Posts tagged ‘Blogs’

Defining Health 2.0

According to a January 2008 study titled How America Searches, Health and Wellness:

  • In the past 12 months, 59% of adults reference the internet to find or access health and wellness information.
  • 67% of adult searchers use general search engines as an online tool or resource for health information and only 7% referred to online drug advertisements.
  • 36% of adult searchers use online health information to see what other consumers say about a medication or treatment

Because of statistics like those above, the concept of ‘Health 2.0’ has increased its usage and importance. Simply, Health 2.0 = the merging of social media into healthcare. However, others see the movement of Health 2.0 as something much wider and farther reaching. Even Google image searching shows a variety of more complex definitions. I’d be interested to see how you all define it for yourselves or for your practice.

Examples of Health 2.0

Websites

  • Carol.com , started in 2006, is the marketplace for care, allowing hospitals and providers to ‘bid’ for consumers’ care
  • Vitals.com, allows patients to review their current doctor’s or a potential doctor’s reviews and ratings
  • DoubleCheckMD, allows consumers to check for potential drug interactions quickly and easily
  • American Well , creates a healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services

Wikis

  • Wikipedia
  • FluWiki
  • WiserWiki, a medical and healthcare information wiki edited exclusively by physicians
  • Clinfo Wiki, a wiki devoted to clinical informatics
  • Ask Dr. Wiki, allows those with a medical background to publish review articles, clinical notes, pearls and/or medical images to the wiki. The main focus has been on Cardiology and Electrophysiology, but they have expanded to other areas.

Blogs

  • DiabetesMine, a blog all about diabetes
  • HealthMatters (Healthline), a collection of weblogs by professionals, covering different aspects of health, wellness, treatments, and recent advances
  • WebMD, provides health and health-related information

Social Networks

Video-Sharing

  • ICYou, the source of healthcare videos and videos related to health information
  • Cleveland Clinic on Google Video
  • TauMed, a virtual health community where one can search and share information on a variety of health topics

Online Forums

Podcasts

Caution

Health 2.0 researchers warn that patients should be cautious about posting personal health-related information through unsecured social media as health insurance providers could gain access to this information, as well as potential employers.

Future

Social Media combined with health information, patients and user-generated content can be used for:

  • User-generated health ratings for hospitals and doctors
  • Bridge the gap between doctor and patient
  • Bring communities together in new, innovative ways
  • Establishing patients as opinion leaders
  • Managing health and managing community health in new ways

For specific case studies and more information, view this report titled: The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.

Questions to Ponder

  • Is Health 2.0 helpful or harmful?
  • Is the content trustrworthy? Does it matter? Will consumers take the information at face value?
  • Why are patients labeled as consumers? What does this mean/say about how health 2.0 is being approached?
  • What are the ethical concerns?
  • What are the privacy concerns?

Can’t wait to read your insights in the comments. =)

Blogger Outreach Series: Law Issues Part B, Privacy

Continuing in my blogger outreach series, this post will focus on law that addresses privacy in regard to bloggers and blog content.

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Privacy: Currently, privacy is not included in the bill of rights, but as technology increases, it’s developing into quite the controversy. To protect yourself as a blogger and the subjects included in your posts, it is important to understand the law surrounding online privacy issues and the increasing issues involving privacy

There are 2 ways to approach privacy:

  1. Your privacy as a Blogger AND
  2. the privacy of the people involved in your blog’s content

To protect your privacy as a blogger, there are some different approaches with strengths and benefits. These include:

Blog Completely Anonymously

  • Create a Psuedo-name
  • Do not give away identifiers in the blog’s content
  • For COMPLETE anonymous blogging, try Invisiblog, Tor and Anonymizer. These are applications that help you create an anonymous blog where the creators and hosts of the blog won’t even have access to your information, can hide your IP address, and allows for anonymous editing of your blog.
  • Limit Your Audience
  • To avoid being found in search engines or in Google, install a ‘Robots Text File Generator’ into your blog’s architecture.
  • Set-up an alternative email address.
  • Update from a public computer.

Pros/Cons: Privacy protected. But, if you desire more traffic, hits or views, this could limit you. And, you don’t get credit for your hard work and time into up-keeping your blog.

Blog Anonymously, but control who knows who you are

  • Create an alias…but with talking with friends, family, co-workers, or online contacts, feel free to share that it is your blog. But, you don’t have to put your name on the blog. This allows you to control who can identify the blog as yours, and allows you to control to some degree who knows you have a blog.
  • This is the option this blog SocialButterfly has chosen for a variety of reasons. Eventually, I will more than likely reveal my true identify, but in the meantime, I am collecting feedback on what employers, friends, colleagues think of someone wearing a ‘blogger’ hat.

