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1 Comment = $1 to Charity

Kiva Microfunds
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As I mentioned last week, we’re going to be doing our own social contribution for the holiday season, and we need your help!  This requires no monetary commitment, only participation.

The Play:

  1. Add a comment below with what organization or cause you’d want me to donate to.  If you’d like to offer your reason for doing so, that would be great.
  2. Next week, we will tally up the number of comments we receive.  Each comment is then worth $1.
  3. This total will be divided in two equal parts, representing two equal donations.
  4. We will choose, at random, one of the commenters causes and donate one portion to that cause.  We’ll also ask that commenter if they’d like to describe their personal reason for donating to the cause (you can choose not to if you’d like).
  5. The other portion of the total will go towards Kiva, and organization that I donate to every year.
  6. If you’d like to donate more than a comment (a dollar amount to one or both chosen charities), by all means, feel free and contact me here. (However, the comment will still be chosen randomly for the charity!).

Why Kiva?

I’ve always been drawn to microfinancing and it’s various forms for many reasons.

  • It offers an opportunity to people who have external barriers placed on them that prohibit their ability to make a living for themselves and their family.
  • It works for the little guys.
  • Most importantly, to me, is that the process works to instill a sense of independence in the recipients that comes from owning small businesses, being responsible and accountable for their actions.  This ultimately builds stronger, more motivated individuals, stronger families and communities, and more stable environments in a way that is much more permanent and long-term.

My mom, who is incredibly thoughtful and compassionate  in terms of giving back to the community in any way that she can, gave me a “Kiva gift” for Christmas two years ago.  I thank her for bringing it to my attention.

Disclaimer 1: Kiva’s model is a loan model, which means that eventually this donation will be paid back.  I assure you that it will be continually reinvested into the organization for various entrepreneurs around the world.  I will not personally profit from this.

Disclaimer 2: There will be a limit to the amount of money that we can donate, so, if by chance we get thousands of comments, we’ll need to bring down the donation amount Hopefully everyone will still participate for the cause… and we’ll still need plenty of comments!

Additionally, please feel free to pass this along or Tweet about it!

So then, what’s your cause of choice??

SMB11 was a great departure from the regular focus on social media in business (although that’s quite helpful) Organizer Bob Collins wanted to show attendees ways in which people have used many of the tools we use each day to give back to the world.

To start out, we all got to say hello to Bryan Person (left), the original organizer of SMB, who recently moved from Boston to Austin.

We then partook in an effort by the Greater Boston Food Bank and Tyson Foods called Hunger Relief whereby we were challenged to get as many comments up on the page as possible, and with each comment, Tyson would donate food.  Within four hours, we got two truckloads secured for Eastern Massachusetts.  So cool.

The talks started out with Gradon Tripp speaking about his efforts with his organization, Social Media for Social Change.  In October he held a Tweet up Fundraiser that raised $20K for Jane Doe, Inc that raises awareness of domestic violence. SM4SC New York is planned for April, with details on recipient organization to come.

The second speaker was Frank Days, who works for First Giving. He spoke of First Giving’s social media efforts, which have included blogging, twitter, widgets, etc.  The three things that they’ve learned so far after entering the space?

  1. Think about the demographic that you’re trying to reach, and match them to the medium.  Some efforts will attract more people that just plain don’t use social media tools.
  2. For First Giving, social media has <10% adoption rate, and email is still king.  Hopefully this will increase.
  3. They’re still going to test and learn!

The last speaker was Beth Kanter, who, through her own efforts, has raised thousands of dollars for various causes through tools such as her blog, twitter, social networks etc.  She works as a trainer for non-profits on how to use technology effectively in their efforts, coaches “digital immigrants” on how to use technologies for personal use, and basically does awesome work for people who need help.  I’m not going to begin so explain everything, so please visit her blog for more.

Two other efforts that were mentioned were Alicia’s Staley Foundation, which “support[s] cancer patients and their families undergoing treatment at Tufts Medical Center through education, advocacy, and immediate financial assistance,” and my own personal plug for DigiActive, which I talk about here.

