It was only a matter of time before we quoted an Abba lyric, especially for the holidays and Dennis Shiao is definitely in the holiday mood as he reflects and gives thanks to the band that has inspired his marketing music.


While we ought to give thanks all year long, I often forget to do so. Perhaps it’s the hustle and bustle of the work week and the desire to sit back and relax on the weekends. The holidays are a nice reminder for me — a time to take a step back, celebrate what I have and be thankful for the people who make my life more whole.

While my list of people to thank is long, five people in particular come to mind this year. I established relationships with each of these people online — specifically, on Twitter — and then had the pleasure of meeting them in person.

So for that, I’m thankful to Twitter.

Without further ado:

Monina Wagner: helpful, kind and welcoming spirit

Mo (@MoninaW) is social media and community manager at Content Marketing Institute. Mo is a big part of what makes the #CMWorld community so special. She’s kind and welcoming. When new people join the community, I bet Mo’s not thinking of them as ‘new members’ but as ‘soon-to-be friends’.

I first met Mo on the weekly #CMWorld Twitter chats (Tuesdays at 12pm ET). We got to know each other via Twitter. We’re both sports fanatics and both have teenage daughters. That gives us a lot to chat (and tweet) about.

I had the pleasure of spending time with Mo in person at Content Marketing World 2019 in Cleveland. One day at the conference, I was tied up in the afternoon and missed lunch. I saw Mo at the CMI booth and mentioned that. “One second,” she says, and walks away. Ten minutes later, Mo returns with a boxed sandwich for me.

Happy holidays, Mo! See you soon.

Carter Hostelley: the great connector

Carter (@carterhostelley) is CEO of social media marketing agency Leadtail. Carter was a big help when I launched the Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup four years ago. Our very first meetup was people in a restaurant: me, Carter and Laurie Kretchmar.

Based on Carter’s advice, I renamed the meetup – it used to be called the San Mateo B2B Bloggers Meetup – a name that limited our reach. In 2018, after many years working regular jobs, I went out on my own as a freelancer.

I couldn’t have done it without Carter. I worked on a few projects under Leadtail and Carter continues to refer business to me. If you know Carter at all, I bet you’ve experienced similar things. He’s always thinking about how he can help you, without ever expecting anything in return.

Happy Holidays, Carter and thank you for everything.

Kristen McCabe: kind, caring and so approachable

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Like Mo, I first met Kristen (@AusmericanGirl) on the #CMWorld Twitter chats. At Content Marketing World, I was looking forward to meeting Kristen in person. We missed each other for the first few days of the conference, but then met up at a ‘tweetup’ that was organized for Thursday evening – the last night of the conference.

The tweetup brought together members of the #CMWorld, #ContentChat and #TacoChat communities. Over beers and snacks at Noble Beast Brewing, I caught up with Kristen about all things marketing. The same night was the opening game of the NFL season. Kristen’s team (Green Bay Packers) was playing, so a bunch of us watched the game together.

Here’s a photo of Kristen with conference attendee Kyle Akerman, who roots for the opposing team (Chicago Bears):

I’m thankful for Kristen’s kindness, caring and consideration. Happy Holidays, Kristen!

Rich Schwerin: kindness, support and consideration

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I was introduced to Rich (@Greencognito) by Laurie Kretchmar (@LKhere). I attended a meetup that Rich used to run – he inspired me to create my own (note: read about the first three years of the meetup).

Rich has attended 99% of our meetups. He’s also been a tireless advocate, promoting the meetup to people in his network. If there are local contacts who’d benefit from the topic of the next meetup, Rich is promoting the meetup and almost pleading for them to come join us.

To celebrate the four year anniversary of our meetup, Rich solicited video greetings from 15+ people, then edited them together. He spent a weekend working on the video, learning Adobe Premiere on the fly.

Happy Holidays and thank you, Rich – see you at the next meetup!

Bernie Fussenegger: the host of ‘Marketing Twitter’

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I’m telling you, Twitter would not be the same without Bernie (@B2the7). Bernie hosts the weekly #Digital360Chat, where he features marketers and asks them about their career journeys. I was a guest recently and had a blast.

He’s a regular on Twitter chats and has become quite famous for the conversations and threads he initiates. Bernie will ask a question on Twitter and tag a few friends. What happens from there? A full-blown Twitter chat, which ensues over the following days or even weeks!

Here’s an example from October:

This spawned a thread, which spawned child threads upon child threads. To take it all in, you’ll need to look at the replies and then expand the replies within the replies.

One of the best things about Bernie? As inviting and engaging as he is on Twitter, he’s just the same in real life. I met and hung out with Bernie at Content Marketing World in Cleveland.

Happy Holidays Bernie! Keep doing what you’re doing and hope to see you soon!

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