Hi, my name is Scott Allen and I’ve been helping people transform virtual relationships into real business since 2002. I love technology, but not for its own sake — I love to see it transform people’s businesses, lives and communities when used effectively. I’m also a dad, a husband and grandfather of seven. I love movies, music, cooking, physics, poetry, economics, politics, entrepreneurship, Toastmasters and Austin, Texas, all of which I may occasionally write about.

By day, I’m the Social Innovation Architect at General Motors Austin IT Innovation Center. I’m tasked with staying on top of the latest developments in social technology and figuring out how we might make use of them at GM. So if you’re working at an innovative social media software company, please reach out to me. I’d love to learn more about what you’re doing. And if you want to work at an innovative tech company, let me know — GM is hiring like crazy and has IT centers in Austin, Atlanta, Phoenix and Detroit.

Social Media Is My Middle Name

That’s a bold claim, and I’m sure there are some who will doubt me on that. I’m perhaps not the most famous social media expert, but as Will Rogers said, “It ain’t braggin’ if you done it.”

  • I taught my first seminar about online networking in December 2002 in Houston, Texas. Since then, I have given dozens of seminars and classes on the topic to several thousand people. Past event sponsors and clients include Microsoft, LinkedIn, Wachovia, ERE Media, Human Capital Institute, Business Development Institute, American Marketing Association, ExecuNet, Electronic Retailing Association and more.
  • I’m not 100% sure, but I think I may have been the world’s first social media consultant. I had clients paying me to help them with their “online business networking” by the end of 2002. If you know someone else who was actually getting paid to do that in 2002, please introduce me — I’d love to meet them!
  • Launched in March 2003, The Virtual Handshake Blog (formerly OnlineBusinessNetworks.com) is one of the longest-running blogs on the business use of social media and social networking.
  • My first article about the topic for a major publication, “Online networking entering flow of mainstream business methods”, was published in Houston Business Journal and syndicated to American City Business Journals in September 2003. LinkedIn was barely two months old.  Since then, I’ve been a regular monthly columnist for FastCompany.com and been published or quoted in dozens of other publications, including ABCNews.comWall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CFO Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Sales and Marketing Management, Networking Times, Southwest Airlines Spirit, Worth and more.
  • Our e-book, The 5 Keys to Building Business Relationships Online, was published in October 2003 and was the first on the topic of online networking (so far as I know).
  • The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, was published in August 2005, and was the first book on the topic of online business relationships and the business use of what we now call social media. Because it focused on communication skills and business strategies rather than technology, the book remains a timeless guide for virtual networking for professionals.
  • I’m listed as the #1 Social Media Pioneer on LinkedIn, one of the Top 10 Online Reputation Management Experts on LinkedIn, and one of the Top 100 SEO Experts on Twitter for 2016.
  • In my spare time, I also run Linked Intelligence, the unofficial source for all things LinkedIn.

For my complete professional history, come visit me on LinkedIn. I also invite you to connect with me on: