I have to admit that I get a little skeptical when I read "the best of" anything. It sometimes seems bias with little support on how the nominees are identified. If you aren't part of the identifier's club, then it is less likely you will be listed. However, there are definitely some that appear everywhere. I want to help with this by doing my own research (which I will disclose at the end).
From my vantage point, it seems that there are certainly those that reign supreme on the frontier of social media.
I decided to take a look at my own compilation of authority figures and organizations that really should be on your radar if you are a student of social media like I am since I started in March 2010.
I will list who are Social Media Royalty and the sources I turned to make mentions. I will share who are on the lists upon lists then cross-reference with third party evaluators who support it by numbers.
On the sidebar, I have these people and organizations listed alphabetically after extrapolating their names from a number of sources:
- Boot Camp Digital
- Buzz Feed
- Crazy Egg
- David Meerman Scott
- First Site Guide
- Future Buzz
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Guy Kawasaki
- Jason Falls
- Jason Squires Online
- Jeff Bullas
- Katie Lance
- Mari Smith
- MARKETING NUT | Pam Moore
- Pam Dyer
- Paul Shankman
- Peg Fitzpatrick
- Rebekah Radice
- Sam Hurley
- Social Fave
- Social Media Examiner
- Social Mouths
- Socially Sorted
- Talent Culture
- Todd Defren
- Viveka Von Rosen
According to Wikipedia the definition of "social media" is defined by:
A recent attempt at providing a clear definition reviewed the prominent literature in the area and identified four commonalities unique to current social media services:
- (1) social media are Web 2.0 internet-based applications,
- (2) user-generated content (UGC) is the lifeblood of the social media organism,
- (3) users create service-specific profiles for the site or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization, and
- (4) social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user's profile with those of other individuals and/or groups.
- Social media technologies take on many different forms including blogs, business networks, enterprise social networks, forums,microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds.The development of social media started off with simple platforms such as sixdegrees.com. Unlike instant messaging clients such as ICQ and AOL's AIM, or chat clients like IRC, iChat or Chat Television, sixdegrees.com was the first online business that was created for real people, using their real names. However, the first social networks were short-lived because their users lost interest. The Social Network Revolution has led to the rise of the networking sites. Research shows that the audience spends 22 percent of their time on social networking sites, thus proving how popular social media platforms have become.
ViralitySome social media sites have greater virality – defined as a greater likelihood that users will reshare content posted (by another user) to their social network. Many social media sites provide specific functionality to help users reshare content – for example, Twitter's retweet button, Pinterest pin or Tumblr's reblog function.Businesses may have a particular interest in viral marketing; nonprofit organisations and activists may have similar interests in virality.
Mobile useMobile social media refers to the use of social media on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. This is a group of mobile marketing applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Due to the fact that mobile social media run on mobile devices, they differ from traditional social media by incorporating new factors such as the current location of the user (location-sensitivity) or the time delay between sending and receiving messages (time-sensitivity). According to Andreas Kaplan, mobile social media applications can be differentiated among four types:
- Space-timers (location and time sensitive): Exchange of messages with relevance mostly for one specific location at one specific point in time (e.g. Facebook Places; Foursquare)
- Space-locators (only location sensitive): Exchange of messages, with relevance for one specific location, which are tagged to a certain place and read later by others (e.g. Yelp; Qype, Tumblr)
- Quick-timers (only time sensitive): Transfer of traditional social media applications to mobile devices to increase immediacy (e.g. posting Twitter messages orFacebook status updates)
- Slow-timers (neither location, nor time sensitive): Transfer of traditional social mediaapplications to mobile devices (e.g. watching a YouTube video or reading aWikipedia article)
As promised, I am going to share where I got my information to compile this list of the gurus and the gifted on all things social media.
To be fair, I tried to go alphabetically. All Top champions the following as the almighty top blogs.
Find your favorite missing? All Top allows you to subscribe for free and then suggest a site. Just submit who you think should be included.
- Holy Kaw http://holykaw.alltop.com/
- Mashable http://mashable.com/
- Fast Company http://www.fastcompany.com/
- Tech Crunch https://techcrunch.com/
- Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/
- NYTimes http://www.nytimes.com/
- Wired http://www.wired.com/
- ProBlogger http://www.problogger.net/
- Chris Brogan http://chrisbrogan.com/blog/
- Life Hacker http://lifehacker.com/
Using Google search as a guide is not always the best to rely upon because it is influenced by your personal searches, your own location. That is why I am relying on these outside sources to determine the honorees.
