One thing you probably have noticed if you’ve been coming here for awhile – you see a lot about community and paying it forward.

Earlier this week, I was honored to be named one of 125 Fearless Female Bloggers by Kristi Hines (@kikolani). It was a great moment for me, and I could have probably danced to the moon (I may or may not have given that a try). It made me realize that I have gotten to witness a lot of great moments for a lot of other great people.  I’ve gotten to watch so many people really jump out of a box and start a whole new game for themselves, and I feel very privileged to have been able to witness that. So, here are some people who deserve some credit for their great strides. I salute all of you!

Stanford Smith (@pushingsocial): I have really watched Stanford evolve, even just over the last two months, into a budding leader and major factor in the Social Media space. I think I first really noticed Stan when I saw his post called Why Smart Readers Prefer Dumb Bloggers, which was published back in July. From that point, I’ve seen Stan guest post on ProBlogger and CopyBlogger, and I’ve seen him really hone his leadership and teaching skills. From his Boogie Man post to his latest, Stan is someone to watch in the months and years to come.

Susan Fox (@gagasgarden): About 3 months ago now I guess, I saw tweets from a lady going by the name of gagasgarden. Her profile interested me – “I’m the real Gaga,” it said. I could tell that she was pretty new to Twitter, and I wanted to help her out, so I friended her and we started talking. At first, Gaga wasn’t sure she was really cut out for Twitter. “I have so many questions,” she would say. “This jut won’t come naturally to me ever.” Gaga is not only still hanging out on Twitter, but she is now over 600 followers. She is already paying her success forward, too. It’s been great to watch Gaga evolve and begin to feel comfortable and confident in the scary land of Twitter.

Chase Adams (@REALChaseAdams): I met chase a couple of months ago via #Tweetdiner. He was very excited about the #tweetdiner concept and was really very helpful in getting the word out about the still new chat Stan & I started. Suddenly, a couple of weeks later, #usguys started (you can see my write up about #usguys over here and you can see Chase’s own rendition of #usguys-the beginning too) and Chase has begun to develop his role as a Social Media leader. This fellow is a blend of a good heart, a fast brain, and an ambitious soul. Keep your eyes on him because more great moments are sure to come.

Dawn Westerberg (@DWesterberg): Dawn exudes passion. Her blog is outstanding. Not only does she do a weekly round-up of posts she liked every week, but she touches on so many topics that would be of interest for a business. From Professional Photography to branding, Dawn has you covered. She has really come into her voice and into herself as someone who will help you get where you want to go in Social Media. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Joseph Ruiz (SMSJoe): I met Joe via many of the chats I attend, and I have watched him really take a leadership role in many of them over the last couple of months. He offers more than just kind words. Joe has co-hosted chats and has made himself an invaluable member of all of the chats in which I participate. He offers knowledge that is useful while also remaining easy to understand, which is harder than it may seem given that he only has 140 characters to play with. It’s been great fun to watch other people recognize what I’ve seen in the fellow for quite awhile now.

Suzanne Vara (@suzannevara): One of the first truly great moments I had in Social Media is when I saw that my new friend Suzanne was the sole focus of a blog post on Chris Brogan’s blog. I kind of already had learned a lot of the things Chris pointed out about Suzanne, but it was so wonderful to know that lots of other people would get to meet her via that post. Suzanne has become a dear friend of mine, so I think about that day and that post quite often and am really glad I was able to witness that moment of triumph. Suzanne has really come into her with some fabulous posts too. This post, where Suzanne asks you to examine the purpose of your blog, is one of her best, in my opinion.

Tommy Walker (@tommyismyname): I met Tommy via a MarketingProfs chat. We met by initially disagreeing about something. By the end of the conversation I was excitedly congratulating Tommy on news that he would soon be a proud papa. I’ve been able to watch Tommy come into his own via his own blog, via Third Tribe, and via his post for ProBlogger. Tommy is molding a place for himself as a Facebook specialist, and he really has an impressive bank of knowledge which you can access via his e-book. Keep your eye on this guy. Great things are in store for him.

Maya Paveza (@mayaREguru): In a lot of ways, Maya has already made it. She is extremely well-respected in her field, and rightfully so. However, something really great happened that made me so happy. When the speakers were announce for the Future of Marketing webinar, I scanned down. It seemed like a who’s who of Social Media superstars. And there was my friend Maya, her smiling face like a beacon on this poster-like listing. Maya’s world is primarily real estate, so her inclusion in the program is a testament to how much she has grown in the realm of Social Media. This woman is a force to be reckoned with. Believe me.

Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to two people who really don’t need to be promoted by me, per se, but people are people, and they deserve to be complimented.

Scott Stratten (@unmarketing): I first encountered Scott on Twitter when he was lamenting the fact that someone was pretending to be his son, and that was very disturbing. The longer I hung around, the more I learned about Scott. I bought his book, heard about his talks, and began to notice that he was no longer just a cool guy on Twitter. And in fact, Scott isn’t just a leader in the world of Social Media either. Scott has really grown into a role of being a leading human being. If you want to see evidence of this heightened sense of being, check out his TED speech on stopping.

Amber Naslund (@ambercadabra): I’ve seen the same kind of leadership grow and evolve with Amber over the course of my time on Twitter. Amber is an author officially, now (she is co-author of The Now Revolution with Jay Baer), but as that success looms, Amber has begun to write posts that focus more on how to remain true to your values, more on what Social Media is all about. She has undertaken the role of inspiring others to achieve her levels of success, and it’s great to see. Check out this post called Giving Chances as an example.

There are tons and tons of people doing great things in Social Media, and beyond, every day. These are just 10 people who have crossed my horizon.

Who has inspired you lately? Do they know it? These folks inspire me in more ways than I can count. I hope you go and meet them if you don’t know them.