Saturday, March 21, 2009

Experts in the Industry: Ari Herzog (54 of 45)

Ari Herzog is an interesting guy. Listed on his Twitter profile as "online media strategist for business and government," I know him mainly because of his blogging and Twitter efforts. What I like about Ari is that he's not afraid to stir the pot. For instance, I can always count on Ari keeping me honest when he comments on my blog posts -- something I'm not always good at doing with others.

Ari is also a Red Sox fan and a proflific Twitterer which always gives us something to talk about. With that as a backdrop, let's see how Ari answered the five questions in the Experts in the Industry series:

In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you're good at it.
I provide online media strategies, including social networking, online branding, and interactive marketing, for business and government. If you want to know why I'm good at it, google me.

How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
Since writing for my college newspaper about the pre-web internet in the early 1990s, I've always been on the forefront of new technologies. While I've blogged since 2004, I didn't focus on social media until the summer of 2007 while tossing job ideas during a bout of unemployment. I have over 10 years of experience in information technology, community journalism, and government administration; so it wasn't a leap to decide to converge my skills and experiences and specialize in advising business and government leaders on the best ways to navigate the web and be more productive. You can read a recent interview with me at Social Media Today which includes more detail.

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?
This is a good question and it led to creative thinking. I suppose my introduction to social networks was in the form of "Sesame Street," where I sat transfixed to the TV watching kids and creatures gather in a public space to gossip and befriend one another. I just received a Twitter message the other day about Elmo, so I'm clearly not alone in my memories. If I had the cash, I'd give back to the sustainable community by investing in Sesame Workshop.

Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
I read that Peter Kim passed over this question in his college essays. Not me. My college essay was about admiring former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

In 1986, at age 10, I remember my father picking me up at school and we drove 30 miles into Boston for a "tea for two" (courtesy of a silent auction) with the governor. I remember him ushering dad and I into his conference room, where we talked about stuff I don't remember, but I ate a cookie and had a drink. The hour-long meeting ended with an official photograph of the three of us. I'll always remember that meeting and how he took the time to talk, share, and listen. That was one of the catapults that led me into working in government.

Would you join a toothpaste community? Why?
I'd join the community after some time to see its activity and take mental notes for how it could be replicated for other communities, e.g. organic farmers; but I don't foresee my contributing any pearls of wisdom to a toothpaste community.

Freeform – here's where you can riff on anyone or anything – good or bad. Or just share a pearl of wisdom.
To everyone who thinks Twitter and other microblogs are replacing blogs like "Citizen Marketer," think again. Blogs are here to stay. They've been here for over a decade and they're not going away anytime soon. For more on my take, I point you to a three-month-old riff on the subject on my blog: Why Blogging is Not Dying.


  1. Thanks for the pondering questions, Aaron. I don't know about keeping you honest, so here's one for size: I'm not an expert. I recognize people think I'm such, but I think anyone is kidding themselves with the moniker.

    Thanks again, you powered citizen marketer you.

  2. Rather than feeling Twitter is replacing blogs, I would suggest the scope of blogging and social media in general is expanding at the expense of more traditional forms of marketing (tradeshows, collateral, print advertising, etc...). The landscape has changed. Those that adapt will enjoy the benefits of more effective marketing.

  3. Aaron and Ari- another good interview. I have a good friend who just landed at Sesame Street actually. I feel the urge to connect Ari to him...(Ari check your inbox)