It seems appropriate, for my final post here in 2012, to look back at the year that was and pick some of my most favorite feel-good moments. After all, feel-good moments are what makes this community tick, right?
Social media helped a good intention spread like wildfire, and in the end, people benefited in wonderful, unique, powerful ways. What could really be better?
I share these three stories because I find them all inspirational. Each one is unique yet they are tied together by the common trait of wanting to do something really nice for someone else. But most of all, I share these stories because I find them motivational.
Once you’re able to take part in a feel-good online moment that slowly spreads its wings like a butterfly on a spring day, it becomes a bit addictive. You want to see what else you can do when you put your heart and your head into it. You aim bigger, you set your goals higher. And when you achieve those, guess what! You keep wanting to do more and more. It’s infectious, but in a good way.
I hope these stories serve to remind you that there is still a lot of good in the world. I hope they remind you that social media is not always just about marketing, or self-promotion, or sales pitches. Maybe you can one-up these great moments in 2013. That’s not a bad goal to shoot for. So, without further adieu, here they are. My three favorite feel-good moments of 2012.
Back in March of 2012, Brandie McCallum, a much beloved member of my own online community, announced via a blog post that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. All of us, her friends, were concerned for her, of course, but we didn’t just want to leave comments on a blog post. Brandie was planning a cross-country move from California to New York. She was concerned about a lot of things, and we wanted to give her some peace of mind.
Although we didn’t succeed in keeping our efforts a secret like wanted (Brandie is very clever, as you would expect in a powerhouse social media community manager type), we were able to put together some money for her. We got the #bewbluv hashtag to trend in a lot of different places, and we started a secret group (it was a secret before Brandie joined) to plan more things to do and find more ways to follow up.
Speaking for myself, I got a palpable feeling during this effort that social media connections are not just passing shadows you see when you turn your computer on. Not only did a lot of people come together to benefit one person, but came TOGETHER. It was quite a powerful tide to ride.
Watching this process unfold all year was really an amazing experience. What I really was hoping to see was for Jennifer’s mom, Leslie, to see their dream fulfilled before her time on this planet was over, and that indeed is what happened. The fundraising effort to begin the production of sock monkeys meant to SMAC! Cancer (Sock Monkeys Against Cancer) reached its goal with about two days left. Jennifer was able to inform her mom that their dream of getting these cute little guys into the hands of all cancer patients was on its way to reality.
Peter Shankman Paying It Forward
This last one is quite different. While the first two were a lot about group effort, fundraising, and pulling together (that might ring a bell with you), this last feel-good story is an example of an individual who has the capability to make someone happy, and who actually does it! On December 5th, Peter wrote a post noting that he has a lot of air travel miles. For the holidays, he offered to share those miles with a few people who had really compelling stories about why they wanted to go home.
Peter is a pretty big deal in the online world–he has a lot of followers, he’s written well-respected books, and things he has done are held in high regard by a lot of people. Nobody would say he had to do what he did, but he did it. And I thought it was thoughtful, generous, and just overall plain awesome.
Those are my favorite feel-good moments from this year, but of course I am just one person. What were your favorite feel-good moments of this year? I’d love to hear about them!
In the meantime, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2013 🙂