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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, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

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.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@AmyMccTobin Yes, I think so. But I think I'm the only one who'll admit it out loud. Thanks for joining my pact! :)

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

@AbbieF Cuz we agreed we'd list men first - then women...but SOMEONE cheated. Plus? My female brain crushes run more on the literary side- women who are using SM to explore their creative writing juices and building audiences through twitter. Not sure how that would play with this crowd here on Gini's blog...

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

@lisa Gerber Actually...I'd put YOU on my list cuz you like my writing...heehee....and you give very good email....

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

Edstrom in London. Sheesh premature send.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Craig McBreen Your P.S. doesn't count on this blog. Sorry. But totally agree with everyone you've listed - I count them as close friends, as well as brain crushes.

Craig McBreen
Craig McBreen

I just realized I wrote "Ginni" Two n's. Itchy trigger finger :)

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

@Danny Brown You know Danny...now that you're on the official Brain Crush list...I think we ought to meet...especially since we're in the same geographical zone...!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ElissaFreeman@AbbieF One of the things we ask when we interview is what people are reading. Sure, we want to know blogs and business pubs. But we also want to know fiction because I believe that, the more fiction you read, the better writer you become...which is imperative in our line of work.

KDillabough
KDillabough

@John_Trader1 John, it was my pleasure to get acquainted with you too! I'll keep connecting the dots:)

bdorman264
bdorman264

@Craig McBreen Easy rook, that will get you kicked out quicker than anything.................:). Thanks for the nice words though; I'll give you a hall pass, but Gini might not, she sets the bar pretty high...........I keep running into it, I didn't know I was supposed to be able to jump over it.............

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