Posts from the ‘Guests’ category

Social Innovation and the Dogged Pursuit of Being Unreasonable

image courtesy of an_untrained_eye

What’s Next? That’s the question The Social Innovation Summit asked us last week. Following the event’s hashtag #SIS12, I connected with Katie Ferrari, who’s passionate about storytelling for social innovation. I invited her to share her top observations from the conference. She asked if she could touch on storytelling in her recap, to which I replied: even better. Enjoy!

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Health Care Social Media Review #14: Health Literacy Gems and Treasures

photo by Robin M. Ashford

We are all patients. Yet only 10% of adults have the knowledge and skills needed to understand important information about their health (yikes!).

This edition of the HCSM Review celebrates October’s Health Literacy Month by exploring how this issue impacts online health information and the use of health care social media.

Health Literacy Coming of Age

What’s in a name? Social marketing isn’t the only one experiencing teenage angst in defining itself. Scholars recently conducted a recent review of 17 definitions of health literacy and developed a new definition that “captures the essence” of these definitions found in the literature. Can you believe there were 17 different definitions to begin with?

Taking steps forward. Building upon this review, my RTI colleagues published the “Health Literacy Skills Framework” which includes “information seeking & eHealth” as a critical skill set needed to navigate today’s health information. They also share that “the absence of a common definition and understanding of health literacy may have slowed the field’s progress in developing measures and conducting solid methodological research.”

Recommended reading. Andre Blackman shared this wonderful gem: the recently published eHEALS Health Literacy Scale. The eHEALS is an 8-item measure of eHealth literacy developed to measure consumers’ combined knowledge, comfort, and perceived skills at finding, evaluating, and applying electronic health information to health problems. Also shared was the recommended read of the book Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction.

Patient demands. A recent Harris Interactive study found that patients want more access to Web-based health services. Emily Zeigenfuse expands on this in her post “The Disconnect Between Patient Expectations and Physician Actions.” She discusses the role of communication and how social technologies can help providers more easily transition from acute care to preventative care.

The belle of the ball. Healthcare-related tweets have increased by 51% in 2012! Kristi Eells highlights this and other factoids shared at the recent Health 2.0 conference. From her review of findings, you can’t help but see 1) the increased value and demand for health care social media 2) and the need to address health and digital literacy in our use of these tools.

The Fun Stuff

Hacking for health. Over the weekend, Communicate Health hosted their first Health Literacy Hackathon. They highlight the results on their blog. You can even use the winner’s end product, Carrots/Stick. Carrot/Stick is a phone-based service that utilizes family and social support to empower smokers to quit. Nice work!

Everyone loves a good inforgraphic. Also of note is Communicate Health’s health literacy infographic, We are the 90%! A sneak peak is provided below. Speaking of infographics, Trish Broome explores how infographics can be a health education tool sharing her experience in developing an infographic to communicate flu prevention messages.

Let’s get chatty. healthfinder.gov is hosting its 3rd annual Health Literacy Twitter chat. Using the hashtag #healthlit, join @healthfinder, @HHS_DrKoh, @AHRQNews, @HealthLitMo and others to discuss IOM’s recent paper on the 10 Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations. Explore the question: How can organizations help people navigate health services more easily?

Imagineering the future library. With Pew’s recent presentation on The Rise of eReading, I couldn’t help but note Lucy Bernholz’ post on the evolving role of the community library. Knowing the role of libraries in health education, innovative models can and are being developed.

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Thank you for all of your contributions to this edition. HealthCare SocialMedia Review  has information about the next edition’s host and instructions on how to submit your posts for review in future editions.

Beth’s Birthday Bash

We all have influence and impact. Today’s post is to recognize the influence of one person, Beth Kanter, and to realize the impact we can all have when we act together. Beth Kanter, if you don’t know, is a top changeblogger working to help nonprofits do good.  But, I won’t provide a bio, her actions speak for themselves.

Actions such as making a birthday wish. Of course, this was no ordinary wish. For Beth’s 53rd birthday, she wished for people to donate to the Sharing Foundation on her behalf. The Sharing Foundation helps Cambodian youngsters go to school and holds a special place in Beth’s heart.

