David Erickson set local social media tongues wagging recently when he posted his Top 30 Minnesota Social Media Innovators, a pretty good "who's who" in local social media that grew to 39 strong after readers posted more favorites. Spinning off Erickson's list, Arik Hanson took nominations for a similar Top 20 community-based list closer in spirit to the social media vibe. OK, so shorter is better -- and there's even some overlap between Erickson's opinion and Hanson's crowd-sourced list. Since Twitter is still a bit of a self-admiring society, there's bound to be skeptics, so take a look at who makes both lists and the one person who scores a hat trick.
- Lee Aase is the social media strategist at Mayo Clinic and the force behind Social Media University Global.
- Connie Bensen is the director of community strategy and architecture at Alerian.
- Paul DeBettignies is an IT recruiter showing people how to use social media to hunt for jobs during the recession.
- Jason DeRusha is WCCO-TV's "Good Question" guy, blogger, tweeter and Facebooker.
- Jason DeBoer-Moran links higher education with students and prospects using social media.
- Jen Kane is the owner of Kane Consulting, an online marketing and communications firm that, among other things, educates Minnesota businesses in how to use social media tools.
- Gary Koelling is a co-founder of Best Buy's Blue Shirt Nation, a behind-the-firewall social media tool for the company's employees.
- Rick Mahn is a social media strategist and the founder of Social Media Breakfast, a networking meet-up in the Twin Cities.
- Albert Maruggi produces the Marketing Edge podcast.
- Lee Oden is the CEO of Top Rank Marketing and blogs about online public relations.
- Julio Ojeda-Zapata is the technology writer for the Pioneer Press, an evangelist urging journalists to adopt social media as a reporting tool and the author of Twitter Means Business: How Microblogging Can Help or Hurt Your Company.
- Paul Saarinen is a media advisor at Bolin Marketing & Advertising.
- Greg Swan is a social media strategist at Weber Shandwick.
The lists are heavy with business and marketing types who deal in social media -- big surprise. So we dug further in our quest: Who do everyday people follow most?
We're not saying "most popular" equals "best" or "most innovative." By that measure, McDonald's would be the maker of the best, most innovative burgers in the world. But just for fun, we searched "Minneapolis" on Twitterholic at 5 p.m., Thursday, July 30. The site ranks Twitter users according to their numbers of followers and their numbers of posts (We could just as easily have searched under "St. Paul" or "Minnesota," but frankly both locations yielded lower numbers).
We filtered out companies, and titles/sites that were hard to identify with anyone personally, and we came up with this Top 10 list of sorts, ranked according to the number of followers for each person. Identifying them according to the description they provide in their Twitter bio, it seems a lot of these people are in "the business" as well. But it does include the mighty James Lileks, the Strib's man of all media, blogger and tweeter. Erickson and Hanson definitely missed the boat on Lileks -- the man can probably tweet by telekinesis.
1. Chad Nilsson (@chadnilsson):
Bio: "Home Based Business Massive Traffic Secrets"
2 Jason Buss (@jjbuss)
Bio: VP of Recruiting and Diversity | Social Networking | Marketing | Blogger | Social Media | Staffing | Human Resources | HR | Recruiter"
3 Sara Jones-Larson (@laughitup)
Bio: "Always wacky, I went off the deep end and started doing standup. Husband teaches improv and standup. Follow @SarahJL for more of my personal updates :)"
4 Carlos Figueroa (@carlosfusa)
Bio: "Constant And Never Ending Improvement"
5 Dan Wegner (@danwegner)
Bio: "Minneapolis SEO who is on top of the latest and greatest. Follow me and find out!"
6 Lee Odden (@leeodden)
Bio: "Traveler, foodie, dad, geek & CEO @TopRank with 12+ years in online marketing focused on SEO, public relations & social media."
7 Barry Judge (@bestbuycmo)
Bio: "Best Buy CMO, blog at barryjudge.com; Avid traveler, reader, restaranteur and sports enthusiast"
8 Dr. Buller (@drbuller)
Bio: "Health & Nutrition is my passion. MLM for over 30 yrs. Internet Marketing with social sites to help people get more out of life with Gods help."
9 KarenAlloy (@karenalloy)
Bio: "I like to make love to the world."
10 James Lileks (@lileks)
Bio: "Writer, columnist, mid-century pop-culture enthusiast"
Who makes all three lists? Drum roll please for Lee Oden.
Enlighten us or tweet us on #followfriday with your online posse and tell us who you follow.