Posts tagged ‘SocialButterfly’

The One Post I Hope You Read

Three Generations + the Opportunity of a Lifetime

My Mom and Grandmother

Who inspires you? For me, it’s the heart of service that my family has lived for and stood for that inspires me everyday. This is why, I am so thankful, humbled and hopeful that later this month, my mom, my grandma and I are joining a group of good-hearted and high-spirited individuals on a service trip to Guatemala through the organization the Amistad Foundation.

On our trip, we will visit Guatemala City, La Limonada (see picture below) and some of Guatemala’s villages. We will be working with the Guatemalan people to help them develop skills to grow and develop sustainable businesses and relationships. From helping their crop program to teaching them business skills, basic communication and motor skills, as well as administering eye exams and mainly–sharing love and support.

The Guatemalan Situation

Image of La Limonada

La Limonada--The Largest Slum in Central America

Guatemala has recently been served a triple blow: 1) The Pacaya Volcano erupted spewing lava, rocks and debris just south of Guatemala city; 2)  This past Sunday, a sinkhole in the middle of Guatemala City swallowed a whole three-story building; and 3) Tropical storm Agathe hit parts of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras causing 150,000 people to evacuate due to heavy flooding and landslides. Adding to the situation, the United Nations recently reported that:

  • An estimated 43% of Guatemalan children below the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition, one of the worst rates in the world.
  • Guatemala has been hit by one of the worst droughts in 30 years, causing their worst famine in 30 years with 2.7 million people requiring urgent aid.

#loveroofs: 7 Roofs, 7 Families, 7 Days

Where do you turn during the rainy seasons in your life? For me, it’s home–it’s family. There are families, in one of the villages (vagueness is for security reasons) we are visiting that don’t have a safe place to go when the torrential rain comes. We want to help provide them a safe home by providing them roofs over their shelter–what I call #loveroofs for they will be funded and built with love to support the growth of love. The cost to do this is about $157 per home. Our goal is to raise $1,100 to provide seven roofs to seven families within seven days!

While there, I will be able to capture photos of the people in the village and help us all connect and enjoy in this journey together. Upon my return, I will share the pictures and insights with you so you know your money went to a good cause.

How You Can Help

Can you help us raise $1,100? I’ve been looking into ways to go about this so that we can all see the progress while being transparent at the same time–and I discovered CrowdRise. I’m a first timer, but I hear good things about the platform and will be able to report to you about how it all goes. All funds donated will be donated to the Amistad Foundation who will work with their contacts on the ground in Guatemala to make this happen (and I’ll provide images and updates as well). THANK YOU

DONATE:

Go to http://www.crowdrise.com/loveroofs, and give what you can. Our goal is to raise $1,100 to provide seven roofs to seven families within seven days!

Trust me when I say that both my family and myself understand the economic times–for us, this is truly a trip based in love and faith, so know that I understand if you can’t give–but we’ll take encouragement too. I plan on sharing this post with all those on the trip–so please leave a note of encouragement below. =)

Do you consider yourself an activist?

There are certain people you get really excited about meeting. One of those people for me was Geoff Livingston. A couple of weeks ago, I finally got the chance to meet him in person. During our conversation, he referenced me as an activist.

This was another first for me. I know Geoff said it with love, but no one has ever called me that, and I found myself pondering: Do I consider myself an activist? So, I let it marinate. And I came to three conclusions:

1. I do consider myself an activist. But then comes the question, what am I advocating for? I feel the answer to this question will continue to morph, evolve, and develop with time. For the longest time and presently, I am an advocate for a cure to multiple sclerosis. I’m also an advocate for my family, for human rights, for literacy and for social good. It may be cliche, but the quote, “Stand for something, otherwise you stand for nothing.”

Well, when my name is called, I want to feel confident about where I’m standing and why. This blog helps document my approach to activism as it’s deeply rooted in the belief I have in the process of social marketing and behavior change.

2. Being considered an activist is a good thing. I consider it a badge of honor. I know the word “activist” itself carries with it many ideas and immediate connotations from a variety of people, which is all great and dandy. However, what I realized was more important, was what it meant to me. I started thinking of others that I would deem “activists.” Maybe I’m just a little too on the optimistic side, but I first thought of those like Susan B. Anthony, Martin Lurther King Jr., Nelson Mandella, and my family.

You see, I feel like I come from a lineage of activists so to speak. One, my grandfather of about five generations ago was a Cherokee Indian Chief. Another super great uncle was an abolitionist with John Brown and was actually hung with him as documented in the book Man on Fire. Though I know that one is a bit extreme, there was my great-grandpa Russel who was a teacher…A teacher who lost his job because he didn’t believe in the segregation of his classroom. To carry on the torch and encourage others to join,  well, to me, that’s a good thing.

