Cre8Green: Small Steps for Big Causes

On Thursday last week I mentioned having a secret. By now you’ve probably figured out that my clue-comment about “cousin Cre8asite in the kitchen with the team” had something to do with cooking up the idea for Cre8Green Week.

A few days ago Kim Krause Berg, our fearless leader at Cre8asite Forums, had an idea. She wanted to loosen our no self promotion rules for Earth Day, to allow us and the community to discuss freely any and all sites, SM networking sites, and projects (profit or not) that relate the day.

I had four reactions:

  1. Oh, I like our Kim.
  2. How can we promote this?
  3. When is Earth Day? That soon?
  4. Good ideas never have enough lead time.

Actually, there was another thought in there: gee, does this mean I’m going to put off my stats/benchmarks post again? Nevermind. Back to business. I have a few ideas to share.

Ideas come at a time of need, not at a good time to start getting ready for the need. Thinking in small steps that are reachable and definable can put doing something about the Big Need Stuff into the realm of the everyday. It’s not like most of us would think, “today I’ll get caught up on the laundry, and tomorrow I’ll be the next Martha Stewart.” Why should that kind of attitude apply to making a difference for a cause?

Real life is more like, “yesterday I brought my own cloth grocery bag, and today I’ll start sending notes to those people whose Stumbles I’ve been reading.”

Goals are about results, but life is about the experience of living. Living is doing, interacting, deciding, and more often than not, going for it though the pieces of a master plan are a little half formed at the time.

I surrendered to going for it.

Soon, I was wrapped up in thinking about community, and how to draw in some of the people I’ve connected with through SU. Some have privately mentioned enjoying participation in Cre8asite in the past, or even having enjoyed my posts there, which is kind of sweet.

Living online can create an invisible extended community, and I was curious about what I could do to bring invisible “friends” into our Cre8asite Earth Day conversations. Even if very few people come out and post, those few will have an encouraging effect.

Social media is about the conversation. I got that one from Li Evans – hi Li! It’s a no-brainer that Social Media is more like face-to-face networking than keyword-driven Internet marketing.

Networking is about relationships. I sent a lot of Stumble messages last week, and this week my extended community has a few members who are less invisible. Life is good.

Marketing is by nature selfish, as far from generosity as East is from West. That’s not to say there aren’t generous connections that can happen in tandem with marketing, for both marketers and “target” audience. Go East enough in this big world and you will end up at West, or some friendly middle place, in the company of marketers who have at some point in the marketing process ever-so-generously connected with what is important on a human level.

Marketers are idea people, and ideas need cross-fertilization. Enter Social Media, and the drive to share.

Real communication is always personal. When I communicate online I imagine shaking hands in a face to face situation, with a real interest in eye contact. This can be disconcerting on my end. I never know if I connect, unless someone takes the time to let me know, and getting people to let me know is hardly the point. It’s not about me.

I think the same can apply to work done in support of a cause: sometimes you just do it, and believe it matters. It’s not about you, and you may never know what effect you have on others.

And…

…one of the charms of an official holiday for something like Earth Day is that the day becomes a public party for those of us who do whatever the cause is about in little ways year round. It’s cool.

So, here’s a shout out for Earth Day, and marketers with heart, and invisible friends of all stripes everywhere.

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