If you have been reading my posts here, surely you must know that I am a mega fan of Twitter. I spend 90% of my waking hours with Twitter running in the background and I have tweeted well over 120k times. Yes, I know, nuts. The thing is, as I wrote here, the people on Twitter play a major role in the success of the platform. Yes, the real-time nature of Twitter definitely contributes to its success but without the users, it would be just another social platform. The people on Twitter and the general culture there are the primary reason people love it so much. Choosing just five accounts to recommend was the hardest part of writing this post. I already recommended 99 people to follow, and then followed that post with 88 more people to follow. Choosing five was not easy.
5 Darrell Etherington
Darrell has to be the nicest guy in tech journalism. Yes, he is a rockstar now at TechCrunch, but don’t let that fool you. I have been a mega fan since he was an editor at TheAppleBlog, then GigaOm, BetaKit and now, TechCrunch. What can I say? The guy is a total Mensch. His posts about mobile tech and specifically Apple are always enlightening and yet, the guy seems to have been absent the day they gave out egos. He has none. He responds, he produces fantastic content and he is a good friend. Follow him @drizzled.
4 Lisa Barone
Like everyone on this list, I have been following Lisa since the early days. In one word? Inspiration. Lisa is a leading authority on the search space (you know, like SEO and stuff). She is super smart and suffice it to say, she had enough excuses to not succeed the way she has. Why am I babbling on when I can just send you to watch her TED video “What Stuttering Taught Me About Running a Business.” Like I said, inspiring. Follow her @LisaBarone.
3 Alex Wilhelm
I have been following Alex for years. Alex is now a tech blogger at TechCrunch, but here is the thing with his Twitter account. It is a perfect balance between tech, humor, sarcasm and replies to folks. Instant replies. If you haven’t noticed yet, I have a thing for people who are responsive. I dare you to find someone who responds to tweets or DMs as fast as Alex. Trust me, it doesn’t exist. Alex is one of the sharper tech bloggers out there and unlike many others, he doesn’t play the whole ego game. Just a good guy. Follow him @alex.
2 Alyssa Milano
No, this is not another person using the Web to kiss up to some celebrity with a million followers. Alyssa has followed me for years on Twitter. Why? Beats me. But I did interview her on my blog. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes (why she agreed to that interview, I mean.). Alyssa shares awesome content and unlike many people (even some on this list) doesn’t focus on one area. Sports, tech, fashion, family, motherhood, Hollywood—these are just some of the topics you will read about if you follow Alyssa. But here is the kicker. She runs her own account, never lets anyone else tweet on her behalf and is super responsive. Of course she cannot respond to everyone, but like Gary, check out her account, you’ll find replies to people, normal people. Big fan. Follow her @Alyssa_Milano.
1 Gary Vaynerchuk
Listen, if you know Gary, you know just how energetic and charismatic he is. What you might not know is just how down to earth and “normal” he is, despite what some might consider his celebrity status. Who is he? To be honest, I am not impressed with what he did with Wine Library TV or Vaynermedia as much as I am impressed with the way he uses Twitter. Go ahead, open his account, I bet 8/10 last tweets are replies to people. No, not celebs, regular people. Even those who don’t have a bazillion followers. Yes, he gets it. He is human. He engages. He responds. He cares. Follow him @garyvee.