Vala Afshar's top 100 influencers on Twitter

A great list of news, management, business, and technology leaders for you to follow on Twitter.
Written by Michael Krigsman, Contributor on
Photo credit: "Achieving Clarity" by Michael Krigsman
Photo credit: "Achieving Clarity" by Michael Krigsman

Everyone is fascinated by influencers; the best possess skills, experience, and qualities that can help us achieve the clarity needed to reach safety during difficult situations.


Here is Vala Afshar’s list of the “top 100 Twitter accounts that every business, technology, and leadership person should follow on Twitter.” Vala holds the titles Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Customer Officer at Enterasys Networks, and is a respected business leader himself. Given Vala’s reputation, I thought it worthwhile to reproduce his list here [disclosure: Vala is a colleague, friend, and market strategy consulting client].

The words below are Vala’s:

My criteria for selecting the very best Twitter accounts was based on three factors:

  1. Content quality: Intelligent, current, thought provoking, forward looking, and inspiring commentary that makes you challenge your own assumptions.
  2. Contribution frequency: Thought leaders who are highly active social networkers and produce daily content that benefits their network.
  3. A willingness to engage: A willingness to engage the network is what social is all about. Leadership is conversations and the willingness to converse with your network is a very important element of collaboration.

Media companies and organizations that produce amazing daily content, covering a very rich and diverse set of business, leadership and technology news.

All Things Dhttp://twitter.com/@allthingsD
Business Insiderhttp://twitter.com/@businessinsider
CIO Onlinehttp://twitter.com/@cioonline
Harvard Business Reviewhttp://twitter.com/@HarvardBiz
Huffington Posthttp://twitter.com/@huffingtonpost
INC Magazinehttp://twitter.com/@Inc
MIT Sloan Management Reviewhttp://twitter.com/@MITsmr
New York Timeshttp://twitter.com/@NYtimes
The Atlantichttp://twitter.com/@theAtlantic
Wall Street Journalhttp://twitter.com/@WSJ

Absolutely brilliant thought leaders who are experts in the fields of business, management, leadership, politics, economics, education, and personal development. They frequently produce inspiring content that enable us to reach our full potential. They are thought leaders who are willing to truly engage via Twitter; they are thankful, humble, and ideal mentors:

Robin Sharmahttp://twitter.com/@_robin_sharma
Sean Gardnerhttp://twitter.com/@2morrowknight
Angela Maiershttp://twitter.com/@AngelaMaiers
Ann Tranhttp://twitter.com/@anntran_
Cheryl K. Burgesshttp://twitter.com/@ckburgess
Clay Christensenhttp://twitter.com/@claychristensen
Cory Bookerhttp://twitter.com/@corybooker
Daniel Newmanhttp://twitter.com/@danielnewmanUV
Daniel Pinkhttp://twitter.com/@DanielPink
Dorie Clarckhttp://twitter.com/@dorieclark
Deb Mills-Scofieldhttp://twitter.com/@dscofield
Don Tapscotthttp://twitter.com/@dtapscott
John Jantschhttp://twitter.com/@ducttape
Erika Andersenhttp://twitter.com/@erikaandersen
Gianpiero Petriglierihttp://twitter.com/@gpetriglieri
Heidi Grant Halvorson http://twitter.com/@hghalvorson
Shep Hykenhttp://twitter.com/@Hyken
Jeff Bullashttp://twitter.com/@jeffbullas
Jesse Lyn Stonerhttp://twitter.com/@JesseLynStoner
Kare Andersonhttp://twitter.com/@kareanderson
Tristan Bishophttp://twitter.com/@knowledgebishop
Dan Rockwellhttp://twitter.com/@leadershipfreak
Steve Keatinghttp://twitter.com/@leadtoday
Liz Strausshttp://twitter.com/@lizstrauss
Lolly Daskalhttp://twitter.com/@LollyDaskal
Ann Handleyhttp://twitter.com/@marketingprofs
Mari Smithhttp://twitter.com/@marismith
Marsha Collierhttp://twitter.com/@MarshaCollier
Mike Myatthttp://twitter.com/@mikemyatt
Pam Moorehttp://twitter.com/@PamMktgNut
Paulo Coelhohttp://twitter.com/@paulocoelho
Petteri Tarkkonenhttp://twitter.com/@ptarkkonen
Richard Bransonhttp://twitter.com/@richardbranson
Rosabeth Moss Kanterhttp://twitter.com/@RosabethKanter
Shawn Murphyhttp://twitter.com/@shawmu
Simon Sinekhttp://twitter.com/@simonsinek
Martin Zwillinghttp://twitter.com/@startuppro
Steve Denninghttp://twitter.com/@stevedenning
Ted Coinehttp://twitter.com/@TedCoine
Ted Rubinhttp://twitter.com/@tedrubin
Tom Petershttp://twitter.com/@Tom_Peters
Tony Robbinshttp://twitter.com/@tonyrobbins
Tony Schwartzhttp://twitter.com/@tonyschwartz
Umair Haquehttp://twitter.com/@umairh

