Social Media’s Influence on Giving Back [Infographic]

The social media adoption curve is different for everyone, even for those who share the same job title in the communications industry. Some dove right in, others tested it out for a while until they found a niche. One constant though among these users is that they eventually get to a point where they understand the real-world impact and influence that social has.

For me, I realized that power when tracking the response to the Haiti Earthquake in January, 2010 and seeing Twitter completely the way people donated and raised awareness. So fittingly, my introduction into the influence of social was social good. Since then, I have become a major social good advocate and entrepreneur, having founded Tweet Drive – a toy drive that has brought social media communities together to collect over 6,200 toys since December 2010. Over that time I have seen “social good” develop from a concept, to a movement, a trend, and now a widespread responsibility.


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Who’s Who in the Alley and the Valley [Interactive Infographic]

For decades, Silicon Valley has been synonymous with innovation. It is difficult to dispute this claim given that it’s the home to technology and Internet giants such as Apple, Google, and Facebook. While it hasn’t lost its staying power, other hotspots for entrepreneurship and technology have emerged over the past ten years, in particular, New York’s “Silicon Alley”.

Although cities like Chicago, Austin, and even our own Research Triangle have produced a number of web-based businesses in recent years, New York’s startup scene is growing exponentially. The amount of capital and seed funding continues to rise as well as the success of local companies like foursquare, Gilt Groupe, and Tumblr. The city’s ecosystem also has the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently appointed Rachel Sterne as the city’s Chief Digital Officer along with Steve Rosenbaum, the city’s first Entrepreneur at Large.

There’s no shortage of debates in the blogosphere as to whether one coast has the advantage over the other. Regardless of what side you’re on, many would agree that there’s no better time to be an entrepreneur. Organizations and incubators like the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), Startup America, Y-Combinator and Tech Stars are providing an unprecedented level of resources and support. In a recent TIME article, the YEC’s Scott Gerber even posited 2012 as “The Year of the Entrepreneur”.

Interested in seeing the growth that has been present on both coasts over the last 5 years? Interact with the graphic below to explore some noteworthy companies in both Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, quotes from stakeholders, as well as the rise in Seed Funding from 2009-2011.


Silicon Valley & Alley - MBA@UNC
Via MBA@UNC: Online MBA

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The Hierarchy of Social Media

Hierarchy of Social Media

Not too long ago, I was at a networking event with a great mix of professionals. Many students and senior level executives in the communications industry filled the room and provided some great conversation. I am neither a student nor an executive but I was there because meeting new people is what I do. This event did not disappoint as I made great connections, but one interaction stood out to me.


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