#PANTSFORPAULL – Citi Bike and J Crew: I love you

Posted by admin | Posted in charity: water, Humour, Internet, Life, Marketing | Posted on 09-12-2013


This Friday I was rushing to work for an early morning meeting, so as per usual I jumped on a Citi Bike from the rank outside my apartment.

It was lightly raining so there were plenty of bikes available, but as I cruised down Avenue B and took a sharp turn onto 3rd street the bike slide out from under me and I took a tumble on the wet ground. What a way to start a Friday.

Now this tweet got a bit of reaction — nothing funnier than a fella falling off his bike on the way to work. My good friend Ryan wanted to make sure I was ok. I was fine. Pants… not so much.

Now at this point in the morning I take my soggy pants and head into 4 straight hours of meetings (working at charity: water in December is intense!).

I emerge from the conference room to find one of our awesome interns at my desk who hands me two small cards and says “um… Citi Bike just delivered this for you???”

And then I spot this tweet:

Sure enough, Citi Bike and the good folk at J Crew delivered a couple of gift vouchers to my office for some brand new pants. And made my day.

I love this so much. I’m already a huge fan of Citi Bike, and now I’m a new J Crew customer. Marketing is all about relationships, and every relationship needs to have mutual benefit.

Citi Bike and J Crew, I love you — and people love brands being human:


While some others just like making fun of their mates:


Google Glass and a Budgie Smuggler: The Killer Half Marathon Apps

Posted by admin | Posted in charity: water, Humour, Life | Posted on 25-11-2013


Every year in September I ‘give up’ my birthday for charity: water, and ask my friends to donate instead of giving me gifts. It’s how I first heard of charity: water in 2008, and each year it’s a really meaningful moment of connection for me with my friends and family.

This year I turned 30. A big one. I sat down in July at the World Domination Summit with Rael and Kaitlyn from my team and brainstormed over a good meal what it would take to do something I didn’t think possible for my 30th birthday: raise $30,000 for clean water in India.

Kaitlyn knows me well, and astutely observed ‘your friends would probably give a lot of money to make you do something really stupid’. So, inspired by one of my favorite charity: water campaigns from Sarah Peck, I eventually settled on pledging to run the Philadelphia Half Marathon in nothing but a speedo, if we raised over $30,000.

For a long time I thought I was ‘safe’ – $30K is a big goal, and while my friends are extremely generous it’s still a huge target. Then, the week before the marathon my roommate offered to give the final $5000 if we got to $25K, and with that incentive and many more generous donations – we hit the target.

So that led me to 7am last Sunday in Philadelphia, standing amongst 30,000 runners at the start line ready to take all my clothes off and run 13.1 miles. And if there’s one other item one should wear when running a race in a budgie smuggler, it’s Google Glass (we’ve got a pair in the office).

Update: just got a download of the finish line video — if you’re finishing a Half Marathon in a budgie smuggler, you sure better click your heels:


So without further ado, here’s photos and videos from my Google Glass.

5.45am race prep

“As the American Flag Crosses the Start Line!” start line announcer admiring my budgie smuggler

Early Running

Chafing was a common topic of conversation

As the crowd built, so did the amusing spectators, like old mate holding a giant picture of his own head

In nearly every photo I took someone in the background is reacting to my outfit

The reactions of runners I passed was priceless. Wearing no clothes makes you a lot of friends during a race.

“Oh no! Not the GLASS!” Bad Santa

6 miles in bumped into my cheer squad. Best sign at the marathon: “Aussies in Speedos are Hot” 

Pain Now. Beer Later.

“Officer! No Concealed Weapon!”

Chafe Now. Brag Forever.

Brittany was a lovely Dr from Iowa running the marathon who did a few miles with me. She’ll have a funny story for her husband about her speedo clad Australian friend

These Frat Boys didn’t actually give me any beer :(

Chafing is temporary. Pride is forever.

As you turn at mile 8 you meet some very strangely dressed, dancing characters

11 miles in and the crowd starts to build for the finish

Howdy, Howdy, Howdy, Howdy

Less than a mile to go…

And the Finish Line

1:48:00 later – Well that was fun

All in all, you know you’re doing something right when 16 year old girls are questioning your sanity on social media.

On a serious note though — because of the generosity of many of you, we’ve been able to bring clean drinking water to over 700 people in Orissa, India. We’ll change hundreds of lives for the better because 402 of you gave $31,690, every cent of which will fund water projects.

Here’s the charity: water September Campaign video that shows you exactly the change we’ll be making:

Social Media Measurement

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Humour, Internet | Posted on 10-09-2012


Thank you Stephen Colbert.

