This is not a wimpy philosophical post. We are talking dollars and sense. (Not a typo). A new business model experiment is in the works, relating to social entrepreneurship called: The Life Investment. Basically, it comes down to this question according to the Social Edge blog:
If an investor offered you a large infusion of unrestricted capital, say $300,000, with the only condition being that you would give them 3% of your income for the rest of your life, would you take the deal?
Apparently, it was fueled by this guy as the concept of personal investment contracts. Then, thanks to Nathaniel Whittemore, Change.org’s Social Entrepreneurship blogger, the conversation grew bigger until three innovative bloggers at SocialEdge, the blog hosted by the Skoll Foundation, took the leap and announced the Thrust Fund. Each has their own start-up social entrepreneurship, and here is their offer:
Kjerstin: Offers 6% of her annual income for a $600,000 up front investment.
Saul and Jon: Each offering 3% for $300,000 up front.
Now this gets interesting and I have to say ballsy. If this idea and conversation gets you off your chair and gets your mind thinking, Kjerstin, Saul and Jon are hosting a conversation about their offer saying: “Invest in us; we’ll give you some of our equity for life.” I’m still marinating on this whole concept myself, but I love the innovation here. The details is where it may get tricky–but man, bravo for putting themselves out there and believing in something that strong. What do you think–if you were made the offer, what would you say: Deal? or No Deal?
Perhaps it’s the time of year, but has anyone else noticed that more people are churning out more good content? Many different items I come across deserve its own post, however, then it’s on to the next good nugget I find. Thus, I’m going to do these round-ups every once and awhile as I don’t want you to miss out on all the good information.
Have a cause or issue that you’re passionate about? If so, you will love this article by Michael Silberman on the Huffington Post. In it, Michael shares lessons learned when it comes to digital organizing from the 350 days movement–what he terms the “most widespread day of political action in history.” I personally like how Michael emphasizes the importance of mission over technology, and how he creatively shows the importance of creative storytelling by effectively telling the 350 days story to us.
Are you or your clients curious about the latest and great in customer relationship management models? Web Strategist Jeremiah Owyang recently wrote up an in-depth post that gives an overview of 31 different CRM companies that are worth a look through.
Recently, I touched upon how online contests and competitions were growing in popularity–seems it’s still growing. Pepsi recently announced that they were going to fore go Superbowl ads, and instead, create a micro-site slash giving competition called the “Pepsi Refresh Project.” Beth Kanter shared her thoughts about Pepsi’s move following the Chase Bank fund-raising issue as well.
Twitter is the Oxford Dictionary’s 2009 Word of the Year. However, another contender could have been the word innovation. Look at Time Magazine’s list of the “Top 50 Inventions of 2009″. Or, check out Popular Mechanics list of “The Best 50 Inventions in the Past 50 Years.” (Guess Santa isn’t the only one making his list and checking it twice this time of year.)
Social marketeers: Are you looking to connect with colleagues? Try one of these three upcoming social marketing conferences summed up nicely by Craig Lefebvre. A conference of sorts that I also look forward to debuting is BIBA, presented by Peter Corbett’s iStrategy Labs. BIBA looks to gather big minds with big ideas to make big actions.
Because it’s worth mentioning again, did you get a chance to read Philip Kotler’s and Nancy Lee’s article in Stanford’s Innovation Review about Corporate Social Marketing?
A Social Shout-out
Not only are good news items coming up, but I’ve also expanded my RSS reader with some blogs I encourage you to get to know:
Social Herder: If you don’t know Will Robinson, you might want to. Will writes on all things social entrepreneurship, non-profits and general do-goodery. You can catch Will at his blog, on Twitter, or at his current gig with Ogilvy PR.
Justice for All: If you are interested in a mash-up of human rights, social enterprise, democracy and law, then you’ll appreciate the enthusiasm of Northwestern senior Akhila Koliset. Not only do I share an interest in advocating human rights with Akhila, but I continue to be inspired by her passion and the voice with which she writes. You can tell she loves to be inspired as much as she is inspiring–just check out her reading list!
