Danny Brown and Gini Dietrich at SocialCapitalBy Gini Dietrich

Danny Brown and I have been friends for a very long time.

We spoke at BlogWorld together in 2009 so that means we’ve been friends for six years.

Which, in social media terms, is really more like 42 years (similar to dog years).

Throughout the years, he has evolved his career, his blogging style, and even his personal social networking.

It’s been fun to be part of his inner circle and watch him grow.

I’ve been really lucky because we’ve had some really interesting, in-depth debates offline.

I also love how his brain works so I often steal his ideas. Shamelessly.

He recently wrote, “The Excuses for Attitudes Towards Women Need to Stop,” and I cannot stop thinking about it.

I recommend it. And I recommend you get to know him a little better.

Which is why I asked him to sit on the Spin Sucks Inquisition hot seat.

What is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made in Your Career?

Staying in the wrong environment more than I should have. When I work somewhere, either corporately or self (agency, partnership, etc), it’s because I genuinely believe in the goals of the company and—usually—the people making these goals happen.

Sometimes, though, you let friendships or blind loyalty dull your common sense and remain somewhere you should really leave.

I’ve made a conscious decision to never let that happen again.

What is One Thing about Yourself that Would Surprise Most People?

I can play any tune you give me (as long as I know it) with a pencil against my teeth.

(And here he is, playing “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” at my request.)

If You Could Achieve Everything You Ever Wanted in Life, but Had to Die 10 Years Sooner, Would You Make that Trade?

Five years ago, I probably would have said yes. Then my children were born, and I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can.

(See what I mean about his growth since I’ve known him!)

I recently wrote about how I almost lost my daughter when she was two, and that experience showed how fragile life is, and why we shouldn’t play with its natural lifespan.

I’m not a religious man, but I do believe something was looking out for Salem that day.

I can’t “abuse” that protection by wishing away my life for some perceived personal happiness, when there’s more than my happiness at stake, if you like.

What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?

Oh, jeez, where to start.

The term “social business” and the amount of agencies and consultancies/consultants that are trying to shill this term onto gullible corporations and CEOs/CMOs.

A social business is not what’s being paraded online today: “Collaboration,” “cultural transparency,” “embracing introspection and outrospection,” blah blah blah.

If you want to know what a true social business looks like, investigate the work of Professor Muhammed Yunus.

He’s a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who defines a social business as:

…a business created and designed to address a social problem (with ‘social’ being societal). It’s a business that is non-loss, non-dividend, that is either financially self-sustainable or profits are reinvested in the business, or used to start another one, with the aim of increasing social affect.

Now, does that sound like the definition of social business that’s being bandied about online?

So, yeah, that’s my pet peeve—selling something that you’ve bastardized for your own profit.

What is the Best Book You’ve Read in the Past Six Months?

Just one? Man, you’re mean! I’ve really been getting back into my fiction reading, and there are some great books out there.

But the one that really hooked me from start to finish was “Try Not to Burn,” by independent author Michael Matula.

I described it as “Quentin Tarantino Meets Hellraiser” on my Amazon review, and that’s not even doing it justice!!

Seriously, if you love horror, fantasy, and great storytelling all wrapped up in one, get this book.

(I’ll also add that his wife, Jaclyn Aurore, is writing quite a bit of fiction you should check out!)

Why Does Spin Suck?

Because it makes otherwise good people behave like asses, all in the name of a quick buck and perceived recognition.

You want recognition?

Do the kind of work that delivers long-term, and don’t hide behind a veneer of lies and deceit.

Where You Can Find Danny Brown

A true social media nerd, Danny can be found pretty much everywhere.

Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and Slideshare.

You can read him on his blog, read his eBooks, and read the book he co-authored with Sam Fiorella, Influence Marketing.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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