If you use twitter at all, there's no doubt that you've recently seen a bit more GREEN in folk's avatars!
If you are wondering what in the world is up with all the peas popping up all over the place, don't feel bad. Heck it took about a week of seeing these peas multiply through my twitter contact list before I finally climbed out from behind my rock and asked someone to explain to me what this was all about. Before I share the answer, let me give you a little back story.
It's the most amazing story in new media in 2007 as far as I am concerned. Susan Reynolds is a name that came across my radar about three months ago. It was just at the time that I had announced that I was leaving my job to start a career in full time podcasting and new media that my friend Kim told me that I should check out Second Life. She told me that if I wanted to know about the marketing possibilities of Second Life, I should get in touch with Susan Reynolds as she was like the Queen of Second Life Marketing.
Because I've been working through the end of this year at the insurance agency while working at night trying to do the work for my current podcasting clients and potential clients and setting up the business end of things, Second Life had been pushed to the back burner as something to look into in the new year when I am devoted to new media full time.
So here we are at present time where I recently asked what was the deal with all these peas everywhere. Several people immediately pointed out that the peas were in support of Susan Reynolds who had recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Susan explains the connection to the peas best in her blog post titled “What's With The Peas?”
In short, when Susan when in to be tested, they did a lot of poking and prodding and in her own words, “To keep bleeding down & relieve pain I'd need to keep things cool. Traditional ice packs are hard and heavy. As much as I try to be a good sport I'm not into having a brick sitting on my chest….”
This is where a bag of frozen peas comes into the story! Susan writes, “I tucked it in my bra, took a picture, and was ready to tell the story later that night. That bag of peas added a touch of lightness to what could have been a sad and serious tale.” And thus began the uplifting and encouraging support of the New Media Community.
It's amazing how something as simple as a pea can be used through this social media networking to bring us all together and cause us to band together in prayer and well wishes for Susan's fight against breast cancer. I've seen the new media rally together to support a cause before, but never like this.
Useful links to follow-up on Susan's fight!
Boobs On Ice – Susan's Blog where she shares her fight against cancer!
Frozen Pea Fund – A website created to raise money for breast cancer research in honor of our friend, Susan Reynolds.
Frozen Pea Friday – A Flickr Group where you can share your Pea-Vatar!
Twitter – Follow Susan's Twitter Updates
PEAaple – A special Twitter account for riends of @susanreynolds, determined to help her kick breast cancer's hind end.
Susan, I'm sure you'll come by and read this. You and I have never personally met. I only know you through a friend who only knew you through social and new media. However, I feel very connected to you through your sharing this painful circumstance in your life. Sharing our lives online and being real and authentic is what I find so amazing about New Media.
Normally, when I learn of a crisis moment in the life of someone I know, I often times don't know what to do or say to encourage the person. Sometimes, so much that I almost feel like sticking my head in the ground and avoiding the person who is suffering through the crisis. However, your effort in thinking ahead about how to share this with the community in a way that opens the window to be a little bit more light about such a serious topic was brilliant.
Thank you for bringing us all together! My prayers are with you as you go to the hospital tomorrow! We'll be following you and encouraging you as you fight this cancer. I have faith that you will go from being a cancer patient to a cancer survivor!
Cliff J. Ravenscraft