Meet the Maven–We’re Here Whether You Want Us or Not

 

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. My social media methods are all about authentic human connections. I am also a strong supporter of working smarter, not harder. We need to work together to have true, lasting success. We are not alone! We don’t have to build our author platform by ourselves.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that there were three critical people to know on social media. Last time, we talked about the Connector. Today we’ll discuss the Maven and next week is the Salesman. Some people are none of the three or two of the three. A rare few are all three.

According to Malcolm Gladwell in his AWESOME book The Tipping Point–How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference “…the word Maven comes from Yiddish, and means one who accumulates knowledge. In recent years economists have spent a great deal of time studying Mavens, for the obvious reasons that if marketplaces depend on information, the people with the most information must be the most important.”

I recall the many times that Piper Bayard called me a Social Media Maven. I thought she was just being sweet since the word “guru” makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Sorry. Being honest. I didn’t care for “expert” either, since any yahoo with a Yahoo account and $20 to spend at Vista Print was an expert. Ah, but Maven had a nice ring to it so I didn’t stop her.  At the time I just assumed that Maven was a synonym for guru, so I was down with that. I liked Social Media Maven, though was really partial to Social Media Jedi Master…but that’s another blog.

I do a tremendous amount of research to back up my teaching and theories, so when I spotted this word Piper had used–Maven–and then uncovered the research surrounding Mavens, I was quite humbled and honored Piper would apply that term to me. At first, when I was going to introduce you guys to the Maven, I was hestiant to use myself as an example. Then, I thought over my life and here are some conversations I’d like to share with you guys to help you recognize Mavens in your life.

Conversations with a Stalker Maven

Man buying energy drink in local Exxon…

Me: Um, excuse me. You are the owner of the black truck out front?

Man: Yeah *gives me odd stare and holds his wallet tighter*

Me: I know I sound crazy, but I think you need to get your radiator checked.

Man: Huh? Why?

Me: As I walked past, I noted the smell of coolant superheated on your manifold.

Man: I didn’t smell anything.

Me: Well, I have a very sensitive nose, and I could definitely smell that you have a leak. I had the same thing happen once, so I recognize the scent. I would get that serviced right away. In fact, here is a business card of the guys that work on my car. They’re really good and fairly priced.

The guy took my advice (I heard this from the men at my service center) and he actually had a small crack in his radiator.

Conversation with Dark-Haired Woman at Wal-Mart buying a box of hair dye (Blonde)….

Me: Are you going to use that for your hair?

Woman: I was thinking about it.

Me: Well, I colored my own hair for years, and I know the box says it can make you blonde, but it really will turn you orange and make your hair melt. We used that same product on my college room mate and it wasn’t pretty. Anyway, if you go across the parking lot, talk to Lydia at Sally’s Beauty Supply and she can give you a professional product. Judging from what I can see, make sure you pick a color with blue undertones. That will keep you from turning orange. Also, make sure you invest in a good conditioner if you go down that many levels of color so your hair doesn’t start breaking. If you want a good colorist, here’s my hair dresser’s business card. I finally gave up dying my own hair because she is so affordable.

Later, I heard from my hairdresser that the woman made an appointment to get her hair colored. Also heard from Lydia at Sally’s Beauty Supply that Dark-Haired Woman bought conditioner there.

Conversation with random plumber digging up my yard to fix my pipes…

Plumber: Thanks, Ma’am for the coffee. Sure is cold out here. I will be here by noon tomorrow. I need to go to a dentist.

Me: Really? What dentist?

Plumber: Oh, I just made a quick appointment at Monarch Dental. Think I’ve got a bad tooth.

Me: Oh, dear! Um, I don’t know how to say this, but cancel your appointment.

Plumber: *gives weird look* Why?

Me: Well, I have been to Monarch twice. One time when I was twelve. They told my mother I had ten cavities and needed braces. My mom refused to believe them and we went to another dentist. I didn’t have a single cavity and didn’t need braces. So then, 20 years later, my hubby and I move out here. We didn’t have a dentist, so I went to Monarch again because they could get me in quickly. I figured 20 years should be long enough to get their act together, and can you believe they are playing the same games? They told me I had four cavities and advanced gum disease that needed special treatment.

