If you want to stand out in a crowd, be yourself. I have a passion for creative thinkers, funny writers, belly button ponderers and those who give more than they take. Here are some writers who impress me.

In no particular order:

Aaron Wall thinks a lot. His recent Inadequacy & the Chance to Change is sexy as hell. I could easily find myself wanting to sit for hours on end sucking in every word and getting high on all the ideas and possibilities he ceaselessly generates just by expressing whatever’s on his mind at the moment.

Inadequacy is just part of being human, but many companies create products or services which claim cure us of the flaws of being. When we buy into these systems, we are not just buying into the product / program / service, but we are buying into the pot of gold at the other end of the rainbow. The belief that things can be different and better, and the sense of relief that brings. Wherever there is a real or manufactured sense of inadequacy there is a large targeted market.

Sigh. Right on.

Lisa Barone. Where did she come from? Suddenly there’s the Bruce Clay blog and this clever writer who covers the industry, offers it to us in witty blog posts and makes me feel good every time I read her latest one. The point being, she makes me feel good. She’s also totally tuned into SEO-land.

Knowing how you play gives me a good idea of how you work. If I’m a client reading your blog or a competitor trying to learn how you run your company, that’s invaluable information. I want to know that you’re the kind of person to think outside the box, that you’re wacky with an abundance of energy. It’s also a great way to distinguish yourself from all the other SEO bloggers out there and to show what your company is really about.

(P.S. I hope we get to meet someday Lisa!)

Andy Beal is bold and a risk taker. We get to watch. He went from working for others, to diving into my world of consulting and being his own boss. He’s a better marketer than I am (everybody is, really.) With Andy’s Marketing Pilgrim blog, he goes from industry reporter to educator to humble guy asking for help with something. He drops cute hints, such as:

I’m spending a couple of days with Yahoo.

Take me with you. I can cook. I own Rachel Ray pots.

Andy Hagans has his hands into so many website ventures (adventures) that I decided to link to a page that takes you to some of them (though it didn’t hit them all.) More known for his and Patrick Gavin’s Linkbuildingblog and the popular Text Link Ads system, Andy is on my list because there’s just no stopping this guy. He has generously referred my usability consulting services to people, which I truly can’t thank him enough for.

Honorable mention are two other men whose writings are cutting edge, insightful, smart and useful. I find myself pointing people to them often because they share so much information. Kudos to Chris Garrett and Nick Wilson.

What stands out about Andy, Patrick, Nick and Chris, for me, is their energy. They’re young, some with new families. They’ve reached a whole new market of web developers and swung it around to do their bidding.

Chris McEvoy, of Confusability-fame, looks for the truth in much the same way that X-Files ‘ Muldor did. If it’s unsuable, he will force common sense or re-write the damned thing so it’s practical to use. Chris is unique. He speaks his mind, even if he’s poking fun at the usability industry, or causing it to think. I keep an eye on him, just to see what he dreams up next.

Rosie Sherry is a female software qa engineer who tests, measures, analyzes, and is one my few remaining ties to my old job title of QA Usability and User Interface Engineer for VerticalNet. I read everything she writes. I pretend she’s in a cubicle next to mine, and we’re the only women in the traditional sea of male software engineers. Just kidding. Maybe. I’m also glued to StickyMinds, but Rosie is my hero. She’s a mom. She’s a techie. The UK is lucky to have her.

Kathy Sierra writes for Creating Passionate Users. If you’ve never been to this site, you’re missing out on tremendously thoughtful, insighful writing. Kathy is my favorite writer there. Her bio mentions her love of Dance Dance Revolution, which my daughter is totally ga-ga over. Not that this means anything. It’s just fun to think Kathy could visit and feel right at home.

He who reduces fear better than the competition can, potentially, stop competing on price, convenience, or just about anything else. Reduce my fear, and I’ll be grateful forever.

She’s speaking to me. My friend, Ammon Johns, knows this better than anyone.

These are a few of the sexy, smart writers I admire. There are, as you know, a great many others out there. One or two read this blog and I expect to receive a “What about me?” note. I purposely singled out a few, but I could be here all day, sending compliments to industry standouts whom I admire and respect. The talent pool is growing and thanks to blogs, we get to know you all.

In case nobody has said this to you all lately, thank you.

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Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101


American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)