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Twitter Continues To Set World Cup Records, And Now Sets Places

Twitter's World Cup Home Page

Twitter's World Cup Home Page

It should no revelation that we have been following the World Cup in South Africa here at MKCREATIVE. But we also have been following the ways social media have had an impact on the event – at least the sharing of news about the event – as an example of how the strategic use of social media could benefit your organization. Well, the global influence that is football (er, ‘soccer’) can now be seen in the use of Twitter as well. We reported about two weeks ago that the biggest blast of tweets came after the US vs. England match (tied 1-1), though was quickly followed and beaten by the Lakers’ 7th-game victory over the Celtics in the NBA championship. A conclusion to be drawn from these back-to-back record breakers was the intense Ameri-centric use of Twitter. But no more…

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Possible New Role For Pollution Credits: Lowering Runoff Into The Chesapeake Bay

Map of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The idea for a carbon tax to create a carbon credit market seems politically a dead letter in the current economic crisis, but the idea that credits could be traded for those who are able to achieve stated limits on pollution still might have some influence. A micro-economy has been suggested for the Chesapeake Bay region, with pollutant run-off being the currency that might be traded. The Foundation Center gives us access to a report on how such an exchange might be developed, how it might improve conditions in the bay, and perhaps how it could be used successfully to deal with other pollutants.

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| Category Climate Change, Greening, Local/Maryland, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Baltimore Finding Ways To Urban Renewal That Do Not Adversely Dislocate

In so many ways Baltimore spent much of the second half of the twentieth century as a city that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory: A vibrant industrial and trading city with a notable financial sector as well (in the decade after World War II), a city of some 2 million people who enjoyed the second most extensive trolley-car network in the US, a city with a pennant-winning baseball team (Yes, it was that long ago…). But by the late 1960s, the city was riven with racial violence, ‘white flight,’ and the secretly organized dismantling of much of its public transport for the sake of union jobs in a GM plant (now greatly reduced and outside the city). Needless, to say, the Orioles remain comfortably buried in the cellar of the AL East. Fortunately, he most recent efforts to revitalize the city, with the overwhelming input of Johns Hopkins University (disclaimer: the blogger is a graduate of said institution), are drawing support, ever-growing funds, and even praise — all of which deserve our attention.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Grants and Funding, Local/Maryland, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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BP Appoints New Public Face Yet Continues To Pump Out The Sludge

No, we are not returning to @BPGlobalPR and its efforts to keep the BP/Deepwater Horizon/Haliburton disaster at the forefront of our minds and our punchlines. BP is doing a fair job on its own. Most recently, The Wall Street Journal got hold of the BP’s own internal newsletter “Planet BP” and its efforts to spin the spill as something of a lifeline for the non-fishing sector of the economy: “Much of the region’s [nonfishing boat] businesses — particularly the hotels — have been prospering because so many people have come here from BP and other oil emergency response teams,” another report says. Indeed, one tourist official in a local town makes it clear that “BP has always been a very great partner of ours here…We have always valued the business that BP sent us.” So far so good for them…

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Elizabeth Warren Still Fighting For Consumer Protection

Almost a year ago, Elizabeth Warren began a focused campaign to bring consumer protections to the discussion about financial and credit reform. She is Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University, and (yet?) chose to introduce her position on such protections via the following YouTube video:

That was a year ago. Where is she now and how is she reaching out with her ideas? More importantly, how goes the move to create such an agency?

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| Category Banking & Finance, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics | | Comments Off

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Tweet This: USA! USA!

Landon Donovan Scores in 90th Minute

Landon Donvan sends the US to the next round of the World Cup

For the first time since 1930 the US national soccer/football team won its World Cup qualifying group with a dramatic, last-minute, 1-0 win over Algeria. Soccer skeptics might immediately assume yet another yawning 1-0 match. But if those skeptics are also baseball fans, they might assume a great pitchers’ duel. In this instance, we had a great goalkeepers’ duel as Tim Howard of the US and Faouzi Chaouchi of Algeria were both kept busy with shots against the posts and breakaways. Indeed, it was as exciting and flowing match as could be hoped for. And as we predicted, social media kept the excitement flowing to ever widening audiences.

