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When Celebrities Network! Part 3 – Rand Fishkin

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
9 June 2008

Following on from my previous Q&A’s with TV Star Gabby Logan and all-round-genius Danny Wallace, we’re moving on next to an internet-based celebrity. He may not be a TV or film star, but internet guru Rand Fishkin (aka Randfish) is very well known in Search and Social Media circles…

Rand Fishkin

Rand1Rand has been an internet user for over 15 years, and has been a major name in the field of Search Marketing since 2002. A founding member of the SEOmoz community, he can regularly be seen speaking at conferences and events, often alongside cohort Danny Sullivan.

You’re on Facebook – do you use any other social media and to what extent?

I do use a ton of social media. Everything from Digg and Reddit to LinkedIn, Twitter, a couple blogs (a personal one and SEOmoz.org). I’ve used some of the more obscure social networks like Orkut & Yahoo! 360 as well as participated in a ton of micro-communities in and around the search marketing field and others as well. Since we do a lot of social media consultation, and have even helped to develop some of the better known social platforms on the web, I’d be a charlatan not to take advantage of what the social web has to offer.

What has your experience of Social Networks been like so far?

All over the place. At places like Digg and YouTube, I’m amazed by the branding impact and the results of reaching such large audiences. Of course, the downside is that the commentary, judgement and tone taken by participants on many of the larger sites makes you dread humanity’s future. But, if you can look past that… :)

As a public figure, how do you feel about / deal with fans (or critics in some cases) contacting you online?

It doesn’t bother me at all. I haven’t had anyone particularly scary or stalker-ish approach me and I try to do my best to treat everyone with respect and make sure everyone gets a response (which can be a big challenge at times). I think that if you’re going to be reaping the benefits of having publicity, you take responsibility to accept that there will be a lot of time needed for communication, and much of it will be one-sided. In the end, I rely on a bit of karma, which has worked out very well so far.

What would you class as the main reason you use social networks – personal interaction, publicising your work, research, feedback etc?

I think for me there’s no one reason. I need to use social media to be aware of what’s out there, to understand how others are using it, to be able to be a part of conversations and be reach-able through all of the mediums. There’s also a lot of value in connecting with my network of SEO friends and associates over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc. Stories and experiences get shared at these places that would go unnoticed if I didn’t participate.

Do you use any of Facebook / MySpace’s added features or is your profile fairly basic?

I actually have a bit of a grudge against the application overload I’ve been seeing on Facebook lately. I recognize the power that some of the apps have to connect people and to be entertaining, but I’m also worried that they might be wearing out their welcome. Honestly, I don’t need to be super-poked by a zombie-turned-werewolf quizmaster. A simple message works fine :)

Thanks to Rand for those answers, very informative and funny to boot! Join us again later today (or tomorrow if we run out of time!) for the next Celebrity…

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