Merry Christmas Chris Brogan

A real Social Media Rock Star!On Christmas Eve, as I was wrapping the last gifts and uploading some video to #HRCarnival, I had a bit of a social media epiphany. The message “Have a great Christmas” came up in my twitter stream from @ChrisBrogan. Not to me exclusively but to the many thousands that follow Chris . Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you will have heard of the name Chris Brogan. You’ve probably also read his excellent book on social media, “Trust Agents.” (I read it recently after a great review by Andy Headworth in Sirona Says.)

In the spirit of Christmas I sent a reply returning the wishes and thanking him for his work  during the year. I have learnt a lot from his blog.   I also commented that I did not expect a reply.

I did this because Chris has received some bad press in a few blogs recently for not replying to tweets. I don’t really get that. I understand the point that is made in “Trust Agents” that you need to engage and be involved, but if you are being followed by 113,624 people and are following 93,550 people, outside of a select group how can you really do that?

I have a following of 3252 on twitter and follow 2991. I know how busy my twitter stream is. I get between 150 and 200 mentions or messages a day on these numbers. Sometimes it is hard to keep up and reply or comment on all but I try. On like for like figures that means Chris must get at least 30 times the messages and mentions I do (and I’d guess it’s many more.) That means about 3150 messages and mentions a day, impossible to reply to more than 1/10th of that number I would think, and that is before we start talking Facebook, You Tube, Blog etc.

With this in mind, I was somewhat surprised to receive a tweet back stating “Happiest to you too, Bill. Do good things. : 0″.  When you’re following a real social media rock star (who coincidently does not use the words guru or expert in any of his bio’s), this means a lot. It doesn’t take a lot of time, it contains no real earth shattering facts but it does bring the network and the following on to a basic human level, person to person. However big or small your network is, it means a lot to the people who follow you.

I thanked Chris with my next tweet, thanking him for taking the time to reply and got the following response ” I do what I can. Hard to reply all the time, but I do what I can. : )”.  We probably won’t communicate again, but it did remind me of the best way to build a network. Keep it personal and reach out when you can even if it is just to say Hi! You don’t need to make every tweet earth shattering or full of revelation, remember people are people, and some help, acknowledgment or a kind word will go a long way to building a great network in whatever community you wish to belong. Never think you don’t have something worthwhile to say, treat your network as a group of close acquaintances with a few friends thrown in.

This was an epiphany for me, because in all the talk of R.O.I, science and technique it reminded me of what the real key is. Simple human conversation. So, Happy Christmas Chris Brogan and have a great New Year. The same to everyone who takes the time to read my blog, follow my tweets or follow me in any way.

Be ambassadors of conversation, have a great one with your loved ones.


9 comments on “Merry Christmas Chris Brogan

  1. It’s tricky. You’re right that I have a lot of followers, but that never matters if you’re the one who doesn’t get the reply. You know what I mean?

    So, instead, just stay diligent. Try your best, and occasionally surprise someone .

    BTW, the :0 was a typo of 🙂

    I wasn’t really shocked.

    : )

  2. Bill, you are right in that Chris Brogan is incredible in the way he keeps up with all the information flow that comes his way. I have been following him for a little over a year now and have had the pleasure of meeting him in person at Gnomedex in Seattle last Summer. He is as genuine in person as he is in print (I just got a new copy of Trust Agents today for Christmas — I read the first one and passed it on).

    In the same line of thinking you describe here I too strive to reply to people. Whether it’s a question in a tweet or a comment to my blog.

    It’s an art to be able to create a succinct yet useful response in 140 characters. I often find great ideas for blog posts from tweets where I can expand upon an idea. However, I have to say that Chris has mastered the short blog post while saying a lot and getting people to think. I strive for that, but as an engineer with a tendency for verbosity (in print and spoken words) I have a difficult time achieving it. For this I aspire to the level of Social Media Greatness that I see in the body of work Chris has created and the community he has helped foster.

  3. I’m totally a nobody and Chris has responded before to me too! Yep, I felt special! I love the conversation and learning opportunities that social media provides!

  4. Chris responded to me too when I tweeted that I enjoyed listening to Trust Agents on Audible. It’s definitely nice to have some level of personal connection with an author, even if it’s less than 140 characters. Saves me queueing up at book signings.

  5. Never call yourself a nobody. We’re all nobodies, and we’re all the stars of an incredible story. Even if it’s a sad story.

  6. Exactly. Great point Chris. I wrote this tweet this morning after I saw Monica’s comment. (Sorry it took me a while to get to a PC — I was on my phone earlier).

    Your voice is more powerful than you think. Let it be heard.
    Link to the tweet: http://bit.ly/5TyyKb

  7. Thanks for taking the time out during the Christmas season to comment on my blog. I agree entirely with Chris & Jeff’s comments that we are all a somebody with plenty to share, and no one comment is more valid than another. True, it may be better informed but we all have unique view points and experiences that entitle us to comment.
    The beauty with social media is that we rate people by content before reputation and it is only after we value what is said that we look to see what it is people do. Reputation is earnt rather than automatically given, and we all have the opportunity to become “somebody.” The network comes from the conversation and not the standing. Sure, we follow a few celebs but then we don’t expect anything other than a P.R. message from them. We build a network of people who interest us first and foremost, and an “inner circle” around those that really engage and entertain. Be in the conversation!
    I’m glad of the interest this entry has generated, perhaps my next post should be “Happy New Year @mashable?


  8. Hi Bill

    What is not surprising to me is that you reached out to Chris Brogan and that he did reply. You have been inspiring to me this year in your dedication to communication and unselfishly ‘reaching out’ to others.

    In an age where we have been ‘preaching’ that companies need to communicate with candidates to ensure a great candidate experience, it is often all too easy to forget that we should take our own medicine.

    I am looking forward to another great year working with Mr. B. Thanks for being a friend, mentor and colleague.


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