One of the weirdest things happened about a month ago. I was on Twitter chatting with my good buddy Stanford Smith (@pushingsocial). Somehow, we got to talking about his hometown. As it happens, we grew up probably no more than 10 minutes apart. Even though Mr. Smith no longer resides in our forlorn Buckeye state, I still count him as ahometown hero. In addition to being native Akronites, we share a lot of the same views when it comes to Social Media (except, as you will see, when it comes to blogrolls). So, I asked the always gracious Mr. Pushing (as I like to call him) if I could interview him. Here are the results.
The Mad Man: At PushingSocial.com, you write a lot about authenticity. There seems to be a lot of buzz these days that authenticity in Social Media is at a premium. Do you agree? How do you define when someone is being inauthentic?
SS: I believe someone is being inauthentic when they are not speaking from a place of passion and experience. For me, blogging is about introducing yourself to the world. I think that many of the problems we grapple with spring from poor communication. Social Media excites me because we can finally create and respond TO EACH OTHER in ways that make a real difference.
The Mad Man: You’ve already made a lot of waves with people listing you as an important resource and a blog to keep an eye on. What are you hoping to accomplish in 2011?
SS: I’m really focusing on creating deeper experiences for my readers. I feel in my gut that reading a blog should be an ACTIVE experience where you get inspired, get equipped, and get whipped into action. So I’m working on an ebook that will be ready in the next month or so and actively helping people to get their passions and blogs noticed. I’m also taking a serious look at how we can revolutionize cause related social marketing. Cool stuff.
The Mad Man: As a fellow Akronite, it must pain you, like it pains me, that the major hubs for Social Media activity are Boston, Chicago, and then the whole West Coast. Do you think we can make the Midwest a respectable player?
SS: Absolutely, I’m proud of the growing SM community we have in Southeast Michigan. I would love for you to organize and get Akron/Cleveland pushing the boundaries…Although Social isn’t confined by geography you definitely can see its impact locally when people take what they learn and apply it to their businesses and organizations.
The Mad Man: What do you think is the biggest mistake people are making in their Social Media marketing right now?
SS: Following so-called Social Media Rules. I can’t stand hearing people parrot the latest “formula.” As you know, I feel strongly that your rules are set by your audience. I’m 110% dedicated to my readers. If they only need to hear from me once a month then I’ll put my heart and soul into it. If my audience hates Facebook – I won’t be there. Simple.
The Mad Man: Just for the record, tell me what think about blogrolls again… 🙂
SS: I swear…blogrolls represent everything that is wrong with the world.
You can learn a lot from Mr. Smith. I’d direct you to link to him from my blogroll, but out of respect, I don’t have his blog listed there 🙂
Thanks, Stanford, for the time!