of the last week. Keeping up with everything on the internet is almost impossible these days. This weekly post should help you catch up on anything you’ve missed. It’s sort of like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital.

In this inaugural edition we’ll cover the first two weeks of January.

New Year, New Car Crashes

2018 kicked off with a boom, especially in North Hills…

Fortunately, no one was injured. There was a lot of speculation on the cause of the crash. Many of us had flashbacks to the mom who had a meltdown and drove up the steps of Hayes Barton Baptist on the first day of school. Some thought the reports of the upcoming snow were to blame. Speaking of snow….


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It Snowed

Snow had been in the forecast for a few days, but nothing was confirmed until the Winter Weather Wine Watch from Seaboard Wine was released.

theSkimm, like, totes reported it was obvi super cold in “Raleigh-Durham” which is NOT A PLACE.

Many were still skeptical of the forecast, thanks to the Raleigh weather dome.

Bonner and I talked long and hard about it and decided to retract the weather dome and let the kids enjoy the snow.

Parents were not pleased.


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ShopITB Customers Treated Like Royalty

Customers of ShopITB.com, the hottest online store in Raleigh, have been receiving handwritten thank you notes with their orders. Now, those thank you notes will be on personalized ITB stationery. You’re welcome.

Development Beat Gets High Praise

People love the Development Beat.


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Dogs of ITB Returns

Dogs of ITB is back and better than ever after a brief hiatus.

La Croix Tweet Goes Viral

At least a dozen people sent me this garbage meme.

Sports Things

The Broughton baseball team is looking for sponsors for the 2018 season. E-mail Coach Morton at jmorton@wcpss.net to donate.

NC State beat Duke in basketball, 96 – 85.

The Panthers lost to the Saints for a lot of reasons, including wide receiver play.

Alabama won the college football national championship against Georgia. Note: This picture is from the 2012 BCS championship they won with Broughton legend Jeremy Shelley.

NC State had a 90s night against Clemson.

They started off in the right direction. However, I was disappointed by the lack of any mention or reference of Saved by the Bell, Boy Meets World, Clarissa Explains It All, 90210, Step by Step, Goldeneye for N64, NBA Jam, Sonic, Guts, Double Dare, Doug, Rugrats, Chumbawamba, Goo Goo Dolls, Hanson, Jurassic Park, Air Bud, Power Rangers, and much more. I appreciate the effort, but hope they make some changes for next year. It really shouldn’t be that hard to set up an Aggro Crag during halftime.

That’s all for the first edition. Thanks for reading. Have an ITBlessed weekend.

2017 Year in Review

in Humor/ITBNN by


What a year. After recovering by watching 49 hours of Netflix (2 seasons of All or Nothing and 3 seasons of Bloodline) in five days after Christmas, I took some time to look back on 2017. In late 2016 I decided to go full-time with ITB Insider because nothing sounded more fun than working constantly and having weekly anxiety attacks. Here are some stats and highlights from my first year as a full-time media empire startup.

In 2017, ITB Insider had 114 blog posts, 382,038 pageviews, and 126,136 visitors.

For context, in 2016 ITB Insider had 38 blog posts, 119,371 pageviews, and 61,948 visitors.

Special thanks to James Borden for writing the Development Beat every week and keeping me informed of actual news in Raleigh.

My tweets in 2017 had over 56.2 million impressions, thanks to Fyre Festival (it was lit). My family still doesn’t understand what this means. Or maybe they just don’t care. Regardless, I’m putting this on my tombstone.


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Before I get to the year in review, I’d like to say thank you to a lot of people. Special thanks to all of the sponsors and companies we worked with in 2017, especially Miller Law Group, Stacy Miller, Beacon Street Development, Rufty Peedin Design Builders, Seaboard Wine & Tasting Bar, Downtown Dental, PBX®, Rise Cameron Village, Walk West, Humdinger Juice, Glenwood South Tailors + Alterations, Express Yourself Paint, Tradition Scarves, Trophy Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing, Southern Ego Clothing, High Cotton, and more that I’m probably forgetting.

Thanks to all the dogs who were featured on Dogs of ITB. We’re going to do a better job with this account in 2018 now that I know how much ITBlake the intern loves dogs.

Thanks to all the customers of the new fashion and merchandise empire.

ShopITB.com

Thanks to Broughton for giving me ITBlake the intern.

And most importantly, thank you to all of you for reading, sharing, and following along as the media empire grows. We’ve got even more planned in 2018. And now, some of my favorites from 2017.


