Thursday, January 01, 2009

Chris Brogan: Master Mavennector

It's little wonder that Paul Gillin cites Chris Brogan as the best new face in social media in his post on the Best of '08. Chris is not exactly a new face in social media - he's a social media pioneer who pulled way ahead of the pack last year. As Paul notes, he became "...one of the world's top bloggers last year thanks to his prodigious output." He's got a whopping 16,400 subscribers to his blog.

But it's not just volume that's put Chris on top - it's his thoughtful, useful, insightful posts. He's either a Connector or Maven in Tipping-Point-speak - perhaps a Master Mavennector - in the best possible sense. If you need to connect with someone with a specialized skillset in social media, Chris is the man to call. If you want fresh thinking about the social media landscape, Chris's blog is a must-read.

Take this January 1st post on setting annual goals (so action-oriented and millenial!) versus New Year's resolutions (so '90s). Chris says:

Basically, I come up with 3 or so keywords that tie to goals and work from that. In 2006, my three words were “Ask. Do. Share.” Everything I did, I tried to filter through the mindset of asking people for help, or asking if I could help them.

I've pondered this approach over the last few days and decided to give the approach a test drive this year. Ta da!

My Three Goals in Keywords for 2009

  • Focus -- I work hard, but I am easily distracted. I am the quintissential multitasker, a student of continuous partial attention. Why just watch TV when I could be reading email as well? Or better yet -- doing email, watching TV on closed caption and talking on the phone. Heaven!! The problem with this lifestyle is that I start many projects and finish some, but in my manic multitasking, projects often take longer than they should, or I commit the time management sin of picking the easy projects first. And so it be resolved - I shall truly focus on tasks this year, and actually try to get them done one at at time.
  • Community -- We can lead rather isolated lives these days - married to our PCs and B-berries, tapping away, making virtual connections but not real ones. But whether it's been through my professional work at CHEN, raising funds for Room to Read, attending political events or business networking events -- I'm reminded of how kindness and helpfulness and support come full circle. I want to continue to build my various connections and tribes this year, contributing good juju to the karma chain.
  • Kids -- Most of my work outside CHEN focuses on helping kids get a better deal in life. It's easy to sweat the small stuff in life. So while I'm improving my focus, I need to ask myself more often if I'm meeting my goal of spending at least some energy each week to meet goal #3.
And Chris - I'll report back next year on how I'm doing! Thanks for the inspiration.

As an aside, in case you somehow missed it, Chris was in the middle of a blogostorm at the end of last year, when he wrote about accepting $500 from Kmart to tackle one of their stores and then write about the experience. (He took his two little ones - a review squad of three for the price of one!) BusinessWeek recaps the ensuing ethical teethgnashing here.






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