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Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much!

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Social Media and the Helen Keller Effect

November 28th, 2010 · 4 Comments · All Posts, JeffAshcroft

Update to start 2012: Quick search for the exact phrase “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” for the entire year of 2011 shows close to 33,000 results still being tweeted an average of almost 3,000 twitter mentions per month!

In January 2010, The Social CMO blog you are reading and this amazing group of bloggers now affectionately known as The Social CMO Crew was formed. When putting up the blog using WordPress, as always there’s a spot for the blog subtitle and because it seemed so fitting I used a quote I had seen fly by on Twitter at that time not aware of its’ original source and it has since stuck.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!


Since January 2010 this has been our rallying cry here at The Social CMO and been proven out in many ways including the creation of our #MMchat held every #MarketerMonday evening at 8:00pm. In addition as a group The Social CMO Crew now has more than a million followers that are all amazing tweeps who are continuously reading, retweeting and supporting this dynamic team of marketers as we interact across the social media sphere.

It wasn’t until months later that I was actually told that this quote was from Helen Keller, one of the most famous disabled individuals ever and avid advocate for the blind and other disenfranchised groups. I will not repeat her biography here, but you can review her entire story through her Wikipedia page. So why I am I telling you all this on Sunday in late November? It’s simple because this one phrase really captures the essence of the power of social media. That’s why I instinctively chose it for our tagline at The Social CMO and it appears that I am not the only one who has felt and been inspired by what I am calling the Helen Keller Effect on Social Media.

Yesterday I was at a chess tournament with my son and wanted to send out a tweet on my Blackberry of our tagline and Who Are We? page link as I do from time to time. It has been awhile since I had done this so didn’t have the tweet and link handy so instead thought I would just Google it to pick up my previous tweets with the link. Well much to my amazement for the next few minutes the results of this search literally flooded my small screen!

In fact once I got home, I did a direct Google search of Twitter.com for this quote and was amazed to find 3,110 times that this quote had been tweeted in the last 30 days! Clearly I am not the only one that these inspirational words have resonated with, what else would explain it being tweeted an average of 100 times a day?

So what does this mean? Well in her time the story of Helen Keller and her efforts to bring about positive social change for the blind and other disenfranchised people was spread first by word of mouth and then by the media of the day, newspapers, books, radio and finally TV & movies. Although this media was not as viral as today, she was able to recognize it’s power in mobilizing the changes she thought needed to be made in this world for the blind and others, through working together. She lived by her words Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much and this power lives on strengthened even further by the connectivity, reach and speed of social media communications.

This power fast forwards us to today and these words of an amazing woman who passed away 42 years ago are now being tweeted 100 times a day, word of mouth on steroids, resonating with more people each passing day as they recognize that through social media they too can find likeminded souls to together make positive change happen.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!

So what change are you going to make happen today?

Jeff Ashcroft

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