Archive for April, 2008

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


  • , started in 2006, is the marketplace for care, allowing hospitals and providers to ‘bid’ for consumers’ care
  •, 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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



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.


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. =)

April 30, 2008 at 3:12 am 9 comments

Free Rice: Mixing Online Learning and Entertainment with Giving

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, an interactive site that teaches about hunger and poverty, and even tracks how many hunger deaths occur per hour through a moving, interactive map…

Other Helpful Sites include:

April 28, 2008 at 8:48 pm 1 comment

Nominated Neighbor: Beth Dunn – social media enthusiast, non-profit practioner, and sock-knitter expert

Continuing my weekly “Blogger Neighborhood Series” and in honor of the great Mr. Rogers, who called us to “Get to know our neighbor,” Beth Dunn over at Small Dots shares her wit, personality and journey as the third neighbor in our series. Dunn was nominated by previously featured blog neighbor, Beth Kanter.

Blog Name: Small Dots

Blog Topic: Social media and other useful technology tools for nonprofits and the people who love them

About the Author: I am the Director of Communications and Technology for the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College, I pursued graduate studies in geology at Syracuse University. When I was 28, I bought a nightclub, euphemistically known as a “live-musicvenue,” in upstate New York and operated that for several years before returning to Cape Cod in 2002. I then worked for several years as a freelance editor for Random House Publishing, Sterling Publishing, and several scientific academic journals, and served as the Director of Communications for the Harwich Junior Theater before joining the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod in 2006.

I’ve been in communications since 1997, nonprofit communications since 2004, and I’ve been blogging since about 2003. I started blogging on a personal blog, and quickly branched out into writing weekly columns for several humor blogs (all of which are now sadly defunct). I’m a darn good public speaker, an enthusiastic baseball fan (but not for the team you would expect), and an ex-professional chef. I am also an expert sock-knitter. Yes, expert.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging? Be yourself. You can be no other.

If you could lived on any street, which street would you live on and why? Perry Lane. It’s the dirt road on which my great-grandfather’ s house still sits — an 1840 farmhouse on Cape Cod, only a few miles from where I live now. My grandfather had to sell it a few years ago, and none of us had the scratch to buy it from him at the time. I’d love to buy it back from the (very nice) folks who bought it, and then settle there. I mean, those ghosts are MY ghosts.

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor? Annie LaMott. She’s one of my favorite writers; she writes great fiction AND great non-fiction on the subject of writing, and I think we would make terrific neighbors. We have a lot in common, including a certain level of neuroticism, and a peculiar sense of humor.

Why do you blog? I’m a compulsive blogger, and I have been since I first started in 2003. I love to write, and I love how blogging keeps my writing skills sharp. I love the community of people that I have met through writing a blog and reading blogs. Blogging makes me global.

What’s your favorite blog post and why? The one where I compared CEOs (those who are averse to social media) to the Tiv tribe in Africa: Lost in Translation – Social Media and Hamlet. I was remembering that old Intro to Anthropology essay that we all had to read, about the young anthropologist who believes that Hamlet is universal and transcends cultural differences, and she faces hysterical obstacles in her quest to translate it to the indigenous population she is working with in Africa. I like it because it’s typical of the way I think, drawing strange metaphors and parallels from seemingly unrelated disciplines. It’s what we liberal arts college graduates are best at, I think.

Look out next week to see who else has been nominated in the neighborhood!


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 @

April 24, 2008 at 2:43 am 1 comment

Why invest in social marketing?

Joe, on the social marketing list serv, posed a great scenario the other week and has allowed me to share its results in a blog post, as I think many others will find the information helpful.

Joe posed the question that asked for research that shows why providing people with information does not change behavior alone…aka: how do you show the value of investing in social marketing?

The listserv showed its wisdom, value and use by its overwhelming response. The responses full of resources, tips and ideas are summarized below, thanks to Joe’s help.

Individual attribution to comments have been erased to protect the person’s privacy. Also, these comments are made by individuals and do not reflect the attitudes of the entire social marketing list serv or the author of this blog. But, it should provide some great food for thought and perhaps offer some ideas for effective social marketing. In no particular order…


1. Some people think information alone changes behaviors. Ask them this: Do most people in America know thateating less and being more active will lead to weight loss? Knowing that, we should all be thin, right, because we all know this

I have spent the last eight years using emotion to influence health related behaviors. Check out one project at this website that shows how emotions could be used to change health-related behaviors:

All marketing research says that emotions drive behaviors, not logic and fact alone. There are hundreds of books you could suggest, but here’s a simple one: Marketing Straight to the Heart by Barry Fieg

2. I don’t know of any one definitive study, but the example I often use is smoking. Numerous studies show that ‘everyone’ or at least the vast majority know that smoking is harmful, so giving people the facts just
isn’t enough.