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January started off with a robbery in Cameron Village that was thwarted by a heroic York security guard. If you actually dig into this story it’s pretty insane. I’ll leave it at that. Full story.

A Five Points couple, and their dog, struggled to deal with the unpredictable weather. Life can be so hard sometimes. Full story.



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Mordecai residents were outraged when they heard rumors of Dave & Busters coming to the neighborhood. Full story.

The Velvet Cloak Inn came down. RIP.

Cary passed an ordinance requiring beige colored Easter Eggs. Full story.

Someone stole the Lake Boone chicken. Full story.


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Goodberry’s kept using pictures from my Sunday night anxiety digital art installation without my permission. This issue is still unresolved.

We literally saved lives with our Raleigh fire coverage. Full story.

Photo from Photojournalist Brian James Patrick Oschwald

I incorrectly predicted that The Rock would play football for NC State. Side note: The Rock retweeted @spencerspicy the other day and I’ve never been happier for one of my friends. Full story.

Thanks to Bonner Gaylord, I got to put a fidget spinner and half of my Fyre Festival wristband in the North Hills time capsule that will be unearthed in 50 years. That’s right, in 50 years people will still be talking about Fyre Festival. Full story.


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I helped Meredith College bring attention to their campus lake dilemma. The President of Meredith sent me a nice thank you e-mail. For real. Full story.

Protests spread across Raleigh in support of the Brunch Bill. The mimosas were freed and the streets ran red with Bloody Marys. Full story.



A Hayes Barton family camped out for brunch at NOFO. Full story.

Five Points residents filed a class action lawsuit against a train for blocking their view of the July 4th fireworks. Rumor has it that Stacy Miller settled the case for $7 billion. Full story.

A Hayes Barton mom tried to sell her child online for Pullen Park Holiday Express tickets. Full story.

“The chalkboard, Charles. The fucking chalkboard.” A dad faced divorce after ruining the back to school picture. Full story.



I totally botched a Tweet about the top Broughton graduates. Fortunately, Peyton Reed understood after I wrote him a letter, recorded a video of me reading it, then tweeted the video at him. Full story.

As always, Raleigh dominated the 2017 Deb Class. Full story.

I was on a panel with actual journalists.

ITBlake the intern joined the media empire. Yes, he’s getting school credit for this. Yes, the fame of being recognized at Starbucks and in Cameron Village is going to his head. No, he is not my son. Full story.

I came up with the most ITB Halloween pumpkin carving templates. Full story.

A Five Points family spent weeks preparing for the Angus Barn Trail. Thanks to multiple YETI coolers and Go-GURT laced with Ambien, no one died of dysentery. Full story.

ITBlake the intern and JDog the YouTube star covered their first Raleigh Christmas parade and almost won Sundance. Full story.

ITBlake the intern turned 18. Full story.

Residents were distraught over Starbucks closing for roughly two days. Full story.

I was asked to speak at the Raleigh PR Society awards dinner.

This was really one of the few bright spots of 2017. Our story about a Raleigh couple living in Panama and saving orphans. Full story.

The fashion and merchandise empire launched in December and everyone loved it. ShopITB.com.

Finally, I survived Fyre Festival, which was probably the best representation of 2017 as a whole. My coverage was in pretty much every news outlet on the planet. Thanks to Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, VICE, and a few others for covering it accurately. Full story.

I was in Vanity Fair. Full story.

I was in Vanity Fair in Spain. Full story.

My coverage was on Andy Cohen’s television show. Full story.

As soon as our lawsuit against Billy McFarland, Ja Rule, and others wraps up, I’ll be able to launch the Dumpster Fyre Podcast. It’ll be like Serial and Dumb & Dumber had a baby, then left that baby on an island with nothing but a cheese sandwich. It’s gonna be lit.

Best Tweets of 2017

 

Five Points Family Preps for the Angus Barn Trail

in Humor/ITBNN by
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A Five Points family is ready to venture outside the beltline. Davis Knox Craig III, a doctor, and his wife Mary Anna Dover Craig, a mother and micITBit member, have spent the last few weeks carefully preparing for their annual holiday visit to the Angus Barn. The 10.3 mile journey from their house in Five Points can be treacherous, especially at this time of the year.

“Traffic will obviously be bad on Glenwood as we head OTB. And I’m sure people will be last minute Christmas shopping at Crabtree, so we’ll have to wear Kevlar Patagonia vests as protection from stray bullets,” said Craig III, referring to the Crabtree shooting incident that may or may not have happened last year.

