Category Archives: Social Networking

The Value of Competition

Rock Bottom Lake Racers (2)

What is the value of competition? Is it the acquisition of a prize, like Olympic gold or the praise of fans and friends? While completion may provide some incentive through the lure of winning something, it seems the real value is in the physical, mental and emotional strength developed in us as we discipline ourselves to push toward achieving a goal. Having someone to work with or compete against provides an extra push and gives us a measure of our level of engagement within a social setting.

Life is full of opportunities to compete, not only in sporting activities, but also in every activity throughout our day. Can we be aware enough of our actions to gauge if we are improving how we function? While it is fine, and even necessary to relax and enjoy the ride in resting intervals to regain our strength, finding the next level of our capacity can be greatly rewarding as we increase our strength, and even amplify the bond we have with others.

I was having these thoughts about competition yesterday morning while enjoying the ten minute rural commute to my office in Duvall. All of a sudden, I focused on a truck in front of me that I had just caught up with at the stoplight entering town. I was blown away by the message on the rear door and grabbed my phone to take a quick photo (below) while stopped behind it. This was just too weird, considering where my mind had been for the past ten minutes before seeing the truck (and I drive a Jeep by the way). I’m pretty sure it was a coincidence…but I had to consider other options. In any case, Bam, a life message right in my face.

Compete 2

Do you have a competition specialty? If not, perhaps today is a good time to get in a game…you’ll be stronger in many ways for making the effort, and you might have some fun and even make some friends. Come on, I dare you! Join me, because I’ve decided to find a game today. Let our games begin, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

The Dark-side of Social Networks

It is clear we have a long way to go in the development and use of social networks. Our sense is that our desire to be happy will lead to new social networking venues, more personalized to our individual needs.  As Douglas Adams put it in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “…And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.”

MIT Technology Review          August 29, 2014

Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects.

A study of 50,000 people in Italy concludes that online social networks have a significant negative impact on individual welfare.

Italy online

Online social networks have permeated our lives with far-reaching consequences. Many people have used them to connect with friends and family in distant parts of the world, to make connections that have advanced their careers in leaps and bounds and to explore and visualize not only their own network of friends but the networks of their friends, family, and colleagues.

But there is growing evidence that the impact of online social networks is not all good or even benign. A number of studies have begun to find evidence that online networks can have significant detrimental effects. This question is hotly debated, often with conflicting results and usually using limited varieties of subjects, such as undergraduate students.

Today, Fabio Sabatini at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy and Francesco Sarracino at STATEC in Luxembourg attempt to tease apart the factors involved in this thorny issue by number crunching the data from a survey of around 50,000 people in Italy gathered during 2010 and 2011. The survey specifically measures subjective well-being and also gathers detailed information about the way each person uses the Internet.

The question Sabatini and Sarracino set out to answer is whether the use of online networks reduces subjective well-being and if so, how.

Sabatini and Sarracino’s database is called the “Multipurpose Survey on Households,” a survey of around 24,000 Italian households corresponding to 50,000 individuals carried out by the Italian National Institute of Statistics every year. These guys use the data drawn from 2010 and 2011. What’s important about the survey as that it is large and nationally representative (as opposed to a self-selecting group of undergraduates).

The survey specifically asks the question “How satisfied are you with your life as a whole nowadays?” requiring an answer from extremely dissatisfied (0) to extremely satisfied (10). This provides a well-established measure of subjective well-being.

The survey also asks other detailed questions such as how often people meet friends and whether they think people can be trusted. It also asked about people’s use of online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

This allowed Sabatini and Sarracino to study the correlation between subjective well-being and other factors in their life, particularly their use of social networks. As statisticians they were particularly careful to rule out spurious correlations that can be explained by factors such as endogeneity bias where a seemingly independent parameter is actually correlated with an unobserved factor relegated to the error.

They found for example that face-to-face interactions and the trust people place in one another are strongly correlated with well-being in a positive way. In other words, if you tend to trust people and have lots of face-to-face interactions, you will probably assess your well-being more highly.

But of course interactions on online social networks are not face-to-face and this may impact the trust you have in people online. It is this loss of trust that can then affect subjective well-being rather than the online interaction itself.

Sabatini and Sarracino tease this apart statistically. “We find that online networking plays a positive role in subjective well-being through its impact on physical interactions, whereas [the use of] social network sites is associated with lower social trust,” they say. “The overall effect of networking on individual welfare is significantly negative,” they conclude.

