I recently finished reading Chris Brogan and Julien Smith‘s Trust Agents, which I can now recommend as a primer for anyone unfamiliar with ‘net culture who needs to figure out how to use the Web’s social networks to improve customer service and expand business opportunities. In one word: delicately.
Trust Agents reminded me to leave comments, at least occasionally, on the blogs I read regularly. I’ve always considered it a little rude when a blogger, or an organization with an online presence, insists on hosting every discussion instead of joining conversations elsewhere. (Thanks, Chris and Julien, for delivering me from hypocrisy.)
The authors of Trust Agents suggest making a practice of acknowledging those who help, as well as putting a little effort into promoting others. In their words:
Whether you’re at the top of your game or just starting, you have to realize that you did not get there alone.
It’s pretty common to feel that you are responsible for a lot of the success you’ve obtained, but that’s not entirely true. There may be a few lone wolves out there, but most of us got where we are today through the help of many, many people. We didn’t get there alone. The people who helped us didn’t always need to; often, they helped because they saw potential in us or just because they’re good people. We think you should be good people, too.
Which brings us to our point: Share your influence, even if you only have a little.
Coincidentally, as soon as I finished reading, Jay Eckert—who blogs at Is that a dog butt on my foot?—popped over to Treated & Released acting just like a trust agent.
At Jay’s suggestion, and in the spirit of sharing, I’ve compiled a list of 10 blogs that I almost never skip reading. They’re that good. Directly from my RSS feed reader to you:
- Publishing in the 21st Century (Richard Curtis)
- Janet Reid, Literary Agent
- Pub Rants (Kristin Nelson)
- The Shatzkin Files (Mike Shatzkin)
- There Are No Rules (Jane Friedman)
- BookEnds, LLC (Jessica Faust)
- Writing Companion (Marsha Durham)
- Publishing Perspectives
- The Intern
- Arts & Letters Daily
If you have bloggers to thank for the intel they share, or even for cheap entertainment, you can show your gratitude and at the same time recommend them to rest of us. Here are the rules, courtesy of Jay (or make up some new ones):
- Put the Lemonade Stand Award badge on your blog or post.
- Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.
- Link your nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blogs.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.