Posts filed under ‘Useful Tools’

The Bookshelf: 15 Essential Social Marketing Feeds

Going off of Ogilvy PR’s “Essential 15 Pack” of RSS feeds to follow, I’ve developed the “Essential 15 Feeds for Social Marketers.” To follow the feed, just click on the name and the link. Enjoy!


  1. Spare Change, authored by social marketing expert Nedra Weinreich (Link corrected*)
  2. On Social Marketing and Social Change, authored by social marketing thought leader Craig Lefebrve
  3. Public Sector Marketing 2.0, authored by Canada’s up and coming social marketing and social media marketing professional Mike Kujawski
  4. Osocio, the number one spot for all things social advertising and social change relataed
  5. Beth’s Blog, authored by nonprofit tech guru Beth Kanter
  6. Health Marketing Musings, authored by CDC’s National Center for Health Marketing Director Jay Bernhardt
  7. Have Fun * Do Good authored by Britt Bravo, informing you on all nonprofit related news items
  8. Ogilvy’s 360 Digital Influence Blog covers social marketing topics occasionally.
  9. Social Marketing Blog, a newly discovered blog just started this month by a man named Jack. So far, there is only one post, but if the rest of his posts are anything like his first, then the social marketing field is in good shape. Welcome Jack!
  10. Getting Attention blog, authored by Nancy E. Schwartz offers insights and tips on nonprofits communications and programs.
  11. Subject to Change, authored by Vanessa Mason, a young and up-and-coming social marketer currently doing AIDS relief work in Mozambique.
  12. Socialbutterfly, authored by yours truly, and highlights the movement of social marketing as well as related social media stories.
  13. What Do You Stand For? authored by Cone Communications Inc. Though this blog is linked to a cause marketing firm, the blog covers a range of social marketing related topics, offering fresh insights and useful resources.
  14. Getting to the Point, authored by Katya Andresen, talks about all-things nonprofit marketing and what she deems in her book – ‘Robin Hood Marketing.’
  15. Pulse and Signal, authored by Andre Blackman, who writes about the intersection between health and technology. is another one stop shop for all you need to know regarding the health 2.0 developments.
  16. YOU. That’s right. Your blog, whether current or in the works, can become the essential blog. In the arena of social marketing, we NEED more voices to galvanize the field further. If anyone would like to start a social marketing blog, please feel free to contact me with any questions, brainstorming or for support at The more of us the better. =)

Note: There are many, many more helpful blogs out there that I currently subscribe to, and I wish I could have named them all. Many of the 15 essential also cross boundaries with others fields beyond social marketing, mainly because, there aren’t that many social marketing based voices within the blogosphere.

For more ideas about which blogs to follow, I suggest you check out my links page, the ChangeBloggers wiki, the NonProfit Blog Exchange and the Kivi Leroux Miller’s Carnival for Non-Profit Consultants.

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July 24, 2008 at 4:49 am 10 comments

What’s Your Social Media Ritual? Sharing My Own 15-Steps


At work, we’ve been talking a lot about the information scans we all do on our own…who we refer to, which sites are the best, the most useful feeds, etc. So, now, out of curiosity and from inspiration gained from Chris Brogan’s recent post: “Where I Learn More,” I’m asking: Where do you go to learn?

Brogan’s article is great, as in it, he talks about the role of influence and asks us to reflect on what influences what we learn, think, behave and believe….so close to a social marketing (the real social marketing) question my buttons were popping with techy-excitement.

Here is my average, daily, social media ritual.

Please share me yours, and perhaps we can both expand our horizons a little. =)

  1. Check my work e-mail account. Its true fellow co-workers.
  2. Check my regular Gmail account. I get various e-newsletters and feeds here such as the Ad Council Creative E-newsletter, emails from the Social Marketing listserv, Chris Brogan’s new e-newsletter and others.
  3. Check my blog email account. I get various e-newsletter and feeds here that help me stay up to date on the social media, nonprofit, and social marketing arena. Some of my favorite includes Nedra Weinreich’s Spare Change Blog, Beth Kanter’s blog/wiki, and Ogilvy PR’s 360 Digital Influence blog.
  4. Check my Bloglines feeds, to see what good posts are up and published.
  5. Check out both the nonprofit and the social media categories on
  6. Do a scan of: TechCrunch, Trendspotting, Read Write Web, Osocio, Non-Profit Times, NextGov, BrazenCareerist, Social Times, and others. This can depend on the day and the topic I’m currently investigating.
  7. Check old Twitter feeds I may have missed. Especially key feeds from @GeoffLiving, @Nedra, @chrisbrogan, @scobleizer, @rww, @abfdc, @allllll the others I follow on Twitter. Really, it’s a community working together and sharing. It. is. awesome.
  8. If it’s a Monday, I check out the Carnival for Non-Profit Consultants.
  9. Check in on Linkedin to see if anyone new I know has joined or connected. The homepage on Linkedin is becoming increasingly fun.
  10. Surf around the NonProfit Blog Exchange if Emily has posted some great new posts.
  11. Then, it’s on to the social bookmarks. I check my delicious, both my networks and my subscriptions. Oftentimes, those I am connected to are in a similar field or have similar interests, so thank you everyone on
  12. Then, I spend a little time on Digg, and may occasionally check in on StumbleUpon. I’m really liking Mixx more and more too, though, there doesn’t seem to be as many people on it.
  13. I check up on the scoop of my work’s internal wiki.
  14. Check for upcoming events and opportunities to take online connecting –> offline.
  15. More scooping that I probably, and I apologize, didn’t list. Though, if I remember more, I will place in the comments. There’s always MORE to learn and MORE resources to discover. =)

Important note to make: This is just the listening phase.