That’s an important result because it is the first time that the role of online networks has been addressed in such a large and nationally representative sample.

Sabatini and Sarracino particularly highlight the role of discrimination and hate speech on social media which they say play a significant role in trust and well-being. Better moderation could significantly improve the well-being of the people who use social networks, they conclude.

Facebook, Twitter, and others take note.

Original Source Here: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/530401/evidence-grows-that-online-social-networks-have-insidious-negative-effects/

What makes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Work?

We are all publishing houses.

What’s in your publishing house?

Read the article below to consider how and why you publish, and view where the publishing world it headed.


Why The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is A Social (And Financial) Blockbuster

Written by JOHN DEIGHTON  –  Previously published by Forbes    

August 20, 2014

In 2009, technology researchers at Forrester published a report entitled We Are All Media Companies Now, that looked at how publishing firms were dealing with the shift from a distribution paradigm to one based on consumption. By 2014, the paradigm is being experienced not just by companies but increasingly by individuals. People who use Facebook and Twitter TWTR -0.07% are for all practical purposes running little media houses, and face the problem of their much larger brethren, where will the next story come from? Originality is too time-consuming: emulation is inevitable. Fads ensue.

What gets emulated? Anything that can contribute to social capital. The content must be easy to create but not as easy as photographing one’s morning cappuccino. For example, someone in Toronto snapped a selfie with the controversial mayor Rob Ford, and overnight hunting Rob Ford became a Toronto sport, and your face next to his became social currency across Canada.

It’s easy to write off these fads as simple stunts of digital narcissism, but they matter to marketing because they carry incidental meaning. It was not lost on Ford’s reelection team that media coverage on Facebook was as good as, perhaps better than, press coverage. Selfies with Ford carried the incidental meaning that he was one of the people, a fun-loving regular guy. He began to make himself selfie-friendly.

Brands too ask how they can become incidental props in these viral stunts. The challenge brands encounter, however, is that their involvement could come off as merely jumping on the bandwagon because spreadable stunts tend to carry no meaning beyond the stunt itself. Take “planking” for example. An early Facebook fad, planking is the act of lying face-down in an incongruous place. It is the epitome of digital narcissism and any hint of motive other than ‘look at me,’ just clouds the picture.

By contrast, the ALS ice bucket challenge offers an example of a brand harnessing the energy of a narcissistic fad on social networks in service to the brand itself. The usual elements are there, an act that is incongruous, not easy to do and screams ‘look at me.’ Yet here, the incidental meaning is not at all dissociated from the personal meaning. I’m making myself uncomfortable for ALS. I’m recruiting the anti-ALS cause to enhance my personal capital. Alas for marketers looking for low-cost market impact, few commercial brands enhance personal capital. Few are as powerful as cause brands.

How has it worked?  As of Wednesday, August 20, The ALS Association has received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period  (July 29 to August 20) last year.

This remarkable increase in their fundraising potential is largely due to the snowball effect of cause marketing coupled with a social medial fad. Celebrities are jumping in on the action. Sports teams are not far behind. In fact, almost everyone who is challenged by a friend, co-worker, or family member joins in. If ice buckets can help fund research to shed light on a terrible disease, such as ALS, more power to them, and may their tribe increase.

John Deighton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

Original Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2014/08/20/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-creates-social-and-financial-capital/


What are you publishing?

Thank you very much for stopping by our publishing house…back to the top.

Ethiopia: World’s Poorest Have Least Access to Safe Water – UNICEF

Ethiopia: World’s Poorest Have Least Access to Safe Water – UNICEF

Almost four years after the world met the global target set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for safe drinking water, and after the UN General Assembly declared that water was a human right, over three-quarters of a billion people, most of them poor, still do not have this basic necessity, UNICEF said to commemorate World Water Day.

Estimates from UNICEF and WHO published in 2013 are that a staggering 768 millionpeople do not have access to safe drinking water, causing hundreds of thousands of children to sicken and die each year. Most of the people without access are poor and live in remote rural areas or urban slums. UNICEF estimates that 1,400 children under five die every day from diarrheal diseases linked to lack of safe water and adequate sanitation and hygiene.