The final group of social leaders actively share innovation, startups, technology, and business transformation thought leadership content on Twitter. This group of entrepreneurs, authors, CXO business executives, venture capitalists, analysts, pundits, and futurists are engaging, super smart, and are shaping future business and technology trends:

Amy Jo Martinhttp://twitter.com/@amyjomartin
David Armanohttp://twitter.com/@armano
Marc Benioffhttp://twitter.com/@benioff
Bill Grosshttp://twitter.com/@bill_gross
Brian Solishttp://twitter.com/@briansolis
Chris Broganhttp://twitter.com/@chrisbrogan
Dave Grayhttp://twitter.com/@davegray
Dave McClurehttp://twitter.com/@davemcclure
Alex Howardhttp://twitter.com/@digiphile
Ekaterina Walterhttp://twitter.com/@ekaterina
Fred Wilsonhttp://twitter.com/@fredwilson
Gary Vaynerchukhttp://twitter.com/@garyvee
Guy Kawasakihttp://twitter.com/@guykawasaki
Jason Fallshttp://twitter.com/@jasonfalls
John Gallanthttp://twitter.com/@johngallant1
John Nostahttp://twitter.com/@johnnosta
Whitney Johnson http://twitter.com/@johnsonwhitney
Jon Ferrarahttp://twitter.com/@jon_ferrara
Jeremiah Owyanghttp://twitter.com/@jowyang
Krishnan Subramanianhttp://twitter.com/@krishnan
Aaron Leviehttp://twitter.com/@levie
Mark Fidelmanhttp://twitter.com/@markfidelman
Meghan M. Birohttp://twitter.com/@meghanmbiro
Mark P McDonaldhttp://twitter.com/@markpmcdonald
Mitch Liebermanhttp://twitter.com/@mjayliebs
Michael Krigsmanhttp://twitter.com/@mkrigsman
Mark Susterhttp://twitter.com/@msuster
Nilofer Merchanthttp://twitter.com/@nilofer
Om Malikhttp://twitter.com/@om
Paul Greenberghttp://twitter.com/@pgreenbe
Raj Settyhttp://twitter.com/@rajsetty
Roman Stanekhttp://twitter.com/@romanstanek
Ray Wanghttp://twitter.com/@rwang0
Robert Scoblehttp://twitter.com/@scobleizer
Scott D Anthonyhttp://twitter.com/@scottdanthony
Steve Casehttp://twitter.com/@stevecase
Tim O'Reillyhttp://twitter.com/@timoreilly

Final thoughts. As you read Vala's list, keep in mind that any such grouping is by nature arbitrary and incomplete. Vala gets kudos for asking his large number of Twitter followers to contribute their recommendations, but that doesn't change the basic nature and limitations of lists.


A great list from Dennis Moore: Trusted enterprise software experts: The #EnSW Twitter list

Chris Selland suggests being wary of all influencer lists: The Politics of Influence

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