Facebook’s Compassion Research 2015

Compassion Day at Facebook

Facebook’s 5th Annual Compassion Research Day

This week in SF/Silicon Valley is Wisdom Week,  a week filled with lectures around the S.F. Bay Area focused on living well by feeling connected with each other in our hectic daily lives.  Several tech industry leaders spoke and hosted the series of conferences, and workshops to inspire and engage in an accessible and inclusive way. I was lucky enough to get my ticket for the free sold out event held at Facebook several weeks in advance. If you missed it, don’t worry, you can see the entire event here.

The 5th Annual Compassion Research Day was a day of sharing and conversation about what Facebook and the experts they work with on a daily basis have learned in the last year about what happens when you apply the science of how people relate to each other to social technology.


I was a bit skeptical about Facebook’s day of compassion event, I thought it was going to be marketing fluff with the emphasis of purchasing more ads, but my attitude disappeared as soon as the lecture dove into the data of their research, here’s the list of the following topics covered:

  • Connecting People who Care: Helping Facebook Members in Crisis
  • The Dangerous Side of Language
  • Language matters: Communicating Compassion on Facebook
  • The Science of Awe and Happiness
  • Addressing Death on Facebook: Honoring the memories of loved ones and caring for the needs of the bereaved
  • Emotions Without Borders: Supporting Teens Around the World
  • Youth Panel from Edna Brewer Middle School of Oakland, CA

I sat and engaged with idealistic people from all over the world: educators, psychologist, and even a hardware engineer from a local Silicon Valley company who wanted to glean ideas on how to encourage compassion to his development team at work. There’s something missing in our daily life, what is it? Together, over a delicious international cafeteria style lunch, we sat beside each other, made new friends and exchanged ideas on how to form a better, perhaps more inclusive community.

Facebook’s Hacker street may resemble Disneyland’s Main Street, and the idealism doesn’t stop there. As Facebook evolves into a mature utility product, I felt a lot better knowing the amount of thought that goes into their products. My inner skeptic was suspended for a moment. That quiet moment of universal peace and altruism drove off the parking lot when I hit the Willow/101 Southbound traffic. Maybe we could use a Monorail in Silicon Valley.

I love Facebook. Thank you for teaching me how to boost my happiness, and how we all want to share a common narrative and dialogue of caring, I felt that during the event.

Social Media Workshops

Over the past ten years I have leveraged my graduate degree in digital media I have advised many organizations and individuals with their social media strategy. I enjoy volunteering and have helped many non-profits over the years.

  • Situation: The executives on the Board were very apprehensive with social media  and the club’s use of having a digital online presence. They understood that they needed a way to disseminate information to their members yet they wanted to retain control. Many club members’ reason for joining was to network and to discuss industry news but there were no opportunities beyond the club’s monthly onsite luncheons and discussions were time limited.
  • Solution: I recommended LinkedIn as their platform for communications.  I established and managed a private club LinkedIn group and taught the board members the importance of having a profile. The club’s website was used for general information and blog for current events but the private LinkedIn group was only for club members where anyone could bring up discussions without non-members prying eyes. Below one of the presentations which I gave to the Board.

  • Result: It was the beginning of a new era for the maritime members to create a new profile! Using a laptop I demonstrated to them, step-by-step, with instructions on how to create a new member profile. They were grateful and then could participate and freely network within a closed/private platform yet still be open to have new contacts.

Choose the media, find relevance and achieve timeliness

I created this video to help promote my son’s high school band. This video is featured in the Kitsap Sun and Inside Bainbridge and other social networks which is greatly appreciated. Thank you to my Twitter followers and G+ friends who re-posted.

Why did I choose to focus on video content? Obviously it’s for the shareability factor but there’s more to it. For this event my focus was the music. This annual holiday event features the Argosy cruise boat parade. In near freezing temperatures there were only a handful of brave souls to view the festivities at the Bainbridge marina. Timing of the video post matters greatly; since audiences have short attention spans, videos not only should be kept short, but they also need to be published near the time of the event. Audiences will forget or lose interest to search so it is important not too wait too long to distribute. It’s a fine balance between taking your time editing towards perfection vs. good enough and being the first one out.