An Open Letter to Americans - Project Lancashire
- A Social Experiment
{ www.openlta.org | www.openlta.com }
 

Kazeem OlalekanI am glad you are able to join me here. My name is Kazeem Olalekan and I work as a Pharmacist mainly in the City of Southampton in the southcoat of England. I am also the CEO of a small company: Iforg Limited (www.iforg.com). Iforg (for: Information Organisation) was formed in 2002 as a vehicle for me to pursue a career in IT which I can then exploit in my pharmacy career. I understood how valuable information technology could be in healthcare (hence the tagline: Technology and Healthcare)

 

The priorities of Iforg Limited have since evolved as a result of a number of personal experiences which I will explore in more details at a later time. Iforg's mission is simple: (1) To do good and to (2) Develop solutions of the highest quality through focused projects. If a project fits one (or many) of our project objectives listed here then we will pursue it as a project. We give our projects the names of the different counties in the UK. The idea is that a proportion of the revenue from such project will be used to support a healthcare charity in that county. We are currently working on a number of projects at the present moment.

 

My first open letter to Americans was a product of passion for my NHS in the face of irrational attack from a faction of the conservative right in the USA and the concerns I had for plights of the vast number of American who are uninsured. I was insensed enough to write that letter. The support it got was unprecedented; for me anyway.

 

I owe the immediate success of the letter to Mr Ian Aspin (@IanAspin). I will explain why: I only joined Twitter on the 1st of July 2009 after a lot of uncertainity on my part about the technology. There was this hype in the media about this technology but my greatest barrier was how unweildy it looked and the new languages you needed to communicate in 'twittersphere'. My guess was if the very intelligent Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) can be a fan, then it can't be too bad. My first account was Kazeem Olalekan (@Iforg) where I planned to explore the technology by tweeting about technology and healthcare and some personal stuff. My first tweet was about a blog I was planning and I just posed the question: "Why is understanding death good for your health?" You can read the article here.

 

In August when a section of the right wing in the USA decided to start the fallacies about our healthcare service, a number of Brits rebuffed it. The 'I love the NHS' twibbon was created and the #welovetheNHS hash tag was coined. It was successful but by week two, like most things, the popularity was starting to waine. It was on the back of keeping the momentum of support going and my increasing 'rage' that I wrote the letter. Ian was the first to re-tweet it. After reading it, he even wrote a new copy for the post. The new copy will prove to be very significant later (especially with regards to my other projects). It worked and within a day, the support was phenomenal. My inbox was filling up fast with notification of twitter followers. So I owe the immediate success of the letter to Ian. That is why this project is codenamed: Lancashire where Ian is from.

 

What happens next?:

 

The journey from when I wrote my first letter to now has been emotional. I shared a lot of your (the Americans') emotions and anguish about healthcare reform from the heady days of August. I tried a lot of strategies to get the information to as many Americans as possible. Some worked some didn't. I have gained a lot of insight into the technology and I will share my taughts in a book. The book I am planning will have the following remit:

 

  1. Explore my motivation for writing the letter
  2. Describe my emotional journey for the 6 months
  3. Explore strategies for maximising Twitter benefits. Explore what works and what doesn't. I will drill down into the statistics.
  4. I will introduce some tools I found very useful and some important insight into your marketing strategy - This is a strategy for the person with minimum resources but desires maximum coverage using the social media space.
  5. I will describe in more details the merits and difficulties of social media.
  6. I will offer my verdict on the social media of Twitter and Facebook.

Proportion of revenue from the book will go to a healthcare charity in Lancashire. I now need to find a publisher. Any takers out there?

 

Another important decision I have to make is what happens to the openlta infrastructure (www.openlta.org | www.openlta.com | twitter.com/openlta). I have some ideas of my own at the moment but suggestions are welcomed in a postcard or just email: openlta@iforg.com.

 

I hope I have been able to demonstrate, so far, a glimse at what Iforg is all about.

 

Thanks to all that have supported this project so far.

Kazeem Olalekan

Iforg Limited