I didn't create a personal top ten favorite Brainzooming blog posts list in 2009. That's probably because it takes longer than you'd ever think it should to prepare one. Yet it seemed the right time for one in 2010 since this year has been filled with so much change, learning, and growth.

My approach in selecting these posts was no more scientific than making several passes through every post from 2010 to narrow the list to those having the most memorable impact on me.

It was only after the list was narrowed to ten posts that the general themes of "connections" and "new types of friendships" were evident to me. In thinking about 2010, however, no themes could have been more appropriate. Here's a walk back through 2010 from a Brainzooming point of view:

1. Whenever I Call You Friend - January 11

This early 2010 reflection touches on how social media has changed my view of what a friend is. Little did I know then, it would set the stage for my favorite posts throughout the rest of 2010. The connections to truly remarkable people around the globe that have developed through social networking would have been hard to imagine 10 years ago. For that reason alone, I'm glad 2010 finally arrived.

2. In Praise of a Holistic Team Strategy - March 29

One of my favorite things about long-time friend and strategic mentor Chuck Dymer is his incredible ability to take every day events and highlight the lessons they reveal. Chuck emailed me after this post remarking about the connection I'd drawn between reading a part of the Palm Sunday passion narrative and the importance of team members practicing every part of their team's activity. That email recognition was a huge compliment coming from Chuck!

3. Two Lessons and Two Goodbyes - May 10

This post was intensely personal, written the night Coco ("my cat") passed away after a protracted illness. I tried to pull some Brainzooming-appropriate lessons from her adoption story to justify publishing it, but the accompanying video is what I keep coming back to in the months since. Our remaining cat Clementine (who Twitter friends have named "Director of Enthusiasm" at The Brainzooming Group) spontaneously reacted to a video of CoCo I was watching by pawing at the screen. After she walks off, she then walks into the previously shot video to see Coco. There's no way to plan this stuff out!

4. 6 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Tracking - July 14

There are a whole variety of metrics for tracking blog traffic. And there are those stories of blogs reaching stupendous follower numbers very quickly because of dynamic content. When you're in the midst of slowly growing an audience, however, it's tough to know whether you're on the mark or not with your content. This post, based on a slide in my social media strategy presentation, was picked up and published by Social Media Today. It's had nearly 26 thousand views by the end of 2010. It was a reassuring confirmation that this post (at least) connected with a large audience!

5. Is a Smart Presenter Always Better? - August 19

This story is a great example of how you can connect and mutually benefit others through social media. When I expressed frustration with a MarketingProfs virtual event presentation, Lauren Vargas of Radian 6, one of the presenters, reached out to initiate a conversation. We emailed perspectives back and forth, learned from one another, and have established a stronger connection which has certainly benefited me, and I hope, Lauren as well. Here's to the new, smart friends social networking can help you develop!

6. Is Blogging Worth It? - August 31

This is an instance of a much-appreciated respite from the solitary nature of blogging. Having a week where a number of people made the effort to reach out to let me know the blog had touched them in some way was perhaps my most blessed week of 2010. If what I'm writing isn't helping someone, it's not worth doing. You can't necessarily put a quantitative measure on that principle, but it's the most vital blogging metric for me.

7. Creatively & Interactively Shaping a Customer Experience - September 15

This video post shows some pure fun at a Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis, where new washrag animals appeared daily during my stay. It's an example of a lasting connection where familiarity and bonding were created without benefit of direct, in-person contact. This story has easily earned a place in my creativity and innovation presentations as an example of a frontline employee taking the initiative to create a high-impact customer experience in a memorable, fun way.

8.  Humor and the Impact of Memorable Experiences - October 6

Lynn Keenum always makes me laugh. Watch this video of him telling a story about Tom Peters. You'll laugh too...especially if you've seen Tom Peters speak. This is one for my all-time smile file!

9.  The @MallofAmerica Is All Over Social Media Listening - November 8

You'd think I spent all my time in Minnesota this year since this is yet another Minneapolis-based post. Suffice it to say I'm a Mall of America fan, both for its in-person experience and the online connection they established with me by listening, reaching out, and interacting. Lisa Grimm, pr specialist at the Mall, has gone out of her way to solidify my fandom, confirming this story's place in my social media strategy talks.

10.  All in God’s Time – A Christmas Look Back - December 23

Even though I was confident in leaving the corporate world when I did in 2009, there were still moments of apprehension about both the present and certainly the future. This account of a big confirmatory moment in early 2010 was testament to my most important lesson learned in 2010: everything's connected to something, even if it isn't apparent the moment it's happening.


That's a look back at 2010.

One additional recap comes from Joan Koerber-Walker and her #BeOriginal hashtag on Twitter. Joan has collected #BeOriginal tweets, and is sharing them. I'm flattered that the first one she published was a listing of some of my tweets. I'm so appreciative of it, because even I don't remember a bunch of them!

With that, I better get started on 2011. Hope you'll be there with me! – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.