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  • Interview with Guy Kawasaki aka the Godfather of Silicon Valley

    Guy Kawasaki is one of the original Apple employees responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984. He is currently CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm which specializes in high-technology start-up firms located in Silicon Valley. Guy has been quite entrepreneurial as of the past few years, first with Truemors (a gossip news site) and now with Alltop, a social aggregator or as he calls it “an online magazine rack.”

    I attribute part of Personal Branding Magazine’s success to Guy because he gave me the right to his interview with Donald Trump for the “Billionaire Brand” issue back in August of 2007. My blog is listed in the career and branding section of Alltop, his new service. Today I interview the Godfather of Silicon Valley, Mr. Guy Kawasaki.

    Guy how do you define Alltop and what is the criteria for a blog joining one of your rosters, such as “social media” or “small business”?

    Alltop is an online magazine rack. Our goal is to aggregate news and opinion about a multitude of topics so that people have a starting point for finding information on the web. We discovered the power of aggregation by watching what Thomas Marban of Popurls was doing.

    I’m curious as to the intended audience for Alltop. I would position it for a newbie/beginner who wants access to the top blogs instead of searching to find them.

    The intended audience is anyone with a browser and an Internet connection. 🙂 However, your positioning is accurate: it’s for people who haven’t figured out or don’t know/care about manually aggregating feeds. We call this “aggregation without aggravation.” It’s also for the power user who has a limited set of hardcore favorites but would like to “graze” over other sources and topics.

    I find “celebrity” endorsements very interesting on the web. For instance, Seth Godin just established a private network for his new book Triiibes, where you have to purchase the book to enter. If it was an unknown author, I bet it would have taken a year to reach 1,000+ registered users. How does your personal brand influence the acceptance of Alltop?

    My private network for my new book (Reality Check) is “anyone with $25.00.” 🙂 I’m clearly no Seth Godin. My personal brand has been a big influence on the acceptance of Alltop–no question. But so what? Isn’t the purpose of developing a brand to use it as a competitive advantage? Not that I’m in his league, but how many people would have bought Michael Jordan’s sneakers if it wasn’t Michael Jordan’s sneakers?

    What is the value of having your blog on Alltop?

    If you have a mega blog with millions of page views per month, Alltop probably won’t move the needle. However, if you have an undiscovered gem of a blog, Alltop can certainly put you on the map by sending you traffic and building awareness. Incidentally, we find it very interesting that sites like the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, and NPR ask to be included on Alltop. How flattering is that?

    Why are traditional media sites promoted along with blogs? Which media sources do you value more?

    We make very little differentiation. Our responsibility is to find the best sources for news and opinion about our topics. If it’s the New York Times or one mommy blogger working on a kitchen table, we don’t care. Quality is quality.

    Do you spend more of your time with Alltop these days, Truemors, blogging, speaking or investing in companies?

    It depends who’s asking. 🙂

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Interview, People, Personal Branding
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