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Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Brain Crushes

By: Gini Dietrich | September 2, 2011 | 
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Today’s #FollowFriday is a little bit different. Elissa Freeman and I thought it’d be fun to list our five brain crushes…giving you 10 people to follow.

And, seeing as it’s the holiday weekend and I’m not going to write Gin and Topics today, I thought it was only fair to give you just a little bit more.

This started when I admitted I have a serious brain crush on Jeff Jarvis, the author of “What Would Google Do?” and The Buzz Machine.

So this is the result…10 people whose brains we love.

First…Elissa’s choices.

  1. Justin Goldsborough. When I found out Justin was only 32, I was kind of blown away – his insights in PR and social media are often sage-like. When he interviewed me for his vlog 52 Comms Mix-Up it was like a great first date – I could have talked and talked and talked. And? He loves food, travel, and his Kansas City Royals (well, he’s not perfect!).  The co-founder of the super-successful #p20chat, Justin’s the kind of PR agency guy you’d want to have leading your account. So, you could talk to him everyday and, of course,  swoon!
  2. Mitch Joel. There was quite a bit of buzz about my fellow Canadian in one of Gini’s posts – mainly how being bald makes him so smart.  And then someone chimed into to say how much they liked his podcast voice.  I think both are true. I heard Mitch speak as I was first exploring social media – and followed him immediately on Twitter. He didn’t follow me back until about a year later. Talk about stringing a girl along! Nevertheless, Mitch posts often and posts smart.  And you feel that much more ‘in the know’ after having read his words.
  3. Adam Vincenzini. Well, I lost my guest blogging cherry to Adam so naturally, he holds a special place in my heart. You need to know about the latest analytical tool or infographic? Adam knows. The European editor for PR Daily News, Adam also co-founded #CommsChat – modeled after popular North American chats about the issues PR pros, journalists, and bloggers should be thinking about. An Aussie with a sprinkling of Italian (and yes, we’ve Skyped before so I’ve heard that accent!) Adam is hard to resist!
  4. Jeff Esposito. I crush hard on Jeff’s shoot-from-the-hip style; he likes to stir it up. Anytime you encounter him in a Twitter chat, he’s the guy who digs deep on every question. A frequent tweeter, Jeff understands how to connect and influence via social media.  His sports knowledge is equally impressive and he can go toe-to-toe with the best.  Plus? He’s a dad – and he’s cute.
  5. Dan Perez. He loves life, his wife, and his work. And? He’s hot – as in muy caliente/latino/South Florida filmmaker hot. Smart guy, smarter blogger, and can’t cook worth a damn.  An #usguys guy. He loves my food (the pix anyways) and Amy Howell’s, enough that we get all hot and steamy about it…usually on Sunday nights. His blog is deep and thought-provoking.

And now, my turn…this is hard because I would have chosen the same as Elissa. And we already know I have a brain crush on Jeff Jarvis so I won’t add him below. So here goes. Different ones.

  1. Sheryl Sandberg. Even though she’s not of the social media world, in the sense that we all know one another on Twitter and Facebook. But she is the COO of Facebook and is one of the smartest women in the world. I was first introduced to her when she gave the commencement speech at Barnard. You can’t follow her on Twitter, but I do recommend you pay attention anytime she’s in the news. She’s smart, she’s inspiring, and she wants you (as a woman) to change the world.
  2. Jay Rosen. Jay is a professor at NYU, where he directs the Studio 20 program. He is a traditional journalism guy who has made the shift in a serious way. He critiques his former peers and makes recommendations on how an industry can progress instead of die. His blog, Press Think, isn’t updated often, but when it is, you always come away learning something.
  3. Jay Baer. While we’re on the name Jay, let’s talk about Jay Baer. I was complaining to him a few months ago about the website development process and he joked that all a web development firm has to do is answer the phone and deliver on time and they win. A-freaking-men. Jay is one of the first people I read in the blogosphere at Convince and Convert. I learn something new from him at least weekly. In fact, I keep some of his blog posts open for days as I implement some of what he’s taught. If you have any desire to up your game, he’s a must-read.
  4. Clay Shirky. Clay drives me nuts. He comes across as extremely arrogant and chauvinistic online. And, more often than not, he pisses me off. But he makes me think. A lot. I mean, to the point that I’m still stewing a couple of days later. And, even though I rarely agree with him, I appreciate that about him because he opens my mind and he makes me think. I think that’s the biggest issue with social media – when we disagree, we’re seen as combative. But I appreciate the debate; it makes me smarter. And Clay is bald. So perhaps Elissa is right about her bald theory.
  5. Danny Brown. I’ve had a brain crush (and maybe even a little real crush) on Danny for years. His brain works completely differently than mine so I always try to absorb as much as I can from him. I read his blog, I speak on panels with him, I join him for podcasts, and I look for reasons to work with him. He’s over-the-top creative and he makes me a better professional.

