18 Essential Blog Posts From December ’08

Just a reminder: These are blogs that I enjoyed reading, for whatever reason. Perhaps they were valuable for me, merely entertaining, thought provoking, were about something I’m interested in (i.e. social media) or potentially something I thought my tribe would enjoy. As always, I would love feedback. Did you catch these posts during December? Did any of these resonate with you? What are some of your most recent favorite reads? Even better, what’s your favorite thing YOU wrote during December? Share it with me in the comments section.

The Paradise of Please – David Armano (Logic + Emotion)
Doing what David does best, he provides a simple visual that says it all. He says, “Try to please everybody, and you’ll please nobody.” He also discusses trying to please yourself versus pleasing your customers. I know I’m guilty of trying too hard to please everyone (and it’s something I’m working to change soon), what about you?

Bullet Points – Tom Peters
When a new client asked for 5 bullet points to sum up Tom’s upcoming presentation, Tom went above and beyond and offered 27 practical ideas that will transform every organization. Two of my favorites? “Great Execution beats great strategy—99% of the time,” and “No mistakes, no progress!”

‘Hustling’ To Get What You Want – Skellie (Skelliewag.org)
Playing off of Gary Vaynerchuk’s insistence that to succeed you have to hustle, Skellie points out that, “Success with blogging, social media and online entrepreneurship is all about ‘hustle’, in other words, hard work, persistence and most importantly, sacrifice.” Decide for yourself. Could you sacrifice an extra hour of television every day for 50 unique hits a month?

40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content – Chris Brogan
Chris knows these posts are going to be a huge success before he sits down to write them, and they certainly are. With 40 points you can start applying immediately, Chris takes you through the basics, the bigger picture, taking it to the next level, and the encore.

Gen Y in the Workplace ExplainedTeresa Wu (Guest post on chrisbrogan.com)
I’m actually growing tired of reading a lot of the same old content about Gen Y, but I thought this post by Teresa really hit the nail on the head in illustrating why Gen Y plays the game differently in the workplace. I can honestly say that I agree with all 6 of her points.

Exclusive Interview with International Celebrity Businessman Don Tapscott – Dan Schawbel (Personal Branding Blog)
Don, the author of Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital offers a lot of insight into ways that both young people and technology are transforming the world. I especially liked his 3 guidelines for educators to tap the Net Gen potential. I definitely wish more marketing departments around the country would take note of those guidelines.

21 of the Best WordPress Plug-ins for New Blogs – Andy Beal (Marketing Pilgrim)
Pretty straight-forward. Instead of keeping all the plug-ins he uses on Marketing Pilgrim, and the advantage it likely provides over new and intermediate blogs, Andy decides to share what he uses as an early Christmas present. I’ve been meaning to go back and add some of these that would be beneficial and applicable to RSM.

Create Winning Social Media Strategy for Your Brand – Dan Schwabel (Personal Branding Blog)
Dale Evans discusses the importance of social media, how to answer the dreaded “ROI” question, which social networks you should join and avoid, and how to be a great community member. This is a great post to read if you’re trying to formulate talking points for approaching your boss or a client about starting a social media campaign.

Social Media’s Ferrari has Flat Tires – David Armano (Logic + Emotion)
Since David says it so perfectly I’ll just share, “If you’re scratching your head wondering why your socal media initiatives aren’t the bright and shiney object you were sold—it’s time to realize that there is a truth here that goes beyond social media all together. The fact is that it’s hard work to produce something of value. It’s really tough to do something that gets people talking (in a good way), and no amount of strategy can produce trust. Trust comes with time, interactions and has to be proven.” And what I love is that he’s emphasizing the importance of passion and his spewing out all over the page. Brilliant.

Passion vs. Productive – David Armano (Logic + Emotion)
In this post David inspects the differences in passionate employees and productive employees and whether or not organizations are prepared to manage passionate employees (even though they say they want to.)  Most organizations need both types. What if you can align passionate employees with their job description?

Tell us Your Most Outrageously Creative Money-Saving or Business Growth Tip – Anita Campbell (Small Business Trends)
This is a fun post that is definitely relevant to our current economic conditions. This is a time when businesses (and people) have to start getting more creative. Anita Campbell asks a panel of prominent business people, authors and business bloggers a simple question to gather ideas for how to be creative in your business. What follows are some really innovative and tangible business efforts from great minds like John Jantsch, Jonathan Fields, and Dan Schawbel.

If You Could Meet One Person – Seth Godin
In this post Seth talks about who could help you build your business. Many people reach out to people that don’t have the time to the initiative to help them. Here’s what Seth says, “In fact, the person who can help you the most is almost always someone who doesn’t appear that powerful on the surface. Remember, it’s not just that they can help you. It’s that they want to help you. Famous people qualify in neither category.”

