Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, Christmas Eve is the perfect time to reflect on the year that passed and the year that is coming up. If you read this Blog, there is no doubt that you are a Marketer who cares and wants to make a difference. Many people have no idea where to start. Here is a list of very little things each and every one of us can do to make the world a better place.
Think about doing one (or many) of these things:
- Take one of your older computers (laptop or desktop) and give it to a sick children's hospital. You don't need it. You're never going to open any of those old files. The kids can use it to be online and escape their day to day stress.
- Make a donation to Wikipedia. "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge," says Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a not-for-profit that is run through the Wikimedia Foundation. How many times a day do you use Wikipedia? How amazing is it to have that wealth of knowledge that is constantly being edited and curated by all of us at your fingertips? Make sure to check out this amazing article: The New York Review of Books - The Charms of Wikipedia. This idea was inspired by Ari Herzog's Blog post, Why I Donate to Wikipedia.
- Call up a local charity that means something in your life and offer to go in and give them a presentation on how they can use social media tools to get the word out, increase awareness, raise funds and get more people to volunteer. Just showing them the basics of RSS, Blogs, Facebook and Twitter will go a long way.
- Take three books off of your bookshelf that you have read (and loved). Write a short note on the inside about why they meant so much to you, and give them to someone who you know would appreciate the messages inside.
- Call your local university and ask if you can mentor someone in the Marketing and Communications department. This is not meant to be a long-term/formal process. Many young people in university are not aware of the many amazing career opportunities there are in Digital Marketing. Help them make the right career choice.
- Choose three lesser-known Marketing Blogs that you follow and make a commitment to leave a regular comment/contribution. It's nice that the big Blogs get all of the traffic, but let's ensure that all Blogs get some form of recognition. Without comments and feedback, it is hard for a Blogger to know if they are making a difference and adding value.
- Read at least one item (Blog, article, book, etc...) that has nothing to do with Marketing, Communications, Advertising or Public Relations. Make it something about science, literature, the environment, politics, whatever. Opening your own mind to different ideas and concepts will give you a different perspective on the world. It will keep you curious and others will feed off of that energy.
- Respond to those emails that you have been putting off. You know the ones.
- Get involved in some kind of unconference or meet-up. It could be a BarCamp or PodCamp a Pecha Kucha or a Geek Dinner. Be one of the lead volunteers. The time involvement will be less than you think, but the relationship, connections and overall community development that you will be a part of will change everything you thought you knew about community.
- Volunteer for one of the many industry associations. Yes, there are dues to pay, meetings to attend a general feeling like nothing ever really gets done, but that's not the point. The point of being a part of your industry association is be an active member of your community. And, don't believe the nay-sayers - you can make a difference.
Now, it's your turn: what are some of the other small things we, as Marketers, can do to make a difference?