#STILLERSTRONG

STILLERSTRONG. The serious side of Ben Stiller? Yes. A charity established to support a serious cause but not without creativity, innovation and of course, humor. On a visit to Haiti last year, Ben witnessed the horrendous hardships and poverty that were prevalent in the region (even before the devestation of the earthquake) and decided to take action to help the children of Haiti by establishing STILLERSTRONG.

To create buzz and excitement for a cause very close to his heart, Ben used a bit of comedic creativity to launch a viral STILLERSTRONG movement. Through his use of social media outlets, Ben is successfully bringing together laughs and charity.

I’ll let Ben explain:

Even before the recent earthquake tragedy, Ben Stiller was serious about working with Save the Children foundation to better the lives of the children in Haiti by helping to bring clean water, food and quality education to the locals.

In light of the recent tragedy, Ben announced that all donations to STILLERSTRONG would be redirected to the emergency relief efforts in Haiti.

I just made my own donation to STILLERSTRONG and think if everyone can give a little, we can really help make a difference! It’s super easy to donate, check it out: Stillerstrong.org. Also, help spread the word about this great cause and show your support by tweeting #STILLERSTRONG.

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Grooveshark!

It’s a simple and genius idea, Grooveshark is revolutionizing the music industry by changing how people find and listen to music and how artists monetize it. For years the music industry has been fighting music pirating and struggling to adapt to the undeniable shift to P2P music sharing. Grooveshark has found innovative ways to embrace the online sharing of music for the benefit of both music fans and musicians. Fans can stream full-length versions of their favorite songs on demand while musicians are getting their music heard, interacting and tracking feedback from fans.

Founded by two University of Florida graduates (both musicians), this free online music library gives you access to millions of full-length streaming songs on demand. You can search music, create playlists and even share songs with your friends. Grooveshark not only gives music fans a platform to listen to their music, they also work along with artists and labels to promote artists and increase music downloads by providing quick links to the iTunes store.

Grooveshark combines the search-ability of iTunes with the free live streaming music of online radio stations (like Pandora and Last FM). They even incorporate a Facebook-like social network where you can connect with friends! To top it off, an iPhone app is in the works so you can listen to your playlists on-the-go. Plus you can even create your own Grooveshark widget to add to your blog! (Check it out below)

[clearspring_widget title=”Grooveshark Widget: Chameleon” wid=”48f3ef6c29317865″ pid=”4b5374f3330e9ce3″ width=”400″ height=”300″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

Anyone else love Grooveshark? Follow me!

Tweet For Charity (Social Media Pt. 2)

Tweeting for a charity is a becoming a noteworthy trend. It’s a great example of how companies are using social media’s powerful reach for a positive cause. What better way to spread awareness about a cause and help raise money with the simple tweet of a hashtag?

One example is the #BreastCancer hashtag. For each time that #BreastCancer is mentioned in a tweet, 1 cent is donated to cancer research. The beauty of this initiative is that you and I don’t even have to take out our checkbooks to help raise money for this cause. In this case, MillerCoors and ebay/PayPal pick up the donation tab in our name. (http://beatcancereverywhere.com/)

Another example of a charitable tweeting campaign was the #NoKidHungry hashtag initiative where Domino Sugar agreed to donate $1 (up to $5,000) to the Share Our Strength Organization for each mention of the #NoKidHungry hashtag to help fight childhood hunger in the USA!

With the help of influential tweeters (those with large followings) awareness is quickly spread about the causes and funds are raised. Companies who organize and fund these initiatives gain positive PR and more importantly, worthy causes receive the monetary benefit. It’s a win-win situation.

Just one example of how social media’s power can be used in a positive and fun way.

To be continued…

Intro to Social Media (Social Media Pt 1)

For some people, social media seems like this unclear and chaotic mesh of thoughts and connections. This very description is in fact the beauty of social media; it provides endless opportunities to connect and interact with people on both personal and professional fronts. Beyond connecting with people, valuable information can be obtained through these outlets. It’s a matter of understanding your place and taking the time to learn the ropes and etiquette of social media.

Instant press releases and breaking news makes social networks like Twitter so powerful. Thanks to @CNNbrk I learned about the “Balloon Boy” stunt within minutes of Falcon’s supposed “lift-off.” It’s this instant access to information that creates value and makes it so powerful. This very characteristic can lead to PR disasters or on the contrary, it can be a powerful outlet for damage control.

I believe that everyone should learn and understand the power of social media; the value that it can create on both personal and professional levels is unparalleled and will only become more and more prevelent.

To be continued…