You may be asking what I have often done myself: can you earn an income solely from having a blog? I put the question forth and found some of the answers interesting:
In an article that asks this very question, I found some of the excerpts enlightening. The short answer: YES. The honest answer: like anything else, it is the top 20% who are making 80% of the cashola:
Daily Page Views: 38,210,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 4,770,000
Alexa Rank: 223
Blog About – Online How to Stuff, how to guide web, Tutorials
2. Pete Cashmore
Daily Page Views: 29,210,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 3,800,000
Alexa Rank: 290
About: Tech, Technology, Daily lifestyle, business and world
3. Shawn Hogan
URL : https://forums.digitalpoint.com/
Earning: $ soon
Daily Page Views: 26,210,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 3,200,000
Alexa Rank: 325
About: World Biggest forum on marketing, blogging and SEO guide,
4. Markus Frind
URL : http://pof.com/
Daily Page Views: 26,100,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 3,300,000
Alexa Rank: 322
About: Online dating around the world
5. Kevin Rose
Daily Page Views: 15,200,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 1,900,000
Alexa Rank: 560
About: Sharing blogs and contents
6. Michael Arrington
Daily Page Views: 13,100,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 2,100,000
Alexa Rank: 510
About: New Technology
7. Perez Hilton
URL : http://perezhilton.com/
Daily Unique Visitors: 1,110,000
Daily Page Views: 8,210,000
Alexa Rank: 1035
About: Celebrities activity
8. Jeremy Schoemaker
URL : http://www.shoemoney.com/
Daily Page Views: 410,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 70,000
Alexa Rank: 14960
About: Skills to pay the bills
9. Amit Agarwal
Daily Page Views: 3,100,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 390,000
Alexa Rank: 2733
About: Technology Blog
10. Pankaj Agarwal
URL : http://www.clickindia.com/
Daily Page Views: 1,900,000
Daily Unique Visitors: 230,000
Alexa Rank: 4500
About: Buying and Selling Ads
A difficult task
Now I understand why the opinions vary and there is no definitive answer to my question: "Who is social media royalty?" It seems that whatever path I follow, a new crop of names emerge. No wonder there is so many conflicting answers to what should have been a simple question.
Lists upon more lists
According to Forbes, these are the biggest social media influencers. You will note that until now, several had not cropped up to this point. It makes one ask: "what makes any one source more of an authority than the other?" I was fond of the the disclosure on how the writer arrived at the results: "Peek Analytics".
Is another term form social media marketing. According to Klout, these are the top experts under this umbrella (familiar names already noted):
One cannot formulate a definitive list of social media royalty without looking at it from the topic perspective on KLOUT who says they are:
I asked and then was shown under Top Sites by Category: "Top Social Media" sites were identified as:
If you really want to amass the expertise from the experts I recommend you follow the above-noted authorities on identifying who is who. The best way to do so is to subscribe to the BLOGS from these professional listers like Alexia to gain tips on how to reinforce your own presence and build your brand.
Unfortunately, unless I subscribe to a "free trial" I won't be able to access specific details from Alexia. On to the next ....
Defined by Gender
Hosts an annual "Top 10 Social Media Blogs" by year. I was unable to uncover a singular point to list, so I did it manually (cut and paste from their site):
#1: Buffer Social
Buffer Social regularly addresses questions many marketers have, answering them with authoritative, in-depth articles on cutting-edge topics.
#2: Jenn’s Trends
Jenn’s Trends is laser-focused on Instagram, but occasionally offers tips on social media marketing strategy and tactics.
#3: Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick combines resourceful content on a variety of social media platforms with practical advice for marketers.
RazorSocial delivers well-researched and comprehensive content on social media tools.
#5: Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice uses plenty of examples to support content that teaches social media marketers about topics that are important to them.
#6: Simply Measured
Simply Measured uses a data-driven, example-rich approach to help marketers understand best practices for using social media.
#7: Socially Sorted
Socially Sorted helps marketers learn to use all things related to visual content in social media.
#8: Sprout Social
Sprout Social publishes advice for marketers alongside insights from their own team.
#9: The Social Media Hat
The Social Media Hat features authoritative content that takes no shortcuts with explanations of what to do and how to do it.
Unmetric uses an analytical approach to uncover and share surprising insights into social media marketing.
We (the Social Media Examiner) received over 560 nominations for our sixth-annual Top 10 Social Media Blogs contest (the blogosphere’s biggest contest for social media blogs).
The list of 20 finalists is pretty impressive! See for yourself below.
The Judges: Our judges include Douglas Karr (author ofCorporate Blogging for Dummies and founder of the Marketing Technology blog), Nichole Kelly (author of How to Measure Social Media and CEO of Social Media Explorer) and Pat Flynn (founder of Smart Passive Income). They’re currently finishing up their reviews of these sites.
- Actionable Marketing Guide
- Antonio Calero
- Boom Social
- Buffer Social
- Convince & Convert
- Hot in Social Media
- Jenn’s Trends
- Jon Loomer
- Mike Gingerich
- Peg Fitzpatrick
- Plus Your Business
- Rebekah Radice
- Simply Measured
- Socially Sorted
- Top Dog Social Media
So there you have it. The Social Media Royalty has been an interesting journey. As my theory presented, it is based on where you look and who is doing the listing. Hosts an annual "Top 10 Social Media Blogs" by year. I was unable to uncover a singular point to list, so I did it manually.
This research did allow me to arrive at one conclusion. Joining the ranks of any of the best of anything can be fickle from one year to the next.
If this research adventure proved anything to me, it is that you have to be in the IN CROWD to be named. Some, very few, surface at every turn. Others are not.
Whether you want to claim fame or fortune, it is wise that you follow most, if not all, of the nominees and winners to afford your learning journey access to the top notch of social media.