Seth Godin has a great piece on his blog today called Exclusion.
I'd call this one mandatory reading for all web marketers, bloggers, and website owners.
Here are a few examples that I found after launching this blog in August....
After setting out to 'penetrate an industry' that I had been relatively quiet in for years, and finally decided to brand my company (and myself) going in to 2008. The FIRST thing I did was target those who had already done it. I was changing my profile from in-house (and out-house) SEO to more writing and traveling. Some people I knew from many years ago. Some I had had casual contact or e-mail contact with. Others were successful (for now) and I wanted to begin a dialog, or at the very least, follow what they had to say.
Some were making the 'buzz of the day'.
For one reason or another, many practice exclusion at the expense of their own product.
Just because you're a superstar in your space today, doesn't mean you'll will be one tomorrow. It doesn't matter how many years you've been around, or even who you know or where you graduated from. There are too many examples to site and way too many start-ups ready to challenge YOU!?
1) Robert Scoble gets it. You follow him on Twitter, he's going to follow you right back. There are many others that will. Most won't. It's a mistake. You can always block someone later.
2) Facebook. A little different here, as a lot of people prefer Facebook to be a personal space and not a promotional one. We targeted 35 search engine experts on Facebook, some whom I had met at some point or another, others that had made their way in recent years. Our Facebook example is really interesting (so far). Bruce Clay got it immediately (I haven't seen or spoken to Bruce in 6 years). One of his best writers, Lisa Barone did not reply and also keeps her Twitter posts locked down. Don't get me wrong, it all depends what you're using these services for, but you really could be missing that little 'gem' for your next blog post ?
Many can attest to the factual tidbits I passed along when I didn't have time to write.
3) MyBlogLog. You'll find more social bookmarkers here and very few 'closed doors' but if you're looking to promote anything, wouldn't it be great to have one of them 'Digg you', cite your story or Sphinn you? Your last 'twit' is right there at the top of your page!
I realize some of these people get more e-mail than they can count. They're busy. So am I.
Many don't return e-mail. This one's tricky. Not returning an e-mail is probably better than "Who the heck are you?" or "Do I know you?". More importantly, and I really hope everyone knows this by now..... Don't send an e-mail when you're angry or upset. Sit on it for a day. Take your frustration out off-line.
In the last four months, I've found more brilliant bloggers than I can count. I've tried to reflect those results in our Blogroll right here, so that you can find them too. It does change about once a week.
There are a LOT of new people out there that can teach us 'old guys' a thing or two, and many of them post every day.