Archive for September, 2008

Live from the World Social Marketing Conference: Recap 1

Awestruck, inspred, and amazed, I am reporting live from the World Social Marketing Conference here in Brighton, England. There are so many great and brillant minds present here with over 700+ delegates from across the globe.

We have journalists, policy makers, psychologists, gurus, non-profiteers, communication firms, academics, new media techs, international developers, champions for the environment, public health professionals, humanity, researchers, consultants, publishers and many more from across sectors.

Delegates represent South Africa, India, the U.S., England, Portugal, China, Australia, Bangladesh, Slovenia, New Zealand, Senegal in West Africa, Wales, Scotland and many more!

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To follow conference updates, Dr. Stephen Dann is commanding the Twittering front @WSMC, and you can following using Twitter Search #WSMC08. Also, presentations and pictures may be gathering on Flickr and Slideshare down the line. I look forward to a posting full of pictures later myself, but here are some great recaps thus far (though, literally, I could post on each one individually!)

Craig Lefebvre: In his keynote, Lefebvre (who I finally got the wonderful opportunity to connect with), brought us social marketers into the danger zone and challenged us, as a global community to form a social marketing global platform. I won’t do Lefebvre’s vision for the field justice in this space, but Lefebvre is laboring tirelessly to rally support for an international professional network, that would be inclusive of those in social marketing, environment issues, public health, business thought leaders, psychologists, economists, marketers, social entreprenuers and more! It could/would involve a case study database, a journal, educational development and shared experiences for all: thus highlighting the variety of roles us social marketers, can, do and should have in the social change sector. Currently, Lefebvre has raised a quarter of a million dollars to support this organization and asks: What will you do?

Philip Kotler: A guru favorite for many conference delegates, Kotler laid out his most recent work on the subject of poverty. Kotler and colleague Nancy Lee, in their next book, apply social marketing to the problem of poverty. Within the presentation, Kotler identified four main methods currently being used to reduce poverty:

  1. Economic Growth Strategy
  2. Redistribution Strategy
  3. Massive Foreign Aide
  4. Population Control

In this book, Kotler and Lee lay out a 10-step process for demystifying the poverty problem while providing resaons why it is all of ours problem. Looking at the World Bank and The U.N.’s Millenium goals, and the approachng deadline for results, this application is most needed.

Nancy Lee: In a wonderfully graceful way, Lee provided four clear examples on how social marketing utilizing all four of the 4Ps – product, price, place, promotion. Lee concluded that her state, Washington, hopes to become a role-model to gain the attention of those in Washington D.C. and further establish social marketing as a working strategy and field. My favorite part of her presentation was her exclamation that social marketing must become a required course. I highly agree, and ask: What is one way, us in the trenches, can make social marketing a required course? My answer: ask for it. Students, and those interested in social and behavior change: investigate social marketing. Ask about it. Reach out. Demand it.

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These are my first three updates, and the computer area is closing, so thus, I must close. More to come in following days!

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September 29, 2008 at 5:38 pm 1 comment

The Social Marketing Blogosphere Continues to Expand: Welcome Mike Newton-Ward

I am excited to announce the addition of a great social marketing voice to the blogosphere, Mike Newton-Ward at Social Marketing Panorama, where he hopes to offer a 360-view of social marketing.

My first encounter with Mike was when he graciously helped me with my graduate project this past Spring. Though we’ve only ‘met’ through phone, email and now blogging, he is a very knowledge, helpful and passionate voice for the social marketing field.

Mike outlines a few reasons why he entered the blogosphere:

  • Exchange ideas about social marketing
  • Extend the discussions from Georgetown’s social marketing list serv
  • Create community
  • Share resources, as well as his personal observations in the field

Mike’s addition to the blogosphere is a special treat for all of us as he invites us to:

to observe the world around you, listen to what people are saying, reflect on your experiences, and share them.”

Social marketing’s presence in the blogosphere continues to expand and gain traction. Join the metamorphosis. Come fly with us in this growing movement called social marketing.

For more social marketing-related blogs, my links page offers many more resources and listings!

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September 24, 2008 at 11:38 pm 2 comments

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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September 24, 2008 at 1:23 am 2 comments

6 Would-be-Conversations with 6 Wonder-Bloggers I’d Love to Meet

1. Guy Kawasaki: I just started reading Guy’s book “The Art of the Start,” and already, I’m hooked and have developed my mantra. Thank you to my boss for recommending it. (We’ll see if my boss keeps up on my blog now. =) I was already a Kawasaki fan due to my interactions and experiences with Alltop.com. Plus, when I found out about the pregnant man a month before it debuted on Oprah from Guy’s Truemor’s site, I thought, this is no ordinary guy.

