I actually read the Voter’s Pamphlet. Strange, I know. Out of 19 issues on my ballot, which includes state, county, and local ballot measures, eight were unopposed – so over 40% of my job was done before filling in that first bubble.
There is nothing too juicy to vote on in the November 8 Washington State General Election (except for maybe the highly debated and publicized I-1183), so a few of my choices this year were based off of silly things like “I don’t want to vote for this guy because he looks like a weenie” or “this dude reminds me of Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation and that’s funny”. Maybe not the best way to choose a candidate, but when there is little distinguishing the two on paper, you work with what you’ve got!
Alas, here are my picks for 2011 Washington State General Election – enjoy!
In December 2008, I started having abdominal pain. Two months later I saw a gastroenterologist for the first time. Two days after that visit, I was being put under general anesthesia to have an upper endoscopy performed – a procedure where a doctor basically takes a camera on the end of a string and treks through your upper digestive system. This was the first of what would come to be eleven more tests and one surgery over the next 15 months.
Luckily, my problem seems to be a combination of inflammation, IBS, and anxiety. But for 1.4 million people out there (10% children), the pain and struggle of “tummy trouble” is an overwhelming pain in the butt! IBD patients battle with pain that can range from negligible to debilitating, they struggle to find their individual “X” foods that flare up symptoms, not to mention the inconvenient (and sometimes embarrassing) “gotta go” moments. Living with this kind of pain changes your life – and can even change who you are.
While I didn’t quite reach my fundraising goal for this event, I came close with the help of my friend, Krystin Tate, and aunts Eva Norman and Peggy Butts. Their donations go to help support local patient programs, as well as important research projects. Locally, over $107,000 was raised for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America! Thank you so much to those of you that donated!
Here are are few pictures from the event, held at Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle:
Tyson and I at Take Steps.
Featured sponsors, Ken and Barbara Chaplin, with Top Fundraiser, Joey Peha (Crohn's patient since nine years-old!)
One of many views of Lake Washington from the trail.
My doctor's office had the best team name!
Porta-potty on the walk trail - just in case!
Weird Magnuson Park thing.
Trunk full of toilet paper.
On June 26, my husband and I participated in TEARS Foundation walk to raise money for families that have lost a child. We raised $125 for the cause, with special thanks to my grandma, Marlene Schirmer, and aunt, Eva Norman. Both donated funds in remembrance of my sister, Jordan Napier, who died in 1994 at the age of six.
Here are a few pictures from this event:
Safeco Field, where the 2010 TEARS Foundation walk was held.
At Safeco Field.
My husband, Tyson, at Safeco Field.
TEARS Foundation walkers.
Tyson in the dugout as walkers pass.
Seattle skyline from the stadium.
Thanks for all your support, and please go to my Philanthropy page for more information about events I’m participating in this year, along with opportunities to help.
Up Next: On July 18, we’ll be doing the IBD Walk in Seattle – please help those in need with your donation!
This year I plan on participating in ten fundraiser “walk” events around the Seattle area. I am asking friends, family, and members of the ACC community to join me in raising funding and awareness of various health-related issues. There are many events like these during the Spring, Summer, and early Fall months. I have registered teams for each event, and if you are interested in joining, just contact me!
The death of a child is perhaps the most tragic death of all – a life taken before it gets the chance to grow. When I was eight years-old, my six year-old sister died ten days before Christmas. Our family was devastated. We were new to Seattle, having moved from St. Louis just four months prior. Thankfully, the local community reached out to my family to help support us through the unimaginable grief, and unenviable confusion of burying my sister. The TEARS Foundation helps families like mine to navigate the emotional and financial complexities surrounding the death of a child. While these tragedies may continue, we can come together to offer hope to those that feel their hope has died in their arms. Jordan – this is for you!
*Saturday, June 26, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm @ Safeco Field.
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
In 2005, a friend of mine spent months in the hospital battling with a digestive system gone awry. After a year he finally got a diagnosis: Ulcerative Colitis. In December 2008, I had a stomach ache. Two-and-a-half years later, my doctors still aren’t quite sure what causes my pain. For a while, I was thought to have Crohn’s Disease. Both Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease are a grouping of disorders known as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD – not to be confused with IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome). These digestive disorders are a biological enigma, with causes and treatments that are just as much luck as science. However, IBD affects over 1.4 million Americans – nearly the size of Phoenix, Arizona! This event helps to raise research funds and awareness of this pain in the butt battle!
*Sunday, July 18, 4:00pm – 8:00pm @ Magnuson Park.
Autism Speaks is proud of our signature fundraising event which brings together hundreds of thousands of participants annually across the United States and Canada with a common goal of supporting Autism Speaks. This change strengthen the marketing efforts around the Walk program by more directly branding the walks with our name, effectively eliminating any confusion with other autism walks around the world.
*Saturday, August 14 @ Seattle Center.
I don’t remember much of my grandfather – the last time I saw him I was four. But towards the end, he didn’t remember much of me, either. Alzheimer’s is a burden on the elderly and their caregivers, but by promoting innovation in research and treatments, we can help to make the golden years a time to remember.
Saturday, September 11, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm @ Seattle Center.
Walk to Defeat ALS
The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.
*Saturday, October 2
CROP Hunger Walk
CROP Hunger Walks help children and families worldwide — and right here in the U.S. — to have food for today, while building for a better tomorrow. Each year some two million CROP Hunger Walkers, volunteers, and sponsors put their hearts and soles in motion, raising over $16 million per year to help end hunger and poverty around the world and in their own communities.
