NetworkSolutions – Solutions Stars Videos

At BlogWorld Expo, I was interviewed by Network Solutions to answer a few questions that their customers might have. There are a serious of almost a dozen videos up now, with some major big names in social media, but with my ego being monstrous, I’ve only linked to the ones I’m in 😉

The whole series is pretty good though, and if you have a few minutes, I recommend them.

Start with Listening
Strategy Drives Outreach
To Blog or Not to Blog
Rising Above the Noise

BlogActionDay – Aging Out of Foster Care

In 1999, I met a young man named James. James was an 18 year old kid who had just finished his stint in foster care. At 18, they handed him a few hundred bucks ($200 if I remember correctly) and the clothing on his back and told him goodbye. Overnight, James had no home, the clothing he was wearing and $200.

James had nowhere to go so he came to our church looking for a place to stay. We helped James, but what James needed most was a job. We searched for a position for him, but at 18 he was unwilling to swallow his pride and take our charity for more than a few days. We got a call only a few days later from a bus stop. James was leaving and before we could get to him (and we tried to get there in time), he was gone.

I can’t help James. I know no more about him than I’ve stated above. He is a ghost, but one that reminds me constantly of the need for a real adjustment phase for foster kids.

Fosters don’t have much opportunity to get a job. They aren’t given a suit, aren’t given any more than a high school education and they have no one to push them to get fabulous grades so that they can get a scholarship. They begin their life knowing that no one really cares about them personally, though many (like me) may have the urge to help them.

What can we do?

1. Support Foster Initiatives
Volunteer to teach foster kids to sew, use a computer or whatever it is that you do. You can also donate.
2. Donate Backpacks
Foster kids get transferred often, and this happens during the oddest hours and under emotionally impactful circumstances. Many times these kids transport the very small amount of treasured belongings they have in a garbage bag. This just isn’t right! Keep your eyes open for flyers that ask for donations or get up off your couch (where I’m sitting right now) and call your local DeFACS office (listed in the white pages under ‘yourstatehere’ Department of Family and Children’s Services) to inquire about offering them bags.
3. Support Back To Work Initiatives
Suits for work for those who cannot afford them.
4. Pay attention
Pew Foster Care – Studies adoption and foster care and makes recommendations. Pay attention to what they say.
5. Donate to CapitalOne‘s college scholarships for Fosters.
6. Hear about life from foster kids
Check out this magazine for foster teens by foster teens.
7. Become a CASA
Court Appointed Special Advocate – I’m going to do this!
8. Adopt
Here, Here or Here.
9. Donate for change.
Dave Thomas was a foster kid and his legacy gift was to create an organization that helped fosters.
10. Stop Foster Care
Long range plan that’s worth taking a look at. Jim Casey was the founder of UPS.
11. Help them get a job
Jim Casey’s Foster’s to work initiative

Do you have a heart for foster kids? I’d love to hear how you would impact their lives.

Genius at BizTechDay

BizTechDay is October 25th at the Hilton in San Francisco. Tim Ferris, of 4 Hour Work Week fame (you may have seen my own praises for his book here), is the keynote, and if he was the only speaker there, the conference would be worth more than the $250ish that it costs. Of course, he’s not the only speaker though, the lineup is fab (below).

The organizers are setting up a genius bar, much like the Apple Stores’ famed guru corner, and I’ve been asked to be the Blog Monetization genius (woot!). If you are thinking of attending, but are still on the fence, let me know as I have a significant discount for 5 people (significant=discount of $150).

