Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The "Oprah" of Social Media?

As social media continues its meteoric rise in popularity, it should only be a matter of time before it begins to create a new cast of celebrities in cyberspace. Just as television served as a platform to launch brands such as "The Tonight Show", "Donahue", "Late Night" and "Regis & Kelly", why shouldn't we expect similar star-making dynamics to unfold on our computer screens?

Who will be the "one" personality we will be turning to with increasing frequency - online?

Already, serious contenders are beginning to emerge. Let's take a look at five who are making a determined bid for that title.

1. Go to http://www.winelibrarytv.com/ and sample the flavorings of Gary Vaynerchuk, a 32-year-old New Yorker who has made more than 450 daily wine-tasting shows online. His show, with an audience of 80,000 a day, has vaulted Vaynerchuk into the international spotlight with appearances on two of the biggest TV talk shows in the US, the Wall Street Journal and Time. Gary Vee has discovered there's more to it than using online video to sell wine, although it has helped a small family-owned store become a $60m-a-year enterprise. Calling himself "the social media sommelier", he says "I'd rather have a million friends right now than a million dollars. Your social equity is far greater than your financial equity."

2. Jason Falls directs social media strategies for Doe-Anderson, a brand-building agency based in Louisville, Kentucky. Falls is co-founder of the Social Media Club Louisville and comes to the attention of The Seamless Brand with his Oprah-like endorsement of a young entrepreneur out of Moncton, NB as Pierre Martell of Martell Home Builders continues to amaze customers and the blogosphere with his cutting-edge approach to new home construction. You can enjoy the complete story and Falls analysis of "The Martell Experience" at http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/2008/10/20/social-media-for-small-business-martell-home-builders/

3. Darren Rowse is a full time blogger making a living from this new and dynamic medium ever since 2002 when he stumbled across an article about ‘Blogging’. Within 24 hours of reading the article, Darren started his own Blog where he explores issues of Pop Culture, Spirituality and Blogging and eventually created an income stream in the process to support his habit. In September of 2004, Darren launched http://www.problogger.com/ as a way to help others learn the skills of blogging, share their own experiences and promote the medium. Since then he has added over 3500articles, tips, tutorials and case studies including this recent video post.

4. Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman are known as "The Blog Squad" as they help professionals set up and optimize great business blogs. They also operate a "blog crisis prevention program" - dedicated to extreme blog makeovers and learn best blogging practices. These two gals offer pragmatic, no-nonsense, how-to guidance and are committed to helping you Attract, Sell and Profit by integrating blogs with other online marketing tools such as newsletters and ecommerce systems.Discover more at http://www.buildabetterblog.com/

5. Chris Brogan is a 38-year old father of two and a ten year veteran of using social media to build digital relationships for businesses, brands and people. His impact on the blogosphere is felt each day he posts at http://www.chrisbrogan.com/ lifting his blog in the top 20 of the Advertising Age Power150, and in the top 100 on Technorati. Chris won the Mass High Tech All Stars award for thought leaders for 2008. Featured in US News & World Report, The Montreal Gazette, Newsweek, and some other places, he is also the cofounder of the PodCamp new media conference series, exploring the use of new media community tools to extend and build value.

Are there any others who should be on this list?

Who do you think will emerge as the new "Oprah" of this new, wired world?

"Newspaper, radio and television is F***cked!" GARY VAYNERCHUK



jonreid said...


There's a decent list of "Oprah" candidates here:


I'd have to vote for someone like Kevin Rose. His main contribution is Digg.com and DiggNation atm, but his influence is spreading.

Mike Shanks said...

In watching the video blog it sounded a lot like particle conflict. Something to be different, something to stand out. Play an accordian!

Dayngr said...

Yes, where are the women??

Carla Lynne Hall said...

Great list, but with the internet, I'd bet money that there will be more than one "Oprah" that will people turn to online.

In the internet, the focus is more on niches and "the long tail" as opposed to someone who can be many things to many people. TV is a more passive medium for the watcher. Social media/networking is about reaching out and making a connection with a community.

The internet is big enough that different people will have their different "gurus", depending on their needs, as well their chosen niche (if any).


Dr. Wright said...

NO Women on your list? REally??

Dr. WRight
The Wright Place TV Show

Jason Falls said...

Wow! Thanks for the high praise. I wouldn't rank myself above anyone on that list and several who aren't on it. But am humbled by the inclusion.

Some others for consideration - Todd Defren, Brian Solis, Geoff Livingston, Lee Odden, Muhammad Saleem, Kristie Wells, Chris Heuer.

GaryV probably has a leg up on everyone, though because of his book and mainstream appeal through his business. Plus he's already semi-famous in the mainstream.

Glad to be the Bill Pullman of Social Media, though. Heh.

Anonymous said...

to dayngr:
excellent question.
One suggestion would be the ladies of nonsociety, julia allison and meghan asha... they do an excellent job with personal branding.

Gair Maxwell said...

Good to hear from so readers today including our newest TSB visitor, the #2 man on the list Jason Falls who in my opinion did a bang-up job describing the "Martell Experience" to a "T".

Confess to being a little puzzled about the women inclusion comments considering we have two two women from the "Blog Squad" who also earned the photo spot as ranking on the list...

Love the feedback from everyone and the recommendations to check out even more worthy candidates for the "Oprah of Social Media" crown ...

jonreid said...

I'm puzzled too Gair.

I'd imagine the ladies on the list didn't stand out in the middle as much as their pic was used at the top of the article.

There are 4 women on the most influential list as well. For a more local example, I would include Amber MacArthur (AmberMac) who honored us with her presence at the last ThirdTuesday event in Moncton.

AmberMac "commands" a lot of viewers on G4 Tech TV, Space, the commandN podcast, CTV, the list goes on...

Ken LeBlanc said...

You missed the real "Oprah" of Social Media - Kevin Rose of Digg.com is the king!!!

Gair Maxwell said...

Looks like I will have to "Digg" into this topic a little deeper!

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