3. I’m sure you could find information to this effect on the WHO site under health promotion. I believe also that Green & Kreuter discuss this with the PRECEDE-PROCEED model.

4. I would recommend you take a look at the ways that Safe Routes to School has opted to address the challenge of getting more kids to be active by walking or biking to school. The most broad and brief description of our issue is that involves changing behaviors to combat childhood obesity and also teach safety. Together with bicycle advocacy in general we’ve found that it’s not just education, but also encouragement, enforcement and engineering. Programs that don’t have a good balance of the 4 e’s don’t seem to be effective. I’d be happy to give you more information if you find it appropriate.

5. To that I would add the same thought around drinking and driving. Not only do people know it’s bad and potentially very harmful, it is even against the law, yet people continue to engage in the behavior.

6. How about these:

Tobacco. For a decade we let people know that tobacco kills one out of three people. It wasn’t until we began increasing taxes (price), decreasing access for minors (place), making people smoke outside (ambiance), and providing quit lines (products) that we saw significant decrease (about 50% decrease since 1964).

Seatbelts. Letting people know that “we love you so buckle up” only got about half of us to do it. It took primary seatbelt laws, increased fines, more comfortable seatbelts, “ding ding ding” sounds as reminders.

Recycling. Look at the low rates of recycling before we began providing containers (products) and streetside pickup (place) and in come communities fines for putting recyclables into garbage cans (price).

Organ Donation: We would not have the numbers of organ donors (although still not what we need) if we didn’t have sign up when getting/renewing our drivers license (Place).

Voting: Oregon has the highest voting rates in the country because they have the (only) vote-by-mail (place).

7. Here are a couple of other sources from the public health field:

This one talks about ineffective strategies related to college students and alcohol.

You could also check: I believe that they probably have some statements in their reviews about the ineffectiveness of straight education efforts.

8. Ok, here’s the grand daddy: What customers Think by Gerald Zaltman of Harvard School of Business. A painful book to read, but it is loaded with tons of research studies documenting that feelings are more important than facts. Don’t buy the book–it’s not one you’ll love to read. It’s in almost every library. Other (less painful) options: The Marketing Power of Emotion by John and Nicholas O’Shaughnessy by Oxford press. Body of Truth: Leveraging what consumers can’t or won’t say by Dan Hill. Who am I: The 16 Basic desires that motivate our actions and define our personalities by Steven Reiss of Ohio State. I’ve attached an article by him for a quick start.

9. I find it also helps to provide an example of when communication alone does work so they can see the difference in the factors that influence behavior. The example I like is SIDS. When we communicated that all you need to do is put your child to sleep on his back, the behavior change was readily adopted. But how hard is it to do that behavior. It doesn’t require any special equipment or special/skilled knowledge or special kind of person to do the action. Unless there is a cultural taboo against sleeping on one’s back, then this was easy to get people to do with communication alone. Not to mention that the potential outcome was highly prized and the opposite behavior could lead to catastrophic outcomes. So it was east to cut through the clutter, be heard, and be motivated — all pretty much with just communication. Then I show them Nancy Lee’s examples and point out why communication alone didn’t change behavior initially.

10. The challenge in finding research is this is one of those “it depends” issues. In some cases, such as when there is a severe threat and an easy-to-perform action, information IS enough to change the behavior of many — two examples I recall are putting babies on their back to sleep to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and not giving children aspirin to avoid Reye’s Syndrome.

However, in many other cases, information alone isn’t. Mike Rothschild’s “Carrots, Sticks and Promises” article may either be what you need or point you to it — especially the discussion of the Motive, Opportunity, Ability framework (e.g., for info alone to work, one must have the motivation, opportunity and ability to make the change). You can find it here:

This is old, but the proceedings from a USDA-sponsored evaluation conference meet the “easy, understandable language” criterion and may help you; a focus of the conference was the situations in which nutrition education “works” and some of the speakers make the points you are probably
trying to find documented: Isobel
Contento’s session should reference a published lit review that draws some of the same conclusions. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at this document, but some of the discussion was around the many situations in which the Knowledge-attitude-behavior paradigm just doesn’t work, and the need to also address the environment in which the behavior is taking place.