Full speaker list is here:

ONE FULL DAY of latest Web 2.0 Business Ideas that you can apply to your business right away. Here are just a few of the experts presenting at BiztechDay 2008:

Tim Ferris – New York Time Best Seller and Author of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
George Wright – VP of Marketing, Blendtec (WillitBlend – one of the most successful Business YouTube Campaigns – 700% increase in Revenue)
Megan Casey – Editor in Chief from Squidoo.com
Scott Heiferman – Co-Founder of Meetup.com
Alex Craddock – Head of Small Business Marketing of Visa
Stephan M. Spencer – SEO Guru & Founder of Netconcepts.com
Christine Comaford – Mighty Ventures & Google Angel
Nish Nadaraja – Marketing Director, Yelp.com
Dan McComb – Co-Founder, Biznik.com
Adriana Gascoign – Director of Corporate Communications, hi5.com
Stu Carty – Regional Development Director, Constant Contact
Jack Mardack – Director of Marketing, Eventbrite
Vincent Lauria – Co-founder of Lefora.com
Jason Billingsley – Co-Founder Elastic Path Software
Scott Sigler – Pro-Podcaster and Author of INFECTED and CONTAGIOUS
Ian Griffin – Pro-Podcaster and President of National Speaker Association
Yaniv Bensadon – Founder of Fixya.com
Nicole Nicolay – Founder of MyTechOpinion.com
Christian Perry – Founder of Room Full of People
Ann Evanston – Regional Director of eWomenNetwork
Nancy Tubbs – Founder of FullCalendar
Patrick Schwerdtfeger – Founder of Tactical Execution
Angie Chang – Cofounder of Women 2.0
Robyn Tippins – Community Manager, Yahoo! Developer Network
Chris Pareja – Founder of B2B Power Exchange
Cesar Plata – Founder of EveryCircle.com
Pam Strayer – Awarding Winning Journalist and Media Creator
Rick Rochon – Founder of AdSymetrix.com
Elsa Chang – Community Manager, Yahoo! Local and Upcoming
Hazel Grace Dircksen – Social Networking Expert

Dadomatic – BlogHim?

After seeing a series of tweets from a broad range of cool men, I stumbled upon Chris Brogan‘s newest site, Dadomatic. The site is a range of posts from men who are taking fatherhood seriously.

From Eric Peterson:

Children can be so inspirational. It’s neat to see how they grow and develop, and even teach adults important lessons. So, that was my toddler taught adversity lesson. Or maybe it was actually a lesson on “independence” or “perseverance” or “toughness.” At any rate, it’s another valuable lesson from a special child!

From Scott Wilder:

In the pursuit of evaluating my stewardship of time; I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve allowed deadly toxins to invade my schedule. Toxins in the form of people and activities that impare my ability to lavish love and attention on my bride and forthcoming child.

From Joe Hage (on a subject we’re also dealing with at home):

Four-year-old Lukey got in trouble today.

Hitting at school. This after yesterday’s “pushing game” at school and the day before’s “spitting at school.”

This site gives a voice to a segment of people who rarely get to really talk about parenting. We applaud women as mothers, single mothers, females in general who blog, but when do we pat men on the back for the roles they play in our children’s lives? My husband is an amazing father, and I’m so glad to be able to show him this site and give him a way to speak out on the amazing things he does with our kids.

My only suggestion is to have the author’s names link to their home blog so when people (like me) quote this blog, we can link back to them correctly.

Thanks Chris, for giving men a community like

Playing Politics – Buddy Icons Are The New Bumper Stickers

Much has been made of Obama’s slick use of social media, and while McCain’s team is doing a pretty good job w/videos, Obama is clearly doing a better job giving his supporters sharable media.

One easy way to get the word out is with buddy icons. I remember back when I was active in politics, our policy was to push out bumper stickers at every opportunity (dating myself here). Free advertising! Buddy icons are the new bumper stickers when it comes to politics.

Obama Buddy Icon

Buddy Icons
Obama’s buddy icons, for use on Instant Message services and Twitter, are easy to find and he has a large variety encompassing children, women, veterans, etc. (19 in all). McCain’s do not exist.

McCain/Palin Buddy Icon

In my own self-interest, as a McCain supporter, I’ll offer up a buddy icon for McCain. Kudos to Obama’s marketing machine for realizing that the easier you make it to share, the more likely people are to share.

Triggit

I’m trying out a new ad service which places links in my blog. Triggit‘s Robert Dunn pinged me a while back and asked me to take a look, so if you have any feedback on the service, please let me know.