As we near the halfway point of the Engagement Series, I thought it might be useful to let you know who I look up to in this arena. As I can’t possibly say enough, I am definitely and forever still learning. When I have a question or when I wonder how I can better what I am doing, these are the people I think about. I can’t recommend enough that you seek them out and learn from them, too.
Nancy Davis, aka @NancyD68. Blogs at http://nancyadavis.wordpress.com/
I’ve been fortunate to get to know Nancy over the last month or so especially. Why is Nancy an engagement superstar? Not only does she leave insightful and lovely blog comments, and not only does she bring smiles via her Twitter presence, but Nancy is the rare kind of person who takes a negative experience, learns from it, and then tries to make sure no one else goes through the same struggles. Nancy’s current mission is to let women in abusive relationships know that they are not alone and that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. How much more superstar can you get, anyway?
Jason Sokol, aka @jwsokol. Blogs at http://jwsokol.com/scc/
I met Jason via Suzanne Vara. I knew that I had met a special person when I wrote a post that referenced a quote from Ken Burns Civil War series, and Jason (I call him J-Dubs) got it right away. Jason is an engagement star for several reasons, but what I find most admirable about him is that he is always trying to up his game, and he tries to do that via learning and keeping an open mind. Jason is also an unflinching supporter, a genuinely warm person, and as a New Englander might say, “Wicked smaht.”
Kat Caverly, aka @Greetums. Company site: www.greetums.com
When I was working on my anti-bullying group last September and October, a lady that went by the Twitter handle @greetums started visiting my weekly chat, supporting my blog, and helping me out with useful information throughout the week. Little did I know that Ms. Kat is not only intensely helpful and supportive, but she also defines ebullient. When @greetums befriends you, you know that you have a friend, and a strong one, wherever you go and whatever you do. Isn’t that what engagement is all about?
Mark Schaefer, aka @markwschaefer. Blogs at http://www.businessesgrow.com/blog/
I found Mark Schaefer’s blog last year. Mitch Joel had published a post about Twitter following and Mark wrote a dissenting post. I really enjoyed Mark’s writing style. Knowledgeable yet personable, an air of expertise yet not stuck up. Over the last several months, not only have I come to appreciate Mark’s engaging blog voice, but I’ve also come to really respect how Mark handles himself in the online world. He answers comments on his blog, which is a large community, and he doesn’t just answer them. He ANSWERS them. He is honest, at times self-deprecating, and always helpful and kind. Forget being like Mike. I wanna be like Mark!
Amber Cleveland, aka @ambercleveland. Company site: www.sterlinghope.com
I’ve written about Amber on this blog before, but the longer I get to know Amber, the more I feel like really I should sing her praises every day. If there is an interesting chat, you’re almost certain to find Amber somewhere nearby. She isn’t just passing out the cookies either. She embodies the engagement 1-2 punch. She’s smart and sweet. Disgustingly so on both counts, in fact Even though she isn’t from Cleveland as I thought she was when I first met her, I still do my best to follow Amber’s engagement example on a daily basis.
Raul Colon, aka @rj_c. Blogs at http://raulcolon.net/
I first met Raul on Chris Brogan’s blog. It’s amazing the jewels you find over there. Not just the posts themselves, I mean, but all of the great people who comment. I started to get to know Raul a bit – I always found his comments interesting and insightful, every single time. Then, when Chris Brogan and Joe Sorge started Kitchen Table Talks on Tuesday afternoons, I started to chat with Raul on a daily basis. Boy am I lucky. This guy is always thinking, but he does so in a way that welcomes you into his thoughts rather than making you feel like you’re intruding. He’s hilarious, supportive, friendly, sharp as a tack, offers to kick peoples’ butts for you in a pinch. This I know. I just don’t know if he would really do it
Rose L. Jones, aka @maximumharvest.
Rose started visiting our #tweetdiner chat a few months ago. At first, she insisted that she was just going to lurk. Well, we soon convinced her that THAT kind of behavior was just not going to work for us. All of us chatters could tell that this was a woman we wanted to hear from. Sure enough, Rose is one of the most quietly warm people I have met in the online world. The more she has begun to engage, the more the light of her kind soul shines through. Now, I’m going to have to talk to Rose about blogging, but for now, you want to get to know this lady. She knows how to engage and be engaging, and you won’t be sorry you got to know her.
