I have never though that I could change the world. I have tried hard to change my own life and have had success at that a time or two. There have been a few things that have changed my life–having my kids and going back to school at 36 years, but I have always thought myself too small to be the one to make big changes in the world at large. Going back to school has been the latest thing to change me. I have found confidence in myself and am ever more motivated to make changes–at least in my own life.
While logged into my schools website I came across a blog post by my program director that caught my eye. It was an invitation to apply for a marketing internship with a start-up company. When I saw the post I thought to myself “This could be something that could help me find that change I am so looking for.” I read further and found that it was an unpaid internship but decided to apply anyway. That is how I ended up working with Bradley Bulifant and the gang at GoodXGames and their new venture, The Solar Games.
The Solar Games is a social racing game set in the year 2033. Due to climate changes the world has found itself in an environmental apocalypse and in need of change. The Solar Games was set up by the nations to be like the Olympics and unite the world so that change could take place. Now, The Solar Games is not just another social racing game. It is a game for change using entertainment as a vehicle to create real world impact.
GoodXGames will be taking 50% of all profits from The Solar Games to be used for solar projects around the world in support of the United Nations “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All”. The first area of the world to be impacted by this movement is Haiti where energy is desperately needed. Other release future release by GoodXGames will focus on other locations with similar needs.
Not only will The Solar Games be making a difference in the world, but the players and supporters of the game will be as well. As solar projects happen in the real world players game profiles will reflect these changes as well, so players will be able to see real world impact as it happens that they personally help make happen. This concept of social responsibility by GoodXGames makes it so that the small actions of many become large-scale change affecting thousands and hopefully millions of lives.
I set out with this internship opportunity to get some good experience to put on my resume so that I could make some financial changes for my family. I did not expect this project to change me as deeply as it has nor did I expect it to have such a profound impact in my life and bring about such change for me personally. Now I find myself in a situation where I can be part of the change the world has such need for and that my actions can impact lives for years to come. I am so grateful I decided to take action. Everyone and anyone that wants to be part of this change now can be and like me have the time of their life doing it. I support The Solar Games and hope you will to.
I had never been the popular kid in school, however in high school I did find myself in a new circle of friends that I thought were pretty cool. The group was full of artists and writers and smart people. It was nice to belong to a group that I had so much in common with. The big social activity during the school day was lunch. My group had a couple of tables on one side of the large lunchroom that we meet in every day. On starting to join this circle for lunch right of the bat I found myself lost and confused. Each day at lunch one member of the group would out of the blue say, “Bang, Bang, Who’s Dead?” The rest of the group would look around at each other and try to figure out who just got wacked in this little game. I was at a loss, to be honest I don’t think I ever truly understood the game, however I did learn to play along and be part of the group. Social Media today is like this game, sometimes we understand were it is going and sometimes we are just along for the ride.
Social Media is an ever changing entity and the second you think you have it figured out it changes again. This constant change has led to some amazing social marketing campaigns and has also had digital marketers pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to best use social media. Social media can be especially challenging for the analytics. Questions like “What is Success in Social Media?” and how to integrate social media in web analytics tools have been difficult ones to answer in the past few years. That being said, many analytics tools have come along and are starting to give us a better view of this ever-morphing landscape. Google Analytics now has a different social matrix that is tracked and can be a great tool to get an idea of a campaign social impact and it’s free to boot. There are more and more analytics tools now offering social media reporting. In a post on eduGuru entitled “Top 5 Social Media Analytic Tools in 2013”, you can find reviews on what they think are the best tools available today. The point is analyzing social media effects is becoming easier every day–at least for being able to gather data. After that it is like any other data set and it all comes down to what insights you can glean from the data.
To truly understand what social media is doing you need to understand what it is to be social. It is just like the game my friends played at lunch in high school, I never understood the game so I was not the one to tell anyone else about the game or how it worked. Same goes in cyber space today if your analytic expert does not understand the social group then the data will be meaningless. To make sense of the data you need to understand the group. To excel is social analytics first learn to understand the nature of the group. You can’t always explain human behavior with numbers, but you can get to know people and be part of the group. Want my advice, make sure you have someone that is plugged into the social crowed as part of you analytics solution.