The matthewsm1th.com 2012 Annual Report

2012 was a slow year for my blog, but the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared an annual report that makes me feel like an internet all-star. Some of the numbers seem ridiculous (7,700 views? Really?), but if it’s online it has to be true.

Here’s an excerpt from my favorite part, the “How did they find you?” section:

Some visitors came searching, mostly for gillian jacobs plastic surgery, gillian jacobs plastic surgery before and after, fridge logos, and sassy black woman.

Apparently, I need to blog more about Gillian Jacobs and make unsubstantiated statements about the plastic surgery she has yet to receive.

Overall, I’m not sure there’s much value here, but it’s a cool little infographic that can be digested in two minutes. I hope you enjoy it and Happy New Year!

Click here to see the complete report.

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5 (More) Fun Ways to Celebrate National Philanthropy Day

November 15 has been declared National Philanthropy Day – a day meant to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy – and those people active in the philanthropic community – have made to our lives, our communities and our world. My friend, Nathan Hand, posted 10 fun ways to celebrate NPD on his blog. It was a great list…but I think he could have gone even further.

So without further ado, here are five more ways you can celebrate National Philanthropy Day:

  1. Watch the National Philanthropy Day official video…and share it across your social networks– ready to be inspired? Watch this three minute video:
  2. Follow the high-level conversation on Twitter – all day, the White House is convening a forum on nonprofit leadership. Though closed to the public, this event – featuring discussions led by White House officials and business and nonprofit leaders – will be Live Tweeted at the hashtag #NPlead.
  3. Research and recognize philanthropy’s all-stars – the Association of Fundraising professionals today released the names of its 2012 Awards for Philanthropy winners. These amazing people and organizations deserve to be publicly lauded!
  4. Talk about philanthropy – our personal and professional lives – while often fulfilling – are a constant drain on our energy and attention. Maybe we can’t always afford to think and act philanthropically, but for one day, we can talk about it. Mention philanthropy in your next conversation…chances are, you can be an inspiration!
  5. Blog about National Philanthropy Day – see what I did there? Let’s all keep spreading the word!

Have any more celebratory ideas? Post a reply below!

Start Something that Matters…and Win a Free Book!

This blog is just over a month old, so it’s high time that I give something back to my tens of loyal readers. And what better for a social media/philanthropy blog than a philanthropy-themed contest promoted via social media?

Let’s back up a few steps. Yesterday, I was thrilled to get an email from one of my favorite for-profit companies, TOMS Shoes:

I was fortunate enough to hear TOMS founder and Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycoskie speak at the 2011 Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference and was so inspired that I bought a pair of TOMS that night (I even wore them during my wedding two months later!).

Photo via Dawn E. Roscoe Wedding Photography (that's me and my TOMS on the right)

So now you’re probably saying, “Enough about you…didn’t you say something about a contest?” Fair enough. As part of the Books for Bloggers program, I will be giving away one copy of Blake’s book, “Start Something that Matters.” Here’s how you can win:

I want to hear how you’ve done something that matters – something in your community, regionally, nationally, globally, or even at a one-on-one level. The winner won’t be selected because of the number of people he or she influenced, but rather by the originality of his or her inspiration. Frankly, you could have even been unsuccessful in your efforts…results don’t matter as much as passion.

Enter this contest by posting a synopsis of how did something that matters in the comments section below (note: your candidacy will be given a boost if you can document your efforts). While I’d love to hear entries via the blog’s Facebook page and/or through Twitter, only those entries submitted as a comment on this post will be considered. I reserve the right to subjectively choose the winner (please be prepared to share your real name and mailing address if you win). This contest will end on December 31, 2011.

“Start Something that Matters” is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most everywhere books are sold. No retailer compensates me for referrals, so I’ll let you find the links on your own. Good luck!

When a ‘NEW BLOG POST’ Isn’t Exactly New

I click a lot of links in my never-ending quest to find valuable and inspiring social media material. Some of my favorite “Twisdom” is discovered in blogs. In fact, seeing the words “NEW BLOG POST” in a trusted colleague’s Tweet nets a near 100% CTR (click through rate) from me.

And yet, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend as I spread my blogging horizons: a lot of allegedly new posts aren’t really new! Instead, one writer’s “New Blog Post” is his third share of yesterday’s post; another’s is her reworded blurb about last month’s entry. As a fledgling blogger myself, I understand that the word “new” builds a lot more interest than a more accurate alternative (“old,” “recycled,” “outdated,” etc.), but if our blogs are our brands, aren’t we jeopardizing our good names with blatant false advertising? And, almost as importantly, doesn’t this piss off anyone else?

The answer to the latter question is, thankfully, yes. My friend (and respected nonprofit blogger) Nathan Hand recently tweeted about this phenomenon and we chatted offline so I could get his full opinion. Nate’s take:

I usually tweet a bunch on the day a new post comes out – then don’t promote it anymore unless a relevant situation comes up. There are a couple folks who seem to make a habit of regularly tweeting content that they wrote over a year ago.  It just irks me a bit because I’m expecting new content and I get old stuff – just to increase their page views.

I could not agree more, Nate. Perhaps it’s the nature of a social media community increasingly driven by stats; our Klout scores, page ranks, comments, click-throughs and more have become the currency with which we (and others) evaluate our online influence. But to favor quantitative metrics over good, old fashioned content? This can’t be what God imagined when he invented the interwebs.

Is honesty too much to expect from the blogosphere? Can’t we all agree that something is “new” only once…just as we can all agree that something can still be pertinent, interesting and/or original even if it wasn’t first shared an hour ago? We have a society driven by immediacy, but that doesn’t mean that some among us aren’t still willing to look to the past for answers to our future questions.

I ask you, blog readers and writers – am I missing something? Do the ends (your page views and response rates) justify the means (dishonesty about what’s new)? Shouldn’t this be something we all take action to change?

The Birth of a New Blog

I have authored three blogs in the past: one that was an exercise in vanity and unemployment, one that had political aspirations (and middling success) and one with tepid commitment from your’s truly. So what will make this effort any different? Geez, it’s just my first paragraph. Get off my back.

The truth: I believe that I have something to contribute to the conversation in the rapidly evolving worlds of social media and philanthropy, as well as the intersection of those sometimes aligned, sometimes adversarial circles. I am not a social media expert; I am not a philanthropy guru. I’m just a guy with 10+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector…who is fascinated by the power of social media and gets easily distracted by shiny objects. Ideally, the lessons I’ve learned and my slightly skewed takes will prove interesting to readers other than my mom.

If not, I’ll try (and often fail) to make you laugh. It’s the least I can do.

Your snuggle bunny,
Matt

PS – many of you are more accomplished and knowledgeable bloggers than I am. I will happily accept any and all constructive criticism. Destructive criticism? Keep it to yourself, bub.