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Live-blogging Third Tuesday with Joe Solomon June 17, 2008

Posted by Raul in social change, Third Tuesday.

We are at The Network Hub. Rebecca is live-blogging and I can’t move by fear of having my laptop die on me. Tod Maffin is doing the introductions for Joe Solomon. After 3 times that you participate, the person who is part of the dialogue with good stuff, gets this book (“Ultimate Blogs”). Barack Obama’s Facebook page is a few hundred people away from one million.

Social media is a group of like-minded people that talk through online tools. Colleen Coplick is describing her survey and explaining how much reach she has now thanks to Web 2.0 tools (e.g. Twitter). You can’t reach some people unless you have online tools.

Joe is describing about his role as a social media consultant for non-profits. When Greenpeace sets up a company in YouTube, it explodes (whereas other companies, for-profits, don’t have the same success). People want to connect to causes (which makes Joe’s job very easy).

[SIDE NOTE – My TwitterFox @hummingbird604 seems down, so if you’re Tweeting me, I can’t see it right now]

An application – climate change application – won 1 Karma point 😉 hehehe. Imagine raising over $ 25 million dollars. If you use the application, and you work hard at it, good things happen.

Social media is really about engaging. A lot of non-profits (the non-Web 2.0 non-profits – knowledge is power – I couldn’t even find their ‘Donate Button’ – pretty hidden).

Using social media with popular social networks. Not talking about NothingButNets, HappyFrog, ChangeEverything. He is going to talk about meeting users on Facebook, Twitter and SecondLife.


Genocide intervention – 2005 – The constituents were calling the senator’s donors (so they had a bill passed). OpenSecrets.org.

– Based in the UK – Facebook group – linked on the wiki. The Coca-Cola campaign – created a group. A blogger wanted to get Coca-Cola to get their user distribution channels to spread dehydration salts (help protect 1/9 children die of de-hydration). If they could get these in the Coca-Cola crates and they could distribute them. He couldn’t do this WITHOUT FACEBOOK.

Colleen asks if donations are working and do they actually go to where they should?


– Over 20% of Barack Obama’s videos went to this particular one. This is NOT viral because there is not transformations.

– Really viral video-campaigns.

– YouTube collaboration on climate change – putting a message from one side of the screen to the other side. Handing off this bottle – showing how the US changes the position. It’s viral if you actually move the message and spread it and everyone transforms it.

– Video – tag – instant karma – pass this vid for humanity – make a video of how you want to save the environment and pass this message.

Colleen actually WON the book (congrats Colleen!)

My question – how do you reach out to those like me who are NOT on Facebook.
Joe’s answer – go multi-platform.

Tod Maffin – exception to the norm. What do companies do?
If something is at stake – Joe will latch on there.

How can our client come off like they’re really interested in saving the world?
Well, if it’s not authentic, then it doesn’t work.

Rephrasing his questions – what lessons can be drawn?


Using the hashtags for people who are depressed. IF we use Twitter and put a hashtag on how the people are feeling (on a scale from 1-10) – but it allows you to engage the groups.


What is the degree of success?
Many do, but it’s particularly measured in terms of the community.


Frozen Pea Fund – initiated in support of Susan Reynolds. Through the power of Twitter and re-tweeting. It’s a wonderful program in support of women who have faced breast cancer.

[SIDE NOTE – Joe would benefit from speaking more slowly. This is a really cool talk but he’s speaking about WAY too much and delivering way too much information too fast. But it appears he’s going to talk about KnowMore.org soon, so his basic messages are four – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and KnowMore]

Are we seeing the style of marketing – maybe we turn internal people and make them in the commercial – do we find individuals who happen to work and celebrate them?

Article in Wired by Clive Thompson – about transparency – The See-Through CEO.



ILoveMountains.org – Stop mountain-top removal. In this widget, you can recruit people and it will show you in real-time, and shows how many people you recruit.

Raising awareness (YAY – and now what?, asks Colleen). It’s slowly seducing the new constituents, and potentially there are donations that could go on. For Joe, it’s about getting people involved, in small steps. Change themselves in mountain tops.

You can sign a petition for human rights that every country should have and you can read it and sign it FROM the widget. We are moving into enabling the bloggers to do really cool stuff on their sidebars.

The Nature Conservancy – They started a plant and donate trees – donate a dollar to buy a tree.
– 324,000 trees installed

Facebook has 80 million users. FIREFOX HAS 174 MILLION USERS!!! Can you imagine!

