She has 32,000 followers on Twitter and is pretty engaging in her style of communication.
Kate O’Neill sounds like she would be a fascinating guest on a panel. However, I did want to stress that number of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook groups, etc. is not what draws me to who I want to interview or ask to be a guest on a panel. I currently have interviews in the works with folks with over 50,000 followers on social media and folks with less than a few hundred. I’ve interviewed or had on panels people with zero followers, i.e. no social media presence, and I’d happily have them back for another panel.
Because at the end of the day it’s about creating conversations that are so fascinating that you wish it went on for another hour.
I’d like to think I achieved that with the maths panel last weekend, as well as with others from the past year, but if not then at least it was always the intent.
Robert Scoble wrote an interesting essay on Cake about the power of Cake’s panels. The fact that he has 250,000 followers on Twitter is irrelevant: he’s a brilliant dude and someone I’d kill to have conversation with over lunch on the future of technology.
I think a panel with Kate O’Neill, @Scobleizer and a less well known but equally brilliant domain expert on the future of technology could be an amazing panel experience. I think there would be questions that haven’t been asked before and insights that haven’t been previously shared.
Sorry if this comes across as a rant. I know I asked why you recommended O’Neill, and sharing the size of her fan base is data. But I hope I never invite someone onto a panel solely because they are an “influencer”. Matt Damon did a five page article in Barron’s about a year ago that had nothing to do with his fame. It was about a charity he started several years ago that raised $50 million to provide clean water in homes in Africa. It was fascinating because he and his executive director had to figure out how to come up with a scaleable solution. They also figured out how to get sanitary toilets into the home, including arranging microfinance loans for the homeowners. I assumed Matt Damon was smart, but it was obvious from the interview that he was actively involved in achieving the solutions. If he had been talking about the latest Bourne film, he probably would’ve brought in a million more hits on the Barron’s website, but I think reading about his charity was more interesting. To me at least.
I definitely appreciate all the guests that have been suggested by you, @Jain , @Apocryphal and others. I’ll do my best to start working on putting together some interesting panels over the next few months.