Pros/Cons: Allows you to get feedback on what others think of your blog and protects your privacy to some degree meaning that random unique visitors can’t identify you without first contacting you and YOU deciding to disclose your identity to them based on your interactions with them.

Blog Openly, but control the type of information visible

  • Put a picture of yourself on the home page, along with a concise bio about your background and why you are blogging.
  • Consider the blog as a way to extend your ‘personal brand.’ So, your communications about yourself need to help build and add credibility to your blog.
  • Allows creator to develop long-term personal connections and relationships with readers.

Pros/Cons: This allows you take full advantage of social media at its best. As a small business owner, it allows to you communicate with possible consumers and to extend your business’ message and purpose and connects consumers to you on a more personal level. Cons include that you are personally identifiable on the web. Anyone can find your blog, know its yours, and may judge you on your blog before meeting you or making a personal connection with you. This could also affect potential employers or current employers.

Blog Completely Openly

  • This is an open, anything goes approach to blogging.

Pros/Cons: Your belief in free speech is rightly communicated and your views are open, honest and shared. However, you may have to provide evidence and reasons why you say what you say. Basically, be prepared to back yourself up. Cons could include potential employers shying away from you, or wanting to fire you because of your blog.

Some more points to remember as a blogger are found here including laws on political speech, unionizing, whistleblowing, blogging when you work for the government, and legal off-duty activities. Blogging about work activities when you work for the government is actually protected under the First Amendment according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Lessons from Privacy for people involved in the blog’s content:

  • If you plan on posting images, videos, or audio of subjects you interview or interact with, gain their consent before posting this material – especially if the material contains minors.
  • Get parental consent if the content relates to minors, and blur the minors face or voice if possible since laws pertaining to minors are much more strict.
  • If you shoot film or take photographs, to be safe, make sure it is done on public property unless you have the participants consent. This will avoid trespassing and invasion of privacy issues.

As blogging increases, it is important to note that many people have different feelings about anonymous-related blogging and the laws continue to change as the technology matures. And as a disclaimer, I reiterate, I am not a lawyer.

For more information on electronic privacy issues, see EPIC, the electronic privacy information center.

**If you are an expert in this area, please contact me as I’d be curious on your thoughts and feedback on this post. Thanks! **

Blogger Outreach Series 1: Regulation, in reference to government blogging

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On my Twitter feed, I recently asked the question:

What are people’s experience with their clients and organizations about incorporating blogs and/or blogger outreach to their interactive marketing plans?

I ask this because as social media knowledge expands, more organizations are looking at the concept of blogging, including government agencies. Thus, this next series of posts will revolve around questions organizations must ask themselves when wrestling with the ‘blogging dilemma.’ Or, to change the outlook and attitude, the blogging opportunity.

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Question 1: To blog, or not to blog, that is the question.

The first response I usually receive when discussing blogging is a question relating to regulation. Thus, to start-off this series, this post will focus on regulation. Not all organizations desire to blog. In fact, many fear blogging because of a popular notion that it is an unregulated mode of communications…a public relations disaster waiting to unfold. These fears inspire numerous questions.

1. What if someone leaves a bad comment?
2. What if the blogosphere doesn’t approve or doesn’t view us as transparent?
3. How will we manage this logistical mess?
4. How do we even evaluate if we make any progress?
5. What can a blog even achieve?
6. What is a blog?
7. What will a blog cost us?
8. How do we control a blog?

and the list continues. These questions cover a lot of topics. In my experience, this concept of regulation most often appears with government clients. Here is a common statement:

We can’t do blogging. It’s unregulated and you have no idea what people will say or how they’ll say it. We are a government agency, and we can’t take that sort of risk.”

This fear is understandable. For those not infiltrated in the blog arena, it appears messy – and at times, honestly, it is. However, the blogosphere doesn’t have to be completely viewed as ‘unregulated.’

Here are two examples on how organizations have approached blogging:

1. Regulate Blog Access. One organization I’m working with loves the idea of blogs, so much…(possibly a bit too much in my opinion…but hey, it’s also going to be a trial and error basis)…that their site will have 5-8 blogs. Logistically, this will be interesting. But in theory, the idea is to regulate who has blog access. The site will be set-up as an online community, so only members will see all the topical blogs. Whereas, the public will only see the one main blog. This way we can regulate what non-members have access to.

2. Trial and Error. One consulting client I worked with loved the idea of a blog, but wasn’t sold on having the blog content being created and written by the organization. They wanted to use a blog as an outreach to their non-profit’s community as another tool of engagement. So, they started the blog, regulate it, but let their community members write the content by having the blog’s perspective be: Share Your Story. So, those wrestling with the non-profit’s illness shared their stories, could build online community and support one another.

