How can you have any Pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

I was driving down the road after some great calls about upcoming speaking engagements and social media campaigns when Pink Floyd came on the radio. Now I must say, they are a bit played but you know whenever you hear them you pay a bit of respect for their innovation and for just being so damn daring and cool.

As the song wrapped I wondered if Social Media is not unlike The Wall. If you think about it there a ton of adversaries trying to hold on to old ways and when the bricks of innovation start breaking down they want to find ways to fast track to their success or retain their dominance.

When we all know that “we don’t need no education”, I mean really there is no curricula for this stuff! And to continue this clunky tie-in we certainly don’t need the old ways of communications ergo “Thought Control”

But rather we need to break down the walls, build something more fluid….something for your computer screen? Hell No! Something for ALL screens! Something consumers listen to? NO! Something consumers TALK to.

Brands want to put the same tactics in place they’ve been using and expect yummy results but if they aren’t willing to deconstruct, build new and innovative things, rid themselves of their stringent brand habits they will never get the pudding (see what I did there)….

And as thanks for enduring my ambitious analogy, I give you this…(apologies to Roger Waters)

Week-End Review

Whew, I don’t know how the bi-coastals do it. It is Wednesday and I am just recovering from the crazy Twitter filled weekend. I took a red-eye Sunday night back from SFO to Norfolk, thinking I would be 100% by Tuesday morning but alas I was still working my way back into full speed yesterday.
I’ve been trying to get a grip on all of the many wonderful things that happened, the conversations, the connections, the lessons learned and of course the money raised for Operation Smile. If you’ve been following along you know about 140 Smiles the Twitter based fund raising campaign I helped devise for Operation Smile (who I work for). Having connected with @adventuregirl through Twitter just over 2 months ago, the opportunity to partner with TWTRCON presented itself and so,naturally, we needed a killer Twitter campaign to accompany the opportunity.
We engaged Common Knowledge a killer firm that specializes in web development and strategy for non-profits. They offered strategy and web design pro-bono, got a bit of assistance from the super awesome Chris Carson at Modern Media (who put on TWTRCON)and VIOLA-we had a campaign to launch in under 3 weeks!

So the launch…well we’ll chat about that in a seperate post but here’s a video snippet

Blog on Connection Cafe

The super awesome Jordan Viator of Convio fame asked me 2 weeks ago to write a guest blog for the Convio “Connection Cafe” blog site. I was so honored and excited and talked her ear off about strategy and philosophy of social media. It was right after NTC so she filled me in on some of the awesomeness from that.

anyway I had just arrived in San Francisco to prepare for the 140 Smile launch and got her e-mail reminding me she needed the blog today. OOPS–time flies when your planning a crazy Twitter campaign. So I wrote it in the back of the airport shuttle and quickly found out that typing while dodging San Francisco traffic is much like riding that spinning thing at the carnival after you’ve eaten 4 corn dogs, cotton candy and a Slurpee. Anyway, here it is.

Thank you so much Jordan for letting me ramble on about my little baby, can’t wait to do the follow up and how we helped over 140 children!

And the smiles keep coming

Wow, I am just more and more excited and inspired. I had some great calls and fun news about our launch event. I have also heard from some incredible folks whom I admire.

When I first left my post as Donor Relations Supervisor and took on Operation Smile’s social media efforts I serendipitously started following @kanter. Ironically the very first week I was to create a Social Media Strategy, Beth was offering her now famous We Are Media workshop through Nten. This incredible workshop helped me form my plan and gave me the confidence to soldier on for smiles. (i also met incredible folks like @rachelannyes and of course Beth)

Anyway–So of course I was really hoping Beth would join us for the launch event of #140smiles campaign. Well, she’s coming and much to my pride and excitement she even wrote a blog post.


Rock on #140smiles!!!!

mini-media tour

I chatted up the killer guys at Twooting today. They have a daily podcast all about Twitter which makes them a fitting partner to help us get the word out about #140smiles. It was a great interview and we are so excited that they are donating 10 Smiles to the campaign–WOO HOO—So amazing. I am truly moved by how people are coming together to help us reach our goal–and the campaign hasn’t officially launched!!!!


Then I had a very rockin call with @kenludwig for his radio show. The interview was awesome and beyond just sharing the stories of our medical volunteers and patients, we got to bond over our mutual obsession with The Stones! Rock on Ken!(archive soon to come)

Everything’s moving along and I think we may reach our goal–the world (tworld) is making smiles happen!

Archived from the We Are Media Workshop

Original Post Feb. 2009 as part of the We Are Media Workshop from NTEN


Having just been given the opportunity to serve Operation Smile as “Social Media Strategist” it is so serendipitous that I found this amazing workshop. In true “new media” fashion I discovered the workshop from Twitter as Beth Kanter Tweeted about her preparations for the 2 days.
I am sitting here, reading Groundswell, with my Tweetdeck up and chirping and preparing for my (first) trip to San Francisco to kick off this new role and what I hope will be an incredible new era for Operation Smile!

So on to the official questions posed in our pre-workshop assignment:

How is your organization currently using social media? Operation Smile has a great Web/It Director who has worked hard over the last 2+ years to refocus our online presence. We’ve signed on with Convio, started testing m-give for SMS texting and have worked on upgrading the look and feel of our Myspace page. My first order of business as Social Media Strategy was to get busy on Twitter both as a personal endeavor and to start the conversation about cleft lip/palate deformities and get people in the Twitterverse familiar with Operation Smile’s mission!

