A Mother’s Day Change Up – Two Extraordinary Women

I’m taking a break today from the usual stuff to acknowledge two extraordinary woman I am very fortunate to call friends.

Nancy Santullo
Nancy on the river

Nancy Santullo is a former fashion photographer who has dedicated herself to bringing clean water to the children of the Peruvian rainforest. When Nancy is not heading up river she is advocating at the United Nations. In eight years she and her team have brought clean water to two remote villages serving over 450 adults and children.

You can find her story here and learn out more about her organization by visiting: Rainforest Flow: A House of the Children Project.

Virginia Paca
Virginia in her garden

Virgina Paca is an architect and garden designer in Pasadena, California who had a simple idea: She wanted to grow her own food and connect with local farmers and businesses. Her garden took off,  and at the height of the economic downturn she began giving away her abundance of organic produce. Each week she prepares beautiful baskets overflowing with fruits and vegetables and hand delivers them to a food bank, local businesses, and friends.

You can follow her story, and take a peek inside her wonderful garden here.

Thanks to The Woman’s Eye for profiling these two extraordinary women … and many more.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Generosity is the Emotion, Content is the Currency

Creating Effective Social Media Engagement: Generosity is the Emotion, Content is the Currency

Authentic, trusting relationships are fueled by generosity and empathy. While online networks can seem abstract compared to connections in the ‘real world’, the same principles hold true.

Web 2.0 is a conversational environment, not a broadcast channel. This is still confusing for some musicians who use Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. to talk about themselves (“Oh, did I mention MY gig this weekend, here are some new pictures of ME, I wrote a new song…” etc. etc.). When I get a Linked In or Facebook friend request from a complete stranger asking me to listen to their music or come to a gig I am always amazed. What are they thinking? Eventually I tune out even good friends who I am very interested in, when the only communication from them is pushed PR blasts.

The power of social media is it’s potential for building communities and sincere relationships. The way to do this is to pay attention to everyone else, what their passions are and what they need. Ask yourself what you can share to make their lives a little more wonderful. On the web, the obvious gift to give is interesting content. This could be a helpful blog post or link, some compelling video you have created, a piece of music or a recommendation or referral. The important thing is that you are passionate about what you are sharing and you genuinely want to help your followers.

A great example of this generosity is the blog created by musician Danny Barnes. He has written a number of funny, articulate pieces that are essential reading for any professional musician or anyone with even a passing interest in what it means to be a musician. He has shared many practical insights on how to make a living in music, how to be a successful sideman, how to listen and much more. There is great value and generosity here without a hint of self-promotion. A teacher and fellow musician told me the other day he reads Danny’s posts to his classes!

Check out Danny’s blog and spread the word…

What gifts are you giving to your fans, followers and customers? What’s working for you?