Social Media Helps Young Rock Star Raise Funds for Cancer Research on a Shoe-String

Teagan Stedman (middle) is pictured with “shred heads” Alex Berson and Andreas Knickman (courtesy of

Teagan Stedman is an aspiring rock star who, at just 12 years old, has been on stage with members of such headliner bands as Guns and Roses, System of a Down, Limp Bizkit, Fistful of Mercy, and Rage Against the Machine. And, more importantly, he’s inspired those rock stars to rage and fundraise for pediatric cancer research.

Teagan founded Shred Kids Cancer, a nonprofit organization “made up of kids and started by a kid.” Inspired by his friend Alex Berson who was battling cancer, Teagan combined his passion for music and helping others.

The organization enables young people to make a difference by raising funds to support research that leads to improving the care, quality of life and survival rate of children with cancer. In Teagan’s words, “It’s a way to make the kids who have cancer know that we are here for them and show them we care and give them strength.” Read more

A Hesitant Embrace: Low-Tech Solutions in a Social Media Landscape

Recently, while I was attending an educational tech conference, I was struck by the “low-tech” solution the conference planners employed to have attendees share information about their favorite apps.

Conference planners positioned a whiteboard and colored markers in the area with the refreshments and made an announcement during one of the communal meals that the whiteboard was to be used to write down our favorite apps.

I ended up taking a picture of the board with my cell phone, both because I wanted to capture the content on the board and explore those apps, but also because I was struck by the low-tech tool used to gather input from this very tech-savvy audience. Read more

Research-Based, Budget-Sensitive Online Strategy for Hospital Facebook Engagement

If you are involved with hospital marketing, you already know that as budgets tighten, interest in expanding social media engagement wanes. Yet research indicates 80% of Internet users have looked online for information on health topics – that’s 59% of all adults – so ignoring online engagement isn’t an option.

For some hospitals, having a Facebook page has become a quick fix to assure stakeholders that they are engaged in social media. Yet, if not used strategically, Facebook pages can have the opposite impact – a testament to your hospital’s underfunded, understaffed and underutilized social media program.

One study, conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies, illustrates how patients with diabetes are using Facebook groups. By considering the results, this study can inform the way hospitals utilize Facebook, and help shape a social media strategy that includes real Facebook engagement. Read more

Rocks, Pebbles, Sand & Water: The Elemental Truth About Social Media

flickr: Straaf

When I started my doctoral program four years ago, the first semester was filled with a lot of forced reflection. We read books like Parker Palmer’s Hidden Wholeness, Tom Rath’s Strength’s Finder, and Jim Collins’ Good to Great.

From the start, the lesson reinforced was that the focus of an academic life is to always think critically, which includes being self-reflective. It was emphasized that this self-reflection must become second nature. In relationship to any content, you must always recognize and consider your personal biases, motives, strengths and influences. In short–always be able to answer the question: “Why are you doing what you are doing?” Read more