Your book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, had such a profound influence on me. And, it continues influencing my thinking today. Your thoughts about how content and ideas spread via the Internet forced me to question everything I learned about traditional marketing tactics and strategy from my MBA business school training in the late 1990's.
Your book is why I started my personal blog. If I had read this important book when it was first published in June 2007, I would have started blogging much sooner (because I didn't read it until December 2008). Blogging is the most creative and fulfilling process I've ever enjoyed in my life. And, I'm so far behind because I didn't start sooner.
In pages 50 to 53 of The New Rules of Marketing and PR you shared how the best way to start blogging is by reading and commenting on other blogs. You described a two-part learning process: (1) reading blogs teaches you blogging and commenting etiquette and (2) commenting is a great way to learn how to get your viewpoint out there.
Three and half years ago, I wrote my first-ever blog comment on your post, What We All Really Want Is ATTENTION. I still remember all the negative thoughts after posting my comment. I feared my contribution was uninsightful, long-winded, and self-indulgent. I thought the worst -- that I detracted from the conversation (instead of adding to it).
But, you responded with a kind, acknowledging response (literally hours later). Your response made me feel validated (and relieved) that I properly applied your teachings. You gave me self-confidence.
And, you made me feel like I was welcome at this cool party involving the smart and engaging people who are consistently part of the Web Ink Now Community. From that point on, I couldn't wait to receive your latest post on my RSS feed so I could learn more about how you think (and continue participating in the conversation by writing more comments).
I've been eternally grateful for your kind comments on my blog posts reviewing one of your books (or when you retweet one of my tweets). Your generous acts in sharing and my book reviews of Real Time Marketing & PR and Newsjacking made me feel so great!
Why? Because I look up to you! I consider you a New Media Hero! I view your comments on my blog (along with your responses to my comments in your blog) as a form of coaching or mentoring (even though we've never met in-person). It's so meaningful and generous when someone you look up to, takes the time to acknowledge something you wrote or contributed and says "thank you."
It surprises me how so few people recognize and acknowledge the power of these simple, kind acts.
When you mentioned my name and linked to my blog in your post titled: Newsjacking Via a Real Time Kindle Book, it remains the biggest thrill in my brief online career as an amateur blogger. You have no idea how much this wonderful gesture means to me -- Thank you David!
I hope one day to meet you in-person and shake your hand. You're the reason I passionately pursue and continuously learn about how marketing and PR strategies continue changing at Internet speed. Every opportunity to read your books, blog, or study one of your videos, is a new chance to learn.
Thank you David for being such a great teacher and mentor. Your work and art inspires me.
All the best,
Note: Austin Kleon's book, Steal Like an Artist and Mitch Joel's public fan letters inspired this post. Pages 108 to 109, "Write Fan Letters," and Chapter 2: "Don't Wait Until You Know Who You Are To Get Started" from Austin's book are amazing. After reading Austin's book and Mitch's aforementioned posts, I made a public fan letters list of my heroes.
Please indulge me as I periodically publish these fan letters on this blog.
From page 109 of Steal Like an Artist: "Maybe your hero will see your work, maybe he or she won't. Maybe they'll respond to you, maybe not. The important thing is that you show your appreciation without expecting anything in return."