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Pay It Forward Charity Blog Contest Results

Results Are In & The Winners Are….

** If you have Stumbled Upon this blog after the contest has closed please post your comments below or subscribe to our email list as we will be doing more in the future!!!!

First Place – Suwari (Comment 41)  Second Place – Yang T (Comment 31) Third Place- Nicola (Comment 49)

We will update which Charities benefited once the winners have indicated where the $$$ is going!

Nicola

We have to make a special note of Nicola who desperatley tried to bribe the judges by sending the photo on the left. We hope they will enjoy the suprise bonus. Also, our oldest daughter Emma really wanted Yang T to be the top winner, as the story of ripping a dollar bill in half really had her chuckling.  As you will see in the below video, the results of the contest were 100% random, and although you needed the judges vote to get into the final 10, it was all luck after that.

Well our first blog contest has sadly come to an end, but you can be sure this won’t be the last.

My wife and three daughters have simply been amazed that entries have come from the furthest reaches of China, Italy, the United States, Africa and many other countries. Many contestants were very creative and even wise in attempting to bribe the wee judges. Everyone has a worthy charity to support and we truly wish we could support them all!

Thank  you to everyone who took part and we look forward to ‘Paying It Forward’ more in 2009. 

Video Proof of Random Draw of 10 Finalists:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZz9-uWGUSs[/youtube]

Blog Contest – Pay It Forward

*** CONTEST IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED*** Thank you to all contest entrants, after tabulation the results will be posted here: /charity-blog-contest/

WIN MONEY FOR YOUR CHARITY & A FEW GOODIES FOR YOU

This contest is brought to you by my daughters Emma, Hanna & Grace in the spirit of giving. Two of my beautiful daughters survived and thrived after heart surgery. It’s time to start giving back and paying it forward! If you have Stumbled Upon this contest, then we hope you will take a moment to enter and tell your friends!

Update 12/31/2008: It’s New Years Eve, and as we get ready to say goodbye to 2008 and usher in a New Year, we are very excited that 35+ people have entered our ‘Pay It Forward’ contest. With so many heart felt comments, my girls will have a very tough time selecting the 10 finalists. Less than a week left to go…

Prizes:

1st Prize $500 To The Charity of Your Choice, 8G iPod Nano ($135 Value)

2nd Prize $100 To The Charity of Your Choice, iPod Shuffle ($70 Value)

3rd Prize Mystery Prize (Unknown Value)

We wanted to keep it as simple as possible and give everyone a chance to win great prizes that will make a difference. Extra kudos will be given for creativity, humor and individuals who have a ‘pay it forward in the spirit of giving’ mentality.

How to Enter:

1. Simply comment on this post below with “WHY’ you feel you should win, or creatively choose a way to comment that you think will set you a part. 1 entry

2. Post about this contest on Your Site. 2 entries

3. Pay It Forward by telling three people about this contest. 3 entries (Just put the words ‘Paid It Forward’ at the end of your comment and we will trust that you did!)

Each entrant can have a maximum of 6 entries only.

Start Date: Contest Officially Starts Now & Ends Jan.5th/2009 23:59 CST

Yes, that’s it folks! Put your creative thinking caps on and have some fun. We will post updates as frequently as possible.

Rules: On January 6th/2009 three winners will be randomly drawn from 10 of the best comments and reviews. The 10 best will be selected by a panel of three highly trained professionals; my daughters Emma (9) Hanna (7) & Grace (3). Once the ten are selected, we will randomly draw for the prizes using random.org and announce the winners as soon as they can be contacted.

Sponsors: If you are interested in adding to the prize pool, please contact me directly at leeraito @ gmail.com We would love to have you participate, and will proudly list you as a sponsor.

Twitter Me

Top ten reasons to follow me on Twitter. 

http://www.twitter.com/leeraito  

  1. I will Twitter You if you Twitter Me. We’ll call it Twitter Karma.
  2. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but you can be sure it will be entertaining to watch while I figure it out.
  3. Bill Gates doesn’t follow me, but I follow him.
  4. I may launch a site called TwitterChain.com
  5. I’m Canadian, and have a friend who is an Actor in Hollywood.
  6. For techie folks you’ll be helping my website SEO and rankings.
  7. For non-techie people…. Just smile and nod!
  8. You have a similar name, hair color, HP Laptop, house, mortgage, minivan, spouse, kids and or you are human.
  9.  You want to send those @messages to someone other than your Mom you convinced to sign up for Twitter.
  10.  Absolute best reason to follow me on Twitter is because I’ll pay you…. and if you believe that, I have an Igloo to sell you just outside of Miami!

Click here to follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/leeraito 

Cheers,

Lee 

Is Viral Marketing Dead

This is basically a retort to what Lain Thomson subjectively reported on www.Vnunet.com. No beef with Lain, but HP is off their viral marketing rocker chair!

Is Viral Marketing Dead?

According to HP’s Social Computing Lab research into social actions of Internet users on such services like Facebook or YouTube, Viral Marketing may not be dead, but it barely has a pulse. They suspect that because users only interact with in two to three subgroups no matter how many friends they have, this may be the cause for many failed viral marketing campaigns.  