Man: Really?

Me: Really. I stormed out of there and went over to Walnut Creek Dental. Turns out I had one soft spot that needed filling and perfect gums. I tell you Monarch are a bunch of crooks who tell you that you have a bunch of imaginary dental problems and then put you on an easy payment plan to drill into perfectly healthy teeth. I have no idea how they are still in business. I wrote a nasty review for them and even blogged about my experience. I called the local news stations but haven’t heard back yet. Let me go write down the information for Walnut Creek. I am sure they can fit you in.

Later found out from my dentist that my plumber used their services instead.

What exactly is a Maven?

Mavens are pathologically helpful. We are collectors of data and brokers of information. Not only do we collect vast stores of information, but we hold a rare ability to put that information in a useful context. We are unparalleled pattern filters and can spot trends and changes that others don’t or can’t yet see. And, not only do we have all this information, but we long to share it to make the lives of others better.

We Mavens cannot help ourselves. I often refer to myself as Helpful Hannah, and I have had to learn to control my tongue sometimes. Not everyone wants my two cents worth. Yet, as much as I try to stop my nature, I can’t help what I am. I honestly think I became a social media expert so that I could channel all my Maven energies in a productive way.

Mavens are the people who will stop you from buying steaks at Albertsons because Tom Thumb has ribeyes for half the price, and they are just across the street. We share coupons and tell you not to bother with the warranty from such-and-such because it is a big hassle. We keep business cards for great accountants, nail techs, and massage therapists. We also keep the marketplace honest because we remember the prices of things. We are the people who can ignite word-of mouth. We help new restaraunts thrive, good hair stylists get new clients and honest mechanics have more business.

We are flypaper for information, and we are the people who write into Consumer Reports and offer corrections for misinformation. We are the people who write letters to the editor. We keep accountability.

I remember about ten years ago Vogue magazine had an article one time about a single woman starting over after leaving a job. She started her own successful business as a single mother. Well, I wanted to read this article and hear this story of triumph over adversity. Turns out the woman had left a six-figure job, came from a wealthy family and started her business from her home in Martha’s Vineyard (or some ritzy place like that, can’t recall exactly). Yes, she was a single mother…who had a nanny!

I wrote a long, disgusted letter to Vogue about how out of touch they were with much of their readership and the realities of being a start-up female entrepreneur, let alone a single parent….and they printed my letter with an apology.

Mavens make time for this stuff.

Why are Mavens important in the marketplace?

Mavens spell death for bad service, bad food and bad products. If you screw up our hair, our nails, our car or give us bad service, the world will hear of your misdeeds. We also spell death for bad books.

Why is it great to make friends with a Maven?

Mavens are critical to have in your network because we love spreading news of a good thing, including good blogs, good people and good books. We are the people who will tell everyone we know about a really fantastic book we just read. We write reviews and often write letters of appreciation to the author. We stop people in bookstores and offer unsolicited recommendations. And, since our only agenda is to be helpful, many people listen to us.

Mavens are critical to getting traction. Many Mavens are also Connectors. I know when I met New York Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer a few years ago, he had never been on social media. I talked his ear off about this new platform called Twitter and I knew it was going to be the new hot thing. I chatted on and on about MySpace (it was still big) and Facebook and how social media was going to revolutionize publishing (Remember, Mavens spot trends). I could see the writing on the wall even though the agents and editors of the time thought I was a lunatic.

People will always want paper books.

Right.

Anyway, the agents and editors might have thought I was crazy, but Bob was one of the few who listened to me. Long story short, I dragged Bob onto social media as my helpless victim eager student. I wanted to show him this amazing new tool and how it had the power to create a fan base and spread word-of-mouth. Authors finally could have control over their careers! I am really thrilled that Bob had second thoughts about that restraining order and that he gave me a chance to prove my mettle.

Mavens Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder. Mavens help you be yourself.

