By Liam Burke On December 31, 2013 Cinema did not emerge from a eureka moment, but rather through the incremental innovations of pioneers such as the Lumière brothers, Étienne-Jules Marey, and Thomas Edison. So it is unsurprising that filmmakers regularly…
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When I hear the word Mother, I think of love, nurturing, wisdom, guidance, and strength. Those same thoughts are evoked when I think of Dr. Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey, so, when I heard OWNTV was airing a very special episode of Super Soul Sunday on Mother’s Day where Oprah would be interviewing Dr. Angelou, I thought it quite appropriate.
I tune in to Super Soul Sunday regularly so there was no doubt in my mind that I would be watching this episode but as luck would have it, I was also granted the treat of being sent a sneak peek. I can tell you that you are in for one heck of an hour. I learned a few new things about Maya Angelou and of course I was left inspired by both women. Dr. Angelou accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime before she was even 20 years old despite the fact that she is African American AND female. I don’t want to give too much away but I do want you all to tune in. Although I’ve seen it, I’ll be right there watching with you on Sunday morning as well! I suggest you grab a few people you love to watch with you, this wisdom is too good not to share.
You can go to Oprah.com for a short preview. Can’t wait to see you all on Twitter and Facebook!
During my three years on Twitter, I have been fortunate enough to come across all sorts of people doing the most amazing things. From celebrities to the average person, everyone gets inspired in some form or another to do something good with their talents. That is what we call Social Media for Social Good. Nate St. Pierre is a perfect example of that effect. He has been involved in numerous projects where he uses his natural talents as well as his training and background to serve a greater purpose. He has also sparked others to follow along. You can find out all about Nate and his numerous projects here.
I have been writing about entertainment and arts for a while and I always try to correlate how my subjects can use their influence for a greater good. It was a no brain-er to include someone like Nate St. Pierre since, as you will see, he has been using his life in some pretty awesome ways.
Q: Your background includes web design, web development, and marketing. How did you get interested in projects that help change the world? Did this passion predate the explosion of the web and Social Media?
A: Yep, I spent six years as a web developer and team leader at a successful company in Milwaukee. But it wasn’t until I took on a leadership position there that I realized how much power I had to impact lives in a positive way, and I decided that I wanted to do it on a larger scale. That was back in late 2008. Actually there’s a video detailing the exact moment, here: http://ahamoment.com/
Q: The projects you have worked on such as ItStartsWith.Us, Love Drop, and Love Bomb have turned into a team of over 10,000 people, all working for Social Good. THAT is an impressive accomplishment. How does this make you feel? Is it something surreal or was it something you hoped for from the beginning?
A: When I really sit down and think about what that means in terms of tangible good done, and number of lives touched (over 1,000,000!), it makes me very thankful that I’ve been able to have such a meaningful impact with the (relatively) low investment of 3 years of work on the projects. Honestly, when I began these projects, I expected them to be even bigger, but with age and experience comes the realization that your estimates for new projects are almost always bigger than they turn out to be. Still, I am VERY happy with the results so far, and glad to be able to continue the work with the help of Joshua and Katie, how lead the teams on a day-to-day basis.
Q: Social Media has a way of developing a life of its own when used properly. Was this the case with your projects? Did they take off and run in a direction of their own?
A: I would say yes, especially with Love Drop. The framework of the project turned out as expected, but during the first month we realized that people were very, very excited to give things other than money to the families who needed it, and we were also much happier to give them those things than the money itself. So our gifts and presentations ended up focusing more on the personalized gifts than the funds raised, and I think it made the project and videos a lot more fun.
A: ItStartsWith.Us is my baby, and I love love love the fact that any one of us can spend 15 minutes a week to make a positive impact in someone’s life, for amazing results. When you tell the team to “fix something,” the interpretations, actions, and results are incredible when everyone interprets it their own way and does something with it.
Love Bomb is the project I’m least involved in, but the one I love the most. To think that you can spend just 5 minutes to read a blog post and write a short response each week, yet literally change or save a life is amazing to me.
Love Drop was so much fun to do, because I got to travel the country with my boy J. Money and help out deserving families. What’s not to love?
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Right now I’m working as the Director of Marketing for a tech start-up in L.A., so my days are pretty busy. J. Money and I are going to partner on something again in the future though, so we’re talking about what that could look like with my new job and his new baby. We’ll figure something out.
Q: What have you learned from working on these projects?
A: I’ve learned that it’s hard work to build something from scratch and use it to make an impact. You have to sacrifice a lot to make it happen. But that’s true with most things worth doing, right? So I’ll count it as a win, and keep on going.
Q: What tips and advice can you give to people who would like to start similar ventures but may not know how or where to begin?
A: I always tell people to find something you love, start small, and stay consistent. The entire ItStartsWith.Us project started that same way, and continues to run on that principle. When I began that project less than 3 years ago, I emailed 18 people a week by hand with the weekly missions. Today my email management software sends out 10,000 emails a week, and the project rolls strong. As Conan said in his farewell show, “if you work really hard, and are kind, amazing things will happen.” [link here: http://www.
I hope you are inspired to use your natural talents or your training to help or start a project of your own. You can also follow Nate on twitter at @NateStPierre to keep up with all that he is working on.
One of the highlights for me in 2011 was meeting Kirstie Alley. I had been tweeting with her for years, spoken to her on the phone, and even saw her briefly at the first Dance With Me USA event I attended in the beginning of the year. Being able to talk to her in person was everything I thought it would be and more.
Talk about energy, I could feel the positive vibes and was immediately energized by it. She was so gracious to everyone who attended and treated them all like an old friend.
Today, January 12th, is Kirstie’s Birthday and I would like to take this opportunity to wish her the happiest of days. I know she will be celebrating and dancing her way through. There are lots of reasons for her to celebrate her life and many reasons why her friends, family, and fans will be honoring her big day.
2011 was a huge year for Kirstie. She lost so much weight, introduced an amazing organic weight loss product to the world (Organic Liaison), started writing a book, started work on a new sitcom, and came up with 100 Days of Dance.
If you need a boost in your own life, either your energy or with weight loss, I suggest you check out Organic Liaison and 1oo Days of Dance. Both sites will motivate you and you can find loads of great things like recipes and tips on the Organic Liaison site. If you like, you can upload videos of you and your friends dancing on the 100 Days of Dance site. Signing up to participate in the dancing is free and fun!
I have personally lost 50 pounds due in part to Organic Liaison as well as by incorporating dancing back into my life.
I am so glad to know you, Kirstie. Happy Birthday! I encourage everyone to follow the example and have fun, be healthy, plus remember to DANCE! Today we dance for you and with you! Wishing you all the best in 2012 and always.
Love, Peace, & Happiness,