Lately, there has been an outpouring of “best of in Social Media” lists. Maybe it’s that time of year? I don’t know. As each list comes out, I scan the names, hoping to learn about new and fabulous people. But more than that, I look for the fabulous people I see working hard every day. I look to see if other people are noticing how hard they are working. Sadly, many times they are not on these lists.
It’s tough to say that these lists are wrong. I’ve seen Jay Baer on several lists lately and you’d be hard pressed to find me a person I admire more. Danny Brown has been on several lists lately and I think he’s a fabulous guy who works hard and tries to get it right while also being a truth-teller. There’s absolutely no question that the stuff Michael Stelzner is doing is amazing.
But…I’m still left with a feeling that more people are out there who could really benefit from lists like these. People who maybe don’t have as many followers or as many subscribers but who are just as wonderful, and for whom a spotlight would mean so darned much.
I raised this issue over on Google Plus last night and Drew McClellan said, “OK, fair enough. Who would you add to these lists?” I’m so glad you asked, Drew.
There are probably hundreds of people I could list, but I’ll give you my top eleven (because I can’t count) for right now at this minute. Get to know these people. Take a day to get to know each of them. Then get to know the people they know and see how your community expands and deepens.
I encourage you to make your own list – ten people (or 11, or 20, or 50) who never make “those” lists but who really should. Influence, I strongly believe, is something we decide for ourselves. While there are people who have the scope to influence many, that doesn’t mean they have what really counts.
1. Mark Schaefer: Mark has become sort of my Jimney Cricket over the last year. His blog raises issues that are both within and outside of the world of social media. His business acumen combines with a down-to-earth, easy-to-talk-to, genuine human being.
2. Gini Dietrich: A lot of people have heard of Gini, but does she get the credit she deserves? It seems like Gini’s name only appears on lists when there is trouble to dish out, and it makes me mad, because not only is she brilliant and brave, she is also genuine, kind, and funny as all get-out.
3. Fred McClimans: Fred is one of the most brilliant people I have met in my life. His brain turns my brain into pretzel 9 times out of ten. Despite that brilliance, Fred is also entirely approachable, extremely kind, very funny, and is out there sharing his wisdom in seemingly every chat there is.
4. Cate Colgan: It drives me nuts that Cate doesn’t get more credit for all that she does online and offline. Cate has a well of support for those around her that doesn’t seem to have a bottom. She is always full of ideas, always warm, always understanding, and can always create a smile from seemingly nowhere.
5. Tristan Bishop: Tristan is one of the few people in the online world who can throw out motivational wisdom and have it not be anywhere near annoying because you know he lives it and truly believes it. The more you get to know Tristan, the more you realize how very multi-faceted he is. Another brilliant fellow who doesn’t let his brain get in the way, Tristan seems to be everywhere online and he is always making people feel better about themselves.
6. Sherree Worrell: If Mark has become my Jimney Cricket, Sherree has become his partner in crime. When I need advice or a sounding board, Sherree has become one of my first choices to turn to. She is warm, sharp as a tack, and she shows pictures of REALLY cute kitties if you ask her nicely
7. Jure Klepic: I only got to know Jure recently, but what an impact he has had on my online life. I would love to see lists that pay tribute to people who just jump in and bring a bright ray of light with them. Jure certainly fits into that category. A kinder, more outgoing person you’d be hard-pressed to find.
8. Molly Cantrell-Kraig: How does Molly not make these social media lists? She is one of the most inspirational women you can find and uses social media the way it is supposed to be used. I am very happy that I know so many people who know and adore Molly so that I have had a chance to get to know her better. Now I’m doing that favor for you.
9. Sam Fiorella: Whenever something cool is going down, Sam is sure to be there. That’s not accidental. Whether it’s UnGeeked, a great chat, or 12most, I’ve run into Sam everywhere. He’s a smart guy, he has a wicked sense of humor that often puts my own to shame, and he does social media the right way – in that he gives a lot and asks for little. He deserves far more credit than he gets.
10. Peg Fitzpatrick: Peg is another woman who seems to know everyone and who seems to be involved in everything. I remember when she first came onto the Twitter scene – she immediately struck me as someone who “gets” how be a star online. She is just full of energy, seldom has a bad word to say about anyone or anything, and can be friends with anyone she meets. Now it’s your turn.
11. Stanford Smith: Does anyone notice everything that Stan is doing for people? He can teach you how to blog, slap you upside the head for being lazy, and charm you by pointing out everything you’re doing right all in one post. Stan works harder than most people I know and is someone I always strive to keep up with.
What do you think abou the lists that have been floating around? I’d love to talk with you about it!
Image by Stephanie Berghaeuser. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/kirsche222