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Following the Rules

Global Footprint Network is a non-profit focused on getting users to fill out a resource accountability tool, which outlines all of the places that they could make less of a global footprint. As the next part in this series of posts on how companies could improve, I thought we’d tackle this companies social media.

These points came out of an email chat I was having with Global Footprint’s impact group, but I’m posting them here for you to learn from what they’re doing right, and where they could improve. Feel free to review these, and use them to improve  your own social media efforts!


Global Footprint’s Twitter strategy is pretty solid – and the Global Footprint Network’s team seems comfortable linking articles and using hashtags.
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What I’d recommend here to increase engagement on Twitter is:
1) More @mentions of similar groups (@SustainAbility, @UNEP, @IIED) which will increase the amount of retweets and replies on their posts.
2) More @mentions of Twitter ‘influencers’ and celebrities who have shown an interest in protecting the environment. (Examples: @giseleofficial, @adamlevine, @EdwardNorton, etc)


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Again, solid strategy. Main note here is that this page is very ‘me’-centric, meaning the group posts a lot of articles about the Global Footprint Network.
I recommend posting more articles from third parties that the LinkedIn Crowd would find appealing. (Here, are a few, ythey can use, to start).

Google Plus:

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This is the page where GF has the MOST followers. Which is great for SEO, but also very out of the ordinary. I’m impressed with the way the team manages Google Plus. They even link out to posts from WWF! Fantastic, no notes here.


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It looks like the GF team is synchronizing posts across platforms. It’s like I’ve seen this all before… My main note here is to think about what users want out of Facebook: photos, interesting articles, and things they can share to make them seem cool in front of their friends.
Check out the pages for Charity:Water and GreenPeace for examples of this strategy in action.
And finally…


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Global Footprint only has 272 subscribers here, which, when compared to their Google Plus page, is honestly pretty bad, but don’t fret – most non-profits are bad at YouTube.

Suggestions for Youtube:

1) More personal, less produced. Get a few business owners that have gone green using GFs’ tools, include people they’ve made an impact on, take an iPhone 6 into their office, and film a quick video testimonial with them. Have them talk about how great Global Footprint Network is, like they were speaking to potential donors. People connect with people.
2) Partner with other YouTubers. This is basically point 2 from the Twitter list. Email environmental YouTubers with large amounts of followers (Big Think,Intelligent Channel, Vsauce), and work with them to figure out how GFN could do a few videos with them on their channels.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions!

Feel free to get in touch –


Kiva 3

Recently, Memories Pizza, an anti-gay restaurant that’s been all over the Internet, ended up raising more money from a GoFundMe campaign in three days than an average pizza restaurant makes in a quarter year… right now it’s hovering at about $250,000 and increasing.

Regardless of how backwards and unfortunate that sounds, what I like most about platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter is how they monetize: these companies make money by taking a percentage of the revenue that their users raise. It’s not an optional fee, these sites take a cut as a cost of doing business.

The reason I bring this up is because I think a similar platform, Kiva, is missing a HUGE opportunity to make more from donors.

For those that don’t know, Kiva is a microloan platform for the third world.. For example, users can go on the site and loan women in Congo money to buy clothing to sell, or new animals to farm milk from.

It’s an awesome program, and over the last few years I’ve put at least $400 into the system.

The issue comes from how Kiva is funding themselves:

Right now (besides raising money from large donors), Kiva asks each user that donates to give a small percentage (something like 3%) to Kiva itself to cover operating costs.

That system is great, but — and I may not be a typical user — in the 3 years I’ve been using the site, I’ve donated to more than 75 loans, and given MAYBE $3 of that to Kiva’s operating costs.

Three dollars.

If I’m a typical use case, that means Kiva is leaving LOADS of money on the table: money they could use to hire more staff, improve fundraising, or even negotiate lower rates with lenders by providing more capital.

The solution to this problem is simple, and will increase the amount Kiva gets in operating income… make donations mandatory on reloans.

Kiva has an “automatic giving” feature where users can donate a certain amount every month to the site.. Mine is currently set at $25 a month.

All they need to do is take a portion of the money each user donates, and automatically transfer it to cover their operating costs.

Keep in mind I’m not talking about new money from initial users. This would be taking a few percentage points from users that have ALREADY PROMISED to keep donating in perpetuity, and putting some of it toward operations.

This slight tweak could EASILY net them millions in new revenue, without substantially impacting the number of users donating to causes.

-Alex Berman


The One Weird Trick for Writing the Perfect Spam Ad


…is to use the phrase “one weird trick” in the headline.

Keep up the great and original work.



Recently we ran a survey to answer the question:

How many partners (both hookups and long-term dating) is the right amount to ensure you’ll be happiest once married?

Check out this video for the insights – including answers to these burning questions:

  • How does income affect your number of sexual partners?
  • Do men or women have more sexual partners?
  • Which parts of the US had the highest number of sexual partners?
  • Does the amount of money you make influence marriage happiness?
  • Does your age affect your marriage happiness?
  • Are women or men more happy on average with their marriages?
  • How does your marriage happiness change the longer you’re married?
  • How many short term partners will lead to the highest marriage satisfaction?
  • How many people should you date before getting married?

Here’s the video:


Put in your email here for instant access to:

  1. The Raw Dataset Used in the Study
  2. The Exact Questions Asked
  3. A PDF Transcription of this Post for Reading On the Train

I’ll also send you updates on the latest posts from Following the Rules –

Or fill out the form on the right side of this site.

Hope you enjoyed the video, and please let me know what you think!



Bag of soylent

The woman at the front desk of Dom & Tom sent me a message today:

“Alex, there’s a really large box here for you”

“Could it be???!???”

After ordering during beta, and following the updates for the last 8 months, Soylent has arrived!!

For those who don’t know, Soylent is the meal of the future – it’s goal is to give you all the nutrients you need to survive in one beverage.

So I’m putting it to the test. I ordered a two week supply and, starting tomorrow, I’ll be eating only Soylent for the next 9 days.

I’m excited :)

Why Solent?

1) I love the idea of all things future and eating only powder is a great way to experience it.

2) The average meal in NYC costs $12…. Soylent costs about $3 per meal — that means if I can get used to eating only Soylent, I’ll be able to 4x my spending money.

3) It’s healthy. If there’s anything I love more than the future and money, it’s systems. Soylent is a great way to eat healthy without even thinking about it.

And so the Soylent experiment begins…..

[click to continue…]