Category Archives Guest Blogger

ART, For the Sake of Passion

My story of passion would not be complete unless I took you back 10 years ago when I met my husband. I was 16 years old. We decided suddenly, instantly, and permanently that we could not live full lives without one another. It was at 16 years old that I threw myself into a love and passion and life that would keep me sustained for all my years to come.

Why is this important, and how does it relate to photography? Everything that I knew stemmed from that electric moment that I connected with my husband. In ways that he may never understand, he introduced me to the art that I love, the way I like to create, and the courage to believe in those things wholeheartedly. The story of meeting my husband is important because it was the first time that I had believed in something so much that I never doubted it for a moment. I learned to believe in my photography because of the confidence I gained from believing in love.

Photography, art, and creating in general are no different from making that type of commitment. So often people say to me, "It is almost like you aren't a photographer, but instead an artist." I believe that all photographers have the potential to be artists, and there is only a fine line between photographer and artist when there is a gap. What is it that puts that fine line into play? Passion.

You may think I am some crazy, new-age hippie. Admittedly I can be, and my headbands and oversized clothes add fuel to the fire, but what I preach is what I believe: Passion is the life-blood that runs through any artist, and every photographer has the capacity to capture it.

When I began photography I did not understand the world of art. I did not understand the world of photography any better. The only thing that I knew was what I liked and what I didn't like. I knew what made my heart skip a beat and what I cared not to think about. I knew up from down within my little bubble of creating, but nothing outside of that. Knowing nothing turned out to be my greatest asset in my journey as a photographer. Because I didn't understand how the business of photography worked, I had no constraints to work within. I began photography out of passion for telling stories, and so I started out doing just that: creating the stories I wanted to tell.

I had no preconceived notions of how much money I should be making, how I should be making my money, or how to run my business. When I started realizing that money would be a good thing to have if I wanted to continue to grow in my craft, I began thinking in terms of business; yet it wasn't business as usual. I was working a full-time job. I had entered the "real world" of "grown-up work," as I began photography just after I graduated from college. I was working as a receptionist, and then as a legal assistant. I understood one fundamental thing about the jobs I held: I didn't want to do them. When I started looking at photography in a way that could lend itself to a sustainable business, I asked myself one very important question that has continued to define how I run my business: What do I want to spend my time doing?

I set very simple and very straightforward goals for myself. I wanted to show in galleries. I wanted to teach workshops. I wanted to write a book. No task seemed too big or too small. It was simply what I wanted to do with my time, and with no idea of how to achieve these goals, the weight of living up to someone else's standard was taken away. I did things my way, for better or worse.

I have always viewed creating images in the same way. I knew nothing about photography when I started except that other people had stood where I was and had succeeded. I knew that someone had mastered Photoshop, and that others knew their cameras inside and out. I wasn't interested in their methods, but simply in the inspiration that it could be done. I began creating self-portraits to practice photography and get the ideas in my mind out into the world.

When I began photography, it was in an effort to tell stories that I loved thinking about. I have always had stories in my mind, and still feel as though, even if I turned out images like a machine, I could never tell the amount of stories I have floating in my mind. Photography allowed me an outlet to make my imagination a reality. I approach photography the same as business. I do not have to live up to anyone else's standards but instead set my own standards that I can judge myself against. Instead of looking to others for inspiration, I look inward and figure out why I love telling stories and how I can do so effectively.

From my first image that I captured in December 2008 to now, not much of my process has changed. I still create self-portraits. I still shoot with almost no budget. I am still inspired by the same props, wardrobe, and themes that ignited the spark of passion then. My creation process is quite simple, but what I love about creating is that it can be different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way to create. There is no industry standard, and if someone says there is, I can only believe it is a myth. There are endless paths leading to the same end goal. My end goal is to create an image that I am passionate about, and while my methods may be unconventional, I still get from point A to point B.

