TweetsGiving Provides Important Aid to Tanzania

Scheduled for November 24 – 26, 2009, TweetsGiving is a global celebration that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. The 48 hour event was created by Epic Change and encourages us to express thanks using online tools and at live get-togethers across the world.

Guest are invited to give to a common cause in honor of those people and things that make them grateful. This year Epic Change will be partnering with Lucy Kamptoni in Tanzania to implement a technology lab at a primary school. The following video gives us a look at Tanzania:

But that’s not the whole story. According to the CIA’s World Factbook, Tanzania faces serious economic and health issues which will be addressed by the next generation. TweetsGiving gives us an opportunity to equip students in Tanzania to take leadership roles in the country’s future. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders.

Tanzania is in the bottom 10% of the world’s economies. The assistance Epic Change offers to Shepherds Junior primary school in Arusha ensures the necessary tools for the best education the school can possibly provide.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the many blessings and opportunities we share. Visit the TweetsGiving community and sign up for your own profile (it’s free). Then commit to give at least $10 dollars to the cause. You can also find a TweetsGiving event near where you live. Be a part, make history and help the kids in Tanzania.

Share/Bookmark Subscribe

Advertisements

Writing Goals 2009 Q4

We’ve just passed the Autumnal Equinox, and we’re now (believe it or not) in the fourth quarter of 2009. You know how much I love Spring, especially the time from Passover to Pentecost, but this is also a delightful time of year — Thanksgiving, NaNoWriMo, cool crisp weather.

My writing goals for 2009 were first hampered by my procrastination and then totally derailed by returning to school after an 11 year absence. Those of you new to college: Don’t drop out!

I’ve done okay by four of my nine writing goals for this year. I’m participating in a few online communities, I began a novel, I’m creating a (somewhat) weekly comic strip and I’m still going strong with 12for12k.

I’m on track to at least participate in NaNoWriMo and to complete a rough draft of my inspirational book. The other goals have fallen by the wayside.

It might take some doing, but here are the writing goals I plan to reach during the fourth quarter of ’09:

  • Begin earning a sustainable income from home-based employment.
  • Complete a rough draft of my inspirational book.
  • Redesign the Sky’s the Limit for a 2010 relaunch.
  • Continue building relationships through social media.
  • Continue supporting 12for12k.
  • Continue work on my novel through participation in NaNoWriMo.
  • Continue my weekly comic strip.

I began this year with some lofty writing goals. I haven’t reached them all. That’s okay, except I shouldn’t have put things off like I did. These last three months look to be interesting , and I’m very excited about the things I have planned.

Thanks again for your participation. I couldn’t do what I do without the support of wonderful friends and readers like you.

Share/Bookmark Subscribe

12for12k Launches Redesigned Site

The 12for12k Challenge is a combination of awareness and fund-raising that employs the power and outreach of social media to change the lives of millions worldwide. Founded by business consultant Danny Brown, the organization’s aim is to raise awareness and funds for 12 charities over the course of 2009, with a new charity supported each month.

August has been a month of change for 12for12k, reflected by a site redesign. Gone is the old blog design; in is the new, more aesthetic look and feel.

The new design includes:

September’s chosen charity is Doctors Without Borders. Your involvement with 12for12k could make a significant difference in the lives of people all over the globe. Look around the redesigned site, check out the changes, offer feedback, but most of all join the 12fo12k Challenge in bringing the power of social media to the people who need it most.

Share/Save/Bookmark Subscribe

Follow Friday: More 12for12k Supporters

Follow Friday is a Twitter meme which seems to be spreading to blogs and other social networks. This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting individuals and groups worth following on Twitter and elsewhere on the net. I forget where I saw it first, but I think placing the recommendations in blog posts is much nicer than short tweets.

The following people are all supporters of 12for12k, the non-profit which supports a different charity each month. War Child, Stop the Silence, Share Our Strength, Yehu.org, Hospice of Peel and UNICEF’s Believe in Zero campaign have benefited from the efforts of these people who believe the power of social media can change lives for the better.

 Darin Berntson@iGoByDoc

Entrepreneur and single dad Darin is owner of All Aces Marketing Inc. and WSI Franchise. He’s a fan of Disney, but we’ll forgive him that. He also fashioned all those really cool 12for12k avatars. Rants, raves and other communications from Darin can be found at The Doc Block.

Danny Brown@DannyBrown

Danny provides branding and consultancy services to consumer and commercial markets. Not only is he my favorite Canadian, he’s also the founder of 12for12k. He keeps a social media and marketing blog by his name, and (for those who can’t get enough Danny Brown) posts insightful tidbits to Posterous.

