This is the second part of my series on Kindness. Last Thursday, I told you about the kindness of a stranger who helped me and the benefits of being kind.
Today, I’m sharing an interview I did with Tim Piazza, the developer of a new site, KindLike.Us. This very creative and active site enables people interested in kindness to join together in a social community. Note that on my left sidebar, I liked this site so much that I have already become a member:~)
I believe that you, my readers, will like this site as much as I do. So,without further adieu here’s my interview with Tim, the creative creator of KindLike.Us:~)
What drew you to the idea of kindness, Tim?
First of all, Sara, thank you for taking an interest in our project. It’s heartwarming that the very first person outside of our family that I contacted when setting up the site responded so enthusiastically. Your blog post, Life Lessons: The Value of Kindness was such a perfect example of the sort of stories I hope people will share on KindLike.Us.
Gosh, I could write for pages about this. I have been reflecting on what makes a person happy for a long time. I was taught that being successful in business was a prerequisite to happiness, but there are many happy people who live very simply and many people with extravagant lives who are unhappy. If I buy something or do something I want, it makes me happy for a while, but it’s not lasting. On the other hand, if I am kind to someone, I feel happier, and they feel better too. Happiness, I believe, is a direct result of being kind to others.
Kindness is the fundamental quality that builds good communities. It’s the glue that bonds friendships. Kindness motivates us to act better, live better, to be better. Being Kind is the most attractive quality a person can project, and it is within everyone’s grasp to be kind. I think that worldwide, people understand the value and meaning of kindness, but in the USA, kindness seems more burdened with other attachments like fear and risk. The reason probably has to do with a society’s economic wealth. Money sets us apart from each other.
I recently met Chris Brogan and Woody Collins at a social media conference in Indiana. Woody told Chris about how he is working to improve the conditions of people in Africa who live under conditions of extreme poverty. The next morning during his keynote presentation, Chris urged people to help Woody because what he was doing makes a real difference. This was my inspiration. I realized that I could use social media to help people like Woody.
What do you hope to accomplish with KindLike.Us?
Our vision for KindLike.Us is that it becomes a social networking site for people who view kindness as a fundamental value. I started using computers in the early 1980’s when online social communities originated. They were crude and text based, but we could hold live chats, post in forums, and share files. Each community had its own personality, and people joined them because they felt some affinity for the site.
Facebook is great, and it proves that our online interactions can enhance and extend our real life relationships. But Facebook is a metropolis. It’s not safe to be friends with everybody.
KindLike.Us is an intentional community for people who make conscious choices about the quality of their life. We want KindLike.Us to be the Facebook of caring, thoughtful people.
In the opening Welcome, you state that “We need only to encourage a “kindness economy” to increase its value to others.” What do you mean by a “kindness economy?”
Usually, we think of economics as being about dollars and wealth. There is a finite supply of wealth and it is something we must acquire in order to meet our basic needs. Kindness, on the other hand, is in an infinite supply, we already possess it, but we do not view it in the same way as we do financial wealth. Is the more successful person the one who has an abundance of money and little happiness, or the one who has little money but is filled with joy? The answer depends on whether you value money more than happiness. I believe people who place more value on happiness than on money live more fulfilling lives, and I think it’s something we should all encourage.
What are the benefits of joining KindLike.Us?
Good, an easy question! If you spend just 5 minutes a day thinking about being kind, reading about it, or telling a story about it, you will tend to be a kinder person. Being connected to others through kindness has a dramatic impact on your sense of purpose and feeling of wellness. Being connected through kindness makes people happy. We want to build a community where people will want to spend at least a few minutes a day thinking and sharing around the idea of kindness.
KindLike.Us is very easy to use. People can chat, blog, share music and photos, link to YouTube videos, send messages to friends, and join groups. Members can redesign their own page to look the way they want and customize their privacy settings. You can add widgets and HTML code, even add RSS feeds from another blog to your own page. For people who already publish online, KindLike.Us can easily extend what they’re already doing in social media. This is great for non-profit agencies who would like to connect with people on KindLike.Us.
If someone has an article or a post they think might be perfect for your site, what should they do?
If someone is writing the sort of blog that would be great for our site, we really hope that they become a member. Members can post their own blogs, and we can feature them on the front page. Members can always send private messages to me.
Many blogs give you the opportunity to add your web address along with your name, but search engines do not follow those links. KindLIke.Us is much more robust. You can have links in articles and they will get followed back to that site. You can put links and even photos in comments as well. You do have to be a member to use these great features, but there is absolutely no cost to becoming a member of KindLIke.Us.
Other than the site, what keeps you busy in your life?
Work is definitely a big part of my life. The advertising agency I work for asked me to be the social media and online marketing strategist. I am constantly learning and constantly challenged, and I get to bring the insights I acquire along the way to KindLike.Us. My wife Tiffany is a social worker on the homeless outreach team in our community. We play traditional Irish music with our friends and our children, and we live in a log home on four acres of land. Even though our land is mostly tree-covered, it’s amazing how much time it takes to keep up the property!
* * * * * *
Thank you so much for taking this time with me, Sara. I really appreciate being able to talk about KindLike.Us. I encourage your readers to come visit the site and I hope the will also become members!
You are so welcome Tim. Thanks for sharing about your site:~)