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ROI of Social Good in the Diabetes Industry

diabetesbluecircleThe other night during DSMA, there was a question posed that had to do with social good and the big players in the diabetes industry understanding the positives of social good.  I mentioned to Bennet  that the shift has began for companies to see the ROI of social good.  But what is the ROI?

This is something that I have written about before in a couple of my other blogs that I write, but I thought it was a good fit to write about here.

The ROI of social media in general has always been difficult to calculate, especially when it’s not defined at the very beginning what the goal is. Typically, the C-Suiters need to see numbers like this. I spent $10, we made $20 from that $10, that means we made a profit.  How can you tell exactly how much money you made by somebody building trust and a relationship with your company?  Trust me, I own a business, it’s difficult to see that connection.  However, a lot of businesses are able to see that connection, at least are starting to. Read More

Support Living Vertical

If you haven’t heard of Steve Richert, then you are about to now.

Steve’s website can provide more details than I can, so I am going to provide the links to these site.  Basically, Steve has decided to climb every single day for 365 straight days.  This project has been title Project 365.  Please check out Steve’s sites related to climbing and “Like” the related Facebook pages. Read More

New Perspective on the Cost of Strips

A lot of my next few posts are related to the Roche Social Media Summit because it sparked a lot of ideas in my mind to blog about. This one in particular is about our trip through their manufacturing in Indianapolis. I spoke to several people who have toured either this facility or other facilities in the past and they feel that once you seen one, you have seem them all. Well, I have never seen one before, so it was all new and crazy to me.

As the title of this post points out, I have a new perspective on the high cost of test strips. Now, before I begin, let me say, I still think that there are ways to lower the costs a bit, but I can now understand a little better the reasons for these costs. Read More

Josh Bleil – Motivational Speaker from Indianapolis Colts

As you all know, I was one of the attendees of the fourth Roche Diabetes Social Media Summit. Just like I did last year, I will be writing 4-5 separate posts about the summit and then ending with a summary of the entire trip and my overall thoughts. There are a lot of conversations that are held there and a lot of ideas that spark into my head, so I have so much to blog about. I wanted to start with the one thing that affected me the most, and I think a lot of attendees will probably say the same, and that is Josh Bleil from the Indianapolis Colts.

On the first full day of the summit and our first day of sessions, I noticed on the agenda that there would be somebody speaking from the Colts organization. I had no idea who the person was, if he was a player, did he have diabetes, did his mother have diabetes, or a child, no clue whatsoever. When I initially saw him walk into the room, I thought that I saw him walking with a cane, but I wasn’t sure. Read More

Building Relationships with the DOC

We are winding down on the reviews of the Roche Social Media Summit, then it’s back to the boring Life of a Diabetic blog posts.  This leads me into a discussion that I had with Scott King at the summit party on Thursday night.  He asked where I came up with the name The Life of a Diabetic.  I explained that I wanted to write a blog to show people what a normal life with diabetes is like.  It is just like your life except I have a few extra things to do.  The Life of a Diabetic is not a very exciting life.  This was just one conversation among many that I had at the summit.  That’s where the title comes into play for this post, Relationship building with the DOC.

I had spoken to most of the attendees on Twitter before but had only met a few.  This was not just a time to learn and speak to companies about social media, but for us diabetics to get to know each other better.  What I was the most amazed with is that everybody was pretty much exactly what I thought they would be.  For some reason though, I didn’t know Scott Johnson was so damn tall, now all this basketball playing makes sense.  It’s also great to see and hear Kerri’s funny ass personality in person rather via tweets and posts.

It is events like this that bring people together with a common cause and that’s when things can get scary for the people and things on the other side of the cause because ideas start happening, plans start coming together, action starts taking place.  You are also building friendships with these people.  I will now have memories for the rest of my life from hanging out on the rooftop Hard Rock bar, or watching George kick some serious karaoke ass, and watching Bernard rock out on the guitar of some Guitar Hero.

Building relationships with members of the DOC is an extremely important factor in the movement to get more funding for a cure or advocacy or anything else that we are trying to accomplish as a group.  I feel more confident calling these people my friends and not just “some people I communicate with on twitter.”  I’m excited to schedule some meetups with people because I love to travel and I want to come see some of ya’ll more frequently than just once a year.  Midwest and West Coast, I’m mainly talking to you!

How have you been able to take the relationships that you started online and take them offline and continue to build them. I will be writing another post shortly about the idea of taking the “O” out of DOC and making us just a diabetes community and not just online.  I think we are close to it and some of us have done this already.

Until then, I’d like to hear your diabetes relationship stories.