Beth Ziesenis@AvenueZ

It’s ZEES-nis. This crazy writer lady cool writer chick is a speaker, marathoner and freelance copywriter. Beth writes about the trials and tribulations of freelancing at Life on Avenue Z.

12for12k.org@12for12k

Last but not least, let’s not forget 12for12k itself. The organization’s aim is to raise a minimum of $144,000 for 12 charities over the course of 2009, with a new charity being supported every month.

The concept is simple:

  • 12 months of the year
  • 12 charities, a different charity each month
  • $12,000 per charity

If 1200 people will donate just $10 each month, we can easily give $12,000 per charity. All proceeds raised go directly to the month’s chosen organization. July’s charity is Eye Care for Kids.

I hope you’ll check out the Twitter feeds and/or websites of these fine people and 12for12k. There will be more to come next Follow Friday.

Share/Save/Bookmark Subscribe

Will the Book Industry Repeat the Mistakes of the Music Industry?

Author and blogger Susan Piver worries that the book industry is about to repeat the mistakes of the music industry. She would know. She now works in publishing, but was a record label executive from 1990-2001.

She says publishing is where the music business was about 10 years ago in terms of the digitization of product and attempts to leverage social media. While attending the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, she heard a lot of, “We don’t know what to do, but let’s do something.”

The “somebody do something” mentality duplicates the kind of hoping-for-the-best attitude espoused by long-time executives in music who simply could not or would not question the viability of the professional cocoons they’d built for themselves. I noticed a lot of talk of waiting and seeing how things are going to work out before making any earth-shaking, world-class responses to a world that has already changed.

Publishing’s business model is aligned to old rules which aren’t in play anymore. We like to talk about how the cloud and social media are changing everything, but the book industry has been behind in the game for a long time. When I listen to publishing executives talk, I hear the fear in their voices. That’s not good.

Ms. Piver continues:

Downloads did not kill the music business. Shortsightedness and turf-protection on the part of music business executives did. Piracy and changing distribution schema will not kill the publishing industry. Shortsighted infrastructure-protection on the part of publishing houses will.

Publishing’s desire to protect itself against mis-understood technology, practices and market desires could harm consumers. Readers are crying for the book industry not to repeat the mistakes of the music industry. Librarians and educators are crying for the book industry not to repeat the mistakes of the music industry. Authors and book-sellers are crying for the book industry not to repeat the mistakes of the music industry.

Piver goes right to the heart of the problem when she decries the commodification of book-selling:

Commodification of bookselling is the eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room, not e-books or DRM (Digital Rights Management) or the Kindle.

Books are commodities, but shoving a select few items towards the consumer at the expense of small publishers and booksellers, variety and even meaningful literature is setting us all up for major problems.

Piver expresses many more well-considered thoughts in her post.

Share/Save/Bookmark Subscribe

Follow Friday: 12for12k Supporters

I’ve been intending to create a Follow Friday post for about a month now. I forget where I saw it first, but I think placing the recommendations in a blog post is much nicer than short tweets.

Follow Friday is a Twitter meme which seems to be spreading to blogs and other social networks. The purpose is to draw attention to wonderful people who are worth following on Twitter and elsewhere on the net.

The following people are all supporters of 12for12k, the non-profit which supports a different charity each month.

Cheryl Fehlberg@CherylFehlberg

Cheryl is an editor, copywriter and proof reader from Melbourne, Australia. She believes good service should be invisible to the client. It should not be overstated nor understated — just invisible. Cheryl blogs at Does Anyone Understand Good Service These Days?

Mickey Gomez@mickeygomez

Mickey is a lover of books, music and social media. She and I agree that everyone can make a difference. I only recently began following Mickey on Twitter, but can already sense her sweet spirit. She also keeps a personal blog.

Jon Aston@JonAston

Jon is a marketing and business development strategist, in addition to being a husband and father. You never know what his sharp, Canadian mind will come up with next. Jon shares his ideas at thought process…

Gina LaGuardia@GinaLaGuardia

Gina is a mommy and content manager in New York City. She is an active twitter user and quick to reply to tweets. Gina’s website offers her editorial services.

I hope you’ll check out the Twitter feeds and/or websites of these fine people. There will be more to come next Follow Friday.

Share/Save/Bookmark Subscribe

Social Media is Changing Media, Politics

Clay Shirky, speaking at TED, shows how our use of social media tools is changing media and politics.

Share/Save/Bookmark Subscribe