People Who Create Content in the Land Business

Thought Leaders
Earlier last year I published a post detailing websites that I often visit.  That post still gets a lot of traffic, and my original intention was to write an article detailing the people that create content that is relevant to me as a land professional in the oil & gas industry.  I quickly found out that my list wasn’t long enough to make an article out of, so I thought I just needed to look a little harder….

I went through 2 months of twitter feeds, the last month of LinkedIn, and about 6 months of emails to find people who wrote articles, published material, or otherwise helped me educate myself through reading.  What did I find?  My list was still abysmally short — and that is a problem.  If you examine other parts of the oil & gas industry you will find many examples “thought leaders” who not only innovate, but strive to share that knowledge with others.  You’ll know when you see them because they publish through their company blog, regularly submit to industry publications, and you can tell through their writing that it isn’t only for self promotion — it is really because they want to share with like-minded professionals.  Don’t worry, I’m still going to share my (shorter than intended) list of people I follow, but first I want to address a few issues that stop people from helping to grow our profession by creating content:

Why Don’t People Create Content?

“I’m Not a Writer”

Well, I’ve got news for you, neither am I.  You’ll likely find some bad grammar, punctuation errors, and poor choice of words in many of my articles.  However, I also realize that I am my worst critic.  So all it takes is to sit down and start talking about a topic by writing your thoughts.

“I Don’t Know What to Write”

This is actually one of the easier problems to conquer.  All of the people that I follow go through periods of time where they struggle to find topics to discuss, but we eventually just decide to open our eyes.  Most of my article ideas come from current or past problems at work, reading discussion forums like that the ones on LinkedIn, or talking to colleagues.  Carry a notebook, or use a note taking app and write down things you think of throughout the day.  You would be surprised how quickly you generate a list of ideas.

“I Don’t Have Anywhere to Publish”

The outlets to publish your content in the age of the internet is boundless.  I started by writing missives on LinkedIn groups, and quickly found that it was hard to keep an archive of the things I’d written (so I started a website).  There are a few websites in my profiles below that would be glad to accept relevant guest postings about topics of interest to their readers (including, if you want to publish an article here email me:  Don’t forget that we have several industry associations like the AAPL, NALTA, NADOA, and IRWA that publish at least quarterly (did you know that the AAPL has three different avenues for publishing material?).  

“It Takes a Long Time and Doesn’t Help Me”

Ok, I admit it, I made this one up.  I think many of you know how publishing quality content that is relevant to other professionals in your industry can help you.  You’ll meet new people, gain respect, get name recognition, and be seen as a thought-leader in your industry.  Are there any qualities more useful in the professional world?

The List

In an effort to get a little more social interaction via comments and sharing (Facebook Likes, Google +1’s, Tweeting) I’ve included my list of people I respect and follow in our business inside the “content locker” below.  How do you see what’s inside?  

You just hit one of the buttons in the box below and share this article with your network and the rest of the article will open up.  

You’ll notice it doesn’t have a LinkedIn button (yet), but if you want to share this on LinkedIn as well, I’d certainly appreciate it — over 40% of this websites traffic comes from LinkedIn.

If you didn’t think my article was good, and don’t want to share it, no hard feelings.

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Since I couldn’t figure out a fair way to organize these great people into a list, I’m going to present them in alphabetical order:

Austin BristerAustin Brister
Associate Attorney – Jones Gill, LLP

Unlike many attorneys I know, Austin has a great presentation style of using plain English to explain complicated issues.  He doesn’t use three pages to explain a topic when one page will do.  He recently wrote a great article about dirty tricks to watch out for when negotiating and executing documents.  Some of the points he makes are common knowledge, and others may give you pause…

The dirty trick, however, lies in this: the first party to sign will send back the wrong agreement. Sometimes it is the original offer, sometimes it is a version or two in the past.  –Austin Brister

Brian Mahn
Brian Mahn
Principal Consultant, P2 Energy Solutions

I first came across Brian when I found his website, where he took a little over a year to profile a list of the Top 100 Energy Influencers.  However, Brian also constantly amazes me by posting great articles about the energy industry on his twitter account, I honestly don’t know where he finds the time to comb through the web every week to find the most interesting and relevant articles.

Brian also has a wealth of knowledge about land administration and the technology that is required to manage all the data involved.  He started in the oil and gas business 20 years ago as a lease analyst and now helps companies solve their problems by using technology.

James Hahn
James Hahn II
Owner, Tribe Rocket

I met James originally when he was the Social Media Manager at DrillingInfo.  He is the driving force behind their (now) successful blog, which has a variety of articles of interest to all types of professions in the energy industry.

This year James launched his own business, Tribe Rocket.  He focuses on providing consulting services to energy companies to help them make use of the knowledge he developed in his previous endeavors.  Whether that is developing leads for financing operations, finding new customers through being a thought leader (like DrillingInfo), or simply creating a social media marketing plan.

While I subscribe to the Tribe Rocket newsletter, I also follow James on Twitter.  He regularly provides thought provoking articles about the energy industry, or articles about other industries that we should learn from.

John McFarland
John McFarland
Shareholder, Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody

I came across John’s blog just by random googling and quickly subscribed to his RSS feed.  I don’t believe he has an email list, but he does have instructions for following him using RSS pretty prominently placed on his blog site.  The interesting thing about John’s blog is that it isn’t a typical “lawyer blog”.  He writes about things of interest to operators other than the typical ‘title’ issues.  For example, his last few posts are about Keystone XL, Texas Oil Production Figures and Rig Technology.  You’ll be smarter for reading his blog, and understand more things that are of importance to leadership in the land business.

Boone Pickens
T. Boone Pickens
Founder, BP Capital

This is probably not new to most of you, but T. Boone (and his helpers) have been generating great content on LinkedIn for years.  I follow him, and you should too.  I think you’ll find that he publishes great, insightful articles that will help you to learn more about the industry in which you work.  He is a politically involved, and not afraid to give praise (or condemnation) where it is due:

A plan without action isn’t a plan, it’s a speech. We need specific legislative proposals and regulatory actions to achieve this objective if we are to meet the twin goals of significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a major reduction in our use of OPEC oil.  — T. Boone Pickens


Is there anyone who writes articles or teaches that influences you in your career?  Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Randy Young

Randy Young

Randy is a land consultant with experience in field and in-house land work, land administration, and software consulting with systems used in the land management business. He is an active member of the AAPL, HAPL, and NHAPL and is a regular attendee of industry functions. Randy's latest projects have included land data systems integrations, with a focus on Quorum Land System.