Belly Button Bloggers with Chris Brogan

In This Episode

Goto to join Chris’ group

Chris says that nobody knows who he is.

I disagree.

I met Chris originally on Twitter.

Chris says that when he sees people on twitter trying to push the now 280 character limit, instead of “get a room” he thinks, “get a blog!”

As a kid, Chris learned to ride a bike, and when he crashed it into his own house, and while crying hysterically, his mom came out and his reaction was to ask her to “move the house.”

Chris had a very loving upbringing, almost to a fault.

His parents gave him so much confidence, that he was in for a rude awakening at school.

He thought he was so good looking that he asked out the hottest girl in the class.

He didn’t get the girl 🙁

He could have been like Hugh Hefner minus the girls, and anyone naked!

For reading, Chris was into science fiction.

Isaac Asimov to name one. Several others. Listen for the list. I’m feeling lazy today.

After 9/11 he stopped reading fiction entirely.

Chris was in a Walmart recently and a robot went by. He was stuck by how “normal” this is already.

Chris never got a college degree.

In his first semester he hid in the library and thought it was smart. Then he realized no one cared where he was.

In the end he got a bunch of credits at a bunch of different universities.

Everything he wanted to do there was no degree for.

He never wants to dissuade someone from getting an education, but his experience was different.

After helping his college with a computer problem, the instructor told him no need to come to class. He’ll just give him an A.

What Happened

Chris was working for the phone company.

Then he wrote a bunch of books and was one of the pioneers of social media marketing.

So what happened in between?

Chris wanted to talk about things that weren’t talked about in his community where he grew up.

What about who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

So he wound up on Bulletin Board systems (I remember those. I would stay up literally all night on them).

Chris saw the community aspect of this and saw something.

So when social media came out, he was on there pretty early.

He’s not in love with the platforms, by the way. But he’s in love with whom you could reach?

My favorite of the social platforms is still Twitter.

Into the Spiderverse – must see

So why blogging before there was blogging?

Because he COULD in short. He can publish without anyone telling him if he was good or bad. And back to his childhood, he was lead to believe by loving parents that he was very wonderful. So of course people would want to read him.

What were you writing about Chris?

His belly button.

There were so many belly button bloggers out there.

Chris loved Lifehacker and

The guy running it was going on vacation and asked for a volunteer to run it. Chris volunteered. When he came back to relieve Chris, Chris insisted on staying, for free, but in exchange for the ability to link back to his own stuff.

What Dungeons and Dragons taught me about being an entrepreneur.

So how does this all line up with when Jason Calacanis was acquired by AOL?

Chris went the other way from these guys. They were all of the big guys who started big media companies and set themselves straight.

He decided it was better to struggle!

When Chris quit and joined the circus, it was “total velocity luck.”

What it’s Like Today

Foot bullets!

I was 2010. He did 106 features and every other week he was somewhere else.

Divorce happened.

The road – it is really hard to maintain a relationship.

BY 2011 he was trying to figure out what to do. He was working with some very large companies and wasn’t enjoying it.

Then he decided to work with smaller companies.

This was an experiment in “how would you like to not get any money.”

He had several other books to write after Trust Agents, and he needed another “hit.”

Little companies and people working inside of big companies are Chris’ “real buyer.”

CEOs and CMOs find him much less often. It’s the disruptors who find Chris.

If you have to question, “is this worth it?” The answer is no.


Charge the value or charge what you want?

$20 is the new free.

So how did you deal with writing yourself out of the big companies?

He started talking to an industry instead of to a company!

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