Dr. Polonsky and a Glucose Getaway

We are almost done with my reviews of the Roche Social Media Summit.  If anything at all, these have been some of the longest posts that I have ever written.  I hope you have all enjoyed the posts about Jeffrey Brewer, IDF, and Dan Kane.  Let’s get into the next.

I had never heard Dr. Polonsky speak before so I was very interested in this session because I have heard amazing things and I sensed how excited everybody was when they were told that he would be speaking the last session of the summit.  Let me give a little bit of a background of myself and psychological side when it comes to diabetes.  I have diabetes.  I was diagnosed at 19, so I knew a whole other life before this and it totally changed.  So I had two options, bitch and complain about it and let it get me upset or accept it and move forward and continue to live life to the fullest and not let it get in my way.  I chose option two.  I know most of us have chosen option two, but still get down from time to time, and that is fine.  And for those situations, Dr. Polonsky would be an amazing help to me if I was in that situation.  Fortunately, I have never let diabetes get me down, or make me upset, or not do something because I had diabetes.

One of the subjects that Dr. Polonsky was talking about was the idea of a glucose getaway.  Getting away from your diabetes.  I have diabetes, so how could I get away from it?  Why do I need to get away from it?  It’s a disease I have, it’s going to be with me, so why try and fool myself?  I think this is the biggest thing to learn in order to not get so upset about diabetes.  Don’t look at it as needing a getaway from it.  It’s your life, live it to your fullest.

Before I continue, I want to stress that I am not trying to sound harsh here or downplay depression that comes from diabetes and think negatively of those that are affected by it, by no means do I mean any of those things.  I am actually trying to help.  Help you see another side of it, and how I am able to handle situations and what helps me not get affected by this.  I get more upset when Michael Vick throws an interception or the Eagles fumble, than I do when I have a blood sugar of 450 during the middle of the game.

I was impressed with Dr. Polonsky’s method of speaking and is humor.  He really knew how to work a crowd and even inserted a few funny pictures and a great viral video from YouTube.  The best part of the Dr. Polonsky sessions was how it turned into a support group.  Other attendee’s were opening up about their issues and how they get down at times, and everybody was there to lift them back up, and also were given hugs from Cherise, what an amazing human being.  At times it was making me think, maybe I’m an outcast because I don’t let these things affect me.  I don’t care if I have a high blood sugar, I just hit a few buttons on my pump and fix it.  I don’t care that if I go to the beach, I’ll disconnect my pump or even take out my infusion set and just go pumpless for a while without even thinking about it.  When I’m done, I’ll re-connect bolus and I’m right back to normal. 60*24*365 = 525,600.  That is how many minutes are in a year. So, when my blood sugar is high and it comes down within an hour and let’s say that happens for one hour everyday of the year, that is only 4%….4 freaking percent!  With diabetes, it is very important to see the larger picture, and not criticize yourself for something.  Even if it was your fault, who the f*ck cares!  Get over it and move on to the next one.

Like I said, this is just how I handle things.  Everybody is different and everybody handles things differently, and I don’t think that there is just one right way to do something.  Whatever way works for you is the best way in my eyes.  So, I hope that I didn’t upset too many people, and if I did, please let me know, because I truly didn’t mean to.

Live on and don’t let so many things upset you. Be happy!


Dan Kane the VP Marketing of Roche at Summit

So far I have gone out of order of events from the summit, by talking about the International Diabetes Federation and their O is for Outrage campaign and then the lunch time talk by Jeffrey Brewer from JDRF.  Let’s go back to the future. The first part of the Roche Social Media Summit two weeks ago was a 140 character introduction of all the attendees.  I didn’t remember what I wrote, so I was a little nervous.  Most people seemed to guess everybody’s, so it was a cool introduction.  The first speaker was going to be an introduction from Dan Kane, VP Marketing for Roche.  Usually the first thing that you think of when it comes to a VP of marketing is, “this guy is going to be a smooth talker to take my money somehow.”  Dan Kane was a smooth talker, but he also seems genuine and understood the importance of social media.

As some of you know, one aspect of my consulting business is social media management, and getting companies to understand the meaning of Social ROI and that it isn’t about a bottom line number.  Dan Kane seemed to get this fact, or at least sounded like he understood it.  Dan used his speaking time to relate this summit to a first date and a new relationship.  When you first Don't Try and Kiss Me Dan Kanemeet somebody, you don’t just ask for a kiss right away, you slowly build somewhat of a relationship and let the kiss happen naturally.  I believe that I tweeted during the actual #dsummit itself, “flashbacks of the birds and bees conversation my father gave to me as a child”, or something of that affect.