Here is where a Maven comes in handy…

Bob got onto Twitter, but there was a problem. Bob is an introvert. Don’t get me wrong, he is really nice guy and a lot of fun. He’s an amazing teacher and speaker, but he just isn’t the sort of person who naturally feels comfortable approaching random strangers to chat. Good thing I have no problem with that. I was happy to introduce Bob to everyone and tell everyone about his books and his workshops. Heck, I still do! Because they are THAT awesome.

But this goes back to working smarter not harder. I am not here to teach you how to change your personality. Bob didn’t need to morph into a bubbly outgoing cheerleader. That would have been weird and kinda scary. Worse, it wouldn’t have been authentic. Bob would have been trying to be someone he wasn’t. BUT, he could be himself and merely ally with me. I could be me and introduce Bob so he could then feel comfortable to just be himself. Not only did I use my Connector powers, but I was able to shamelessly spread recommendations for Bob’s books and workshops.

Also, as a Maven I had an ability to spot certain trends. This helped Bob in that he could count on me to alert him of new trends, shifts, changes that were worth looking into.  Bob’s initial alliance with people like me helped him ramp up until he was a force on his own. Now Bob is one of the leaders in the new publishing paradigm, which is powered, in large part, by social media. I know I loved helping Bob not only because I like helping, but I LOVE gathering information to help others…and he knew WAY more than I did about writing and the industry. It was a great and fair trade. He could learn about social media and I could learn the best information about writing and publishing.

Some ways to spot a Maven:

1. Mavens are eager helpers. I think a lot of bloggers and NF people are Mavens. I know @PatrickThunstrom wrote an entire tutorial series teaching writers how to use TweetDeck. He is the first to recommend a good computer program or information filter. Patrick LOVES to help.

2. Mavens are a vast reservoir of information. All KINDS of information. We are natural teachers and helpers. @ClayMorganPA is a great Maven to befriend. @jhansenwrites (Jenny Hansen) shares all kinds of helpful information from how to use Excel to how to deal with a high-risk pregnancy. When a writer is in trouble, Jenny is Jenny on the Spot with a link or a resource to help. @JamiGold is another Maven.

3. Mavens love to give advice, recommendations and reviews. We are compulsively helpful. @kbowenwriter @GeneLempp @AmyShojai @NatalieCMarkey @Angela_Peart @RoniLoren are a handful of people I would consider Mavens. They offer guidance, support, critique, assistance not because they have an agenda. They have an underlying desire to serve.

I know there are more Mavens out there, so sorry if I missed you. If you want to befriend some Mavens, I highly recommend hanging out on the #MyWANA. Why? Well, I designed #MyWANA as a Maven Trap. The entire purpose of #MyWANA is NOT to blitz about blogs or books or pitch non-stop with no vested concern. #MyWANA is dedicated is to HELP and to SERVE others. #MyWANA was created with the explicit purpose to create a community founded on service above self. This is irresistable to a Maven. #MyWANA attracts Mavens because it was created by one.

Many bloggers are Mavens.

This is why bloggers are emerging as a new market driver in publishing. Publishing houses are now starting to court the powerhouse bloggers, because they know the bloggers hold tremendous sway over popular opinion and are almost unrivaled in their abilitiy to spark word-of-mouth. Many bloggers are unsponsored and unpaid. Many bloggers dedicate countless hours of research and work and write thousands of words a week for no pay….simply to help others. Blogger Mavens are powerful allies.

Mavens are some of the most valuable people in our network. They will happily lend a hand wherever they can and they gain joy and purpose from helping and serving others. Maybe you are shy or an introvert. Maybe you are overwhelmed. It’s okay. Mavens dig underdogs :D.

So can you think of some Mavens in your network? Are you a Maven and have a Maven story to share? Maybe a Maven approached you in a gas station with a coupon. Share your story!

I do want to hear from you guys!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of September, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of September I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: GRAND PRIZE WILL BE PICKED THIS MONTH. I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced at the end of September) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.

