By: Hillel Fuld
By now, you have definitely heard of the viral micro blogging service called Twitter. Some will say it has reached the masses, while others will say it is still not mainstream. Whatever you think about Twitter, there is no denying that it has become part of regular people’s conversations all around the globe. While Twitter is growing at rates that are unprecedented and actually pretty insane, statistics show that a very high percentage of people join Twitter, send out one or two tweets saying things like “OK, now what do I do?” or “Joined Twitter, I don’t get the point”, then never log in again.
The truth is there are multiple factors that prevent Twitter from going mainstream, but there is no denying that one of the very first and largest obstacles a new person on Twitter faces is the million dollar question of who to follow. There are countless directories that are categorized by tags and keywords so you can easily find people who are in your industry, but I thought I would make it even easier for your newbies to follow interesting tweeps (you see what I did there? Combined peeps with Twitter. You think that’s corny? Just wait till you hear what people on Twitter come up with).
Over my two years of intense tweeting, I have built some real relationships with people I now consider to be good friends, even though I have never met some of them face to face. I depend on these people for information, advice, tips, and an occasional good laugh, and I want to believe they depend on me as well.
You will notice a common thread in the descriptions I write about these people and a recurring word you will see is “nice”. The reason is that I did not choose these people based on popularity or influence, some you will find have very few followers. I carefully selected these people based on the connection I have made with them. The one thing they all have in common is that they use Twitter properly. By that I mean, they use it to connect with people and create dialogue and open communication.
OK, one last thing before I get to the list. You will find that a lot of the people mentioned below do have a nice amount of followers, but rest assured, the reason they have a lot of followers is because they deserve to be on this list and not the other way around. What I mean is that their follower count looks the way it does because these people truly provide added value to their followers. For that reason, they are included in this list.
The following are some of the best people I have connected with on Twitter and the first 99 people anyone should follow when first joining Twitter:
- Diana Adams: Blogger, friend, and always smiling.
- Robert Scoble: Geek, tech influencer, and nice guy.
- Shelly Kramer: Vlogger, so friendly, and always helpful.
- Susan Cooper: Sweet, informative, and real.
- Alyssa Milano: The only celebrity on this list for a reason!
- Calvin Lee: Great content, nice guy, very happy to help.
- Blair Semenoff: Twitter machine, top content, and great guy.
- Richard Darell: Talented blogger, friendly guy, and awesome content.
- Jeff Pulver: 140conf founder, great guy, profound tweets.
- Lori Moreno: sweet, helpful, and always tweeting top content.
- Aniya Adly: Smart, caring, and geeky.
- Ruhani Rabin: Talented writer, nice guy, and good friend.
- Jeb Brilliant: Mobile enthusiast, smart guy, and stellar content.
- Ilan Abehassera: Entrepreneur, extraordinarily nice guy with a vision.
- Hilla Ohayon: Fashion junkie, BlackBerry lover, and overall awesome woman.
- Luca Filigheddu: Major tech lover, mobile enthusiast, and brains behind Twimbow.
- MG Siegler: Brilliant writer for TechCrunch, enough said.
- Alex Wilhelm: Excellent writer for TheNextWeb, and really nice guy.
- Zee Kane: Editor-in-Chief of TheNextWeb and extremely talented writer.
- Liz Philips: Community Manager for HP and overall awesome chick.
- Itamar Weisbrod: Mobile geek, good friend, introduced me to Twitter.
- Sebastian Page: Huge Apple fanboy, talented blogger, and great content.
- Aaron Lee: Self proclaimed social media addict and an awesome friend.
- David and Sara Larson: Top source for all things Twitter. True social media experts.
- Chris Rauschnot: Social media lover, Apple enthusiast, and really nice dude.
- Michael Sarles: Marketing consultant, sports fan, and extremely nice guy.
- Guy Malachi: Chief Geek is his official title, need I say more?
- Shira Abel: Marketing expert, good friend, and constant flow of top content.
- Ben Parr: Mashable Co-Editor, crazy talented writer, and really really nice guy.
- Mike McCue: The brilliant mind behind Flipboard, and an extremely nice and down to earth guy.
- Brett Petersel: In charge of community and events at Mashable and an overall great guy.
- Jessica Gotlieb: Mom blogger, extremely smart and talented writer.
- Michael Gartenberg: Talented mobile blogger for various leading sites and really nice guy.
- Ezra Butler: Old friend with witty tweets that will always make you smile.
- Natasha Shine: Marketing Manager of Rounds, crazy nice chick, and totally gets it.
- Matt Cutts: Head of the Webspam team at Google, and really nice guy.
- Del Harvey: Head of Safety team at Twitter and responds to every single Twitter reply.
- Dell: The company that uses Twitter the way all companies should.
- Tremendous News: One of the funniest bloggers on the Web and really nice guy.
- Xan Pearson: Sports, marketing, and social media are just some of her topics of expertise.
