The Twitter 100: No 60 to 100
Including Caitlin Moran, Alastair Campbell, Louise Mensch and Jon Snow
Thursday 01 March 2012
60=. Caitlin Moran, Journalist
Moran is an example of a writer who has used the medium to introduce herself to readers away from her main platform – in her case the paywalled borders of The Times. It's probably no coincidence that, with almost 200,000 keen followers, her latest book, How To Be A Woman was such a huge success. Moran is a witty 140-word commentator on anything from workfare to St Etienne album covers and an endless contributor to a flow of rude banter with fellow writers like Grace Dent and Alexis Petridis.
Tweets as: : @caitlinmoran Peer Index: 62 Authority: 55 Activity: 47 Audience: 88 Follows: 1,005 Followers: 189,444
60=. Mehdi Hasan, Journalist
The New Statesman's senior editor is a frequent voice on issues in Westminster and beyond. His feed is full of retweets to key articles, links to his own pieces, debates with other hacks and snippets of opinion – making his feed a hive of curation and interactivity, just what the medium is built for.
Tweets as: @NS_mehdihasan Peer Index: 62 Authority: 76 Activity: 72 Audience: 59 Follows: 509 Followers: 23, 816
62=. Neal Mann, Journalist
A "Twitter anchor", Mann has been breaking news seconds ahead of conventional websites since 2009, with his huge network of followers as sources and amplifiers. The Twitterverse demands constant attention in the search for the next scoop; his feed curates tweets and links from news sources all over the world and is the first place to hear who's died, apologised or lied. He's not above a bit of light-hearted comment, though: "It has finally got serious – Sean Penn wades in to the Falklands row." (February 2012).
Tweets as: @fieldproducer PeerIndex: 62 Authority: 57 Activity: 68 Audience: 79 Follows: 2,740 Followers: 41,094
62=. Laura Kuenssberg, Journalist
The ITV News business editor is firmly finance-focused, generally broadcasting breaking news and giving an inside view on the interviews and conferences behind the headlines. From a meeting with Barclays' boss Bob Diamond, she tweeted: "Attempt number 2 to get Diamond to talk about his bonus, again, 'this is about the results, but thank you for the question'." She also asks followers for questions while keeping up a steady stream of informed business news for the savvy follower.
Tweets as: @ITVLauraK PeerIndex: 62 Authority: 56 Activity: 48 Audience: 84 Follows: 348 Followers: 74,496
62=. Phil McNulty, Sports journalist
As the chief football writer for the BBC Sport website, McNulty has a large audience, with every one of his frequent blog posts picked over by adherents and critics alike. His Twitter feed consists of links to the blog, live match commentary and healthy football-based debates with his followers. He frequently squeezes considered analysis into 140 characters, to wit: "Wenger has earned the right to try and turn Arsenal around – but there must never be another last day transfer trolley dash."
Tweets as: @philmcnulty PeerIndex: 62 Authority: 56 Activity: 47 Audience: 86 Follows: 488 Followers: 113,403
65=. Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology journalist
The former business correspondent may have come late to the technology party (he was not, he claims on his blog, the owner of a Sinclair C5 nor did he build his home computer) but he is now one of its biggest champions, having covered everything from the 1990s dotcom bubble to the rise of Facebook and Google. Tweets are matey, but informative. "Just tried to join hot new social network @pinterest and found there's a waiting list. Is this just a smart way of making it seem exclusive?"
Tweets as: : @ruskin147 Peer Index: 61 Authority: 55 Activity: 63 Audience: 79 Follows: 1,988 Followers: 38,634
65=. Alastair Campbell, Former spin doctor/diarist
The former Downing Street director of communications hasn't lost his appetite for putting his own spin on current affairs. He just does it through Twitter these days, instead of through national newspapers.
Following his Sky News tête-à-tête with Adam Boulton in 2010, Campbell managed the message almost as soon as he went off-air: "Really worried about Adam Boulton. Wonder if he might need some of my pills." There's rarely a big political story that Campbell doesn't tweet his take on, usually with a brutal directness. He's also keen to reflect and share ideas about mental health and his beloved Burnley FC (hence the "claret" in his user name).
