Archive for the ‘Cross’ tag
I’ve gone through various stages of “connectedness” in my life. We all have. Some of you are so young that you’ve never known anything else and some of you remember the days when you only knew the local news and big events like going to the moon. Today, we no longer have to rely on travelers spreading information like a game of telephone through roadside diners along Route 66.
Nowadays the whole world is a social media stage, where everyone can step up to the mic and say hello and someone might listen.
When hurricane Katrina happened, Facebook wasn’t available to most of us. The tragic event was probably featured on the cover of every newspaper and was the headlining story for every news outlet. At work a co-worker said to me, “Well, I was heading to New Orleans today, but so much for that!” and I cluelessly responded, “Why?” He looked dumbfounded.
When the earthquake in Haiti happened, I felt more connected through Twitter than anything else. I watched real updates from people who were there to help rebuild and I wished I could help. But I really didn’t know how, so I donated some money to the Red Cross. When the protests started in the middle east, I followed along and looked at one bloody photo after another and watched what happens when a country tries to silence your voice and shuts off the Internet. When the Japanese tsunami claimed thousands of lives, I curled up in a ball and cried. I felt helpless.
Even though I was “connected,” I had no idea how to help. I could follow what was happening but I was merely an observer. So I just decided to set up a recurring donation to the Red Cross. A few days later, something transformative happened. I sent an email to a friend in Japan to check on his well-being and he responded that he was fine, but he was trying to raise funds to get his neighbors some supplies and toilet paper.
Take note: When a disaster happens–and people don’t think about this–you run out of toilet paper. This friend immediately filled my need to help. I offered to supply everyone he knew with toilet paper. That’s when I had an idea: why couldn’t we build a Kiva or a Kickstarter for something like this? Why couldn’t we directly fund people who were on the ground and local who could help in the time of disaster?
Well, for one, individuals aren’t charities and unfortunately some amount of fraud would inevitably happen. I pitched it to a few friends and, like many of my ideas, it died on the vine. But my feeling of being able to help didn’t. I knew someone who was directly helping and, by knowing him, I could also help.
Even though I consider myself one of the most connected people on the planet, I woke up on Friday and bragged to a friend that I was going to go see Batman. My friend looked at me and she couldn’t believe I had not heard the news, despite my connectedness. She pulled out her iPad and showed me the shocking news about the shootings in Aurora, Colorado the night before.
We all have different ways of dealing with tragedy. My way of dealing with it, was getting on to the Internet and searching for anything and everything related to shooter James Holmes. I was determined to figure out how he was connected to the global stage. In this day and age, he must have online profiles somewhere and it must be able to tell us all something about him.
I don’t have any bad ass ninja searching skills, apparently, but other people do. An Adult Friend Finder and Match.com page surfaced. Still, I became obsessed and spent every night searching. Looking for every clue that was handed to us and I came up blank. I read story after story of every victim and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I just couldn’t make sense of this person’s senseless crime.
Guess what? I felt hopeless again. I thought maybe my Internet skills, or lack thereof apparently, would lead me to information that could help the victims. Nothing. I went to the Red Cross site, but something changed. I just couldn’t give them anything else. I don’t know where that money goes. I know they do great things. I know that. I just can’t see the faces. I can’t read the stories. I can’t see how my money directly impacts the people in need. I mean, I give to the Red Cross anyway, but I wanted more and I came up empty handed.
I thought about jumping on a plane and heading there to help in person, but then the power of connectedness happened. Saturday night, I got this direct message on Twitter: “Hey c. Could you please tweet this? :: See 5 ways to bring HOPE to Aurora, Colorado! Join us @ http://t.co/vp1ESWF“
I decided a long time ago to follow pretty much anyone who follows me. It seems polite and, as a result, I get some, but not a lot, of spam. I was prepared to ignore it, but the words “Aurora, Colorado” caught my attention. I clicked on the link and suddenly, I was filled with hope.
The link lead to a site called HopeMob.org, which is exactly what it sounds like–a flash mob of hope. It is a site that raises money for causes, currently one at a time, in a pretty neat way. Stories are submitted to their team and, once they are approved, they are put up to a community vote. Votes cost money (huge fan of this concept!) and the ensuing revenue directly helps the operations of their non-profit. Once a story is voted up and wins, it is locked in to be featured on the front page.
