16 February 2010

One Way Personal Post - and Social Media's Impact

This is going to be somewhat short - plus a whole lot more personal than even I imagined when I started this blog. This past weekend, a wonderful lady lost her battle to ovarian cancer. She fought valiantly for 18 months - and while she was battling this horrific disease, she still kept teaching and providing a wonderful example for a group of young women that are part of my HS Alma mater.

Vicki impacted a plethora of school peers and chums - and in the hours leading up to her death, our tight community of grads and current students rallied on Facebook to share support, prayers, and memories.

It was a way that as a community, unbounded by geography, gathered together, felt comfort, and ultimately, grieved in her passing. Then the most amazing use of social media (outside of business) occurred: a young woman started a Facebook page for us to post our memories of her.

Keep in mind, that - on average - a typical graduating class from our high school is less than 30 people. In a matter of hours of its page creation and the following days, there were 360 "fans" for that page plus even more contributors. There were pictures, videos, and postings so numerous that I lost count. In essence, this page became a way for us to connect and share our loss.

The next step (that just started) is that we are trying to remember Vicki by sponsoring the lacrosse field to be officially named on behalf of her. Unfortunately, I couldn't be there for the wake or funeral - but because of the idea of a "social marketplace" due to social marketing, I get to contribute to making the lacrosse field the "Oakley Pitch" while miles away. The Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter chatter has been prolific about making this a reality - and I hope that we achieve our goal in making this field named in her honor.

If you'd like to know more, please visit the following links:
The Facebook page that we've been contributing content to: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=299860902150&ref=ts
The Social Network that we've joined to support Ovarian Cancer: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2229317294&ref=mf
To make the "Oakley Pitch" a reality by donating, please donate here: please use PayPal here: PayPal on www.ashmi.org.

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