Tweets as: @CampbellClaret Peer Index: 61 Authority: 85 Activity: 54 Audience: 37 Follows: 4,815 Followers: 133,252
67=. Lucy Marcus, Businesswoman
The founder and head of Marcus Venture Consulting, Marcus is also a columnist for both Reuters and Harvard Business Review and is a major voice on boards and corporate governance. She tweets breaking financial news as well as her own views on big issues. It's a seriously impressive source for information on a range of business topics – from "Has mobile money's moment come?" or "Which tech cos [companies] come out tops in fighting climate change" to the scandals about child cotton workers. Useful reading for business experts and neophytes alike.
Tweets as: @lucypmarcus PeerIndex: 61 Authority: 59 Activity: 86 Audience: 66 Follows: 569 Followers: 7,157
67=. George Monbiot, Academic and journalist
The self-styled "professional trouble-maker" is as feisty on Twitter as he is in his Guardian columns. Monbiot isn't afraid to use Twitter to call out anyone from mining corporations to climate deniers and politicians: "No bloody way: Cameron says he is committed to abolishing the top rate of tax. Insane and injust."
Tweets as : @GeorgeMonbiot Peer Index: 61 Authority: 75 Activity: 56 Audience: 48 Follows: 344 Followers: 35,984
69=. Bill Bailey, Comedian
The "keeper of the eternal flame, occasional bouzouki player" (that's his Twitter profile: a bouzouki is a sort of Greek lute) updates his followers on life on the road, frequently posting arty photos in a "Touring views" series (a view from Tebay Services was genuinely captivating). He does not, however, share news of his lunches; a banal, fictional exchange about a sandwich was the subject of his Emoticon Twitter song, which can be found on YouTube ("You tweet, OMG I'm having a sandwich, like it's thrilling... Four seconds later 19 followers tweet, 'what filling?'")
Tweets as: @billbailey PeerIndex: 59 Authority: 53 Activity: 20 Audience: 89 Follows: 287 Followers: 558,920
69=. Jon Snow, TV news anchor
Snow's reputation as a likeable, but no-nonsense newsreader translates easily to Twitter, where he's been a strong presence for a couple of years. Likes to drop in pieces of trivia around breaking news ("Last shedding of a knighthood: Anthony Blunt..." he wrote after Fred Goodwin's was shredded), but principally provides regular updates of what's on Channel 4 News and in his blog. Hints of interactivity ("I am debating rail fare rises tonight with industry and passenger groups on C4 News. Tweet me questions...ta, Jon") add to the appeal.
Tweets as: @jonsnowC4 Peer Index: 59 Authority: 52 Activity: 44 Audience: 87 Follows: 133 Followers: 148,006
69=. Owen Jones, Writer
Owen Jones's first book, Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, established him as a very young version of an old-school social campaigner. His tweets range from full-on political invective: "Soaring unemployment, growth sucked out of economy, borrowing targets exceeded, credit rating cut. On every measure Tory policies a disaster", to humble self-mockery about his appearances on prestigious national news programmes: "Will Twitter's servers explode with all the 'Isn't it past Owen Jones's bedtime' tweets? Guess we'll find out with tonight's #bbcqt."
Tweets as: @OwenJones84 PeerIndex: 59 Authority: 53 Activity: 63 Audience: 77 Follows: 2,245 Followers: 26,175
69=. Susanna Lau, Fashion blogger
The self-made queen of independent UK fashion blogging pumps out content on seemingly every show and event in London, from her own TV appearances to the Occupy Fashion Week protest. It's a great gallery of style links and pictures of clothes and beautiful places, plus connections to more of the same at the StyleBubble blog. Everything you'd ever wanted to know about, for example, the "really simplified take on the leather harness" or Anna Wintour's hair colour (February 2012).