The other great thing about HopeMob is that 100% of the funds that are crowd sourced online for a particular story go to the people in need. The funds aren’t passed directly on, but rather the non-profit vets everything and pays the bills themselves or buys what’s needed for the victims.
Suddenly, I could help.
The top story on HopeMob currently is for the victims of the Colorado shooting and I immediately gave money to the Colorado fund, as well as HopeMob as an organization. As a business owner, I know how much effort it takes to run a company non-profit or not and I want to make sure this site succeeds.
My life is forever changed because of HopeMob.org. I now feel like I can really do something that’s meaningful and has real results that I can understand. I may not be able to save everyone, but maybe I can make a difference in a few people’s lives. In a world we perceive as fucked up, or a place like the US where we may dislike how our government is run, we can at least be what I truly believe we inherently are–good people.
Through the power of the Internet, we can help one another. I’ve already talked too much. Probably 700 words too much, but there’s no way for me to make this story short. Tonight, I received another direct message on Twitter. A model who was in Colorado creating a set submission for Zivity was shot several times in the movie theater. There is a prominent photograph of her gun wounds and the story of her survival. I was floored.
Suddenly, tragedy hit home. I was thankful she was alive. I read her brave story and I was even more thankful that she took credit for her survival and thanked all of the people with their years of experience and skill who helped her recover. I decided to pay her medical bills. I don’t know her. She doesn’t know me. We know of each other through the Internet. It seems like the right thing to do. A friend of mine said it best tonight: Our institutions may be broken but we can at least press buttons to help each other.
Do you work on the account management or the creative side? It’s a common question I’m asked when I go to networking events, expos, or conferences, and my answer is always the same: both. While my role is different from most search engine marketers working in an agency setting, it makes it easier to bring [...]
Social gaming network PapayaMobile is introducing a new service today for Android developers – a cost-free and commission-free cross promotion network called AppFlood. The network had already been in testing with around 20 mobile developers in an earlier version, and today it’s being opened to all. And yes, it’s on Android where this sort of thing is allowed.
The company says that the goal with AppFlood is to lower user acquisition costs for developers, who are now being priced out of the market as rates for acquisition soar.
“The thing that makes this really different is that from the actual buying and selling of traffic, it’s 100% free and commission-free,” explains PapayaMobile’s Director of Marketing, Justin Mauldin. “There are other ad networks out there, and all of them charge some sort of cut for each transaction because that’s their business model. AppFlood takes nothing, but PapayaMobile is not in this to make any money.”
He explains that PapayaMobile sees the network as something that can help boost the traffic to its own games, including a number of first-party games and other developers on its gaming network who want to generate traffic for their own apps. The company can monetize the traffic AppFlood generates in other ways – for example, it can monetize off developers using PapayaMobile’s virtual currency in their games. Mauldin also says that PapayaMobile has no plans to rotate its own ads into the network, as other “free” competitors do today.
The other big differentiator between PapayaMobile’s cross promotion network and others is that there are not minimum requirements for developer participation. “There’s absolutely no minimum traffic requirements or deal negotiations,” Mauldin says, “it’s almost like a pool of users that people will cross-promote into.”
To participate, developers just install a lightweight SDK into their apps – a process which takes just a few hours at best. While still new, Mauldin says the plan now that the network is live is to grow it “very aggressively” and he believes that thousands of installs per day is within reach “very quickly.” Interested developers can sign up here.
Android and iOS: Whether you’re preparing for an emergency or in the midst of one, the Red Cross First Aid app overs plenty of knowledge. It’ll help you get ready for a potential earthquake, handle a broken bone, survive a fire, and tons more. More »
Mobile and Tablet strategy was a heavily discussed topic at SMX Seattle earlier this month. While there were no major revolutionary insights; I did feel that the many of the experts had important general consensuses regarding the non-PC space. Mobile search is exploding in volume and shows no signs…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Over the past ten years, the debate over “network neutrality” has remained one of the central debates in Internet policy. Governments all over the world have been investigating whether legislative or regulatory action is needed to limit the ability of providers of Internet access services to interfere with the applications, content and services on their networks. Read more » about Network Non-Discrimination and Quality of Service
iOS/OS X: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal assistant flesh out your meeting notes with additional research and resources? Dunno attempts to replicate this convenience on any Apple device. More »
With so many marketing channels now available to reach consumers, what’s a marketer to do? Whether it’s juggling across the new channels like mobile and social, or just trying to incorporate the more ‘traditional’ marketing channels like display and search — it’s…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
I'm at Techcrunch Disrupt this week at Pier 94, which is all the way over the West Side Highway (Silicon Alley or Valley this is not…)
It's my first one and takes a little adjusting to the tech- and funding- biases which are commonplace in the startup world.