So often I walk out of my door with my equipment on my back, carrying props in my arms while wearing a fluffy dress, ready to create an image. My neighbors watch skeptically as I walk down the street and into the forest, to be alone in nature and to create something that inspires me. So often people walk past, watching, and ask questions, like if I know how silly I look, or sometimes offer to help. There is something so special to me about knowing that I am creating in a way that is personally fulfilling. Even if nothing comes of the photo shoot I just did, the experience made it worthwhile.

A large part of my process is editing, and I consider Photoshop just as much of a journey. Indeed, I am not going on a trip to the forest and jumping about as I take pictures, but I am re-visiting that feeling. I get to be back in the forest with my character. I get to immerse myself in the process that turns a picture into a whole new world. I think of everything that I do as a journey; business, shooting, editing, and even networking. They are all a way of creating a meaningful experience so that I, and hopefully others, can live a more passionate life.

I believe that finding passion is not as difficult as keeping it. Finding passion can be as simple as being honest with yourself about what you love and why you love it. Once you know that, the hard part is keeping that passion alive. Life gets in the way. Money gets in the way. Self-doubt and self-worth play into the equation of keeping passion running strong.

One of the most motivating thoughts that I have is remember how important my own happiness is. I believe that if I am pursuing my dreams, others will be encouraged to pursue theirs. I want nothing more than for everyone to be able to live their dream, and I would be a hypocrite if I weren't trying to do the same. I am motivated to be happy because everyone around me will be happier for it.

If you are reading this, I can only hope that photography, or something else that is wonderfully meaningful, has come into your life to give you happiness. It is important to remember that your passion is worth pursuing. You never know how many other people will be touched by your dedication.

You can see more of Brooke’s work at, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.

First I want to thank Scott and Brad for allowing me to be a guest on his blog.

I became aware of Scott some 20 months ago after too many soccer/running injuries. I had ankle surgery that kept me out of work for 6 months, so I signed up for Kelby Training to really learn about Photoshop, and this is the best thing I have ever done.

I am the Chief Sports photographer of The Sun Newspaper in London, England. The Sun has the ninth-largest circulation of any newspaper in the world and the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom. It has an average daily circulation of 2,409,811 copies in January 2013, and it is my job to fill the pages seven days a week with the best sports pictures. I have covered six Olympic Games, five World Cup football finals, and more World Title boxing fights than I care to remember.

It all didn't start at The Sun. I finished my final year at school at the age of 16 years in 1980. I am now 49. I went to work on the Monday morning after finishing school on the Friday before, starting at the very bottom of the tree. I was cleaning and scrubbing out developing and fixer tanks, and everyday, between making the morning tea and coffee for the boss and delivering the day's pictures to the national newspapers that was located in Fleet Street very close to the office, three years later I started covering soccer with that agency with my first Nikon that I saved up for.

Then the big break⦠I was called up to the big office on the 4th floor and told, "There is your new kit. You are going into the big wide world of show business news and sports photography." I continued to do this for 3 to 4 years and then moved on to an agency called Alpha which specialized in photographing the Royal family. You may say that is a big difference, but really it's like sports photography, waiting around for that one moment and using very long lenses, but this helped me for what now has become my profession.

This month is a milestone for me. I have just clocked my 24th season in sports photography at The Sun. As I write this blog in my hotel room in sunny Israel, after being away covering England’s end of season tour to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for 7 days and on to Tel Aviv for another 7 day, knock-out tournament with England’s under-21 soccer team, I write this blog in my hotel room after 16 days on the road.

I am going to share one great moment with you, and it involves somebody you may have heard of: David Beckham once of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and LA Galaxy. Here is the story⦠A classic moment when England captain David Beckham scores with a sensational 30-yard free kick, three minutes into injury-time.