About the listening phase. I might do some or all of this ritual depending on the day and the time. The point is though, that my ritual is…I am always listening. Always checking in. Always asking questions. Always working to seek answers.

The FUN part, is taking it all in, reflecting, and creatively organizing the content and information in your head to implement innovative, effective communications. And, when I really want to *get wild,* I reflect further, beyond the field of communications, social media or marketing…but more to what Chris mentions, about influence. About change. About society. About trends. About what it all means.

Photo Credit: Flickr, Elias Pirasteh

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June 29, 2008 at 4:06 am 9 comments

Social Media Highlight: Ning is Great, but waiting for Relevance

Next up in the Social Media Highlight Series, where I sign-up for a certain social media site/app/platform, use it for a couple of weeks and offer a reflection on my thoughts and experience, is the social network Ning.

Ning LogoAbout: Ning was co-founded by Netscape founder Marc Andressen and onetime Goldman Sachs banker Gina Binachini in 2004. It’s software enables anyone to create their own social network based around any idea, topic or mission. There are Ning groups about hobbies, gourmet food, geographic locations, causes and more. Interestingly, 50 Cent has his own Ning with over 100,000 members. Ning was recently estimated to be worth half a billion dollars with 237,000 current networks and growing at 1000 a day!

NingUse: Ning allows for any user to create his or her own social network. The service is free, and you don’t have to know how to code. Ning is currently all the buzz and is said to have a bright future as more and more capabilities are added onto to service. Currently, Ning can incorporate video, music, discussion forums, google maps, flickr, web badges, and ways to cross promote with Myspace and Facebook.

Demographics: Anyone and Everyone. NING features a diverse group of users that run the gamut in uses and interests. However, according to Quantcast, Ning is especially popular with African-Americans, who make up 75% of Ning’s users. With age, Ning is most popular among users 18-34, followed by users 35-49.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 wings


  • Good:
    • Ning has a lot of potential and is doing a great and innovative service that no one else really provides except for CrowdVine. However, Ning was first, and usually the first gets more brand recognition because it’s well, the first. However, I think CrowdVine has a great promotional strategy of separating it’s call to action for users around groups and events, whereas Ning’s call is primarily more individual based (e.g. “You can create your own network”).
    • Also, Ning is nice because you don’t have to be a developer to use it, there’s numerous groups, it is more niche and interest based than say Facebook of MySpace, and it’s growing.
    • And, if you purchase your Ning page, you don’t have to display ads and more security features can be added.
  • Bad:
    • Though its big and its growing, I didn’t find much on Ning that I thought was relevant to myself. Thus, for the everyday user, it could be too niche-focused. Perhaps I will become more interested when I attend a conference that has a Ning page. I did find the 29-Day Giving Page on Ning which I enjoy, so its not that bad.
    • You have to do some digging once on Ning to find something that grabs you, or, you have to be pointed to use Ning by a certain group.
    • And, when you do want to join, you have to go through a lot of steps.
    • You can join multiple social networks, but then, that’s can become a lot of managing different profiles and group communities.

Social Marketing and Ning:

  • Marketing4Change is one step ahead with their Ning, aka their own social networking site, dedicated to social marketing. You can join them here.
  • There are groups for library 2.0 and numerous groups for those involved in government and health communications.
  • My own ID is SocialButterfly. I like the idea behind Ning. I’m just waiting for when it becomes uber-relevant for something I need. Like, if we would want to create a “Social Marketing Network” and then get everyone to join, that would be awesome. I even saved the Ning name “Fly 4 Change,” just in case. However, not all of us social marketers are connected online…so, I figured it be me and a few of the trustees that I already stay in touch with through blogging, Twitters, email, facebook, etc.

What do you think? How would you rate Ning?

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June 22, 2008 at 9:18 pm 3 comments

Indeed, there is a Social Marketing Wiki…

Upon my flight into Baltimore the other day, I read an interesting US Airways Magazine article in its Digital Life Section titled: For Change, Use a Wiki. This particular article for some odd reason, I can’t find online, but it was written by Dan Tynan who also has his own blog Tynan on Technology.

In this article, Tynan leads stating:

“Collaborative Web sites are becoming tools for social change. [Continuing] …What started as an easy way to collaborate has morphed into a tool that could change the world.”