  • Event blogging
  • Live Blogging
  • Topical Blogging

Now, if you are working with a federal or state agency, the notion of blogging ruffles some feathers. Here is a critical case to make: blogging has been done. and can be done. Here eare some helpful sites to note:

1. Public Officials’ Blogs. Just do a quick environmental scan of the presidential candidates’ websites! This site even offers a full listing of current blogs held by public officials across the United States.

2. Increasing Government Agencies’ Blogs. Now the list may be small, especially when considering just how many agencies exist, but it’s a starting point.

3. Government Blog Resource. A great outline of what blogs are, issues to consider, blog statistics, viewpoints, etc…a great resource!

4. Research Study.The Blogging Revolution: Government in the Age of Web 2.0,” a report by the IBM Center for the Business of Government which lists congressional, state, and local blogs.

(pic from www.masternewmedia.org)

Technorati releases New Studyrati on the State of the Blogsphere

Geoff Livingston today created a post sharing how the blogosphere is not just for millenials and people aged 30 and under, citing that 50% of bloggers are 35 and over. Today, Technorati introduced it’s 2008 State of the Blogosphere report which support this assessment.

The report is divided into 5-days of coverage.

Technorati has been releasing its annual study that analyzes the current trends and themes of the blogosphere since 2004. The 2008 study is unique in that it marks the first time Technorati surveyed bloggers (1,079 according to TechCrunch) directly about the role blogging plays in their lives, the tools used, time and resources used, and more!

This study is one of various studies that have recently been revealed. Though there are fluctuations in the results, all lean towards the result that blogs are here to stay. Other studies include (as listed on Technorati)

  • comScore MediaMetrix (August 2008)
    • Blogs: 77.7 million unique visitors in the US
    • Facebook: 41.0 million | MySpace 75.1 million
    • Total internet audience 188.9 million
  • eMarketer (May 2008)
    • 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users)
    • 22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%)
  • Universal McCann (March 2008)
    • 184 million WW have started a blog | 26.4 US
    • 346 million WW read blogs | 60.3 US
    • 77% of active Internet users read blogs

The numbers continue to change every day as more blogs are created. This is why I find Day 2’s of Technorati’s results most interesting so far. Day 2 shows statistics about the type of topics bloggesr are blogging about (i.e. 18% are blogging about health topics), their personality and writing styles, the motivations behind blogging, and the impact of blogging.

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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.

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This Blogger Neighbor Doesn’t Clown Around about 52 Ways to Change the World

Or does she? 17 year old Julie Zauzmer is more than you’re average high schooler, and she’s more than your average clown. She’s working to change the world one way at a time, and hoping to inspire you to do the same. Enjoy!

Note: Soon, a badge will be available for past and future Blogger Neighbors to place on their site if they choose, so stayed tuned for updates. =)

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Blog/Site Name: 52 Ways to Change the World!logo

Blog Topics: I feature one quick, fun, and easy way to bring charity into your daily life on each episode of my weekly podcast, 52 Ways to Change the World!

About the Author: Julie Zauzmer is a seventeen-year-old high schooler who lives in Pennsylvania. Along with community service, she loves reading, writing, and languages, and she hopes to be a writer someday. Her podcast, 52 Ways to Change the World!, has currently been downloaded over 1,600 times, both from her website, www.52ways.org, and from iTunes.

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

Family Drive. My brother and sister are really my best friends, and I hope that we will all live near each other when we grow up.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

I would love to meet one of my favorite authors in person someday. Some of my favorite living authors are Andrew Clements, Dan Brown, Jodi Picoult, and Susan Vreeland. Other favorites include L. M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, and Leon Uris.

If you were in charge of the planning the neighborhood’s block party, what entertainment would you plan? fun and happy clown with clown wig

I am a volunteer clown, so perhaps I would entertain guests by making balloon animals! I would also include a charitable element to the party. For example, I might set up a table with postcards and markers where kids could create cards for children in hospitals. My podcast features ideas like these — you can make charity a fun and easy part of just about any daily activity!

Photo Credit: Flickr, SmileyTD

What first prompted you to blog?

I first came up with the idea for 52 Ways! when I learned about the website Goodsearch.com. It’s a search engine like Yahoo! or Google, but it donates to the charity of your choice every time you search. I thought this was amazing, so I sent a Facebook message to about 100 friends telling them about this website. I was thrilled when several of my friends started using Goodsearch! This made me start thinking about other ways to use modern media to promote charity, and I realized that I had a lot of other ideas for “ways to change the world” that I wanted to share. Therefore, I decided to create 52 Ways! beginning in January 2008.

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

ZIPPY. That’s my clown name! Being a clown is one of my favorite unique ways that I help others. With Clowns ‘R’ Us, the clown organization that I am a member of, I visit nursing homes to cheer up the residents and volunteer as a clown at charitable events for many organizations.

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

I would bake cookies for them.