Fear Kills Businesses, Dead – Brian Solis (TechCrunch)
I think the reason I like this post so much is that it discusses something relevant to our current economic times without being grim and bleak. He first discusses ‘opportunity vs. emotion’ and ‘development vs. revenue generation.’ This provides the perfect segue into 12 targeted and affordable suggestions for building your business in a recession. He also explains why it is important to grow intelligently during this time, and borrows some material from one of my favorite speeches.

Principles for a New Media Literacy – Dan Gillmor (Center for Citizen Media)
This is a reprint of an essay of the same title, recently published as part of the Media Re:public project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. This is a very long post but if you’re deeply embedded in this space it’s well worth it to read every word. Some of the meat of the post includes ‘Principles of Media Consumption,’ and ‘Principles of Media Creation.” The author explains with why this all matters and leaves you with this question (and it’s an important one): “Are we ready to take the risk of being activist media users, for the right reasons? A lot rides on the answer.”

Data: What are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing? – Adam Ostrow (Mashable)
This post provides a quick snap shot into why your organization or clients should be using social media marketing. It’s a piece you could take to show a boss. Some of the key points are that customer engagement takes the top spot, with 85.4% of respondents citing it as a benefit of using social media marketing, and that most executives still don’t see the medium as having a direct impact on sales.

Top 10 Reputation Tracking Tools Worth Paying For – Dan Schawbel (Mashable)
Precisely what the title of the post says, Dan suggests that it is critical to keep tabs on your brand and then includes what he feels are the top tools do to that. He discusses many of the same brands that have been turning up lately including Radian6 and Andy Beal’s Trackur, but also takes a look at a few I wasn’t familiar with like Sentiment Metrics.

The Canvas Strategy – Ryan Holiday
This is a great and very intelligent post from Ryan. The jist of it, at least for me, was “The canvas strategy involves actively finding outlets for other people – in fact, actually making them better rather than simply looking so.” He also provides three keys to utilizing this strategy and explores why most people’s egos prevent them from appreciating it.

Forget Careers. Blogging Changes Lives – Nisha Chittal
Nisha won the Brazen, “Why I blog,” contest with this eloquently written piece explaining her transition from a lurker to a blogger. I loved this, “The difference between me pre-blog and me post-blog is simple: I went from an invisible, hiding lurker to a real person, and an outlier. Seems simple, but that transformation is empowering in a way you’d never expect.” Take a few minutes and read this 1.) because it is a great story and 2.) because it is beautifully written.


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  • Hi Ryan,

    What an awesome list of posts! Appreciate your linking to Dan’s Mashable piece talking about reputation tracking tools like Radian6. But you also gave me a few fantastic posts to read that I might have missed. Appreciate it!

    Amber Naslund
    Director of Community | Radian6


    admin Reply:

    @Amber – Glad that I was able to include some additional content that you may have missed in addition to the Mashable article that mentions of Radian6 (of which means you have 3-4 people from the company reaching out to you — not that it’s a bad thing.)


  • Hi Ryan- great list! I’ll be sure to check these out since I haven’t heard of some of these bloggers before. And thanks for including my post as well – I’m glad you liked it 🙂



    admin Reply:

    @Nisha – Congrats on making the list. Your post is one of my favorite I’ve read in quite some time. Glad you found the list useful (and you should’ve heard of most of these bloggers by now with the exception of a couple.)


  • Ryan, you’re creating awesome lists!! This is really great. I love recommendations like these. I also love Nisha’s post and as usual, Dan Schawbel’s stuff was great.
    I had not come across some of this other stuff, thanks for linking to it.


    admin Reply:

    @Jaclyn – I love creating my own content, and hopefully there’s some fresh stuff coming soon. In the meantime I think it’s important to filter all the signal, and provide my readers with good solid value from other influential bloggers. Thanks for acknowledging the efforts that go into these lists!


  • Hey Ryan,

    I love your site because you always compile great lists – which is super nice when you are bombarded everyday with so much on the internet, it is nice to be able to look through a list and see if anything is of interest, and then read it.

    So Thanks!


    admin Reply:

    @Brian – I just told myself after seeing one of your comments on Jun’s blog that I really needed to reciprocate and catch up on your blog. Admittedly I’m behind (so busy), but I want to assure you that I intend on reading some more of your content and contributing soon!

    And glad you appreciate the lists!


  • No worries Ryan!

    I’m glad you’re busy, so I am! But there are plenty of people who aren’t busy enough right now because they’ve been laid off.

    I really liked the post on passion vs productivity and why we need both. I’m all for balance…I actually had a recent post on consistency vs quality and why we need both.