From Kim Krause-Berg’s post asking where are the skilled, generous SEOs to Amber Naslund’s post on Finding Your Greener Grass, I’ve been left to think a lot lately about how I learn. Or, more appropriately, who it is I’m learning from and who the voices are that I seek out.
Essentially, who do I listen to on the Web?
Amber’s post hit me especially hard when she talked about how, as humans, we outgrow things. We outgrow blogs, services and people depending on our current needs and where we are in our own development. She wrote that for every five people who decide Chris Brogan has jumped the shark (dumbest saying ever, btw), ten more people discover him for the first time and hold on for dear life. Just as our audience changes and evolves over time, we change and evolve as an audience.
Today, I was hoping to hear who you’re listening to today. Who are the voices that inspire you, that make you think, and who are helping you to grow your business (or yourself) in a new direction? The further off the beaten path the better. I know I could do a better job finding new people, so I’m hoping you’ll help me.
To get things started, here are the voices currently teaching and helping me.
I have a feeling I was well behind the rest of the Internet finding Justin’s blog, but Justin is probably THE voice I’m most listening to right now. I’d swear most days he’s right there inside my head, saying what I wish I could say if I could only find the words. I read and value Justin for his ability to break down issues and beat people over the head with their own denial and insecurities. He’s also really great at creating Twitter-friendly sound bites, which, as you may know, I’m a pretty big fan of.
A taste of Justin: Are You Waiting Until You’re Popular Before You Start Being Relevant?
Okay, so you don’t need me to be telling you that if you’re interested in social media you should be checking out Tamar’s blog. However, my relationship with Tamar’s blog reminds me a lot about Amber’s comment regarding Chris Brogan. I used to read Tamar’s blog religiously…and then I stopped for awhile…and then I came back only to find it more useful to me than ever. For me, her blog is a good example (and reminder) that sometimes you need to go away from something before you can come back and appreciate its true value again. Now that I’m in a different place in my career and development, I’m back and loving it more than ever!
A taste of Tamar: An Open Letter To Facebook
Jonathan is the co-founder of Partnering Profits but he’s also part of the gang over at Copyblogger, and the author of some of my favorite posts from the site. He’s smart about this whole ‘writing’ thing and sometimes having his words in my head helps me release the filter I can often put on my own. He reminds me it’s okay to find ways to put myself into whatever it is I’m publishing. The post I linked to down below is one stellar example of that and should probably be read with some tissues. Just sayin.
A taste of Jonathan: On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for your Ideas
Simply put, Gwen reminds me to breathe. Her blog may be classified as being about social media, but it’s really about being human and life and about stopping long enough to see what’s in front of you. And then maybe learning to do that on the Web. I don’t know how she gets all that in while talking about proper social media etiquette and living in motion, but she does. In a blogosphere that feels more and more cramped and like people are living in the same room, Gwen takes everyone outside to sit on her lawn and chat. There’s just a whole lot more air out there.
A taste of Gwen: How Good is Your (Digital) Tale?
Matt’s blog has nothing to do with social media or marketing. It’s about love and loss and finding the courage to live a different life than perhaps you always planned. If you don’t know the backstory behind Matt, Madeline and Liz, educate yourself when you have twenty minutes of uninterrupted time. Because it’s heartbreaking and breathtaking and everything else you sometimes need to shake you out of being ordinary. Matt reminds me that everything we do and say matters and how important it is not to hold back.
A taste of Matt: two years ago today.
Those are just five of the voices on the Web that I’m inspired by and learn from (seven if you include Kim and Amber). But I want to know who inspires you, both to get an idea of what’s important to you today and also to help me add to the list of voices that I read on a daily basis. I know you have some good stuff so I’m hoping you’ll share.
Who are you currently listening to and who are your teachers?
[Somewhat related: Ross Hudgens recently wrote about 8 important voices in tech, that you may find valuable. He mentions me, but don’t hold that against him. There are seven other people on his list who actually deserve to be there.]