A great session, and please be posted for Other Side’s own social media push for the holidays.  I had waited until this week to do it in conjunction with SMB11.  Coming soon!


I’ll be conducting an hour-long session on Monday at 12pm on how to leverage corporate blogging in your business.  This is part of BrightTalk’s Conversational Marketing Summit.

To sign up, go here, scroll down to the appropriate session and go from there.  Hope to see some of you there.

We’ll post up the slides here when we’re all done for your reference, but it won’t have my commentating.

As a note, I thank Zach, as his session earlier this year on the topic was helpful in putting this together

Below is the slideshow to a little talk Anya and I did on Tuesday.

The description for the talk is:

Have you ever wondered how you might be able to use Facebook to increase awareness levels of your company, product or service? Kate Brodock and Anya Woods of Other Side will lead a discussion on the ins and outs of the tool, examples of how other individuals and companies have used the tool for business purposes, and suggest ways you can get yourself started.

Facebook for Business

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: social networking)

Please let us know if you have any suggestions (as we’ll be giving the talk again) or would like to learn more.

We’d like to announce a very special show coming up in Boston in a few weeks, and invite our readers and friends to attend! We’ll be sponsoring a launch party for artist Traeger di Pietro and his foray into the Boston area. The party will be held October 28th at the fabulous Kingston Station in downtown Boston, and we’ll be offering appetizers and drinks to our guests as they enjoy the art, meet the artist, and get a jump on Halloween festivities!
We’d love to have you, so if you’re interested in joining us, feel free to RSVP at our events page on facebook, or just drop us a line at [email protected]. We hope to see everyone there!

Today is Blog Day, and as mentioned a few days ago, I’ve picked out 5 blogs that I’d like to showcase.

AfriGadget is a website dedicated to showcasing African ingenuity.  A team of bloggers and readers contribute their pictures, videos and stories from around the continent.  The stories are inspiring.  It is a testament to Africans using the little they have to their will, using creativity to overcome life’s challenges.  Serving as Editors are: Erik Hersman, Steve Mubiri, Juliana Chebet, Juergen Eichholz, and Paula Kahumbu.

La Marguerite: This is the blog of Marguerite Manteau-Rao, and it focuses on behavioral solutions to global warming and other global environmental challenges.  We really like the environment here at Other Side and think this informative blog covers a lot of great issues in a very easy-to-read way.  And in case you find her words interesting, she also does marketing consulting on green and sustainability initiatives.

Photography is fun, and I wish I were better at it (or good at it period).  I came across Thomas Hawk’s SmugMug cameraroll after I decided to follow him on FriendFeed, as he was connected to one of my friends and I found his feeds interesting.  He has some really neat shots, and, at least so far, seems to update them frequently (new pretty things to look at!).

Ampers & Dot: This is the blog of Zach Hofer-Shall, who writes mostly on the Web 2.0 space.  Zach is currently a researcher at Forrester, and worked previously as a social media consultant.  This may be cheating a little bit on Blog Day rules, since he’s in my industry and I’ve been reading his blog for a bit now, but his posts are consistently insightful and full of solid information.

Kennysia is a blog by Kenny Sia, who lives in East Malaysia.  He updates his blog often with stuff on his life, anything, and it’s really cool to follow.  Part of the goal of Blog Day is to bring people to different parts of the world, and I feel very strongly about this aspect (hey, i got a degree in International Relations for a reason).  His ramblings are great, and it’s fun to collow someone around in their life on the other side of the world.

Blog Day 2008

Aside from our participation in Blog Action Day, we’ll also be trying to promote five fellow bloggers in Blog Day, which was “created with the belief that bloggers should have one day dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest.”

We may include one blog from our industry, but will try and diversify (which will be easy for me to do).

You may have come across this in the last few days, but Vimeo has challenged the blogging community to a Blog Action Day, “to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.” The topic will be on poverty. Hopefully you can join!

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.