Mash-Up of Awesomeness

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT PIPER BAYARD’S INTERVIEW WITH MEGA-AUTHOR JAMES ROLLINS. GET THE SCOOP ON THE NEW SIGMA CHARACTERS!

HILARIOUS post by Piper Bayard Ok. I’ll do it. I’ll run for President.

AWESOME Blogging Tips by Angela Ackerman

Werewolves: Sexier than Vampires? Monsters of the Church? by the AMAZING editor and writing teacher Terrell Mims

What’s Your Favoite Scent for Fall? by Rebecca Enzor

5 Ways to Keep Your Writing Engine Running

Tawna Fenske has a hilarious post My Cat is a Filthy Pervert

NYTBSA Bob Mayer has an excellent post about steps to take to succeed as a newly pubbed author. AND he also has an amazing post The Perfect Storm is Looming in Publishing.

Should we do guest blogs? Jami Gold tackles this important question

Anne Allen Why Chasing a Big Six Contract is Like Crushing on a Bad Boyfriend

Are the Inevitable Changes Good? Agenla Orlowski

Writers must kill self doubt before it kills them by the genius word pirate Chuck Wendig

Is Blogging Dead? by Roni Loren

Please Don’t Close Your Eyes Because then I can’t See Your Soul by Diana Murdock

A Checklist for Marketing Your E-Book by contributing Writer’s Digest Editor Jane Friedman over at Writer Unboxed.

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  1. #1 by Piper Bayard on September 28, 2011 - 11:27 am

    True successes are born from word of mouth, and the Mavens among us are the mouths. Great blog, Kristen, and all of those mavens you listed are awesome folks to know.

    Thanks for the shout outs! :)

  2. #2 by susielindau on September 28, 2011 - 11:28 am

    So true about “mavens”. I am still pretty new and am like a sponge. Going back to Twitter to hunt for mavens………
    Great post.

    • #3 by Jennifer J Randolph on September 28, 2011 - 11:44 am

      Jamie Gold is super sweet online. Still just stalking the rest. Do you have a blog?

  3. #5 by Jessica O'Neal on September 28, 2011 - 11:40 am

    Great post! Although, I have to admit if I had been one of those random people you had come up to I probably would have gotten dodge as quickly as possible, lol. I think I have already connected with a few Mavens through Twitter, especially the #MyWANA. They are a little easier for me to identify than connectors. Thank you for your continued help. :)

    • #6 by Jessica O'Neal on September 28, 2011 - 11:42 am

      Oh! I forgot to mention that I LOVED the picture you used at the beginning. I think it’s time for the perfect cheer!

  4. #7 by Jennifer J Randolph on September 28, 2011 - 11:41 am

    Ooooo first comment! Great post and thank you for pointing out other maven’s to follow. It is true about the ones who really want to help and connect, and they are some of the best people to know both professionally and personally. It also feels great when the big kids like you and Jamie talk to us fledglings.

    • #8 by Jennifer J Randolph on September 28, 2011 - 11:42 am

      Ok still top 5.

  5. #9 by Rachel A. Hanson on September 28, 2011 - 11:49 am

    What a great post, thank you so much for writing it! I always find your posts to be so helpful :) .

  6. #10 by Catherine Johnson on September 28, 2011 - 11:56 am

    Great post Kristen. I could have done with a few Mavens yesterday. I got into some hot water with some Somalians. I was just trying to free a hostage whos is related to a very sweet friend of mine. We need an SOS Maven backup for such occasions, but don’t worry I blocked them and sent my humble request to an Obama twitter address :)

  7. #11 by Anne R. Allen on September 28, 2011 - 11:59 am

    OK, from now on I will refrain from calling you a guru. You are now a MAVEN! (And I’ll aspire to maven-hood myself) Thanks a bunch for the shout-out.

    Roni Loren’s post is a must-read, but I sure am glad you posted a rebuttal. I’m going to be posting on the subject soon myself.