So I did. And so did many others. And so can you. You see, this blog post is one of many that is part of Beth’s Surprise Birthday bash. We want to thank Beth for all of her leadership, her generosity and belief in doing good, and this is the non-profit and social change community’s way of saying THANK YOU.

If Beth’s had an impact on you, join us and let her know by blogging or leaving a comment below. To donate and help make Beth’s birthday wish come true, here’s the link.

Want to follow Beth’s lead and use your birthday for good? Get to know the Causes application on Facebook.

Guest Posting Part Deux: Max Gladwell and Mashable’s Summer of Good

Mass publishing. Did you know this is accomplishable through blogs? This type of experimentation (or application) of guest posting took place earlier this year when Max Gladwell published 10 Ways to Change the World through Social Media, and it was simultaneously published on over 80+ blogs. Today is part two. *Know of other examples of “mass” publishing (i.e. Blog Action Day, Bloggers Unite, or others)? Feel free to share in the comments.* 

This post is a collaboration between Mashable’s Summer of Social Good charitable fundraiser and Max Gladwell‘s “10 Ways” series. The post is being simultaneously published across more than 100 blogs.

Mashable's Summer of Social Good

10 Ways to Support Charity Through Social Media

Social media is about connecting people and providing the tools necessary to have a conversation. That global conversation is an extremely powerful platform for spreading information and awareness about social causes and issues. That’s one of the reasons charities can benefit so greatly from being active on social media channels. But you can also do a lot to help your favorite charity or causes you are passionate about through social media.

Below is a list of 10 ways you can use social media to show your support for issues that are important to you. If you can think of any other ways to help charities via social web tools, please add them in the comments. If you’d like to retweet this post or take the conversation to Twitter or FriendFeed, please use the hashtag #10Ways.

1. Write a Blog Post

Blogging is one of the easiest ways you can help a charity or cause you feel passionate about. Almost everyone has an outlet for blogging these days — whether that means a site running WordPress, an account at LiveJournal, or a blog on MySpace or Facebook. By writing about issues you’re passionate about, you’re helping to spread awareness among your social circle. Because your friends or readers already trust you, what you say is influential.

Recently, a group of green bloggers banded together to raise individual $1 donations from their readers. The beneficiaries included Sustainable Harvest, Kiva, Healthy Child, Healthy World, Environmental Working Group, and Water for People. The blog-driven campaign included voting to determine how the funds would be distributed between the charities. You can read about the results here.

You should also consider taking part in Blog Action Day, a once a year event in which thousands of blogs pledge to write at least one post about a specific social cause (last year it was fighting poverty). Blog Action Day will be on October 15 this year.

2. Share Stories with Friends

twitter-links

Another way to spread awareness among your social graph is to share links to blog posts and news articles via sites like Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, and even through email. Your network of friends is likely interested in what you have to say, so you have influence wherever you’ve gathered a social network.

You’ll be doing charities you support a great service when you share links to their campaigns, or to articles about causes you care about.

3. Follow Charities on Social Networks

In addition to sharing links to articles about issues you come across, you should also follow charities you support on the social networks where they are active. By increasing the size of their social graph, you’re increasing the size of their reach. When your charities tweet or post information about a campaign or a cause, statistics or a link to a good article, consider retweeting that post on Twitter, liking it on Facebook, or blogging about it.

Following charities on social media sites is a great way to keep in the loop and get updates, and it’s a great way to help the charity increase its reach by spreading information to your friends and followers.

You can follow the Summer of Social Good Charities:

Oxfam America (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube)

The Humane Society (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr)

LIVESTRONG (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr)

WWF (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr)

4. Support Causes on Awareness Hubs

change-wwf

Another way you can show your support for the charities you care about is to rally around them on awareness hubs like Change.org, Care2, or the Facebook Causes application. These are social networks or applications specifically built with non-profits in mind. They offer special tools and opportunities for charities to spread awareness of issues, take action, and raise money.

