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Brandon Mendelson is the author of Soap Box Included and project coordinator for America's largest e-junk collection collection and redistribution drive, known as A Million High Fives. He is also a post college survival comedian and blogs for the Huffington Post. You can follow him on Twitter @bjmendelson.
The 10 Blogs Social Publishers *Must* Read
The new trend today is to find a picture blog with a big audience, package it as a book, and sell it to people who are not aware of its existence (I'm looking at you, LOLCats). Webcomics have been around forever, but few are actually funny, and even less are presented as well as Amazing Super Powers. You don't need to write to be successful as a social publisher, you just need to be able to convey a story. Wes and Tony use suicidal fish and criminally inept police officers. It works well for them.
See what all of the design and other tech geeks are talking about. There's an almost infinite supply of great material here that you can discuss on your blog, retweet on Twitter, or share on Facebook. Successful social publishers are resourceful and always have good content ready to share.
Digg's front page is totally corrupt, but the upcoming section is the best place to find great content long before anyone else and position it for use on your blog. Plus after a month you'll know what will hit the Digg front page, meaning if you play your cards right, you'll be able to capitalize on the interest in that item by having it on your website first.
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Take someone who doesn't know anything about the web, but knows his material and audience better than anyone. That's WWE's Jim Ross. Even if you hate professional wrestling, Ross tells his stories from the road and provides observations on today's multimillion dollar business in a no BS way that's refreshing, and one every social publishers should take notice of.
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You need as much time as you can to invest in being a social publisher. Lifehacker always has great tips, and they're usually the first to cover shortcuts for new tech products. Including ones that might have slipped through the cracks on Techmeme.
I've read four of Seth's books now, and the blog is like a high quality free version, featuring daily blast of brief, useful information that you can readily apply to just about everything you're doing. Although Chris Brogan, Danny Brown, and Gary Vaynerchuck deserve honorable mentions (and are all worth reading), Godin is the originator and offers a business master class everyone should attend.
Most tech bloggers say the same exact thing and cover the same exact story, so why keep up with them when the important stuff can be found all in one place? Techmeme is a lifesaver, and most of the time, it'll keep you away from the time wasters who just want to bloviate about how awesome their analysis is.
The Onion uses a variety of multimedia content to tell news stories in a skewed humorous way. Anyone can do what The Onion does, but few can deliver as they do. The Onion became so successful that many of their writers were hired away to join The Daily Show, demonstrating that getting into social publishing can lead to career opportunities in the fields you may not have had access to before. The Onion's presentations are so sharp and convincing that real media outlets have used their material as a source in their reports, not getting the joke.
Love him or hate him, you should know who Tucker Max is for two reasons: 1) His content is written in a clear, entertaining way that is reminiscent of Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo Journalism. 2) Max has one of very few legitimate social publishing success stories. Most of the alleged top bloggers out there were either famous or known for other things before launching their blog, not Max. He had great content, turned it into a $300,000 book deal, a New York Times Best Seller, and now a major motion picture.
So you're keeping up with the geeks, and that's great, but unless your content is relevant to the non-techies, which is almost all of us, no one is going to care about your content. Find out what everyone is talking about and make what you're discussing relevant by drawing examples from popular news items.