First off, a hearty welcome to readers of the Montreal Gazette who caught my first column that was featured in today's Business section. I hope you will stick around and add your thoughts and comments. When I mentioned that the Montreal Gazette would begin running my column today, I had several inquiries as to whether or not I would link to it. The answer is that as long as the Montreal Gazette posts the columns online, I will provide the link. More importantly, I'd like to push the conversation forward and use the power of the Blogging platform to get your ideas, additions, insights and feedback. Also, as the Montreal Gazette website does not appear to provide links within the article, I'll also re-post every article here with the links.
My debut column is here: Montreal Gazette - Seven Blogs You Must Read And Other Useful Know-How. To the left of this Blog posting you'll also see a section called, "Blogs I Check Out" as a more in-depth supplement.
What are your must-read Blogs? What did I forget? Let's use this Blog to extend the conversation.
In the meantime, here's the first column:
Six Pixels of Separation - New Business.
Starting today, we introduce a column by Mitch Joel, a Montreal-based digital marketing and communications expert. Mitch is president of the Twist Image agency and has become so well known in his field that he has been likened to a rock star. Now, it's time to unleash him on the public at large. In short, Mitch knows new media - how to use it and how to profit by it. With business being so much affected by the impact of digital media - i.e., the Internet and all its peripherals - we believe that what's on Mitch's mind will be essential reading for us all...
At the top of my personal FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) is: "Mitch, how do I get started with all this new stuff?"
And, without a doubt, my answer is always the same: Get yourself a news reader (also known as a RSS reader).
There are two very cool reasons why this is an important first step (beyond the fact they are free):
RSS is a free subscription technology that notifies you when any website you are interested in has been updated. No more morning runs through the bookmarks in your web browser, only to discover there is nothing new there. The moment something is updated, you're notified. Instead of going out to surf the Web, a news readers brings the Web to you.
You don't have to worry about going to a fistful of different websites every day. With a reader, you can centralize all your content from all the websites you like. You're going to save time and be much more efficient. This is all about great lifehacks.
Once you have one of these fancy and free readers (you'll see how easy it is to set it up and get started), you're going to need to fill it with some great content. Whatever your personal interests may be (Scottish death metal? Economics in Southeast Asia? Knitting for kittens?), there is some kind of website, blog or podcast that covers your area of passion.
When it comes to understanding the brave new world of business, I've identified seven must-read blogs that will get you up to speed and make you look oh-so-cool in staff meetings and at business events.
- Chris Brogan - a passionate young blogger from Boston, Brogan was a co-founder of the unconference movement called PodCamp. He blogs about how business can better build community and the tools to make it happen.
- Seth Godin - The best-selling marketing author of must-read books like Purple Cow and Meatball Sundae, Godin's posts are short, pithy and brilliant. If you're looking for new ideas about how your business should connect more authentically to consumers, Godin is your man.
- GrokDotCom - This is the corporate blog from Future Now Inc. The company was founded by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg (also the best-selling authors of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? and Call To Action) and is a multi-author blog on the subject of marketing optimization. The focus is on the human reactions to marketing, sales, PR and media.
- How to Change the World- This is the personal blog of Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist and author of such books as The Art of the Start and Selling The Dream. As a former Apple Computer Fellow, Guy is passionate about how businesses can use technology to change the world. The blog focuses on content for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
- ReadWriteWeb - One of the most popular blogs on the Internet, and one I check out every day, ReadWriteWeb provides insights on Web technologies along with news, reviews and opinions. If something cool is happening on the Web and it affects business, it's on ReadWriteWeb.
- TechCrunch - It's about all things geeky, but in an understandable context. The blog focuses on profiles and reviews of new Internet products and companies. It includes insights on what companies are doing and which ones to look out for.
- Web Strategy - By Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, this blog focuses on social computing. Owyang's blog is widely regarded as the destination for the latest and greatest on what companies are (and should be) doing in business today.
Bonus tip: Most blogs have a section called a "blogroll." A blogroll is simply a list of recommended blogs to check out that has inspired that particular blogger. If you're interested in following some other blogs that I find interesting, feel free to go to my blog - Six Pixels of Separation - the Twist Image Blog and look at the area titled "Check out these blogs."
Warning: It is a rabbit hole - once you start clicking on blogs and adding them into your reader, you'll find other blogrolls, and soon you'll have a news reader filled with great, cutting-edge new business content.