It’s important to follow and support organizations on these sites because they’re another point of access for you to gather information about a charity or cause, and because by supporting your charity you’ll be increasing their overall reach. The more people they have following them and receiving their updates, the greater the chance that information they put out will spread virally.

5. Find Volunteer Opportunities

Using social media online can help connect you with volunteer opportunities offline, and according to web analytics firm Compete, traffic to volunteering sites is actually up sharply in 2009. Two of the biggest sites for locating volunteer opportunities are VolunteerMatch, which has almost 60,000 opportunities listed, and Idealist.org, which also lists paying jobs in the non-profit sector, in addition to maintaining databases of both volunteer jobs and willing volunteers.

For those who are interested in helping out when volunteers are urgently needed in crisis situations, check out HelpInDisaster.org, a site which helps register and educate those who want to help during disasters so that local resources are not tied up directing the calls of eager volunteers. Teenagers, meanwhile, should check out DoSomething.org, a site targeted at young adults seeking volunteer opportunities in their communities.

6. Embed a Widget on Your Site

Many charities offer embeddable widgets or badges that you can use on your social networking profiles or blogs to show your support. These badges generally serve one of two purposes (or both). They raise awareness of an issue and offer up a link or links to additional information. And very often they are used to raise money.

Mashable’s Summer of Social Good campaign, for example, has a widget that does both. The embeddable widget, which was custom built using Sprout (the creators of ChipIn), can both collect funds and offer information about the four charities the campaign supports.

7. Organize a Tweetup

You can use online social media tools to organize offline events, which are a great way to gather together like-minded people to raise awareness, raise money, or just discuss an issue that’s important to you. Getting people together offline to learn about an important issue can really kick start the conversation and make supporting the cause seem more real.

Be sure to check out Mashable’s guide to organizing a tweetup to make sure yours goes off without a hitch, or check to see if there are any tweetups in your area to attend that are already organized.

8. Express Yourself Using Video

As mentioned, blog posts are great, but a picture really says a thousand words. The web has become a lot more visual in recent years and there are now a large number of social tools to help you express yourself using video. When you record a video plea or call to action about your issue or charity, you can make your message sound more authentic and real. You can use sites like 12seconds.tv, Vimeo, and YouTube to easily record and spread your video message.

Last week, the Summer of Social Good campaign encouraged people to use video to show support for charity. The #12forGood campaign challenged people to submit a 12 second video of themselves doing something for the Summer of Social Good. That could be anything, from singing a song to reciting a poem to just dancing around like a maniac — the idea was to use the power of video to spread awareness about the campaign and the charities it supports.

If you’re more into watching videos than recording them, Givzy.com enables you to raise funds for charities like Unicef and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital by sharing viral videos by e-mail.

9. Sign or Start a Petition

twitition

There aren’t many more powerful ways to support a cause than to sign your name to a petition. Petitions spread awareness and, when successfully carried out, can demonstrate massive support for an issue. By making petitions viral, the social web has arguably made them even more powerful tools for social change. There are a large number of petition creation and hosting web sites out there. One of the biggest is The Petition Site, which is operated by the social awareness network Care2, or PetitionOnline.com, which has collected more than 79 million signatures over the years.

Petitions are extremely powerful, because they can strike a chord, spread virally, and serve as a visual demonstration of the support that an issue has gathered. Social media fans will want to check out a fairly new option for creating and spreading petitions: Twitition, an application that allows people to create, spread, and sign petitions via Twitter.

10. Organize an Online Event

Social media is a great way to organize offline, but you can also use online tools to organize effective online events. That can mean free form fund raising drives, like the Twitter-and-blog-powered campaign to raise money for a crisis center in Illinois last month that took in over $130,000 in just two weeks. Or it could mean an organized “tweet-a-thon” like the ones run by the 12for12k group, which aims to raise $12,000 each month for a different charity.

