Ten blog posts that mattered

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By Mark Schaefer

I don’t look back too often but I thought this would be a good time to reflect on a few 2009{grow} posts that seemed to make a difference.

1)   The Social Media Country Club

Esteemed blogger Danny Brown called this article “The best blog post of the year.  Period.”   This post touched on a taboo subject of the closed society of A-List bloggers and the “economy of favors” that gets in the way of dissension and innovation.  The comment section is well … “lively!”   I think this post made a difference because it started a conversation that has continued long after this post first appeared in August, 2009.

2)   Can you out-source authenticity?

This post was a breakthrough in some ways. I think this was kind of a watershed in the community’s evolution. We had grown from being a blog to a group of friends creating some powerful content together.  This article inspired related posts by Jason Falls, Danny Brown and Bill Sledzik. The work of the community in this post set the framework for an article on best practices for ghost-blogging.

3)   Five social media myths that MUST STOP NOW!

“Myths” was my most tweeted and talked-about blog post of the year.   Calling out the sacred cows hit a nerve.

4)   Social Media Measurement: It’s like being a Great Bartender

In 2009 I wrote extensively about social media and measurement but this guest post from Jamie Lee Wallace summed it up so beautifully and capped an ambitious series.  She described the process like bartending — yes, you have to measure how the job rings the cash register, but there are a lot of intangibles, too.  A blogger or two have made careers writing about ROI, but this post, and the companion piece, Your Social Media ROI Shock Treatment, are really all you need to know on the subject. It’s not rocket science.

5)   The Monetization of Chris Brogan

This post was significant for a couple of reasons.  First, it used uber-bloggerBrogan as an example growing pains in the social media field.  But it also demonstrated that the Country Club was still alive and well. The comment section got a bit out of control.  Here’s a best practice folks: Read posts before commenting on them. : )  This is another post that spurred conversation far beyond the boundaries of {grow).

6)   Social media expert: Women need not apply?

There are just some weird things going on between the social web and gender. I still don’t quite understand it, but the community dove into a touchy subject bravely, as always.  This subject was continued on the post, Is blogging a man’s job?  … and unfortunately will probably be debated for the foreseeable future.

7)   Twitter for Business: Four break-through insights

This post kicked-off {grow}’s very productive relationship with Dr. Ben Hanna.  The VP of Business.com and his research has been featured in seven different articles this year and I’m grateful he has been so generous with the community.

8)   This is the future of social media, one of the most popular posts of 2009 and was cited in many end-of the-year round-ups.

9)   A Formula for Social Media Success

This set out to codify some observations about what it takes to really create business benefits on the social web. It seemed to resonate with people and had an illustration I thought was quite funny!

10)   The REAL math behind your followers Mr Twitter Bigshot!

I tried to bring a little humor on to the scene now and then, even when making a serious point.  This was also a hugely popular post.  It was also a lot of work!

It was difficult picking a “top 10” but there you go!   Thanks so much for being part of this great community. It was such a fun year and I’m looking forward to great things from the {grow} community in 2010.

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