Coming up…Jeff Channels Chris Brogan

March 7, 2010

Setting: Bar room, stage, smoky, night, microphone on stage, couples huddled around the room

Characters: Jeff Cutler, unnamed people at the tables around the room, announcer/bartender

The bartender wanders across the stage and grabs the microphone. If you looked carefully at his hands, you can see the scars on his knuckles from numerous fights. This bartender used to be a bouncer who worked his way up in the organization. To some, bartending isn’t a lateral move.

BARTENDER: Here’s that writer guy. He twits or tweets, whatever. Give it up for Jeff Culter… Cutler.

Jeff bounces onto the stage wearing his Duluth Trading Company firehose pants and presentation jacket.


He smiles at the bartender and then waves to the crowd. Crowd is an overstatement – there are 9 people in the room, eight of them are awake.

JEFF: Thanks for that warm welcome! I just flew in from Boston and boy are my arms tired….

Then I wake up.

That little sequence is an approximation of the dream that keeps me – and maybe other dedicated content professionals – on task and focused when preparing to deliver information and training. I imagine it’s what Chris Brogan used to feel like before he made it (or is making it) big.

The reason I bring this up is because I’m now doing the mini-Chris Brogan tour around the country. As many of you know, the Society of Professional Journalists has hired me to teach newspeople all around the world how to use social media tools to listen to and engage people.

What’s that mean? Aside from harrowing flights on planes about the size of an Egg McMuffin, it means that I’m meeting some great folks, honing my presenting skills, and staying brutally on top of the latest social media news.

It also means that I get to taste some of the magic that Chris Brogan sees on a daily basis. Guess what, it’s not magic.

Like any other job, it looks attractive from the outside (except maybe for cat neuterer and human paintball target). The flying around the country, the exotic meals in random restaurants and the huge paychecks make it seem so. But here’s the breakdown…

Airport food, Wichita, KS (the people and beer were fantastic), wobbly planes, basic paychecks. It’s not the glamour you might have anticipated.

Yes, I’m not Brogan. But I imagine aside from a much larger check – rumors say it’s above $20,000 a day – it’s a similar grind.

So, before you start having dreams, waking up in a sweat, or bobbing around the midwest in little prop planes, take a look at your current workload and assignments. You might be better off with the day job and letting masochists like me and Chris go chat with organizations about how they can better use social media.

What job do you lust for? Share that in the comments.

Keep reading!