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Toshiba Reinvents Tablet To Tweak The Portable Market

We discussed the Apple iPad a couple of months ago as the product that could transform expectations of the tablet/portable/cloud computing world. Well, eighty days into the product launch, and 3 million iPads later, the market is soon to get another competitor: the Toshiba Libretto. Neither is/will be the first into the market, but Apple’s iPad has proven itself the game-changer many expected. What are some of the early reports on the Libretto?

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| Category Hardware Review, iDevice, Software Review, Technology | | Comments Off

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The Costs (Possibly Real) Of Advertising Via Facebook

A recent report from the Reuters and Socialbeat believes that revenues at Facebook topped $800 million in 2009, well over the (high-end) estimates of $700 million. Facebook is a privately owned company that need not report its precise numbers to shareholders, but Reuters talked with sources within the company who said the income far surpassed the mid-year estimates stated by Facebook board member Marc Andreessen. With some 500 million members (by far the most popular social network site in the US, and with ever-growing allegiances through much of the world), Facebook makes most of its income via advertising. The question is: how much are advertisers willing to pay to reach those millions via their Facebook accounts?

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Lest We Forget: Oil And @BPGlobalPR Still Gushing (And That’s Not The Worst)

“You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire.
All you’re doing is recording it.”
Art Buchwald

We are now 60 days – two full months – into this ecological disaster. Few even mention the eleven platform workers killed when the Deepwater Horizon first blew apart on 20-21 April. BP and TransOcean and Haliburton have danced through the Kibuki Theater of Congressional Hearings, blaming each other for the blowout and yet spinning post-facto admissions that they struggled to keep up with the others’ incompetence. The evidence of indifference to safety concerns on behalf of BP’s management continues to leak into the press. And through it all, @bpTerry continues to work hard to broaden the outreach and impact of @BPGlobalPR:

BPGlobalPR Tweet-cum-Billboard

@bpTerry highlights some of the positives

But who is this guy, and what do his efforts portend for social media and brand allegiance/control?

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| Category Community, National/International, Politics | | Comments Off

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Foursquare: Yet Another Social Network, Yet Another Fundraising Tool

The means to communicate quickly online and establish networks of like-minded folks come thick and fast these days: MySpace superseded by Facebook (still king), challenged by Twitter, who has had to contend with Google Buzz!, Socialvibe, Zooppa, and a myriad of others that (mostly) cater to fairly specific communities. We have reported about how a North Carolina charity established a ‘Twitter Table’ to help broaden the outreach of its annual fundraising luncheon. Now a comparatively new social network is causing a bit more stir among the e-connected, and it too is the subject of an online discussion next week about how to use it as a resource for fundraising.

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#Interview: Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City

Bernell Grier, recently appointed CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City

Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC

The board of directors of the Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City recently appointed interim chief executive officer Bernell Grier as the CEO of the organization. Ms. Grier has built up an impressive resume as a banker having over her career serving as EVP, Retail Community Banking; SVP Middle Marketing Lending; Community Development Director; and credit program co-manager – all before moving full time to NHS of NYC. As COO, Bernell helped steer the NHS offices in New York City’s five boroughs through the rough waters of the collapsing housing market, and has continued to work to expand NHS’s base of donors and projects. We had the pleasure of talking with her on a bright June morning in midtown Manhattan before her full docket of business got under way.

Bernell’s career trajectory is a wonderful example of how preparation and consideration can meet serendipity, as she has moved between the corporate and nonprofit worlds with ease, a smile, and a strong sense of calling to community. Her first job as a teenager living in Harlem, New York, was as a Community Outreach Coordinator with “Neighborhood Board No. One.” She began with a plan to teach mathematics in the very public school system that gave her the good start she enjoyed, so she went to City College of New York for teacher accreditation in education and math. The need for a summer job took her to Chase Bank Manhattan, where her people-skills were already evident enough that she was offered a spot in management training. One is tempted here to say “And the rest is history.” But ‘the rest’ is where it gets interesting.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, Grants and Funding, Interview, Nonprofit, Revitalization, Special Series | | Comments Off

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NeighborWorks Week Draws To Successful Close

NeighborWorks of America
The NeighborWorks Week (June 5-12) that just finished (and that we promoted a couple of weeks ago) focused on educating homeowners to the danger signs of mortgage-assistance scams and predatory loan practices. According to the NeighborWorks website, “NeighborWorks America and local NeighborWorks organizations held more than 320 community revitalization and 150 loan modification scam awareness events nationwide.” Not surprisingly, one of the bigger shows of force was in New York City, where the issue was put up in lights. Literally.

