August 30, 2009

At the Summer of Social Good conference


Beth KanterI was honored to speak on Friday at the Summer of Social Good conference hosted by Mashable, a popular social media and technology blog and a big geek favorite. This was the culmination of the summerlong initiative to help raise money for four charities, Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam, and LIVESTRONG.

The event was hosted by the amazing Shira Lazar, who hosts Mahalo’s This Week In YouTube and is the editor-at-large for Conde Nast’s travel blog from around the globe. She’s also the founder of The Society For Geek Advancement, which aims to bring together geek culture for social good.

The most dramatic moment of the conference had nothing to do with charity fund-raising.  It was the surprise marriage proposal on the stage from Mashable’s COO Adam Hirsch to Managing Editor Sharon Feder (she said yes)! (You can read more about that here). And while Pete Cashmore announced that he would be doing a charity event in September around his 24th birthday, I’m wondering what charity wedding registry Sharon and Adam will register with? (Kiva?) Continue reading

August 3, 2009

All about Geeks for Good

All about the Summer of Social Good from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaDid you know that this is the first Global Geek Week (Aug. 2-8)? It’s a way to promote the use of social media for the social good — which also happens to be identical to the mission of

On Twitter, go to the hashtag #geeks4good to see conversations around the topic. The new GlobalGeekWeek site showcases “an entire week dedicated to all that is Geek & giving back!” One cool feature: a Twittervision interactive map that tracks posts about geeks4good from around the world (new version of Flash required, I think).

I caught up with Shira Lazar, the TV/Web personality/journalist and founder of the Society for Geek Advancement, in LA to talk about Global Geek Week and how it fits into the Summer of Social Good (also at, which runs through Aug. 28. (And here’s Adam Hirsch of Mashable’s post on Global Geek Week.) Shira has been working with Mashable in raising awareness about charitable causes and how social media can be used for the social good.

“We’re encouraging the geek community around the globe to come together for social good,” she says.

oxfamSpecifically, you can donate $20 (or more or less) to four worthy charities: Oxfam America to fight hunger, WWF to protect the environment, the Humane Society to protect animals and Livestrong to fight cancer.

And don’t forget about the weeklong YouTube video competition. Just talk about what you’re doing to support a social cause (or how you’d like to help) by submitting your geek-inspired video to the Global Geek Week YouTube Group by midnight PT Thursday. The winner will get two round-trip tickets to anywhere Virgin America flies, with free wi-fi. The judges — Guy Kawasaki, Shira Lazar, Hank Green of Vlogbrothers, Marina Orlova of TooHotForWords, puzzle champion Wei-Hwa Huang and Lisa Donovan aka LisaNova — will pick and announce the winners at noon Friday.

Continue reading