I’ve been meaning to give a shout out in some substantive way to people that influence me, inspire me, inform me and just “plain get” how this crazy social world of tech, marketing, innovation and communication works.

With Seattle being akin to my adopted favourite US city (go ‘Hawks and apologize Pete Carroll I left you off the list), I thought I would first expose 20 people I really like catching up with and chewing on their content from the upper left corner of the US.

Although I am positive I have missed some worthy candidates (I’m sure you’ll let me know), here was my 7-fold criteria:

  • you cover off some our hot button Wikibrand topics of business, online community, customer experience, awesome content, brand engagement, culture change social media tools and platforms, trends, innovation and/or clever marketing
  • your social media areas are chockful of insights and helpful links to your own and others’ valuable stuff
  • you actually follow people back – anybody with thousands of followers and less than 100 follow backs have essentially lost the point of digital engagement in my book; it may be a shorthand but it’s a pretty reliable one
  • you’re popular – I am sure I missed some people and you’re amazing, but I just wasn’t able to spot you
  • you are altruistic – in something I see (either stuff you share or stuff you’re involved with), you’re trying to make the web and your real-life and social circles a better place
  • you are likeable and positive – I have no time for whiners or narcissists or blowhards, happiness and generosity is a function of your network in a connected world, I prefer to receiving contagions from the happy types
  • you actually do other things than Tweet and Fbook – it appears that you are using social media as a hobby, a sensible passion or a means to an end, not as the end itself
  • you are human – even though you’re sharing informative pieces or occasionally promoting your stuff, you are doing it in a fresh, conversational and enthusiastic way

So here’s my Seattle list of 20, pull up a chair and grab a West Coast latte (candidly, with this city, since I know many of these people, their charming personalities may have clouded my judgement):

  • Jason Yormark @jasonyormark Vice President of Marketing & Social Media at Strategies 360. Mac Enthusiast, Volleyball coach, Amateur baseball player.
  • Shauna Causey @shaunacausey  Help nonprofits + startups. VP of Marketing at @Decide. Previous: lead social/digital at Nordstrom and Comcast. President of@SMCSeattle. Speaker, volunteer.
  • Adam Brotman @adambrotman Chief digital officer, svp, Starbucks (opinions and thoughts here are my own) http://about.me/adambrotman
  • Maria Ross @redslice Storyteller, irrestible brand builder, dynamic speaker. Author: Branding Basics for Small Business #brandbook Rebooting My Brain#rebootbook
  • Joann Jen @joannjen @AntsEyeView@SMCSeattle Board. Jersey Girl. A little bit Non-Sequitur. Love crunching numbers, online shopping, politics and the Huskies! #socialbiz
  • Sean O’Driscoll @seanodmvp  CEO and Co-Founder of Ant’s Eye View, a management consulting firm focused on social customer engagement.
  • Rob Wolf @thatrobguy Social Media Manager @Microsoft, photographer, part-time purveyor of fine baby gifts, and folksy raconteur
  • Jeff Hasen @jeffhasen Chief Marketing Officer at mobile marketing leader Hipcricket; author of book, Mobilized Marketing: Driving Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty
  • Eric Berto @geekgiant Participating in the verbal scrum at the convergence of communications, PR and social media.
  • Eric Weaver @weave  VP Social Business @AntsEyeView • Veteran digital marketer & Fortune 500 Strategist • Keynote speaker • I am not a hairstyle, seriously.
  • Jennifer Cabala @jennifercabala Microsoft Accelerator/TechStars, Social Media Club Seattle board member, Startup Weekend facilitator, former reporter, gadget girl, outdoor enthusiast
  • Kevin Urie @kevinurie Advertising/Marketing Geek @SpringCreekgrp, Dad, Husband and@SMCseattle Founder
  • Jeff  Lanctot @lanctot Razorfish Global Chief Media Officer
  • Rod Brooks @NW_Mktg_Guy  CMO: PEMCO Insurance. Immediate Past Prest: WOMMA Board. Board member: WA. DECA. Dedicated WSU Cougar. Student of Social Media.
  • Warren Sukernek @warrenss VP Social Insights at @Alterian. Co-founder of @SMBSeattle. Social Media is ok.
  • Pam Dyer @pamdyer  I explore the use of social media tools for marketing, advertising, branding, and engagement.
  • Sean Gardner @2morrowknight Digital Media Consultant|Contributor  @SocialMediaWeek @Smedio@HuffingtonPost|Co-Creator  #TwitterPowerhouses Series| Do-Gooder, Surfer!
  • Jeff Shuey @jshuey Alliance Manager – Microsoft and Tech (ECM & BPM); Mountain Biker, wind and wake surfer; proud dad; SMC Seattle Board Member
  • John Cook @johnhcook Co-founder of GeekWire, an online news source covering the Pacific Northwest technology community.
  • Laura Kimball @lamiki Community manager with a marketing brain & heart of a writer.#CrossFit strong girl who wears her @scrappy_face. Building something you haven’t heard of…yet.
  • Charl Lee Pierce @simchabe By Day: Quietly Brilliant @ HTC By Night: Hanging with my fabulous husband & chasing our kids through the social web

If I know you already, this is just a way of staying connected “heh, recognize what you’re doing”. And if we don’t know each other, then “you’re a new discovery, let’s connect over a virtual coffee or pint and see where it goes.”

Please also feel free to shine the light on others and add to our Seattle list below based on the criteria we laid out above.

Next week, we take a ride down Highway 101 and find our Wikibranders Portland 20.  Cheers, @seanmoffitt

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