If anybody remembers the IMNY Charity Party last year, it was a great place to network.
It was also my very first networking event in the industry and it is also where I met a very friendly Brian Wallace, President of NowSourcing. He is the writer of the NowSourcing blog, which is the place to be if you are interested in learning more about Digg, Mixx, Twitter, etc.
Brian also founded a new blog that is making a lot of noise: Collective-Thoughts, the collective Social Media blog who’s contributors are impressive to say the least. Brian rounded up some of my most favorite SMM people on the net; Andy Beard, Glen Allsopp, Mark Laymon, Marty Weintraub, Rose Sylvia, Shana Albert (who I nominate to make a guest appearance on the SEO-Chicks blog), Tadeusz Szewczyk (onReact), Tim Nash, and then there is Brian’s cat who is quite popular on Twitter.
Brian is really on top of his Social Media game! I often catch him online at 2:00 AM, Sphinning, Digging, and other things that can easily turn into verbs. So I asked him to share some of his expertise with me!
1. You are very active in the blogosphere. How long have you been blogging? And when did you learn that blogging became crucial to your social media status?
I�ve been blogging off and on since 2001. Blogging is an inherent factor in social media success since social media needs content to thrive. Think about it: if you post once a week, that�s 52 pieces of content. It looked to me the blogging and social media would be a huge driver about a year ago.
2. Often we see many posts about falling victim to Social Media time consumption. How often do you spend on Social Media per day?
More than I�d like to admit some days. However, I try to lead a balanced schedule, and fit social media in when time will allow. Social media can really lead to burnout, so everyone should be careful of this.
3. Why is everyone so crazy about twitter? Can it be used as a Marketing tool, or is it just social noise?
People are crazy about Twitter since it has been gaining adoption with a larger audience. A tool is only as good as its adoption. So if you look at the rise in the number of users, average time spent per user, and the number of mashup applications being developed, things start to make sense.
Regarding the noise factor: if you find specific individuals to be too noisy for your tastes, you can simply just stop following them. Some users create a company Twitter account while others keep their more personal Tweets (gosh, personal Tweets should be an oxymoron) over on their own name. Businesses can and should leverage Twitter, but as always, try to understand the community before you potentially damage your brand.
4. Digg has been retiring top diggers left and right with no remorse. Some people say Digg is cleaning itself up to get ready to be sold…What do you predict for the future of Digg? And how will it reflect on its top Diggers?
My prediction is for Digg to be sold within the year, and some of the top Diggers will bail from Digg and go out to other social sites. Mixx in particular has become a Banned Digger magnet. This isn�t to say that all influential Diggers will leave, but it will likely change the landscape.
5. You launched the Social Media Ninjas Contest not too long ago… Is it really all just a popularity contest?
Much of social media is a popularity contest. Seriously though, we are about to announce the final winners, so stay tuned!
6. Everyone tries to have the most recognizable avatar. It seems like it’s all been done before. If you had to create a new avatar for yourself today, how would it look?
I�m pretty fond of the big green N, and it is recognizable. Sometimes people put too much thought into their avatar and make it too detailed and complex. Nearly all sites keep your avatar at 120×120 or less, so think about sizing issues.
If I had to make a new avatar today, I�d be sure to make something creative, colorful, and memorable � and pass it out to a few friends for feedback.
7. Feed readers are as important as breakfast nowadays, skip it in the morning and your whole day is thrown off. It is sometimes hard to find good Social Media Bloggers who share really great tips, without reading the same thing over and over and wasting time. Can you recommend a few Social Media bloggers who have changed the way you do things?
Not particularly fond of RSS, as I prefer to really get the feel for the post and the community by visiting the site directly. That being said, it is difficult through all the noise and regurgitation to see which social media bloggers are truly worth watching. Folks that truly have a unique voice that have had my attention recently are: Lyndon, Copyblogger.com, CopyBrighter, Glen (viperchill.com), Tim, and Shana (socialdesire.com). They all talk about different things that hold my interest.
However, Kathy Sierra�s blog headrush.typepad.com is probably the best of anything like this, but unfortunately she may never be posting again.
8. What is your quick advice for anyone looking to improve their social media campaigns ?
Quick advice: Don�t be stupid. Many people dive head first thinking that if they just submit their own stuff, people will automatically love it. Guess again. Understand your community before submitting a thing. Observe, take notes, ask around.
I want to thank Brian for allowing me to interview him and learn from him. You can add him on all social networks as “nowsourcing”, and I advise that you do! Follow Brian’s advice and maybe you too could be a Social Media Superstar!