Sustaining the momentum: All of us are blood!

When reflecting on current race relations in the U.S. , honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. cannot but force us to acknowledge the fierce urgency of embracing the “black lives matter” movement. But that urgency is easy to get lost on media notorious for its short attention span. No matter how powerful or timely a message is, having it silenced by the noise typical of today’s social media would render it impotent. The challenge of persistence is real! So is the need for sustaining the momentum!

Conservation of Momentum

There is nothing more destructive for a society than the pent up energy of ignored social demands… and nothing worse for a social media strategy than losing its momentum.

“Newton’s third law implies that the total momentum of a system of interacting objects that are not acted on by outside forces is conserved. For a system of objects, a component of the momentum along a chosen direction is constant, if no net outside force with a component in this chosen direction acts on the system.  In collisions between two isolated objects momentum is always conserved.  Kinetic energy is only conserved in elastic collisions.”

Think of every twitter message, every social media post, every action, every discussion, every protest, every song every hand reached out to someone who is different from you yet human as much you as the object of this interactive system aiming for informing minds and changing hearts.

The geek in me wants to elaborate on using the 3rd Law of Newton as a metaphor of the power of social media for change; the artistic curator in me just wants to branch out and collect diverse expression of the same message over and over until all get it: #blacklivesmatter and #allofusareblood!

How to inform minds, and change hearts, through social media

The message needs to be told over and over, using multiple channels, using multiple modes of expression. There is no better way to convey a message than to do it visually. That is, unless you add an audio component, but I will get to that in a minute.

All Of Us Are Blood
All Of Us Are Blood

Here are some examples:

Let us look at the question of human dignity globally and and throughout history, reflecting on the cost of human life throughout history:

Getting outside of the comfort zone of averages, and focusing on the U.S., how does the cost of human life change when we reflect on the Three Fifths Compromise? What has its impact been on the lives of African-Americans. What about the impact on Native Americans? I would love to see such powerful data visualization that conveys the lost opportunities for minorities, and society at large.

When you mix inequality with the human development index, things get pretty uncomfortable pretty soon: “For instance, the United States’ IHDI is 17.4% lower than its HDI, yet it drops 23 places in ranking.”

We are not numbers but surely the power of numbers can help convey a message.

If anything, we all are energy, and music… and blood.

All Of Us Are Blood!

That is where the audio side of things comes in — or rather the musical expression of our call for human dignity — “I Can’t Breathe”, a powerful new song by Moanin’ Sons in collaboration with and with the participation of Lonnie Jordan of WAR.

This is a song so masterfully mixing the message with the data with the emotion and the artistic expression that it deserves to be heard over and over, and to be shared as widely as possible. For it can be one of those elements of sustained momentum. Share the message! Join the conversation!

Arlington Philharmonic and Social Media

With gratitude for the old, ready to embrace the new

After a successful 2014 in which I assisted a broad range of organizations with their web strategies: Management Meditations, Family Allergy & Asthma Care, Farhoumand Dental, Universal Service Administrative Company, Royal Oak Laser, I am delighted to announce that I will be contributing to the implementation of the social media strategy at the Arlington Philharmonic!

Arlington Philharmonic, photo courtesy of Joe Frugal:
Arlington Philharmonic, photo courtesy of Joe Frugal:

Arlington Philharmonic and Social Media

Arlington Philharmonic is building a first-class symphony orchestra in Arlington, VA, striving to make classical music accessible to every Arlington resident, to promote the value of classical music in our civic life, and to build strong, creative partnerships with schools, local government, businesses, and other organizations.

You might think that I got involved with it because of my enduring love for music which has been a steady presence in my life: just today I sang at a very diverse concert commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in the University of Maryland, College Park, and tomorrow I will sing with the 20th Annual Ventures in Community concert in Alexandria, VA, while last week I resumed my NOVA Alexandria studies in piano and music theory. But that is not the sole reason!

Last summer, when my bike got stolen from my newly built but unlocked shed, the very friendly investigator from the Arlington Police who was assisting me with the filing of a case turned out to be among the volunteers at the Arlington Philharmonic. That conversation inspired me to look into offering my expertise in implementing their lofty goals. After a somewhat long process of communicating and clarifying responsibilities, I am officially on board!

Onto new musical and web marketing heights!

Opting out of behavioral advertising

Today I was reading an article on and noticed on the side a list of additional suggested reading for those interested in non-profit management, courtesy of LinkedIn. Of course this can be valuable but the fact that LinkedIn shares information about my employment with NYTimes was nothing I had considered when signing up with LinkedIn years ago.

If you find this, or other similar scenarios annoying, here is a valuable tool to opt out of behavioral advertising networks, link courtesy of Jim Stearne!

Building a comprehensive social media strategy

Last week I attended a wonderfully informative meeting of the Web Managers Roundtable organized by Julie Perlmutter and hosted by the World Bank. The two presenters were:

  • Pierre Guillaume Wielezynski, Communications Officer at the External Affairs office of the World Bank
  • John H. Bell, Managing Director and Executive Creative Director at the 360° Digital Influence division of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

Here are several of the ideas on developing a social media strategy, adopted from the Ogilvy presentation by John Bell (who also blogs about the World Bank’s take on social media):

Ideas for using online visibility and search

  • Search Visibility – Increase the probability that people who research your company or related issues find what you want them to find, including helping your target audience to make the connection between risk factors/symptoms and your company’s public health campaign.
  • Multimedia Visibility – Use existing visual or audio assets to promote word of mouth, mobilize allies and improve search engine results
  • Content Syndication – Distribute your content via trusted web sites to improve search engine results

Ideas on information sharing

  • Internal Blog – Share information between offices for to allow for a quick response when a crisis arises. Share information and materials among and between stakeholders.
  • Wiki – Engage a coalition or a community to work toward a common goal.

Ideas for building an Engagement Toolbox

  • How to monitor cgm
  • How to create an influencer audit
  • How to do an online visibility audit
  • How to create an engagement plan
  • How to create commenting guidelines
  • How to create corporate blogging guidelines
  • How to reach out to bloggers
  • How to manage a crisis
  • How to launch a blog
  • How to use
  • How to publish & publicize multimedia

The new digital ecology

Today I attended the 25th Web Managers Roundtable where Lee Rainey, the directory of the Pew Internet & American Life Research Project presented some of his findings on the growth of the internet and how it impacts society.

Among the most interesting things Lee covered was how online / offline multitasking and continued partial attention appear to be one of our survival mechanisms in a fragmented media environment. Milenium old methaphores are at struggle — the farmer who needs to stay on task in a sequence of tasks in order to survive, and the hunter who cannot afford to shutdown lest an important call, message, post is missed. Multitasking does not necessarily makes us more productive but that might be besides the point. Our social networks expand — online and offline — and with that both our human interdependence, uniqueness and oneness become more and more apparent.