I love meeting new people. I like hearing what other folks are reading, thinking and learning, etc. So at some point in every conversation with a new contact, I make a point to ask this question, "who do you watch?"
Who do you watch is code for:
- Who do you admire?
- Who inspires you?
- Who would you LOVE to work for?
- In short, in your view, what people and organizations kick ass!
In case you're interested. Here is a list of folks that I watch.
1. HubSpot Inbound Marketing Blog - I can't say enough about good things about these guys & gals and I pimp them out so often you'd think I was on the payroll! Mike Volpe and his team are SO generous with their thinking (They give away tons of free whitepapers, webinars, etc.). In addition to developing new services to help small businesses (including nonprofits) market, they just launched Inbound Marketing University to help us all get better at attracting vs. pitching business.
2. Andy Sernovitz's Damn I Wish I Thought of That - Anyone clever enough to choose this name for a blog makes my A list. While I don't know Andy personally, I sure feel like I do and of course this is why he's so interesting. In addition, to making you feel like he's your friend, Andy makes excellent use of specific case studies to show vs. tell us how organizations and corporations are using social media to achieve their goals. Helpful.
3. Andy Goodman doesn't write a blog (maybe he's the smartest of all) but he does give it up regularly here (for a reasonable fee). He's been sharing his great thinking for years regarding how to improve nonprofit communications and is hands down the best advisor on how to create great PowerPoint presentations.
4. Free Range Studios - I don't know the folks at FRS (yet) but I LOVE their work. Check out their website, it oozes personality. They are the creative geniuses behind The Story of Stuff.
5. Care2 - I watch Care2 carefully because they are sort of a competitor. But I also watch them because they are really smart folks who are helping nonprofits take email marketing to the next level. Both Allyson Kapin (the editor of their blog) and Heather Holdridge (their political sales gal) are smart cookies. Both have done a lot of thinking and writing about the ROI of email marketing vs. social media. (In case you're wondering, email marketing wins.)
So that's my list of people to watch. And you? Who do you pay attention to?
*Thanks to Allison Fine for suggesting that it's more important to watch people than organizations in the Connected Age. "There are so many smart people out on the Web these days, I don't watch organizations anymore. I watch people."