Monday, March 2, 2009

Experts in the Industry: Liz Strauss (34 of 45)

Liz Strauss's bio on Twitter says that she is a "social strategist, translating customer relationships on the social web for business, healthcare, & universities." It also mentions that she is the founder of SOBCon, but I know Liz best for her blogging efforts on "Successful and Outstanding Bloggers."

I actually met Liz last year at SXSW (big surprise) as part of a group of bloggers that included Rick Calvert, Chris Brogan, Becky McCray, Sheila Scarborough and Wendy Piersall. My colleagues, Jim Storer, Heather Strout and Colin Browning were all along for the ride and the group of us had a great dinner at Stubbs in Austin. Since that time, Liz and I have stayed in touch via the soc-nets and our blogs. What I love about Liz is that in addition to her brains and charm, she's also got an incredibly sharp wit.

To see that "wit" in action, here are Liz's answers to the five questions in the Experts in the Industry interview series:

In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you're good at it.
I show companies how be seen, heard, and understood in the culture of the social web. I'm good at because I'm a teacher, a product builder, an international publisher, and I grew up learning the customer culture of my dad's saloon. 
How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
Through the back door, as I do most things, and I wiped my shoes first. I started blogging because a company I freelanced with asked what I would charge to do one. I became interested in how blogs allowed communities that websites had failed to realize. Open Comment Night on my blog was called living social media in the summer of 2006. That lit the fire and I started searching out businesses who were interested in these new tools and ideas. SOBCon started in 2007.  
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?
WordPress -- Code is poetry. Akismet is gold. The WordPress / Automatic business fascinates me. Matt and Toni and the community have changed the Internet. It's a beautiful example of an idea, born changed and still growing through community -- and open source community that built the free blogs, the hosted blogs and a business that runs the enterprise blogs that work for The New York Times, CNN. CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security., Anyone can start a WordCamp and learn the basics of running a small business. 
That's social. That's business. 
Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
I think a whole lot of Warren Buffet. His word is his bond. He's built a business by combining the best of personal and business relationships. He's proof that trust and integrity travel to the bottom line. And my dad, if you read my blog, you'll know my dad wins hands down. 
I might. If the toothpaste community had imagination, knew how to be smart, do something good for the world, and not take itself too seriously. It could be fun and meaningful -- anything can if you care about it. 
Freeform – here's where you can riff on anyone or anything – good or bad. Or just share a pearl of wisdom.
No one cares what you know until they know that you care. 

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