11. The example I use when presenting is to ask people to raise their hands if they know that eating right and getting regular exercise are important for good health (almost all hands go up). Then I ask how many people in the room actually do eat right and get enough exercise (half or so will raise their hands).

12. I think CSAP’s (SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technology) environmental approach to alcohol abuse, misuse and underage drinking prevention may offer support for your argument. There is little doubt that a comprehensive approach to substance abuse prevention is the most effective means to see positive results. CSAP basically suggests besides information dissemination and education, policy change and alternatives are necessary for success. Another organization, PIRE, (Pacific Institute for Research Evaluation) provides more than adequate data to support the necessary inclusion of policy change to reduce DUI’s and underage drinking. You can find that data on their site. I’ve believed that the three legged stool metaphor is appropriate for alcohol misuse prevention. Information dissemination, alternatives and policy change are the legs that support behavioral change. Many would argue that addressing individual factors included in the universal, school, family and peer environments also need to be addressed and I would have a difficult time arguing with that. The bottom line is comprehensive approaches are best. I hope this helps.

13. You might want to look at the accessible work of Larry Green, who developed the PRECEDE-PROCEED models for (health) behavior change. His web site notes that there some 960 published studies that apply this model and he includes a link to a bibliography. There is also the body of work by Martin Fishbein at UPenn. His two key contributions to behavior change research: the Theory of Reasoned Action and Expectancy-Value Theory might bolster your (correct) assertion that it takes more than information to change behavior. You need to understand the larger context of how people perceive and value the information, and how attitude plays a major role. Wikipedia has accessible explanations of this scientifically rigorous work. Hope this helps. Web sites of other government agencies, such as the National Cancer Institute, may help. They have huge programs studying how to optimize communication (they don’t refer to it as social marketing, but that’s what it is) in order to produce behavior change. NCI’s Pink Book (aka Making Health Communication Programs Work) is a concrete example of what another gov’t agency is doing in this arena.

14. While in my graduate program in public health we learned that effective programs must include components of Knowledge Attitude and behavior change. Please check out the following resource on tools for Behavior Change Communication: Under the section labeled “Understand Audience and other Potential Participants..” Collect in depth information about the audience: What are their knowledge attitudes and beliefs about health? To further support your argument you can also refer to the basic rules of evaluation… Establishing program objectives and deciding the particular evidence (such as the specific knowledge, attitudes, or behavior) that will demonstrate that the objectives have been met. A key to successful evaluation is a set of clear, measurable, and realistic program objectives. If objectives are unrealistically optimistic or are not measurable, the program may not be able to demonstrate that it has been successful even if it has done a good job. I hope this is of help to you.

Still with us?? =)

Check out the US Forest Service’s research station. An excellent contact there is Pat Winter, PhD, a USFS employee who conducts research that may relate to your mission as well. At least, you can show that federal agencies understand the value of social marketing and are active in defining how it can be used to meet their goals.

16. I hope this helps. This article tells of a specific program that helps in drinking and driving in a Texas City. I have not analyzed the methods, but sounds very interesting. Also the Dept of Texas funds a drinking and driving program for young adults. The program is run by an Sherry Matthews Advocacy Agency in Austin, if you need more info let me know. The website is:

17. You can try searching this reference-see below for a brief summary (Redman, Spencer and Sanson-Fisher, 1990) though it’s a bit outdated, it might give you a bit of a start. This was taken from page 10 of The Health Communication Unit’s resource booklet on communication campaigns.

When applied on their own-without complementary strategies such as community mobilization-the ability of some health communication campaigns to effect change is limited. In particular, a large body of evidence suggests that health communication campaigns relying exclusively on media appeals are not a sufficient means of changing attitudes and behaviour. In some contrast to the meta analysis found on this page, recent review of 24 published evaluations of health promotion programs revealed that media alone interventions had little impact on behaviour (Redman, Spencer and Sanson-Fisher, 1990).

18. Of course, the answer is (as it always seems to be when you look closely), “it depends.” On the behavior in question, that is. A very good scientific discussion of the if/thens is provided in Leslie Snyder’s meta-analysis. The reference is: Snyder LB. J Nutr Educ Behav. Health communication campaigns and their impact on behavior. 2007 Mar-Apr;39(2 Suppl):S32-40.