Joe Sorge, aka @JoeSorge. Running wild at: Kitchen Table Companies
So here’s the thing you need to know about why I admire Joe Sorge. He is a television star (on ThePulseNetwork.com every Tuesday with Chris Brogan, 2 PM EST). He is the head honcho at Kitchen Table Companies. He also is a business owner offline (AJ Bombers). You might think that all of these successes would go to Joe’s head. I kind of thought that when I was first getting to know him. I thought, “Oh boy, this guy is probably going to be kind of aloof, hard to reach maybe.” Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The first time I tweeted to Joe (or at?) he responded immediately. If you join the book club over at Kitchen Table Companies, you get an inkling for how much this guy hustles. And if you watch him engage on Twitter, you see that he is warm, helpful, and open to talking anything from Team Jersey to hamburgers. He’s a breath of fresh air. No doubt.
Suzanne Vara, aka @suzannevara. Blogs at: http://kherize5.com/blog
Honestly, if I start explaining all of the reasons why you should follow and befriend this lady, it would turn into a whole post, and someone a little better known than me has already taken care of that. So, I will say this. Before I was really good friends with Suzanne, I was learning from her. She talked about baseball. She talked about her Jets. she talked about the weather. Stuff I didn’t think you could talk about on Twitter, actually. I thought you had to be all business, all the time. Suzanne taught me how to converse on Twitter, and I’m sure she regrets that every day This lady is a high-intensity thinker, a big heart, and a must-have if you are building a community.
Joe Ruiz, aka @SMSJoe. Blogs at: http://www.strategicdriven.com/marketing-blog/
I met Joe when I first started participating in #MMChat. Or did I meet him at #b2bChat. Oh, I know, I probably ran into him at #IMCChat. Well, the fact is, I ran into Joe in every chat I attended when I was just discovering the wonder of Twitter chats. Wherever I went, there was Joe, leading conversations, saying hi to people, offering kind words, and exuding this warmth that you don’t come upon very often in the online world. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Joe, among others, on our Care4Japan project. He was tireless, supportive, dedicated, and yet kept his humor about him and seemed (I don’t know otherwise) to really enjoy himself. So it is with Joe wherever you encounter him. He is everything you want to be as an online engager. And he’s pretty durned smart, too.
Dawn Westerberg, aka @dwesterberg. Blogs at: http://dawnwesterberg.com
I’ve also talked about Dawn a plenty here on this blog site, but let’s face it. When someone starts tweeting out your posts when you literally can’t seem to buy such kind treatment, you’re going to be forever loyal. And that’s just the kind of person Dawn is, not just for me, but for everyone. She is wise, kind, has a full spectrum of interests that she is always happy to share, and she just always brings a smile to my face. I would imagine it’s the same for everyone who encounters her. Like Joe, Dawn seems to populate every Twitter chat that’s worth a darn, which makes it all the more amazing that she can be a Duct Tape Marketing consultant and an excellent blogger on top of everything else.
Bruce Serven, aka @Bruce Serven. Blogs at: http://bruceserven.com/
I met Bruce awhile back at good ole #blogchat. He is always incredibly active in that chat, and he always participates the way I feel is most useful – communicating and conversing with others rather than trying to promote himself. Bruce is a steady and quiet supporter, an excellent writer, and fun to engage with on Twitter. A study of his profile will tell you what I have come to discover – Bruce seems to have a kind word for everybody. And maybe it’s his sombrero, but he just always seems to bring a smile to my face when I see him in the stream. Follow this fella, read what he has to say. He is a great person to have in your community!
These are just 12 people who are fantastic at engaging. They just know how to do it. I learn from them all every day in different ways. Won’t you try to do the same? It will be worth it, I promise. And yes, there are countless other people I could include. Maybe another of these posts will be coming down the pike. You’ll just have to wait and see
This is post #47 in the Engagement Series. Thank you for sticking with it or for joining in! I really appreciate it sincerely and truly.