  8. #12 by Roni Loren on September 28, 2011 - 12:01 pm

    Thanks so much for the shout out! And you totally pegged me, lol. I’m weird in that I’m a total introvert but literally can not help myself when it comes to advice giving. It’s like I forget I’m shy when I see someone I think needs help or info. I think that’s why I naturally gravitated toward a teaching-style blog.

    It’s a fine line to walk though because you don’t want to come across as a know-it-all or something, but it really is just a compulsion to be helpful. I blame my mother. :)

    Great post as usual!

  9. #13 by Jami Gold on September 28, 2011 - 12:13 pm

    Kristen, You nailed it again with the description of Mavens. As I was reading this post, I was going “yep, yep, yep, yep…” And what do you know? You have me listed as a Maven! :)

    You’re spot on with how we’re compulsively helpful. I don’t do conversations very often on #myWANA, but I use the hashtag a lot to share helpful posts I find. And I do it for exactly the reasons you mention. I *want* to be helpful and serve others. Most of my blog posts are all about trying to find some way to serve my readers.

    And you’re right about how I’m very analytical and try to look beyond the facts to see what I can learn from it. My retweets of posts often don’t use the post’s title – not because I’m being difficult, but because I’m trying to pick out what makes that post worth visiting, what my followers could learn from it. As you said, I look for patterns and trends. Very well stated! :)

    *looks around for hidden cameras* How do you know me so well, hmm? :)

  10. #14 by K.B. Owen on September 28, 2011 - 12:30 pm

    Kristen, I was doing the same thing as Jami, just reading through your description of Mavens and thinking it was spot on, and how glad I am to know some, when…hey, there’s my twitter name! Really? I am so touched. Thank you!

    Instead of “guru” how about “sensei”?

  11. #15 by Rebecca Enzor on September 28, 2011 - 12:45 pm

    I love that word – Maven :) It sounds so much better than guru or expert – especially since you are definitely so much more than that!

    Thanks for mashing me up with all those other awesome blogs! :) I’m having a busy few weeks, but I’ll be going back through the mashups soon!

  12. #16 by Jenny Hansen on September 28, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    Totally agreeing with Roni, Jami and Kathy (3 wonderful ladies to know)! And I will forever more call you the SM Jedi Master…can’t have you upchucking all over #myWANA.

    I am soooo compulsively helpful. I simply cannot stand knowing some sweet new Twitterer is standing on the edge of a hashtag, wondering what to do. Ditto on seing writers run screaming from their technology. It pains me.

    Thanks for the shout-out! Honored to be included with all those exceptional Mavens!!

  13. #17 by Gene Lempp on September 28, 2011 - 1:32 pm

    Echoing earlier comments, I kept nodding and saying, “Yes, that’s it exactly” and then ran into my own name (but then you did warn me I was being stalked *grins*). Thanks so much, not just for the mention, but for giving us such a powerful platform to meet and exchange information through #MyWANA and your blog.

    I think we should give you one more title, that of Queen Maven. You did find us all after all.

  14. #18 by Angela Ackerman on September 28, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    Really, really great post. I love meeting people who honestly have a passion to help others. These people are pure gold and a blessing to have in your corner.

    Thanks for the mention as well!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  15. #19 by Rebecca Poling on September 28, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    OMG I am so glad I’m not the only one out there. I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone wants my advice on animal rescue. People always say about me that I’ll know who or where to go to for any animal rescue related question. I thought I was a know-it-all and my penchant for giving unsolicited advice was a character flaw. I feel so much better now! Keeping this article for information and inspiration – thank you! Rebecca @ DFW Animal Rescue

  16. #20 by Cat von Hassel-Davies on September 28, 2011 - 2:44 pm

    Loved this post. I love mavens, they are extremely helpful. Not the ones that are looking for followers just for the numbers, but ones that actually care.

    Now off to find some you listed.

    Thanks
    Hugs!!

  17. #21 by lanceschaubert on September 28, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    Thanks, sis. I immediately think of Michael Eades from the design world.

