We All Need To Calm Down About Klout

Yesterday was a perfect example of why you shouldn’t build your brand around a score you can’t manage and can be changed without notice.  I’m talking about Klout.

I’ve received emails over the past several months from individuals who include their Klout score in their signature.  Someone recently gave me a business card with their Klout score on it. After yesterday when Klout changed its algorithm, lowering scores by as much as 20 points, I wondered if he was going to print new business cards. Continue reading

Will a Ban on Body Contact Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury in the NHL?

“Turncoats” & “Pukes”:

The summer of 2011 saw tragedy for the NHL.  Three retired enforcers, Derek Boogaard (28),Wade Belak (35) and Rick Rypien (27),  met tragic ends.  The deaths this summer came soon after news that several other retired enforcers who had met similar ends had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) the result of repeated traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Enforcers are players whose primary role is to fight with a player on another team with the goal of removing the player from the play through physical contact.

Two weeks ago Hockey Night in Canada juggernaut Don Cherry spoke out about the issue and attacked several retired enforcers who were now calling attention to the issue.

Below is a conversation I had with Launy Schwartz of Hockey54 on changing social norms for the NHL, preventing TBI and Don Cherry’s lagging relevance in the hockey realm.

The Conversation: Continue reading

Should Minors Have Different Facebook Privacy Settings?

A few weeks ago I noticed that the Facebook status updates of a teenage relative were tagged with her approximate location.


Before I go on, I should disclose that my teenage relatives rarely listen to me when it comes to Facebook.  I’ve accepted that they’re still going to post /those/ photos, use /that/ language and write about /that thing that happened last night.

There are few issues I bring to their attention, but this one struck a nerve: Facebook was posting the location of a 17-year-old girl when she updated her status.  This somehow wasn’t right.

I noticed she was online and started chatting with her:

“Hey, you should disable the geotagging feature on your Facebook status updates.  Everyone can see where you are when you update.”

“Yeah, I’ve tried to take it off, but I can’t.” Continue reading

Your Website is More than Just a Pretty Face

A contributor to Digital Good is our Anonymous Web Designer (AWD).  AWD specializes in creating user-centric websites and web products for health and social marketing campaigns.  

Let’s face it. When it comes to government-funded projects, budgets are usually not design-friendly. There’s a lot of sacrifice involved and the expected we-need-a-50-page-website-but-we-only-have-$75-in-the-budget-just-do-what-you-can line.

And so it begins.

When a project manager requests design work, they want the product to be good, done quickly, and cheap. The rule of thumb is you can only get 2 out of 3.

At this point, they resort to the well-the-site-has-to-be-up-in-5-days and can-you-just-work-fast? response. It seems like the most logical solution at the time, but as many designers know all too well, problems arise soon after.

The Top 5 Functionality Complaints of Rushed Government Websites: Continue reading

Is It Ever OK to Lie to Your Audience?

Lying to, or misleading your audience in a health communication or social marketing campaign is just plain wrong.

Not lying to your public shouldn’t be a controversial opinion, but every once in a while I run into a public health professional that thinks lying or obfuscating the truth is justifiable so long as it leads to the desired action.

Exaggerating or fudging statistics may help you with adherence to your desired health behavior right now, but when your public finds out that you’ve lied to them, they are more likely to reject the behavior going forward.

My Dermatologist Lied to Me (and other betrayals): Continue reading

Don’t Be An Info Hoarder

I’m usually wary when I run into an info hoarder.  Info hoarders, more commonly known as resource hoarders, are individuals who closely guard their data, skills, contacts and resources from others in order to ensure their own importance on a campaign or in a company.

Nobody likes info hoarders.

Info hoarders hold up work and create an unnecessarily competitive atmosphere.  They let campaigns flounder by not sharing information, because they’re not in a lead position and inflate their own importance by being the sole keeper of the expertise. Continue reading

Transparency, Authenticity and Privacy in Social Media

Originally posted on Mark Schaefer‘s blog {grow} on October 4, 2011.

A few of you have likely noticed that this post wasn’t written by Mark, but by someone named Leslie Lewis.  That’s not my real name and you don’t need to know my real name.

Having worked in social media since 2005, I knew I needed a tightly controlled message and presence online.  You could Google my name and find my blog or find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr or Facebook.

I used my real name, shared real stories, photos and details from my life.  I was as transparent and authentic as I preached to my clients that they needed to be.

All of that ended in early 2010 when someone who knew me launched an online smear campaign with allegations that were wholly baseless and untrue but were professionally damaging.

Law enforcement was helpless to stop the flow of fake accounts in my name, due to issues of state, federal and international jurisdiction complications.  After consulting with several lawyers I was told that civil action would be long, disruptive and expensive process.  In the end I was told my best option would be to contact Google or LinkedIn every time a new one appeared. Continue reading