Gary Vaynerchuk, known as the “Social Media Sommelier” and for his in-your-face videos, is the host of Wine Library TV and the Director of Operations at Wine Library in Springfield, New Jersey. His new book, “101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World”, puts all of his energy and passion for wine into print. Gary will also be the keynote speaker for Affiliate Summit 2009 in Las Vegas.

Shawn: What do you think is the most important social media site?

Gary: I would say it’s neck and neck between Twitter and Facebook, depending on how you use things. I think Facebook has a lot more power and could really go after Twitter and take them out by creating a Facebook mobile thing that looks a lot like it.

But Twitter or something like Twitter. If Twitter is unable to scale, whether it is FriendFeed or Pownce or something we don’t know about right now, will be the future, because mobile is the future.

Shawn: What do you think of FriendFeed?

Gary: I have not dabbled into it enough to answer, but I know a lot of people are enjoying the threaded conversations there. FriendFeed has a very legitimate chance to grab the market. I think they’ll be one of the places.

People realize that Twitter has scalability issues and FriendFeed is probably working on trying to compete with them as we speak.

Shawn: Why do you use Viddler to embed on Wine Library TV, instead of the Revision3 version?

Gary: Viddler has been good to me. We’ve had a two year relationship. When my company started using it two years ago, instead of YouTube, that was a risky move, because there was a lot more to gain, in theory, with YouTube.

But they have been great to me, they’ve had great service, and I believe in the guys over there, so I want to support them.

Shawn: Do you have any good stories you can share from your book tour?

Gary: I signed a dude’s chest the other day. It would have been cool if it was a chick, but you take what you can get. Nothing so crazy other than it’s so humbling to see a hundred people show up to your book signing in Seattle and Maryland and Portland.

Shawn: I saw the episode of Wine Library TV when you were in Boston. Was it tough working with a Patriots bucket?

Gary: That’s why I didn’t spit it in. So I had to drink the wine. That’s what made it tough. It was a really fun time.

Shawn: Since you talk about the importance of building a personal brand, which player from the New York Sack Exchange (defensive line for the New York Jets in the early 80s) do you think created the best personal brand?

Gary: Bar none Mark Gastineau. When you’d go outside of New York, a lot of people knew Gastineau. Of course, I loved the subtleties of a hard-nosed player like Klecko, but the fact of the matter is that Gastineau was able to create the biggest personal brand.

Shawn: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to build a personal brand through social media?

Gary: Authenticity, baby. Be a RAT. Be Real, Authentic, and Transparent. And know what you’re talking about. That means going as niche as you have to.

So, if you think you know a lot about basketball, but you realize you know more about the Houston Rockets, then do that. And if you know more about Hakeem Olajuwon than the Houston Rockets, then you can do Hakeem Olajuwon TV or the Hakeem Olajuwon blog.

I think people need to be champion of their sub-domain, and I think people need to go to their lowest common denominator to achieve that.

Shawn: One last thing… what do you see in your future after the wine life is over?

Gary: Then it will be the Jets life. I want to buy the Jets. That’s where I want to go. There will probably be one stop in between. I just don’t know what that is, yet, but I don’t know that the wine life can achieve the $2 billion I need to buy the Jets, but that is where I am going.

Shawn: In the meantime, are you going to get a box at the stadium?

Gary: Yeah, maybe. I don’t know. I am so focused on not wasting any funds along the way, so I feel like that couple hundred thousand could cost me.

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