Michael Campbell

2009.02.24 08:53:31

We enjoy using Twitter to not only provide quick updates on Humanety happenings but to also follow some of our favorite people. Last week, I noticed a few tweets and retweets from folks about the Tom Merritt and Molly Wood auction for Kiva. One of these caught my attention in particular: the poster -- @albert_steed -- said, "Chance to talk with host of @Buzzoutloud by donating to charity. http://humanety.com/"

What was particularly remarkable about this tweet is that Albert had placed the high bid on the auction just a few minutes prior. So, he was encouraging people to bid on an auction that he was positioned to win. When I asked Albert about this, he responded: "I was just trying to help out". So, while Albert truly wanted the chance to meet Tom and Molly, he was more concerned with Kiva getting the most support possible from the auction.

I think that is a wonderfully selfless gesture by Albert. I'm thrilled that he did go on to win the auction as I am looking forward to connecting these three truly generous people.

You can follow Molly on Twitter at @MollyWood and Tom at @acedtect.

Michael (@TheRealMJC)

  Molly Wood | Tom Merritt | Kiva | twitter
Comments 0 Hits: 1623  

2009.01.15 02:26:42

I just heard that Patrick McGoohan passed away yesterday.  For those of you who don't know his name, Patrick was an actor, writer, director and producer.  His 1960's series, Secret Agent, made him a household name and he won two Emmy awards for his work on Columbo.  But he's probably best known for a remarkable mini-series called "The Prisoner".

Patrick was one of the key inspirations for Humanety.  Throughout my life, I've had the unusual luck to meet a number of my heroes.  As I grew older, I realized how rare it is to really get to know the famous people who have inspired you.  The leaders -- "celebrities" just doesn't do them justice -- I've known have had a profound impact upon my life.  I'm grateful for the gracious sharing of their time and wisdom.  It occurred to me a few years ago that it would be great if everyone had the opportunity to truly interact with their heroes.  I've been wanting to make a positive impact on society and, as a CIO, I made extensive use of video conferencing since it's inception in the 1990's. Hence, Humanety: celebrity + fan + video conferencing = charity.

My parents divorced when I was 11, and for the next decade my dad was not a presence in my life.  I really wanted/needed a male role model, so I decided to learn more about people whose work I admired.  I focused on five of them: Walt Disney, Orson Welles, Charles Schultz, Jeff Lynne and Patrick McGoohan.  Not because of their commercial success but because of the passionate pursuit of their artistic visions.  These people don't have much in common except the fact that they didn't compromise in their artistry and are all truly worthy of the label "genius".  Of course, I didn't think I would ever live up to their examples, but, in my adolescent innocence, it made sense to at least aim high.

Sadly, I never had the chance to meet Patrick.  We intended to reach out to him very soon; we wanted to get Humanety up to speed before contacting his publicist.  It's impossible to know if Patrick would have participated in Humanety.  But it would have been nice to just be able to thank him for his work.

I didn't intend this article to be about me, but I've observed that a little self-reflection is common when someone passes away.  This may be a good thing: it provides an opportunity to think about what is important, to realize that our time here is not unlimited and to put our priorities in the right order.  I'm going to reach out to Jeff Lynne today.

Thank you, Mr. McGoohan, for your vision, passion and the inspiration you've provided to me and many others.  You really are Number One.


  The Prisoner | Patrick McGoohan | Walt Disney | Jeff Lynne | Charles Schultz | Orson Welles
Comments 0 Hits: 1563  

2009.01.09 14:57:31

Mike Aronson, our CCO, and I just spent a few days at Macworld.  We were able to meet up with some of our past and future Humanetarians to thank them for their kind support of charity.  They really are great people -- Scott Bourne, Alex Lindsay, John C. Dvorak, Veronica Belmont and a few people we haven't announced yet -- and it was great to get the chance to know them a little better.  (Mike is a Cal Alum, and he and John share very similar views on the state of the Bears.)

It was a particular treat to hang with Geoff Smith.  Geoff was our first Humanetarian and it's hard to imagine finding a human being with a bigger heart.  He's funny, talented, humble and a giving person.  He's going to offer another personal concert soon.  Please follow us on twitter (we're @Humanety) or friend us up on facebook if you'd like to be notified when his next auction goes live.  You can check out his music at http://www.thegeoffsmith.com


  Geoff Smith | Veronica Belmont | twitter | facebook | Scott Bourne | Alex Lindsay | John C. Dvorak | Mike Aronson | Cal Bears | Macworld
Comments 0 Hits: 1666  

2009.01.06 09:55:36

Happy New Year, all!  2008 was a challenging year (at least, that's what the marketers say... I think it was just a really tough year).  On the down side, there was -- and continues to be -- too much pain and turmoil in the world.  On the positive side, we launched Humanety in an effort to bring folks together to make some very positive change for people everywhere.  The good news is that we raised thousands of dollars for some very worthwhile charities, and helped spread their messages to tens of thousands of people on every continent.  (Except Antarctica; there must not much Broadband there yet.)

Launching a company is hard.  Much harder than I imagined.  I heard a good quote the other day that applies to us: "Everyone who starts a company must have some naivete about them.  If they knew how hard it would be, they wouldn't do it."  I can say from experience now that it was all worth it.  Just today we conducted the session with Gary Vaynerchuk and Aaron.  They had a great conversation (we'll post it soon), but the truly inspiring aspect of it involves people who were not on the call.  There are 10 children who are currently crawling because they can't afford wheelchairs who will soon receive the gift of mobility because of Gary and Aaron.  Two people enjoyed meeting each other and ten people's lives are radically changed for the better.

Launching a company is hard, but it's nothing compared to what so many people must deal with every day of their lives.  We are fortunate and honored to help provide support to those organizations that do so much good for humanity.

