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.
56 thoughts on “The First 99 People to Follow on Twitter”
Great post – I like your suggestions, I follow a lot of them already…
Pretty sure “introduced me to Twitter”, should be, I dunno, NUMBER ONE???
Hillel: how do you follow all of them? It’s too mind boggling for me
I think you have a great list and I follow a good number of these people as well, but I think you need to define your audience – or explain it better. Yes, they are all nice – but as you wrote briefly at the end, they also mostly address your sphere of interest.
Many others on Twitter “hang out” in several worlds. Some use the same persona, others use different ones. I use @asoldiersmother for some things. With a son in the Israeli army (actually one was in, was discharged and the second is in now), I have made a world of connections with amazing families, men and women, around the world. Most of the people on your list would be largely irrelevant to them.
As @writepoint or @techshoret my list would be more in line with yours. In all these personas, I have met amazingly people from all over the world – that is the blessing of Twitter.
I think the people you have mentioned are very much within your range of topics and it should be specified and defined here. I think you are very correct – that a main factor is the “nice” – and yes, the greatest limitation of the 99 list is that it can contain only 99 names. So, the only difference I would have made is to somehow clarify that these are amazing movers and shakers and communicators that have touched your world in relation to tech and marketing.
There are other spheres you have – as an Israeli, as a father, etc. and each of these roles might well have their own 99 names.
Were I to endeavor to do what you have done here, I can think of several names I’d add…only to then force myself to create not one list – but several. Either way – great list, great job!
Thank you for adding me to the list. You have a lot of people I seriously respect on here and it’s an honor to be a part of it 🙂
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh… I am number 1??? I’m so humbled and honored and wow, THANK YOU!!!!!! I love how you wrote a little blurb about each person on here!
I think I’m following almost everyone on this list, but I’m going to double check just to be sure. You left one really important person off this list – YOU. You are such a wonderful friend and I just love following you. Your random thoughts throughout the day always make me laugh.
Thank you again, you made my week. =))))
Guys, thanks so much for all the comments, so glad the 5 hours it took me to put this post together paid off.
nice post hillel…
Thanks for adding me to the list but seems like u missed yourself. 😀
Anyway, you are one of the most interesting social media guy I have ever come across. Cheers!!
Really Interresting buddy, a lot of friends of mine aren’t on tweeter because they still not understand what twitter stand for …
Really Interesting buddy, a lot of friends of mine aren’t on twitter because they still not understand what twitter stand for …
very interesting article
All people of the business world. One happens to be a musician, one happens to be an actress .. probably both are great at business. All I am sure are great at networking.
Also great at RTing and quoting?
I have no interest in business, as my bank account shows, but a good list none the less for for those who are.
Although I do follow some people on this list, I believe that twitting should be reciprocal, should create alliances, not just a feed.
Not that these people are not interesting enough but some of them are just feeds and not really “social accounts” if you know what I mean.
Great article though.
Wow, great list. I did not make it but feel honored just being able to call many of the “friends” 😉
I didn’t make the list? Well that gets you unfollowed.
A great list Hillel! I was already following most and am honored and humbled to be included. Thank you!!
FYI, I tried to click the tweepml link to follow all, but it only brought up about 40 of the ones you listed here. I will go back through the list to follow manually the ones who didn’t show up on the tweepml link.
Hmm, Xan, can you try again? Works for me. Thanks 🙂
You really need to be careful when putting these lists together. Any time you add the word expert, consultant, top etc.. you’re basically recommending them for the noun that comes after it. Knowing the work of at least 5 people up there first and second hand, you can really do damage to yourself. I totally give you props for having some real quality people like Branko and Alex though. By the way, not having Lisa Barone or Outspoken Media up there is a total travesty. #justsayin
Thanks Olivier, appreciate the comments as usual. Truth is I added people I personally connected with, and after reaching out to Lisa many times, we just never really connected.
That says absolutely nothing about her or her expertise. In any case, my only criteria besides people who get it, was to keep the list global and not list local people tweeting in other languages or who tweet mostly about family or personal things.
Truth is, I had many many more people to add when I reached 99, including you, but I made 99 the cut off. Hope you don’t take it personally, something tells me you could not care less. 🙂
In any case, thanks again for the comment.
Thanks for the list. Very interesting. I’m finding the comments to be even more fascinating. Hmmm.
Thanks for your hard work. Looking forward to seeing some new tweets.
