Late this afternoon, Twitter added a bunch of social entrepreneurship focused Twitter users to their “suggested users” list. For the most part the “suggested user” list is made up of people like Al Gore, Lance Armstrong, Ashton Kutcher, John McCain and Martha Stewart who have millions of followers on Twitter.
When the list was updated, Kiva.org co-founder Matt Flannery thought there was a spam attack and complained about the 500 new users a minute he was getting. This is a big and important move by Twitter. The new “suggested users” are:
- Social Edge
- Skoll Foundation
- Matt Flannery
- Acumen Fund
- charity: water
- Kjerstin Erickson (FORGE founder)
- Jacqueline Novogratz (Acumen Fund founder)
- Room to Read
To their huge credit Social Edge immediately sent out a message to all their new users pointing them to a list of 100 other social entrepreneur focused Twitter users.
In June the New York Times wrote about the “suggested user” list saying that Twitter was now a “king maker”. They said being listed could add 500,000 followers and pointed out that social media titan Jason Calacanis offered $250,000 to be listed.
Stuff like this is what pushes the evolving social capital markets into the mainstream.
Update from new “suggested user” Kjerstin Erickson: “From what I can tell, this is an initiative of Claire Williams (@trippingonwords), a 2009 Skoll Scholar now working on Social Innovation for Twitter. Just another little example of how the movement is evolving, and how social entrepreneurship can be just as effectively (and often more impactfully) practiced from within existing companies. They are also compiling a list of Twitter best practices specifically for NPOs. Cool stuff.
From what I can tell, this is an initiative of Claire Williams (@trippingonwords), a 2009 Skoll Scholar now working on Social Innovation for Twitter. Just another little example of how the movement is evolving, and how social entrepreneurship can be just as effectively (and often more impactfully) practiced from within existing companies. They are also compiling a list of Twitter best practices specifically for NPOs. Cool stuff.
I wonder if Seth Godin had a word in their ears. This was how Squidoo attracted many people, by appealing to their philanthropic sides.
And let’s hope this silences blowhards like @scobelizer that have been demanding they should be on the list. Well done Twitter.
This is really fabulous. Glad to see a mix of philanthropic people and nonprofit orgs on the list.
Here is a list of over 50 socialentrepreneurs in China.
the link is gone. can you pls share the list with me?
Twitter changed their approach to this. The new version of the list is here.
Hey All –
We’re honored to be able to use Twitter to highlight your amazing work! Do contact me with any questions,
Claire and everybody at Twitter
I’m new to Twitter and although I have eleven books on the market, I’m lacking in funds. Any tips on how I could get them in the hands of the public? Take a look at some of the more important ones on the link below:
Wonder what caused this? I’m a volunteer doing social media stuff for @kiva’s community outreach team and I pitched @jack on the idea a week ago via direct message in this little amateur mock-up http://bit.ly/3P6IkN
He didn’t think it would do much in terms of getting quality followers, so I don’t know if he’s responsible.
Any feedback on the quality of the followers or conversions? Having a higher number can’t be bad, but it’ll be interesting to see if they are nearly as engaged…
Interesting, a few weeks there was a giant flap about Seth Godin’s use of the twitter followers or the top twitter lists to determine nonprofit success of social media. Now we’ll be able to see? I like what Skoll Foundation did! Great use of leverage.
I suppose this is good news depending on how you use Twitter. If you use it as a broadcast medium, then the more followers, the better, in theory. But if you use it as a communication medium (as my organization does), then a sudden blast of followers doesn’t really do all that much, except to muddy the waters.
Personally, I find it also be a very dangerous arena to enter for those working on a new model of development in places such as Africa. If you find yourself suddenly broadcasting to 16,000 people instead of the 1,000 (or even 100) which you have grown around your Twitter organically, are you not falling in to the same paradigm of decades of previous development where there is no conversation with those affected? Instead, are you not just creating the same, one-way communication models, except in a new medium?
While the chance to have that people hearing what I’m saying seems quite tempting on the surface, it doesn’t merit much. Twitter has been great in my organization for getting clickthrus to articles, but in getting people to actually take any real action, it’s practically useless.
You missed one on your list!
Wow, thanks Claire! Now, I’m going to track the impact over time.
And of course, be more mindful of retweeting nonprofit’s tweets.
I love the idea! Its great to see Twitter getting past those that are already famous and recognizing those that are changing the world in a different way.
I just hope to see it expand past what looks to be a pretty self-involved list. Within 0 degrees of separation we have:
1. Jacqueline Novogratz founded 2. Acumen Fund which has a partnership with 3. Skoll Foundation who runs 4. Social Edge with bloggers 5. Kjerstin Erickson and 6. Matt Flannery, of 7. Kiva who sits on the board of 8. Room to Read
What about democratizing this process a bit by using a hashtag to nominate those that should be on the next list? Say #TSESU for Twitter Social Enterprise Suggested Users.
Insightful comment Wayan. However, I would suggested that you can play the Six Degrees of Separation game very easily with most of the social entrepreneurship space. That being said, I too would like to see a broader list. But that being said, it is Twitter’s choice to list whoever they want!
Oh of course Twitter can choose whomever they want, and glad they started this. Just kinda disappointing that they played so… trendy.
Everyone interested in social entrepreneurship knows of Acumen and Skoll and their inner circle.. It would’ve been much more enlightening and beneficial had Twitter reached beyond the cool kids and into the broader scope of social entrepreneurs.
Just look at the list that Social Edge compiled. Rotating through that group would be more enlightening and worthy than the group they chose.
No matter, Twitter is rolling out “lists functionality” soon, which will democratize the who’s who in social entrepreneurship. Add to it that I’d rather have one dedicated follower who added me because they share the topic I love (ICT4D in Africa) than 10 who clicked on me but couldn’t find Uganda on a map.
Hmm… also I don’t think the 6 degrees of separation works all that well with Social Entrepreneurship. Its a bigger filed than you might imagine. About as close as I get to any of those folks is seeing them at conferences. I think in our field, the rule needs to be that the connection counts if you’ve worked together.