What We Give: You’ve probably heard of this one, but if not, you should. Larry Blumenthal is the director of social media strategy at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and adds much value back to the marketplace through both his blog and on his Twitter stream where he talks about how social media is changing philanthropy.
What about you? Any newly discovered blogs or colleagues you’d like to give a social shout-out to?
PS: Often, these “nuggets” are shared sooner through my Twitter account. If you’re on Twitter, let’s connect @socialbttrfly.
If you know social marketing extraordinaire Nancy Lee, then you have heard this saying. Recently, on the social marketing listserv, some dialogue has been shared in response to Nancy Lee and Philip Kotler’s article in Stanford’s Innovation Review titled “Best of Breed,” which looks at corporate social marketing. This could be its own post, but alas, I want to focus on the message of being fun, popular and easy.
Why? Because whether it’s social marketing or corporate social marketing, you are still working to effectively change or influence behavior for good–and an effective way to do so is making your desired behavior fun, popular and easy–which is exactly what started bubbling through on the social marketing list serv as others started sharing some of their favorite fun, popular and easy social marketing initiatives. Enjoy–and when you find yourself running around ragged, ask yourself: Is anyone having fun? Is this easy for people? and go from there.
The Piano Staircase
To encourage passerbyers to take the stairs rather then the escalator (and thus promote physical activity), this group turned the stairs into a piano–whenever you stepped on a stair a different sound would echo–in effect, making taking stairs more exciting than an everyday escalator. I can’t find the source, but it apparently had a 60% success rate. Who’s behind it? Volkswagon. Apparently, Volkswagon has been trying out some experimental marketing based around “The Fun Theory” to see if they could create desired behaviors if the action was made fun. You can read more about the piano staircase and other initiatives such as the recycling arcade and more at TheFunTheory.com.
The Pink Glove Dance
You may have seen this one already, as it’s been circling the blogosphere for a while. But, it’s an example of everyday people–hospital employees–finding a way to make their job fun while communicating a message–that you aren’t alone when taking steps to prevent breast cancer, like getting a mammogram.
Musical Hand Sanitizer
Aas part of Volkswagon’s initiative, they are hosting an awards program on the best “fun” applications for healthy and good behaviors. One entry was a University who had installed hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of germs during the flu season. They found few students using them. Thus, they adopted the fun theory and installed some sounds. Each time someone went for hand sanitizer, a funny noise was created. Results? With the sounds included, students were seven times more likely to use the germ-reducing resource.
Pedestrian TV Traffic Light
In this example, you get some free entertainment while waiting to cross the street. Instead of staring at a red outline of a person wishing it to change with your desired mind control, this traffic light shows TV clips–vidoes from YouTube, funny clips from TV shows, etc. This way, the hope is that you’ll actually wait until it’s safe to cross the street.
Make Your Watermark
Design you own bottle at the vending machine. Granted, I know bottles and paint on bottles isn’t good for the environment. But if you can’t quite get that change initiated, then check out what this group did. To encourage people to buy water over sugary pop or juices form the vending machine, they enabled it so people can design their own water bottle from the vending machine at the point-of-purchase. Now that’s easy, and fun!
Fun, Popular and Easy…Online?
More examples are found on the FunTheory.com Web site mentioned earlier, and I have to admit–it’s fun just looking through them. But, my mind started going: How can you make your online and social media communications fun, popular and easy to help you achieve your behavior change mission? Now, that’s a weighty question. Then, I started thinking about what is it in a Web or social media behavior change initiative that makes it fun, popular and easy:
FUN: Community-based, drive accountability of others through accountability, collaborative in nature
Example: Certain online communities help training for a 5k easier by focusing on accountability or making the desired behavior fun by making it social. Other communities, such as the Sister to Sister Foundation’s online community focusing on healthy behaviors for heart health amongst women. These type of communities make healthy behaviors fun by creating accountabilty and making the behavior social.
POPULAR: Driven by influencers and respected peers in the community or content area the desired behavior resides.
Example: AIDS.gov video-storytelling. AIDS.gov encouraged state officials to create their video on why its important to get tested for HIV. Another example? HHS’ flu PSA contest. Not only was this driven and announced by the HHS Secretary herself, but it was also supported and promoted by all of HHS’ agencies. And it’s winner–come on, who’s more popular than a rapping doctor?
