Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jon Stewart at "The Rally to Restore Sanity" (VIDEO)

No matter where you were in the world, when you saw the video above of Comedy Central's John Stewart's inspiring words at the Rally to Restore Sanity today, you felt like he was speaking to you. Democrat, Republican, Male, Female, Young Old, it didn't matter. My readers appreciate my blog for the diversity of topics I post here. But many also recognize that I rarely tackle political issues. Not because I am ill-equipped to articulate important issues, but because the conversation about domestic and foreign policy has become nasty and mean-spirited.

Everyone who follows this blog knows that I voted for President Obama, that I follow his work closely, and that 18 months later, I remain as enthusiastic and hopeful as the day I voted for for him. I don't agree with all of his policies or even his approach to policies I like. But he has remained sensible, and that is what we have to do in this country, and in this world. In disagreement, there must be sensible, civil way of engaging each other.

So I applaud Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for their efforts. Let's hope it has a major impact on our politics.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Amazing Outer Space Video by Father and Son

This has to be one of the best stories of the year. A father and son team made an absolutely amazing video of outer space with an iPhone. Yes, an iPhone. Trust me, this video is worth your time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter

This is the latest post in our series, Twitter Powerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who've helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking. I co-wrote this post with my friend and fellow Huffingtonpost blogger Jim Thomas. This is cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Business Section.

Ideas can be powerful, and when they are combined with a strong will and a sense of optimism, they can become extraordinary. Business titans of the early 20th century - like Henry Ford, Hetty Green, and Madame C.J. Walker, to name just a few - understood this truth, and helped to build a powerful foundation upon which future generations have succeeded.

In fact, those who have succeeded in each of the three waves of the world economy, knew how to adapt to change, create opportunities for themselves and others, and how to turn an amazing dream into an economically constructive reality. This is some of what Huffington Post blogger Patricia Handschiegel has documented in her popular "The New Power Girls" series.

As we move deeper into this century, many want to know who some of the great business leaders of this millennium will be: whose work will empower the world, whose thoughts, freely shared in our new media, will be guides for other businesses, and whose legacies will inspire greatness. Each of the 16 people below more than qualify in this regard. They see business as a fascinating area where history and tradition meet new ideas and innovation. Indeed, they are dynamic examples of what is possible on the grand stage of the New Global Economy.

Sharon Hayes /@SharonHayes
A serious go-getter, she is a pro at the art of email
marketing and the selling/brokering of domain names.
Her great mix of entrepreneurial tips and
inspiration is a certified Twitter hit.

Xan Pearson /@xanpearson
She is Director of Corporate Partnerships for the youth
programs of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox. When she's
not putting together sponsorship deals, she consults clients
on the best social media strategies:

Scott Monty/@ScottMonty
As head of social media at Ford Motor Company,
Monty has (with stunning success) formed great
online relationships to promote his company's newer
fleet of greener, more fuel efficient cars.

Amy D. Howell /@HowellMarketing
For over fifteen years, her firm has been
a force in the the Memphis community, and
has partnered and/or worked with nonprofits,
government entities and Fortune 500 companies.

Ken Banks /@kenbanks
Publisher of one of my favorite sites,
Social Net Daily, he understands the
growing intersection of social media and business.

Deborah Weinstein /@DebWeinstein
President of the award-winning Strategic Objectives,
one of Toronto's shining stars. In fact, it is the only PR
firm in Canada to be recognized by the United Nations for
its great work in the PR field.

Sung Lee /@Sung_H_Lee
The head of Business Development and New Media at the
Radio Korea Media Group, his group's World Cup
viewing party was praised by the USATODAY as one of the
Top 20 Moments of the entire games. Very impressive!

Lauriana Zukowski /@LaurianaZ
Co-Founder and corporate visionary at the
excellent TweetMyJOBS, she is a popular
employment expert and observer of trends.

Susan P. Joyce /@JobHuntOrg
The operator of an awesome, award-winning site,
Joyce is also a popular employment expert and
online contributor.

Brett Petersel /@Brett
As head of Business Development, Community
& Events at Mashable, Petersel has been a key part of
that firm's amazing rise to the very top of social media.

