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The Face of Poverty

TODAY’S REALITY

Remember a cartoon where a father named George had a wife named Jane and two kids in tow – and the majority of the cool factor of the show revolved around pushing buttons to make things happen?  It’s only too bad that the Jetsons couldn’t be here today to show us how to turn Poverty’s power off.  But that simply isn’t reality and today we’re caught in a difficult time where Poverty is very much an issue.  And, it’s much larger than we might give it credit.

PREVALANCE

Ask yourself – what percentage of American’s live in poverty?  Mind you, there are several countries where poverty is an issue, but being a world power, is it possible that Poverty is really that prevalent here?  I’ll answer that for you in a bit, but formulate an answer before we get there, OK?

When you think of Poverty, do you think of the homeless people on the streets or perhaps those looking for a ride as you get off the highway and head into the city?  Certainly homeless people are included in the Poverty community, but there are many more that qualify in this category as well.

FACES

The photos you see are a few faces I hope no one has to experience in person.  To me these are the true faces of poverty.  The faces are of children in obvious states of poverty.  Perhaps not in all cases, but these children are innocent victims lacking proper shelter, food, clothing, education and medical assistance.  Would it surprise you to know that 1 in 5 children in the U.S. live in poverty conditions?  These numbers were taken from a 2005 survey.  That same survey compared to 2000 numbers shows Poverty to be on the rise. Poverty destroys.  But it can be stopped.

Poverty is a complex issue and not solved overnight.  But you can start today.  Whether its a small donation to a local charity, the giving of your time to help those in need or the formation of a cause related group, Poverty can be disrupted and decreased.

For more information on how you can help, visit www.blogactionday.org or click on the button below.  Today is the day to act.


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Blogging – It’s about community…and coffee

Computer, coffee cup holder, and community provider

Computer, coffee cup holder, and community provider

When you think of blogging, what comes to mind?  For me, blogging brings to mind community and coffee.  Let me explain.  As I’ve written before, I’m a big fan of Joffrey’s coffee.  What started off as a Java Beta Test turned into a free coffee sample for this new blogger and about 1,500 others to try their product (by the way – the test is over in the event you try to still find it).  The Web 2.0 strategy behind it all was a great example of how the web can be used to entertain while reward AND not be a bother.  It was permission based; pull and not push.  A few months later the outcome of Joffrey’s Beta Test led to a new flavor, Coffee 2.0.  Clever idea – AND a great product.
At basically 5 cents a cup, this varietal will kick your morning into high gear and has a very smooth flavor.

REACHING OUT

OK, so in that promotion, not only did I learn about a great product I would have never been exposed to, I was also welcomed into the Blogosphere because any blogger who signed up on the Beta Test was sent a free sample.  I was reinforced that blogging has a few perks aside from a few kind comments.  I was exposed to community.
I was also exposed to Adam Singer, the digital marketer behind Joffrey’s promotion.  Well…not exposed literally.  I took advantage of the community feel that blogging gives you and I reached out to Adam and commended him for a great promotion.  He emailed me back in about 10 minutes and a friendship was formed.  Later I found out that Adam has a blog of his own and is an accomplished musician as well.  I now read his blog, The Future Buzz and I enjoy his music.  And from time to time we’ll Twitter or email each other.  Coffee brought community.

GREAT PEOPLE IN WEB 2.0

Had I never taken the initiative to start my own blog I would have never come across a great new marketing tool(s) in social media.  I would also be lacking from a great community I’ve come to really enjoy and from knowing the many individuals who have been kind to me and many others.  I’m talking about people like John Wall and Christopher Penn from Marketing Over Coffee; CC Chapman from Managing the Grey (thanks for the card); Lisa Johnson from Reach Group, Albert Maruggi from Marketing Edge; Chris Brogan – Social Media Extraordinaire; Jim Tome of eHealthcare Marketing, Mark McGuinness now of Lateral Action, Whitney Hoffman of LDPodcast, Zena Weist of Nothin’ But SocNet, Beth Kanter of Beth’s Blog, and of course, Adam Singer, who I mentioned earlier, with The Future Buzz.  Now, I could have mentioned a few more (and I deeply apologize if I left anyone out), but these individuals I expressly mention because they typify SOCIAL media.  They preach it.  They live it.  They help it.  They advocate it.  And I know this personally because I’ve gotten a comment(s) or email(s) back from each. What kind of cool world is this!  Between blogs, podcasts and the social networks, these are the best of the best.

It will be a long time, perhaps never, that I would ever aspire to the level of prowess these individuals exhibit.  But as a role model to me, I hope I can return the favor and help those with what I have learned (which is a lot more than I knew a year ago).

MAKE THE COMMUNITY WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE

A Community Connected to Many

A Community Connected to Many

We are a community.  Whether blogger or blog reader, there are millions of us who write or read and pass on our thoughts, opinions and expertise to benefit mankind.  Now more than ever we need this kindness that is exhibited online and make it a reality offline.  Akoha looks to lead this charge of making the world a better place and I eagerly anticipate the public release of their “pay it forward” mission cards.  But each of us must participate in that charge as well.  Just remember that when the guy in the lane next to you cuts you off – don’t allow his actions to cause you to do the same.  With the same good intentions you have when you blog or comment, take those same intentions and put them in the real world.

Our current economic situation is forcing us to take a good hard look at the mess that’s been made.  Because checks and balances were not correctly in place, a new level of accountability will undoubtedly be put in place.  As we look to the future, we must rely on each other, just as our 2.0 Community already does, and start being more accountable to how we treat each other in the real world as well.  Start tomorrow and make the world a friendler place – it all starts with a cup of coffee.

