In a socially-networked world which presents a humongous number of choices, who do you connect with?
For me, some connections are purely topical. If I'm interested in a particular subject domain, I look for experts in that domain and follow them. I am seeking their ideas, information, knowledge, influence about something in particular. This is why I watch Mario Batali or listen to Mike And The Mad Dog. For me, they excel in their domain-expertise. I listen to them because I'm interested in "what" they're talking about.
But other connections are more broad-based. This is the case when you find someone whose perspective, point of view, mindset is, in itself, interesting. I am interested in this person's "take" on things, no matter what those things might be. This is why I eagerly await anything by Malcolm Gladwell, Frank Rich, Van Morrison or the Coen Brothers. I listen to them because I'm interested in "how" they talk about things.
Vertical social networks, focusing on specific subject domains (everything from auto racing to knitting) are springing up everywhere. The question I have pertains to their sustainability. Unless I'm really, really, really (yup, three reallys) into a domain, I'm much more likely to seek out interesting people so that I can get their perspective on a wide-range of issues. I guess this is related to me being a fox rather than a hedgehog, but I wouldn't swear to it.
How about you? Whom do you find yourself engaging more frequently: "what" or "how" people?