Because Germany only drew with Finland, the goal means England automatically qualified for the 2002 World Cup finals. Later that year I won sports photographer of the year with the picture from that game. Beckham was training with England and I had a copy of the picture and presented it to Beckham, and of course he signed one for me. He joked with me that is was a great picture, but I joked with him that he did all the work. A month ago Beckham announced his retirement, and I felt I wanted to pay tribute to a great ambassador to the game, so I posted this tribute of my own. Later that night my inbox had a message via David's agent thanking me for the tribute.

Last thing I want to say in this blog is my other love is boxing. I get to spend many hours covering boxers training, starving themselves to make weight for their bouts, putting their minds and body through so much pain. I was once allowed into a gym to cover a training session with a boxer who I will not name, but he was fighting for a world title. It was a routine training and sparring when suddenly he was hit by a freak right hook and knocked to the ground. Now, you may think what a picture weeks before a fight, but being very good friends with that boxer, I never mentioned a word or printed the picture that could have ruined him and ruined his chance of winning the title. He went on to win his dream fight and the title. After the judges declared him the winner he came over to me and thanked me for not mentioning what had happened. All the other journalists and photographers asked what was going on, but I kept our secret safe.

To see more of Dickie’s work, visit

Thank you, Scott and Brad for providing this opportunity to share my work and some thoughts. It’s amazing to have a chance to share with this audience. I hope my words are strong, for I chose a camera, not a typewriter as my medium of communication. So please bare with me, poor grammar and all.

Words have never been my friend, they tire me with the duration it takes to visualize a story. Think about how long a writer must spend describing the visual for his audience. There is a reason people read to fall asleep. Images on the other hand are immediate. They can take your breath away in an instant and shatter stereotypes in a heartbeat.

As I sit here staring at a blank white screen hoping something inspiring dribbles out, I am wishing I could just show you my images and they would tell my story. I enjoy the guest blogs where photographers share insight or philosophy into the craft. So, I really would like to share a few things that I hold onto at the core of my process.

The concept that my images are my voice guides me.  Images are the way people know me, therefore they must speak about what I love, how I am, see, and feel. Just as the audible words flow from ones mouth and give insight into the person behind them, so too should my images. Create images that are true to your own voice, who you are, what you stand for and what you love.

I love sports, I am intense, focused, driven, saturated with passion, outspoken and not afraid to share my opinions. If you look at my portfolio, I think you’ll see exactly that. If your images align with your voice, they will be full of soul and very powerful to an audience.

With that said, one of my favorite sayings is, “If my images are my voice, then I never want to be an echo.” I owe most of that to my Father, who always pushed me to be different, think differently and most importantly see uniquely. Today, our industry is overloaded with excellent, technically perfect image makers. One can learn how to do anything photographically online from numerous venues. The competition for work is fierce, so the easiest way to stand out is to do something so different that it demands attention.

Spend time thinking about ways to create images no ones ever seen before. These images stand out, everything else is just an echo.  Echoes are always a more hollow empty sounding version of the original voice. What I see most in image making these days are echoes, sad but true. When I do see someone’s work that is unique, I get so stoked. It’s those people that have careers heading in the right direction.

If your images are unique and true to your voice, then you must truly value them. One of the most frustrating experiences for every photographer is when a client wants to trade images for photo credit. My bills have never been paid with photo credits. Your unique vision has value, otherwise people would not want to pay money for ink and paper to print them. Doing assignments for less than market value creates great industry erosion. If we love what we do, we must protect the industry and each do our part to keep value in our product. Otherwise we will all suffer.

I live in southern California, and some of the best photographers in the world are surf photographers. Unfortunately the surf industry which is built mainly on “image” pays incredibly small amounts for incredible photography. Photographers themselves are to blame for year in and year out, new photographers are willing to trade their images for credit. Once the value is gone it never comes back.

Always make better images. It is impossible to be perfect, and I often call our craft the “illusive search for perfection.” So with each and every assignment, I approach it as a chance to snatch perfection. I never catch it, but I always believe that I will. This keeps me learning, searching, pushing and innovating. When I settle for good enough, it’s time to hang it up.

