Who’s Really In Power In Your Social Networks?

Kanye WestPowerStillToday Black Web 2.0 published a article in a series of blog posts aimed at highlighting powerful people of color on Twitter. Rumor’s are flying (tweeting?) that the list is a response to the many lists published year-round neglecting women and people of color, who account for 25% of Twitter’s users. It’s an effort that fail short of expectations quite possibly because identifying power across social networks is difficult. Crowdsourcing is often the solution to turn to in cases like this and here’s why.

Big Things Come in Small Packages

It’s hard to discern who’s really in power on the web. People tend to ignore that power is based on perception and engagement more than numbers in social media. Big numbers don’t necessarily equal huge results because social networks are clusters of mobilized communities. Power is in everyone’s hands. However, the real influence within the power of social network comes from those who speak out. Those with streams that reach outside of your typical headliners to catch your attention. These users have given help via DM, retweeted, replied, and they probably don’t even work in the same field that you do.  Yet, they understand how to apply their principles to a wealth of topics and aren’t afraid to take the risk in doing so or help someone else do the same.

Can One Tweet Have All That Power?

Power is a tricky word, especially in the world of social media. Power ebbs and flows in this networks. That’s what makes them so unique. Having a million followers doesn’t prove your Twitter powers. Which is why crowdsourcing can be a big help when writing these lists. There are many benefits to crowdsourcing. Lynne Johnson broke things down to a science in the comments (take note folks):

If these lists are to be alternatives to some of the other lists we’ve seen (that don’t include women or African-Americans or other people of color) can we say they’re really standing as true alternatives. I’m not saying we’re going to satisfy everyone with any of these lists, because there are so many methodologies we could use to arrive at who is on the list (both objective and subjective, as well as scientific). But I think if I saw the list broken down into categories say: Media & Entertainment (or just Media, or just Entertainment), and then Music, and then Business, and then Technology, etc. you get my point. Or even perhaps open it up to a nomination process.

You should really read the rest of this comment.


The effort is applauded, but I’m left with an empty feeling after reading a lot of lists that are published these days. They aren’t bad. Some of the people listed are very much powerful people in their industry. However, in the case of Black Web 2.0, the list are dominated by one industry and…well…celebrities. My 2¢ for powerful black men on Twitter (at least the guys I know):

  • @derrickashong
  • @iluvblackwomen
  • @waynesutton
  • @MiyaBailey
  • @MauriceCherry
  • @Streetforce1
  • @AndruEdwards

Who do you recommend? I’m turning the comments off on this post. Please leave your recommendations on their respective posts to help enlighten the discussion:

Please leave a comment and support people of color that you recognize as having power on Twitter at the links above.

Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on SheGeeks.net.