Celebrating Digital Birthdays With Milaap #Milaap4Hope

ALT="Screen Shot, Milaap"Have you ever participated in a microloan program? It’s the coolest way to give back, pay it forward, and help boost the businesses of micro farmers and business people in all corners of the globe. I for one have been a longstanding Kiva.org supporter and have gifted loans to friends who in turn loan money to the folks in South America, Asia, the Balkans, Africa, India, and many other regions. That’s why I was glad to learn about Milaap and how it is celebrating its fourth birthday TODAY on an impressive global scale. Having just learned about Milaap myself, this infographic below may be the best and most efficient method to inform you. Here’s the scoop from the news release recently issued: On June 16, 2014, its fourth anniversary, Milaap invites change agents from around the world to join in a global, round-the-clock online conversation on sustainable giving using #Milaap4Hope. This unique 24-hour event will be hosted across three countries and a range of social networks, beginning at 6:30 am IST on June 16, 2014 (9 pm EDT on June 15, 2014). To learn more about and participate in this unique online event, please visit http://blog.milaap.org/digitalbirthday. [Read more...]

I’ll Never Forget The Glory Days Of Twitter

ALT = "future, past, sign, Soulati"It’s time to have a retirement party and bid the glory days of Twitter so long. It was a good run. We made a lot of connections, met peeps IRL, bantered, and did a bit of business. It was the first check-in in the morning and the last check-in late night. It’s where blog jacks launched, and ‘raderie was born. We survived a recession on Twitter, and together we kept the ROFLs and LMAOs and LOLs rolling in the stream.

The Twitter Glory Days

Twitter used to be the gathering place for anyone who was anyone. Actually, let me rephrase that — Twitter used to be the gathering place for anyone who was no one! Twitter made us someone. It built our personal brands and the frontrunners, self-professed Twitterholics like moi, lapped it up and enjoyed the ride. We all launched about 2009, and didn’t know what we were doing, so we did anything. In these archives, you’ll find a sheep video with Danny Brown and Dino Dogan. It’s a gem, a keeper, and only the old timers know of it! [Read more...]

Get @TheCityHourApp For Social Networking

Soulati-Screen-Shot.jpgI recently had the distinct pleasure  to speak with Lance Seymour, chief marketing officer with CityHour, in this Google+ HangOut On Air. During that session, I also got to to send Alex Lubinsky, founder of CityHour, in the Ukraine some big love from we in the U.S. See what we get to do in sponsored posts? We can send hugs and kisses on a personal note across countries and oceans to those in strife. Big XO to you, Alex!

Now back to scheduled programming…

Hear About CityHour Here

CityHour is a new social networking tool with a big vision.

Have you ever traveled and had downtime in an airport or wandered aisles at a tradeshow wishing you were meeting someone instead? How about meeting someone totally new who also wants to do the same?

That’s what CityHour app does for iPhone users (coming soon to Android). Within minutes, and I mean minutes, you can hook into peeps you don’t know with your same interests and make connections happen. I’m impressed, and after seeing what Lance has to say below, you are going to be impressed, too!

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Are Google+ Communities A Thing Of The Past?

English: Google+ wordmark

English: Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the day I pull the plug on Bloggers Unite, the Google+ community I so eagerly and quickly established to build a place for we bloggers to qvetch, klatch, and ‘raderie.

It worked. For a bit.

In the beginning, as with most things new on the Interwebz, the sharing and energy around Google+ was #RockHot. Everyone wanted in on the action, and my community became a friendly place for peeps to read new material and cascade a few plusses around the sphere.

After that, the invasion of the non-English bloggers happened overnight. One day, we all knew one another, and the next folks from Latin America, Europe, and South America joined and posted blogs in their native tongues.

As owner of this community, it became challenging to support and share blogs I couldn’t read. Yes, someone did inform me to use Google Translation; however, my time is limited.

Segue.

It’s All About Time

What did Google+ communities offer beyond a Facebook group or LinkedIn group? The chatter wasn’t different (in my community, at least). We who jumped in together were already connected on other social channels.

Although I did try to jump start the conversation, it seemed bloggers posted something and took off to greater confines where the engagement was more robust. I get it, so did I!

Amber-Lee Dibble, kindly accepted the role as co-manager of the community, and then she got swamped on a wild horse adventure (no kidding, she lives in the Alaska interior).

Are Other Google+ Communities Thriving?

Like you, I joined some really robust communities back in the day. When I was publishing my first book a year ago, Writing With Verve on the Blogging Journey, (if anyone wants a free copy in exchange for jumping onto my list, let me know!), I joined APE The Book managed by Peggy Fitzpatrick for Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. With 3,400 members, it’s easy to get lost and lurk.

After I gleaned all I could (it was crazy with information), I had to turn off notifications as it became too much sensory overload.

Viveka von Rosen owns a community of 600 members about LinkedIn, her specialty, and I still see those notices rolling in my in box.

Maybe that’s the ticket to success for a G+ community? Specialty topics everyone wants to learn about?

Could be! And, what do you think? Are you still involved in any #RockHot Google+ communities?

Please list them here and tell us why as I’m now seeking a new home to visit!

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The Business Of Happy Birthday

Just how many people are born in February, anyway? It seems like there are 3-5 people daily with birthdays I know within my little network. How about yours?

Since the snail mail snafus with postage increases galore (who knows the price of a postage stamp right now?), the volume of personal mail has subsided to a dull meow. When it’s your birthday, the tried-and-true BFFs from college send a greeting alongside mom, but everyone now sends global greetings the easy way — prompted by Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype and Google+.

Jayme-Soulati-Martini.jpg

Credit: Jayme Soulati

BTW, thank you EVERYONE for my birthday greetings! I remember about three years ago when I sat in front of my social channels until noon thanking every single person for my birthday wishes; it was a grand feeling for the whole day. About three years ago, it was a huge novelty to say happy birthday to everyone online. Now, you can even send gifts, and my goodness, I got one to NOT Dumb Starbucks (watch Steamfeed for the post I just uploaded on that topic!!).

Several weeks ago, I began to get birthday cards and I knew from the tell-tale envelope it was a personal greeting. Alas, not until I more closely looked at the marketing promo did I see that my birthday cards were from Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Sunglass Hut, and my financial adviser (who always sends the best home-made cards, BTW.

Inside the retail cards were discounts on goods and services in honor of my special day. I could come on in and spend some money while getting $10 off that $75.

The business of happy birthday has gotten wayyyyy out of hand, but is it smart marketing? Do you rush to the retailer to cash in on the little discount they’re sending, or do you file the coupon? I did manage to use a Chico’s coupon for $10 off only because I was shopping for a business trip — see, still business!

Do you use birthday databases in your business? Tell me if you’ve had success with that and whether you recommend it as a good marketing strategy. I’ve never been a good birthday-rememberer, so I know already it wouldn’t be a strategy I implement, but I sure do enjoy saying happies to everyone else online!

(Please do note the very interesting compilation of blog posts from folks I don’t know writing about anyone’s birthday.)

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