Arik Hanson has a great idea (again); he’s taking nominations (only 5) for the top 20 social media innovators in Minnesota.
- You can only nominate five people (but everyone’s breaking that rule)
- The person must live in Minnesota
- He’s taking nominations for one week, after which he’ll tally and post the top 20
This is very tough because we have a ton of social media talent in Minnesota. Since Arik included the word Innovators in his request, I’m assuming innovation is the point (as opposed to simply using social media well), so that is what I will focus on.
These are in no particular order, because ranking the bestest of the 30th bestest will simply be too hard. UPDATED: 7/23/09.
- Chuck Olsen – Chuck Olsen has been around since the beginning of social media time, first with Blogumentary the documentary and blog, then with his MNStories.com video blog (and now video sharing site), and now heading up the local citizen journalism community with TheUptake.org.
- Albert Maruggi – Albert’s Marketing Edge podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in social media. For his podcast alone he deserves to be on the list because through it he’s highlighting social media talent, connecting people, and spreading ideas and because of that, we all benefit. Albert’s background in politics also gives him a unique and important perspective.
- Rick Mahn – Rick should be on the list for no other reason than bringing us together. His leadership in organizing the Twin Cities Social Media Breakfasts. Twitter: @RickMahn
- Ryan Maus – The University of Minnesota is doing some amazing work on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. It’s a group effort that includes @WarehouseMedia, @elizacomm, @DJWolter, @pmattern and @ryanmathre.
- Lee Aase – Innovative social media work for the Mayo Clinic (using a blog,Â YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook) Â and Chancellor of Social Media University Global.
- Sean Kershaw – As Executive Director of the Citizens League, Sean has reinvigorated the organization and is incorporating social media into its operations. Check out Citizing!
- Steve Clift – As the founder of e-democracy (of which I am a board member), Steve created online social spaces before social media by bringing people together over policy & politics. Back in 1994 Minnesota held the first online gubernatorial debate. It was that event that flipped the light switch for me realizing how powerful this medium could be; in 1995 I was fully immersed in all things online.
- Connie Bensen – Community Manager extraordinaire. Twitter: @cbensen
- David Brauer – David has been at it for a long time, first as moderator of the Minneapolis Issues List, and now as a MinnPost blogger, Twitterer and Facebook friender who is using these tools to be a better journalist.
- Jason DeRusha – He’s everywhere and he was probably there before anyone else in his industry was. Like Brauer, these tools serve the larger purpose of improving journalism. Twitter: @DeRushaJ.
- John Daenzer – John is the man behind the curtain of WCCO’s social media efforts. WCCO TV has been reaching out to bloggers with ‘CCO’s “bloginars” and encouraging and orchestrating the on-air personalities’ use of Facebook and Twitter, and John is the strategic mind behind the efforts. Disclosure: My employer, Tunheim Partners, has done some work for WCCO TV.
- Greg Swan – His case studies rock, as does his music blog, Perfect Porridge. Twitter:Â @perfectporridge
- Paul DeBettignies – He’s lead the way in the recruiting industry. Twitter: Â @MNHeadunter.
- Graeme Thickins – A start-up adviser and one of the Minnov8 gang and I’m a fan of his Tech-Surf-Blog.
- Garrick Van Buren – For creating Cullect. Twitter: @GarrickVanBuren.
- Tim Elliot – Another Minno8er, Tim launched Winecast back in 2004.
- Steve Borsch – Steve likes to peek over the horizon to glimpse the future; so he’s my kind of social media guy. Plus, he does great presentations and writes a great blog at Connecting the Dots.
- Gary Koelling -The guy behind BlueShirtNation.com. Sometimes the way to lead is to just do it; he did it.
- Ed Kohler – Ed just tries stuff. What would happen if I did this? Not many people have even heard of Mechanical Turk, let alone used it. Ed has. He blogs at The Deets & Technology Evangelist. Search is an often overlooked aspect of Social Media, but Ed knows that aspect of it in and out. He’s given online marketing a lot of thought and he likes good beer.
- Meg Canada – She’s the queen of the social library.
- Zack Steven &Â Josh Becerra of LocalTweeps.com – For creating it.
- Zack Garbow & Dave Fowler ofÂ Socialbrowse – For creating it.
- Bridget Jewell – The force behind Mall of America’s social media efforts (client).
- Julio Ojeda-Zapata – For his use of social media as a journalist and for writing the book on Twitter for business.
- Aaron Landry – Moblogger, pizza blogger, Gnome photo flickr uploader, Heavy Table producer, MNPublius writer.
- Tim Brunelle – For his work helping create a Minnesota social media community through Â MIMA. Twitter: @tbrunelle.
- Dr. Kent Bottles – For leading the charge for getting physicians and health professionals to use the social Web and for evangelizing Health 2.0 generally.
- Arik Hanson – For his great ideas: This list, for one, and his series of PR Rockstar blog posts. Both highlight and celebrate our social media community and that’s always good.
- Ashley Schweitzer – For her work in the nonprofit sector with NetSquared.
- Nicole Garst – Likewise, Nicole is another enthusastic proponent of teaching nonprofits to use social media.
- Some Glaring Omissions From My Original List (The beginning of the 30 PLUS list):
- Lisa Foote is leading in the mobile space.
- Mike Keliher can be found wherever you happen to be online, it seems. Mike’s insight can be found at his Unjournalism blog and at The Same Rowdy Crowd.
- Mykl Roventine – I am not familiar with Mykl’s work per se but I am familiar with him from his great blog Designer of Things (a crucial aspect of social media that is often overlooked) and from Twitter and his Flickr photostream.
- Jason DeBoer-Moran – Like Mykl Roventine, I am not familiar with Jason’s work but I’ve been following his New Coventry blog for a long time.
- Jennifer Kane produces theÂ highly-regarded Kane camps, helping to school Minnesota business on all aspects of social media.
- Lee Odden has been doing online communications forever and, among many other things, produces the search marketingÂ Top Rank Blog.
- Jeff Nolan is another connector. He’sÂ bringing lots of young Twin Cities professionals togetherÂ through his TC Thursday Happy Hours. I’ve never been because that’s the night I play football (sorry, priorities!), but a lot of people have and I do plan to soon.
- Paul Saarinen is someone I do know from his online presence and do admire his thinking so I don’t know what I was thinking by failing to include him initially.
- Christopher Lower is another person who should’ve been included on my initial list because I am familiar with his fantastic work in the local restaurant sphere, particularly with Baja Sol and his fantastic Above The Buzz blog. I also caught one of Christopher’s presentations at MSP Social Media Breakfast, which was top notch.
I am, of course, extremely proud of our talented team at Tunheim. Â They includeÂ Blois Olson, Maria Surma Manka, Darin Broton,Â Sandi Scott,Â Kristin Gast, Bill Brozak,Â Bryan Brignac, Natalie Wires, Madeline Koch, and Jeana Bloome.
There are a ton of other people in this state who are doing stellar work, so I reserve the right to add to my list. 🙂 Who’s on your list? Tell Arik!