A fellow photographer once said that his clients did not know the difference between good enough and perfect. I never worry about whether the client knows the difference. I do, and that’s all that matters.You are only as good as your last shoot, and make every assignment an opportunity to make a portfolio piece.

Finally, the only thing about this industry you control is your images. If you spend your time making incredible images, you won’t have to spend very much time doing all the things we hate doing like marketing. Strong images speak for themselves and the internet tends to find them and spread them around to all the right people. You can craft the most killer promo piece in the world and send out a million, but if your images are not unique, strong and filled with your soul, it’s going right in the trash.

To learn more about me please take some time looking at my work. Like Richard Avedon once said  “My portraits are more about me than my subjects”, hopefully you’ll come away knowing me.

To see more of Tim’s work, visit, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Last year I got a call from photographer Joe McNally asking to talk to me about a project that he wanted me to work on. I have the absolute pleasure of being able to call Joe a friend , but its never really lost on me the fact that when we are working, this is Joe "Frigging" McNally we are talking about. Joe is one of the three most influential and inspiring photographers for me - a long studied idol. To be asked to do a project with him filled me with anticipation.

As it turned out, Joe wanted me to work as a guest instructor with him on an annual class that he does: The Advanced Flash workshops at Jade Mountain. Jade Mountain is a beautiful resort in St. Lucia. In this wonderful paradise, Joe takes out a small group of photographers and takes them through the paces of a variety of different flash scenarios. This isn't a "What is your favorite Fstop" kind of event - you are a shooter.. with an assignment.. and your goal is to produce an image that celebrates the person that you are trying to shoot. From sunset portraits to mountain bikers racing along the jungle - you learn how to run your gear to light an image.

My contribution to this? I was tasked to take the participants through the world of post processing as well as explore the world of HDR with them. I know. The concept of tying Joe McNally and HDR in the same sentence sounds like a complete shocker. HDR is often a polarizing topic, and many photographers have started big flamewars on its contribution to the photographic space.

Joe however, saw this situation differently. To him, this was a technique that merited a space to talk about. While it's not something that he himself works on, he appreciated the form enough to give it a platform. To that, he believed enough of my contribution to it to talk about it as one of the foremost experts on the topic (I assure you, his words.. not mine)

Knowing how the industry can sometimes be on HDR never really bothers me. I believe that for the most part, my work on it stands for itself - and I've prided myself in showing through example how you can totally work on it and have great results - not the typical "Elvis on Velvet" kind of look people cringe at. Having said that, this was one of those situations that did make me nervous about me doing it. Here's a person that I respected - asking me to teach and show my art. I would be lying if I didn't say I was determined on focusing on other types of shooting entirely - ignoring the use of HDR. I figured my technique would be something that I would keep to myself, for fear of not wanting to look too different - or look bad.

I guess I wanted to write about it because I believe that many of us as photographers struggle with that entire concept of voice all the time. In looking for a place for us to make a mark, we can often struggle with accepting the things that we like and surrendering to them. To giving in to what we love and in the process of it, finding a new style that we can call our own. We quickly comb through websites of other work and say to ourselves "Look at THAT. That image is great. If only I shot this. If Only I shot that.. " Perpetually looking at the grass on the other side just keeps us thinking that the grass we stand on isn't as good.. or cannot be cultivated as well as the one right in front of us.

At times like this, I remember a maxim that my good friend Pete Collins shared with me:

Comparison is the thief of Joy.