Knowmore.org is a Firefox extension that wiki-profiles companies and the criticisms that these corporations are dogged by. So Joe called them and implement the extension for when you go to Wal-Mart, Nike, etc. You’ll see the ratings from Wal-Mart. You can turn Google into a StumbleUpon that actually will screen each company you search for.

You source it to the experts.

Bruce Byfield suggests – careful with having this hijacked.

Rebecca Bollwitt – Web Annotation – rate the web. She asks a question on this – allowing anyone to leave comments on the web. Maybe you could rate the comments. Good ones up and bad ones lower in the ranking. Failed miserably, apparently.

Question – Do you know of any examples where non-profits have received money from corporate entities as a result of these campaigns?

Tanya – Microsoft got involved in Kiva, as a result of the companies.

The Bill Gates Foundation does a lot of work like that.

JOE – I am available for hire. Social media consultant.

RAUL – I make the point that it is really hard in social science to find out the actual mechanism of influence (HECK I’VE DONE RESEARCH ON THIS!) and the person who asks is – are there examples of grassroots campaigns’ successes of influencing corporations? Joe understands the question but doesn’t have an answer. (I like that about Joe, he’s VERY honest and forthright).

7.50pm – LIVEBLOG FINISHED. I hope you guys liked it!



1. isabella mori - June 17, 2008

live twittering my dishwashing while following you guys in your live blogging of this event.

would like to know more about depression and twitter!!!

2. nancy (aka money coach) - June 17, 2008

Commenting here wearing my “bank evangelist” (Citizens Bank of Canada) hat:
One aspect that Todd M poked at a couple times is that of businesses, social media, and the “cause” crowd. I wish we’d had an opportunity to discuss this more.
Some of the commentary seemed to suggest a false dichotomy between “pure” non-profits and businesses.

Todd asked: How could a tobacco company possibly even attempt to use some of the social media tools to create something viral related to “change the world”? Obviously there’s a time to say one can’t defend the indefensible, but neither am I convinced that most businesses don’t have *some* aspect that is truly contributing to a better world.

My bank, for example, is a *bank* — but owned by Vancity, and adhering to a code of ethics it created. We genuinely do contribute to making the world a better place in myriad ways, and I hope we do come up with a number of social media/viral ideas that are inherently valuable and engage people. Because we’re owned by a cooperative, it’s relatively easy to claim some of the “social cause” ground.

But another example is the dove campaign for real beauty. Criticisms have been leveled at it because the same company owns unilever. Yet does that undo the powerful message of the dove campaign?

Could it be possible that social media will increasingly illicit the best from businesses? And not just in a “we’ll beat you over the head because we have the power now” kind of way, but because companies will inspire themselves into better practices as they adopt this kind of marketing tactic?

3. author - June 17, 2008

Thanks for liveblogging this!!

4. Search Engine Workshops - June 17, 2008

Good to see you tonight.
Maybe next time they will hold Third Tuesday at Ceilis Irish Pub. 🙂
I’m sure I could help work that out.

5. Joe Solomon - June 18, 2008

Thanks for live-blogging this, Raul. You are way rock-star and I *really* appreciate your honest feedback!

@Nancy – I think there’s a lot of potential for exploring ways companies can make an impact…and I think VanCity is a great example. You guys have a great foundation and have done wonderful things for the community. And I think having that double bottom line in place is really important before approaching cause-related marketing.

Also – I certainly hope social media and using the web to foster transparency will inspire companies to do more and be more accountable. I found this youtube video personally inspiring, which shows Greenpeace surprising Kleenex, and has that “hah!” effect – but it’s goal is to get Kleenex to change …

Listen to the activist @ the end …

“This isn’t a campaign against Kleenex. It’s a campaign for them – to change – to do the right thing…”

6. Joe Solomon - June 18, 2008
7. Rejecting Bill C-61 in its current form - The online discussion « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - June 18, 2008

[…] I had covered the Bill C-61 discussions in a recent post, but it seemed to stir NO DISCUSSION whatsoever (with the exception of Gillian’s very good commentary). This morning I woke up to a Tweet by Andy and I figured I had to write a post about it, and try to bring more attention to it. The reality of it is, this Bill WILL affect a lot of Canadians, residents, even short-term visitors! I don’t think that people are informed enough about this issue. Thus I hope this can be a wake-up call to action. This is a relevant topic that has direct relevance to what Joe Solomon spoke about yesterday – mobilizing people to effect social change. […]

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