Why social media guru Chris Brogan has thrown away your business card
If you're in the new media business, you've probably crossed paths with Brogan, the co-author of New York Times Bestseller "Trust Agents," but your success in getting him to remember your name and maybe do business with you depends on knowing what he thinks about business card etiquette, which we learned when we stopped him at the hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center after his keynote address at Blog World '09.
Why does it matter so much to reach Brogan? Because he's a guy who can connect you to many, many others, and that's what social networking is all about. For one thing, he's got 100,000 dedicated and loyal Twitter followers. And he practices what he preaches as he makes a living now helping others (big companies, small business owners, independent bloggers) use the Web to sell their wares, no matter what those wares are.
People listen to him because he tends to make sense. At his keynote address, he flew through a litany of buzzwords and cliches and ended up saying something original, which is a rare talent. He ranged from his rant on business cards to urging all the people in the room and watching the live stream to get off of Farmville -- a Facebook time waster -- to urging people to do good with their new-found powers of social media.
Connections are his currency, so you'd think he'd grab up as many business cards as he can, or maybe just Bump with them -- in the halls of the Blog World '09 conference, business cards were almost passe anyway, as the tech-savvy preferred to Bump instead -- which involves physically touching iPhones with the application open for an instant personal data exchange.
But Brogan doesn't run for either, because just making cursory connections in this kind of world isn't good enough. You have to actually engage with your audience -- which is why you rarely find one of these social media gurus who doesn't Twitter personally rather than hand over the task to an intern.
But while bloggers may hang on Brogan's every word, not all of them listen that well. As soon as the speech was over, he was overrun by networkers throwing their business cards at him. As you can see in the video, what he did with them was pure common sense: He threw them away.