In March, 12for12k ran a 12-hour tweet-a-thon, in which any donation of at least $12 over a 12 hour period gained the person donating an entry into a drawing for prizes like an iPod Touch or a Nintendo Wii Fit. Last month, 12for12k took a different approach to an online event by holding a more ambitious 24-hour live video-a-thon, which included video interviews, music and sketch comedy performances, call-ins, and drawings for a large number of prizes given out to anyone who donated $12 or more.

Bonus: Think Outside the Box

blamedrewscancerSocial media provides almost limitless opportunity for being creative. You can think outside the box to come up with all sorts of innovative ways to raise money or awareness for a charity or cause. When Drew Olanoff was diagnosed with cancer, for example, he created Blame Drew’s Cancer, a campaign that encourages people to blow off steam by blaming his cancer for bad things in their lives using the Twitter hashtag #BlameDrewsCancer. Over 16,000 things have been blamed on Drew’s cancer, and he intends to find sponsors to turn those tweets into donations to LIVESTRONG once he beats the disease.

Or check out Nathan Winters, who is biking across the United States and documenting the entire trip using social media tools, in order to raise money and awareness for The Nature Conservancy.

The number of innovative things you can do using social media to support a charity or spread information about an issue is nearly endless. Can you think of any others? Please share them in the comments.

About the “10 Ways” Series

The “10 Ways” Series was originated by Max Gladwell. This is the second simultaneous blog post in the series. The first ran on more than 80 blogs, including Mashable. Among other things, it is a social media experiment and the exploration of a new content distribution model. You can follow Max Gladwell on Twitter.

This content was originally written by Mashable’s Josh Catone.

Guest Posting: Beth Kanter and An Experiment in Action

Photo of Beth Kanter, non-profit and technology guruThose of us who follow Beth Kanter’s blog about non-profits and technology may have noticed a great experiment (whether she meant it to be or not) on guest posting. As Beth and her family made the move to California, Beth invited non-profit, social change and do-good members of the blogosphere to guest post on her blog with their best posts from the past.

People like Amy Sample Ward, Britt Bravo, Geoff Livingston, Nancy Schwartz, Stacey Monk and others. And yesterday, my own post from last October on the “Cool Factor About Mobile” was also cross-posted on Beth’s blog. To me, this experiment has blossomed with success. It’s added color to our blogosphere, raised voices and increased the camaraderie of the folks in this space.

So, thank you Beth Kanter, not only for the opportunity to share in your space, but also for trying out this guest posting experiment. Look forward to your shared insights and revelations this series has generated (*Tip: If you haven’t checked out Beth’s blog yet, I highly encourage it.)

What do you think? What are your thoughts about guest posting? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s “Guest Posting Part Duex” as another guest post experiment is revealed.

flickr credit: LeeLeFever

The Blogger Neighborhood: Meet the DigiActive Team

candle lightGet out of your comfort zone. This includes myself, often I am use to comfortably perusing my usual blogs in my RSS reader, however, when I first found DigiActive over the summer, I immediately knew I needed to get out more. DigiActive brings together a team of international bloggers from SIX continents and offers great content from diverse perspectives. The change movement knows no boundaries.

I must also give Amine, from DigiActive the award for patience. Amine and I conversed at the end of August, and I am just now getting up their interview. Thank you Amine and the DigiActive team for your world-class patience. Without further adieu, enjoy!

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Blog Name: DigiActive.org

Blog Topics: Being the Intersection of Technology and Grassroots Activismfacebook-guide-cover300px

Blog Explained: The group blog at DigiActive.org is part of DigiActive’s overall mission to help grassroots activists around the world use technology to increase their impact. DigiActive also publishes guides, such as “A DigiActive Introduction to Facebook Activism” and maintains a digital activism map. DigiActive is also in the process of launching a research program (R@D), which will provide actionable analysis for the benefit of digital activists around the world.

About the Author(s): The site features an international group of bloggers from six continents from countries including Iran, Morocco, China, Cameroon, the US and Germany. We come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. Some of us work for NGOs while others are students or journalists. All our bloggers are volunteers and write for the site because of a passion for digital activism.