Conversation: What ingredient turns you into the Energizer Bunny? On a more serious note, in the very beginning, when you were with Apple and all, what made you finally let go of the ledge, and follow that first big idea?

2. Rohit Bhargava: Not only does he work for a very well established company at Ogilvy PR, but he doesn’t let himself get comfortable. He seems to always be on the go, expanding his own personal horizons, and living his passions and interests. I feel that, from reading and following his blog, he is in the business because he truly loves it – a rare quality in a marketer.

Conversation: Let’s talk about 1) writing a book 2) publishing a book and 3) a book tour. This year Rohit published Personality Not Included, and in doing so, not only elevated his personal brand, but also expanded his following, further established his name, helped elevate his company, met some cool peeps, seemed to have buckets of fun, and made a mohawk chicken cool in the process. Not an easy task, especially the chicken.

3. Craig Lefebvre: Dr. Lefebrve’s blog has encouraged and inspired me professionally as he writes, researches, practices and pretty much breathes all items social marketing. I am continually learning from him and inspired by his leadership in a field that is working to grow itself and its professionalism.

Conversation: Dr. Lefebvre has a range of experiences in the states, and from what I gather, abroad. Plus, he’s a professor. I am a journalism major; thus, I love asking questions. And professors have loads of information, but they share that information with a learning curve in mind. Not to be flashy. Not to gain attention. But to share….hence open publishing. First item: Where do you envision the field 5, 10, 20 years from now?

4. Geoff Livingston: Geoff seems like an all-around great guy, go-getter, and someone who ‘gets it.’ Not only has he published a book, started a growing company, leads a great team (go Qui and friends), is a recognized leader in the field, is an off-line role model, but he also sincerely wants to do good. This is the apple in the eye of Socialbutterfly readers. Keep that eye on Livingston Communications and the Buzz Bin. They are going to re-define how we do business.

Conversation: Business is still business, but I’ve read on the Buzz Bin that you all have some tricks up your sleeves that you will be rolling out. And, that this could include a social entrepreneur-type set-up. Now, this is a conversation I am all ears (all two of them) about hearing.

5. Beth Kanter: If you are not familiar with Beth, I recommend getting familiar. She is the go-to-guru for all items non-profit tech. A fundraiser, writer, blogger, practioner, speaker and sector role model, Beth continually gives us her best. I follow Beth’s blog like it’s my job. She offers the tips, she begins conversations that need discussing, highlights those in the field, calls us to action and gets us involved.

Conversation: When do you sleep? Do you even sleep? Though she’s posted about her experiences and shares them, there is something to be said about hearing it first hand. This is why I want to hear specifically about Beth’s outreach and work in Cambodia. How, why, when? I’m an avid traveler, and the fiance and I really did consider the Peace Corps vs. real jobs last year, so would love to hear more how Beth has combined her love for social media, non-profits with work abroad.

6. Chris Brogan: If there is anyone’s writing style I love, it’s Chris Brogan’s. He lays it out. Step by step. And, he magically succeeds in being relational, personal, yet professional and educational all at the same time. Not only do I love Brogan’s resourceful blog, but also his helpful e-newsletters, which had a great free e-book about personal branding the other week.

Conversation: About personal branding…(smile), let’s explore that some more shall we? Now, I am probably one of very few, who have yet to see Brogan present, let alone have the honor of a face-to-face conversation. My question would be: how do you manage multiple personal brands? Or, let me re-phrase: multiple personal interests –> online. Another one: what are the biggest mistakes people make with their personal brand online?

What about you? What would be the conversation you would want to have if you got to meet some of your own personal wonder-bloggers?

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September 18, 2008 at 3:01 am 10 comments

Announcement: Social Marketing Association Survey and New Blog Announced

Two weeks out from the World Social Marketing Conference in Brighton, London, and a fabulous new development was announced today regarding social marketing in the United States.

About the Survey

Bob Marshall, along with a slew of other social marketing thought leaders, have launched an open online survey asking others’ opinions about what a national strategic social marketing plan, including a professional organization, would look like in the United States.

The survey I’m very excited to say is designed for respondents at all levels of interest (students, new and career practitioners, experienced expert) across all related fields from social marketing, public health, environment, communication, social sector, education, and more. Basically, anyone interesed in using social marketing as a systematic approach to promoting behavior change and social change that benefits both individuals and society.

