Thanks to Jason Falls for the inspiration (okay, it's a straight rip-off) for this post. Jason pointed out five lesser-known bloggers that he reads regularly (including Convince & Convert). His post seems to have triggered an a-ha moment, as several other excellent social media bloggers including Mack Collier and Amber Naslund have posted similar lists of people to read.
This is truly the genius of the World Wide Web. A hyper-linked community that enables users to find interesting and useful content based on the recommendations of real people, enabled (but not driven by) technology.
Here's my Fab Five bloggers. People I read that may be less well-known by Convince & Convert readers. Also, because I work in email marketing and digital marketing in addition to social media, my list is not purely social media focused, as are those cited above.
Tamara's blog BeRelevant is dedicated to B2B email marketing best practices. Tamara doesn't post a ton of her own content, but her ability to cull down the huge output of blog content about the email industry, and include only what's legitimate and groundbreaking on her own site is a godsend.
Tamara is also the founder of the Email Marketers Club, a social network for professional emailers with more than 1,700 members. By day, Tamara is the Director of Email and Digital Dialogue for OgilvyOne. She lives in Belgium, and can be found on Twitter @tamaragielen
One of the few folks out there who have been in digital marketing as long as me, Eisenberg is a conference staple (especially search conferences). His insights into customer experience, usability, information architecture, and conversion rate optimization are simply unparalleled. If you need to get more results from your Web site, he's a guy to follow.
His blog Grokdotcom is more of a company-wide production now, but still brimming with insights. Watch for his regular series of books too. His new one, "Call to Action" is outstanding, and "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark" is required reading for all Web designers, project managers, and information architects I hire.
He's on Twitter @theGrok
A great blogger with no shortage of opinions about social media, search, and cross-linking. Not afraid to rock the boat, Dan Zarrella brings serious science to the discussion of social media and viral marketing. He believes that "going viral" is no accident, and I believe he's the number one guy to watch in terms of the emerging confluence between blogging, other forms of social media, and SEO.
He's got some very useful tools for maximizing the search and viral friendliness of your blog. Check them out in his Tools section.
Dan is on Twitter @danzarrella
I do a lot of work for ad agencies and PR firms, and Michael Gass' blog Fuel Lines is redefining how agencies think about business development. A great example of a blogger picking a distinct topic and absolutely owning it, Michael eats his own dog food (and the food of other dogs as well). You see, his consulting business is based on helping agencies use smart blogging, SEO, and social media to generate inbound leads - rather than shooting in the dark making cold calls.
In addition to regular, insightful posts about the future of ad agencies, Michael has added a ton of value to his blog with a sweeping survey of the agency biz dev landscape, and a "best agency blog" competition.
Michael has been a huge help and a great friend to Convince & Convert. If you're at an agency (and even if you're not), read his stuff. He's on Twitter @michaelgass
Yeah, he put me in his five. But, I would have had him in here regardless. With the tsunami of blog posts, opinions, pass-alongs, retweets, and me-toos out there, Jason Falls maintains an exceptionally high quality level. If he says something on his blog - Social Media Explorer, it's worth reading. If he sends a tweet, the link is worth clicking.
Unlike many (most?) social media consultants, Jason is actually a practitioner of the art. His work for Jim Beam via his agency Doe Anderson is one of the legendary examples of social media press releases and integrated microsites. His blog isn't about what social media will become, it's about what social media is now, and how to do it right.
Jason is a straight shooter that's not caught up in his own emerging Web fame, and among the top tier of social media and PR 2.0 "names" I find him to be the most dedicated to sharing and extremely giving with his time. He was an early champion of Convince & Convert, and I'll never forget that. (Chris Brogan is another one that's amazingly cool to lesser known folks, despite his insane schedule and content generation volume).
Jason is a must-follow on Twitter @jasonfalls
Who Are Your Fab Five? Leave Them in the Comments, Or Write Your Own Post
Convince and Convert Digital Marketing Blog. Advice, ideas, commentary and context about digital marketing, specifically for advertising agencies and PR firms. Written by 15-year Internet marketing strategist Jason Baer, the blog covers social media, SEO, PPC, email marketing, PR 2.0, mobile marketing, Internet advertising, Web strategy and Web site usability.