I read a lot of blogs. I mean, a lot of blogs. So the other day when David Grober, ZDNet's fearless leader, told us bloggers that we have the option to include a blog roll on our site, my little head started to spin. Who do I choose?
I find a blog roll to be a big responsibility. On my personal blog I have a mish mash of friends and other fun reading. However on this blog, a place to which I hope people turn for good social business information, I want to make sure I am recommending folks that I know will provide value to my readers, too.
I, of course, read the names: Chris Brogan, Maggie Fox, Jeremiah Owyang, Laura Fitton, and other very well-known social news sites and bloggers. But what about the undiscovered gems who are helping me daily with my social business education? I say social business because it's not just a focus on social networks and media that aids my studies. It's a better understanding of public relations trends, business decisions, economic analysis and customer engagement programs as a whole.
That said, here is my list of 10 must-know social business bloggers:
Kyle Flaherty Simply stated, if it wasn't for Kyle I would not know half of what I know today. After attending a Webinar he hosted in 2007 when he was at Horn Group, I started reading his writing religiously. He has an exceptional business mind and an ability to make communications interesting in a way that others (like me) are challenged to do.
Dave Fleet Dave challenges me to be a better blogger. If you're not sure what I mean, go read what he writes. Amazing case studies, amazing summaries of trends and insightful analysis on the state of many different types of business.
The Social Times Everyone knows about TechCrunch and Mashable and I at the very least scan both. But what about The Social Times? Nick O'Neill's analysis of Web 2.0 for both consumer and enterprise uses is deep, compelling and eye-opening.
The Drama 2.0 Show I love this blog. I see Drama 2.0 as a bit of a watchdog for our industry. The author(s) have a great knack for diluting the Kool-Aid and calling out the truth in Internet culture and Web 2.0 -- with a hint of snark that I find charming. Sometimes that snark is harsh, but most of the time it gives me something new to think about. Unfortunatey I've had to update this post to reflect changes in Drama 2.0 Show's model. It now appears to be some celebrity porn type site? Not sure when or why it went from snarky Web 2.0 commentary to smut, but I can no longer in good faith recommend it to my readers. So sad.
Aaron Strout My only complaint about Aaron is that he doesn't blog often enough. When he does write, it's very interesting commentary on trends and issues, and he has a way of pushing social media solutions without overselling them; a skill a lot of other social media pushers should learn. Update: As of next week, go here to read Aaron's blogs.
Shannon Whitley Much like Chris Brogan, Shannon is a technologist before anything else, which gives him an ability to call out technical realities behind proposed solutions. When people were boycotting Twitter and many marketing folks were making erroneous technical suggestions for fixing the site, Shannon was the one who came up with a real-world idea for a solution. He's a problem-solver worth reading.
Maeve Naughton Maeve is a customer programs guru. Her blog is new but yer subscriber base is low, but don't let that fool you -- plus, she had emergency back surgery a couple weeks ago, so she's revving back up. I've seen Maeve in action at our day job and her ability to execute customer programs from engagement to references to sales support -- using a healthy mix of tried-and-true as well as Web 2.0 solutions -- is remarkable.
Stuart Robertson Here's another one who needs to write more. Forget about the rhetoric surrounding social media -- what about the visuals of the Web? What about telling those stories through creativity? Stuart has the market cornered.
Al Krueger I found Al Krueger when I was doing research for an older post on copy-paste blogging. He was very knowledgeable and well-spoken on the topic of blogger ethics so I continued to read. This led to us working together on a couple of his Comet Branding Radio Shows and continuing the conversation. A stand-up guy and smart business owner, too.
John Cass John is a one-stop superstar shop for public relations and community management expertise. He currently works at Forrester as a community manager so he has real-world experience working with Fortune 500 companies in the social media world. His case studies are also great for education, too.
Who else should be on my blog roll?