book it, buy it, trust agents

<em>Julien Smith, Co-author of 'Trust Agents'</em>

Julien Smith, Co-author of 'Trust Agents'

One of the very first people I remember meeting at the very first Podcamp Toronto was Julien Smith.

It was a great introduction into the Podcamp experience. It was on the stairs within the Communications building at Ryerson University. I was introduced to him by my friend Leesa Barnes. It’s important to note here that I cannot immediately recall what I had for lunch yesterday but I remember meeting Julien who was helping to organize the Toronto event even though he was based in Montreal.

Meeting Julien was immediately memorable to me because it was the first time I met someone – anyone – who had full wooden discs inside their earlobes. They looked like it hurt like hell and yet it seemed merely to be his take on how to wear an earring.

His was a different perspective.

It would be a full day of different perspectives for me all those years ago at my first Podcamp. A day that I am still grateful for all these years later.

Later that day I remember listening to a great Google presentation by Julien. I remember super briefly saying hi to Christopher S. Penn in passing, not having any idea who he was. He was just a guy wearing a Podcamp Boston tee-shirt. I didn’t realize he and Chris Brogan created the concept from which was born the event in Toronto. I think, but cannot be sure, that John Wall was also there. I remember meeting Amber MacArthur who was then the Social Media reporter for City TV. I remember vividly meeting Mitch Joel and how much he impressed me with his insights and demeanor.

I remember hearing about this thing called Twitter which I, as is my wont to do with new things that are going to be wildly popular, completely ignored for a long time. I met fellow voice talent Elaine Singer (awesome) and Donna Papacosta (great podcast!) that day. I got to again visit with my friend Leesa Barnes and many others who I was honored to spend time with.

It was all very much under the mainstream media radar. We didn’t care either, because we shared a common interest and a common passion in Social Media. Podcamp was (and is) all about sharing personal fonts of information with others. The event is the very definition of “givers gain”.

Those in attendance ran the very minor risk of being nothing more than being seen as geeks on the downside of some fad rather than social media pioneers within the new digital age (OK, we’re still not that but its better than the geek label, I think). But in those 3-4 years since the first Podcamp Toronto there has been a great evolution for the people I met that day and who talents I still learn from.

You’ll recall that Mitch Joel has a book coming out; you should be watching Amber MacArthur’s terrific weekly video podcast, Command N (great content and production quality); Christopher S. Penn’s shared vision for Podcamp still grows and his Financial Aid podcast is a popular resources for students and families who are interested in – funny enough – financial aid, and his Marketing Over Coffee podcast with John Wall remains very popular; Leesa’s book on Podcasting was very popular and her new business Marketing Fit continues to thrive – she and I got to connect in Buffalo a few months ago when she presented here.

Back to Julien for a moment – I came to know Julien as a bright and extremely likeable guy. I don’t keep in touch with him at all, with our last conversation taking place at Podcamp Boston about two years ago. But I thought about him today as I bought the new book that he and Chris Brogan have written, entitled Trust Agents.

I follow Julien on Twitter and subscribe to his blog. The same can be said about all the people mentioned in the blog post. I had the benefit of meeting them in person but I know that people following me on these social media channels also look to see who I am following and can be introduced to people like Julien and other’s whose opinions on Social Media I respect. My followers may follow those I follow because they trust my gut.

Smith and Brogan’s book shares with readers how to tap into the power of social networks to build a brand’s influence, reputation, and, of course, profits. They note “today’s online influencers are web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships, using social media to accrue the influence that builds up or brings down businesses online.”

All of the people I have mentioned here have built with me a strong level of trust about their Social Media knowledge, most of it online, some of it in person. All these years later after our initial meetings, I still follow them to learn from them.

You subscribe here because you trust that what I offer will enlighten or entertain you (or because there’s nothing good on television). You should review information about these books and see if their summaries peak your interest. If they do, and you’re still a bit unsure whether you should invest your money in their books, I’ll tell you directly here that you should.

I have.

One Response to “book it, buy it, trust agents”

  1. Indeed I was there! Not the warmest weekend, but a great time!