A funny thing happened on the way to compiling this list of digital media trendsetters.
I’d put out a call to writers and editors on LinkedIn asking for names of industry folks I should include. But instead of news industry luminaries, I kept getting social media trailblazers. Wait a minute, I wanted to say, you don’t understand – social media isn’t the same as online news.
Then I started using Twitter. It didn’t take long to figure out that for the people who hang out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other online networks the social media hotdogs and digital media trendsetters are one in the same. They’re the ones people friend, follow and read. They’re the ones broadcasting the news of a US Airways plane going down in the Hudson River and Barack Obama’s inauguration – regardless of who they are, where they are, their day job, their background or experience.
That meant I had to rethink my definition of trendsetter.
Here’s what I came up with. It’s totally subjective and different from what I would have picked six month ago, and probably what I’d pick six months from now. When possible, I’ve linked their names to their Twitter IDs or websites.
The Old School
- Bill Keller - Executive editor of the New York Times, charged with bringing the Grey Lady into the 21st century. Appointed paper’s first social media editor earlier this week.
- Jonathan Miller – Former AOL chief recently hired by Rupert Murdoch to run News Corp.’s digital interests, including MySpace and Hulu (minus the Wall Street Journal).
- Russ Stanton – Los Angeles Times editor. Figuring out a way how to stay relevant – and solvent – in the Internet age.
- Dean Singleton – Head of MediaNews Group, which owns the Denver Post and 99 other media properties, and leader of the charge to help newspapers monetize the Web.
The New Wave
- Tina Brown – Proprietress of The Daily Beast, a cross between the Conde Nast glossies she used to edit and a daily politics and gossip column.
- Arianna Huffington – HuffPost founder; gadfly turned new media publisher.
- Hyperlocal news bloggers – NeighborsGo, NewzJunky, SealBeachDaily.com, WestSeattleBlog, Neighborhood Notes, the list goes on and on
- Josh Marshall – Creator of Talking Points Memo, political blog that won a George Polk Award in 2008 for reporting on the firings of US attorneys.
- Paul Steiger – Former WSJ managing editor and current editor in chief at ProPublica, another high-profile online-only news outfit doing original investigative journalism on a non-profit basis.
- Jeff Jarvis – J-school prof at City University of New York, Buzz Machine blogger, author of What Would Google Do? and former magazine and newspaper reporter, columnist and editor.
- Jay Rosen – NYU journalism prof, PressThink blogger and director of NewAssignment.Net, “an experiment in open-source reporting.”
- Sree Sreenivasan – Tech evangelist and professor at Columbia Journalism School, know for his extensive new media workshops.
- Seth Godin – Author, viral marketer extraordinaire, quipster.
- Guy Kawasaki – Entrepreneur, author, social media guru, proprietor of AllTop “online magazine rack” and blogger at How to Change the World. On Twitter at @guykawasaki.
- Peter Shankman – PR guy and founder of Help a Reporter Out crowdsourcing service for reporters.
- Paul Gillin – Social media expert, author and chronicler of newspaper hard times at Newspaper Deathwatch.
- Mark Glaser – Columnist for PBS MediaShift, “Your guide to the digital media revolution.”
- Alan Mutter – Newsman turned venture capitalist and blogger at Reflections of a Newsosaur.
- Jeremiah Owyang – Forrester Research social media analyst.
The Tech Geeks
- Chris Brogan – Mr. Social Media. Read and learn.
- Matt Mullenweg – Founding developer of WordPress blogging software, used by newspapers such as the New York Times, and head of WordPress’ parent company, Automattic.
- Dipchand “Deep” Nishar – Former Google exec who became LinkedIn’s v.p. of products in early December and has since rolled out a bevy of service upgrades.
- Darren Rowse – The Aussie blogging mastermind behind ProBlogger.
- Robert Scoble – Uber tech geek. Former Microsoft tech evangelist and Fast Company videographer blogging at Scobleizer.com.
- Biz Stone and Evan Williams – Co-founder and CEO of Twitter respectively. Reportedly turned down a $500 million buy out offer from Facebook earlier this year.
Know other new media pioneers I should include? Leave a comment. If I get enough I’ll re-post an expanded list.