So there you have it. Ten people who are smart, funny, and combative. Who are your brain crushes?

P.S. There will not be a Gin and Topics today. I’m going to spend my afternoon getting ready for my nieces and nephew to visit, riding my bike, and writing some more of MY BOOK with Geoff Livingston (who is another brain crush, but you’re going to hear lots about him in the next year).

Have a happy holiday weekend!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

224 comments
ExpatDoctorMom
ExpatDoctorMom

Gini

I love this concept of brain crushes! Only know of 2 of the list of 10 so very helpful indeed. Yes that Danny Brown is pretty "charismatic". Funny how you can almost see this online!

Cheers,Rajka

Erika Napoletano
Erika Napoletano

I find it interesting that no one has mentioned @tmfproject . Smart, balls-out savvy, unfiltered and dead honest 103% of the time.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

Doesn't everyone have a real crush on Danny Brown?

OnlineBusinesVA
OnlineBusinesVA

Great list. I love Jay's blogs and they are so fantastic and very informative too....

ChristianHolli
ChristianHolli

Just now watching that speech by Sheryl Sandberg. She's a brilliant woman. Wow. Love this list. There are some great people here that I need to a follow a little more closely!

Enjoy your bike party!

mitchjoel
mitchjoel

Elissa... you made my week... maybe month.

AbbieF
AbbieF

Quite an impressive list, but am surprised that only one woman made the cut. Wonder why that is.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

My brain crush that hasn't be menentioned yet;@tacanderson
(can't tag on my phone)
He is with waggener

Craig McBreen
Craig McBreen

I don't know any of the people above, except Danny. Here are a few of mine. I have too many more to mention them all ...

John Falchetto

A creative and skilled writer, has great insight and offers sage advice to up-and-comers.

Bill Dorman

Not only a prolific commenter, but a guy that is taking the time to connect with people. I feel like a young Jedi learning from Bill. Networking extraordinaire.

Danny Brown

Yep. Yep. Yep. He's teaching me new rules for making that lasting connection with the client through the social media tools now available. Not The Law of Attraction nonsense. Oh, that's just one thing he's taught me really. I'll be picking his big brain as we go.

Kaarina Dillabough: Her messages are always infused with positive, habit-changing, constructive, smart advice. I also love her manifesto about being social in "real life".

Mark Schaefer: His Grow blog is rich, deep, and informative. I've just started to scratch the surface

Marcus Sheridan: He motivates the heck out of me. You know he kind of has that enthusiasm that is infectious. And he is always writing those thought-provoking posts … and he is always motivating the heck out of me.

The One (Big G):

Ginni of course ;) I'm a brownnose, but it's true, she's da best.

p.s. And I'm considering adding that Schechter guy to the list :)

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

A fantastic list, I am embarrassed to say that I have not been following a couple people on this list but the universe of smarts is expanding so rapidly it's sometimes tough to keep up. I personally have brain crushes on @cspenn and @chuckhemann - I have learned a lot from their blogs and they are my go to dudes for analytics info/best practices/things that make you go "wow". Both are just too damn smart for their own good. I also have to say that I too have a serious brain crush on @redheadwriting and @ginidietrich - I like to laugh and learn with Gini & Erika.