Here is where you can find us on the web:

What is your personal experience using social media? In 2000-ish I was living in Atlanta and the music and arts community was buzzing about this new way to promote your music and art projects. That’s when I discovered MySpace yet no sooner had I discovered it others were telling me about Friendster. Obviously Friendster never hit the magnitude that MySpace reached. I have used MySpace ever since to promote my various projects, help businesses get their message out and of course stay in touch with what is happening in the music and arts scene with all of my friends and colleagues. Ironically in 2002 I thought, “wouldn’t it be great if an advertising company hired me just to do this kind of thing for their clients-they are really missing an opportunity here.” Little did I know practically a decade later I would be combining my desire to serve a worthy cause with my addiction for communicating using these new mediums!

What do you hope to learn from the workshop? I am so excited about this workshop! Coming from a marketing, donor relations and development background I am not as technology based as many people starting out in roles such as “New Media Strategist”. However I feel like understanding how to use the technology doesn’t matter if you can’t have the personality and interactions that engage and inspire supporters, fans and donors. I am hoping to be able to come away with the tools I need to turn my well-meaning energy, passion and ideas into a solid plan to help elevate Operation Smile’s online presence and create a legion of people ready to help raise awareness and funds to provide new smiles to children around the world!

Archived Post from the We Are Media Workshop

Original Blog Post Feb. 2009 as part of the We Are Media Workshop from NTEN

“Key Points of your Social Media Strategy”

Engage volunteers, supporters and donors in spreading the word and raising funds for Operation Smile.

Personally, my strategy/goal is to create as large of a “legion of Smiles” meaning supporters, fans, followers and interested people so that when we do large scale campaigns they can be mobilized to not only open their wallets but to really make an impact on the funds raised and events held.

Target Audience:
Quite broad as we currently have many medical professionals blogging and participating in social media sites like twitter. We also have students and young people participating in Facebook and MySpace as well as others. So we have different target audiences for different elements of our objective.

Once I have done analysis on what we currently have in place, where our holes are, where our opportunities and greatest needs are I will be able to meet with our Direct Response Marketing team (and web team) to figure out the best way of integrating with our current traditional marketing strategy.

In terms of Integrating with our Internet Strategy, again that will depend on what i learn from “listening” and when I learn in more detail the current web plan. Our web-team has already invested in web optimization, search engine etc.

My philosophy as stated before is to use New Media as a means to build supporters that will then be further inspired through the other forms of marketing.

Culture Change:
Again, there is a large army of folks already communicating about our organization on social media, it is my job to find them, refine where needed and use them to help encourage more viral communication. I will also be creating parameters, how-to’s and best practice forms forms to encourage more staff and volunteers to get active online. I am fortunate in that our organization is fully supportive and excited about using social media.

a sea of people

it is morning and a sea of people gather where so much has passed, so many feet have trampled, tears have been shed and are being shed now. Carts pulled by horses, then horsepower fueled cars then skateboards then Rollerblades then kids on wheeled shoes then back to the feet of people, seas of people walking slowly plagued by the volume of others, feet moving slowly from cold, from the heaviness of emotion from the pace of change.

but this change came rapidly in comparison to the change of other movement. In one newscasters adult life, from not being able to eat a hamburger on this street to honoring a new leader of his same station and race. this change has not taken long in comparison to change reluctant to occur in foreign lands or change yet to occur in my bigoted neighbors hearts. relatively rapidly AMERICA as a country has been able to change. it has been quick in the grand scheme of history. quick but not easy. nothing great ever is.

i watch the sea of people and wonder will all of this brotherhood, this inspired solidarity change quicker that it arrived? sometimes the brightest stars fade the fastest. I wonder will the people ho live the thug life with the excuse that there is no other way out of their predicament find new excuses to lead a crime/grime/saggy jeans life or be inspired to don a suit and a book bag filled with potential. i wonder will one misstep set us back 60 years. i wonder will the children that are buried in that sea of people go back home and insist on a better life for themselves, their Friends, their families, their world.

Will it fade when they realize our new administration does not mean free gas and free rides but will mean that all people are called to hard work equally. there is no free lunch, the status quo for all stereotypes must change. The gang banger, the Ebonics, the bigots, the slacker, the whiner, the free-loader, the separatists…it all has to change it all has to grow and work and struggle and shed the ignorance that has been so comfortable for so long.

politicians are politicians and well spoken ones have not much more real power to change than those with a twang. But what i really hope will change is that the people in the next neighborhood over, and in the slums and the un-titled Mercedes benz’s will now be called to do more with their lives than perpetuate a culture of violence on their own neighbors, that little kids will see a black president as a better goals than that of a rapper or fast dime street hustler. that now there will seem to be a reward to hard work rather than use lack of black heroes as an excuse to continue a viscous cycle of black on black violence, drug culture and ignorance.

my hope is that every black child can get rid of the excuse can stand up to their peers and theirs teachers and say that anything is possible and i am not going to settle for the stereotype that my community has allowed to exist.

my hope is that this president’s real change will be in changing stereotypes that keep us all separate, that keep the notions of “us” and “them” that keep neighborhood lines drawn tightly between black ones and white ones, that make black kids say that their peers who speak clearly are “talking white”–ridiculous—my prayer is that change trickles down to everyone. My husband, my friends, the kids i pass on my way to work, the teachers, the employers, the co-workers, the grocery store workers, that change allows us all to up our game and rid ourselves of “us” and “them”.

we’ll just have to see….