Jan 18, 2011

Six Degrees of Separation and the Alzheimer's Reading Room (1)

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone on Earth is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth. I am sitting here wondering could we, collectively, reach all the Alzheimer's caregivers that are using the Internet...

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Six Degrees of Separation Alzheimer's Reading Room
I recently learned that 55 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers are Internet savvy. This means there are more than 5 million Alzheimer's caregivers on the Internet.

For the last year I have been thinking, how can we bring the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR) into the awareness of more Alzheimer's caregivers?

I'm comfortable when I say that I believe that subscribing, reading, and commenting on the Alzheimer's Reading Room does bring a sense of hope and community to Alzheimer's caregivers.

Can other caregivers benefit from the Collective Brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room, and the Collective Voice of the Alzheimer's Reading Room?

Related Articles in the Alzheimer's Reading Room

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  2. Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Tests) 
  3. Problems with Balance, Walking, Falling an Early Sign of Dementia 
  4. How Do Alzheimer's Patients Die? 
  5. Answers to Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia 
  6. The First Sign of Alzheimer's Short Term Memory Loss 
  7. 10 Things a Person Living with Dementia Would Tell You If They Could 
  8. Communicating in Alzheimer's World 
  9. The Seven Stages of Alzheimer's 
  10. 16 Things I Would Want, If I Get Dementia

The Alzheimer's Reading Room gows every day. However, I am feeling increasingly frustrated that it is not growing as fast as I would like. My real frustration centers around the idea that I know there are caregivers out there that can and would benefit from being here.

We are not reaching them.

If we worked together this year, how many caregivers could we reach?

I have a long list of ideas on how this could be accomplished. I can't do it alone. Right now, I am spending more than 5 hours a day on this blog. Frankly, I am maxed out.

Would you be willing to spend a few minutes a day, once or twice a month, to help bring the ARR into the awareness of the 5 million caregivers that are out there?

Together we could create a one page flier that describes the ARR. We could then use that flier in email, on message boards, in support groups, and take a print copy into offices all around the United States.

Then we could start getting creative with our message.

There are many ways we could spread the word about the Alzheimer's Reading Room. For example, we could enlist the aid of human resource people or that one person in an office that has been touched by Alzheimer's disease and ask them to bring the ARR into the awareness of their fellow employees. I understand that not everyone would participate. I am confident that some would. We need to find those that would.

It wouldn't be long before we would start touching caregivers all over the world.

Keep this in mind. Every 70 seconds a new Alzheimer's caregiver is born. About 1,200 new Alzheimer's caregivers each day. Remember how you felt the day your were born? You needed help didn't you?

What we need right now are what I call sneezers. The kinds of people that know how to spread the word over the Internet by sneezing emails out to other people. They already know how to get a message in front of thousands, maybe millions of people.

You might not be a sneezer. But you might sneeze on that one person that is a mega - sneezer.

Here is what I know. If we start sneezing or other people, sooner or later we will create an Internet virus of sorts. A good virus that spreads the word about the Alzheimer's Reading Room across the internet -- world wide.

In this sense the awareness of the ARR would go viral. You all know how viruses spread. In this case we would be spreading the word -- collectively.

It is well known by marketing people that the single best, and fastest, way to spread awareness about a website is to go viral. Viral marketing.
Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence.
All five million caregivers are already attached via the Internet. So we could use this pipeline to bring the ARR into their awareness.

I have several very good ideas on how we can, collectively, reach millions of Alzheimer's caregivers. But like I said, I can't do it alone.

I'll end part one by asking you to imagine this.

You decide to participate in this effort.

Through your effort an Alzheimer's caregiver finds the Alzheimer's Reading Room. That one single caregiver might be on the edge of depression, they might be feeling lonely or alone. They might be feeling like their situation is hopeless.

But. But, because of you they find hope and the kinds of information they need to make it through the day.

You just changed the life of a single person for the better. This could have been you or me.

Maybe you end up changing the life of hundreds, thousands, or even a million.

You did it. How does it feel?

Next time we can discuss, how we can create an effective flyer to accomplish our mission.

Add your comments, ideas, or words of wisdom below in the Add New Comment section.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room