Sustainability (and such)

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SEO, simply explained

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on October 19, 2011

Curious?  Check out this intro piece and GREAT video!  I’ve been looking for a quick, simple look at Search Engine Optimization and here’s a good piece from the GovLoop folks.  Good stuff about SEO and marketing!

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Measurement of SM traction…

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on August 16, 2011

That pesky “evaluation” piece is part of every good project; that is, what makes continuing work valuable if it can’t be measured for success/engagement?  So, does it matter that a gazillion people have watched Charlie bite his brother’s finger?  Or that President Obama just joined Foursquare?  Here’s a great social media marketing infographic to visualize how clicks and likes may or may not show momentum.

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Is it real or is it revisionist? Does it matter?

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on April 26, 2011

The blogosphere is abuzz about murky truth in nonfiction, aka the Greg Mortenson scandal.   Whether you think he’s a bonafide liar or celebrated humanitarian, the incident summons up ghosts of previous fallacies, ranging from the Oprah/James Frey debacle or the world’s response to Rigoberta Menchu’s autobiography about her life as An Indian Woman in Guatemala.  I’ve known of Menchu’s work for years and thus think of it more as a symbolic; that is, what I first read as a suspicious story of family and heritage is now more a global symbol of oppression and philosophy. 

The book elevated Menchu to near-celebrity status when she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.  On one hand, she publicizes many of the indigenous traditions that she so desperately seeks to keep alive while also wishing to keep them secret for fear that others might steal her culture.  On the other hand, the autobiography seeks to speak for an entire people as Menchu announces, “This is my testimony.  I didn’t learn it from a book and I didn’t learn it alone.  I’d like to stress that it’s not only my life.  It’s also the testimony of my people…My personal experience is the reality of a whole people.” In speaking for all poor Guatemalans, Menchu also lays out how one individual might turn toward a life of collective revolution in the hope of turning back a cycle of oppression and poverty.  She told her story, I believe, to remind the world that such struggles “know no boundaries or limits” in a quest to deal with modernization and continuing colonialism. 

So, Menchu spoke for others.  And she spoke with much help, given that anthropologist Elizabeth Burgos-Debray interviewed and edited the book, later declaring, “Rigoberta has chosen words as her weapon and I have tried to give her words the permanency of print.”  But it’s not the last time:  Just as critics ripped Menchu’s truthfulness, Mortenson is now being trounced for possibly embellishing the truth to lift our eyes to horizons similarly lined with despair.  We thus continue a cycle in recognizing readings that depict the dialogue between historical constructions of identity – that was actually built and experienced by several cultures – and the self-representation of those who now hope to seize the power of words, ink, and collective history.

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Long Live the Doctor!

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on April 25, 2011

The Doctor is dead –Long live the Doctor!  I’m loving all the leaks for “The Impossible Astronaut”, this season’s opener of Dr. Who.  Watch this BBC series and all will be much will be clearer, even Nixon’s paranoia; turns out, the President was crank-called about aliens.  And they’re creepy spacemen, the monsters you forget as soon as you look away.  I love this show because time can be rewritten and solutions are nearly always found – the kind of optimism we naively carried forth during that Watergate era when everybody realized The President of the United States can be as flawed as Everyman.  And that sudden sameness lit a fuse of power:  Simply, we could change the world.  We just needed to trust each other, listen and talk to each other, and climb from awareness to action.  As the Spring 2011 fall semester ends, I look at the students of Presidio Graduate School through Dr. Who’s eyes, shaking things up for a sustainable future, perhaps with a regeneration or two.   As you go through the “timey-wimey” bend on this planet, I hope you look directly at everybody and rely on each other to raise the bar.  And stay in touch!

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The practical art of persuasion

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on March 19, 2011

Here’s an interesting Harvard piece about the art of persuasion, a critical factor in marketing for several of your EL clients.  Behavior change is a common theme in sustainability and other social justice efforts, so engage with this reading with an eye for inclusion without elitism.  Thanks to several of you for bringing this to class!

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Value of gaming, cont. (Wanna play?)

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on January 4, 2011

While this semester’s marketing class focused on gaming (such as Richard Muncaster’s presentation about KlickNation) as another layer in marketing strategies, we also touched on interactivity as an increasing force in behavior and philanthropy.  Here’s news about a new UNESCO online game that educates youth about HIV/AIDS; I wonder, when will the seventh MDG enter the fray?

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LinkedIn Strength

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on December 16, 2010

A few of you have asked to learn more about how LinkedIn can help broaden your network and job search success.  Here’s a Mashable piece about optimizing your profile, including some old favorites such as Slideshare and tweets!  (P.S.  I also have a standard Prezi “about me” to adapt for various speaking stints…it helps to have an online bio or resume of some sort.)

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Studying climate change and Africa?

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on December 16, 2010

Here is a Call for Papers with a January 3 deadline for Linking Climate Research, Policy and Practice for African-led Development, 9-11 March 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  “This three-day bilingual (French/English) symposium is a landmark event focusing on evolving approaches, tools, methods and philosophies addressing the links between increasing climate change and variability in Africa and sustainable development. It will feature keynote speakers from across the continent, and also provide a space for creative new exchanges and collaboration between African research, media, policy, and community practitioners. This is an opportunity to share your knowledge and experience of this important subject and work with others to help make a difference.”

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Obsession: Wikileaks

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on December 14, 2010

I confess … I’m obsessed with the WIKILEAKS  and who’s responding.  Assange has been villified (hacker, terrorist, anarchist, etc.) and the subject of late night monologues.  (My favorite is Jon Stewart’s To Catch a Somewhat Pasty Predator.)  Many of us around when Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers are confused and nervous:  Lieberman and Feinstein call  for investigation of the New York Times and boycotts of Wikileaks financial business supporters?

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From Mashable: 5 Big Brands that Are Rocking the Social Media Space

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on November 11, 2010

“Over the course of this year, we’ve seen a lot of great game-changing social media campaigns, from the Emmy-Winning Old Spice Guy YouTube videos to the Ford Explorer Facebook Reveal.  While campaigns like these get us excited, many of the brands behind these social media successes are still on the road to maintaining a consistent social presence, above and beyond a one-hit-wonder promotion. There are a handful of brands, however, that continue to awe us with social media wins one after another, while incorporating their communities and core brand values, and actively participating across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, and YouTube.  In appreciation of engagement, innovation and longevity, here are five of our top picks for must-follow brands that just know how to use social media.

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