Tweets as: @susiebubble PeerIndex: 59 Authority: 52 Activity: 39 Audience: 87 Follows: 1,178 Followers: 151,570
73=. Alberto Nardelli, Entrepreneur and journalist
Co-founder of Tweetminster, an aggregation site that uses data to select the stories being read by the movers and shakers in British politics. Nardelli's feed, incidentally, does much of the same – swiftly jumping between politics, economics and politics with dozens of links to the day's stories, from fraud in the eurozone to youth unemployment in the UK. His following is small but highly influential.
Tweets as: @AlbertoNardelli Peer Index: 58 Authority: 55 Activity: 76 Audience: 65 Follows: 3,736 Followers: 9,156
73=. India Knight, Journalist
The author and Sunday Times columnist is a Twitter stalwart, friends with Caitlin Moran and just about everyone else. She's an avid experimenter with all kinds of social media, recently announcing: "It's exhausting. I'm doing Twitter, Instagram (my fave) and now this and culling everything else." (February 2012). Well, you wouldn't want to take it too far, would you? Topics vary from political campaigns to the very personal. On a trip to a private clinic with a family member, she wrote: "You slightly suspect half the women are here to have their vaginas tightened." (February 2012). Wow.
Tweets as: @indiaknight PeerIndex: 58 Authority: 51 Activity: 46 Audience: 82 Follows: 1,000 Followers: 57,124
73=. David Bradley, Science writer
A frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines such as New Scientist and Nature, as well as a one-time employee of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Bradley is the man behind the Science Base blog, and one of the more approachable science voices on the web. He makes full use of the @ button to interact with fellow scientists and enthusiasts, and posts links not only to his own blog, but to interesting science-related stuff from elsewhere, too.
Tweets as: @sciencebase PeerIndex: 58 Authority: 54 Activity: 63 Audience: 72 Follows: 1,647 Followers: 15,107
73=. Louise Mensch, Politician
Whether in a select committee, the Commons or online, Mensch is a wonderfully combative MP. She's used her feed to call out colleagues and journalists, hitting back against those who criticised her for appearing in a GQ photoshoot and even using a Blackadder line to answer suggestions of a facelift: "A man's soft lips are his own private business, sir!" The novelist-turned Tory MP also proved her mettle when she handed over details of an online abuser to police: "I don't bully easily, kids. Or in fact at all," she wrote at the time.
Tweets as: @LouiseMensch Authority: 52 Activity: 48 Audience: 78 Follows: 3,571 Followers: 48,192
77=. Alan Rusbridger, Newspaper editor
The Guardian's editor uses his account mainly (and unsurprisingly) to pick out stories from his own paper – especially breaking news and coverage relating to the media. Rusbridger is also a retweeter of authority, linking to reads in The Daily Beast, the FT and The Independent among others.
Tweets as: @arusbridger Peer Index: 57 Authority: 49 Activity: 60 Audience: 84 Follows: 700 Followers: 68,671
77=. Milo Yiannopoulos, Cultural commentator
The chief features writer for the Catholic Herald and editor-in-chief of online tech and business magazine The Kernel, Yiannopoulos's brazenness earned him hits aplenty as a Telegraph blogger, as well as a not-inconsequential Twitter following. Tweets range from media gossip to full-blown trouble-making, for example: "I never met a Guardian staffer I didn't want to punch. It's not the politics, just awful, awful people."
Tweets as: @Nero Peer Index: 57 Authority: 53 Activity: 74 Audience: 65 Follows: 1,070 Followers: 9,124
77=. Robin Ince, Science comedian
Ince was once best known as the bloke from The Office who didn't get a job, and he immortalised the fact in his 2004 stand-up show: The Award Winning Robin Ince – Star Of The Office, Series 1. Episode 5 (First Bit). Since then, however, he has become famous as a comedy Darwinist, and presenter of the irreverent Radio 4 science programme The Infinite Monkey Cage, with Professor Brian Cox.