Why do you blog? A few answers from some of the DigiActive team members include:

“I love to write about things I love” –Kate Brodock

“I write for DigiActive because it gives me an excuse to keep up to date on the cutting edge of digital activism. Activists “hacking” online applications, creating new uses for platforms like Facebook or Google Earth and turning them into tools for change, that’s what gets me up in the morning.” – Mary Jocye

“I’m blogging for DigiActive because I have a crush on digital activism. Blogging let’s me share the product of this splendid connection with a global community, which is another thing I will never really understand, but always be amazed of.” – Simon Columbus

“It is a fantastic opportunity to investigate and learn about this increasingly important movement. I work in a part of the world where these tools are underutilized but needed with urgency, and I use my work to educate and involve the people around me.” – Tamara Palamakumbara

What first prompted you to blog? DigiActive was started by Mary and Amine, who met on Facebook and built DigiActive together before ever meeting in person. Our ambition was “to create a center for the global digital activism movement.” With an ever-increasing number of partners, we are still working to achieve that goal.

Why digital activism? What is it, and how do you know when it’s successful?

Digital Activism is defined as digital actions taken by grassroots organizations or individuals to achieve a social or political change. It means taking the power of the new global reach of user-generated content and turning it towards the purposes of social justice.

It’s hard to know when digital activism has succeeded. Clear-cut cases of digital success, like the Help Fouad campaign in Morocco are rare. Even when a goal is achieved, it is often the result of multiple campaigns, not only digital ones, and often it takes years to achieve these goals. I don’t think there’s a clear formula for success. Digital activism is not about quantity of people you can reach, but it’s about the quality by which you reach them.

What’s the impact digital activism has, or could have, on our community?

One of the greatest strengths of digital activism is that it allows people to collaborate closely regardless of physical location. As mentioned previously, Mary and Amine developed the idea for DigiActive and built the site without ever meeting. In fact, they still live on different continents. Talia edits for the DigiActive blog from Boston, even though our correspondents are dispersed across the globe. I think the two biggest technical advantages that digital activism has are 1) the speed at which technology is being introduced, improved upon, and made widely available and 2) the number of tools that are available, which enables users to use the one that best suits their situation. It’s not a one-sie-fit-all. It’s a custom-tailored approach. The biggest qualitative advantage of digital activism is, as mentioned, the ability to connect to so many people and get yourself in front of large number of eyes and ears!

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?

“Hope Street” – Simon

“The Beginning” – Kate

“TechCanHelpUChangeTheWorld Blvd.” – Mary

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Some of the answers from the DigiActive team include: An international group of passionate grassroots activists, committed to the goal of realizing the human dignity of all the world’s citizens. Dalaid Lama and Dave Barry. Maybe Jon Stewart too.

What was the last URL you added to your RSS feed?

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

Successful digital activism campaign are always fun to write about. Whether it be about young Egyptian activists using Facebook to organize a country-wide strike, about Jamaican gay rights activists who use blogs and the internet to fight to get into a UN AIDS meeting or about activists in Morocco who used the web to coordinate a successful international campaign to free the “Facebook Prisonner”. However it is also important to consider the limitations of digital activism and provide useful information and guides on how to best harness its potential.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging?

  • Don’t be afraid to express yourself – everyones experience and opinions count.
  • That it takes a global village to write a blog.
  • It’s a great way to meet and to get to know incredible people from around the world.

Liked what you read? Feel free to share with others: Bookmark and Share

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Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

This continuous series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.

The Blogger Neighborhood is Back with Some Perspective (from the Pipeline)

After some delay, the blogger neighborhood is back. To kick it off, let’s welcome Rosetta Thurman, author of Perspectives from the Pipepile.

I first began following Rosetta about a year ago. One scan through her blog’s homepage, and you will say, “She. is. impressive.” That’s what I did. And so did Avi Kaplan, a Harvard student who emailed me to nominate Rosetta for the Blogger Neighborhood. If you have someone you want to nominate, contact me at socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.

Enjoy reading below and discover why Rosetta is definitely on her way.

