Monday, December 29, 2008

The Social Media Gurus

In our research, we're often plowing through several social media sites to learn what experts are saying about and to one another. And, in the spirit of learning from the best, here is a list lifted from Business Week Blogspotting columnist Stephen Baker. Click through this treasure trove of links to begin or refine your social media education.

Mark Cramer

Lee Odden

Peter Shankman (aka Skydiver)

Jeff Pulver

Linus Torvalds

Ward Cunningham

Tim O'Reilly

Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus

Richard Edelman

Dave Winer

Chico the Dog

Simon Berry

Jay Rosen

David Chamberlain

Honey Bee network

A top-10 list

Lawrence Lessig

Tristan Harris, Apture

Steve Rubel

Robin Good

Marshall Kirkpatrick

Richard MacManus

Rachel Sterne

Gary Vaynerchuk

Liz Strauss

Craig Stoltz

Shel Holtz

Andy Carvin

Shel Israel

Laura Fitton

jeremiah oywang

Fred Wilson

Guy Kawasaki

Jason Goldberg

Chris Brogan

David Weinberger

Kevin Rose

Robert Scoble

Chris Hughes

B. L. Ochman

Beth Kanter

Biz Stone

Mohammad Yunus

Shannon Paul

Tim Jackson

Amber Naslund

Jason Falls

Beth Harte

David Armano

Mack Collier

Brian Solis

Rashmi Sinha

Bob Pearson

Frank Eliason

Seth Godin

Ev Williams

Kathy Sierra

Hugh MacLeod

Chris Bruzzo (MyStarbucksIdea)

Remember to join our eNews list. Get Guru Updates 1st! -- pure energy, enthusiasm put to work.

Rather than expound too much on this remarkable effort, we strongly suggest you see and hear it in their warm and engaging presentation. This type of dedication and joy, channeled into a measured and structured system, makes for the type of guru in-the-making that warrants your attention now, and for years to come. We've slotted these folks for an interview on for 2009.

See their video here, and learn more about Neal Campbell and Luria Petrucci at their site.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting new blog up on GuruTrack this weekend. Still need nominations for favorite Gurus. Go to htp:// to contribute.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Xmas Lighting Guru

In the spirit of the season, we present the Holiday Lighting Guru, Richard Holdman.

Holdman devotes considerable energy each year to creating multi-faceted displays that employ all manner of wiring, manufacturing, computer-coding and musical coordination. He delivers on all fronts, and shares his genuius w/ how-to's and behind-the-scenes videos on his site, Holdman Christmas. He also donates funds raised to Make-A-Wish.

To see more of his fine work, see this post on SaucyJoes. Meanwhile, endulge yourself with this delightful video:

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Drinking from the chalice of Alphabet Juice

We often applaud the efforts of geniuses as they explore things remarkably far from the box (not just outside it) but we're far more enamored of the Guru who embraces knowledge and delivers an easily accessible dissection of their portion of the universe.

Truly amongst the best of the modern-day bards of language and it's use is Roy Blount Jr. Author, speaker and pundit, he seems equally at home behind the podium as ensconced on a porch swing. NOTE: We've never seen him on a swing but we know he's adept at it, okay?

So our surprise and delight was evident as we listened to RBJ as he spoke with Bob Edwards this morning regarding his new -- just in time for your gift list -- effort, Alphabet Juice.

Hearing him describe it, read from it and share the wit and wisdom behind it was delicious and we immediately ordered copies for favorite people. We would highly recommend you do the same. In difficult times, a prudent but truly thoughtful gift is um, good, and this will be a delight for the word smith or reader in your crowd. Here's what Michael Dirda at the Washington Post had to say:

If your eyes have only skimmed over the long subtitle of Alphabet Juice and just vaguely registered that the book has something to do with words, please go back and read the entire subtitle again, slowly. This time listen to the syncopation of the clauses, as well as the alliterative music of the p's and t's, then note the juxtaposition of high and low style ("combinations thereof," "innards"), the punchy yet unexpected nouns ("gists," "pips"), that touch of genteel sexual innuendo ("secret parts"), and the concluding flourish of the gustatory. Like Roy Blount Jr. himself, his new book's subtitle neatly balances real learning with easy-loping charm. But then Blount isn't merely the ah-shucks Georgia boy he might sometimes seem; he's a Georgia boy who was a Phi Beta Kappa at Vanderbilt and has an M.A. in English from Harvard. Moreover, for the past 40 or so years he has supported himself by a versatile and distinctly pleasing way with words, having been successively (or even simultaneously) a sports reporter, essayist, cultural commentator, light versifier, occasional actor, novelist, lecturer, oral storyteller and anthologist (Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor). Though generally slotted as a humorist (in the down-home vein of Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor), Blount is still serious enough to be a longtime usage adviser to the American Heritage Dictionary, a contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly, and a star of National Public Radio's quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me." And therein lies a mystery: Given all this energetic freelancing, how does the man somehow manage to sound -- in person and on the page -- as if he spent most of his time lounging on an old davenport, with a cold Abita Amber in his hand, watching football or basketball on TV?
So, that being said, we truly embrace his work, his smarts and love of the language. All the qualities we seek in a Guru. If you'd like to learn more about Mr. Blount, you can find him here.