3. This, inherently, implies action. The word itself carries the word “act” in it. Are there “activists” that you don’t agree with? Yes. Are there activists with bad intentions? Yes. Are there activites who use approaches you don’t agree with? Yes. But, then, if that’s the case, act on it. =) Being an activist is what you make of it.

Find your voice. Channel your purpose….and I think you’ll find that you will want to ACT on whatever you feel called or led to do more than ever. Are you with me?

(*I hesitated writing this post, because I thought the word “activist” might lend itself to be controversial. But then I thought, hey, SB readers are pretty smart folks. They’ll have some good insights to stretch me even further on this. I’m counting on it. In the meantime, thanks Geoff for the compliment!)

flickr credit: RockChalk Jayhawk, John Rover

Is Everything Going 2.0?

Is everything going 2.0?

Health, Science, Museum, Birding, Philanthropy, Reputation, Enterprise, Food and more! Feel free to add to the list.

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

  • Museum 2.0 is a blog itself by Nina Simon that talks about how Web 2.0 can be applied in museum design. Nina paints her vision for the revitlization for museums and future possibilities here, and in her video.
  • Health 2.0: SocialButterfly’s own post sparked by recently released research studies, regarding the developments in the growing Health 2.0 field, offering numerous examples and resources.
  • Science 2.0: SocialButterfly’s own post on Science 2.0, including a mini-case study on the OpenWetWare project, voicing both concerns and future possibilities.
  • Birding 2.0: Michelle Riggen-Ransom as Social Media for Social Change wrote a great piece on Birding 2.0, about how Science 2.0 and technological developments are advancing great hobbies such as bird watching in the bird watching community.
  • Reputation 2.0: Jeff McCord looks at the importance of one’s online reputation when entering the trenches of the job search in his post titled, Reputation 2.0.

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

Other topics I Googled with a ‘2.0’ added that found results include Love 2.0, Crafts 2.0, Education 2.0, Music 2.0, Church 2.0 …What others can you find?

My First Meme, Letters to My Younger Self: A Lesson From Susie Buffet

Today, Kivi Leroux Miller at NonProfit Communications participated in a continuing blog posting style called a meme, titled: Meme: Excerpt from a Book on My Desk.

Until today, I did not know what a meme was or is. I’m pretty excited though, now that I know what it is, as I’m always looking for new ways to evolve the style of blog posts. (Another recent favorite is Bamboo Project’s 31 Day Comment Challenge Series. Today is Day 6 of the Challenge.)

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

A meme is like an internet chain letter, with depth. One blogger posts a topic or call to action, then tags 5-10 other people to follow suite and add to the ‘meme.’ This being my first tag in a meme, I am participating. Plus, I was pretty excited about the book nearest me…

Here is what I am supposed to do:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

It’s titled: What I Know Now, Letters to My Younger Self, written by a collaboration of accomplished and amazing women. Contributers include Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Ann Curry, Olmypia Dukakis, and many more! This book is great, because women need role models and mentors. This book offers just a glimpse into some of the more important LIFE lessons we learn along our journey.

When I’m finished reading, I plan on writing my own letter to my older self, and store it away to read at a later date. And another letter to my younger self, that I hope to one day pass on to a future daughter. This idea is what I’d like to forward in my version of the meme.

Not wanting to be a complete rule breaker though…this is what I found:

Page 123 was part of the letter Jane Bryant Quinn, author and columnist, writes to herself about parenting and what’s she learned from her kids. But, I preferred to share one of my favorite excerpts from the book instead, written by Susie Buffet, daughter of Warren Buffet, written back to her 17 year old self, about her admiration for her mother.

“Empathy has led her [Susie’s mother] to become extraordinarily accepting of others, but it’s also what makes her comfortable with acting unconventionally…Empathy doesn’t have to lead you to the routes she [mom] will follow, which may be a temptation, given your resemblance to her. The important thing is that it becomes part of your compass, too.”

If you wrote a letter to yourself, how old would you be and what would be your message?

I tag:

Britt Bravo

Cool People Care

SocialCitizen

Ian Wilker

New Voices of Philanthropy

Who is SocialButterfly? An Interview for BlogHer as the Interview-ee

Beth Kanter, of the Beth’s Blog, who I featured last month as the second member of SocialButterfly’s Blogger Neighborhood, interviewed me for BlogHer. My first official ‘professional’ interview as the interview-ee!