This article first gained my attention because it talked about wikis in particular and how they could relate to social change movements. Backing up, a wiki is a collaborative work space of web pages that allows for anyone who can access them to edit, contribute or modify content. A wiki can also track the editing process and can either be public for open access, such as Wikipedia, or be used internally with access for certain users.

Tynan’s article raised my eyebrows [1] because he raises attention that Wikis are now turning the term collective work into collective action. And, today, of all things, guess what I find… THE SOCIAL MARKETING WIKI.

  • Social Marketing Wiki
    • Mission: Highlight and provide a learning, collaborative resource for social marketers. The wiki is an open source for ‘people who want to pass along and exchange ideas, methods, examples and wisdom of introducing and enhancing the knowledge and skills of social marketing among various groups of people.’ -Lefebvre

I was elated! To my surprise, this wiki was originally established in 2006 according to a blog post by social marketing expert Craig Lefebvre! And, I am just now finding it…at least late, is better than never. The wiki has categories for: academic programs, case studies, definitions, research studies, professional development, Job Postings, and many more resources and materials.

The wiki was launched by a group from the social marketing listserv and its top contributors include Lefebvre, social marketing researcher Stephen Dann, and others. The wiki currently has 120 members, and has some recent activity.

Anyone know any updates on the wiki and where it stands? Would love to discuss. Thanks!


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. Stay tuned for the next post for more information.

May 30, 2008 at 5:47 am 5 comments

Google Health Launch: Furthering Health 2.0? You Decide

I will come out and say that I am excited about the Health 2.0 movement….but I do not want to overlook serious issues of privacy and security for personal information. Simply defined, Health 2.0 = the merging of social media into healthcare.

Today, the beta for Google Health officially launched. With my blog, I try to bring up points on both sides, and pose questions for discussion, and here I definitely may need your help seeing more of the positives…or educating me on how the danger of the drawbacks is being decreased. With Google Health allowing the option of importing of medical records and information, tracking medical histories and all being added into the giant that is Google, I feel there are reasons for concern.

According to the site, Google Health can

  • Organize your health information all in one place
  • Gather your medical records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies
  • Keep your doctors up to date about your health
  • Be more informed about important health issues

Automatically, upon reading this, I see a big challenge Google will face in launching this service: getting people to provide their medical records. I already am hesitant. Just how secure of a network will this be? I like to aim for objectivity, but with this new product, I will need your help as I see a few benefits, but many more drawbacks.


  • Makes juggling you and/or your family’s health records, coverage, medications, etc. easier as it allows for people to set up accounts for others, importing of medical records from medical, dentistry or eye care.
  • Allows for self-management in a central location and for one to be more informed and educated about health choices and decisions…as well as better following finances for your health coverage.
  • Users of Google Health can import medical records from U.S. pharmacies and medical facilities that include Longs Drug Stores, Walgreens Pharmacy, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and several others.


  • Google says there is no financial incentives for its partners and has a Google Health Advisory Board, but I’m not yet convinced…especially when this service is still in Beta format.
  • Privacy and Security Concerns: Who at Google will see this information? What will be done with it? Why does Google want to get into the Healthcare field….beyond wanting a competitive edge with Microsoft.
  • In particular, this question in Google Health’s FAQs makes me raise a brow:

Does the data I store in Google Health get used for other Google products, like Search?

Yes, we share information between Google products to enable joint feautres. But no personal or medical information in your Google Health profile is used to customize your search results or used for advertising. For example, you could not search for your personal medical records on search.

Seems like we have to now with Facebook, continue to possibly update our security settings to secure our information.

How It Works

Google lists 7 Steps to Easy Use of Google Health

  1. Sign Up: For you and Google’s Health Partners, the service is free. (Must be 18 or older to create a profile.)
  2. Start tracking your medical history and learn about your conditions
  3. Import Your Medical Records from your doctor’s office or pharmacy. (Walgreens is already a partner.)
  4. View Your Medical History
  5. Discover and learn how your different medications interact
  6. Use Google Health to your own advantage: get second opinions, request prescription refills
  7. Search for doctors and hospitals

Survey Says…

  1. Dave, at Insomniac Dreams, is optimistic about Google Health and looks forward to having a central place for health information management.
  2. James Niccolai, at PC World, did a nice write up about the Google Health Service, recognizing its underlying mission, but also hinting that tweaks still may be needed.
  3. In late 2007, people may remember Microsoft launching HealthVault…some allude that the long-delayed launch of Google Health is a fighting match for Google to get some more competitive edge. In March, The Washington Post gave a view on Microsoft’s HealthVault versus Google Health here…concluding that perhaps the motivation isn’t 100% to aide those with their medical management, but perhaps to cash in on a growing ‘cash cow.’
  4. Be sure to update me, let me know your thoughts or if you posted on Google’s Heath Beta…it may be too early to draw conclusions, but I’m curious what other people’s first impressions may be…. =)

The Jury is still out…

May 20, 2008 at 3:58 am Leave a comment

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

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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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