Who do You Follow and Why? My FollowFriday Recommendations

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I am taking Chris Brogan’s advice to heart.  In his April 8, 2010 blog, Chris suggested the inspiration behind Micah Baldwin‘s Follow Friday idea on Twitter is a good one, but hard to capitalize on when you see a string of “@someoneawesome names” repeatedly each Friday.  I’ve felt the same way for a long time.  Although occasionally I have tweeted out  a short list of #FollowFriday or #FF engaging  people to follow, or a single person and 100 characters of why they are great to know, my heart wasn’t in it.  I didn’t feel I could do my friends and acquaintances justice, and frankly, I felt it rang hollow when so many #FF recommendations were flying through the Titterverse.   So, when Chris suggested “turn Follow Friday into a single tweet with a link to a blog post of the people you think others should follow”, it struck a chord with me.
Here’s my first list of great follows and why I believe they are important to what I am learning and/or am interested in.   If my reasoning makes sense to you, check out their tweet streams over the last few days – I hope you find them interesting, informative, inspirational etc.  Here goes:
 I met Chris in June of 2008 at the Central Ohio Small Business Development Center’s 2009 Ohio Growth Summit.  I listened to his presentation, chatted with him, and even had a picture taken with him.  I decided not to join a group going to dinner with Chris that evening, even though I knew the group would have a great time.  Later, I checked out his Twitter stream and thought, “Geez, this guy tweets a lot – do I want to crowd my Tweetdeck reading with all this…”  After reading and absorbing several tweets plus related links, and reflecting on the day’s learning, I decided on a “test-drive” follow – if it got to be too much, I would unfollow.  That unfollow never happened because I’ve found Chris to be consistently interesting, thought provoking, humorous  and a source of solid learning on a variety of topics.  If you don’t follow Chris yet, give him a “test drive” – you won’t be bringing those keys back.
 I’ve known Mike for a couple of years – we work together frequently, and he has been kind enough to allow me to speak on venture capital and startup & early stage funding processes at several of the SBDC learning opportunities such as Ideas to Deals.  Mike is the real deal – genuine, insightful, caring and funny.  He’s also in the picture taken last June with Chris.  I have great respect for Mike and his ability to lead the Central Ohio SBDC team (which is excellent), counsel entrepreneurs on a variety of business issues, and write an informative blog, Ideas to Deals.  Check out Mike’s tweet stream & give him a follow.  He and his team are currently planning the Ohio Growth Summit 2010 – I am certain it will be excellent.
 I’ve known Lewis for a couple of years as well.  He is one of my favorite entrepreneurs because of the success he is making, having transforming himself when his professional sports career ended prematurely.  He has accomplished much through focused hard work, learning, and experimentation.  Lewis is THE go-to guy for LinkedIn, having utilized it to grow his career and personal brand, and helped countless others along the way.  He has written a solid LinkedIn guide that I refer to frequently: Linked Working: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking SiteHe also has founded the Sports Executives Association and SportsNetworker.com .  Lewis is all about success and enjoying life, so give him a follow – it will improve your own drive to success.  Oh yeah, Lewis is also in the picture taken last June with Chris and Mike.
 I’ve known Crystal Olig since late in 2009 when she joined Oxiem, which has an office in the The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center.  Since I have teenagers, I’m doing my best to understand them, how they think, why their generation is so different from mine etc.  I want to impact their lives effectively by meeting them where they live.  Crystal is a perceptive reader and communicator (and standout member!) of the “GenY” generation – and easily shares her insights in person, through great presentations such as Gen Yers Who Get It and through her blog whY gen Y.  Crystal is engaging, informative, and creative.  Following and learning from her is a natural, regardless of your age.
 Nate Riggs is a solid source of information on personal branding (Building Brand You), using social media in business, and navigating the evolving social media universe.   He is an entrepreneur at heart, working with business leaders to develop social media strategies and build “Internalized Human Business Teams” and getting results.  According to Nate, IHBT teams are comprised of individuals trained to use social media tools to enhance internal communications, marketing, public relations, business development and sales.  Nate authors a great blog: Nate Riggs Social Business Strategies, which is often instructive and always informative.  Nate is a pioneer on the frontier of living and communicating strategies for getting the most out of your brand and utilizing available tools to build that brand.  Follow Nate and he’ll take you along with him on the frontier.
So there you have it, my first five follow recommendations for Twitter.  If you follow people to expand your horizons, learn and be challenged, this is a great group.   Check them out, follow them and let me know what you learn and why it is valuable to you.

I work alongside emerging companies on business formation, commercialization strategies, and capital planning. My passion is to find, support, mentor, coach, incubate, & fund start-ups engaged in innovative technology businesses.

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