19. I think this might help you out a bit…(abstract) This paper proposes that stigma in relation to people with mental illness can be understood as a combination of problems of knowledge (ignorance), attitudes (prejudice) and behaviour (discrimination). From a literature review, a series of candidate interventions are identified which may be effective in reducing stigmatisiation and discrimination at the following levels: individuals with mental illness and their family members; the workplace; and local, national and international. The strongest evidence for effective interventions at present is for (i) direct social contact with people with mental illness at the individual level, and (ii) social marketing at the population level.

20. This is an issue I deal with all the time and there’s tons of research to the contrary. Most behaviour change theories use some variant of the motivation, opportunity, ability model where knowledge is just one aspect of ability. If there’s no opportunity to behave or motivation to behave knowledge alone won’t work. Here’s one reference: Keller, Kevin Lane. “Memory Retrieval Factors and Advertising Effectiveness.” In Advertising Exposure, Memory and Choice, edited by Andrew A. Mitchell. New Jersey; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 1993. If you’d like more please let me know. In an ideal world I’d suggest doing a KAPB survey and asking the same questions of those who already do what you want and those who don’t.
Ask a bunch of knowledge questions as well as other motivation, opportunity and ability questions. If the knowledge levels of those who behave and those who don’t behave are the same it’s clearly not the key thing driving behaviour and sadly this data is often necessary to finally convince people not to focus on knowledge.

21. Perhaps the point is not so much providing evidence to this person(there is lots of that), but acknowledging that they do have a point and then showing them evidence that while info alone can bring about change, enhancing the info/facilitating/etc etc can bring about greater change & faster. The fact is that many people do change their behavior on the basis of information alone. The Sloan-Kettering report on cancer & tobacco tar in 1953 and the 1964 Surgeon-General’s report on smoking were both followed by declines in smoking rates without any campaigns or other measures. However smoking rates began (and continued) to decline significantly when advertising campaigns dramatized & personalized the information. (Of course not all behaviours are the same — nor are all people – and that is another point).

Hope this helps! =)

April 23, 2008 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

18 Fun, Unique Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Going green on a daily basis is great….but who doesn’t like another reason to celebrate?

Join millions around the globe in celebrating Earth Day, this Tuesday, April 22, 2008. Here are some of the many ways you can join in the celebration:

1. I first want to congratulate you because the easiest way to celebrate Earth Day is to learn more about the earth and earth-related topics (recycling, global warming, agriculture, the ozone, water use, etc). You are already being proactive in this area by reading this blog post. =)

2. To learn more, plan a library day and check-out books about the earth.

3. Read about the history of Earth Day from the perspective of the founder of Earth Day, former Wisconsin Governor and Senator Gaylord Nelson.

4. Go through some serious ‘Spring Cleaning’ and donate games, clothes, books, movies, etc. to your local Goodwill.

5. Wear green or brown. If you dig this, more companies are created earth-friendly clothing, check out this brief article to find out what popular brands H & M, Victoria’s Secret, Lucky Brand Jeans and others are doing to get green.

6. Cook a special Earth Day dinner featuring organic foods.

7. Have an Earth Day Arts and Crafts Day. Kaboose lists some great earth-friendly arts and crafts activities that both you and your children/students will enjoy that use fun materials such as egg cartons, laundry soap containers, rocks, toothbrushes, coffee grounds and more!

8. Rent a movie that covers earth-related topics. This site lists environmental movies based on a subject search from Free Willy to to Banana Split, March of the Penguins, UnNatural Causes and more for every movie interest.

9. Plan an Earth Day Observance among friends or in your community. Charge $2-5 and donate the funds to a local earth-friendly charity.

10. Plant trees and do a dedication.

11. Build a birdhouse with your kids and/or family to encourage the local bird population, using various recycled pieces.

12. Review my post “Going Green,” which lists 40+ ways to go green in the kitchen, restroom, when cleaning, around the house, when shopping, eating, for activities and in entertainment, etc.

13. Leave your car at home and bike or walk to work. Or, plan a carpool.

14. Check out this Earth Day 2008 Calendar to see if there is an event being held in your area.

15. Change your avatar or icon on any of the social media: Twitter, Facebook, in comments, etc. to green.

16. Check out The Earthday Network for more information and opportunities to have your voice heard regarding the politics surrounding Earth Day issues.

17. Register your Earth Day event with the current list of over 12,000 and growing!

18. Share your message on Google’s interactive Earth Day map!

Add your own Suggestion in the comments! =)

April 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm 3 comments

3 of the Latest Reasons Why I Love Twitter

Ok. I’m joining the bandwagon of bloggers who are posting their love for Twitter.


