By Jeremy Waite
Head of Social Strategy @tbgdigital The world’s largest Facebook agency. Ex-Giraffe Keeper. Cyclist. Author “Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You” #FollowMe100. Made in Salford. #MCFC #KRED
Today I’m publishing a list of, in my opinion, the Top 100 People in Social Media. It’s from my forthcoming book about people who have done amazing things and have helped to create today’s social web that we know and love.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of them. It’s a book about leaders who lead from the middle of the pack. They understand community and the kind of things that can happen when people with one common vision join together. Their motivation is very seldom financial ~ they are interested in legacy, a more connected world and having their name being remembered as people who made a difference.
And I mean “social media” in the loosest sense by the way… “Media” has been social for a very long time, so don’t mistake this for just another social media book focused on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. (Social media is a two-way conversation, unlike traditional media which just pushed messages at us). These are people that have built digital communities and championed the social web. In my mind, this book is as much for social media professionals as it is for entrepreneurs and business people…
It’s a very comprehensive list and I’ve worked on it for some considerable time. There’s been a lot of debate over who should be included and who should be left out. They are people that matter to me, although there is also a very complex algorithm that has helped to create the rankings.
I’m doing this for 2 reasons.
- Many people forget that the social web was created, built and exists because of people. Not technology. Not computers. Not platforms or fancy innovations.
- There is a lot of rubbish on the internet. 95% of twitter is recycled content. The hardest part of living online is finding useful content that adds value to your daily work / personal life. Knowing who to follow makes the social web much more enjoyable.
I want to showcase the people behind the networks and technology that we use everyday, in a way that might inspire or entertain you. For the next 100 days, leading up until 1st January 2013, I’m going to publish one blog post each day about each one of the people included in this list. It will be a quick read with links to more cool stuff if you like what you see.
Each chapter will include memorable and inspiring quotes from these social superstars. When I publish the 100th post – each post will become a chapter of the book which will be available for FREE (Pay-with-a-tweet). There will also be a coffee table version of the book for £30 that you can buy, if you are that way inclined! I’ll also be publishing a graphic from each chapter daily on Tumblr & Pinterest.
I’m doing this because I believe that social media exists to do five things. Brands especially often forget this, and become consumed by an arms race for the most fans, followers, subscribers, views, pins or check-in’s. In my opinion, all social media should do one or more of these five things.
All good content has one of these elements. The best content might have 3,4 or even 5 of these elements. In the book I’ll highlight some of the best content that has been created by some of these people. Hopefully you will find that you also become ~ inspired, informed, educated, entertained or challenged.
Steve Jobs said “I love Apple because it exists at the intersection of technology and humanity“. I think the same about social media – and that’s what makes it so special.
My goal is that we spend more time talking about great people and less time talking about shiny new platforms. I suspect very few people will agree with my list but that’s part of the fun. I want to know who your favourites are. Better still – you might even write your own list, or compile a wall of fame for superstars of your industry or passion.
I’m sure we will have some feisty banter on twitter (using the hashtag #) as we discuss each person – and if nothing else, you might stumble across some interesting quotes, stats and advice from people that you didn’t realise you liked.
Hopefully – the real debate is only just getting started. Enjoy!