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Twitter Tables To Turn Up Fundraising Fun

Charity events, galas, and $X000-a-plate dinners have been traditional ways to raise funds, even in these difficult times. And yet, social media have captured the imaginations of many a fundraising group and we have often reported on ways social media, philanthropy, and community involvement are tweaking the traditional ways to do things. Well, The Chronicle of Philanthropy is reporting on how Thompson Child and Family Focus, a charity in Charlotte, N.C., has found a way to combine all of the above.

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Harvard Study Argues for Jobs, Then Houses – Which Is The Cart?

The financial crisis that began in earnest in 2007 and came to a head in 2008 has driven up unemployment to the highest point it has been since the Great Depression. Even with this statistic, though, we might want to appreciate how much has changed and how different the scale is (admittedly, cold comfort for the unemployed): For much of the 1930s unemployment was above 15%, and at its worst unemployment was north of 20%. The worst unemployment figures for the ‘Great Recession’ just got past 10% in the winter months of 2009. No one makes light of even 7% unemployment, and as we have recently commented upon, the recent uptick in employment this past spring is not likely to last the next month.

The smart money has been to argue that the bursting of the housing bubble brought about unemployment, and thus a rise the housing market will stimulate job growth and lead toward economic upswing. But a recent study from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies strengthens the arguments of those who say the collapse of the housing market might have pulled us down, but it can not pull us up. Who could buy a new home, thus stimulate the market in question, if they are unemployed from the millions of jobs lost in other sectors of the economy?

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Soccer’s World Cup Kicks Off Today & Social Media Already Winning

FIFA's World Cup Logo 2010

What with oil slicks growing and aid ships being forcibly boarded and sanctions being levied and nuclear-weapons threats being kicked across ‘demilitarized’ zones, it is important to remember that human beings do indeed have the capacity to share a positive competitive experience. And thus begins the World Cup in South Africa!

The ideal of the tournament was first raised in 1914 (oh, the irony), but FIFA, the world association of national soccer/football associations, concentrated its efforts on the Olympics until the mid-1920s, when the body pressed ahead with a tournament open to professionals. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay, who went on to win it by defeating Argentina 4-2. ‘Only’ 13 teams joined that first tournament, but with over 93,000 fans pouring into the stadium for the Final, it was clearly a huge success. The World Cup has been held every four years (with the exception of the 1940s) ever since, and it has grown with each successive tournament. It is the single most-watched event on the globe, and unlike the ‘World’ Series, or ‘World’ Champions of the NFL, the winners of the World Cup can honestly claim the title.

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| Category Community, National/International | | Comments Off

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Survey Of Outcomes From Tuesday’s Electoral Primaries

This Tuesday’s series of party primaries marks the single biggest day of polling before the midterm elections in November. Thus pundits have wanted to read the tea leaves (no pun intended, as Rand Paul already ran and won his primary in Kentucky) at the bottom of this round’s pot of primaries.

Chris Good of TheAtlantic.com presents a fine rundown of the results, with the nomination of Blanche Lincoln as the Democratic Senatorial candidate perhaps being the biggest surprise, given the resources from other Democrats against her: “This is a tough loss for labor unions, and an unexpected one. The biggest U.S. labor organizations poured over $6 million into this race to try to secure [Bill] Halter as a 59th vote in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act, and it looked like a long shot from the start. But Halter had surged ahead of Lincoln in last the three polls prior to Tuesday night (all by Research 2000), and it started to look like he’d win after all. He didn’t, to the dismay of many.”

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| Category National/International, Politics | | Comments Off

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Charitable Giving Suffers Along With Economy In 2009

The GivingUSA Foundation Logo

GivingUSA Tracks Where/How Much Americans Give


We suspect that our audience already has anecdotal evidence of today’s topic, but the annual report from the GivingUSA Foundation demonstrates that charitable donations are down by 3.6% in 2009 from 2008. “The Chronicle of Philanthropy” has an excellent summary by Holly Hall, who points to the fact that the slide in donations in 2009 actually follows a fall of 2.8% in 2008. On the same day The Chronicle has another story that points out how New York State is making cutbacks to programs to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS. So the Great Recession has certainly eaten into individuals’ abilities to give and states’ abilities to offer services and protections to their constituents. And yet, some silver lining can be seen among these recessionary clouds!