Rather than sit and compare myself to all of the other stuff around me, I found it better to just sit and think to myself "This is what I do. This is how I work. Let me dive into the scenarios and leverage how much practice I've done with this technique to see if I can bring about something completely new that these people have not seen." Eric Clapton was once asked about legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn. When asked about playing next to Stevie, Eric stated that he tried not to watch him play. To do so would have him lost in the greatness.. and not let him speak what he wanted to say musically. Arming myself with that, I just said "Let me be truthful to myself and contribute by shooting what I love"

The next few days, I spent them making pictures that I was immensely proud of. From gigantic panoramas of the environment to intimate portraits of my wife resting after a wonderful day, I was able to really show what it felt like to be in this magical place. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the principals at the restaurant really loved the images. The work really resonated with the students as well, and I was able to teach how I produced the images, giving me a chance to do what I love - share my experiences.

Rather than swim in comparisons, remember that doing what you really love can be the best way to express your photographic gift. It's the best way to leave your mark on this art . Its also the best way for you to find joy in what you do.

(see.. not all of the shots I made were HDR. This is a pic of my wife Jenn totally in her element during our vacation. :) )


Im excited to say that I will be joining Joe again this August leading another workshop. This time around Joe is out there for two weeks. One week has students learning with the incomparable David Burnett. The next week, I go back with Joe and explore post processing, video production in Photoshop, HDR, and shooting techniques. If you want to join us on either week, you can find out more information at the link below:

The Workshops at Jade Mountain- with Joe Mcnally, David Burnett, and RC Concepcion

If you want to find out more about me, visit my website at or visit me on Google Plus

I want to thank Scott and Brad for sharing the space with so many great photographers. You guys are good people, and it's an honor to be here among such amazing photographers, creatives, and story tellers. Again, much thanks!

I spent the better part of the last 8 years living and working in far western China, running a photography tourism agency. Just last year I returned to the States to continue a career in the commercial photography market.

I mention western China only because where I predominantly photographed was far enough from the hyper-developed east coast that my life resembled nothing of the China you've seen in the news. I was just far enough out â˜in the boonies' that stories, legends, and mysteries were still afforded the chance to exist.

Over the years of photographing the wild places of China, I experienced many truly strange things, eaten some things I'm not too proud of, and collected my fair share of stories. Some experiences stand above others. Some stories remind us to put down the camera and enjoy the ride, enjoy the people.

This is one such story, and it is hands down one of my most favorite experiences from my life in China. I'm delighted to share it with you:

With high hopes, we pulled onto a dusty road, past a police outpost where three Chinese policemen sat bundled in Soviet-Era winter clothing. They huddled close around a small coal stove after enduring what must have been a miserable night in -40 Celsius temperatures. We jokingly waved as we passed them, curious if we'd be called over for inspection. Nothing. They stared at us and didn't budge. They were too cold to stop us - way too cold to care that two foreigners had just driven past their remote outpost - a common occurrence when photographing the Tibetan plateau in winter.

Losang and I had been scouting a photo workshop through the Sichuan mountains when we happened to glance at an old map. Serthar, it read in Tibetan, a generalized name marking a generalized location. Without much debate we both started plotting a route to what we assumed was Seda monastery, hoping to photograph a mystery.

Seda is one of the few places in Tibet that still retains its original mystery. A photographer's dream. Before our visit, I had heard about its size from a friend who had, years before, only seen the monastery from a hill overlooking the valley but was unable to get inside. Most people either knew little of Seda or nothing at all. The monastery, though 40,000 residents strong, remained a quiet mystery⦠barely more than a rumor and rarely photographed.

We took the last turn up the winding valley road, and there it was, almost too much to take in. The monastery literally covered three mountainsides - a hidden city, seldom spoken of, in the middle of the Tibetan Plateau.

We arrived at the top of the dusty road completely encompassed in a cloud of smoke, remnants of the coal Seda's residents burned in a futile attempt to keep warm through the brutal Tibetan nights. The cloud, thick and yellow, allowed only fleeting bursts of early morning light to reach the valley floor, intensifying the surreal mood of our surroundings. We watched as dark figures in maroon robes darted in and out of the smoke - monks rushing off to morning prayers.