Could it be true? Is Viral marketing dead? 

There is some marketing executive crying, “It was really, really good, it was a mega wicked viral campaign that just didn’t spread!” Now HP has given every failed marketing campaign an excuse, as opposed to saying it was just a real bad viral marketing campaign, or it was snuffed out by something better.

Viral marketing is not dead, nor will it ever be.  

On YouTube or Facebook, you have milliseconds to grab a user’s attention, and sometimes marketing executives mess up and miss their mark…period. They only thing that I can see that HP got partially right was that momentum has to be gained in the first day, and that’s logical for a campaign  to have immediate and exponential growth.

Viral Marketing Lives On… and marketing executives everywhere will forever be in pursuit of those crazy ideas such as the One Red Paper Clip, the Milliondollar Homepage, Mentos & Diet Coke! Dan’s has a pretty good list of viral campaigns here to read upon: http://danzarrella.com/examples-of-viral-marketing-campaigns.html

Wheres George and Angelina Jolie

angelina jolie

Please read to the end for the surprise Angelina Jolie twist…

So there I was, hanging with the family on short vacation, paying for those insidious Happy Meals at an undisclosed location in Grand Forks, ND. Then it happened… the counter girl handed me my change, with a smile. As I was about to stuff the bills in my wallet and go stuff my face, the red ink stamped next to George Washington jumped out at me. I was intrigued, curious and wondered what mysterious message awaited my discovery.

www.wheresgeorge.com
wheres george

For a brief moment, I felt had just won a mini lottery until I read the following message: See where I’ve been Track where I go next www.wheresgeorge.com   A little deflated, I cursed my decision to not bring my laptop on the family vacation, but having to wait a few days to check this out probably added to the excitement. Honestly, I thought I was seeing a knew viral marketing tactic with America’s best viral medium… money! Who was behind this? The movie industry, an ingenious charity, the US Government… I was wrong, wrong, way wrong!

After getting home and pulling up www.wheresgeorge.com  I discovered the United States Currency Tracking Experiment has been going on for more than 10 years (where have I been!!!), and exactly as the message suggests it is designed for the curious at heart to track where a bill has been and after you release it back into the world, where it will go next.

where is george

So today, wanting to know the history of this particular George Washington, I signed up at the site and entered in the serial number, current location of the dollar bill I had found and short little story. In hopes, that I would discover a vast history that I have so vividly imagined. Of course, this bill must have traveled thousands of miles, and touched the hands of Angelina Jolie in Hollywood, passed though the casinos of Las Vegas, and worked its was north by some hitch hiker who was trying to get home to see the love her life, and kept this last dollar to have a cheese burger at McDonalds while she waited for her long lost love to come pick her up where they first met .

Not quite…

wheres george bill tracking report

So it turns out, this bill has travelled a measly 337 Miles, from Minnesota, USA to Manitoba, Canada in a little over a year. A big, big Yawn! But that doesn’t mean the story ends here. Here is the Angelina Jolie twist. Let’s give this George Washington fellow a real trip. If anyone reading this on the other side of the world, or at least not in North America, has a great cause to support… I’m buying!!!! Your cause will get the Wheres George 1$ bill and I will throw in an additional $100. Just reply to this post, and we can work out the details via email. I will continue to update this story as it unfolds!

un goodwill ambassador angelina jolie

Maybe we can eventually get this bill to Angelina Jolie or to someone who will help change the world with it, or at least give this George Washington guy a little sexier ending than 337 measly miles and a McDonalds Happy Meal. According to their site WheresGeorge.com hasn’t made the news in 6 years, and their blog hasn’t seen a fresh post in 2 years. Maybe its time the owners and the estimated 50,000+ registered users of  www.wheresgeorge.com  start using those dollars to help out those who are less fortunate, and see just how viral money can be when it has some good karma attached to it.

Update # 001- Thursday, July 31/2008 –  Wheres George user Amy stopped by and straightened me out on a few things, namely not exposing the serial number of a bill. That was confirmed when a few minutes later came from none other than Hank Eskin, the creator of WheresGeorge.com (pasted in a comment below)!  So NO, requests for a charity on the other side of the world yet, but as per Amy I will be heading over to the Wheres George forum to see the users section devoted to Charity. Kudos to Amy for helping raise money for Breast Cancer.

 This post will continue to be updated as it develops.

Authority Black Book

I have  just read one of the best guides on social marketing ever. It’s called the Authority Black Book by Jack Humphrey.

Authority Black Book

Authority Black Book

Jack is the go to guy who consults gurus and experts the world over on link building and social marketing strategies.

I’ve watched my blog and other website traffic and rankings improve drastically by applying what Jack has in the Black Book.

What’s strange to me is that Jack is just giving it away. Its jam-packed with resources and tactics to immediately start driving more website traffic and I know he could charge for it and make a bundle.

But its really a no strings attached download you can grab right now and start benefiting from immediately.

Authority Black Book

These tactics yield immediate results after reading and applying the first few ideas!

It wasn’t rated the #1 ebook for bloggers by Mashable.com for nothing. People can be found praising the Black Book all over the web in Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

You should grab it tonight and eat it up.