I found a bucket list of sorts that I made three years ago when I decided to launch my social media strategy consultancy. It consisted of several people I wanted to meet because I thought they would enrich my life both professionally and personally. They are also some cool people to meet on any level. I also had several things I wanted to do along with that. I actually made some very strategic plans and took action on them to accomplish the meetings that I did. I am happy to share both the bucket list and my social media heroes. Note: Updated 1/16/2012 (spelling and links added).
Thought Leadership Blogging and Social Media for Small Business
Chris Brogan – I started following Chris in 2007. I was reading his blogs because he was an East Coast, New England guy ( I also hail from there). He had an honest and realistic approach to social media and blogging. What he was saying and doing seemed doable to me.
I was lucky enough to meet him in person in Madison when American Family Insurance brought him in for a corporate event. Accelerate Madison and the Social Media Club of Madison heard him speak and then got some social time. When he spoke to the audience of 300 social savvy and social info hungry Madison professionals, I was impressed. He’s very down to earth and very smart beyond the social side. He knows about the technology trends in social software. I got some great video footage during the press conference and then after when we successfully convinced Oscar Mayer and the Wienermobile Crew to pick Chris up at his hotel and drive him to the airport for his flight. When was the last time you got to sing the “Oscar Mayer Wiener Song” with your social media hero?
Thought Leadership on Twitter and Social Media for Small Towns
Jeff Pulver – I had heard his name associated with Vonage before, but it didn’t at first click until I heard him speak. This entrepreneur was working with Twitter on projects that could really make a difference to small communities and rural towns through his 140# Conference.
As Jeff states on his website:
The #140conf events provide a platform for the worldwide twitter community to: listen, connect, share and engage with each other, while collectively exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet on business.
Our schedule will be unique and fast paced. It is our intention to provide a platform for as many people as possible to share their thoughts and engage in conversation with the attending delegates.
The take aways from this event will provide the attending delegates knowledge, perspectives and insights to the effects the real-time internet will have on both “we” the people, business and society.
I was lucky enough to meet him in Madison in July 2010 during a “driveby” tweetup event held at The Century House. Jeff was on his way to the #140 Conference in Detroit and was stopping at various urban and small town communities explaining what the conference was about and how it was making a difference. He invited us to come and I was oh so tempted. He does a great job in really explain the power of 140 characters.
Since then I applied and was accepted to speak at the #140Conference Small Town in Hutchinson KS, but due to a conflict was unable to go. Next year for sure I will apply.
Thought Leadership on Social Presence Management and Social Media Education for Business
Axel Schultze and Marita Roebkes – As the CEO and leader of the Social Media Academy, his approach to social business and strategy leadership in this area is a fresh approach. In the role of CEO of Xeeme.com he is leading the way in the social presence management and social capital arenas with a new way to look at what is important in the social space. He is also a successful serial entrepreneur, having launched 7 businesses. Including the most recent, Social Business Consulting Group, that I am a founding partner in as well. After taking classes that he taught and working with him on several projects, I wanted to meet him face to face.
I decided to fly out to Palo Alto in April 2011 to meet Axel and Marita Roebkes his “right-hand.“ Much to my pleasure, 10 other consultants took my visit as cue to also come so we had a big consulting meeting at the same time. Axel and Marita are both avid sailors and they took us out for a spin around San Francisco Bay. You could get used to California. Overall, just the chance to sit and talk with them directly after almost 2 years via phone and video was the best present.
Thought Leadership for Global Branding and Social Media for the Enterprise
Scott Monty – If you are interested in the corporate big company social media side of things, you would have to follow Scott Monty. He sets the bar high on bring a personal brand to a Global brand in a way that is human and strategic. What I really like is that he has a personality and the things he and his team are doing for an Automobile company. I had not paid much attention to Ford to purchase a car. Now I have to say, they have got my attention. He reminds us that “working for a global brand is an amazing honor.” I like his heterogeneous view on how social media needs to integrate with all aspects of a business and customer facing departments.
I finally met him at the Chicago Auto Show in May 2011 during the Ford Social Media Press Day. I am very excited that he is going to be here in Madison to speak to the Social Media Breakfast Madison organization that I co-manage. Yes, I plan on a one on one interview ( and get the question answer about what a “consigliere” is before he leaves).
Thought Leadership in PR and Social Media for Strategists
Christopher Barger – A PR and Social Media strategist that worked for IBM ( instrumental in their social media program) and the Automotive Industry , most recently the social media lead for General Motors. Chris is a much different personality than Scott and doesn’t wear bowties – in fact I would guess that he never has worn one unless it was with a tuxedo. His articles and blogs are the kind that challenge the reader to think about what kind of perception they are creating – for themselves and the company. He just came out with a new book called “The Social Media Strategist” which I am reading to gain insight on the challenge and surprises in taking a large company from zero to 60 in the social media ecosystem. he should be on the author circuit soon but FIR.com is doing an interview on Jan 27th. He seems like the kind of guy you could have a good conversations with over a beer. I need to meet him in person and hope that he will sign my book as well. Besides he roots for the Patriots and I like that.
Thought Leader in Social Community Engagement and Social Sharing
Chris Heurer and Kristie Wells – I have helped start two social media groups in Madison. Social Media Breakfast and Social Media Club of Madison. It’s no easy task. This is why I hold Chris and Kristie (of Social Media Club) with such high regard. They started as one group in 2006 (San Francisco Bay Area) and now the organization is an established 501 (c) 6 non profit with over 300 chapters on every continent. This is quite an accomplishment. Building the evangelism and momentum as well as infrastructure takes lots of vision, time and dedication.
I hope to get our Madison club fully established as a chapter and invite the two of them to come and anoint us and tell us how to keep it going!
The To do List
Oh yes, here it is, the things I hope to do:
- Speak at and attend a TED presentation
- Speak at and attend a TEDx presentation
- Speak at an International Conference on Social Media
- Speak at and Attend #140 Rural Small Town in Hutchinson Kansas (already have my presentation!)
- Keynote a significant Social Media related event.
Just gotta do it
- Bike for a week in a foreign country (Germany and France)
- Bike for a week in Wisconsin (because I love biking in WI)
- Ride across the US (not in a race)
- Hike the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin (in sections)
- Complete the 4,000 footers in NH (something I started with my Dad when I was a kid – 23 done 23 to go)
What is on your bucket list? Who do you want to meet in 2012 and how do you plan on doing it?
- SMB Madison makes NBC 15 News on Social Business (networkmindshare.blogspot.com)
- The Social Mind: A New Research Project (customerthink.com)