  18. #23 by Ginger Calem on September 28, 2011 - 3:59 pm

    GREAT post. Who knew I was a maven. I just thought I was a bossy-boots. ;) This really hit home for me. I am always telling people about anything I’ve found to be awesome and I’m the first one to tell people, and I mean everyone, if I get bad service and to avoid such-n-such.

    P.S. See you Saturday for the start of workshop!

  19. #24 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on September 28, 2011 - 4:46 pm

    What an awesome post, Kristen (uhm, again – I know, I say that a lot, but I mean it).

    Some mavens are awesome, some — not so :-) But I try to keep my mind open and not be quick to judge. We all behave like mavens sometimes.

    Thank you so much for including me in your mash-up. I really appreciate it.

  20. #25 by Lynn Kelley on September 28, 2011 - 4:58 pm

    Ah, so that’s what a maven really is. Good to know. Yes, you are definitely a maven. And those scamming dental offices out there, just went through it again. The HMO plans don’t pay them enough, so they have to scam people. I’ve had it with dishonest dentists.

    I have to agree with you about Patrick Thunstrom being so helpful about Tweetdeck. Before I ever started tweeting, I read about #MyWANA on a blog. I had no idea what it stood for, but being part of a supportive “twibe” (love that term) sounded inviting to me. So my very first tweet had that hashtag, and Patrick responded. He also later recommended Tweetdeck, sent me the link, then answered questions re some problems I was having figuring it out. Then he actually took a look at my blog because one of his tweets stated that large photos in the header is a turnoff. I had just added a photo and downsized it, but it was huge. Pat tried to help me with that, too. (I’ve since removed that photo)

    And GeneLempp, I can’t say enough nice things about how helpful he’s been. He’s like a Twitter angel as far as I’m concerned and he’ll kindly let me know if I’m doing something wrong, like adding a link with a #wewrite hashtag. I had no idea there are some Twitter groups that don’t want links in the tweets. I have lots to learn, so I thank all the mavens who are so helpful.

    • #26 by Gene Lempp on September 28, 2011 - 6:48 pm

      Hey Lynn :)

      I remember when you first came on Twitter and you have been a cool and supportive person, one of the best. Oh and on the #wewrite thing, I had done the same thing and been scolded by Jen Talty and Anne DeStefano (both of whom I adore) so it was one of those lessons that stayed with me that I thought I’d spare you from.

      Peace :)

      • #27 by Lynn Kelley on September 28, 2011 - 7:33 pm

        Thanks, Gene! I appreciate the kind words and all your help. One day I’ll pass on all the helpful tips, too!

        • #28 by Patrick Thunstrom on October 2, 2011 - 1:16 pm

          That’s really the best way to pay people back for things like this. Passing it on! You’ve been wonderful to know, Lynn, and I still blush every time I see you pushing the Guide again!

          • #29 by Lynn Kelley on October 2, 2011 - 2:01 pm

            Thank you, Patrick. You’ve been more help than you can imagine. I was telling another friend about you yesterday. She’s taking the online class and needs to set up Tweetdeck, so I’m referring her to the expert! WTG, Patrick!

  21. #30 by Reetta Raitanen on September 28, 2011 - 5:20 pm

    Haha, I loved the stories about the people you gave advice to. Your blogs are always the highlight of my day because they are so entertaining and insightful.

    I’m a maven too but an introvert one. Internet is a great way to extend the great desire to share all your weird knowledge beyond friends and family. My brain is full of blog posts but I just have to organise my collection of gazillion links first before I can publish it :P It’s too easy to get distracted by hoarding even more knowledge. Thank goodness for Twitter and the instant effortless sharing.

    And thank you for pointing us to the other mavens.

  22. #31 by Marcia on September 28, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for many, many months, Kristen,and have learned so much. I believe in what you teach and have tried to incorporate your tips and ideas into my blogging and social presence. I have always been the one who helps, has answers for questions and hates to see anyone looking lost. I have a real affection for all those I get to know and a strong desire to help things go well for others, hence my Life list Club. I’m an introvert, too, so i don’t find it easy to get into chatty conversations but if someone needs help, I’m totally confident and ready to jump in. I guess the extrovert comes out when you feel your on familiar turf. I been fortunate to offer my services to do author interviews and book reviews to help promote during launches and guest posting for bloggers looking for more readers. I’m having fun and seeing virtual smiles on the faces of those I can help in some way. It’s the best part about being a part of social media.