EASY: This may be the most important when it comes to the online arena. Because, for people to use the technology combined with the messages, etc., the technology must first work. It must incorporate usability best practices, be accessible and depending on your audience, address literacy issues, including technology literacy. You technology could be great, but if it’s too complicated and no one uses it, it’s just techology.
Example: Most recently, AIDS.gov hosted the “Face AIDS” campaign asking people to join in. The effort involved a few steps, but AIDS.gov made it easy and fun by creating a collective flickr account to display all the images. Here’s a thought: Some social media is easy to adopt. one click and your a fan, one click and you are a follower. One click, and you’ve downloaded a healthy recipe book. One click and you have a mobile app to track your physical fitness. How can your organization leverage these easy tools for behavior change?
What about you? What are some of your favorite fun, popular and easy social marketing efforts? Any of those take place online?
You may agree or disagree with me on this, so I encourage your thoughts as I’m transcribing some of my own observations into the online social change field. These observations boil down to four “phases” of online social change that I think reflect our maturity into using social media tools to meet our organization’s aims:
Contests and Competitions for Change
In the beginning, I feel many tools were leveraged as awareness-building mechanisms. From the initial launch of Causes to recruiting fans, followers and friends, many tools were initially set out to further awareness-building of an organization.
Then, I felt like the tools and our use of them matured as we discovered ways to leverage the tools into dollars–from Twestival to Tweetsgiving to Goodsearch. Even Causes adapted and identified birthdays as a way to increase micro-donations. You could say that online fundraising in and of itself has seen a phased formation and continues to evolve. See Beth’s Kanter’s recent post: 5 Social Media Fundraising Trends for 2009.
Then, enter the behemoths–contests and competitions like “America’s Giving Challenge,” hosted by the Case Foundation entered in the next rendition. You could say this ties into a more advanced type of fundraising, but I felt like it deserved to be on its own. As, I don’t yet think this area has been “tapped out” and neither do organizations according to Andre Blackman who interviewed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who uses contests and competitions to further public health innovation.
However, where I feel we are still in our infancy is with online advocacy for social change. It’s starting to creep up–just look at LiveEarth’s 2009 campaign “Love, the Climate” where people were encouraged to write love letters to office holders who worked to prevent climate change or the “Be a Voice for Darfur” movement which utilized activist and blogger toolkits to further realize the campaign’s objectives. Even act.ly provided a way for people to create and spread petitions with a call to action via Twitter.
Like I said, I think advocacy is where we have the most potential to further expand. I could be biased based on my government and citizen engagement day-job type of work–but I think there’s more ways we can get involved, as citizens, in decision making and peace keeping in our local, state and Federal governments–even internationally. What about you? Where do you think we have the most room to grow and what do you predict as being phase 5? Perhaps, partnerships and collaborations might be a phase five as we see how online and social media open up new doors of opportunity across organization firewalls. Or, another phase 5 might be storytelling–as more of these functions become interwoven and organizations get better at telling their story.
As I participated in the Government 2.0 events this past week, I couldn’t help but think about one word–behavior. Over and over again, I observed that often we weren’t talking about a tool, a Web site, some new blog, or a newer IT database. We were talking about influencing and changing behavior.
The idea of Government 2.0 and government as a platform is not about tools and technology. It’s about cultivating an environment and culture that enables citizens to influence and direct its government and each other.
Now the big question: Why? Why does government as a platform matter? Why are so many smart, talented, and skilled people devoting time, energy and resources to “Government 2.0?” The Answer: Government 2.0 is a metaphor. It’s a field jazzed about influencing behavior for the better (whether they realize it or not–many of them are social marketeers). It’s a group of people who say no to the status quo, and instead says, “We can do more. We can do better.”
Herein comes the next big question: How? This is a longer answer, but I know a good place to turn to-studying and knowing about behavior. The great thing–this is nothing new. Sure, technology is new, cultures evolve, but we as humans have been and will continue to be fascinated with behavior. So if behavior plays such a huge role in the programs we authorize, products we produce and services we fulfill–here is my recommendation–more social marketing:
What do you think? Many of us participants finish this week motivated to take our lessons learned and move the needle on some of the biggest issues facing our country. What are your recommendations to implement and help realize “Government 2.0?”
