By: Hillel Fuld
It’s that time again, time to interview one of the people who have and continue to influence my online life. Chris Brogan is one of the most well known authors, speakers, bloggers, experts (I think you get the point) on the topic of, as his About page puts it, “Business communication and social software technologies”. His blog ChrisBrogan.com, which he started in 1998, has become one of the most read blogs on the worldwide Web and he is also a New York Times best selling co author of Trust Agents.
More important than anything he has accomplished, and he has accomplished a lot, is that Chris is one of the few people on social media who really gets it. In addition to his blog, his book, his speaking events and more, Chris is also a featured columnist in Entrepreneur Magazine, where he shares his insights on his areas of expertise.
I actually reached out to Chris as a result of one of his posts entitled “How to Get Great Interviews“. Despite my attempt to follow his instructions carefully, I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do by Chris’ initial reaction to my request, which I unfortunately cannot link to since it was a DM (direct message) conversation.
You will notice that even throughout the interview itself, Chris taught me a few things and I decided to keep the raw dialog in the interview itself, so you can learn from it too.
The following are the three questions (one of Chris’ points in his post was NOT to stick to the ten question template, so I didn’t) I asked Chris Brogan, his answers, and the conversation that ensued:
1. How did you start blogging and did you ever expect it to get this big?
I started blogging back in 1998 when it was called journaling. I used a WYSIWYG editor on a website, and basically made a spreadsheet act like a blog. Left column was the date and the right column was the post. Every day, I’d go in, write a post, and then copy/paste the day before’s post and put it down to the row below.
Over the years, I wrote on several other platforms, lost several months of blogging to various softwares, and then settled into having chrisbrogan.com, which has been a WordPress-run blog for the last handful of years. I started by writing fiction and personal observations. Since then, I’ve written all kinds of various topics. Most recently, I’m covering “human business,” that which goes beyond social media.
2. What is the most important thing you have learned about online marketing over the years?
The only thing I could teach someone about online marketing is that humanity makes it all better. If you treat people like people, everything goes a lot better. I talk about other people much more than I talk about myself. Then, when I have an ask, it’s much better received. It’s the only stuff I know how to do.
3. Some people say Twitter and social media is a fad, what would you say to them?
I agree with them. I wish them well. All this social media stuff will be gone tomorrow.
Thanks for the quick response Chris. Were you being sarcastic in 3? Please say yes, can’t really say that to my readers… Gimme some more meat here or at least an explanation?
Let me ask you another question: ‘what do you THINK my answer would be?’
Meaning, it’d be a much better answer if the question were better. : )
OK then, I was afraid of that. How is “Please tell me why you think Twitter and social media is not a passing fad? What does it offer that others before did not?”
I think social media has been around for well over 1000 years. The telephone is social media. Mail is social media. The only thing that’s changing are the delivery methods and velocity.
Will Twitter be around forever? No. Atari isn’t the best video game company. Madonna isn’t the best singer. Nothing is forever. But social experiences will continue to evolve. We’re only thinking this is novel because it took a while to get things blended from the one-way web to the two-way web.
Thanks for the interview Chris, just goes to show once again that quality will always beat quantity, since I learned more from those three answers then essays and books I have read on the topic. Appreciate your time and brutal honesty. Good luck with your future endeavors, I will keep reading.