There is a lot of talk about what Twitter can do for us. Maybe it can make us money. Maybe it can make us famous. Maybe it’s just fun. Maybe it’s about the people…

Valeria Maltoni, Conversation AgentI’d like to introduce you to someone who deserves to be considered an influencer of the best kind. Everyone, meet Valeria Maltoni.

I met Valeria on the Twitter chat, #kaizenblog when I used to participate in the conversation. Actually, it was Caroline Di Diego who was kind enough to send me reminders about the chat as she knew how much I enjoy exploring ideas and seeing how they apply in real life. So, I joined in and became intrigued by the host, Valeria. At that point, I only knew her as @ConversationAge but she seemed to truly care that the chat, #kaizenblog and that the participants did more than just enjoy a conversation. This passion was refreshing and I wanted to know more.

Passion, intellect, curiosity and a thirst to connect with others are all characteristics of Valeria that are easy to see. She brings her whole self to everything. Perhaps this is because she is Italian but it’s probably more true that this is just how she is. Sure you can learn about her on her site but to truly get to know her, have a conversation. My first full-blown offline conversation with her contained references to Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno, social media and other philosophers. Nice and light, just like any “how to get to know you” kind of conversation should be.

 She is a Connector. Valeria thrives on getting to know others and hearing them think. There are two things that I delight in and deeply appreciate since we partnered up to be co-hosts on #kaizenblog. The first is that she has introduced me to interesting people like Tom Asacker , Taylor Davidson , Aliza Sherman and, of course, the core group of tweeps who come every Friday to explore “kaizen” and business. Her passion for connection isn’t simply for her own gain but to make the world more cozy and ready for a good conversation (with or without espresso).

The second thing that delights me is her reminders every now and then that I “should” do something. Having someone who gives an occasional nudge (or shove) to go beyond my regular way of operating is such a gift! She inspires me to see the world even more broadly, to explore other possibilities and to act according my grander vision. Since she is a marketing strategist, she can see what is coming two or three steps ahead. As someone who doesn’t inhabit that world primarily, her perspective fuels my imagination and my tendency to test how an idea can work in real life. It’s a cliche, I know, but Valeria does inspire me to bring my A game.

She nudges people on a regular basis. This is not a gift she has given just to me. When she founded #kaizenblog, it wasn’t good enough to explore an idea. Valeria wanted people to grapple with an idea, take it home with them and find a way to implement it in their work and lives. She continues to do this in her work with her colleagues, her clients, her blog, her Facebook page and on Twitter. As she reminded us in her last time on #kaizenblog, she’s not going anywhere!

Take some time to check out her Twitter stream, her Facebook page or her blog. Engage with her. It’s something that will be illuminating and valuable! Have a conversation with the Conversation Agent. After all, her message is “connecting ideas and people-how talk can change our lives.”