Twitter is a micro-blogging social media site that asks the question, “What are you doing?” Users who have logged in and registered for the free service can then answer the question within 140 characters or within multiple updates. Twitter works by people agreeing to ‘follow’ a certain Twitter account. Once following this account, the person then gets the account’s updates.


Twitter also seems to be used by an older demographic according to, with 24% of its users being between the age of 25-34, followed by 22% of users being 35-44, with 69% having a college education or higher.

Currently, the use of Twitter is greater outside of the United States according to the makers of Twitter. See graph below.

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One advantage to Twitter is that it is gaining in its popularity and recognition of its advances into mobile technology as Twitter has applications for cellphones, PDAs, and with other social media such as blogs, social networking sites and instant messenger, many of which, are free.

Twitter Case Studies

@womenshealth and @Health provide Tweets providing information and health tips that link to their home page. For more case studies that highlight the extent of health uses for Twitter, see Nedra Weinreich’s great post, Twitter for Health.

Thus, here are my top 3, latest and greatest reasons why I love Twitter.

1. Get to know the “day in the life” of CEOs who tweet

As more companies create a Twitter account, @zappos, @Jetblue, @southwest, etc….not only do I enjoy the frequent competitions to give out giveaways to Twitter followers…but you get to know the everyday happenings of those with some pretty cool jobs.

From my observation, the company’s Twitter account is run by the CEO, President or another higher up. As this person updates their tweets, it shows me more about what goes on in the lives of those with great responsibility….something you can’t get any other way, even in a blog.

2. There’s so much Potential

Twitter is constantly expanding. Almost everyday I’m seeing a new use for Twitter or a new Twitter application. Just scanning the Twitter Wiki, there are over 50 cool Twitter applications for Twitter metrics, Twitter mobile applications, multi-platform apps, SecondLife Twitter apps, Twitter for Mac apps, Twitter for Windows apps…. It’s just amazing. And, this is only the beginning.

3. It never gets boring

Twitter and the Twitosphere never gets boring. Twitter, in its natures, Inspires creativity and innovation with what can you do with 140 characters…here are some of the uses I’ve found:

  • Linking to recent blog posts
  • Twittfeed acting as an automatic feed for your blog
  • Linking to favorite news articles
  • Creating a buzz around certain issues to address issues
  • as a fund-raising tool
  • to launch a contest (@zappos told ppl to Twitt their fav. quote to them and the winner would get free shoes!)
  • To meet people in a new area
  • find contacts for new business
  • announce events
  • Twitter questions, tips, facts or ask for help. I.E Question: When did Columbus sail the ocean blue? Help: What blog platform do you recommend?


So, Join the conversation! =). You can follow me @socialbttrfly

April 18, 2008 at 10:54 pm 3 comments

Get to Know Your Neighbor: Beth Kanter

Continuing my weekly “Blogger Neighborhood Series” and in honor of the great Mr. Rogers, who called us to “Get to know our neighbor,” Beth Kanter over at Beth’s Blog is the second neighbor featured in this series.

Blog Name: Beth’s Blog

Blog Topics: How nonprofits can use social media

About the Author:

Beth Kanter is a trainer, blogger, and consultant to nonprofits and individuals in effective use of social media. Her expertise is how to use new web tools (blogging, tagging, wikis, photo sharing, video blogging, screencasting, social networking sites, and virtual worlds, etc) to support nonprofits. She has worked on projects that include: training, curriculum development, research and evaluation. She is an experienced coach to “digital immigrants” in the personal mastery of these tools. She is a professional blogger and writes about the use of social media tools in the nonprofit sector for social change. (Borrowed from Kanter’s blog. For more information, click here.)

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

Learning and Reflection Street – it would be a street where you can take time to learn and reflect any what you curious about

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Someone who understood reciprocity and wasn’t intrusive

Why do you blog?
I started blogging because I am a trainer and writer and wanted a place to write, so I could remember or figure out how to use technology tools. My blog is my journal – I’ve always kept a journal – but the difference is that everyone reads it.

What inspires you to blog?

When I’m trying to learn something new.

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

I don’t think I’d want to customized license plate ….

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

A colleague asked for advice. I wanted to get other people to participate, but it was sensitive so I created a simulation – a funny one.

See the link below to see how Beth combined creativty and humor to ask a very important question about how to react to potential online criticism towards your non-profit, company or organization. —>

What’s currently your favorite social media application our blogger community should utilize more?