One quote that stood out to me the most was when said, “In order for us to be a better company, we have to know you better.”  At that exact moment I said, “This guy gets it”.  Dan Kane understood the fact that Social ROI is not measured the same way as most ROI is.  Social ROI is all about engagement.  Responding and reacting to the DOC, sharing DOC stories, and not just pushing your own information and your own agenda.

I was impressed with Dan Kane and what he had to say.  He made me feel like he really meant what he was saying and trust is key in the beginning of a relationship, especially when a kiss is needed!

Up next tomorrow is about the Dr. Polonsky speech.  I think that I may disagree with a lot of people on this term.  He seems like a great guy, but for me, his speech almost put me to sleep, and I will explain more tomorrow.


Jeffrey Brewer from JDRF at Roche Social Media Summit

My second part of my summary for the Roche Social Media Summit 2011 is going to be about the JDRF.  My history with the JDRF is long and in a good standing relationship.  I have volunteered a lot of my time with the local JDRF chapter and have donated a fair amount of money.  When I was doing consulting as a full time gig, I was donating 10% of all of my contract service fees to JDRF and anywhere from 20-50% of my affiliate commissions to JDRF.  I still do the same, I just don’t do as much contract work as I once did last year.  Recently, I had started to wonder if I was donating to the right place, maybe I should be sending it to the DRI instead.  I am very comfortable with my local chapter, but the national, ehh, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Jeffrey Brewer JDRF PresidentSo when I heard that Jeffrey Brewer was going to be speaking to us at our lunch on Thursday, I was like…. whatttt??!!?? The President of the JDRF is going to be here, speaking to us?  Awesome.  I was so excited to hear what he had to say.  I know that a lot of the time, speeches are scripted, and that is fine, because if you follow through on what you say, then it’s all good, if you don’t, well than you will obviously be held accountable then.

There were a lot of great things that Jeffrey touched on, but I wanted to just get into a few.  One was the fact that he mentioned they are re-branding themselves strictly as, JDRF, and not the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  What does this mean?  It means shedding the “Juvenile” part and focusing on Type 1 diabetes, and not just the Juvenile.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to make sure the kids are well taken care of, and like Trick Daddy says, “Love the kids”.  This shows me that they will be looking at the needs of type 1’s overall and not just “juvenile”, so I feel that they will be able to reach a further demographic, primarily, adults with type 1.  This is the area that they have been lacking and has left me wondering what the organization was doing directly for me.

The quote that stuck with me the most out of his entire time speaking was, “I’m all for a cure, but let’s do something about this now.”  I couldn’t agree with this more.  I always felt that the JDRF was focused on the cure, but didn’t focus much time on living with the disease and doing things to help during the time before a cure is found.  I’m living with this disease today, tomorrow and the next day, so I want things to be better for me now, and I hope and pray for a cure when it comes.  That quote made me gain a lot of respect for Mr. Brewer.

The other reason that I trust Jeff Brewer and his talking points is the fact that he came right out and said that he has a child with type 1 diabetes, but also that he made a lot of money in technology at an early stage of his life, so this isn’t about money for him, it’s all about the end results.

So, to end this post, let’s discuss what you can do now.  Reach out to your local JDRF chapter.  Let them know what items you would like to see them do more of.  But don’t just demand, offer to help with these items.  Offer to come up with the ideas, and plan, and volunteer and do what you have to do in order to get these tasks done.  I recently e-mailed my local chapter and asked for a list of dates of all of their events for 2012 and am waiting on the same list from the local ADA chapter and if there are any large events on the same day, then I am going to bring that to their attention (if they don’t already know).

Just remember, do what you can today to create an Outrage for Diabetes.  This isn’t just an IDF motto, this is for all diabetes related items.  It’s time to fight back against diabetes.

Help the International Diabetes Federation Create a Diabetes Outrage

Before going to the Roche Social Media Summit 2011, there were groups and organizations and projects that I had heard about, but did not know a lot about.  One organization that I was aware of and some of the things that they were doing, primarily World Diabetes Day, but other than that, there was not much else.  The first IDF presentation that was given at the #dsummit by Isabella Platon, the Head of Communications for the International Diabetes Federation. I was not very impressed with at all.  I feel very disconnected with the IDF, and I do not like that.  I believe that it was Scott Johnson who brought up the same point and even brought this issue up during the Q&A session.  I just don’t think that the IDF was prepared for what they were going to get from the #dsummit crew.  Unfortunately, not all companies get social media, and the IDF is not there yet, but I think that we can work with them to help them “get it”.