Happy Labor day weekend GD. Unfortunately looks like I will be laboring all weekend. Went to Dragoncon today for video footage and I have a buttload of video to render and edit. Oy.

AmandaOleson
AmandaOleson

What a great list. I'd say my biggest brain crush is Mitch Joel. Every time I read his blog I feel smarter. He's compelling and incredibly sharp. Obviously, he's followed closely on my list by @ginidietrich. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a total fan girl... and I'm not even embarrassed to admit it.

It's likely that I'll regret this for a long time, but @jeffespo is definitely on the list for me too. He gives me a real hard time for being a die-hard Vikings fan, but I forgive him because he's so damn smart. (Also, I'll be denying that I said this from here on out.) Rounding out my top five: @JGoldsborough and @dannybrown. Both are super duper smart and friendly, and I try to soak up their wisdom every single day.

Oh, and it'd be a crime if I didn't mention @arikhanson. I seriously think I learned half of what I know from him. He's also an all around stellar guy, so he gets major bonus points there too. :)

JGoldsborough
JGoldsborough

@elissapr and @ginidietrich , you all are way too kind. Thank you very much. I truly enjoyed reading this post. Some very smart people on this list. In fact, @dannybrown is one of the first people in this space who inspired me with the way he thinks. And I also am a big fan of @jeffespotell it like it is style. Howevr, he still needs to teach me how to brew my own beer. Cheers!

jeffespo
jeffespo

Wow @elissapr thank you. I must admit that I was unfamiliar with the term brain crush was until I saw @ginidietrich post on Jeff Jarvis, and am flattered to be one.

LucretiaPruitt
LucretiaPruitt

Only one out of ten is female? You guys aren't reading enough women who are out there. I'd throw up Shelly Kramer or Tara Hunt on any brain crush list.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

I only follow two people on this list, Danny and Jay. I'll check out the others, as I assume they are all wonderful and able to snark it up with the best of them.

Brankica
Brankica

I’ve had a brain crush (and maybe even a little real crush) on Danny for years. WHAT?

Narciso17
Narciso17

Well, At Least I Can Say That I *Know* I'm On the (Ahem) 'Regular' Crush List of @elissapr (@ElissaPR) and @ginidietrich (@GiniDietrich) ... Not Bad Since My Brain Has Been On the Fritz ;)

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Woohooo! I know I was on both short lists! I just can feel it. Maybe I didn't make top 5 but I know I was close. I woke feeling really good. Lot's of energy. Breakfast was tasty. 3 oreos and 4 scoops of raspberry frozen yogurt on top of some well done hashbrowns. That is when i realized I was probably shortlisted. Breakfast tasted way too good to be just an ordinary breakfast. Just not sure if it was Spin Sucks related or an FBI wanted list, but I knew it would make me proud. Whether I was in the top 10 or top 1,852 compared to the population of Italy that makes me on the very short list.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me all these years. My mom and dad. My rabbi and priest. My guru and my social media guru. A special thanks to Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, and Lindsay Lohan for always having my back in a pinch. I want to thank my Press Agent @Shonali , my Road Manager @bdorman264 , and Stylist @nittygriddyblog . Without them I would be nothing. And last but not least the loves of my life Cher and Whitney Houston who instilled such love and passion in me.

Faryna
Faryna

Dan Perez sucks. I'm sorry, I had to say it. I came to the conclusion after reading his blog post here:

http://southfloridafilmmaker.com/quid-pro-quo-20-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-me

Is it still there?

Let me summarize minus the french that I used the last time that I summarized Dan Perez's blog post.

He told the world that he doesn't care about bloggers. Our boring little lives. Or what makes us tick.

He told the world that the only good thing about a human person is that they are a potential organ farm for his wife and all the others waiting for organ transplants.