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Okay, pinging this a.m. If you love words, you really need to see Roy Blount's new book, Alphabet Juice 

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Top 10 Ted Talks

We're madly searching for accessible Gurus you can get to and learn from, but while we're toiling, feed your head w/ this bunch -- The Top 10 Ted Talkers as favorited by viewers.

1. Jill Bolte Taylor: "My stroke of insight"
2. Jeff Han: "Touchscreen demo foreshadows the iPhone"
3. David Gallo: "Underwater astonishments"
4. Blaise Aguera y Arcas: "Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo"
5. Arthur Benjamin: "Lightning calculation and other 'Mathemagic'"
6. Sir Ken Robinson: "Do schools kill creativity?"
7. Hans Rosling: "The best stats you've ever seen"
8. Tony Robbins: "Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better"
9. Al Gore: "15 ways to avert a climate crisis"
10. Johnny Lee: "Creating tech marvels out of a $40 Wii Remote"

You can watch the highlight reel here, or click on the links beside each person's name to see that individual talk.

To see all the TED geniuses on stage, click on this TED link...

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Nominate a Guru & get updates 1st!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oliver Selfridge, AI pioneer, dies @ 82

Oliver G. Selfridge, an innovator in early computer science and artificial intelligence, died on Wednesday in Boston. He was 82.
We ALL owe a debt of gratitude to this man, and his tireless efforts. His work made so many of today's commonplace technological advances possible.

For more, see this obit in the New York Times.

He never stopped theorizing, speaking and writing on what he saw as the future of artificial intelligence. You can read more of his work as an author here.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bob Edwards -- Eavesdropping on the Experts

Listening to a Bob Edwards interview is like satisfying your deepest food craving: you feel slightly guilty, quite delighted and so very sated by the experience. You've just overheard Bob chatting with one of the world's greats, and you are immediately richer for it.

I indulge in this ear candy each morning on my XM 133 (they've killed so many other worthwhile offerings so this is one of the last refuges on the satellite) and find it to be a great example of what we call a "trusted interview." One can turn to Dick Cavett or David Frost as trusted hosts who have made their mark in this genre, (also not coincidentally on NPR broadcasts) but often times, Mr. Edwards' extensive preparation, friendly manner and dulcet tones makes each interview more of a conversation between friends. You listen, you learn, you feel much better for the experience, and you don't in the least mind that the host was as much of the experience as the guest.

I trust that Bob Edwards is not an outsized ego who masks his drive in a friendly facade. And I'm willing to wager that he really doesn't work to insert himself into the story. It is unavoidable though, and we love him for being there and introducing us to yet another person of global impact.

Listening to his interview with Daniel Schorr, the only working member of Edward R. Murrow's original broadcast teams, you felt as though these two voices were peers simply reminiscing. Many other modern-day broadcast heads would be but a shadow in Schorr's presence, and Edwards brought out the best, and the curtain of broadcast news history was peeled back in a manner not easily discovered today.

In our efforts to find and interview experts, leaders and gurus we admire or discover, Mr. Edwards' efforts stand as a touchstone; a watermark we aspire to reach each time.

Links to Bob Edwards on the web:

Website for The Bob Edwards Show

His Blog

The Weekend Podcast (free)

MySpace Profile

Flickr Photos

NPR Tribute

RSS Feed (XM)

Bob Edwards' Books

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Looking for Advertising Gurus

We're spending some time this week sorting through various nominees inthe ad world. Having logged some serious time there, we have some candidates but want to expand the choices.

If you have a nominee (or are one) please comment on this entry.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

GuruTrack preview: Wine experts worth quoting

In all our time tending to the joys of running SaucyJoes, we have had the great fortune to meet some extraordinary wine professionals. And, interestingly enough, we've found out we're wine snob snobs. We don't just hang out w/ the experts because they know more than we do. In fact if they know a lot more, and act like it (characters not exclusive to wine, mind you, but abundant in the field) we're running the opposite direction w/ hands cupped over ears -- I can't hear you I can't hear you lah lah lah lah.

Pretty savvy no?

Okay, so not the most mature approach, but we know many would approve.

All this points to the real point which is we currently have four very favorite wine experts, three of whom we'll introduce briefly here as an entree to our upcoming wine guru review coming in December.

First is our all-time favorite, David Borzo. A 30-year food & beverage guy whose expertise in running everything from small bistros to large corporate dining operations has earned him choice positions serving major corporations' fine dining service, David has a fine wine pedigree. His background also includes having well-versed (and well-connected) wine connoisseurs in his family. It makes for great (for us) sibling rivalries when we visit his little portion of heaven in Des Moines. He's a regular blogger, a very accomplished artist and is well known in Midwest wine circles.
To top things off, he often collaborates with his web guru spouse Sherry (more on her later) and we're excited to know he has several reviews upcoming for SaucyJoes this year.