1. Tell me a little about you.

I am a social marketing believer, blogger, researcher, practitioner and enthusiast. Social marketing for good – not to be confused with social media marketing. Currently, my day job is a graduate student at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism where I will graduate this month. In June, I will start full-time at the social marketing firm I’ve been completing a fellowship at in Washington D.C., working on the client team representing the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As of this moment, I am defending my thesis, graduating and taking a moment to breath, =).

Academics and work aside, my passion is working with and on behalf of nonprofits. My family, myself and a small group of dedicated and committed individuals started a non-profit in Arkansas that benefits multiple sclerosis and works in partnership with the MS Society. In one year, with about eight people, no budget and two main events, we’ve raised over $275k.

2. Tell me about your thesis.

Just the word ‘thesis’ seems to make eyes glaze over, so I’ll try to keep this interesting. What influences you in the actions you take? the opinions or attitudes you hold? What shapes how you feel? Is it CNN broadcasting live, yahoo news feeds, a blog, your next door neighbor, or a guest lecturer? I’m supposing that it’s all the above and more. My research looks at the media landscape and the concept of influence and how this affects the public agenda….and within this mess and shades of gray, how and where the practice of social marketing fits in. I suggest social marketing offers us an opportunity to work collaboratively, erase divisions and provides a platform for those with similar motivations – doing good – to unite across industry fields, and thus, be more effective and successful.
I’m looking forward to hearing feedback and insights when I present the paper at the World Social Marketing Conference in Brighton, England this upcoming September 2008.
3. You’re a digital native (I am guessing ..:-) Millennial or whatever .. so, from your perspective in seeing various campaigns launched by nonprofits that use social media strategies, what are they doing right? What do they need to improve to appeal to folks like you?

Understandably, there are many questions about branching into social media and concerns about it being unregulated. But, I suggest, to just jump in. If not your organization, then you as the marketing/communications/outreach person. You, yourself, need to be familiar with new communication channels. I appreciate the digital native label….but I am constantly finding new applications and new strategies that online technology offers. So new or accustomed, there’s always more to learn.

When you’re open to learning, you’re open to opportunity.

4. Why do you think it is important for nonprofits to embrace social media?

For the same reasons why it is important for you to get to know your neighbors. Or, to teach your child how to change a tire. It just makes sense to know what’s out there and how it can be used.
5. What practical advice would you offer a nonprofit just dipping their toes in the social media waters?

Best practical tip, create a relatively simple, but not hackable password and keep it the same for all the accounts you are going to create. This stays true for the ID/name you create for your accounts. You’re identity still needs to be consistent, and practically, it helps you keep track and manage your online relationships.

Next, do a social media scan of your non-profit and/or cause using Technorati or a Google blog search. There are also social media apps that help you track keywords in the blogosphere. How can you know how to help further a cause, meet needs, etc., if you do not know what people are saying or how people currently perceive your organization/message?

6. Your 5 favorite social media or nonprofit blogs are:

There’s so many good ones out there, that it’s hard to choose. Narrowing it down to best blogs by women helps though…some I love include:
  1. Spare Change by Nedra Weinreich (social marketing)
  2. Have Fun * Do Good by Britt Bravo (nonprofit)
  3. Trendspotting by Dr. Taly Weiss (social media/marketing trends/research)
  4. NonProfit Communications/Carnival for Nonprofit Consultants by Kivi Leroux Miller (nonprofit)
  5. Lorelle on WordPress by Lorelle VanFossen (social media/wordpress help) She gets back to you very quickly with questions/comments too!
…and this one isn’t necessarily nonprofit or social media, but it’s a great break from the routine, work and provides good insight and entertainment: My Cool Job, by Carrie Lowery, where she interviews someone with a cool job multiple times a week and posts the interviews.

Thanks for the interview Beth!

Britt Bravo and SocialButterfly Unite Changeblogger Community

In late May, Britt Bravo at Have Fun * Do Good recruited her readers to create a list of Changebloggers – members of the blogging community who:

“…use their blog, podcast or vlog to raise awareness, build community, and/or facilitate readers, listeners, and viewers taking action to make the world better.”

On her blog, Britt developed a working list of 40+ Changebloggers, events and other online lists. Then a facebook group was created. Now, we are organizing our list further. I have created a Changeblogger Wiki that is being used to gather blogs and their author’s names, Twitter contact names, locations, create a shared list of Changeblogger meetups and events while also being a live idea-swapping forum.

The first idea pitched is develop a changeblogger logo. Thus, we are launching a Changeblogger logo contest! Check out the wiki for more details.

