Resource(ful)s: Genuine Forward-Thinkers in Online Media

by Kurt

Beware of experts in marketing, communications and business. For better or worse, the best resources are generally reserved for the resourceful – those who go beyond Google or the over-hyped ‘experts’ in a field or profession.

Why? You might think the most obvious candidates would likely be the most qualified, but anyone who spends too much time marketing themselves often lose touch with how to communicate messages that are not self-centric. To paraphrase a (derogatory) saying about teachers: those who can’t do, consult. To be fair, many talented people also work as consultants or freelancers by choice – it is partly a lifestyle decision. However, if someone has not built something on their own you have to wonder what expertise they will have in helping you build something for yourself.

Moreover, many people writing the most overtly engaging content (sensational lists, for example) may be great entertainers but are unlikely to also be good educators. Their focus is on appealing to audiences but not necessarily on informing them. There are no doubt exceptions but this seems to be a good working rule of thumb. The extreme examples are the ‘get rich quite’ and ‘make money online’ or ‘work 4 hours a week’ bloggers who write about their own supposed successes so much you kind of have to wonder how (or if) they get anything done – and why they bother pushing their ebooks, putting up advertisements or saturating content with affiliate links if they are already making so much money from their other entrepreneurial ventures.

So who can you trust? Where do you look? Sometimes the most successful people do not even talk or write about themselves – they are too busy doing to spend time communicating what they do to others. Many of the best and brightest, therefore, are those who communicate about their work on the side as a hobby or secondary occupation.

Right now, my personal network of close comrades, colleagues and allies include Avi of DarkRoastedBlend, Alex of Neatorama and others who publish in similar niches to those covered on my own sites. Also: tech-savvy forward-thinkers such as Jeff Hood and Mike Waggoner. Beyond that, my sources of entrepreneurial and new-media inspiration include Kevin Kelly, Joe Kissell, Paul Graham and other people who are coming from perspectives and backgrounds more different from mine than they are similar.