That’s hard. But I’ve been enjoying Twitter of late. (You can follow Beth on Twitter @kanter)

Now, here’s a question for YOU: How has Beth Kanter’s work influenced you or your community?


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 @

April 17, 2008 at 2:34 am 4 comments

Is everything marketing?

The other day I was having a conversation and someone made the remark that “Some people think everything is marketing!” This, as usual, got my brain thinking… everything marketing?

Backing up, you have to have a clear understanding of what marketing is and what marketing is not to make such a judgment. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as:

“Marketing is an organizational function and a set of process for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”

Now, let’s say you get that definition…and lets even go as far to say that you have some marketing experience and academic marketing background…is everything marketing?

What if you have none of these…what’s your perspective? What’s your view on marketing then and – is everything marketing?

I ask this question because of one observation I made the other day getting off the metro…

A homeless man stood need the escalator and asked for a quarter. Walking further along, I saw a homeless man sitting, with his cup on the sidewalk as he read a book. And it occurred to me, that the man by the escalator who asked for a quarter is smart – in a marketing way. But, I don’t think many people other metro goers would pick up on this…but this is why I found this man marketing-smart:

  1. Place: He picked a prime location, where people are coming and going, so there is higher traffic and a greater chance that someone would give money
  2. Price: He asked for a specific amount. If someone asks for money, nothing new. But, this was the first time I had heard a man ask for a specific amount, and I wondered if this saw a better return, a strategy so to speak that he had learned from experience.

So, I ask you…is this marketing? I would say yes. Is everything marketing?

From my perspective, because I’m so entrenched in my marketing world, I might say yes (though realistically and in academia, it is a big, no.) But, I would say that everything might be considered…strategic communication. My undergrad major is strategic communications. I think this might be a better way to approach the question…is everything marketing? No, but everything involves strategy.

This question is similar to other statements like…everyone is selling something or everything comes down to sales. I bet some of our corporate friends and corporate agencies would sure feel like its that way! In regards to how the infamous ‘Double-Ds,’ data and dollars, seem to drive many organizations.

(as a disclaimer, I know the dangers of using absolutes like everything, never, always…but I wanted to use it for dramatic purposes….perhaps dare I say, to be strategic?)

What do you think?? Is everything marketing?

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April 16, 2008 at 1:03 am 10 comments

(Ad Council and IAA) Survey Says: More Social Marketing!

At this past week’s International Advertising Association’s World Congress in Washington D.C, the Ad Council and IAA revealed results from the Ad Council IAA Member Survey on Social Advertising Programs. For all social marketers out there, the results are on our side.

Among the Key Findings, the following figures were given in support of social marketing:

  • 57% of respondents felt their country should implement MORE social marketing campaigns than it currently has.
  • 61% said their country NEEDS HELP developing social marketing campaigns.
  • 90% of respondents expressed interest in sharing and learning MORE about research and creative materials for social marketing campaigns in other countries.

As I was in attendance during this conference, you can imagine how STOKED I was about this. I had to pinch myself. Here I was at the IAA World Congress, and did I hear right:  We are talking about social marketing. The real social marketing. Not social media. I could barely contain myself. Then, it happens again, and then again. And then I realize, the IAA is trying to educate and send a message to the ad community: invest in social marketing!

But where were we social marketers? our experts in the field? our voice? Absent. Here was a chance to share our passion, knowledge, excitement and message with the very industry that we can work with….and we weren’t there. So, here is my message for this post. Social marketing is great and wonderful. But we can’t stay in our bubble. We’ve reached out to the non-profit community, but all advertisers aren’t bad. There are big movers and shakers who want to do good and see the value in doing goog. We need to integrate ourselves with them….not be divisive.


These results were shared with the Advertising industry during the IAA presentation for the 1st Social Responsibility advertising awards. These awards were presented with cooperation between IAA and ACT Responsible. The Grand Prix winner was “Signature” for Amnesty International by TBWA/Paris. To see the rest of the recipients, go here.

(This was a web-based survey through Zoomerang among IAA members from December 13, 2007 to February 11, 2008. 204 completed surveys were received from member respondents in six continents. Respondents included respondents from advertisers, ad agencies, media outlets, research companies, trade associations and universities.)

April 11, 2008 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

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Meet Alexandra Rampy, aka SocialButterfly

I am a social marketing believer, blogger, practitioner, researcher and enthusiast. This site highlights the growing movement of social marketing. Learn more about social marketing and how to be your own socialbutterfly--> here.

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