A wise mentor once told me, “He who will not read will not lead.” It’s true. If you want to be a leader in your field–a “thought leader” as many call it–you need to be well-informed and up-to-date. You need to be reading content about your area that is relevant, authoritative, and fresh.
When it comes to finding great content about inbound marketing, I’ve found no better source than Inbound.org. Inbound.org is a social bookmarking site where members contribute content they find on the web about topics like SEO, social media, content marketing, paid search advertising, and many other related topics. Similar to Reddit, members can upvote submissions that they think are high quality, and submissions that are “hot” (getting recent upvotes) are promoted to the front page.
Inbound.org recently got a major interface update, and among the new features is a members page where you can see the most active and influential members in the community. The rankings are by “karma,” a score not completely defined by Inbound.org, but which seems to be a measure of both their level of contributions to the community and their overall popularity among other users.
While scanning this page it occurred to that the top users are probably people who live out that “read to lead” maxim. I did a little digging into their online presences, and here’s what I found. These people are either established or up-and-coming thought leaders in inbound and digital marketing. I’ve provided their social media profile links so you can follow them, read, and lead. (Note: I skipped one person in the actual statistical top ten at Inbound because he did not seem to have much social influence outside of Inbound.org.)
The Inbound.org Top Ten Users
(As of 3 November 2012)
1. Jason Acidre | 2743 Karma | 3154 Upvotes | Web: kaiserthesage.com | Twitter: @jasonacidre | Google+
Jason is a Manila-based Search Strategist. Born and raised in the Philippines. He is CEO of Xight Ineractive.
2. Rand Fishkin | 2588 Karma | 2762 Upvotes | Web: www.seomoz.org | Twitter: @randfish | Google+
Rand Fishkin is the CEO of SEO software company; SEOmoz. He co-authored the Art of SEOfrom O’Reilly Media, co-founded Inbound.org, and was named on PSBJ’s 40 Under 40 Listand BusinessWeek’s 30 Best Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30. Rand is an addict of all things content & social on the web. In his minuscule spare time, Rand enjoys the company of his amazing wife, whose serendipitous travel blog chronicles their journeys.
3. Aleyda Solis | 2481 Karma | 3064 Upvotes | Web: www.aleydasolis.com | Twitter: @aleyda | Google+ | LinkedIn
International SEO consultant helping businesses to grow their online profits. Popular speaker at SEO conferences.
4. Jennifer Sable Lopez | 1460 Karma | 1654 Upvotes | Web: jensableopez.com | Twitter: @jennita | Google+ | LinkedIn
Jennifer is the Community Mangager at SEOmoz. She writes on their blog, engages in the comments, and manages YOUmoz, their user-driven blog. She also manages the SEOmoz social media accounts and speaks at conferences.
5. Steven Weldler | 1323 Karma | 1377 Upvotes | Web: www.searcherize.com | Twitter: @StevenWelder | Google+ | LinkedIn
Steven is in-house inbound marketer for Kars4Kids, a car donation charity. He writes about SEO, link building, and social media.
6. Danny Sullivan | 1162 Karma | 1568 Upvotes | Web: daggle.com | Twitter: @dannysullivan | Google+ | LinkedIn
Danny is the Editor in Chief of SearchEngineLand.com, one of the most highly-visited search marketing news sites.
8. AJ Kohn | 1030 Karma | 1246 Upvotes | Web: www.blindfiveyearold.com | Twitter: @ajkohn | Google+ | LinkedIn
AJ is owner of Blind Five Year Old, an SEO and marketing agency in San Francisco. He writes a weekly column of online marketing news for Marketing Land.
9. Jonathon Colman | 975 Karma | 992 Upvotes | Web: www.jonathoncolmam.org | Twitter @jcolman | Google+ | LinkedIn
Jonathan is principle experience architect at REI and is a popular conference speaker.
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Like this post? Upvote it on Inbound.org!
(But only if you really like it; don’t want to game that wonderful site!)
UPDATE: Paul Gailey has written a wonderful companion to this post: Why you should follow the lowest of the low on Inbound.org. He dug down to the lower rungs of the membership list to find some really worthwhile people who haven’t (yet) been able to get much ranking on the site. Recommended!