Final Punishment: Sandwich Board Shame at the White House

Finally, it’s time for the third punishment from The Punish Geoff Fundraiser for Mark Horvath’s Yes, the sandwich board was donned saying, “I’ve written two social media books. Please hire me.” But instead of a walk of shame in front of Congress social media savoir faire was mocked in front of the White House.

Enjoy the fun.

And do support Mark Horvath’s Mark’s journey across the continent has finished in Canada and now enters the U.S. leg as he drives back to the West Coast highlighting the hidden faces of homelessness across America.

Thanks to all of you who donated and supported the Punish Geoff Fundraiser.

Explaining the Fundraiser Punishments

Thank you to the 22 donors who have already raised almost $1600 to “punish” me and help All donors are listed below. Thank you so much! Mark Horvath has already told us how much this means to him, lifting the sails of his journey across the continent to help the homeless.

The Punish Geoff Fundraiser is not over yet! The above video explains the punishments. To recap:

1) $18 – I will receive a shaving cream pie in the face (56 donations at this amount needed, 12 received)

2) $47 – Dress in drag for a Google Hang Out or U-Stream on the Fifth Estate (43 needed, 11 received)

3) $79 – You or a designee can throw me into pool while I am wearing a suit (27 needed)

4) $161 – I have to walk in front of Congress wearing a sandwich board that says “I wrote two social media books, PLEASE hire me!” (20 needed, 8 received)

Given the current state of the individual punishments, I will enact the punishment that matches dollars raised. Right now we are at a couple of shaving cream pies in the face. With roughly $450 more, I’ll have to dress in drag for a live video chat. And another $1600 will bring the sandwich board shame in front of Congress!

Not only do you get to have fun, but you are also helping the fight against homelessness! Mark explains the project below. Even better, your donations are working twice as hard as Mark is raising money for a $10,000 matching grant from the Pierce Family Foundation.

Please donate today!

Online fundraising for The Punish Geoff Fundraiser for


Again, a very special thank you to the donors. You are making a big difference! The Punish Geoff Fundraiser investors are:

  • Stephanie Rudat
  • James Drinkwater
  • Lucretia M Pruitt
  • Tammy Gordon
  • Christopher Noble
  • Jennifer Leggio
  • Kami Huyse
  • Adam H Cohen
  • Katherine Bull
  • David Krumlauf
  • Connie Burke
  • Diane Martin Court
  • Joseph H Waters Jr
  • Debbie Weil
  • Peter A Weissenstein
  • Richard Becker
  • Alison Risso
  • Elizabeth Scherer
  • Stephen G Sherlock
  • Shonali Burke
  • Michael Schechter
  • Brian Fujito
  • Cause Marketing Brilliance: @HardlyNormal Receives GMC Terrain at SOBCon

    In a brilliant moment of guerilla cause marketing, GMC gave road warrior and homeless advocate Mark Horvath a brand new Terrain today at SOBCon. SOBCon regularly attracts 150 of the world best professional bloggers. The moment created an immediate splash on major social networks.

    Adrants publisher Steve Hall was at SOBcon and had this to say about the marketing moment, “We all cringe when a brand gets in front of a crowd at a conference even though we know it’s the brand’s money that helps make the even possible. And we especially dislike when a brand turns their presence at a conference into a commercial. But that wasn’t the case with this giveaway. GMC handled it well and offered support for a good cause. I think it was very nicely handled.”

    The cause — InvisiblePeople — is a natural tie for GMC. Friend Mark Horvath drives around the country every year helping individual homeless citizens along the journey. His efforts seek to highlight the many and often shocking examples of homelessness through personal stories, and to help the individuals with their trials (see case study).

    “I often use the term ‘wrecked’ when things mess with my heart either good or bad,” said Mark Horvath, “What just happened here has me wrecked beyond words. The GMC truck and free gas is wonderful, but it’s the relationships, and that people believe in me it what has me so overwhelmed. I am so very grateful.”

    GMC’s effort took advantage of several key factors; the high concentration of influential voices at the conference, an open opportunity with the cause (Ford sponsored InvisiblePeople’s U.S. cross country trip in 2009), the selection of a cause that matches their business, and selecting a cause that has high visibility, at least online. The well planned move was a brilliant example of guerilla marketing, and working with a cause to help achieve its mission.

    Kudos to Mark, GMC, and SOBCon Organizer Liz Strauss for making it happen.

    4 Netsquared Social Good Trends for 2010

    This Ushahidi Crowdmap visualizes the Haitian earthquake aftermath

    The folks over at TechSoup/NetSquared have an end-of-year Net2Think Challenge is coming to a close on Saturday. People are submitting their reflections about the hottest trends from the world of innovation and social benefit in 2010. Here are some reflections — big and small — from the year.

    1) The big news was the use of mobile as a legitimate grassroots platform in 2010. We first saw this with texting and the American Red Cross’s incredible fundraising drive during the initial Haiti relief drive. Then it continued with the DNC’s canvassing app on the iPhone, a new way to organize grassroots volunteers. And finally, we saw the Apple iPhone app donation issue (led by Beth Kanter) come to the fore at the end of the year, a sure sign of the medium’s importance to the sector.

    2) Mark Horvath took the homeless issue and made it a favorite on the social web. One video at a time, one tweet at a time, whether it was walking the parties at SxSW or driving across the country, Mark worked it. His latest initiative WeAreVisible gives the homeless an opportunity to experience networked communities and the opportunities they bring, too. A big hat tip to Mark!

