As part of their 35th anniversary, Poynter is crowdsourcing a list of the 35 most influential people in social media. They ask people to write Facebook notes or tweets recommending people for the list, with votes to come via re-tweets and likes.
This kind of voting system makes it very likely that we’ll see the 35 usual suspects on the list when it’s all said and done: Vadim Lavrusik, Robert Quigley, Andy Carvin, Craig Kanalley and my boss, Steve Buttry, I’m sure, will be shoo-ins. It’s with this in mind I want to recognize people many voters in this group probably won’t know, but who’ve influenced my approach to social media more than just about anyone else.
I put these two guys together because their influence is interconnected in so many ways. I got into social media as we know it in mid-to-late 2007. In January of 2008, I joined the budding Cincinnati chapter of the Social Media Breakfast, founded by Kevin Dugan & Dan Lally – it expanded my world.
It’s a rare occasion for a journalist to admit to learning from the world of marketing and PR, but at that time, that’s who dominated Twitter and Facebook – and these two were pros. Not only did they personally teach me so much about how to engage audiences with measurable (and immeasurable) results thanks to their experiences in brand marketing, but through Cincy SMB, they introduced me to many others who were experimenting with social media as well. I know for a fact I would have never grown past tweeting about my lunch if not for these two and the learning experiences I had through Cincinnati Social Media.
Paul’s Online Journalism Blog is probably linked more than any other from this site – and for good reason. He’s always talking about issues in new media that reflect not only his experiences as a journalist in the UK (which is fascinating in and of itself), but also what’s affecting new media across the world. OJB’s explanatory posts on social media projects, tool how-tos, new policies and those who seek to shut such things down have been a constant source of ideas and inspiration for me. Also, in 2009, Paul founded Help Me Investigate, a platform for crowdsourcing investigative journalism. Hard to top that.
#4: Jack Greiner
Jack’s not a journalist, a marketer or even a social media acolyte – he’s a media lawyer for Graydon Head & Ritchey in Cincinnati, OH. He’d frequently hold sessions for the Cincinnati Enquirer staff on potential legal issues in regards to social media. Unlike other presentations I’d seen on the subject, he didn’t seek to scare journos away from social media altogether (no matter how much they would have rather he did). He made us think about what we were doing as being no different than any other facet of journalism – and in doing so, he inspired me to pursue more research in the area. He gets a bonus vote for always being kind enough to take my incessant questions on points of case law.
Also, I have to give a shout out to Sarah Fidelibus, who named ME, of all people, as one of her picks for most influential people in social media. She said some nice things about ZJ, which is great to hear. I hope it’s been a helpful/interesting/funny read for the rest of you, too.