As I find where I fit into this new world media order, I see that the real opportunities are not about business development or lead development or sales or anything directly related to business. It’s simply about people. People are behind every tweet, post, sale or donation but we tend to refer to the post or the tweet or the money as the ends. That’s just the means. The ends are the people you meet and the ways that camaraderie and collegiality play out to help someone else.
For those of you who know me, I am the furthest thing from a hippie that you will ever find. The main reason is that I have really bad hair for growing it long. I would be a really bad looking hippie (We can’t have that, now, can we?). Also, hold on to your hats for this one, I firmly DO NOT believe that everyone is good at the core. As a result, I am a skeptic who still makes poor judgments on character because I want to believe that everyone is good but in my heart I know better. Argue with me all you want but my source for this position is non-negotiable .
Because of this worldview, I have a pretty serious vetting process before I can truly trust people. I have found over the recent past that there are a few people I truly like and would trust in the social media sphere and I need to tell you about them. Why? It’s because I realize that I don’t talk people up enough. This is a tough world and when you find a ‘good one’ you need to share them with others. Here’s my short list in alphabetical order.
Andy Beal – Full disclosure – I work closely with Andy on his Marketing Pilgrim blog and his Trackur online reputation monitoring tool. Why include him on the list? It’s simple. He gets it. Sure he has a brand and a reputation and all of that but he gets what happens at street level. As a result he is easy to work with and it doesn’t hurt that he truly knows his stuff better than most. Got an ORM issue? Talk to Andy. If you think you don’t have an ORM problem? Still talk to him.you may learn a thing or two. (Twitter – @andybeal and @trackur)
Danny Brown – Danny works so hard to help others it is infectious. I finally spoke to him for real last week and he was just as I suspected; a good guy who happens to also understand social media better than most. Seek out Danny when you have a chance. Read his blog and follow him on Twitter and you’ll see. His efforts to help people through social media are worth taking a look at. We can all learn from that mind set. (Twitter – @dannybrown)
Pat Coyle – I just spoke to Pat for the first time last week and it’s obvious he understands social media. He is the brains behind MyColts.net, Smaller Indiana, Sports Marketing 2.0 and many others. What’s even better is that he is completely transparent and trust is easy to transfer to him right out of the gate. Pat understands why people attach themselves to communities better than anyone I have met thus far. (Twitter – sports20)
Kent Huffman – Kent is the networker’s networker. Kent is the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of Bearcom Wireless and his social media exploits on Twitter and other outlets are getting more and more traction by the day. Kent has compiled some of the best marketing minds on the Internet as it relates to the modern marketing world. Follow him on Twitter and see how he is able to connect and move people forward as we all try to figure this social media thing out. Also, keep your eye on Kent in the next few months because he will be helping all out with his efforts. (Twitter – @KentHuffman)
Greg Matthews – Greg is the Director of Innovation at Humana Healthcare. He’ll admit that it’s a broad title that simply allows him to experiment. This he gets to see how a big insurance company can shake off the insurance company image and actually reach out to it’s customers and prospective customers. If you are in a public company and think that there is no way you could pull off a social media strategy catch up with Greg and let him prove you wrong. Oh and along the way, he’ll inspire you as well. Follow one of the good guys and you’ll be better for it. (twitter – @chimoose)
Mike Moran – Another full disclosure; I write for Mike’s Biznology blog every Friday. That in and of itself is enough reason to count Mike in this list. Why? Well, Mike spent 30 years at IBM and has patents in his name regarding search technology and quite simply, he’s a lot smarter than me! We met at an event where I had to follow his presentation on search marketing with my very first public appearance regarding anything Internet marketing related. Despite that he has become a real friend and ally in a space where it’s good to have both of those. Oh and if you need a guy who can work the corporate side of the Internet Mike is a great choice. Heck, he survived for 30 years at Big Blue….that counts for something, right? (Twitter – @mikemoran)
So is this ‘suck-up’ post? I guess to some degree but so what? There are so few people in this social media world that each of us can comfortably call ‘genuine’. There are a lot of people that seem nice and well intentioned but do we really know? As a result, it might be a good idea for all of us to talk about the good guys and gals who are doing this for the right reasons.
Oh and since your definition of the right reasons may differ from mine that’s cool, just do it anyway.
Thanks and please give these folks some attention. We will all learn something then.