Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Mitch Joel

By: Gini Dietrich | October 29, 2010 | 

You may already be reading Mitch Joel’s blog, Six Pixels of Separation, because, well, he’s kind of a big deal. You also may have already read Six Pixels of Separation, the book, because it was published before the entire world was publishing books (and it’s excellent). And you may already know about Mitch Joel because he runs, Twist Image, one of North America’s most successful marketing and communications firms. But the reason today’s #FollowFriday is Mitch Joel is because he has this love/hate relationship with one of my dear friends, Mark Schaefer, and it’s really fun to watch!

I read a lot of blogs (more than 1,000, to be pseudo exact) and I comment and read a lot of comments (when I say read, I really mean scan). And never before have I seen two people so viscerally react to one another, but in a very positive, engaging, and entertaining way.

You see, Mitch wrote about ghost blogging and how it doesn’t belong in the communication space. And Mark disagreed with him. So Mitch had Mark had his weekly podcast and so began my fascination with how the two of them could debate and disagree so professionally.

And then, this past weekend, Mitch wrote, Being a Twitter Snob is a Good Thing and Mark wrote Bringing Down the Twitter Snobs. While both posts are good and open your mind to new and interesting ideas, the real value is in the comments because they comment on each other’s posts and to each other’s communities. I recommend taking some time with both this weekend.

But the real point here is that Mitch writes some really provocative and interesting stuff. Love him or hate him, he’ll open your mind and make, no force, you to think about things differently. I read him religiously and sometimes disagree vehemently. But he certainly makes me think, always, and that’s what I love about him.

So follow Mitch on Twitter (though he likely won’t follow you back), subscribe to his blog, buy and read his book, and subscribe to his podcast.

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. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Ike

    Mitch and Mark should be on a panel. With Gini.

    With me as a moderator.

    We’ll call it “Staying Civil, Even Though You Know The Other Person Is Dead Wrong.”

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike Too bad it’s too late for SxSW. That’d be BRILLIANT!

  • Mitch is a definite follow. I’m a massive fan of the work he does and if you haven’t checked out his podcast, do so. It’s awesome.

  • markwschaefer

    Well, I also disagreed with Mitch on this post “Can Social Media Change a Corporate Culture” (found here: )

    And I have actually held back on another post because I don’t want this to turn into some obnoxious thing. But I THRIVE on intellectual debates like this and there are few out there as capable as Mitch. I value my relationship with him because we represent diverse perspectives and can attack meaningful issues without attacking individuals. That is a beautiful thing to aim for on the social web, isn’t it?

    Many thanks for the acknowledgement, Gini.

  • mitchjoel

    What, people hate me? That’s pretty heart-breaking to hear… 🙁

    Ideas are like that: some of them click, some of them don’t. I don’t get too ruffled about it because I have the humility to know that this is Blogging: which means that some of my thoughts are half-baked and I’m looking to comments and tweets to help me crystalize that thinking.

    I’m a big fan of Mark’s and we often do private emails to discuss the back-and-forth. I’m not sure if Mark would agree, but in the end, I think we’re pretty close to agreeing with one another (with some minor adjustments or tweaks). That’s normal. If every Marketer used the same formula and philosophy, there wouldn’t be a need for more than one agency.

    I’m just thrilled to be a part of this (or any community). I love what I do and I consider it my art -so any compliments (like this Blog post) are extremely humbling… seriously. And anybody who doesn’t agree with my work is ok too (not everybody can appreciate every kind of art).

  • mitchjoel

    One more thing… I follow a ton of people back (just to be clear)… I just don’t follow EVERYBODY back. You’ll have to read the Blog posts to know why 🙂

  • @markwschaefer It’s all about “sak och person” (the issue and the person), as we say in Sweden. Too often, folks forget that it’s the issue, the interpretation, the perspective, the thinking, that one is attacking and see it as personal.

    Both Mitch and Mark seem to get that fierce intellectual discussions and disagreements can thrive without anyone feeling got at and benefit the thinking of the community.

    I’m all for disagreement because that way creative thinking lies.

  • ginidietrich

    @mitchjoel I hope people DID read your blog posts from this! It really is great work, regardless if people agree or not. And…we were getting ready to record InsidePR yesterday and were talking about how you’ve done a nice job in the past year of really engaging with people. Most should follow suit.

  • ginidietrich

    @mitchjoel When you and @markwschaefer did the podcast, I thought you did end up on the same page by the end. Which was a great debate, BTW!

  • ginidietrich

    @markwschaefer Ah dang! I forgot one. Thanks for the reminder! Now what I’d love to see happen is the two of you teach politicians how to debate. Sound good?

  • ginidietrich

    @jonbuscall Sak och person – pronounced as it’s spelled? I may begin saying that!

  • markwschaefer

    @Ike “Other person” defined as Mitch of course.

  • markwschaefer

    @mitchjoel My instinct is that we are both experienced and successful business people but we got there by different routes. I’m probably a little more B2B and data oriented, I sense you might better represent the creative and agency side. I have better hair of course but you might have an edge on the glasses. We can both learn from each other. Much respect on this side!

  • mitchjoel

    @markwschaefer @Ike lol!!

  • mitchjoel

    @markwschaefer It’s not hard to have better hair than me… all you have to do is actually have hair 😉

  • @mitchjoel @markwschaefer Wow if it was about the hair, I got enought for all of us – let’s go be millionaires!