Monday, January 11th is my 53rd Birthday! This year I'm indulging in three of my passions: raising money for Cambodian children with social media, teaching a social media nonprofit strategy class, and eating chocolate. I hope you'll join the fun. After all, what's more fun than a birthday party?
On Monday, I'm giving a guest lecture at the Power of Social Technology Class, a graduate course, at Stanford Business School. This class answers the question "How to leverage the power of new social technology to effectively create real social good." The theoretical framework, "Dragonfly Effect: Mindset and Method" is geared towards helping students create a project with a clear single, focused goal to cultivate social good. It also helps students learn the process of a rapid prototype experiment that has viral effects, can be measured, and improved with reflection.
After taking one look at the syllabus, course faculty instructor Jennifer Aaker and invited guests, I couldn't resist designing a learning experience that integrated a social media birthday fundraising experiment aimed at helping support the work of the Sharing Foundation with "listen, learn, and adapt" and real-time tracking and reflection.
The session will begin with a brief presentation that describes my past three social media infused birthday celebrations.
- Beth 5.0 User-Generated Flickr Birthday Card Contest: For my 50th birthday, held a contest where friends got to remix embarrassing photos of me into a 50th Birthday Card on Flickr. I donated $50 to the winner's charity. Psychological underpinning: Fun. Metric: Content created. (2007)
- Beth's 51st Birthday: This was part of an overall campaign for the America's Giving Challenge in 2008 for the Sharing Foundation that raised over $50,000. Psychological underpinning: curiosity. Metric: Click thrus. (2008)
- Beth's 52nd Birthday: This was campaign that used Facebook Causes and the Birthday wish feature and a matching donation. Psychological underpinning: public humiliation. Metric: Dollars and recruitment. (2009)
I'll share the experiment for my 53rd birthday - to spread happiness or happy birthday and the metric of retweets and clicks. It also ties right into the lecture/presentation and class exercise of learning the technique of learning loops or real time tracking and reflection. The exercise:
- I'll ask the class to compose a birthday tweet that their network might retweet. Happy birthday #beth53! Let's send 53 Cambodian kids to school: http://bit.ly/beth53
- The only rule is that they have to include the hashtag and the bit.ly url for tracking. But they must write the tweet in their own words in a way they think will get attention from their network. I will share some pointers from Dan Zarrella's "The Art and Science of Retweet" or this article.
I will then do an short presentation on the concept of learning loops which incorporates real time tracking and reflection. The idea that you track in real time, keep a journal, and reflection on the results to improve what you're doing.
We will then do an exercise in the class teaches one how to shift into a reflective mode. This is where the chocolate comes in. We'll give each student a piece of birthday chocolate and set a time for five minutes and have take that long to eat the candy, noticing every nuance. Ironically, Jennifer Aaker referred to me a colleague who has made a career out of giving away candy and spreading happiness.
- What did you notice about the experience of eating the chocolate?
- What tweets were successful and why?
- What might they use from this exercise for their class project?
- What is a good collaborative goal?
- What is a good success metric?