*Sunday, October 3 @ West Seattle.
Walk to Fight Diabetes
Diabetes affects several members of my father’s side of the family, as well as several longtime family friends. However, it is estimated that there are over five million undiagnosed patients – plus 57 million with “pre-diabetes” symptoms. If not managed, the disease can be disastrous, leading to blindness, kidney failure, amputation, and event death. As one of the top concerns to our nation’s health, we owe it to ourselves and our fellow citizens to help raise awareness, as well as research and treatment funding.
*Saturday, October 9 @ Magnuson Park.
There are many more events like these that take place in the Seattle area. If you are interested in more information, please feel free to contact me.
I was asked this week to describe the impact of social media. As a history lover, and I looked for a pattern that social media may be following or repeating, and compared the differences and potential for the future. The obvious analog is mass media (also known as “industrial”, “traditional”, or “broadcast media”), which includes newspapers, magazines, books, television, film, and radio; and tends to be characterized by a “one way” relationship between producer and consumer. On the other hand, social media involves the creation and distribution of concepts and media through social interface channels; and is characterized by community relationship between producer and consumer.
With mass media, value is expressed to customers via perception (branding, marketing).
“What is advertised is what is good.”
Whereas, social media expresses value through the collective voices of the users, also known as customer evangelization.
“What is shared by those like me is good.”
Comparative Media: Social v. Mass
- Social media is very young – in its current incarnation, about ten years old.
- Mass media has been around since the creation of the printing press in 1453, and modern advertising developed approximately 150 years ago.
- Mass media has infiltrated with most parts of day-to-day life through aggressive marketing and advertising with print, audio, and video.
- Due to its infancy, social media is not (and may never be) as invasive as mass media.
- Word of mouth marketing and referrals have long been considered the best way of bringing in qualified customers and leads.
- Social media allows customers to “go viral” by giving volume to their voice.
- Average users can “evangelize” a brand, product, or company through their networks (i.e. Facebook’s Fan Pages).
The Future of Media
After witnessing the development of mass media over the past 150 years, we’re sure to see major changes in advertising and business development over time. Development of social media points to a greater trend of customer development moving from general marketing toward targeted marketing that engages loyal customers to share and create new value for the company.
This blog is a baby.
One of the biggest roadblocks for any site (especially a blog) is content generation. Both evergreen and long-tail content are necessary for building and maintaining readership and traffic. There are several new tools out there that help to automate and supplement content generation. Two that I have tried personally are RichContent from eNom and Evri’s Contextual Widgets.
I love the idea of augmenting original content with related materials. Not only does this help to illuminate topics relevant to your site, but it also engages users and keeps them coming back. Dynamism is key. The big difference between these two? Price. Evri’s service is totally free, and pulls from articles, images, and video from throughout the web; whereas eNom’s product costs upwards of $5/month, and only pulls from media created by or in partnership with Demand Media.
Ultimately, my bid is on Evri: it’s free, functional, and fun – the cute circle design and easy-to-use interface is a hands-down win in my book!
What do you think? Is content supplementation a cheaters game, or a smart move? Is it better to pay, or leverage content for free? (By now, you can tell where I’m placing my bets.)
I love The Godfather. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite movies of all time. But, I have to disagree with Don Corleone on one point: business is personal…if you’re doing it right.
You have to love what you do. Or at the very least, what you do has to enable that which you love. Otherwise, what are you left with? A lifeless job and a lackluster life? Boring! What’s the point of that? There is plenty out there to do – go find out what’s yours.
Also, let’s consider the socio-economic-environmental aspects of business. If one is to do business ethically and/or in a way that is socially and/or environmentally responsible (understanding that people have varying ideas of what that looks like), they are, by definition, making business personal. What is more personal than your morality? Your community? Your planet? (Ok, ok…the planet isn’t necessarily “personal”, but like it or not, it affects you personally every single day – weather is what’s coming to mind there.)
If your heart isn’t in what you do, why are you doing it? Maybe you just do your job to pay the bills, save for a house, or take care of your family – and those are all good reasons – but do it with heart. What’s the point of living lackluster day-to-day? What’s the point of putting your name on your work, and not being proud of it? Reputation counts. Personality counts. Spirit counts.
Make yourself count. Make your business personal.
I have 1043 contacts on my LinkedIn account. I have 1074 contacts on my Facebook account. My name is Eron, and I’m a network-a-holic.
Realistically, I don’t actually know these 1000+ people. My close group of friends is varied, but small. But even still, especially with the Facebook news feed, I get a glimpse into the lives of people I have one to six degrees of separation from – many of them are “filler” (the updates, not the people!), but others I have found inspiring. Veritable strangers whose business acumen, political participation, and personal strength and faith have helped me to have a better understanding of myself and what I can accomplish with myself.
Tonight (catching up on my RSS feeds) I read a post by Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker discussing the merit of “Surrounding Yourself with Succeseful People“. His wisdom (although crass at first glance) highlights the difference between success and wealth. This got me thinking: am I surrounding myself with successful people? What is my definition of success? Does “surrounding” include the distended social media networks?
I tend to think of success in terms of attitude/lifestyle traits: direction, passion, confidence, ethics, and humility. Wealth is not an indicator of success. With these in mind, I would certainly consider my small circle of friends successful…or at least getting there!
But what about the “social network” at large? Does it mean anything? Does (virtually) surrounding myself with successful people really make an impact? Or are the handfuls of people I find fascinating/inspirational just as hollow as a fan’s relationship with a celebrity? (I’m hoping it’s the former.)