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

So far, I have especially liked the episodes “Helping the Homeless,” “A Good Yarn,” and “A Gift From the Heart” because these episodes feature some of my favorite ideas that I really hope people will use in their daily lives; “Bowled Over” and “Shop ‘Til You Drop!” because these episodes feature some of my most creative ideas; and “A Talent for Helping Others” and “Let the Games Begin” because these episodes include a more personal touch and some humor.

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

There are always more ways to make a difference! When I first thought of the idea for 52 Ways!, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with 52 ideas for changing the world, one for each week of the year. However, when I sat down to make a list of possible episode topics, I came up with 20 or 30 off the top of my head! I am constantly looking for more ideas for the show. As I create each episode, I always come across topics in my research that give me more ideas. Also, at the end of each episode, I ask my listeners to send me their ideas. Right now, I have 75 ideas on my list of possible episode topics! I have learned that there is an inexhaustible supply of “ways to change the world.”

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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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See the Good this Week’s 11-year old Blogger Neighbor is accomplishing in every 25-Day Challenge

That’s right. 1-1. 11. Eleven young and beautiful years of age. This week’s newest addition to the Blogger Neighborhood reminds us that we can all do good – no matter what our age….even my 70+ grandparents sent me an invite to join Plaxo. Now, how hip are they? Enjoy! =)

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Blog Name: 25 Days to Make a Difference

Blog Topics: Online charity project, Service work, and Kids making a difference

About the Author: Laura Stockman is 11 years old. She likes to read, do arts and crafts, and write. She has earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys playing baseball, swimming, and running. When she is older, she would like to be a veterinarian, a chef, or an artist. She loves helping those in need and meeting other kids who like to do the same.

Curious about how Laura started blogging?

Click here to see how Laura’s grandpa gave her the lesson of giving, and how she’s continuing to share his message with others. What started as a 25-day challenge to make a daily difference, with a promise to donate money she earned through her allowance, recycling and odd jobs, to the participant who made the most difference, is now a monthly movement! Read about how Laura raises the money and how she and her readers choose where to donate the funds.

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

Family Road because my family means a lot to me.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Our friend Frank Milkowski, who is in his eighties. He has lots of stories and is very interesting. I love him.

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

Dancing, carnival games, relay races, and kick ball.

What first prompted you to blog?

The New York State PTA Reflections Contest. This year’s prompt was “I can make a difference by…” So I started a blog to make a difference.

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

CatzPajamaz like my aunt and uncle’s because I think it is cute.

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

I would bake something like cookies to give them.

What type of communication channel do you most and least prefer since the burst of social media?

I like Artsnacks, which is a NING and I like using Skype. I dislike AIM instant messaging. It’s kind of boring.

*Parental consent was obtained to publish this post with Laura’s name and age provided.

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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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The Neighbor Who Gives Everyday, Welcome Roger Carr

The newest addition to the Blogger Neighborhood is one who takes the 29-Day-Giving Challenge to the extreme by giving everyday. Roger Carr, at the blog Everyday Giving, was nominated by our last addition to the neighborhood: Jason Dick at A Small Change.

Read below to learn more about Roger and how he is working to inspire others to give…everyday. Enjoy, and stay tuned to see who Roger nominated for next week!

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Blog Name: Everyday Giving

Blog Topics: All types of philanthropy including volunteering, financial giving and acts of kindness

About the Author: Roger Carr is the founder and owner of Everyday Giving. he is a writer and speaker on the subject of making a difference. Roger is the author of the ebook “Wake Up and Make a Difference” and a co-author of the book “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life.” He is an adviser to nonprofits regarding the establishment of an effective online presence and online marketing.

Roger is also a board member and volunteer with the Arthritis Foundation, Virginia Chapter. He has chaired the annual Fredericksburg Arthritis Walk fund raising event for the past three years. Roger lives with his wife, Kim, and son, Trevor, in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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

A street named Hope Avenue would be a great address to live at. It would provide a daily reminder that we can have hope (and give hope) regardless of our circumstances.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Someone who is a philanthropist at heart. Mark Victor Hansen is the first person who inspired me to think big and make a difference. He would be an ideal neighbor to share with on a regular basis.

What first prompted you to blog?

For some guys, mid-life crisis means fast cars and women. For me, it meant discovering my life purpose, helping people help others. Blogging was one great way to help fulfill that purpose.

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

GIVDALY – Another way to spread the message to give back every day.

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

It depends on the neighbor. A young college student might get a home-cooked meal. For a young family, I would give a gift of babysitting for an evening. An older couple might receive flowers.

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

One of my most popular blog posts is also one of my favorites. The post, Nature Retreat in Washington DC Area, combines my love for hiking, photography and promoting a nonprofit organization, The Nature Conservancy.

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

Blogging is not an individual sport. It is important to support fellow bloggers to be truly successful. This Blogger Neighborhood Series is a great example.

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.