With very best wishes for a peaceful 2009,


  Gary Vaynerchuck | 2009 | Wine for Wheels | Wheelchair Foundation
Comments 0 Hits: 1495  

2008.12.06 02:55:16

If you're someone who doesn't know much about wine, you may have not heard of Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary is the host of Wine Library TV, which bills itself as "the Internet's most passionate wine program" and I don't think there are many people who would dispute that claim. Gary clearly loves wine, but he even more clearly is passionate about everything that he does. His enthusiasm is infectious: I admit I was not much of a New York Jets fan before I started watching his show, but I now have a newfound appreciate for "his" team.

Gary business is a great American success story, and it all stems from his unrelenting passions. As a result, he's a highly sought-after speaker: he consults for business and other groups interested in developing and expanding their markets. These companies pay premium prices for his time and attention. So, this auction presents a very rare opportunity for you to gain personal insight into Gary's business strategies and approaches as well as get his advice on food and wine. (And there's a good chance the Jets will get some love, too.)

Even if you're not a wine fan, I encourage you to check out Gary's web site at http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com  or to buy his book (there's a link to buy it from on Amazon on the page we have about him). You'll soon understand what he means about "bringing the thunder!"

  Wine Library TV | wine | Gary Vaynerchuck
Comments 2 Hits: 1682  

2008.11.23 12:26:12

Much love to Veronica Belmont and Patrick Norton for the mention of Veronica's auction on Tekzilla today!  (And a very fond welcome to all of you who have discovered Humanety thanks to their support.)  We're thrilled over the response that Veronica's auction is getting, especially because every dime goes to Child's Play.  This will translate into some happiness for children in just a few weeks.

So, Patrick laid down the gauntlet and said he'd bid on Veronica's auction.  So, my question to you is: how many of you would like to see Patrick in his own auction?  There's no guarantee he'll say "yes", but if we go to him and say that lots of people would bid on his auction, he might agree to be our newest Humanetarian.  So, please comment and let us know what you think.

Speaking of new faces, we just recruited Alex Lindsay of Pixel Corps and both Tom Merritt and Molly Wood of cnet's Buzz Out Loud as Humanetarians. We're working out the details now and will post their auction information soon.

  Molly Wood | Tom Merritt | Alex Lindsay | Patrick Norton | Veronica Belmont
Comments 0 Hits: 1617  

2008.11.23 07:22:31

Some of the people we've contacted to participate in Humanety have responded, "But I'm not a celebrity."  To which, we usually respond, "Of course you are!"  It occurred to me that some people may think the term celebrity refers only to famous entertainers.  A few may actually think the term taken on something of a negative connotation because of the unfortunate actions of some high-profile people.

At Humanety, we think of celebrities as being those individuals who are celebrated for their achievements irrespective of their field.  In that light, Stephen Hawking and Stephen King are both celebrities, although the term doesn't quite seem to fit Professor Hawking as well "Uncle Stevie".  This is why we coined the term "Humanetarian": we needed a way to describe those individuals whose work is appreciated by a wide audience even if they are not as famous as Harrison Ford or Will Smith. "Humanetarian" also underscores the fact that these people are donating their time to do some good for the world.

We've had the great fortune of getting to know each of our Humanetarians a little from working with them in support of their auctions. They are, without exception, nice people and all deserve to be celebrated even if they don't believe themselves to be "celebrities".

Comments 0 Hits: 1550  

2008.10.31 12:48:52

We're seeing a sharp increase in visitors, probably thanks to Dick De mentioning us on GizWiz and Computer America.  So, to our all new friends, welcome!  Being GizWiz and MAD fans, you're all obviously intelligent, curious and good looking people.  We hope that you'll explore the site and sign up to receives updates about new auctions and videos as we post them.  We won't spam you or sell your info to anyone who would!  You may also want to follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.

We're just getting started, and always want to hear your honest comments.  If you like something, let us know.  If you don't like something, please tell us!  We want Humanety to be an open, friendly place for celebrities and the rest of us to get together and do some good for the world.  Just send an e-mail to "info at humanety dot com" (We're not trying to be cryptic, but we hate spam as much as you do, and don't want to attract bots if we can avoid it.)

Again, welcome to Humanety, and I look forward to chatting with you on the Boards.


  Dick DeBartolo | GizWiz | Leo Laporte | TWiT | TWiTLive | Animal Haven | MAD | Computer America
Comments 0 Hits: 1642  

2008.10.26 07:40:24

Our first auction just closed!  Congratulations to the high bidder who will get to enjoy a personal concert by Geoff Smith.  Songs of Love is a great charity, and we're thrilled that they are the recipient of Humanety's first auction.

We're working on our next auction; this one is for a 30-minute chat with Dick DeBartolo, MAD's maddest writer!  100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Animal Haven, a no-kill shelter that finds good homes for dogs and cats.  Be sure to listen to GizWiz on 10/30 for a mention of us by Dick and Leo Laporte! 

  Dick DeBartolo | GizWiz | Leo Laporte | TWiT | TWiTLive | Animal Haven | Geoff Smith | Songs of Love
Comments 0 Hits: 1608  

2008.10.22 07:06:41

We were just mentioned on GizWiz!  Dick DeBartolo was taping the show that will air on October 30, which is the day his auction goes live.  He mentioned Humanety and his auction, and Leo visited our site right then on TWiTLive.  They both had very nice things to say about our concept, and our inaugural Humanetarians.  This should really increase awareness of Dick's auction, and hopefully result in great support for Animal Haven.

Dick and Leo are very kind, and we're really looking forward to hosting Dick on Humanety. 

  Animal Haven | TWiTLive | TWiT | Leo Laporte | GizWiz | Dick DeBartolo
Comments 0 Hits: 1744