Case in point: FACEBOOK IPO. FACEBOOK IPO. FACEBOOK IPO. FACEBOOK IPO. YAHOO! WOES. FACEBOOK IPO. FACEBOOK IPO. FACEBOOK IPO. PINTEREST. FACEBOOK IPO. FACEBOOK IPO (in that order)
Then there's the Michael Arrington – Ariana Huffington love affair / spat, which I think may have finally played itself out. Which is good.
These events are pretty grueling for all parties concerned and a special accolade to the startups who have to be "on" constantly as they "man" their booths and work the floor/room throughout the day(s).
I was contacted by several startups and as a blogger/"influencer" and believer in building bridges/relationships with the new content creators/creative class, I wanted to single out those who took the time to reach out in advance of the event:
- ExpertTrivia (Red Ticket Games)
In terms of themes, definitely encouraged to see quite a bit of activity in the audio category. As a podcasting "veteran", I am intrigued with the text-to-talk, next gen conference calls, audio apps etc. Another trend that is impossible to ignore is the photo/visual explosion and truly, brands need to have photo / visual POV's if not strategic approaches nowadays.
Can't believe I just said that, but it's true. Video is all the rage, but "still images" AKA Photos is right up there (or will be)
All in all, I visited with 26 startups and saw another 20 pitch on the main stage. I thought I'd share 10 ideas or tips about effective pitching (at least from the perspective of a brand marketer/agency/potential investor). Maybe you agree. Maybe you disagree. Feel free to "join the conversation":
- Keep it simple (stupid) – the K.I.S.S. approach. This could also be called "know your audience". So many pitches dived into tech-speak and complex walkthroughs of product features versus the classic elevator pitch, the idea, the problem being solved, the consumer value proposition and corresponding benefit, points of differentiation etc.
- Pretend I'm your grandmother. Or grandfather in my case. This is an extension of K.I.S.S. with a key nuance: talk English please
- Use examples. Make it real. Or hypothetically real i.e. give me a sense of product in action and in the case of the Evol8tion business model and our brand clients, describe the perfect or your ideal brand activation.
- Let the product do the talking….demonstration is key. if you can do a quick scroll, flip, swish or slide in the time allotted, terrific! And here's the catch…don't rely on poor 3G or 4G or even wi-fi connections, which often times are the product of busy networks (think of where you are after all). Cached or offline demos aren't cheating.
- Do your homework in terms of the crowd and prospective audiences: partner, hire, investor, brand, press etc.
- Be prepared for the Big Fish. If you get a big bite, be ready to pounce and reel it in. Anticipate this as an exception versus norm, but certainly capitalize on the serendipity.
- Anticipate every type of question. You can't be surprised if people ask you how you make money for example. Or who your competitors are. Or a little less obvious, when they compare you to Pinterest or ask you what happens with Facebook or Google decides to do the same thing you're doing…
- Use the audience as your influencers. The Techcrunch audience is a pretty big deal. Just ask them! Seriously though…these people (we) are self-selected as the innovators/early adopters in the tech space certainly, or if not can probably get the message out. So treat them this way..and it all begins by them downloading your app.
- Special offers are key. I saw very little special offers targeted to this audience. In the case of KurbKarma, they deposited 10 Karma Kredits into our accounts. This could be as simple as letting everyone into a closed/private beta. The worst is putting this audience onto a waiting list…even if you release it the very next day (Uber conference, I'm talking to YOU…now can I get some more invites for my colleagues please )
- Comparisons are fine. If you don't make them, we will. We're a Path meets Open Table. Think Square meets Triangle. Oh you mean, like a cross between Twitter and Instagr.am for Newly Wed Cross-Dressers? I get it! The corollary of this is pushing back when we make the same comparisons or benchmarks.
There are a ton more that came up today and maybe I'll include them in a follow up post.
So do you agree/disagree with me? And more constructively, what tips would you offer up as either successful pitch-ers or caring pitch-ees?