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Blog Name: Perspectives From the Pipeline, observations on the nonprofit sector from the next generation

Blog Topics: nonprofits and leadership

About the Author: Rosetta Thurman is an emerging nonprofit leader of color sharing career advice, management resources and fresh ideas to inspire others to lead. Rosetta is a writer/consultant/fundraiser and has been quoted in articles about the nonprofit sector in the Washington Post, Nonprofit Quarterly, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Rosetta is also an Adjunct Professor teaching nonprofit management and leadership at Trinity University in DC.

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?  Renaissance Boulevard.  I think we are in a time of great opportunity for young people to renew our responsibility to our communities.  It’s a very rich time in our history where we have the chance to lend all of our talent & skills to a movement, any movement that will create change.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor? Nikki Giovanni, my favorite poet.  I think I would be inspired every day just by living next door to a literary genius.

What first prompted you to blog?  I felt that my generation’s voice was being ignored in the nonprofit sector, as if our opinions didn’t matter in discussions about the future of this sector that we will inherit. At first, I started Perspectives From the Pipeline as a learning experience for me as a young nonprofit professional to formulate my thoughts about the nonprofit sector.

As a member of the “next generation” of nonprofit leaders, I saw many challenges for our sector as well as many new ideas for solving them. Unfortunately, when people my age speak up, few people listen.  I write about nonprofit leadership and organizational issues to help others think more critically about their careers & day to day work. My goal is to bridge the gap between challenges and solutions within the nonprofit sector, especially as they relate to the younger workforce and nonprofit leaders of color.

If you customized your own license plate, what would it say and why? OnMyWay.  Because my favorite quote from poet Carl Sandburg illustrates how I live my life. “I’m an idealist.  I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” 

What would you gift to a new neighbor as the perfect welcoming gift?  A three-layer red velvet cake.

If you were planning the next block party, what entertainment would you plan?  A big concert with Jill Scott and Kanye West.  A Soul Train line.  All-you-can-eat crabs. And a Taboo marathon. 

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

Of mine: because we don’t talk enough about the values that brought us to nonprofit work, Real Talk: Why I Work in the Nonprofit Sector. And from Seth Godin, Because we all need inspiration to make the leap to greatness.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging? I found that blogging gave me a way to speak to the issues I care about and influence others in the process.  On the internet, you can have such a huge reach, and impact on people who may not have given you a second thought otherwise.  I learned that people want to hear the truth, and they will support social media and online community if it’s real and authentic.

Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

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This continuous weekly series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.

Bookmark and Share

New Blogger Neighbor Inspires Girls Everywhere at New Moon Media

I first ran across New Moon Media when I was researching social networks and sites for teens/tweens, and I was blown away by their concept. Not only it is smart and savvy, but it was and is developed by teen and tween girls themselves (along with some adult guidance).

New Moon Media looks to empower girls making by being led and developed by the girls themselves. Originally a magazine written by and for girls ages 8-12 years old, the girls have expanded into multiple blogs, a MySpace page, e-newsletters, widgets, and NewMoonGirls – an online community for girls ages 8-12 which luanches Sept. 1, 2008. Also in the works is New Moon’s user-experience, Orb28, aimed at girls 13-15+. The video below explains:

Enjoy, =)

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Blog Name: New Moon Girls / Girl Media Maven / orb28

Blog Topics: New Moon Girl Media blogs about issues important to girls and to adults who care about girls. Our girl blogs feature girl-created content on topics such as Health, Technology, Politics & Current Events, Friends & Relationships, and Powerful Women, while Girl Media Maven focuses on topics relevant to parenting as well as girls’ challenges and breakthroughs today.

About the Author: New Moon girls range in age from 8 to 15+ and hail from all over the globe! Adult staff who help coordinate and moderate the girl blogs are highly experienced in girls’/women’s issues, journalism, media, and the internet. Nancy Gruver, who hosts Girl Media Maven, is the founder and CEO of New Moon Girl Media.

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?

The street would be called Voices Lane. New Moon Girl Media would love to live on this street because our company began with founder Nancy Gruver’s dream to give girls a platform to speak out and maintain their sense of self throughout adolescence, and today, the goal of the company is still to bring girls’ voices to the world in significant ways.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?
Confident, happy girls who go after their dreams!

