Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Wow. It was great 2011. Thanks to all of my readers for making it the best year yet. It's been rewarding responding to comments, researching tips emailed to me from readers, and simply trying to keep my blog updated, readable, and relevant. So much to look forward to in 2012...

Expect the same analysis of trends and shifts in technology, charity, sustainablity, business, media, and other areas. Readers love this blog's inclusion of guest posts, and are strongly supportive of pieces where I collaborate with other bloggers. I read your emails, tweets, comments, and I am constantly figuring out how to improve the brand.

There will also be a greater emphasis on interviews in 2012. I recently posted something on my Facebook Timeline"When writing the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen." I love this.  So many people around the world itching to share their story, and aren't being heard. I want to make sure that my blog (and my work in general) remains a reliable platform for them. So look for the Twitter Powerhouses Series I co-founded with Huffington Post blogger Yasamin Beitollahi to "take it up a notch", so to speak. The same goes for my work with Smedio. More interviews, and few awesome surprises. Stay tuned...

A quick note to my readers... It's important to be mindful of the past, while always looking forward, shooting for greater heights. I've had success in 2011, and I've experienced failure too. What is life without the highs and the lows, right? I've learned so much from all of it, and I'm using it as a foundation for 2012. So apply the lessons you've learned and make it the best year ever. Again, I thank you.

Serious in my thoughts and actions,


Friday, December 16, 2011

Like Water, For Charity

Water covers less than 70% of the earth, but less than 70% is drinkable. In fact, 443 million school days are lost each year due to water related-illnesses. So 'clean water' is not simply a health issue, but a way to empower families and communities. It is one of the defining, moral issues of our time, and it requires serious action.

This is why I joined the #12DaysofGiving, a twelve-day bonanza of giving, sharing, and promoting social good from December 13th to Christmas Eve. Spearheading this amazing effort are do-gooders Amy Neumann, Joseph Ranseth, and Katie McCormick. They are aiming to raise a combined $12,000 for the causes and charities highlighted.

Of the twelve charities, I chose Charity: Water, because of their amazing efforts to bring clean, safe drinking water to billions of people who don't have it. A billion people. That's one in every 8 of us. Charity: Water responds to the need by building freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. These are transforming lives in places where "the only source of water is a polluted swamp."

Photo Courtesy of Charity: Water

So far, in nineteen countries, over forty-hundred projects have been funded, meaning two million people will receive clean water.Over the years, Twitter's Alyssa Milano has been a consistent supporter of their work, raising both money and awareness. This CBS story cemented just how highly regarded their work is.

How can you help? Go to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, and then share this post. You can also make a small donation at the Charity: Water page on The World Health Organization says that for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return between $3 and $34. So your Charity: Water donation will be a gift that truly keeps on giving.

I am so honored to work with the amazing #12DaysofGiving Team. This inspiring, twelve-day initiative is just what we need for the holiday season. Something that greatly connects us to the world's pain, and moves us to do something extraordinary.

Happy holidays everyone! Keep on giving.

~2K :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TIME Magazine's 2011 "Person of the Year"

As a kid, I always looked forward to whom TIME Magazine was going to pick for its "Person of the Year". In my family, it was always something we talked about and debated. So when TIME chose "the protestor" as its 2011 Person of The Year this morning, I received lots of emails and calls from family elders. Some thought Steve Jobs deserved it, while others (like me) thought Congresswoman Gabby Giffords would get it.

But as TIME Magazine (and everyone who corresponded with me today) acknowledges, 2011 protests worldwide - from New York City to Cairo to London - have profoundly impacted the way we live, and what we are discussing. These demonstrations were aided largely by social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. I wrote about social media's role in the Cairo protests back in February.

Certainly, the 2011 choice is very timely. Great analysis of their selection on the website, and in the video below.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Awesome Podcast with Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Amy Neumann

Excuse my over-excited title. I'm just excited about the newest podcast (below) from Twitter's Claire Diaz-Ortiz. For those of you unfamiliar with her, she is the head of social innovation at Twitter, and writes about trends and shifts in international philanthropy. In other words, she rocks.

So does my good friend Amy Neumann, who Claire interviews. Anyone into all things "social good" will consider this a treat. Both women symbolize what is fantastic about philanthropy and "giving back". This is a great, fascinating interview: relevant information, interesting tips, social media figures, etc.