“Every child, rich or poor, has the right to survive, the right to health, the right to a future,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, head of UNICEF’s global water, sanitation and hygiene program. “The world should not rest until every single man, woman and child has the water and sanitation that is theirs as a human right.”

The MDG target for drinking water was met and passed in 2010, when 89 per cent of the global population had access to improved sources of drinking water — such as piped supplies, boreholes fitted with pumps, and protected wells. Also in 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right, meaning every person should have access to safe water and basic sanitation. However, this basic right continues to be denied to the poorest people across the world.

“What continues to be striking, and maybe even shocking, is that even in middle income countries there are millions of poor people who do not have safe water to drink,” Wijesekera added. “We must target the marginalized and often forgotten groups: those who are the most difficult to reach, the poorest and the most disadvantaged.”

According to UNICEF and WHO estimates, 10countries are home to almost two-thirds of the global population without access to improved drinking water sources. They are: China (108 million); India (99 million); Nigeria (63 million); Ethiopia (43 million); Indonesia (39 million); Democratic Republic of the Congo (37 million); Bangladesh (26 million); United Republic of Tanzania (22 million); Kenya (16 million) and Pakistan (16 million).

Ethiopia is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target related to water-62 per cent of the population should access improved sources of drinking water by 2015 against the MDG target of 57 per cent. More than half of the households (54 per cent) have access to an improved source of drinking water, compared to 35 per cent in 2005 and 25 per cent only in 2000 (EDHS 2011).

However, the country is lagging behind on sanitation targets. While the MDG target for access to improved sanitation facilities is 51 per cent, only 8.3 per cent (EDHS 2011) of the population has access to improved sanitation. Children in school are especially vulnerable as the National Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Inventory data shows that only 33 per cent of school have improved sanitation facilities for students and teachers, and only 31 per cent have access to water.

“While the theme this year is the inter-linkage between water and energy, we should focus on women and children as the primary beneficiaries of water in Ethiopia,” said Samuel Godfrey, Chief of WASH in UNICEF Ethiopia.

Huge disparities in the quality of water and sanitation infrastructure lie between the urban and rural area. In most rural areas across Ethiopia, water scarcity, inferior water quality, lack of sanitation facilities and inappropriate hygiene behaviors threaten the well-being of communities. There is also an urgent need to address the issue of separate sanitary facilities. Girls are often reluctant to use facilities, even if they are clean, because toilet blocks and hand washing facilities (important for menstrual hygiene) rarely provide the level of privacy and security they require.

“It is vital that girls should not feel marginalized and lose their self-respect due to lack of WASH facilities in schools. We need to foster an environment where girls maintain their dignity and focus on their school attendance and achievements,” stresses Mr. Godfrey.

In order to harmonize the WASH efforts in the country, the ONEWASH program has been launched in 2013, bringing together four ministries: Water Resources; Health; Education; and Finance & Economic Development. ONEWASH attempts to modernize the way water and sanitation services are delivered; improving the health situation, decreasing the drop-out rates of children in schools, and making financing for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) more effective. Above all, the program contributes significantly in meeting both the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets.

This week, UNICEF launched a global social media campaign to demand action for the 768 million people without access to safe water. Followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be asked to discuss what water means to them through the use of photography and the hashtag #WaterIs to help raise awareness of what it means to live without access to safe drinking water.

Flying Santa – Right Action

Capt. William H. Wincapaw, known as an adventurous and skilled Airman, unknowingly began a tradition in 1929. He was just a guy that wanted to bring holiday cheer to the lighthouse keepers along the East Coast by dropping packages of toys, coffee, shaving supplies, and snacks around Christmas time. He soon became known by the light keepers as the Flying Santa. Over the decades the planes and pilots changed, but except for a break during World War II, the practice continues today, now by helicopter.

This Christmas, Frank wanted to pay special tribute to the new Airman in the family, his grandson Griffyn. So, a new 30” x 24” acrylic on wood panel painting shown below is added today to Frank’s lighthouse series. The lighthouse seen in this painting is the Boston Light.

Flying Santa
Flying Santa

This painting honors those who take special care of the all-important light keepers, as well as the remote Coast Guard outposts.

Now as Griffyn has his first Christmas away from home in the Air Force, we wish him and his group a safe and enjoyable Christmas, as we thank all those who bless and protect us from above.

