Few independent content creators have had as much impact as a single liquor store owner in New York. His passion for wine is the fuel of a locomotive running on tracks built on an audience that is constantly reminded that he truly cares about what they have to say. His philosophy includes ideas that new media is starting to embrace whole-heartedly.

If you asked Gary what his secret to success was, he’d tell you passion and caring. Spending the time to talk to your audience without the barrier of a public relations team is a fundamental principal in his message which has been spread at conferences, through his video podcasts, and in his best selling book, Crush It!

It’s his philosophy of doing what you’re passionate about that formed the basis for The Frugal Geek and allowed me to expand my writing from a major political news site to a more enjoyable blog about all things geeky. In doing so, I found my audience and my voice. Where a single article could take me hours of research and toil to punch out with bland reception, I find myself writing more and more while connecting to readers in a real way.

In the world of business, Gary has a strong grasp on how to thrive in the modern world of social media. It’s no longer a world where building a business is all you need to do. You have to take care of your customers actively, or someone else will. The same goes for stores, blogs, firms, and any other modern business.

His first book, Crush It!, was half autobiography and half step-by-step guide to a business model he made famous with WineLibrary.TV. The written version was written in the same style Gary speaks, which is thankfully free of the typical style of talking down to the reader so often associated with business reading. Most books in the same genre can be very boring, and written for the serious entrepeneur only. “Crush It!” in its audio form found on Audible.com is full of extra tidbits the author decided to go off-script to add throughout the recording. It sounds more like a long conversation over lunch than a book about business being read to you.

Here is another article by LockerGnome writer Kat about the upcoming release.

The Thank You Economy is released on March 8th and in this frugal geek’s opinion, it’s worth a look.

Matt Ryan is a technology and political writer with a background in broadcasting. He currently writes for several blogs in the areas of technology, gaming, food, and politics. He can be reached via Twitter and Facebook as well as by email.