What Do YOU Want?

Survey Says...

Survey Says...

In an effort to stay current with my readers and their wishes, it’s always good to offer up suggestions.  I have enjoyed this blog and will continue to – it’s simply too much fun!  Technology continues to bring up more tools for bloggers to use, so I found Poll Daddy.  I couldn’t help but entertain some of its functions, so if you are so inclined, I would love to hear your thoughts and answers on this survey.  It’ll only take a few seconds and would help me a great deal.  If a question evokes additional thoughts, please post them in the comments section as well.

Have you seen this survey tool before?

The Greatest Marketer – a proud father

Blog for Fathers

Blog for Fathers

The continuation of Web 2.0 evolves and evolves.  And, before you know it, the common man is able to achieve great things, in addition to being a father.  Like networking with each other, even those considered famous in social media.

Chris Brogan, veteran of social media and co-founder of PodCamp has started a new blog of a different sort.  Dad-O-Matic is a blog for fathers (and mothers) to trade stories, provide advice and give a forum to talk about our children and what we’ve learned.  Chris tweeted about this (on Twitter, what else?!) a few days ago, looking for authors and I was only too happy to oblige.  If you’re a father like me and enjoy marketing your best creation (your kids), then take a look at Dad-O-Matic.  Who knows, we might all learn something.

Google threatened by Digg and others?

Blogsearch protects turf against Digg?

Blogsearch protects turf against Digg?

Problogger released news of an update Google’s BlogSearch has added – one that allows you to view news listed in different categories while also seeing how many are blogging about the story and a graph to show the visual trends.  Handy feature in light of what strikes a chord with readers.

Amongst news that many are now using Digg and other similar social bookmarking sites for relevant news – is this Google’s way of pushing back to the front?

What do you think?

Web 2.0 Sucks – or so says Andrew Keen

Keen isn’t so Keen

This morning during a SHSMD conference I’m attending that is directed toward Healthcare Marketers, I was compelled to sit through a lecture given by Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur:  How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture.”  It was interesting to note that as soon as Keen delivered his first minutes of opinion, the audience was noticeably uncomfortable.  Keen’s main point was that the proliferation of Web 2.0, the advent of blogging by anyone, of Youtube videos being posted by anyone, of Wikipedia being edited by anyone is causing society to suffer.  Keen’s background, as a music publisher, prompted him to defend the artists who aren’t properly reimbursed due to illegal downloading.  Duly noted and agreed on that point.

You Have No Voice

I wasn’t completely sure if Keen believed Oswald was killed by a single bullet.  Unfortunately we never got to that point.  But his suggestions that the consumer must stand to attention when a so-called expert espouses their thoughts was downright insulting.  I got sick to my stomach as I watched Keen talk about how the everyday man doesn’t deserve the right to be inspired, motivated nor have the right to express themselves.  I guess because he’s an author it also qualifies Keen to use his podium to take potshots at Sarah Palin from his democratic high chair.

I applaud SHSMD for inviting a controversial speaker like Keen to speak and challenge conventional thought.  However, having Keen speak at this point in time with millions of blog posts published each day, social networking becoming more than abundant and several issues addressed or repaired by amateurs like myself because of Web 2.0, is like attempting to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.

Another example of great marketing

FREE COFFEE?

About 5 months ago, John Wall at Ronin Marketeer made me aware of a “Java Beta Test” that Joffrey’s was doing.  Joffrey‘s is an online tea & coffee company that had a great idea that I wrote of earlier.  They offered free samples of their coffee to bloggers and had them write about the product.  Risky venture, but not if your product is at the caliber of Joffrey’s.  Their Jamaica Me Crazy was fantastic!  Great strategy and great innovative technique to allow multiple bloggers to get in on the action.  At last count they have over 1,500 blogs they’ve involved.

GREAT FOLLOW-THROUGH

I admit that I had every intention of buying a bag of Jamaica Me Crazy…but you can fill in the rest of the story. Life just comes too fast some days.  So, jump start to yesterday.  Five months after this beta test and I get an email from Joffrey’s alerting me to their new site and to check it out.  They never invaded my email box after the initial experiment.  They backed off unlike many others who call you 2,000 times after a whitepaper download.  But they followed through on the contacts they made during their Java Beta Test and discreetly reminded everyone they were still around, had a new site design and indirectly brought business back around to their site.  Plus they offered a 25% discount to me and my readers.  Details below…

To make it even more satisfying, I wrote a letter back to the email issuer, Adam, Director of Digital Strategy with Pierson Grant, who is the strategist team for Joffrey’s.  I wrote my compliments…and got a reply within 15 minutes or so.

We need more companies like Joffrey’s and Pierson Grant – for people who know how to use the great responsibility of social media and who do it well.

Once again, my coffee mug is raised in their honor!  Now, here is the email I received with that special offer:

Coffee Trends in the Blogosphere:

Results from Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company’s survey based on 1,000 bloggers:

  • Average age of Java Beta Tester:  approximately 31.5 years old

Coffee preferences:

  • 93% prefer regular, 7% prefer decaf
  • 59% prefer traditional coffee, 41% prefer flavored coffee
  • Cups of coffee per day:
    • 1-2 = 45%
    • 2-4 = 35%
    • 4+ = 20%
  • Sweetener and cream preferences:
    • Cream + sweetener = 50%
    • Black = 25%
    • Cream only = 19%
    • Sweetener only = 6%

SO, for you coffee lovers, use this code:  DCWEBLAUNCH085 and receive 25% off your order through Joffrey’s.  As the kind folks at MarketingOverCoffee.com like to say, “Enjoy the coffee!”

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