Tweets as: @robinince Peer Index: 57 Authority: 50 Activity: 46 Audience: 82 Follows: 457 Followers: 53,411
80=. Jemima Khan, Writer and campaigner
It's been some time since Jemima Khan has felt it necessary to complain of being called a "socialite". Sister of Zac and former wife of Imran, Khan is a respected activist on behalf of numerous causes – and now a journalistic force, too. After a stint as associate editor of The Independent, she recently moved to The New Statesman, where her unsuspecting interviewees/victims already include London mayoral candidates Ken and Boris.
Tweets as: @jemima_khan Peer Index: 56 Authority: 48 Activity: 44 Audience: 87 Follows: 134 Followers: 141,143
80=. Andrew Keen, Technology writer
Andrew Keen describes himself as "the antichrist of Silicon Valley" – mainly because he's been frequently critical of the notion of web 2.0 and, as one of his book's titles had it, The Cult of the Amateur in creating free content. The London-born Silicon Valley veteran links to key technology reads and maintains a fine line in pithy put-downs. For example: "is there anything more boring than Yahoo?"
Tweets as: @AJKeen Authority: 73 Activity: 53 Audience: 47 Follows: 11,125 Following: 17,670
80=. Andy Lewis, Anti-alternative medicine blogger/campaigner
Le Canard Noir is the alter-ego of skeptic blogger Andy Lewis whose feed and website, The Quackometer, call out those suspected of medical quackery. Lewis uses Twitter to challenge and draw attention to medical policy and to call out the actions of alternative medical practices and their failings.
Tweets as: @lecanardnoir Peer Index: 56 Authority: 56 Activity: 48 Audience: 58 Follows: 251 Followers: 4,958
80=. Mo Costandi, Scientist
Costandi's eclectic Twitter CV describes him as a "Neuroscientist turned writer. Bibliophile, film buff, funk fanatic, amateur photographer." Quite the mix. But it's for the first reason that most will follow Costandi. His jobs as a neuroscience writer forThe New Statesman and The Guardian mean his feed is full of fun science tidbits – from the workings of the brain to the prospect of test-tube burgers.
Tweets as: @mocost Peer Index: 56 Authority: 53 Activity: 70 Audience: 63 Follows: 386 Followers: 7,910
84=. Adrian Monck, Communications manager
Monck's career has taken him from the TV screens as a reporter and editor for Sky and ITN through to academia and now a role at the World Economic Forum, hosts of the annual Davos conference. Monck's presence on Twitter reflects both fields with a well-selected set of links ranging from economic studies to debates about free speech.
Tweets as: @amonck Peer Index: 55 Authority: 54 Activity: 70 Audience: 56 Follows: 2,261 Followers: 3,926
84=. Hermione Way, Entrepreneur
Way founded Newspepper.com – a marketing, PR and video website – in the second year of her degree using student loan money to buy a video camera. She's since produced a spin-off venture, techfluff.tv, which documents UK and European tech culture (and funnies). Her feed is a web of interactions with fellow immersed tech types.
Tweets as: @hermioneway Peer Index: 55 Authority: 49 Activity: 59 Audience: 72 Follows: 7,664 Followers: 15,436
84=. Roger Highfield, Museum executive/journalist
The former New Scientist editor now spends 80 per cent of his time as director of external affairs at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester but still writes about science for The Daily Telegraph, where he was once science editor. His feed tallies news on exhibitions from other museums and other curiosities from the science world – Harvard's robotic insects anyone?
Tweets as: @rogerhighfield Peer Index: 55 Authority: 52 Activity: 75 Audience: 62 Follows: 611 Followers: 7,415
87=. Fraser Nelson, Journalist
The political campaigner and editor of The Spectator is known for putting pressure on the government over its commitment to social issues. His feed is all business, promoting The Spectator's journalism and his own columns, and bringing out the network's political potential – many of his followers are also political figures and commentators. A great source for left-leaning comment digested into Twitter-friendly length: "Depressing to think that Alan Milburn's NHS Plan 12 years ago was more radical and sensible than the dog's breakfast Lansley is introducing."
