You, online

Guess which online information about you affects peoples’ opinion of you?


Every last photo that pops up (sure, on your Facebook page, but also your Twitter feed and even the picture of you on Skype).  Each snippet is a little piece of you.

Yes we’d love to hear from you every day through your blog, which you can set up in about three minutes.  And yes it’s a good thing to have some personality.

If that feels like too much, why not put up a homepage (like Frank’s or James’)?  You could spend one day (one day!) doing this and making it better than 99% of what’s out there.  If a properly hosted page seems like too much, how about an profile.  And yes, you should be on LinkedIn too.

And since you have at least one friend who has a nice camera and likes to take pictures, ask her to take headshots of you on a simple white background and buy her dinner to thank her.  Heck, invite some friends over.  Best $50 you’ve ever spent (OK maybe more if drinks are involved).

You don’t have forever to stand out from the crowd, but right now it’s still pretty easy to distinguish yourself online.  What are you waiting for?


A week for review

I will be out for a week and not blogging. The last time I took a few days off, traffic to my blog increased. I’m not sure that’s a good sign, but who knows?

The good news is that this blog is borrowing a much-maligned campaign by NBC networks to justify summer reruns: “If you haven’t read it, it’s new to you.”

This is your chance to review some posts you may have missed. Read one every day if you like, and it will be almost as good as new posts:


Donations that Make a Difference

Reflections on Maimonides’ 8 levels of Charity (tzedakah)

What would Maimonides think of Kiva?


Explaining Complexity with a good Analogy

Even Fiji water can be green?

4 in the morning

Pro-poor businesses

1298 ambulances in Mumbai

The need for maternal care in the developing world

Acumen Fund breakfast discussion on energy

…and, for some reason, the single most popular post on the blog: About Sasha.

Thanks to all of you for reading and for the positive feedback. It really means a lot and it’s exciting to know you’re out there and tuning in.

Blog launch

Six months ago I wouldn’t have considered starting my own blog. Having since written a few blog posts for the Acumen Fund blog (a few of which were cross-posted at and seen a real response, and now that I actually have an RSS reader that I check every day, I’m of a different mind. My feeling right now is that blogs are likely to be the new center of gravity for fresh, authoritative, and interesting content on the web. And they have significant potential to take a bite out of journalism, publishing, and plain ‘ol web sites. For example, I’ve been putting off getting a new credit card, since my card expires next month. I wanted to research online. Type “credit cards” into Google and you get a lot of industry sites without a lot of objectivity or depth. A blog search got me some seemingly objective answers in about 5 minutes.

My saving grace is that I’m quite confident that no one, for now, is reading this blog. At the same time I know that everything published online is essentially permanent – so I should try to get off on the right foot. For now I’m expecting this blog will be reflections on the nonprofit world, philanthropy, global interconnectedness, fairness, making change, and general reflections on marketing, sales and communication. I’m in no small part inspired by Seth Godin – both personally and by his blog – and while I hesitate to reference a blogospheric icon as an inspiration, what I love most about Seth’s blog is that he seems to see the whole world through a unifying lens of marketing, creating valuable customer relationships, and making positive change. I’m beginning to see that same level of unification and interconnectedness in a lot of areas, so I figured I’d take a stab at blogging about it. My hope is that blogging about these things will help me to sharpen my thinking, will improve my writing, and will force me to turn observations into (could it be?) insights. At the same time I’m fascinated to see if people will start reading, commenting, and furthering the conversations I hope to start, and maybe someday forming a tribe that cares about these ideas. I’m assuming that the focus of my blog, its themes and direction, will emerge over time, and I’m not going to work too hard to confine myself to a specific set of topics for now.

So, here I go…wish me luck.