Saturday, March 12, 2011

Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman checks out the Delaware Social Media Scene

Sometimes we really need to have someone from outside our community to offer a fresh perspective on what we're doing in Delaware.

This week we got that perspective from none other than Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman.

Ms. Goodman and her team came to see what Constant Contact Regional Development Director David Yunghans has been up to here in the First State.

We had more than 200 people come to our social media training/showcase/best practices session on March 11 - where more than a dozen business owners, non-profit managers, and others shared their social media success stories (it was incredible!)

After the event, Ms. Goodman had this observation about the Delaware Social Media Scene:

We look forward to MS. Goodman and her team coming back to spend some more time getting to know us.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More Evidence - this time from Men's Health

Once again - let's grab a little perspective - the state of Delaware still has fewer than 1 million people - and yet the city of Wilmington is listed as the 22nd most socially networked cities in the United States!

I cannot tell you how proud I am of the way this state is connecting and using social media to connect better in person! You are doing awesome stuff and the world is sitting up and taking notice!

Keep up the awesome work!

Oh, here's the link to the Men's Health article

OK, About the Article...

So, in the past week I've been fortunate enough to get morearticlepositive press than should be allowed (sorry, I don't know how else to say it).

First, there was Thursday's News Journal article, then there was WDEL's Rick Jensen leading an on-air "Ken Grant fest" - and more e-mails, facebook posts, and tweets than I can count.

I humbly accept the kind words and affirmations from all, BUT, I hope you will indulge me with just a few extra moments of your time to expand on a couple of ideas.

Several years ago, a friend pointed out to me that cynics are actually great romantics - they see how the possibilities of what the world *could* be compared to how the world *is* - and I could relate. 

Let the Battle Begin
I realized that I had a decision to make - would I live from an attitude of cynicism, or would I try to make the world a better place, that place of possibility?

This is a decision I find myselfpodcampfacing every day - and it is what I see in this community that keeps me choosing, time after time, to work a little harder, to try a little more, to believe that we can - and do - make a difference.

When I see people who are unemployed (and employed) come together every week to help support each other in their job searches (Community Matters Networking Group),

When I see thousands of people volunteer to help homeless families in multiple ways (Family PromiseSunday Breakfast MissionMinistry of Caring, etc.),

When I see a growing network of people connecting both electronically and in person to work on projects that help build community (Network DelawareGreater Newark Network, etc.),

When I see organizations dedicated to providing our youth with mentors, direction, and the tools needed to grow into adults who will make a difference in the world around them (Urban PromiseJewish Family Services of DelawareDelaware Youth for ChristJunior Achievement, etc.), and

When I know that the list of examples I have here represents only a small fraction of the individuals and organizations that should be recognized,

Then I know that I cannot hide behind the cowardice of cynicism and must do my part in creating a better future.

What Can We Do?
I'll never forget seeing a great poster a few years ago, it reads:

There's three kinds of people in the world:
- Those who make things happen
- Those who watch things happen
- Those who look around and ask, What just happened?

I ask that every time you get the urge to complain about something you consider to be wrong in society that you stop and think about what YOU can do to improve the situation - andplease, be creative - a protest or letter-writing campaign might bring some awareness to a situation, but what then? What can you do to make a difference - please don't wait for a state agency to step in, or for someone else to do something - if you see a problem, an issue, an opportunity, then YOU have what it takes to change it.
Basic principles
Anyone who has been to more than a couple of weddings (or seen the movie "Wedding Crashers") is probably familiar with the famous writing from a Rabbi named Paul about how "Love is patient, love is kind..."

I'd like to direct your attention to one of his other writings that I would argue offers some very basic, practical guidelines for life in community:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves... Share with people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you...Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Seriously, thanks so much to all of you who set an incredible example - thank you for all of the joy, hope, and inspiration you bring - thank you for demonstrating true kindness.

Now, let's continue to work together to make our corner of the world a little better!

With much appreciation,


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Too much fun!

A friend of mine really enjoys playing with Photoshop - I am proud, humbled, amused, and inspired by this - thanks Gene!