“Last Christmas, the beltline was too busy to ford. That’s when we lost Little Davis….” Mary Anna said, her voice trailing off as she talked about their only child. Note: Little Davis did not almost die, he just threw a tantrum so unbearable that his father slipped him a Go-Gurt laced with Ambien to put him to sleep for the duration of the trip.


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A trip of this magnitude requires a lot of planning. Earlier this week, the family updated their 2017 Yukon (from Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac, obviously) with the latest maps, and upgraded their in-SUV WiFi to Google Fiber.

“We had to make sure our WiFi would work because cell service can be spotty out there,” said Mary Anna. “I’m bringing my iPad so I can watch The Crown on Netflix and do last minute shopping using WNFIV’s Amazon link. Little Davis can watch Paw Patrol on his iPad, and Big Davis can just drive in silence.”

With their entertainment planned out, the family still had to prepare for the worst: being stuck outside the beltline.

The family’s list of supplies resembled a modern day Oregon Trail inventory:

Extra batteries for charging iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros

20 lb bag of grain

1 Musket

50 boxes of musket bullets

5 lb bag of flour


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6 Broughton Tradition Scarves

6 dozen Ladyfingers ham rolls

8 Kevlar lined Patagonia vests

20 lbs of coffee

8 down blankets

4 cases of wine from Seaboard Wine

2 Go-Gurts laced with Ambien

20 sets of clothing

2 dozen donuts from Rise


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YETI 5-Gallon Bucket

YETI Hopper Two 20

YETI Tundra 75

YETI Tundra 350

4 iPads

3 Bear traps

12 oxen

6 Goose down pillows

The father, and party leader, thinks all this planning could have been avoided.

“I’m still a bit upset that White Memorial didn’t let William Needham Finley IV move Angus Barn inside the beltline as part of his summer mission trip in seventh grade,” said Craig III. “But I guess it’s good to use this as a way to teach our kid to appreciate what he has. Sometimes we’ll drive through Brier Creek on the way home to remind Little Davis of how good he has it.”


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Mary Anna, who is making her third trip to the Angus Barn this Christmas season, has prepared a checklist for when they arrive.

“The first trip was a girls night out, so obvi we had to take a basic group pic in front of the Christmas tree, and then do a boomerang of us cheersing (toasting) rosé. The second time was for a work Christmas party, but we were downstairs where the lighting is awful for Insta. On this trip we have to make sure we get a pic for my Insta story AND for an Insta post. And it can’t just be the same pic,” she said.


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After loading up the Yukon and getting ready to embark, the couple stopped to reflect on the risks associated with such a journey.

“You never know what can go wrong on the trail. But it’s worth it for the Chocolate Chess Pie and cheese and crackers,” said Craig III.

“And for the Instagram,” added Mary Anna.

“And for the…..for….the…” slurred Little Davis from the backseat, as he quietly slipped into a Go-Gurt Ambien induced coma.

Fortunately, Craig III is a doctor, the party is small, and their inventory is well stocked. We wish them safe travels.


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Finley’s Fire Christmas Playlist 2017

in Humor/ITBNN by

It’s finally December 1st and that means it’s now socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music constantly. I’ve been listening to my fire Christmas playlist for a few weeks now, but have kept it to myself so I wouldn’t trigger any snowflakes who complain when people talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving.


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Now that the season is upon us I want to ensure your holidays are accompanied by the finest Christmas songs available on Spotify. Even though last year’s playlist was met with rave reviews, ITBlake and I spent hours reviewing it to see how it could be improved.



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This is a comprehensive list, so don’t be confused when you hear multiple versions of “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. You may not like a few of the more rare tracks, but I can assure you by the 20th listen you’ll love them all. This fire playlist contains over 79 songs and over four hours of music, and will continue to be curated throughout the holiday season.

The list is embedded below and, if you have Spotify, you can also follow it through this link.

Additionally, I have determined the top 10 Christmas songs of all time. I created this list in order to stir up a spirited debate so that this post would stay relevant on Facebook for days. Feel free to offer your opinion, but remember, your opinion doesn’t matter if it doesn’t align with mine.


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Top 10 Christmas songs of all time

1.) The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
2.) All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
3.) Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
4.) It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
5.) Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
6.) Feliz Navidad – José Feliciano
7.) Mele Kalikimaka – Bing Crosby
8.) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – James Taylor
9.) The entire “A Charlie Brown Christmas” album – Vince Guaraldi Trio
10.) Last Christmas – Wham!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


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