I thought this was funny…

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Humour | Posted on 03-04-2012


Australian populism vs American populism

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Current Affairs, Humour, Internet | Posted on 20-01-2012


This month I’ve seen two videos of political leaders go viral in my Facebook newsfeed. One from Australia, and one from the USA.

The content of each gives you a feel of the split between the cultures:

Barry Obama (POTUS 2008 – ) sings in Harlem:

Bob Hawke (Prime Minister of Australia 1983-1991) skulls a beer at the cricket:

Quoted in the WSJ #humblebrag

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Current Affairs, Humour, Internet, Life, Marketing | Posted on 28-11-2011


Humblebrag (urban dictionary): Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or “woe is me” gloss.

Somehow winded up in the Wall St Journal twice today.

First was for work, quoted in an article on the new trends in online philanthropy. 18 words made the quote, 2 of them “Justin” and “Bieber”.

Read the whole article here, here is the section on charity: water

Like some other nonprofits, charity: water, a New York-based organization dedicated to providing clean drinking water to people in developing nations, uses traditional and nontraditional fund-raising methods for separate purposes. Big gifts from private and corporate donors fund the charity’s operations, from staff salaries to ink for the printers. That allows 100% of donations from alternative channels, such as social media and the organization’s various websites, to directly fund water projects—an assurance meant to appeal to potential small donors concerned about where their money will go.

Seventy percent of donations to charity:water come from digital channels, mainly from individuals donating on its main website, by pressing the “donate” button, or going to mycharitywater.org, where anyone can set up a fund-raising campaign and ask friends to donate.

Mycharitywater.org has raised $11.5 million since August 2009. Individual fund-raisers have done everything from running marathons to setting up lemonade stands. The average campaign has raised $1,000, says Paull Young, director of digital engagement at charity: water. “Justin Bieber had people donate for his birthday,” he says. “Little girls have friends donate $7 for their seventh birthday.”

charity: water is experimenting with a new site, waterforward.org, that also relies on people’s social connections to expand the charity’s reach, but in a different way. The site maintains what it calls a “book”—a compilation of photos of people who have had a $10 donation to the site made in their name by someone they know. Once a person is in the book, he or she can bring in any number of other people by making a $10 contribution for each of them. Those people can then do the same, and so on. In effect, every donor becomes a fund-raiser.

The site is designed to make donating fun and engaging, and to allow donors to see that their contribution goes beyond the amount they can give, since each donation can lead to so many more donations, says Michael Birch, a major fund-raiser and contributor to charity: water who has helped the organization build its websites.

The second was more amusing. For 4th of July this year I embarked on a Texas trip with a bunch of rugby mates. For the occasion, I was in search of a stars’n’stripes Speedo… a surprisingly difficult item to acquire.

I turned to Zaarly, an awesome iPhone app turning commerce on its head, and a few hours and $50 was delivered a US flag speedo by a very confused personal shopper.

That same confused personal shopper appeared in a WSJ video today talking about his experience with Zaarly… his most awkward moment (you guessed it), my speedo.

Watch from 1.40:

New way to find pussy

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Humour, Internet | Posted on 19-06-2011


I was walking down my street the other day and noticed this lost cat poster 2.0 lining Avenue B – a QR code on a home made poster!

(apologies for double entendre in the headline… couldn’t resist)

Check out Bnter

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Humour, Internet | Posted on 05-04-2011


Take 5 minutes in your lunch break today to check out Bnter – a new social site created to curate and share interesting conversations.

It looks a little something like this:

Sign up. Follow some people (follow me!). Have a laugh. Add your own.

I’m an early user, and a fan, of the site. Founded by Lauren Leto here in NYC it has some serious brains behind it, and a small but loyal (and growing) following. Bnter right now reminds me of Twitter back when having 100 followers was a HUGE deal.

Rugby Bullfighting

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Humour, Internet, Life | Posted on 31-03-2011


Last year I posted a couple of videos of my rugby team, the mighty Village Lions, in action – both on the field, and trying our hand at Portugese Bullfighting while over there on tour.

Not only has that video gone viral on Deadspin, we also just found out it was featured on TV in Colombia:

Surreal. But I’m glad I can check ’15 minutes of fame for wrestling livestock’ off my bucket list.

Sending Kbell Down the Well

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Humour, Internet | Posted on 17-03-2011


My boss Scott just took a handful of big charity: water donors to Africa.

There’s nothing like being able to say thank you to our supporters – so check out the video we made for Chris Sacca, featuring the hilarious Kristen Bell.

Update for Chris Sacca from northern Ethiopia. from charity: water (special donors) on Vimeo.

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