Soon a vast mountain city materialized before us, as morning sun burned away its smoky veil. Losang and I had photographed hundreds of monasteries and developed a natural rhythm to exploring such places, but the enormous city that stood before us demanded pause. We stood silently, not knowing where to start.

Suddenly, a voice came out of nowhere and said in near-perfect English, "Hello! Can I help you two?" The voice, out of place in both time and location, seemed to complete our shock – as if the monastery itself had spoken out loud.

My brain went into overdrive. I was sure I was hearing things.

I looked at Losang as he looked at me – both searching the other's face for signs that either of us was the owner of the voice we'd just heard.  We both knew that in western China, a local speaking perfect English was unheard of.

We slowly turned around to find a monk in his early 20's standing before us, smiling from ear to ear in his red robes, deriving great pleasure from our stunned expressions. He knew he was out of place - an apparition in the holy city.

"My name is Dondrup. I'm guessing by your blank stares that this is your first time to Seda? How about you two come to my house for lunch and tea?"

We spent a long while chatting with Dondrup, testing the limits of his English - testing his sheer existence. Eventually he led us up the long, nearly vertical path to his home. There we sat in his dark, cold house, drinking yak butter tea and sharing lunch like we were long lost friends – completely forgetting that we were there to scout future photo workshops. I specifically remember thinking, "Don't miss this experience. Don't miss this story!" That meant putting the camera away for a while. It's always about the people.

He told us the story of his childhood, how his family had left Tibet when he was very young, how he'd spent the better part of two decades hopping from country to country. He'd only recently returned to Tibet, coming to Seda to attend school and experience his home culture and language for the very first time. He was as much of a foreigner at Seda as we were, as surreal as Seda itself.

We left the city later that day to make the three-day Land Rover drive back to relative civilization. From time to time since that visit, I pick up the phone to hear Dondrup's voice, "Hey Brian! How are you doing man? I hope your family is having a great Christmas!" or "Hey, it's New Years in America right now, isn't it?" After each encounter, I call my friend Losang. and he always reports a recent call from Dondrup as well. More than once Losang and I have asked each other if what we experienced at Seda was real.

The pictures I brought home serve as visual proof, but they can't tell the whole story. To know Seda is to stand in the valley as the clouds part and the morning sun reveals the hillside city. To look into the eyes of its people. To hear their stories and find a friend. The people and places I see through the lens have incredible stories to share. But what I often fail to admit is that the stories need to extend beyond the image, that they'll tell themselves if I listen.

Sometimes we have to put down the camera, connect with people, and enjoy the the story as it unfolds.

In the short time we had at Seda, I was able climb to the top walls of Seda and capture this panorama. It's a huge place and the image doesn't do it justice considering the distance between the mountainsides and the compressed nature of a panoramic shot. Nonetheless, it's a good representation of the enormity of the monastery.

Click here to view the full-size image

You can see more of Brian’s work at, check out his photo tours at, and follow him on Twitter.

Many people ask me how I manage my social media accounts (and others make stuff up rather than figure out what I do). Here are the gory, inside-story details of what I do. Perhaps you may find some of my methods useful to help you get the most out of social media, too.

On Twitter, I’m @GuyKawasakiMy Twitter practices defy the recommendations of social media “schmexperts” (schmuck + experts) to manually post a limited number of tweets and not use automation, repetition, contributors, and ghostwriters.

I have never been on the Twitter Suggested User List, and I have more than 1.2 million followers. I attribute this success to providing a lot of interesting links that people retweet. These retweets expose me to many people who then follow me. There are five (yes, five — count ’em) sources that feed my Twitter account:

1) HolyKaw
I co-founded a website called Alltop. Half of it is an aggregation of 30,000 RSS feeds organized into 1,500 topics ranging from adoption to zoology. The other half is a website called HolyKaw. HolyKaw provides a continuous flow of interesting and diverse stories that should elicit the response, "Holy cow!" ( was taken but since my name is pronounced "Cow-asaki," I figured that HolyKaw would work.)

