Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Driving with Author/Speaker/Typist Chris Brogan

with Jessica Northey
In this weekly feature "eViews With the Who's Who" I highlight people who are paving the way in the Social Media world, branding themselves in a unique way that stands out, when so many are just regurgitating others work.  I like to feature Celebrities, Musicians, Broadcasting Professionals, Authors, and other Social Media enthusiasts asking them lifestyle, career, fun and all around thought provoking questions.  This is my first "Typist". What is a "Typist" you might wonder?
I'll let Chris Brogan explain:
"If you asked others, they’d say I’m some kind of social media guy. I’d rather say that I’m a business communications and emerging technology guy, but that’s unwieldy. I tell people that I’m a typist. Why? Because I type a lot. I blog. I tweet. I write proposals. I write strategy docs. I write books. That’s a lot of typing. "
I have to admit to being in total awe of Chris. It's  not hard to see what an impact he has made on the Social Web and Marketing community. I don't know a lot of people in the Social Media business who don't know who he is. I wondered about the Music and Broadcasting community. It wouldn't be far-fetched to assume that even if you don't know who he is, you are most likely being influenced by something he has written, tweeted or posted.  I will almost bet that if you are working with a "Social Media Expert/Guru," they read his blog, books, tweets and posts!  
I had the opportunity to eView Chris and divided in two parts. Part I, here on my blog, showing a playful, light-hearted, insightful, and human side of Chris. Part II, for the Music and Broadcast Industry (featured in my column "SocialMediology 101" on, a radio and music industry community website)  that is candid, advising, and a clear vision of  areas that could help bridge the marriage between New and Traditional Media for Broadcasters, Musicians and Entertainers alike.
Chris is an author, journalist, marketing consultant and frequent speaker about Social Media Marketing for Fortune 100 and 500 companies like PepsiCo, General Motors, Microsoft and many others., is ranked in the Top 5 of Advertising Age Power 150. His book,"Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust," co-written with Julien Smith became a New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal bestseller list and Amazon top 100.  His newer book Social Media 101 is more of a how-to full of tools. "The bookSocial Media 101 is a lot more of a how-to full of tools. If you're already sold on the concept, Social Media 101 is pretty decent. If you want to understand why the web is all the rage, we do that in Trust Agents," says Chris.

Favorite thing about your job?
Being able to help people grow their capabilities, and that moment when THEY feel it.

Where are you answering these questions from?

What are you wearing?
Black tee shirt and jeans. The shirt says (my favorite charity)

What inspired you to pursue a career in “business communications, and social software technologies”?
It's not exactly a career, but rather a quilt of experiences that led to something bigger. I fell into it from helping people. 

What are 3 items you CAN NOT live without? 
My phone (but not the voice part of it), my laptop, and Hendricks Gin.

Favorite item of clothing/jewelry/accessory?
I have a simple black leather jacket that feels like emotional armor to me.
Have you ever been in a fight?
I was in a few fights growing up. In one, I beat up a bully. In another, a kid I barely knew and I were pushed into fighting. I technically won (by sitting on his head).

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?Honestly? I think about how behind I am. (That sounds awful).

Is there anything that you regret?I try not to have regrets. I suppose if I let myself, there would be thousands of them, but I'm a man made from my errors more than from my success.

What are your fondest childhood memories?My fondest childhood memories involve water. I was born and raised around the ocean and lakes. My aunt had a camp we used to swim at all summer long, and we'd visit the ocean quite often, too.

What current event has your eyes and ears?I don't follow a lot of current events. My mission in life is help people grow. The only current event I care about is the unemployment rate, and that's only because I'm trying to help others do what they want.

What’s your favorite music genre?Everyone says they're eclectic. I'm fairly sure I might win. I listen to 90s hip hop, to hard rock (like Linkin Park and System of a Down) to some of the new stuff like Black Keys and Blind Joe Lewis and the Honeybears.
What is your favorite website?Besides yours? I love answering questions in (which I co-founded). If you mean nothing to do with me, I love

If you had a Super Power what would it be?Flying. It's not very useful, but it's always what I've dreamed of with regards to super powers.

Favorite movie?It's a tie between Fight Club and The Royal Tenenbaums. Fight Club is fun and cleverly written. So is Tenenbaums. It depends if I want to kick ass or chew bubblegum.

Favorite snack?
Hmmm. My favorite snack would be cashews, because they're healthy-ish and they cover my salt and fat needs.

How do you balance your work with other obligations?
That's probably one of the trickiest aspects of the job. I try to be there for my family, and to give my kids all that I can. But that requires me doing work, too, so they can have the future they deserve. I'm trying hard to put away enough money so that the kids will be cared for, no matter what. I guess putting the legacy together matters and because of that, I work harder than I probably have to, because I'm not working for next month. I'm working for whether or not I'm around (if I got sick, for instance).
Do you get nervous about anything?
I'm nervous about not having my legacy in place. I'm nervous that all that I'm doing will dry up. But it's good motivation.

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be, and what would say to them?
I'd want to spend time with Sir Richard Branson. His mindset about business is VERY close to mine (from what he's written), and I'd just love to talk with him about that. 

What is your hobby or do you collect anything?
Here's where the nerd alert goes off. I love comic books. I have since I was five. My grandfather, a candy salesman, used to take me around on his sales run and he'd buy me comics at one or two stops. I still pick up a few to stay in touch with that world. Sure it's silly, but it makes me think of the impossible, and that's helpful.

What chore to you hate?
I hate ironing. I'm really bad at it. When I'm on the road, I always have wrinkled clothes and I always try to shirk doing anything about it.

Do you have any animals?
I have two cats. I wasn't here when they came. One is named Mr. Purr and the other is named Miss. Mew. Mr. Purr is a jerk bag, and he's mad all the time because I'm never home, and for some reason, he decided that he's my cat. Miss Mew is quiet and nice and lovely.

Mac or PC?

Ginger or Mary Ann?
Ginger. Sheesh.

Craziest thing you have ever done?
That I can talk about? I regularly drive over 100mph in my 2010 Camaro SS.
You catch Part II dedicated to the Music and Radio community, in my column "SocialMediology 101" today on, the web’s largest radio and music industry community. CLICK HERE to be redirected to

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