I tried again Hillel. It only showed 51, not in any specific order. Kind of odd. But I love the list, so will go in and manually follow those not showing up on Tweepml.
You put a lot of work into creating a great list! I’m flattered to be included, but would follow these regardless. 🙂
Very cool =D
Nice list Hilz. I think it’s time to add @Anywhere though.. because I’m not sure I want to click on all of those links 🙂
*notes to myself
Yesterday on Twitter I was reading through my stream and found The First 99 People to Follow on Twitter. I was excited at first because I’m totally looking for awesomeness on Twitter. So… I start madly clicking through the list… especially since before you clicked in the author offered very generous comments beside each twitter users name…comments so grand it gave me the feeling I was getting ready to find the internet version of National Treasure.
After a long time of clicking and checking people out the CliffNotes way I started to feel like I did that time I took a metaphysics class …like.. I didn’t get it…what was so follow worthy about this group of people? Don’t get me wrong I am sure they are great people and nice like the author said but you would not, by checking out their front page tweets, have any idea if they were worth a follow or not ..outside of trusting this list.
All I am saying here is that the author of this list is a very sweet person to his twitterlist friends ..But his list is no more valuable to me then if he had just listed 99 of his best friends. It is a good list but …a new twitter person needs to start with what they like and know and understand…If I was brand new and came across this list and decided to blindly follow these first 99 my cup would not be full.
Idk maybe Paula…in the comments section under the list… explains what I am trying to say better so I’m going to stop here.. except to say…..
… all was not lost because I was intrigued by what the list said about the Dell twitter page. That’s a major shout out to say a company so perfectly uses twitter that all companies should do it that way too …so for sure I followed Dell to see how they use twitter…and that led me to follow Verizon so I could compare their tweets..So Fun! Oh, plus it was cool to see @adamsconsulting @ # 1 cause I was feelin’ her already.
*It’s ok if no one understands why comparing two companies tweets might be fun… I guess like the dude that wrote The First 99 ..it’s all relative in my mental environment and that’s all that matters 🙂
Thanks Moxie, appreciate your point of view…
I’m tempted to click that link you got up there to follow the whole list. Maybe over time I could catch a few of those warm fuzzy feelings that you have for these folks…
Hey Moxie, I believe I just followed you on Twitter. See you there 🙂
Really great list that totally match my interest field!!
I was already following a few of these people but I am following them all now even though I had to follow a third manually!
Thanks again for your article it will enhance my use of twitter making myself save months!!
..I’m gonna click the link…I’m curious about how the link itself does the follow all .. haha
I totally agree with everything Olivier said, especially his last part. 😉 Interesting list, glad someone pointed me to it.
Lisa, thanks for the comment. Maybe now you will respond to me on Twitter 🙂 All good, just playin, Olivier tells me you are great. 🙂
[hopefully it translates across Hillel 😉
Thanks for the post. I have been looking to expand on the number of people I follow, and you have helped me add a bunch of great people to my list.
Thanks a bunch!
Appreciate all the nice comments, thanks a lot.
Still no Lisa. Still no Olivier :-p
Haha Olivier, who needs to be on some stupid list when you can get one of these? http://twitter.com/HilzFuld/status/22249160361
Thank you so much for including me. It’s a great list, and I’m looking forward to following a few new people.
But mostly I get to email a link to my mom, because at the end of the day showing your mom some kind words is worth a bucket of gold.
Tweet me her response Jessica 🙂
Well, 2 of these 99 people are on my list. One followed me yesterday so I followed back, the other is the, er, celebrity. Am I doing it wrong if, after 3.5 years on Twitter, I’m not much compelled to add the other 97? Nice business people? If I just started at Twitter and shot all 99 through at once I am pretty sure I’d be…kind of bored and unfulfilled and wonder what I’m doing watching all these strangers talk with each other. I don’t know if they talk about cocktails, the TV show House, or anything else I’m interested in. This isn’t how you cultivate friends. You do it one or two at a time, from what I’ve experienced. But of course, First Rule of Twitter: don’t ever follow other peoples’ Rules of Twitter. You do sound like a nice person, though.
Thanks for the list 🙂
Might as well add @shanesmith30 – Vice Reporter
This is a great list with some very strong Twitter profiles and rockstars who totally understand that Twitter is all about. Very cool of you to post them in a blog instead of just adding them in a list.
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