Our second expert is Mr. James Doutre. Jim teaches several wine appreciation classes in Dallas/Fort Worth, and has a large and enthusiastic following among students and professionals because of his warm and engaging approach to fruits of the vine. Having been a wine buyer for many years, his know-how stretches beyond the wines, and on into the people and personalities found in all stations in the wine hierarchy. He regularly travels to pursue his passion and connections in wine regions, and brings that ongoing knowledge to his classes and events.

Natalie MacLean, our third and newest guru is perhaps one of the best known wine pros spreading the gospel of great wine and wine practices. Her book, Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass is a highly lauded guide to what she calls her "last three years sipping, spitting and slogging her way through the international wine world to visit some its most evocative places and to meet some of its most charismatic, obsessive and innovative characters."

She is warm, funny, charming and ultimately tireless in her pursuits (she answered one of our queries in the wee hours of the morning) which is exactly what you want in an expert.

So, Now you have a brief preview. We look forward to sharing more about what makes these three (and our fourth mystery guest) such compelling people to follow on the road to wine expertise and enjoyment.

Friday, November 14, 2008

LinkedIn Experts coming this week

We're putting finishing touches on an article on LinkedIn experts we know, and find that in our zest for a better story we need more resources. Do you know any truly great LI gurus?

Reply with a comment recommendation, or email Ski @

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can we lead with compassion?

As we prepare for the GuruTrack launch, we're seeing more and more opportunities to add life to the living we do on a day-to-day basis.

For every gross of self-promoting wannabees (oh yes, Virginia, there are PLENTY) we spot a true light, and are immediately compelled to share the info.

One such light was sent to us by our friends at TED, Chris Anderson, TED Curator and Amy Novogratz, TED Prize Director who wrote:

At TED2008 in March of this year, TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong was granted a wish to change the world. This is what she asked for:

"I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a Charter for Compassion, crafted by a group of leading inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and based on the fundamental principles of universal justice and respect."

Since then support for idea has built among numerous religious groups, spiritual leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, and Britain's first female Rabbi Julia Neuberger have joined a special Council to oversee the Charter, and Kluster, a collaborative decision making platform, has built a groundbreaking site that will allow anyone to contribute to the Charter.

Regardless of your religious inclination, the message of driving belief and action via compassion seems so very poignant for those who wish to find the right track to follow, and most importantly, for those who wish to lead.

I agree with Moolies editors that it shouldn't take holding up organized religion as an example or bellweather for this type of movement to gain traction. However, it has to start somewhere, and these folks have huge mailing lists ;)

Please take a few moment in your day today to visit, and contribute your thoughts and energy to this vital process.
And by all means, comment here or link to this to further spread the word.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Search for Entrepreneur Blogs Begins

So as we ready the roll out of, we're HEAVY into research mode, and wanting to really deliver the experts that give your ideas and efforts traction.

One quick reference we found was courtesy of Keith Robinson at LifeHacker. His review directs you to's Entrepreneur page run by Scott Allen. Scott is an old hand at tech and all manner of things online (including a nifty blog on using LinkedIn) plus he's a THE University of Texas grad so extra points there.

He filtered through tons of sites and links to distill it to the best active blogs. Here is his Top 10 Most Practical Blogs for Entrepreneurs:

• Small Business Trends
• Just for Small Business
• Duct Tape Marketing
• The Entrepreneurial Mind
• BizzBangBuzz
• Business Opportunities Weblog
• Go BIG Blog
• Young Entrepreneur Journey
• Startup Spark

NOTE: Keith's comment string also contains a bevy of reader suggestions well worth a late night read so we recommend you read his blog post too.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama's brilliant social media effort

Here is the content of an email I received from Michelle MacPhearson, who is one of my favorite social media gurus. Listen to the podcast asap if you're interested in online marketing.

Hey Ski!

Webspace is buzzing with commentary on the election of Obama and
his team's adept use of social media during his campaign.

It's a lesson we all can learn from - regardless of our political

Politics is old school, as old school as it gets. If social media
is working there, it WILL work in your market as well.

Today, Ed Dale, Paul Colligan, Lynn Terry and I got on the phone
and talked about the ways in which the election's adaptation to
social media can apply to your business.

It's actually a weekly podcast we're doing called "Internet
Marketing This Week". It's totally issues based - no product
pitches - just solid info and discussion.

Download the MP3 and subscribe to the podcast with Itunes so you
get new episodes automatically - you can do both


Michelle MacPhearson

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Welcome to GuruTrack

Coming Fall 2008, a comprehensive review of great gurus ... what makes them tick, why they've been successful, why you can learn something from them, and how to best leverage their know-how and teachings. Visit us @ too for the monthly features, updates and archives of our profiles of the finest to follow.
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