- Pramit Nathan: Top blogger from New Delhi who has an awesome stream of content.
- Katie Boehret: Talented writer for The Wall Street Journal and extremely nice person.
- Brodie Beta: One of my geekiest friends and definitely the biggest fangirl I know.
- Kara Swisher: Writer for The Wall Street Journal and overall awesome person.
- Gina Stark: Great blogger, always optimistic, and extremely friendly.
- Pete Cashmore: Founder of Mashable.
- Jason Calacanis: Talented writer and blogger and CEO of Mahalo.
- Kim Sherrell: Tech, film, education are just some of her interests.
- Roger Byrne: Huge geek, great guy, and killer content.
- Chris Brogan: Marketing guru, nice guy, and stellar content.
- Douglas Idugboe: Marketing expert and talented blogger with constant stream of awesome posts.
- Ahad Bokhari: Crazy nice guy with top content and always a nice word.
- Krys Chong: Lover of video games, iPhone, and other geeky things.
- Richard Barley: Community Manager of Tweetdeck and responds to every reply.
- Ayelet Noff: Good friend, New Media PR, and top blogger.
- Evan Williams: CEO of Twitter.
- Biz Stone: Co-Founder of Twitter.
- Chetan R: Leading content, graphic designer, and really nice guy.
- Misty Belardo: Talented blogger, top content and always willing to lend a hand.
- Gerald Weber: Top Twitter personality and an extremely friendly guy.
- Tamar Weinberg: Talented writer and really really nice person.
- Jason Pollock: Multi dimensional interests, nice guy, and good friend.
- Loic Le Meur: Mind behind Seesmic and other great products.
- Oren Todoros: Good friend, online marketer, and nice guy.
- Mike Arrington: Founder of TechCrunch and talented blogger.
- Robin Wauters: Gifted Techcrunch writer and really really funny dude.
- Gary Vaynerchuk: One of the most inspiring people online.
- Ouriel Ohayon: Entrepreneur, Apple lover, nice guy, and good friend.
- Michael Eisenberg: Partner in Benchmark Capital, talented blogger, and old friend.
- Joshua Topolsky: Editor-in-Chief of Engadget.
- Talia Klein: Highly talented and moving writer, sweet person, and good friend.
- Lance Ulanoff: Editor-in-Chief PCMag, huge geek, and really nice guy.
- Walt Mossberg: Tech reviewer for The Wall Street Journal, technology guru, and old school reporter.
- Scott Stratten: Marketing expert, influential personality on Twitter, and really nice guy.
- Sharon Hayes: Entrepreneur, Email marketing expert, and top Twitter content provider.
- Natali Del Conte: Cnet tech reporter and mommy blogger.
- Barry Schwartz: SEO guy, mobile app developer, and great guy.
- Joseph Cannizzaro: Old Twitter friend, nice guy with a flow of top content.
- Orli Yakuel: Top blogger, tech enthusiast, and friend.
- Marcome: Musician, awesome content, and always a smile.
- Sarah Blow: Support for TweetMeme, huge geek, and really nice person.
- Brad McCarty: TheNextWeb writer, tech lover, and overall great guy.
- Greg Wilson: Social media, travel, and family guy who tweets top content.
- Dvir Reznik: Blogger, tech lover, good friend, and always willing to help.
- Benji Lovitt: Top comedian on Twitter, nice guy, and good friend.
- Christine Lu: Entrepreneur, online video expert, and always shares top content.
- PurpleHayz: Leading personality on Twitter with a constant feed of great content.
- Mahei aka Iconic88: Top content, always happy, and spreading good things on Twitter.
- Aditya: 16 year old Web entrepreneur with a Twitter addiction and top content.
- Mark Korman: High tech lawyer, family guy, and old friend.
- Amir Harpaz: Always tech informative, helpful, nice guy, and good friend.
- Martin Polley: Always willing to help, smart dude, and great content.
- Chris Luzader: Flowing stream of tech tweets, nice guy, and always happy to help.
- Debra Askanese: Non profit and social media marketing expert, nice woman and good friend.
- Shelley Shafran: Photographer, designer, founder of Twittabling, and really really nice person.
- Kevin Rose: Founder of Digg.
- Keith Crawford: Network engineer, social media geek, nice guy who is always willing to help.
- Yaniv Golan: CTO of Yedda/AOL, geek, and a really nice guy.
- Branko Rihtman: SEOer, internet addict, and overall really really smart dude.
If you are still reading, then I hope you found this post to be useful and not too long. There are many more people I can include here, but they either tweet in another language mostly, do not tweet content I think my audience would be interested in, or they somehow slipped my mind when preparing the list.
In any case, I hope you enjoy following these people and get the most out of their content like I do.
If you think I forgot someone great, please let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter.
UPDATE: Follow the entire list in one click here or follow it on Twitter here!! It might take some time to load, but be patient. A huge thank you to a member of the above list, Keith Crawford with his help creating that link.