Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Experts in the Industry: 45 Interviews in 45 Days

I'm trying a little experiment. If it works, it could make for some interesting insights. If it doesn't, you'll still get some interesting perspectives. I’m interviewing 45 interesting people in the 45 days leading up to SXSW. To that end, I sent an e-mail out last night inviting a number of luminaries in the world of social in to answer a few short questions:

UPDATE (3/27): I've obviously run WELL beyond my initial 45 and we are now past SXSW. HOWEVER, I'm continuing the series as long as I have interviewees. I'll probably cap this at 90 but if you're on the list below and don't have a date assigned to you, I would still LOVE to get your answers.

NOTE (1/29) - there are some add'l questions in the comments that interviewees may want to consider from GGroovin, Alex, Debra, Chad, and Geekmommy
  • In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you’re good at it.
  • How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
  • If you had $10 million to invest in one company and one company only based on their use of “social,” which company would it be and why?
  • Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
  • Would you join a toothpaste community? Why? [for background on this question, see the "Would you Join a Toothpaste Community"]
  • Freeform – here’s where you can riff on anyone or anything – good or bad. Or just share a pearl of wisdom.
So far, here's the list of folks that have either 1) already answered my questions or 2) have responded that they are willing to participate. For the folks that have already responded, I've put dates next to their names. First up, Mr. Shel Israel who responded within a couple of hours of my e-mailing him.

Here's the roster:

*Trying not to shaft folks by putting up their post over the weekend.
**With so many folks agreeing to do this interview, I'm going to start doubling up over the next couple of weeks.

I have a number of other folks that I've invited to participate but if you know somebody that is a MUST interview, let me know. Also, it's not too late to add a question or two. Just post 'em in the comments.

If I've reached out to you via DM, you can e-mail me answers at stroutmeister AT gmail dot com

UPDATE 1/28 Just added Sam Lawrence, Greg Verdino, Doug Haslam and Adam Cohen, Peter Naylor, Mari Smith, Lionel Menchaca, Jennifer Leggio, Ann Handley, Dave Evans, Ben McConnell, Amber Naslund, Christine Perkett, Brooks Bayne, Leslie Poston, Marcel LeBrun, Laura "Pistachio" Fitton, Jim Turner, Francine McKenna, and Scott Monty

UPDATE 1/29 added Josh Hilliker, Bill Johnston, Jason Falls, Marvin Chow, Tim Walker, Stowe Boyd, Natanya Anderson, Patrick Moran, Sam Eder, Kathy Warren, Rachel Happe, Francois Gossieaux, Paul May, Gradon Tripp, Wayne Sutton, Lani & Benn Rosales, Ken Burbary, Mike Walsh, Sara Dornsife, Mike Lewis, Chris Brogan, Ari Herzog, KD Paine, Shannon Paul, Mack Collier, Doc Searls, Alexis Martin Neely, Aronado Placencia and Dennis Howlett

NOTE: Okay, I've officially exceeded 45. But that's not a bad thing. Not changing the title of the post though.


  1. Fascinating experiment, Aaron! Look forward to seeing the wealth of responses. One possible question of interest to me:
    - Do you have a favorite Social Networking/Social Media medium, application or site? If so, why that one?

    -- Ricardo (@ggroovin)

  2. What a fun project, Aaron. And you've teed up some awesome people...can't wait to see the responses over the coming weeks.

  3. Looking forward to the interviews, Aaron. Looks like an interesting list. I love the "which company would you invest in question," which can take your readers to a lot of different places. What about also asking "which non-social media industry person do you follow and why?" Debra Askanase

  4. Well I'll definitely be following this... I'm curious to see how it progresses!

    How many folks do you think will read other's answers before answering themselves? After all, Social Media practitioners tend to like to be aware of whether or not they are in the trending patterns. Hm.


  5. This is a fun and informative experiment Aaron. I'm looking forward to the answers from the All Star cast you've lined up.

  6. Great idea Aaron, I'm excited to dig into the answers. The one question that I think is missing is "What does 'Social Media' or 'Social Marketing' encompass?" I'm always interested to learn how different people define those terms and what they do or do not include.

  7. It would be interesting to ask these folks which of their peers who are being interviewed most inspires their work. I wonder if a clear head of the class would emerge.

    Great concept Aaron, I look forward to following the results!

    ~Chad (@chadnorthrup)

  8. Aaron - thanks for including me, I'm honored to be included with such a great set of minds - and what a great set of questions. Can't wait to read the responses!

  9. Thanks all for chiming in. I'll make a note up top to the folks answering the questions that they may want to take some of the questions in the comments under advisement...

    Aaron | @aaronstrout

  10. I love this I can not wait to read the answers. This is a great experiment:)

  11. People want to know "From a business and marketing strategy standpoint, how do you track, converse, communicate and otherwise curate your various social media activities?"

  12. I'm loving reading my fellow respondents Q&A sessions. To answer @geekmommy, I personally chose not to peek before answering the questions. I thought it would have more value to me to see how we differed than how we were the same in our answers, for a better learning experience. This was fun! Thanks, Aaron!