At work, we’ve been talking a lot about the information scans we all do on our own…who we refer to, which sites are the best, the most useful feeds, etc. So, now, out of curiosity and from inspiration gained from Chris Brogan’s recent post: “Where I Learn More,” I’m asking: Where do you go to learn?
Brogan’s article is great, as in it, he talks about the role of influence and asks us to reflect on what influences what we learn, think, behave and believe….so close to a social marketing (the real social marketing) question my buttons were popping with techy-excitement.
Here is my average, daily, social media ritual.
Please share me yours, and perhaps we can both expand our horizons a little. =)
Check my work e-mail account. Its true fellow co-workers.
Then, it’s on to the social bookmarks. I check my delicious, both my networks and my subscriptions. Oftentimes, those I am connected to are in a similar field or have similar interests, so thank you everyone on del.icio.us.
Then, I spend a little time on Digg, and may occasionally check in on StumbleUpon. I’m really liking Mixx more and more too, though, there doesn’t seem to be as many people on it.
I check up on the scoop of my work’s internal wiki.
Check meetup.com for upcoming events and opportunities to take online connecting –> offline.
More scooping that I probably, and I apologize, didn’t list. Though, if I remember more, I will place in the comments. There’s always MORE to learn and MORE resources to discover. =)
Important note to make: This is just the listening phase.
About the listening phase. I might do some or all of this ritual depending on the day and the time. The point is though, that my ritual is…I am always listening. Always checking in. Always asking questions. Always working to seek answers.
The FUN part, is taking it all in, reflecting, and creatively organizing the content and information in your head to implement innovative, effective communications. And, when I really want to *get wild,* I reflect further, beyond the field of communications, social media or marketing…but more to what Chris mentions, about influence. About change. About society. About trends. About what it all means.
IJNP desires to leverage social networks with the purpose of uniting Christians around the world to have a ‘say’ in the making of film. IJNP offers Christians to have an influential role in determining which movies the studio makes and/or partners with.
For $10/month (the price of a movie ticket), members can be a part of ‘participatory film making’ from beginning to end through IJNP’s soon to be launched member social network.
At 50k-100k members, movies on par with Hollywood can be made.
At a million members, summer blockbusters can be made.
IJNP will work with the best Christian filmmakers in the industry and has integrated a Christian Film making Apprentice Program.
Have some extra time but also want to engage the brain? Try Free Rice.
Play a simple word game and based on your success, rice will be donated to hungry children.
How It Works
A word appears and asks you to define it. Every definition you correctly identify donates 20 grains of rice. You’re intriguing the mind, using social media tools AND giving. Talk about collaborative innovation.
There are 55 different vocabulary levels, with customized options for your own vocabulary growth…the site says that most people don’t get beyond level 48. Will you be the one to reach level 55?!?
The words are also constantly evaluated on their difficulty level depending on how many people get the word right or wrong and new words are always being added.
Free Rice also lists many reasons why its encourages the development of vocabulary as part of its mission in its FAQ section of its website. They include:
Formulate your ideas better
Write better papers, emails and business letters
Speak more precisely and persuasively
Comprehend more of what you read
Read faster because you comprehend better
Get better grades in high school, college and graduate school
Score higher on tests like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT
Perform better at job interviews and conferences
Sell yourself, your services, and your products better
Be more effective and successful at your job
Who Finances The Donation?
According to the site, the site’s advertisers are the ones who actually pay for the rice to be donated. And, the site itself does not run a profit. Thus, you play, advertisers pay to be listed on the site, that money funds the rice donation.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) distributes the rice. The WFP works with over 1,000 organizations in over 75 countries, making it the world’s largest food aid agency. When possible, WFP buys the food through the local growers and economy.
From its start on October 7, 2007 to April 27, 2008, the total number of rice grains donated = 29,724,130,370! For a break down of results, click here.
To learn more about hunger, visit Poverty.com, an interactive site that teaches about hunger and poverty, and even tracks how many hunger deaths occur per hour through a moving, interactive map…