Anti Social

Back about a year and a half ago a colleague of mine asked me a simple question. “When are you going to get social”? It’s not that I was anti-social, it’s just that I wasn’t blogging, didn’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. The only online community I was participating in was LinkedIn. And I wasn’t really participating. I set up my profile and forgot about it. It gradually dawned on me that given what I do for a living I’d better get in the game. So like I did forty five years ago when I decided to play the guitar, I sought out the leaders in the field and started by emulating.

Identify the Best and the Brightest and (Try to) Do What They Do

The following is a list of ten people I’m following now. I have learned and continue to learn from all of them. I am certain that in six months this list will look different but for now I would like to share it and thank those who are on it. You have all taught me much. So in alphabetical order by last name, here it is:

  1. Chris Brogan

    Chris Brogan

    Chris Brogan – Chris’ name was the first name I heard when I posed the question to others “who should I follow“? He’s been blogging longer than anyone and knows the terrain like no one else. He has co-authored, with Julien Smith (see number 9), Trust Agents, a primer on how to use the web to build influence, improve reputation and earn trust and Social Media 101, Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online. I’ve read both of these books. If you’re truly interested in understanding social media, I suggest you read them too and subscribe to Chris’ blog.

  2. C.C. Chapman

    C.C. Chapman

    C.C. Chapman – C.C. is a recognized leader in the online and social media marketing space. He is also the author, along with Ann Handley (see number 4), of Content Rules, How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks and Webinars that engage customers and ignite your business. I had the pleasure of meeting C.C. at the Boston Wordcamp last summer. His knowledge and insight would be enough. The fact that he is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met is a real bonus.

  3. Seth Godin

    Seth Godin

    Seth Godin – There’s not much to say about Seth Godin other than he is one of the most influential minds on the planet. At last count (it changes daily) he has written 14 books. He is irreverent, funny and brilliant. Seth’s blog just reached its 4000th post. Back when the algorithm was interesting, the blog was ranked by Technorati as the #1 blog in the world written by a single individual. Do yourself a favor and become familiar with him if you aren’t already.

  4. Ann Handley

    Ann Handley

    Ann Handley – In addition to co-authoring Content Rules with C.C. Chapman (mentioned above), Ann is Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, an essential online resource for marketing professionals. She is the author of one of my all time favorite blog posts, 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be a Content Marketer. Give it a read and you’ll see why I subscribe to her blog.

  5. Guy Kawasaki

    Guy Kawasaki

    Guy Kawasaki – Guy has been an influential voice in the tech world for a long time. His opinions are so valued that his blogs can be found on American Express’ Open Forum website. He has written ten critically acclaimed and immensely popular books including his most recent, Enchantment. He is the co-founder of, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures. He was a long time Apple evangelist and worked closely with the late visionary, Steve Jobs. He writes about that experience here.

  6. Bob Poole

    Bob Poole

    Bob Poole – I recently started following Bob Poole’s blog. Chris Brogan referenced Bob in one of his posts so I thought I’d have a look. I subscribed to Bob’s blog immediately and now look forward to checking back often. I like Bob for a couple of reasons. First of all, he’s my age. Let’s just say we both survived the sixties and lived to tell about it. He is a sales and marketing guy with a very fresh approach. In fact, he wrote a book about his approach called Listen First, Sell Later. I love that. He’s got a sense of humor. I love that too. Best of all, he’s got a link on his website called mojo. I really love that.

  7. Amy Porterfield

    Amy Porterfield

    Amy Porterfield – Here’s the first sentence on Amy’s About page: Here’s How I Can Help You Grow Your Business With Social Media. I love her direct, no nonsense style. Almost every one of her blog posts begins with the words “How to … ” and she delivers. Her tips and suggestions all work. She knows Facebook better than Mark Zuckerberg (ok, you caught me exaggerating) and has great insight into how to use it as the powerful marketing tool it is. I just received her book (which she co-authored with Phyllis Khare and Andrea Vahl) Facebook Marketing All-In-One For Dummies. The cover says it’s 9 books in 1. At over 600 pages I’m sure it is. I can’t wait to dive in.

  8. David Meerman Scott

    David Meerman Scott

    David Meerman Scott – David Meerman Scott wrote the book on the new rules of marketing and PR. No, I mean it. He literally wrote the book. It’s called The New Rules of Marketing and PR. He also wrote Real Time Marketing and PR and my favorite book title in the history of books (remember, I’m an old time rock n’ roll hippie from the sixties), Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead (co-authored by Brian Halligan, co-founder of the dynamic inbound marketing software company, Hubspot). If you really want to know how marketing is changing, subscribe to David’s blog.

  9. Julien Smith

    Julien Smith

    Julien Smith – Julien, along with Chris Brogan (see number 1) authored the best selling book Trust Agents. It was the first book I read about the real social implications and potential power of the web. I subscribe to Julien’s blog because he is different. He thinks outside the box, I mean way outside the box. Here is how C.C. Chapman puts it: “A creative individual who not only thinks outside the box, he puts his foot down and crushes it.” What more can I say.

  10. Gary Vaynerchuk

    Gary Vaynerchuk

    Gary Vaynerchuk – If this list weren’t in alphabetical order by last name, Gary would probably have been first. He has become so ubiquitous on the web that it’s difficult to know where to point someone who isn’t already familiar with him. He is a human tornado. My thinking about social media marketing was completely changed after I read The Thank You Economy. He is a pioneer in the video blogging space and still maintains a video blog. By trade, he is a wine merchant but it’s almost ridiculous to categorize him that way. To say he is a passionate advocate for social media marketing is the understatement of the year. Subscribe to his video blog and you’ll see what I mean.

And Now, Back to You

So this is my Top Ten List. How does it stack up to your list? Who have I missed that I shouldn’t have? If it were a Top Twenty List, who do you think I should add? Talk to me.

Photo credit: Abi Skipp


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