Category Archives: Good

Change Everything

This post presents the content and discusses the process in my journey to create the “This Can Change Everything” presentation for iMedia Breakthrough Summit on March 21, 2011. It was a 30-45 minute discussion where I covered So|Lo|Mo, Gamification, Maker-movement and Social CRM/Caring after a hat-tip to Moore’s & Metcalfe’s laws combined with the “People” coefficient. With an extra 15-minutes allowance, I may have added connected TVs as a potential “return to the Family Room” theme. Regardless, these themes are ones that I believe can change everything in the coming years.
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Weekly Round-Up 12/20/10

As we’re headed into the holidays we give a head-nod to the good, the less fortunate and some ways you can share your social and real capital to help others. Happy holidays.



  • Turmoil around Yahoo’s this week, with questions of it being shut down as it’s not a strategic fit for Yahoo! (TechCrunch)
  • As the “sunsetting” news continues, it’s looking like Yahoo! may be killing something else as well – consumer confidence in them

A Time for Giving

  • ‘Tis the season for goodwill towards your fellow being, and the 2010 Holiday Tweet Drive is well under way bringing toys and food to disadvantaged kids
  • Founders of start-up SwipeGood believe that giving should be simple and constant, and what better way than to have the ability to give with every credit card purchase
  • Giving is getting easier and the options are growing – check out these five different sites that make it easy to give back while socializing online

Weekly Round-Up 10/18/10


Social Media


Social Gaming



Quotable–tweet of the week:

“Old Spice campaign has jumped the horse. (vid)” via @danielstein

Live a Refresh Challenge

Last month I got the chance to get involved with a Pepsi Refresh cause to raise money for a great cause, the International Rett Syndrome Foundation. The prize is $500k–between the $250,000-level funding from Pepsi Refresh and a matching grant from The Pioneer Foundation–just for tweeting and texting. We came in third in a race that changed hands several times on the last day of voting and in which only the top two vote earners win funding. Through the process of supporting this cause I earned an intimate view of the idea, mechanism and vision of Pepsi Refresh. We’re in the running again this month, leading the voting so far. I’ll share some impressions below and invite you to get familiar with the program as the new rules of marketing require every brand to have some form of Social Mission in its brand expression. Pepsi Refresh is the gold-standard expression.

Clear Call To Action

Please get familiar with the Pepsi Refresh project by signing up today now. You can login with your Facebook account or create an account using email. Go ahead. We’ll wait. When you are done voting, please return and post your action and any impressions in the comments below. See instructions below for voting daily as well as sample tweets you can use to promote this to your network.

To get the full impact of this program, go beyond voting to promoting. When you do this you’ll see an emotional connection that happens in the process of helping out a worthy cause. More than the brand impressions enhancing their Share Of Voice in SocialMedia, I believe Pepsico is benefiting from the positive brand transference of this emotional association and connection.

About Pepsi Refresh

Pepsi Refresh got famous as news outlets picked up on Pepsico’s decision to skip a Super Bowl ad for 2010. Media reports implied Pepsi used the marketing dollars to fund the Refresh Everything initiative instead. Moving funds from TV to SocialMedia was unheard of and considered bold, visionary and as with any marketing innovation, was also met with some skepticism. Nine months, 160 funded ideas and nearly $7 million in charitable grants later the evidence is falling on the side of vision over skepticism. Pepsico has announced plans to roll out Refresh Everything globally and support the program in the US for at least another year. In a recap post for this challenge I’ll share more of the mechanics and an interview with Pepsico’s Bonin Bough about the program.

About IRSF:

The International Retts Syndrome Foundation funds research to cure this tragic disease which strikes 15-months to 12 years old girls to various degrees with autistic-spectrum afflictions. As it progresses girls lose speech, motor control and eventually can not live unassisted. The amazing thing about IRSF is that their efforts in funding medical research has actually produced to my knowledge the first –identified marker at the chromosome level which advances this from the “needle in the haystack” research activity to a focused drive to a cure. Breakthroughs for IRSF will also likely open doors more broadly for the treatment of neurological diseases.

On a personal note: Christian McMahan and John Corpus are two friends with daughters the same age as mine. Each as wonderful, both with Retts. We need a cure.

Small acts, Short time, Big deal:
We can make a big difference by getting our networks to vote for the IRSF cause on the Pepsi Refresh Everything program. The prize from Pepsi is $250k and IRSF has secured an additional $250k in matching grant from The Pioneer Foundation. So, you have the ability to raise $500k for this cause just by doing what we do.

There are a lot of worthy and motivated causes gunning for the two top $250k spots. We don’t take any of their resourcefulness or networks for granted. We need help getting people to do two things:

  1. Go to and vote every day for our cause between now and September 30
  2. Text 100842 to Pepsi (73774) on any mobile device; standard text messaging rates apply

We’re confident with your support we can maintain our top spot (see and win the prize.