Moving On

In Frank’s painting  below, “Moving On” (48” x 24” acrylic on wood panel) he depicts our urge to explore the far reaches of space and colonize other star systems before our sun expires, or some other calamity befalls earth. To do so, we put a lot of emphasis on technology. But tech does fail, and we would be wise to do a better job of caring for what we have.

Moving On -- Hyper Galactic

 

Hopefully, when we do make this voyage, we will be spreading our positive nature, and not only seeking conquest, where we might meet our better.

How well are nonprofits socially networking

(Note from Frank Kliewer: The following article summarizes the angst that many nonprofits are going through over the use of social media. Sarah Todd points out that while success is spotty, it is time to get over the waiting game, social networking is here to stay so you might as well jump in and learn the ropes. I do believe that organizations need to develop their own brand of social communication to keep their network engaged with them and not allow their valuable base to waste time on the larger sites seeking a meaningful conversation.)

How well are nonprofits socially networking

Posted: January 7, 2012 – 12:14am

By Sarah Todd

The benefit of using social media to promote your nonprofit is taken as a given today by most of us. Many nonprofits are in their sixth or seventh year of using social media to promote themselves and engage with communities. More than 85 percent of nonprofits are experimenting with social media (Neal Shaffer, WindMill Networking).

Late or non-adopters are still unsure whether social networking is a fad and whether the current tools will change on them, wasting precious time and resources.

In the Nonprofit Quarterly, Christine Durand and Kristen Cici acknowledge that while the tools may and will change, social media is here to stay as an important public relations and engagement tool.

Their advice is that nonprofits should invest in the concept of being social organizations rather than becoming stuck on a single tool.

Some of us are still unclear on exactly why the social network is so important.

Bottom line, it’s the online version of word-of-mouth advertising. And that’s not the same as self-promotion. It’s getting other people talking about and engaged in your organization. Then you can reach out more personally, engaging donors, volunteers and more.

Many nonprofits doing social networking are missing opportunities and making beginners’ mistakes.

A few of the most common, from a useful list provided by Fundraising Success magazine, are failing to post social networking icons on your web site so people can easily get to your social networking links and too much self-promotion instead of real engagement through conversation.

A third major failure is not blogging because this is what brings fresh content to your site on a daily basis, and that fresh content helps in many ways.

Most of us are intimidated by the idea of blogging or put off by the many inane blogs we encounter. We’re fearful it will become a deep sinkhole of time with little to show for it. If not done well, that could be right. But that excuse has lost its potency because there’s so much wisdom available online on how to blog well.

In a fall 2011 Huffington Post article, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark revealed the results of a survey his team undertook to discover the social networking results of the top 50 highest earning nonprofits.

Metrics such as the number of Tweets over the two-month survey period and the number of Facebook fans and posts and comments received during the period were used to define effective. The survey results are available at Huff Post Impact online.

The Craigslist team found top earning nonprofits do not necessarily have either the best visibility or the most meaningful activity in the social media arena. Though 92 percent of the 50 nonprofits on the highest earnings list use social media, some of the most social-media-savvy organizations were the lowest among the top fifty.

In our own community, where the average income for nonprofits is much lower than these top fifty, how can smaller nonprofits — short on time and people — effectively use social networking?

Begin with just one or two social networking sites, like FaceBook and Twitter. There are now a number of highly useful and not overly technical books on how to get set up with each of the major social networking tools.

After reading, create a plan before you jump in. Decide who will work on it and how much daily time they can afford to spend. If you are on more than one site, link them so you can more efficiently get news out.

This technique does not allow you to customize your responses to these two audiences, so just do it while you’re getting settled into a routine with your social networking and analyze how effective it is for you.

Finally, you can do fine as a beginner with one post a day or even a few times a week. What’s important is not to be inconsistent about how often you post and to respond to posts in a timely manner to help retain your followers.

With all the great information resources available on social networking, I think 2012 will be a year when many adopters get much better at it and most of the rest of us finally jump into the pool. If we always keep in mind that our purpose is to create meaningful, engaged conversation, we can’t go too far wrong.

Sarah Todd is director of development for Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia and the founder of Change Pioneers. Sarah can be reached at 912-224-2120 or changepioneers@gmail.com.

Link to original article:

http://savannahnow.com/exchange/2012-01-07/how-well-are-nonprofits-socially-networking#.TwhNkdTOzHQ