Tweets as: @frasernelson Peer Index: 54 Authority: 47 Activity: 48 Audience: 77 Follows: 515 Followers: 25,337
87=. Ian Mansfield, Blogger/photographer
Mansfield is a prolific blogger and snapper whose website, Ian Visits, is as good an independent guide to London as one is likely to find – ranging from a pictorial profile of the new Blackfriars Tube station to quirky what's on listings. He's also produced other websites and apps including the ultra handy London Toilet Map. As you might expect, his feed is a flood of similar London miscellany, from cable cars to Cable Street.
Tweets as: @ianvisits Peer Index: 54 Authority: 49 Activity: 48 Audience: 73 Follows: 15,216 Followers: 17,746
87=. Sharon Horgan, Actress, comedian and writer
Horgan – the creator and star of the much-missed BBC3 sitcom Pulling – has just announced the birth of a new show, Dead Boss, in which she plays a wrongly convicted prisoner. Thankfully, though, Horgan doesn't use her feed as a PR outlet, it's an often laugh-out-loud, rude, witty commentary on life. A recent selection of messages about a messy children's birthday party is particularly strong in the memory. Also some grotesque tweets about her hamster.
Tweets as: @RealSharHorganPeer Index: 54 Authority: 49 Activity: 23 Audience: 76 Follows: 271 Followers: 22,634
90=. David Stringer, Political journalist
The Associated Press's social media guidelines warn journalists about the dangers of expressing strong opinions (and retweeting others' views). As such, AP's man in London's feed may lack the colour of other hacks' output, but it's still a very useful collection of information – mixing AP news stories with interesting political facts from other journalists in the Westminster Village and further afield.
Tweets as: @David_Stringer Peer Index: 53 Authority: 50 Activity: 71 Audience: 58 Follows: 2,640 Followers: 5,279
90=. Giles Coren, Journalist and broadcaster
The bile-fuelled Times writer (and co-presenter of Giles and Sue's Royal Wedding) is a funny, furious tweeter who, when not using Twitter to banter with his fellow restaurant critics, can often be found exploring the outer limits of taste. Coren attracted complaints in 2010 for a tweet jokingly suggesting he might rape and/or murder his neighbours' drum-playing 12-year-old son. Last year he was threatened with jail for contempt of court, after tweeting jokes that might have broken a star footballer's privacy injunction. Of course, neither incident did Coren's follower count any harm whatsoever.
Tweets as: @gilescoren PeerIndex: 53 Authority: 45 Activity: 28 Audience: 85 Follows: 140 Followers: 89,954
90=. Jay Rayner, Journalist, writer, food critic
His profile sums it up: "eats, writes about it". The Guardian's food critic, and a novelist in his own right, Rayner talks restaurants, food, his own reviews and... more food, both making it and eating it. There's a wholesome feel to the recipes and chat, and recently he's made waves by tweeting a trip to Rwanda with Save the Children, investigating food poverty. "I'll avoid the faux profound and go for this: by god, the coffee in Rwanda is good." (February 2012).
Tweets as: @jayrayner1 PeerIndex: 53 Authority: 46 Activity: 40 Audience: 79 Follows: 51 Followers: 40,429
90=. Julian Huppert, Politician
The Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge is a life-long resident and scholar of the city. He was also a councillor there before winning a seat in the Commons in 2010. Unsurprisingly, he's a keen disseminator of news about the city. Huppert is also co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and he's used Twitter as a key part of the group's work on cycle safety – which has been especially prominent during The Times' recent campaign on the subject.
Tweets as: @julianhuppert Peer Index: 53 Authority: 50 Activity: 71 Audience: 59 Follows: 105 Followers: 5,963
90=. Krishnan Guru-Murthy, TV news anchor
From the Channel 4 anchor's chair, Krishnan Guru-Murthy keeps his tweets mostly work-focused, from breaking news to asking for tips on stories. But he's not afraid to share some of the sartorial insight that comes from years of broadcast experience: "u cannot tuck your tie into your trousers if you are older than 9 years old", he told one curious viewer (February 2012). And then there's this gem from last year, when Alan Johnson's resignation was announced: "Johnson out, Balls in. Everyone's a winner?"