Currently, Britt is planning a Changeblogger meetup to correspond with the BlogHer conference in San Fransisco. At that conference, Britt is facilitating the Birds of a Feather session for Green, Social Change & NPO/NGO bloggers, Friday, July 18th from 10:30-11:45 AM. And, I plan to add a Changeblogger meetup to correspond with BlogHer’s Reach Out Tour in Washington D.C later this year in October.

So join the wiki and stay tuned for more ways to take online communications –> offline.


Bookmark and Share

My 4th of July Surprise

I apologize for being very MIA the past few days…it’s not like me. But, I had one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments happen over the holiday weekend:

I GOT ENGAGED!

Yes, this bog is about social marketing. Yes, it’s also about social media. But, for this small 300-word post, I’m going to share a BIG slice of my life with you. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July, and I just moved to Washington D.C. in January. My parents are my best friends and my boyfriend (now fiance) is the love of my life.

Jack Vettriano

Thus, the rents planned a 4th of July trip to D.C. for their first-ever visit to where I now call home. Little did I know that my now-fiance was plotting the whole time to pop the big question. A dinner cruise, a fancy red dress, the song ‘Lady in Red,’ (played by Dennis the piano player who learned the song just for this occassion), dancing and fireworks later….I was engaged. and it was all a surprise.

Life. Is. Great. =)


Bookmark and Share

An Afternoon Conversation Calls Me Back

I’m starting another series. Apparently, I like series. But I think readers do to, because it helps you know what kind of content to predict. Or, so Seth Godin tells us.

Today, I was fortunate enough to connect with one of SocialButterfly’s consistent readers at the Ad Council. I want to thank him through this blog as the conversation inspired me to start this new series: Social Marketing Classic Campaigns.

campaign

A month now into my ‘official’ new full-time role at work, I have slightly gotten a bit side-tracked in my enthusiasm for social media, that the true ‘social marketing’ aspect of my blog has been lacking. Thus, to complement the Social Media Highlight series I have, I’m starting this new one.

This afternoon’s conversation reminded me of what I think would be a DREAM job –> having the ability to brand social marketing, to further the field, to expand its practices and applications, to share its tool belt with those across industries and across nations, and to inspire more SocialButterflies…so to speak. =) But this can’t be accomplished alone, and we all play our part.

Thus, stay tuned as every other week I am going to showcase a classic social marketing campaign, and highlight movements in the field. Through this, I hope to elaborate on social marketing’s theory using real-world examples. As, I also realized this afternoon, that I’ve been focusing a lot on the promotional efforts of social marketing, which is a trend of the field and not just myself. Thus, I hope to highlight some really great campaigns.

It might be a small step towards the dream, but small steps can end up coving a large distance! If you have some ideas on some you’d like to see featured, feel free to post a note. Until then, social marketers unite!


Bookmark and Share

Debate Continues: Does anonymity hurt social media success?

As mentioned in my previous post, I read an interesting article by Dan Tynan titled: For Change, Use a Wiki. This particular article grabbed my attention not because of its discussion about wikis, but because of two other main points Tynan makes:

  1. Collaborative web sites are becoming tools for social change…driving collective work into collective action.
  2. The other reason this article grabbed my attention was because it brought up the issue of anonymity when dealing with collective action and social change by asking the question:

Does anonymity injure a social media initiative’s success?

Tynan not only talks about wikis potential good for social change, but also warns that this collective action can too easily mean collective anonymity.

With collective anonymity, it is harder to identify who is doing what and why. It is like an added shield of protection in someways in that with anonymity, accountability is lacking. This is especially dangerous when it comes to collective think.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Miss SocialButterfly, you are anonymous.” I am already ahead of you. I am open to disclosing who I am. If someone contacts me or asks me, and there is professional relationship-building occurring, then I will openly share who I am, what I am doing and why. Plus, I am an individual.

Thus, onto this question at hand. The article continues acknowledging that there will always be ill-intentioned individuals and groups out in existence and is optimistic that the good, the changebloggers and agents for good, will outnumber the bad.

Tynan gave two credentials for how to separate the pack for well-intentioned and ill-intentioned motives. The good will not be anonymous because A) They care about their online reputations and B) Want to collaborate for social change.

In conclusion, Tynan quotes quotes Andrew Hopping, Community Liaison for NASA’s CoLab wiki who shared:

“As with any technology, there are benevolent uses and malevolent ones. In any community I’m part of there’s little patience for people who want to stay anonymous. Our goal is to create a vibrant, transparent, and effective federal agency. To cause any form of social change, it starts with and ends with people you trust. Anonymity doesn’t lend itself to that at all.”

Where do you stand? Can social change be accomplished despite anonymity?