Totally Could Only Happen With Social Media

Social media is supposed to connect us right?  Now it’s being blamed for Hillary getting beat and the Democrats general poor showing at the polls since 2010.  It’s being blamed for stupidity.  Hint, it’s not social media’s fault.

Sometimes social media is an amazing thing.  Useful things happen.  Incredibly human things happen.  Like this.  My friend Marcie Capron Vermillion posted this on her Facebook.  I didn’t know about this particular struggle.  I posted on my social media and donated.

Her dad is Adam Leo Havey, a former Catalyze & 1871 Chicago current mHUB member who has been on Shark Tank.

The life of an entrepreneur is hard enough — imagine having a baby with a mystery illness causing subclinical seizures who is now blind.

Children’s Hospital could not figure out what is going on but they were able to semi-successfully medicate her… now Adam, Colleen and Eloise are off to find answers at new doctors for their baby girl.

Please consider donating to help!!
https://www.gofundme.com/answersforeloise

Amazing right? We have the ability to touch anyone, help anyone, connect to anyone.  Things like this tear my heart out.  Let’s hope Eloise can get better soon.  If you can’t donate at least send a prayer her way.

One of the things I like about Public Good is the ability to combine social media with real action that you believe in.  It’s possible to reach across all kinds of barriers to make a difference in someone’s life.

The primary reason I got active on social media platforms was to learn about it.  The other was so many startups were telling me they were going to use social media to get customers I figured I better understand it.

I don’t care how many followers I have.  I just try to keep it real and be authentic.

Here is a different personal story about social media.  It’s true.  It’s serendipity in action and it could only happen since the rise of social media.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were on a bike ride.  We saw an open house.  What the heck, “Let’s go through it.” , she said.  We wound up buying the apartment!  We close in 30 days.

That caused all kinds of problems.  Like, how do we get out of the lease on our apartment?  The management company isn’t exactly awesome to deal with.  I had left a Yelp review awhile ago.

A couple of days later as we were panicking about what we had done, I opened my Yelp app.  There was a message waiting for me.  Now, I rarely if ever open my Yelp app unless I am checking out places to go to eat.  A few years ago, I left a glowing review of the University Club of Chicago where we are members.

I checked the message and a woman had messaged me asking about membership.  She wanted to know about the club. In her message, she mentioned she was moving to Chicago and the purchase of an apartment fell through. I messaged her back and wondered if she might be interested in leasing mine.

She was.  She did.

Social media can be amazing sometimes.  You never know what is going to happen.  If you open yourself up to randomness cool things can happen.

  • Raman Chadha

    Jeff, here’s a blog post I wrote in 2009 about this very same issue but back when most of us were saying “what’s the point of social media”? https://ramanations.com/2009/03/05/social-media-1-week-21000/

  • Awesome to see stories like this. Would love your thoughts on the product we’ve been working on, Horizon — which is basically couchsurfing/airbnb, within trusted networks rather than publicly with strangers (Peace Corps, Stanford, Code for America, or even AVC)

    • interesting but way far afield from what I do! If I were you, I’d figure out a way to layer on blockchain over that network. Blockchain is about trust-when I was on the trading floor, the membership process combined with clearing created trust.

      • The reason I mentioned it is that it does support sublets, which is 20-25% of airbnb’s business and blends the model closer to “rental” scenarios associated with living situations. Your example is proof that there is a segment of the population willing to sacrifice on selection in order to save time on discovery from trusted connections (I’m one of them as well).

        Agree, blockchain integration would be a good step…

  • That’s a great story – one competitive advantage I’ve worked on for a while is to use social media to lead into (or reinforce partnerships). Still works, because few people do it well.

    It’s interesting because it also raises the IRL question, you still have to make a jump but that leap is a lot smaller than it used to be, with advances in reputation and identity (and a lot less binary “thumbs up/thumbs down” structure) it’s finally getting there…