He told us that his wife has gone through hell with sublime grace and gentleness. Therefore, no one else in the world can be worthy of his consideration.

Then he asked us to register as organ donors in case we meet a fatal accident.

Maybe I'm too stupid to understand that his rant was merely a clever parody of a sociopathic film maker. Or was he just making fun of all the bloggers who were sharing their lives on #nicheamnesty.

Accolades, in my humble opinion, belong to those who love, who give, and who serve. [smile]

MSchechter
MSchechter

Seriously great list. I'm going to dismiss you and Danny for the time being as you'd both be at the top of my list, but I don't think that will help anyone around here... Here are mine (and I have a feeling that I'm about to get bitch smacked by Gini for not having enough women on here...)

Merlin Mann - The guy chanced my life. Inbox Zero, Time and Attention and just an example that an ADHD mess can make something amazing.

Mitch Joel - Know it is redundant, but the guys output is awe inspiring. Not only is there quantity, but the quality is sick. Great taste, great thoughts both in text and on the podcast.

Yuvi Zalkow - How Yuvi is not WILDLY popular I will never understand. His presentation videos on writing are some of the funniest and inspiring things I've seen.

Seth Godin - I know it is cliché, but I'm in awe of the guy. Not only for the books he's written and the content he's created, but his willingness to reinvent his approach to books (and the taste he has applied to picking authors, this Sivers book is exceptional, btw!)

Marco Arment - This is the guy who created instapaper. First off, I love the way he approaches his blog. He is very open with his business practices and experiments. Plus Instapaper itself has changed the way I learn.

cbarger
cbarger

@ginidietrich Aww... and I didn't get you anything! Guess dinner should be on me, huh? ;-)

Cision
Cision

Great list! I too would have to add @ginidietrich if I wrote a list and Dan Zarella.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Great lists. I would add @cspenn -- wicked smart!

Also, since your drubbing at the hands of @MSchechter earlier this week, I think you deserve something nice. So... you, Gini, are on my list! And quite frankly, will be #1 if we ever make a list called Online Community Leader crushes. :)

patrickreyes
patrickreyes

Great list. If I wrote my own, you would definitely be on it even though you're a Bears fan.

margieclayman
margieclayman

Also Gini, I will now accept your apology - narrowing things down to 10 isn't so easy is it? Mehhhhhh :)

CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz

Ditto on Sheryl Sandberg. I'd probably put former Sec'ty of State Madeleine Albright on there too.

margieclayman
margieclayman

I would have to add Mark Schaefer, Carol Roth, Sam Fiorella, and Jeff "the Sensei" Wilson to this list :)

Al Smith
Al Smith

Well, I am shocked and disappointed. Ok, I guess I was slightly further down your list, Gini. Oh well. What ? ....... Oh .........BRAIN crushes. ok. Never mind.

Al

Todd Lyden
Todd Lyden

Curious- this was "brain crushes" and only one chica out of ten? interesting...

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski

Hmm, thinking about some of mine:

Ann Handley

Tamsen McMahon

David Armano

Umair Haque

Clay Shirky

NancyD68
NancyD68

Brats. You listed all of mine. Well, let me think...I wish I had some of Margie Clayman's creativity. I also want to be smart like Danny Brown.

I also have a brain crush on Seth Godin. I love his books. He really is brilliant.

Oh, and there is this lady, you may have heard of her...what's her name again...? Oh yeah. Gini Dietrich. Yeah. I want to be smart like her. :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

Crap. I wanted to add @cbarger too. He's seriously smart. Especially in his Forbes columns. I totally cheated. I'm up to eight now.

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  1. […] about everyone will publish a list. It might be their top 50 blog sites, it could be their top 10 smartest people they know, or it could be the top 199 blogs worth hopping to. The other thing I know, and this is because […]

  2. […] I searched the blog to see when was the last time I featured her here, I quickly discovered we shared a #FollowFriday, where she detailed her five brain crushes and I did […]