"Perfect verbal architecture sparking lectures." - Jurassic 5, The Influence
Black Web 2.0 posted two conversation spurring lists over the last week or so —one each for black men and women with "power" on twitter. The lists are pretty much terrible and here's why: neither actually measures power. Power suggests some level of influence that actually matters and these two lists are overly weighted to consider follower counts more than other qualitative measures. Anil Dash already debunked the relevancy/accuracy of follower lists earlier this year. I don't mean to suggest that the celebrities that dominate these lists don't wield power, of course they do. What I am suggesting, however, is that in an online social experience like twitter, the impact one has on organic meaningful relationships is more important. Also, influence is constantly changing. I'm not one to usually care about these things but I'd find much more value in a power grid like Mediaite has which takes into account of myriad of factors in establishing their lists relevancy and also is focused, man. To just pull together a list of "Black" people (and I put black in quotes here because the actual blackness of some of these people—see Kat Stacks who self-describes as Venezuelan and Trinidadian—is questionable) doesn't provide any context for why anyone would want to follow these people or care where they rank.
But, this gives me an opportunity to dig through my own lists and suggest the Black folks that influence me. I'll try to keep my friends out of this mostly and focus on two areas: people who consistently post thought provoking tweets (from my brainiacs list) and smart/interesting people that I lovingly call music-headz. Also, just because I'm obnoxious like that, I'm going to kill the gendering. Why can't men and women hang out together in the same arbitrary lists? Hint: They can.
- Colson Whitehead - just another down on his luck carny with a pocketful of broken dreams
- Ta-Nehisi Coates - Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 16 Dexterity: 3 Constitution: 15 Charisma: 13 Spells: Light, Silence, Otto's Irresistible Dance
- Farai Chideya - Multi-media journalist; reporter on race, generational identity, and politics; and author of four books including novel Kiss the Sky.
- Lynne d Johnson - The SVP Social Media for the Advertising Research Foundation @The_ARF. I tweet about music, motorcycles, pop culture, kicks, Android, and social media.
- Baratunde Thurston - Comedian | Vigilante Pundit | Co-Founder @JJPolitics | Web Editor @TheOnion | TV Host @FutureOf
Elon James - I Spits game like my name is Hasbro! #FallBackSon #YesIDidHashtagMyBio #TisHowIdo #YesIdidUseTheWordTis...
- Rebecca Walker - Award-winning author. Multiplatform catalyst. Eye of the storm.
- Ludovic - Dad, drapetomaniac, activist, music snob, world traveler, cuisine-lover, snarker, and a whole lot more.
Bonus link, just because: negrophile
- Garth Trinidad - fighting the war against musical mediocrity and cultural ignorance
- Talib Kweli - MCEO
- Amir ?uestlove Thompson - your favorite twitterer's favorite music snob.
- Jay Smooth - I do web video at illdoctrine.com, and hip-hop radio at WBAI 99.5 FM in NY.
- Harry Allen - Educate and excite, inform and infuriate.
- Rob Fields - Black rock evangelist | Music entrepreneur
- Erykah Badu - i will not pop 4u or break 4u or hate for u or even hate u
Bonus link, just because: Wax Poetics Mag
In light of Slate's recent tone deafness on this subject, I would have hoped that Black Web 2.0 would put together lists showing the broad diversity of "blackness" online.