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Jobs Report Suggests Slight Or Slighter Growth Depending on Source

Monthly Job Losses/Gains 2008-early 2010

The release of the government’s jobs report this past week was cause for about as much speculation as Apple Inc.’s World Wide Developers’ Conference is this week. And just as people pretty much knew about Apple’s fourth-generation iPhone weeks ago, so people were pretty sure what the jobs report would look like before it was made official. The jobs report needed contextualization within the economic disasters we have endured for the last three years. We will leave contextualization of Apple’s WWDC and new iPhone for another post.


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| Category Affordable Housing, Banking & Finance, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics | | Comments Off

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Social Media: Introductions and Perseverance Can Bring (Little) Victories

Nine Social-Media Icons


Social media create a counter-intuitive tension. On the one hand, we use social media to create relationships with family, friends, clients, and like-minded peoples of our hobby/political party/aesthetic choices/etc. Relationships take time and are sometimes built on what, at the moment, feels like a rushed introduction or awkward interaction. On the other hand, modern media encourages us to think of news – indeed, of all information – as being reinvented every twenty-four hours. So when I get a ‘Friend’ request or retweet a great article I feel somewhat dislodged from the very information I am trying to disseminate. If one has that sense of disconnect, it might be worth remembering the differences in scale that might exist between one’s social-media persona and one’s self. Then let time work its magic through that scale, even if the social relationships seem few.

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| Category Community, Marketing, Nonprofit, Technology, Web and Print | | 3 Comments

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“BP Cares” About Public Relations, Though ‘Public’ Seems A Sticking Point

Like we said, the great satire of @BPGlobalPR forces one to hesitate before laughing or crying, unsure which is the proper response. Leroy Stick continues to lambast people’s mushy responses to this little setback. I mean, “So YOU want to see pictures of dead animals covered in oil and WE are the bad guys!? Sick bastards. #bpcares” (3 July). Yes, BP continues to fumble its way to a solving of the oil gush, and the stories that are beginning to leak out about how BP continues to fumble the publicity statements are almost as alarming. Unlike the faulty deep water well, we have the technologies and experience to handle press releases, do we not?

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| Category News and Current Affairs, Opinion | | 2 Comments

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@BPGlobalPR: Public Relations Is About Public, Not Brand

NASA Satelite Image of BP Oil Leak (27 May)

NASA Satelite Image of BP Oil Leak (27 May)

It is a fool’s prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
Neil Gaiman

No doubt you have been following the BP/TransAmerica/Haliburton oil leak as it continues unabated in the Gulf. We have often heard the term ‘oil spill’ in the media, but this is NOT an oil spill. It is a leak (at best). Spills come from a finite and visible container and involve a finite amount of materials escaping that container (the drunken crash of the Exxon Valdez was a spill). The preventable disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a leak: the oil, methane, and unrefined gas will continue to leak for an indeterminable time and at what remains an indeterminable rate. And in the 44 days since its explosion, we easily forget that eleven rig workers were killed in the initial explosion, despite foremen’s warnings of a dangerous buildup of volatile methane in the pipes.

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Five More Ways (of 10) To Make Make Your Blog Work Best For Your Organization

Social Signal Icon

The Social Signal group of Vancouver, CA


As promised, we continue today with the second half of a great compendium drawn up by Jon Cottingham at Socialbright.com. He has been teaching us about how to make a company’s blog a pleasurable experience for the audience (and for the writers!) and how to make such a blog a productive marketing tool. Indeed, to refresh memories from yesterday’s entry, the first point raised was to put the ‘Investment’ in ROI. Today we turn to the back five on our way to the clubhouse and some well-deserved drinks.

6. Firefighting – Crisis communications

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Five of Ten Ways To Make Your Blog Work For You And Your Organization

Last week the good folks at SocialSignal.com posted a fabulous 10-step program to help nonprofits and small businesses use their blogs to create interest, educate clients, and develop brand loyalty. The downloadable PDF is the culmination of a series of blog entries (of course) by Rob Cottingham and is entitled “10 Ways Your Blog Can Provide Real Value To You, Your Organization, and Your Brand.” The guidance in the e-book is fabulous, and the materials so rich that we wanted to dedicate a couple of entries to it this week. So, without further ado:

1. Put the I[nvestment] in R[eturn] O[n] I[nvestment] – Showing your organization’s human face”

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