If you were in charge of the planning the neighborhood’s block party, what entertainment would you plan?

We would plan a variety act showcasing what makes girls unique, special, and capable. This event, which could include girls’ poetry and story readings, music, theatre, dance, and athletic performances, artwork displays, video screenings, and more, would empower girls to speak out in public and feel proud of themselves just who and how they are.

What latest news bites would you share with your neighbors if they asked you how you were doing?

New Moon Girl Media is celebrating the 16th year publishing our ad-free, by-girls for-girls magazine; now, to reach more and more girls, we are additionally launching NewMoonGirls.com, an ad-free, safe, girl-only online community for girls ages 8-12 on September 1st. We are very excited about this new community and hope you will help us spread the word! You can keep updated on the latest at New Moon Girl Media and share with friends on Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube, and even embed New Moon’s new blog widgets into your blogs and personal sites. We’d love for you to have New Moon news delivered right to your inbox by signing up for our e-newsletters, and you’re also invited to join the New Moon Girls Street Team, where girls and adults spread the love for New Moon!

What first prompted you to blog?

For years, New Moon Girl Media has been a leader in publishing real girls’ voices in print; as more and more people connect, learn, and have fun online, New Moon Girl Media’s blogs are a great way to explore and come together around girls’ issues, bringing even more girls’ voices to even more of the world.

If you customized your own license plate, what would it say and why?

Our license plate would say “Go Girls!” because girls need more empowering and positive messages around them reflecting what it means to be a girl or woman.

What would you gift to a new neighbor as the perfect welcoming gift?

A subscription to New Moon Girls magazine and membership to NewMoonGirls.com!

What’s your favorite blog post and why?
Anything written by a girl!

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging? Despite it’s many dark corners and pitfalls, the positive opportunities presented by the internet for connection and social change are very inspiring.

Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

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This continuous weekly series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.

Bookmark and Share

EPA Blogger Neighbor Aaron, brings more than Green to the Greenversation

This week’s Blogger Neighborhood profile intrigues you more and more as you read. Not only does Aaron do fascinating work for the EPA, but he also lives a life full of passion – for the environment, for adventure and for his family.

I mean, not sure about you, but I haven’t met too many other people who have been both an elephant trainer and a first-mate on a whale watching boat…and that’s just the beginning. Enjoy!

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Blog Name: Greenversations

Blog Topic: Greenversations is the official blog of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, writing about personal experiences related to their work. Science Wednesday on the blog features EPA research and development efforts, highlighting environmental and human health research. The overall goal is to engage the public to help accomplish EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment.

About the Author: Aaron Ferster is the lead science writer-editor for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. As a member of the science communications team, Aaron’s primary focus is communicating EPA research and development to the general public, translating often highly technical environmental and human health science into language and media that is accessible, accurate and engaging to non-scientific audiences.

Before coming to EPA, Aaron spent ten years working as an exhibit writer and developer at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park, in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a first-mate on a whale watch boat, an assistant camera man for National Geographic film crew, and an elephant trainer. He lives in suburban Maryland with his wife, two daughters (one hearing, one deaf), a dog, and a turtle. He and his wife are currently working on a book together about their experiences raising a deaf daughter.

What first Prompted Him to Blog: I’ve been a big fan of blogs for a while. I’m really intrigued by the evolution of the way bloggers and their readers communicate, forming free-flowing, often passionate on-line communities. So when the opportunity to blog at EPA came along, I jumped at the chance. My first chance to post on Greenversations was to help promote “Bike to Work Day.” I’m an avid bike commuter, so it was a perfect fit.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging? That people are interested in what EPA is doing, and that blogging is a completely appropriate way for us and other government agencies to engage the public in an ongoing dialogue.

If you could live on any street, what would the street be named, and why? Abbey’s Way (Take the other) – tribute to Edward Abbey, one of my favorite writer’s, and a passionate environmentalist.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor? A full complement of native critters: owls, box turtles, red-tailed hawks, orioles, black snakes, skunks, foxes, white-tailed deer, and perhaps the wandering bear or coyote now and again. We had a pair of barred owls nest in a tree next to our house a couple years ago and the kids loved it.