Another item that was brought up during the initial IDF session was about the idea of getting the blue circle out to the public more and get more awareness and understanding of what this blue circle thing is.  Isabella spoke about a process that needs to be taken to go through all of the companies that would like to partner with them to do this, such as the cola companies of the world and companies that make processed foods and that the IDF does not want their symbol on those items.  I do not agree, at all.  Why would we NOT want to put that blue circle on let’s say a Pepsi can?  If somebody is drinking a lot of Pepsi and eating a lot of processed foods that are not good for you, don’t you think it is a good idea to have that blue circle on there that gives them an awareness of diabetes and that possibly be at risk for diabetes.  I think that this is a great idea, and I think that they should not have such strict standards.  IDF is not sponsoring them, they are sponsoring IDF.  Anybody agree / disagree?

International Diabetes Federation PresidentThen came dinner on Thursday night and my entire perception of the IDF changed.  Not only that, but I was more motivated at that point then any other time in my life.  I don’t even know exactly where to begin.  We were told that the President of the IDF would be attempting to swing by and say hello.  Well, did he ever stop by and say hello…..and more.

Jean Claude Mbanya walked around the room and introduced himself while we were all eating and then he took over the room to just give us a quick talk.  I could not take any notes during this time because I was so focused on exactly what he was saying, so I will leave the statistics that he spoke about to some of the others bloggers.  What I want to focus on, and I think everybody that was at this event will be focusing on, and I hope that everybody who is reading this will be focused on as well, is creating a noise, a buzz, a loud ass constant OUTRAGE about diabetes.  I’m talking about the outrage that you see from people fighting for AIDS policies, handcuffing themselves to a pole out front of an elected officials office (try not to get arrested).   But this is the only way that our voices will truly be heard in the masses.  Blogging and social media is only one part of this situation, we have to continue this battle online, but also take this offline.  I am now starting to get into something totally different that I will be discussing later on in the week, which by the way, this will be a 5-7 part series of blog posts that all discuss the Roche Social Media Summit.

Jean Claude Mbanya was very motivational when speaking on stories about how children in small villages in Africa do not have access to medications and insulin and die just because they are born in the wrong area of the world.  There are also areas within the United States that put you at a disadvantage just because you were born there.  There is an upcoming United Nations meeting coming up later this year and diabetes is not even on their radar.  From now until then, we have to put diabetes on the radar.  If I am not mistaken, I believe that Roche Social Summit team would be more than willing to help with who we can contact in regards to this.

Here is one of my goals.  I want us to be able to get diabetes on the radar.  I have done some fact checking, but you can do more and I will be more than happy to update this section of the post with a correction, but I do not believe that our President is making diabetes an issue with the UN, bad mistake.

Who is in?  Who’s ready to make some more noise and get crazy and wild and loud about this diabetes stuff.

Please take an additional 2 minutes and watch this video and please pass along:



Schedule of Roche Social Media Summit Posts

Some of you may have been aware that last week I was at the Roche Social Media Summit in San Diego, CA (Hashtag #dsummit).  For those of you that were there, I look forward to reading all of your follow up posts, please tag your blog posts with the hashtags so we can read them all.  To those that were not there, I hope that you were able to follow along with everyone on Twitter.  I think that next year there will be more of a focus on getting a better quality and less lag streaming video of the event.

I am going to try my best to cover as many as the topics that were discussed as I can.  I plan on doing a week long, 5-7 part series about this.  Here is the schedule:

Tuesday – International Diabetes Federation

Wednesday – Jeffrey Brewer, President JDRF

Thursday – Dan Kane, VP Marketing Roche

Friday – Glucose Getaway, Dr. Polonsky

Saturday – Relationship Building with DOC

Sunday – Taking the “O” Out of DOC

Monday – FDA Discussions

I am trying to type most of these posts while I am flying back from San Diego to Atlanta for a connecting flight, so it is a good 6 hours to allow me to write, write, and write some more.  It is becoming difficult though because I think Roche made a mistake, they booked me a first class flight.  I have never flown first class before, so I was actually a little nervous at first because I didn’t know what to expect.  But, I do see that my perception of the people who fly first class is still the same, bunch of arrogant pricks.  There are a few that aren’t because they probably don’t fly first class all the time, like me.  I just wonder what they do.  Anyway, getting side tracked, but they also have free drinks, food, and movies.  I just finished watching Cedar Rapids (not so good) and am currently watching The Dilemma, so I am becoming distracted.

Sorry, I got off subject there for a while. But I hope that you all come back throughout the week because I have a lot of things that I think you will like. Some great ideas were brought up at the #dsummit and some new projects that we need to start working on like yesterday, so let’s get to it!