  23. #32 by Matthew Wright on September 29, 2011 - 12:45 am

    Yet another insightful post – thank you so much for this and, of course, all your other blog-wisdoms!

    Have to say I’ve found Gene Lempp’s blog awesome too, informative and thought-provoking. And laughed out loud at Piper Bayard’s presidential run offer. Bob Mayer’s stuff is just brilliant. And gives some spot on relevant writing advice – NZ is still part of the global village, even tucked away in the stormy bottom of the South Pacific (check my blog entry of 29 Sept 2011 for a pic of the weather).

    Do we need mavens? Absolutely.

    In New Zealand, the Maori word for ‘maven’ is ‘tohunga’ (expert), though that also carries some culture-specific meanings. I don’t know if I’d call myself a ‘maven’, certainly not a ‘tohunga’. But I do like helping people if I can. Half a dozen times in the past week alone I’ve found myself on TweetDeck, spotted someone asking a question I could answer, so I’ve answered it.

    Why? If I know something, why not share it? It might help. It might not – but maybe someone will get something positive out of it. If so, that’s good. Is that what motivates people to help generally? I’m sure it’s part of it. What do others think?

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and insights with us.

    Matthew Wright

    http://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com

    http://www.matthewwright.net

  24. #33 by Jessica Aspen on September 29, 2011 - 7:41 am

    So nice to find out I have a purpose. For years I have called myself Jack of all trades, master of none-just to make myself feel better. I definitely am the person who stops people in grocery stores. In fact I have people (strangers) stop me all the time to ask me questions. I have tons of knowledge of tiny things no one really cares about (or do they?). When I discovered that my love of writing and my love of knowledge actually merged, well, that was a happy day. Now I find out I may actually have a skill that others want instead of driving them insane? Thanks for making today another happy day!

  25. #34 by amaliacarmel on September 29, 2011 - 8:28 am

    When I moved to China, I went into maven-hood withdrawal. I’ve been here for four years now, so my Chinese is good enough to be able to give directions to people with a lost look on their faces. Thanks for you great insight into these three important people in our networks. I will now re-focus some of my maven energy to my online network, and start sharing the love!

  26. #35 by Nathan J. Anderson (@NathanAndersonJ) on September 29, 2011 - 11:00 am

    You are hilarious!!! When I started reading your post, I kept expecting you to say these were just made up stories, but you actually did these things! Thank God for Mavens. I love to help, but you blow me out of the water! I’m still laughing. Plus I have a whole new appreciation for the way I have been made and the way Mavens have been made. I identify with Bob. I’ve always felt a little guilty…perhaps inadequate is a better word…as I read other people’s tweets/posts because I’m not a Maven. Thanks for letting me breathe a little easier.

  27. #36 by Glamorous Editor on September 29, 2011 - 11:09 am

    Thank you, Kirsten, for your insightful and humorous perspective–but mostly, thanks for your dynamite energy!

    There are are two misspelled words you might want to correct:

    hestiant – hesitant

    restaraunts – restaurants

    You’re a maven; I’m a copyeditor. :)

  28. #37 by Julie Glover on September 29, 2011 - 1:26 pm

    I saw comments from other introverts as well. But I wonder if I qualify as a maven. I love gathering information. I’m that person who researches a question that someone randomly asks in a personal or Twitter conversation. If I know the answer to something, I pipe up. But I would not tell the woman in front of me to buy a different hair color – probably because that’s outside of my comfy realm. So does “maven” definitely mean that you share your knowledge with anyone and everyone?

    Interesting post, Kristen. It also sounds like maven/connectors would be lovely to have as friends.

  29. #38 by Candace Rose on September 29, 2011 - 2:57 pm

    So what you’re saying is that I can call myself a maven now instead of just a know-it-all? I like your definition much better!