The posts on HolyKaw are short summations of stories, a picture or video to illustrate the story, and a link to the source. Approximately twenty people/organizations have contributor-level access to HolyKaw.

We pay several as editors — they are not "interns" in the sense of unpaid students. Organizations such as Futurity and National Geographic also have contributor-level access because they consistently post great stories.

The headline of a HolyKaw post — for example, "Compilation of stories about introverts, outsiders, and loners" — automatically generates tweets that go out through a custom app called GRATE, for "Guy's Repeating Automated Tweet Engine.” These slightly modified tweets appear four times, eight hours apart.

The reason for repeated tweets is to maximize traffic and therefore advertising sales. I've found that each tweet gets approximately the same amount of clickthroughs. Why get 600 page views when you can get 2,400? Like CNN, ESPN, and NPR, we provide content repeatedly because people live in different time zones and have different social media habits.

2) Repurposed Google+ Posts
Three other people also post to HolyKaw via Google+: Peg FitzpatrickTrey Ratcliff, and me. (I explain this in the Google+ section below.)

3) Repurposed Posts
Peg Fitzpatrick manages the brand page. When she posts stories there, they automatically appear as tweets.

4) My Comments and Responses
I use Tweetdeck to respond to @-mentions of @Guykawasaki, as well as to direct messages. If you see a response tweet, it is always me — never anyone else.

5) Promotional Tweets
Finally, if you see a tweet that is promoting my books, appearances, or investments, it's almost always one that I posted with Tweetdeck or that Peg Fitzpatrick has scheduled using HootSuite.

On Google+, I’m GuyKawasakiand Google+ is the core of my social media existence. It is the Macintosh of social media: better, used by fewer people, and often condemned by the experts. Unlike other social media profiles I own, no one else ever posts, responds, or comments on Google+ as me.

My orientation toward Google+ (and social media in general) is what I call the NPR Model. My role is to curate good stories that entertain, enlighten, and inspire people 365 days a year. My goal is to earn the right to promote my books, companies, or causes to them just as NPR earns the right to run fundraising telethons from time to time.

My posts range from first-person accounts of being a black tourist in Chinawhat happened to Allen Iverson after his NBA career, and gifts from Air New Zealand. I use five primary resources to find stories to post:

1) My Alltop Account
This is a custom compilation of the RSS feeds of websites such as In Focus, The Big Picture, YouTube, and NPR that are mother lodes of great content. This is my one-stop shopping cart for content.

2) HolyKaw
Yes, I post what my contributors post as me (i.e. under my name) because the HolyKaw contributors are often better at being me than me. Wrap your mind around that.

3) What's Hot Feed of Google+
Think of this as crowdsourced story leads. The beauty of this feed is that you know that people have already judged the stories as good, though it tends to be heavy on Android news and inspirational quotations.

4) Most Popular Stories
When I'm checking out stories from the first two sources, I look at the "Most Emailed" and "Most Popular" listings on the right side of most websites. These often yield great material. I've also compiled a collection of most emailed and most popular feeds at Most-Popular.alltop to make this even easier for you.

5) Pointers From Various Friends and Family
Many people know that I'm on the hunt for good content, so they send me leads. These are almost always good enough to post.

Some of my Google+ posts pass the "holy cow!" test, and there is a plug-in to publish Google+ posts to a WordPress blog. This means I can cherry pick my Google+ posts for HolyKaw. (Look for the hashtag "HolyKaw" to see which will appear in HolyKaw and later Twitter.)

Peg Fitzpatrick, Trey Ratcliff, and I use this method to select some of their Google+ posts for inclusion in HolyKaw. They do this to gain additional exposure since these posts are tweeted to my 1.2 million Twitter followers four times eight hours apart through the HolyKaw GRATE machine.