Tweets as: @krishgm PeerIndex: 53 Authority: 45 Activity: 38 Audience: 83 Follows: 3773 Followers: 62,964
90=. Sasha Wilkins, Lifestyle and fashion blogger
A print journalist turned digital star, Wilkins' CV includes a stint as executive style editor for The Wall Street Journal, and a Blogger of the Year gong from Red magazine's Women of the Year awards. The blog in question, Liberty London Girl, describes itself as "The thoughts of an English fashion editor in Manhattan on Life, Love, Fashion, Design and Food." Formerly anonymous, Wilkins revealed her authorship in a Grazia interview in 2010. Recent tweets have been largely London Fashion Week-related.
Tweets as: @LibertyLndnGirl PeerIndex: 53 Authority: 46 Activity: 45 Audience: 80 Follows: 924 Followers: 46,353
90=. Laurie Penny, Journalist
Whether she's following the Occupy movement in New York City or participating in protests in London, Independent writer Penny is a key, if sometimes divisive, figure on the social network. Tweets are mainly political – "An unelected plutocracy is pushing Greece to the point of collapse" – but there are moments of lightness too.
Tweets as: @pennyred PeerIndex: 49 Authority: 76 Activity: 45 Audience: 41 Follows: 1,140 Followers: 37,248
97=. Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the world wide web
A man without whom Twitter would not exist, Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, and is now committed to seeing it realise its potential, as director of web standards organisation the World Wide Web Consortium, and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, a non-profit devoted to spreading the web, worldwide. His specialist subjects are the internet and, specifically, web freedom; recently, he has been tweeting persistently in opposition to the controversial, proposed US anti-piracy laws, known as SOPA and PIPA.
Tweets as: @timberners_lee PeerIndex: 49 Authority: 41 Activity: 17 Audience: 83 Follows: 102 Followers: 61,944
97=. Sarah Millican, Comedian
The stand-up comedian and TV panel show regular is also an occasional 10-a-day tweeter. Much like her comedy, most of her 140-character missives concern amusing details from Millican's everyday life, or details of her DVDs, tours and television appearances. Recent examples include: "Morning. Day off with my man today. It's cold outside but it's warm in bed. They can dance, we're going to watch DVDs and eat INSTEEEAAAD!!!" and, "I seem to spend a lot of my time smelling milk."
Tweets as: @SarahMillican75 PeerIndex: 49 Authority: 39 Activity: 24 Audience: 89 Follows: 1,521 Followers: 346,876
97=. Chuka Umunna, Politician
For many Labour-watchers, the south London MP could be a future party leader, or even prime minister. For now, though, the shadow Business Secretary is concentrating on the day-to-day of life on the backbench. His tweets cover anything from activity in his constituency (Streatham) to movements in the business world, to what he's listening to: "My track for this weekend – 'London Town' by Light of the World."
Tweets as: @ChukaUmunna Authority: 71 Activity: 48 Audience: 42 Follows: 582 Followers: 22,666
100. Sian Meades, Lifestyle blog
As founding editor of Domestic Sluttery – "The home and lifestyle blog for women who have better things to do" – Meades is the human face behind an online voice that concerns itself with shopping, style, design, cocktails, cupcakes and staying home in pyjamas. Written by a team of mostly female freelancers, the Domestic Sluts feed is – like the blog – a joint endeavour. Much consists of links to blog posts; the rest is irreverent consumer commentary. Recent tweets include: "Off to Borough market this afternoon. We want all of the cheese and a little bit of rain isn't going to stop us." And the sequel: "Cheese coma."
Tweets as: @domesticsluts PeerIndex: 47 Authority: 40 Activity: 39 Audience: 72 Follows: 5,853 Followers: 15,272
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