The survey is anonymous, and results will be shared on the new blog launched to support the project called the USSocialMarketingPlan in the next few weeks. Organizers are hoping to have enough participants to announce some results by the WSMC in Brighton. Craig Lefebrve also announced the survey on his blog for more information as well.

This is EXCITING news and in my opinion, definitely overdue. But, it’s a start. I had wanted to do this survey myself as part of my master’s thesis, but was advised to wait by others, so I’m happy it is now being conducted, and the collaborative approach will probably encourage more participants. =)

Participate in the survey here.

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September 16, 2008 at 1:06 am 1 comment

To 2.0 or not 2.0? That is the Government’s Question

**This article I wrote was originally published at ReadWriteWeb on September 10, 2008. And P.S., I still don’t have the internet, but the install is scheduled for Wednesday…hence the blogging delay. Thank you for your understanding!

And we’ve got the answer. Three of them actually: Listen, learn, and let go.

Let’s face it, Web 2.0 is a buzzword. And when it comes to government, change, and innovation, we have to reach beyond buzzwords. Surprising to some, the government isn’t too far beyond.

The other week Mark Drapeau, Government 2.0 columnist for Mashable, suggested that the government is currently in a state of 1.4, at least when it comes to Twitter.* I would agree, however, as my lovely professors back in grad school taught me to say, “it depends.”

Government is doing some amazing social media initiatives to better serve their constituents, and why not – social media is all about increasing the democratization of communications. The government serves its people, and thus, it’s a perfect match.

We government-familiar types know of the greatness that is CDC – from their virtual world explorations in Whyville and SecondLife, to their numerous podcasts, e-cards, MySpace page and blog, and their CDC-TV channel, they are leading the way. But there’s more.

The EPA has its own cause on Facebook for its EnergySTAR program to stop global warming. The U.S. Intelligence Agency has it’s own data-sharing and social network-esque called Intellipedia. TSA uses its blog Evolution of Security as instrumental to its customer service abilities. Not to mention, there are currently 7 head directors and decision makers with their own blog. But, I will admit that some areas in government just need some more coaching.

If you are within government or outside of government, here are three helpful strategies to be the social media maven for your agency: Listen. Learn. And Let go.

These three strategies are listed in no particular order as they all circle one another. Think back when you learned how to ride a bike. You did not let go of the training wheels, until you have learned how to ride the bike. But, you couldn’t learn how to ride the bike, until you listened to the instructions. Same deal.

Listening

The more you learn about the space, the more comfortable you will become. This will involving listening to webinars and speakers on the topic. For starters, the CDC is having a live web dialogue on September 18th with an expert panel to talk about how government health agencies can integrate social media practices into their initiatives. There are currently 217 people signed up!

Listening also involves learning how to search, and how to search effectively. Largely, learning how to navigate the RSS feeder. I know it looks intimidating. I was at first too. But, it’s called Real Simple Syndication for a reason, because it really can be simple. Check out Google Reader or Bloglines or email me, and we can work together.

Learning

While listening, you will learn. It’s inevitable. I have best found that learning is maximized when you live with what Geoff Livingston said best in one of Buzz Bin blog posts, “You cannot underestimate the value of remaining teachable.” Attending speakers, applying your knowledge and participating in the space as an individual all help facilitate learning.

For example, Sec. Mike Leavitt and a group of world leaders came together in 2007 to create the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog. Through this short-term blog, conversations and discussions were shared leading up to an offline Leadership Forum. Taking the lessons learned from this experience, Sec. Leavitt launched his own blog on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August 2007.

Letting Go

As your listening and learning combines, eventually, you will feel more comfortable in letting go. And letting go can include baby steps. Like, the case of Sec. Leavitt, you can build upon past activities. Do gather the statistics. Do highlight other case studies.

• Perhaps, instead of creating your own social network, it begins with placing a web badge or banner about your initiative on a social network.
• Perhaps, instead of creating a Twitter account feed, you conduct Twitter searches for your government agency’s name and important keywords.
• Perhaps, instead of creating your own blog, first do a guest entry on an already established blog.
• Perhaps, when pitching new information or publications to traditional news outlets, see if that media organization has a relevant blog column or social media reporter and share your information with him or her.

The ideas are endless, which is why being relevant is core. Let’s not be doing things for the sake of doing them. Let’s connect in meaningful ways. The tools may be new, but the importance of relationship-building and support remain constant. I’m excited to have the opportunity to highlight in this Government 2.0 column ways our government is being innovative as we all listen, learn and let go together.

*Context and attribution corrected.

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September 15, 2008 at 3:03 am 3 comments

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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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