  30. #39 by Tahlia Newland on September 29, 2011 - 7:21 pm

    OMG, I’m a Maven as well. Like you say, they’re often connectors as well. I sure as hell retweet like mad for anyone whose book I liked, and push them at every opportunity, especially if they’re an indie. They’re the underdog, right?
    Once again thanks for this. Your advice and insight is always extremely helpful. I even have 4 blogs now because you said that we needed to reach beyond the writing community. This has really helped me to know what my brand is, because I see that angle coming through in everything I write regardless of whether it’s for my teacher’s t-pary, my happy honkers, my art blog or my author blog. You’ve helped me to find my place in this world of social media.

  31. #40 by Jane Sadek on September 30, 2011 - 8:16 am

    And here I thought I was just nosy and pushy, but all along I was just a maven. What a relief!!

  32. #41 by EmilyR on September 30, 2011 - 8:54 am

    Love your stories. I’m an introverted Maven — talk about competing drives! Thanks for all your great advice.

  33. #42 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on September 30, 2011 - 4:59 pm

    I consider myself a connector. I am definitely not on Twitter enough to be a Maven, but one day I aspire to be.

    I know someone in real life who thinks she knows everything. I think she is a pain in the booty. She actually refers to herself as a maven.

    But the Mavens to whom you refer do not have that know-it-all attitude at all. Mavens are just beyond helpful.

    Gene Lempp is truly a great example of this. My Lord, just this morning I confessed to him that I’m having a hard time keeping up with comments on blogs because I am reading on my iPhone between teaching classes. He was nothing but understanding. And you know what, he STILL RT’d my blog on Twitter. You have to love that man.

    • #43 by Jess Witkins on October 1, 2011 - 11:26 pm

      Yep, I totally do! He’s a superhero. Many a helpful e-mails, solid advice, and endless support.

  34. #44 by asraidevins on September 30, 2011 - 7:50 pm

    I always thought I was just a loudmouth. Now I can say I”m a maven. Sounds much more worldlier.

  35. #45 by alicamckennajohnson on October 1, 2011 - 11:44 am

    I don’t know if I’m a maven yet- I try not to stick my nose into other people’s business, but often fin myself offering advice- maybe if I let go of that editor I would be a maven- or just annoying LOL!

  36. #46 by Jess Witkins on October 1, 2011 - 11:32 pm

    I’m on my way towards being a connecter/maven. I have really good weeks and down time. Still working on my time management. I think being in class with you will help me improve my twitter skillz. Mmhmm, skillz.

  37. #47 by Marilag Lubag on October 3, 2011 - 2:55 am

    My boss (though she doesn’t play social media) is a maven. I saw her recommend to her clients the types of people that might help them (sometimes they’re her other clients because she uses their services as well). It makes me smile when she does that. I don’t know a lot of social mavens other than the people you mentioned above. I’ll call @piperbayard a maven (you mentioned most of the tweeps I’m following so I don’t know who else to recommend).

    Maven story: Once, I was at a grocery store and got curious about a certain type of biscuit. As I was to grab a certain box, a woman stopped me and pointed me to the other box. It turned out that the brand she pointed me at was the original. I still buy that type of cookies because they’re just good. Never found out the woman’s name but the name of the biscuit was Maria’s Gamesa.

  38. #48 by educlaytion on October 5, 2011 - 7:44 am

    Hey thanks Miss Maven! I really appreciate the nod, and it’s so true. Hell hath no fury like a maven scorned. I do the same things in everyday life. Connections form in our minds between people who can potentially benefit each other. And the Vogue story is great. I once did the same thing right after ESPN the magazine came out. They didn’t know what they were talking about in comparing Gretzky and Lemieux so I told them about it and they ran my letter. Great minds eh? :-)

  39. #49 by Nesha Curtis on October 29, 2011 - 3:39 pm

    Holy hell…I see myself throughout this article. For hours, I’ve been “googling” in search of a witty, descriptive definition of a Maven and then I found this little gem. Well said! Thank you!

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