Karima-Catherine /@karimacatherine
Respected for her quality over quantity approach,
she has the right type of Je ne sais quoi that is
powering her 3angelsmarketing.

Carrie Wilkerson /@barefoot_exec
A consultant for at home professionals, I came to
understand the importance of guestblogging by
reading The Barefoot Executive, her great business blog.

Steve Rubel /@steverubel
Though known to the world for his posts for
Forbes and AdAge, he is the Sr. Vice-President
and Director of Insights for Edelman Digital.

Christine Gallagher/@ChristineG
She started her first business at age 11. Now,
she teaches small businesses how to raise their profile
(and profits) by using the power of social media. Great insight.

Anne Deeter Gallaher/@AnneDGallaher
Her firm specializes in understanding the
"language of business" to give her clients an edge.
She gets kudos for recommending Dale Carnegie's
How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Dan Schawbel /@DanSchawbel
A partner at Millennial Branding, and
columnist at BusinessWeek,
his massive bestselling Me 2.0 is a great read.

Authors' Note: In case you missed it, here's Part 12 of the series: Awesome Sauce: 16 Chefs on Twitter.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness in the Sunday Comics (VIDEO)

On Sunday, over 50 comics will be raising awareness about breast cancer, which affects both women and men. They are set to appear in American newspapers in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Friday, October 1, 2010

TwitPay: Using Twitter to Make a Difference

This is cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Impact Section.

Industry leaders and insiders agree: Twitter is having an amazing impact on nonprofits. Doctors Without Borders and Operation Smile use it to promote their health initiatives with underserved populations. The National Wildlife Federation and Global Green USA post facts about conservation as well as the benefits of going green.

This is tremendous news. I believe this can lay a foundation for how countless nonprofits can use Twitter going foward. Not simply as a place to post, but rather as a platform to participate. TwitPay is helping make this a reality. It has emerged as a great way to support nonprofits. It aims to create even more success stories and help them connect with their audience through social media.

When Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted "One can change the world with one hundred and forty characters," he wasn't kidding. Twitter has become a positive force for social change. And those who engage and respect the format, stand to benefit from the energy and vitality it produces. As my interview with Twitpay's staff reveals, they have done just that.

I love your concept. Explain how charities and nonprofits benefit from your program.

In today's world, social media is not optional for any nonprofit organization. Engaging supporters and advocates through social media is an effective and powerful way to create a direct and emotional connection with your cause. Also, for long-term viability, nonprofits must engage younger donors earlier, both to begin developing a giving behavior that will last a lifetime, as well as to claim advocates for your cause before someone else does. The younger demographic thrives in the social media arena and they feel empowered by it.

Social media is, without a doubt, the most efficient means of reaching that developing donor audience. However, the recurring question revolving around social media is whether or not it generates actual dollars. That's where we come in. We offer the ability to monetize social media, to allow donors to support a cause through a transaction taking place entirely within their social media interface. And unlike communication and payment tools of the past, we provide a means for the rapid (dare I say viral?) spread of the nonprofits message well beyond their direct friends and followers.

What has the response been like?

Our clients love how easy our system is to integrate and operate, the exposure and response that they're seeing, and the growth potential of the platform. Users (donors) seem to appreciate the ability to make a quick financial contribution, while also encouraging their followers to get involved. This is a new behavior, though, so new user adoption is just beginning to build. The more nonprofits that begin to use Twitpay's Social Giving application, the faster users will continue to adopt this new donation method.

Many believe programs like this will be permanent parts of nonprofit fundraising. How do you see it?

Absolutely! Fewer and fewer people are donating the "old fashioned" way with paper checks. Nonprofit organizations are looking for new programs like ours that enable social interaction. Fundraising is all about creating an emotional connection. Social media allows an organization to make that connection with a large number of people at a very low cost. Whenever that connection is made, and in whatever medium, the organization has to be ready, willing and able to accept any contribution that the individual is willing to make. Twitpay provides the means to do that.

To better understand Twipay's nonprofit, fundraising activities, contact them at