    3) Widgets, gadgets and platforms like Crowdrise continued to evolve with sector specific solutions. Often overlooked by the main online space as a secondary market, seeing innovation for social good has been awesome. Grassroots tools are getting better every month, well except when Jumo launeches.

    4) Ushahidi flowered this year and became a hot tool for visualizing geographic data. Oil spill, Russian wild fires, earthquakes, etc., all saw Ushahidi used as a tool to better manage situational crisis. Further, it was another example of how mobile, traditional social and geolocation can mash-up, and do it for good.

    What are some of the trends you enjoyed in 2010? Don’t forget to submit them for the Net2Think Tank!

    Case Study:

    This case study will be included in my next book, Welcome to the Fifth Estate (the follow up to Now Is Gone). The case study is a little more special than most, because it involves a friend, Mark Horvath. Connecting with Mark, a kindred spirit in many ways, has been one of the best results of my online career over the past two years. I wish Mark well with new his We Are Visible initiative (see the following video).

    Mark Horvath is a free agent, a one man army who has taken social media tools to fight homeless ness as a video blogger, and now because of his efforts as a veritable charity. What started and continues as has recently evolved to include,
    We Are Visible (, a site that provides homeless people online tools to communicate, connect, tell their story, and engage in action. wants to change the general public’s paradigms on homelessness. Basically, they empower homeless people to tell their own story via YouTube, Twitter and The strategy revolves around content through good storytelling, and providing real tangible actions; and a participation ethos of treating everyone with respect, doing what is right even when others don’t, and gratitude.

    “The goal is to make the ‘invisible people’ in society more visible by bringing them out of the shadows where they are ignored,” said Horvath. “We’re using social media to expose the pain, hardship and hopelessness that millions of people face each day.”


    Since its launch in November 2008, has used video blog (vlog) entries and social networks to share the compelling, gritty, and unfiltered stories of homeless people from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The vlog gets up close and personal with veterans, mothers, children, layoff victims and others who have been forced onto the streets by a variety of circumstances.

    Each week, Horvath highlights homeless citizens stories on, and high traffic sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, proving to a global audience that while they may often be ignored, they are far from invisible. One story at a time, videos posted on deliver a call to action that is being answered by national brands, nonprofit organizations and everyday citizens now committed to participating in the fight against homelessness. In addition, founder Mark Horvath is an outstanding networker at conferences and online, cultivating strong relationships with critical influencers across the blogosphere.

    At the time of writing, Horvath had just launched We Are Visible, which provides people dealing with poverty and homelessness the tools they need to get online and have a voice. The site teaches them how to sign up for email, open a Twitter account,
    join Facebook, create a blog and, in general, take advantage of the benefits of online social media. It also has the potential to become a model for virtual case management as it helps build a community among
    homeless people and support service providers.


    Horvath would tell you that hits, page views, followers are probably all important. But the real results happen when people take actions. Here are some of the many actions Horvath has inspired:

    “There is far too many things to list,” said Horvath. “YouTube gave us the front page for 24 hours and over 2 million people touched homelessness who would have probably rolled down their window at an exit ramp.

    “The cool thing about We Are Visible is that homeless people are helping other homeless people,” continued Horvath. “I didn’t expect that. One homeless father is even collecting cans to print We Are Visible flyers to hand out.”

    SOBCon NonProfit Give Back Day


    Brian Clark (@copyblogger) Presents at SOBCon 2009

    On Sunday May 2nd, SOBCon 2010 will highlight four charities (501c3) that have volunteered themselves for a social media coaching session from its attendees. I have the great honor of serving the conference as the NonProfit Give Back facilitator.

    Each of our four charities — Anixter, Ashoka, InvisiblePeopleTV and Vitamin Angels — will discuss their strategy, current social media efforts, and online hopes. From there the room, comprised of some of the brightest minds in social media, will match the mission and goals of the organizations with the tools, with the end game of providing meaningful social media strategy that can impact the world.

    Like my Zoetica colleague and CEO Beth Kanter likes to say, “Even better, what if we all learned from the process?” In addition to group sharing, we will have break-out sessions where each table

    Sounds like a plan to me. The following is a brief description of each of our four participants. I hope to see you at SOBCON!

    Our Participants

    anixterlogo293.gifAnixter: The mission of Chicago-based the Anixter Center is to enhance the ability of individuals living with or at risk of disabilities to live, learn, work, and play in the community. Each year, at dozens of locations across greater Chicago, Anixter Center provides an array of effective, innovative services to more than 5,000 children and adults. These services include education, employment, life skills, communication, recreation, health care, counseling, and support.

    image_preview.jpgAshoka: The global association serves the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women tackling system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, more than 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs have become Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries. With its global community, Ashoka develops models for collaboration and design infrastructure needed to advance the field of social entrepreneurship and the citizen sector.

    invppl.jpgInvisiblePeopleTV: Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal on Twitter) will come and discuss Invisible People. For years mark used the lens of a television camera to tell the stories of homelessness and the organizations trying to help. The reports were produced well and told a story, but the stories Mark produces now on Invisible People are much different. These are the real people, telling their own, very real stories… unedited, uncensored and raw. The purpose: To make the invisible visible.

    VA_logo_2color_RGB.jpgVitamin Angels: This socially-savvy charity seeks to mobilize and deploy private sector resources to advance availability, access and use of micronutrients, especially vitamin A, by newborns, infants and children in need. Vitamin Angels reduces child mortality worldwide by connecting essential nutrients, especially vitamin A, with infants and children under five. Essential nutrients enable young immune systems to fight infectious diseases, helping children attain good health and the opportunity to lead meaningful and productive lives.