Three Google+ Power Tips
I adore Google+, so let me provide these power tips for using the service:

1) Find anytime, but post when you're cogent.
I often get up in the middle of the night and check Alltop and the Google+ What's Hot feed on my Nexus 7. When I find something good, I share it to a Google+ private community with only one member: me. When I wake up in the morning, I go to this community to see what stories I found in a less cogent condition and write up a post.

2) Schedule Google+ posts.
There are multiple ways to schedule Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest posts using various tools. However, Google+ makes it harder than those services. There are two ways to do this, however. First, there's Do Share, a Chrome extension. Second, if you have a HootSuite enterprise account, you can schedule to a Google+ Business Page (as opposed to a personal profile). Since my Google+ focus is on my personal profile, I don’t use the HootSuite method.

3) Get rid of trolls.
Be a hard-ass: Get rid of people who irritate you. Think of your Google+ posts as your swimming pool. If people pee in it, throw them out. There are some people you need to get out of your social media life. A Chrome extension called Nuke Comments is a lovely solution because it enables you to delete a comment, block the person, and report him/her with one click.

I have two personas on Facebook: and The first is a personal profile, and the second is a brand page. I operate them differently.

First, a virtual assistant monitors my Google+ account and manually adds most of my Google+ posts to using Buffer. (Disclosure: I advise Buffer.)

There are plugins that can automatically publish Google+ posts to Facebook. However, every Google+ post is not appropriate for Facebook, and there's no way for me to tag the ones that are appropriate. Thus, a human has to make the decision, download the photo or YouTube embed link, make minor edits such as removing the "+" in Google+ +mentions, and post to Facebook.

I monitor comments at and respond to them as much as time permits. My virtual assistant never acts as me, so either I answer or there is no response at all.

Second, for, Peg Fitzpatrick, whom I mentioned earlier, makes all the posts to this page, and these stories automatically become tweets. This Facebook Page is a branding effort for "Guy's companies," which are primarily my books.

On LinkedIn, I am Guy Kawasaki. The virtual assistant who takes my Google+ posts and publishes them to Facebook uses the same process for LinkedIn using Buffer. One of the cool things about Buffer is that you can post to Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time, so this is easy.

There are seldom comments on my LinkedIn posts, so I seldom visit my posts to respond — of course, this may be a self-fulfilling process. But I have to draw the line somewhere, or I'll never play hockey during the day, which is a key component of my happiness.

On Pinterest, I’m GuyKawasaki, but Peg Fitzpatrick manages my Pinterest presence. There are two reasons: First, I don't have enough time to do a good job with more than three services (my priority, in order, is Google+, then Twitter, then Facebook).

Second, I don't have Peg's magic sauce to manage Pinterest as well as the Pinterest community deserves. Part of doing social media well is knowing what you don't know and what you can't do well, and then finding someone who does.

Don't get the impression that there is a huge team of people doing what I described above. The total of all resources, excluding my own activities, is approximately one full-time equivalent. In addition, I spend three to four hours per day creating my own posts and commenting and responding.

To summarize, here's quick wrap-up to review my social media methods:

Twitter: Mostly generated from the headlines of HolyKaw stories, four times, eight hours apart; contributions via Google+ and Facebook; and manual promotional tweets.

Google+: Me only. Think of me as the Mike Rowe of Google+ — I’m willing to do the “dirty jobs.”

Pinterest: Peg Fitzpatrick acting as me.

Facebook and LinkedIn: Virtual assistant reposting some of my Google+ posts.

Again, no one responds as me (for better or worse, as I’ve sometimes learned) on social media, though many different people may be behind a post.

This is how I manage my social media presence as of May 2013. I hope there are techniques here that you can use. Stay tuned, because my procedures are ever-changing.

Guy Kawasaki is a special advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. HubSpot invited Guy to reveal the secrets behind his incredibly active and popular social media profiles that enable him to reach millions each day. You can find out more about him at or click any of the links above to follow him on social media.