What latest new bites would you share with your neighbors if they asked you how you were doing? Puppy news – we have an eight-month-old puppy and our neighbors on both sides also have young dogs, so we have lots of puppy news to chat about.

What would you give to a new neighbor as the perfect welcoming gift? Fresh blueberry pie and a gallon of vanilla ice cream.

What is your favorite blog post and why? Michael Chorost, a deaf science writer and author of Rebuilt: how Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human, keeps a blog about his experiences as a cochlear implant recipient. My wife and I are currently embroiled in a fight with my health insurance company over refusal to cover a second cochlear implant for our daughter. Chorost chronicles a similiar fight he had on his blog, and his post has been both educational and inspirational.

Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

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This continuous weekly series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.

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Hey! Get to know the Social Media Blogger Neighbor: HeyStephanie.com

Hey, hey, you, you…ok, enough with the Avril Lavigne lyrics. I just couldn’t help it.

Our blogger neighbors are usually nonprofit and social marketing wonder do-gooders who are doing some amazing and needed work. To switch it up some, this week we have Stephanie Gulley over at HeyStephanie.com.

Stephanie writes about social media and how it can make work (ya know, your full-time gig) more efficient and easier to handle.

(Note: Look out for the newly developed members of the ‘hood badge for our esteemed blogger neighbors!)

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Blog/Site Name: HeyStephanie.com

Blog Topics:
social media, web2.0, social networking, online collaboration

About the Author: Stephanie Gulley’s background in fast paced start-ups made her realize that on the job demands change frequently and requires lots of flexibility. To avoid being overwhelmed by multiple projects, Stephanie knew that in order to stay ahead, it’s better to work smarter not just harder. This experience coupled with her passion for social media have contributed to her frequent posts to HeyStephanie, where she offers insight on social media tools that make it possible to work efficiently in a Web 2.0 world.

Currently, Stephanie is a Program Analyst at Brickfish, a social media advertising platform, in San Diego, California. As a Program Analyst, she develops and coordinates social media marketing strategies to drive consumer engagement with brands.

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?

Tao Tree Lane. One of my favorite books is “The Art of War for Women,” by Chin-Ning Chu. I’ve always been a fan of Sun Tzu’s work and Chin-Ning Chu’s interpretation takes the teachings of Sun Tzu and applies it to women in the workforce. Her book opened my eyes to the Taoist philosophy and helps me to better understand the world and my surroundings. With that said, I could live on any street that follows the teaching of Taoism and relax under a forest of trees.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Oprah Winfrey. Success goes hand in hand with hardship and challenges, and Oprah’s success inspires me to work hard and to overcome obstacles that come my way. If Oprah was my neighbor, I know I could learn a lot from her.

What first prompted you to blog?

I first started blogging in 2002 because I wanted to write my goals down and make it public. I wanted people to know what my goals were so that I could be held accountable and people could ask me how I was progressing. I pretty much wanted to start a conversation about my future goals and get input from others so I could make informed decisions. I was a college student and the first person in my family to obtain an education beyond high school so I wanted to find a community that I could relate to and blogging helped me with that.

If you customized your own license plate, what would it say and why?

Husband#1. I have the best husband in the world and I just want to share it with everyone.

What would you gift to a new neighbor as the perfect welcoming gift?

Freshly baked oatmeal cookies.

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

My favorite blog post at HeyStephanie.com is, “The Unveiling.” Although I’ve been blogging online for the past six years, my previous blogs were always anonymous. I would start them, fall behind, and eventually delete them. The Unveiling post is a mission statement for HeyStephanie.com and reminds me of why I’m blogging. I simply want to share my thoughts on social media with individuals who share the same interest.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging?

As a blogger you can say whatever you want to say because it’s your blog, but if you want to build a relationship with your readers, you have to listen as well.

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Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

*************************

This continuous weekly series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.

Bookmark and Share