Here are a couple of potential tweets for you to use in promoting:

  • Join me in finding a CURE for 1000’s of girls w/Rett Syndrome by voting now! & txt 100842 to 73774. pls rt!
  • Vote IRSF @Pepsico Refresh daily to 9/30 we can win $500k w/matching grants! & txt 100842 to 73774. pls rt!
  • Vote to cure Retts @Pepsico Refresh now & daily to 9/30-we may win $500k for a cure! & txt 100842 to 73774. pls rt!

When Every Little Bit Really Does Count

The Good Cause

The Good Cause

Tonight at 9:12pm David created a blog post for a friend in need. Daniela, with her three youngsters, made the courageous decision to exit a physically abusive marriage. Now homeless and far from home and support, her friends came to her aid. David posted a picture, an entreaty for donations and included a widget from ChipIn–a PayPal enabled payment system–to raise money that would provide Daniela the means to rent a small apartment for her family. His target was $5,000 and within two hours it easily passed $7,000 in donations.

To be fair, David is just any guy. He’s David Armano,  or @Armano on Twitter where you may already be one of his 8000+ followers. I am. You should. He puts great thinking and creativity into the SocialSphere everyday through his Logic+Emotion blog, twitterstream, twitpics, flickr visualizations, slideshare decks, bookmarks and more.  David populates and prolifically fills his SocialMap with an abundance of original thought, discoveries and insights. So, when he finally asked for something in return, the community answered his call. When he posted to his blog, he also asked in addition to giving that people help him spread the word by “retweeting” his link. They did and the response was immediate.

The widget allows you to track progress and it’s clear by the decimal point movement that people were making payments of all sizes, including very small, but meaningful ones. Because with The Long Tail and micropayments, a little can add up to a lot. In this case, a families dreams of a better life. Currently 218 donors have raised $7,099.31 or $32.56 per person on average.

To bluntly and awkwardly bring this back to the business of digital marketing and Real Branding, here are some lessons David delivered tonight:

  • Brands that create value have the right to make the ask on occasion and their fans will respond
  • Micro is the new black. Sure widgets have been around for at least three years when RockYou put its code up on MySpace and started tearing at the walled gardens creating a distribution and value-creating revolution. But now they’re getting people elected, or into their new home
  • Blog post alone isn’t the solution as Forrester’s Jermiah Owyang has recently discovered; need to add viral and urgency through twitter. Add a twitter url and hashtag for your followers to use, making it easier to promote, track, aggregate through search and measure
  • We digital folks never fail to be amazed when our magic works for us–and it does

Thanks David and family for the lessons from the heart. Every little bit counts. You can help the cause by clicking over and making your donation now (I don’t know how to embed widgets in WordPress otherwise you would be able to do it right here; don’t tell anyone :-). Be Great.

Google Black

googleblack.jpgDon’t know if you caught homepage today. They turned it black to bring awareness to Earth Hour, an initiative for “lights out” from 8-9pm on 3/29/08 in honor of energy conservation. Couple of thoughts on this: 1) causes are the new black for brands; 2) changing the background on web pages has worked since 1994; more should try this sparingly when right–easy hack and says more than a headline; 3) Google has a call for action to submit your cause for their homepage… international causes should get crackin’.

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Missing You

Along with a lot to be thankful for, 2007 was a year of great loss as well.

On the agency side, Jon Barkan of GCI, a dear friend–anyone who spent time with him considered Jon in these ranks–passed away suddenly, leaving his wife and three children whom he adored. You can see the joy he created from comments added to his last post on Jon’s blog: Blogger: The Barkan Dawg – Post a Comment

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Give While You Get Holiday Card

countrycrockholiday.jpgCountry Crock has teamed up with HD Greetings to deliver a simple message: spread the joy during the holidays by sending a custom video ecard and share a story to feed a family. For each story shared on Country Crock’s website, they donate a meal to Second Harvest. The ecard includes a pan around a stylized 3D hearth into which you can upload your own picture, choose your own music and play a message from Amy Grant supporting the cause. Take five minutes to make the holiday brighter for someone you don’t know.

Loss of a Visionary, Michael Jackson The Beer Hunter

Every so often a person of great vision comes along to expose big truths and make the world a better place in the process. Michael Jackson, sometimes known as the Bard of Beer or from the PBS TV series of his naming, The Beer Hunter, was one of these and we lost him last Thursday at the age of 65. In what seems like too short of a life, he lived it more richly, intensely, truly than most can hope.  Continue reading

Happy 20 years, Toronado

Last Saturday the Toronado in San Francisco celebrated its 20th Anniversary. It’s noteworthy for several reasons relevant to those invested in creating value and meaning from their work.   Continue reading