I was pleased to interview Rob Gould over at my Knack Factory Podcast. I met Rob a handful of years ago when he was the Director of Social Media and Agency Communications at The VIA Agency, a role he served in for 6 years before moving on to work as a consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has over 20 years in the industry, and those who know him know that he works, lives and breathes his line of work.
Rob is at once one of the funniest and and most serious people I know. He also maintains a great blog on the role of social media in business, culture and society called Social Social over at the Portland Press Herald.
And his hair is amazing.
Here he talks here about how he separates his work and social life in his online presentation. He also touches upon the benefits and hazards of living a public life in a very small city.
Here are some of our favorite quotes from the interview:
“I will give a talk or talk with clients and they will say, “I can’t talk about the things you talk about” and I tell them, “Well, you shouldn’t. You should talk about the things that you know. I work in advertising, which is not an everything goes, but certainly a lots of stuff goes industry. I would not have gone the same direction had my career gone in banking or a big law firm.”
“Another thing I like to stress is that I am older and so I can make more informed choices. I really, really feel lucky that this stuff didn’t exist in my 20s because I probably would have made a lot of mistakes that I really, really regretted later. Now I am pretty sure about things when I decide, ‘Yeah, I want to say or do this.’ With every action will come a reaction, and I am okay with those.”
“I am an extrovert and I am single, and so I am often home by myself. So it is a way for me to connect with people and not have to sit by myself. I don’t mind being by myself sometimes, but I am not the kind of person who wants to be alone a lot. As we know about extroverts, they get their energy from other people.”
“I will not under any circumstance talk [online] about someone I have been on dates with or someone I have been in a relationship with because that’s not about me, it’s about somebody else. I mean, it is about me, but it is about somebody else too. That would only happen if that other person was involved. Some people make a living on that and it’s really funny and I don’t judge it. I think you bear a consequence for that. If every date I went out on I was like, ‘Oh my God, you wouldn’t believe what happened,’ I think it would be pretty hard to get any dates, but that is my choice. As you said, Portland is small enough.”
“I have worked with a lot of different people who say, ‘Should I use this, should I not? It depends on the person. Some people are really naturally good at it and want to make the time. I always tell people if you really want to use and be effective with Twitter, which has been the most effective as far as my work, it is very time consuming by far. If they want to do that, and if you have the time and you’re willing to make the time, that can be a very effective tool for certain people. For others… It depends on how much you have at risk. If you take something like politics, and I don’t work in politics so I am taking a bit of a leap here, but it would be pretty risky for somebody in a real high level political position to just 100% run their own Twitter feed. It’s people like me who are on autopilot to think about these things who think, “What’s the worst possible thing that could happen?”