The problem with any list is that not everyone can be on it. That’s the tough task I was set by SAY Media when they asked me to curate a global list of the 10 most influential journalists and bloggers in tech, for the SAY 100 list to be published on Wednesday.
SAY Media, the company formed from Video Egg and the chaps behind Moveable Type, asked 10 experts from around the world to help curate a list of the 100 most influential voices in different fields like technology, travel, food and parenting.
The list is designed to be a collection of authentic and knowledgeable online voices that create engaging content, drive conversation and shape opinion.
"The power to shape public opinion is shifting from the faceless editorial voice of The Newspaper or The Magazine to individuals with deep passions that create compelling content and build communities. This is where the true power in media lies today," says Michael Sippey, vice president, artist development, SAY Media, about the list.
Since December, I’ve been watching journalists around the world, trying to work out who influences who; as well as who the people are that help craft and influence the rest of us.
When SAY Media asked me to curate the Technology category, I, of course, immediately panicked. Having the job of working out which tech journalists are not only the most influential, but also the ones whose work influences the rest of us, was a scary prospect.
The candidates needed to not only be those who broke stories, separating fact from the fiction along the way, but they had to be the ones that helped shape and define the way both the online and offline media is working today. Clearly a lot of thought was required.
However, panic or no, having worked in the UK and the US, they felt I was the man for the job. I wouldn’t be affected by the “distortion bubble”, that can sometimes affect those within Silicon Valley, so I took on the responsibility...
My Top 10
So here is my top 10, in no particular order, and why I feel they deserve to be on the list:
Seth Weintraub – 9to5mac.com @llsethj
When it comes to breaking Mac secrets, it's a tough job. Somehow, though, Seth and his team manages to do it over and over again, day-in day-out. His Twitter bio says it all: "Technology addict, 9to5Mac Founder, Fortune Google columnist, USC Football fan, VFR Pilot and Proud Father".
Tom Warren – winrumors.com @tomwarren
Trying to out scoop Microsoft hacks when you aren’t based in Seattle has got to be a tough gig. However, Tom Warren, previously with neowin.net, doesn’t see something like distance (he is based in London) get in the way as he consistently breaks stories coming out of Redmond ahead of the west coast. This is one connected reporter when it comes to the Microsoft beat.
Stuart Dredge – mobile-ent.biz / freelance @stuartdredge
Stuart is probably one of the best kept secrets outside of his core beat of phones, apps, mobile gaming and music services, yet he dominates the scene with consistent scoops and features. His beat might be narrow, but those who read him are always influenced.
Nilay Patel – Engadget.com @reckless
Engadget is teeming with talent, but there is only one man on the team that can take a lawsuit story, break it down and give you a chance of understanding all within a handful of paragraphs. Combine that with a passion for “quality journalism”, the massive audience and presence Engadget has, and you can see why Nilay is on the list.
Eric M. Zeman – Phonescoop.com / informationweek.com @phonescooper
When it comes to the US phone market, Eric is your man. Covering the beat for both news and reviews, his writing has the ability to make or break a product. Phonescoop.com might not be one of the biggest mobile phone sites out there, but Eric has a strong grasp on the industry, those who work in it, and always knows exactly what’s going on, even if he can’t officially tell anyone.
Zach Epstein – BGR.com @zacharye
Boy Genius Report is consistently getting exclusives and influencing smaller sites' agendas. Zach Epstein, alongside Andrew Munchbach and founder Jonathan Geller, uses that influence to break stories on a regular basis on everything from which smartphone is launching where to the latest mobile industry news.
Dan Frommer - businessinsider.com / SAI @Fromedome
Dan’s bio on Silicon alley reads: "Dan Frommer is senior staff writer at Business Insider. He writes about Apple and other big players in the technology industry, with a special focus on mobile tech". What it doesn’t say is that he is normally the only one in the room asking the questions around the edge of a story. That means amazing insights, great quotes and plenty of stories that change the way we think about the big announcements from the industry.
Ben Parr – Mashable.com @benparr
Co-editor of Mashable since 2009, Ben has the power to influence a lot of other influencers in his role at Mashable. Whether it’s covering Google or Facebook, he is in on the social networking scene knowing how and why it ticks.
Rory Cellan-Jones – bbc.co.uk @ruskin147
A self-confessed non-geek, Rory is the BBC technology correspondent tasked with bringing the big stories of the day to the Beeb’s mass-market audience. That means radio, TV and insightful blogs that have the power to not only educate, but also bring down companies.
Dr Aleks Krotoski – Guardian.co.uk @aleksk
Having informed the world of the digital revolution, Aleks regularly uses the Guardian blogs to bring her incredibly insightful views and opinions to the biggest stories of the day. This is breaking-down tech at it’s finest.
You can follow them all on Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/Pocketlint/top10techjournalists
What about thingy-me-bob...
Of course, many will say that their favourite journalist isn’t on that list, and that they should be. There is no Michael Arrington, no John Gruber, no Robert Scoble, and no Joshua Topolsky, for example. There’s also no Charles Arthur, no John Biggs, no Nick Bilton, or Stephen Fry for that matter either.
That’s not to say that these voices aren’t influential on the web, far from it. The one thing that I learnt while compiling my list of 10 (which was extremely hard, by the way) was that there are, amongst the echo chamber monkeys and scrapers, some bloody good journalists out there, making a difference and influencing other influencers with big audiences, who in turn influence the masses.
I believe that, while you may not have heard of some of the names above, the people that you believe are the main influencers have, and that’s partly where they get their ideas.
The beautiful thing is that SAY Media has asked me to constantly evaluate and curate the list over the next 12 months, with the chance to update it quarterly to reflect new voices, and give me the chance to profile new voices if they appear on the scene. So who knows, maybe your favourite will appear one day.
Enjoy the list.