Amber Naslund, director of community at Radian6, is not affraid to speak her mind. It’s one of the many things I like about her. In particular, she took a stance several weeks ago when one of my other good friens, Chris Brogan, decided to try a little experiment. It involved sponsored a sponsored blog post for K-Mart — something he was completely up front and transparent about. Amber took a stand and wrote a thoughtful piece about her interpretation of the event. Since then, I’ve paid closer attention to her blog AND her Twitter feed and hope to meet her in person at SXSW.
In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you’re good at it.
I build communities and brands through social media, and I’m good at it because I’m naturally drawn to people and human connectivity.
How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
Completely accidentally. I was a nonprofit fundraiser, and a corporate marketer in past lives. I’ve been part of social media on a personal level before it was called such, and I’ve steered my professional interests more and more in that direction over the last several years. Social media, to me, is the “home” I’ve been looking for in my communications and business development roles for years and years. Now I just get to call it something.
If you had $10 million to invest in one company and one company only based on their use of “social,” which company would it be and why?
I’m going to have to be cliché and say Twitter. Twitter’s brilliance is that it isn’t forcing itself to be anything to anyone. It’s an incredibly simple concept with immense possibilities not only for itself, but for companies looking to understand the potential of the social web as a whole. It’s just the platform, but the implications reach far and wide. And the ideas it’s beginning to foster across the communications landscape are exciting.
Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
I really respect the hell out of Bill Gates. He built something amazing from nothing more than an idea, and he gives back in staggering proportion to the world around him. It’s hard to ignore that, and I’m a Mac.
Would you join a toothpaste community? Why?
Probably not. I’m not particularly passionate about toothpaste. Now deodorant? That’s something.
Freeform – here’s where you can riff on anyone or anything – good or bad. Or just share a pearl of wisdom.
The real power in all this social mumbo jumbo isn’t in the tools. Forget the tools and their silly names. The transformation for business is inside the walls as much as it is outside. Cultures are shifting, silos are coming down, and communication – dare I say business – practices are evolving. It’s a recognition that communication itself is shifting, becoming more nimble than ever before, and we must learn to adapt alongside. It’s breathtakingly exciting if you can see the forest and not just the trees.