No CIOs on ZDNet’s ‘Top 100 Technology Experts on Twitter’ List?

Vinnie Mirchandani correctly notes that in the recent ZDNet 100 Technologytwitter Experts on Twitter list, there’s not one big-name, mainstream corporate CIO among them.  While this is certainly true, three thoughts come to mind.

1. There is a CIO on ZDNet’s list (#50, Scott Lowe), but I don’t think that meets the mainstream corporate CIO mold Mirchandani is looking for.

2. This particular ZDNet list is a who’s who of Twitter; by its very nature, it will exclude more focused personalities.  It contains people such as Chris Anderson, John Gruber, Michael Arrington, Ryan Block, Jason Calacanis, John C. Dvorak, Mike Elgan, Steve Gillmor, Mary Jo Foley, Andy Ihnatko, Jeff Jarvis, Guy Kawasaki, Leo Laporte, Jim Louderback, Om Malik, Walt Mossberg, Tim O’Reilly, David Pogue, Chris Pirillo, Gabe Rivera, Jason Snell, Joshua Topolski, Gina Trapani and Lance Ulanoff.  Mirchandani is right in saying that this list doesn’t contain a single corporate CIO – and this begs a bigger question, which I’ll get to in a second.  But this observation is tantamount to noting that a list of CIOs on Twitter doesn’t contain one so-called big-name technology expert.

While you’d think there’s be some Venn-style overlapping of the two groups, for now they’re different camps.  I think of ZDNet’s list as the fat part of the mainstream popularity curve – wholly entrenched and embracing of social media – while CIOs are part of the long tail, a niche segment.  Roughly 85% of the ZDNet list is bloggers, owners of popular blog enterprises or editors/writers.  They’re big on social media because it’s a tool tied tightly to their information distribution model.  It supplements the lifeblood of their businesses.  This isn’t the case for CIOs – or most any C-level officer for that matter.

3. The pioneering CIO should focus on cracking this sort of list.  In terms of technology and how businesses use it, there might be no equal to CIOs speaking candidly about their challenges and solutions. CIO’s aren’t purely introspective creatures from a business perspective – some simple re-voicing could do wonders for the tech conversation on Twitter.There’s an opportunity here.  Is anyone listening?  I see a few CTOs on this list.  No reason CIOs couldn’t be there too.  I do not believe this gap is an issue related strictly to how people consume information.

Before you think that Twitter isn’t a C-level thing, check out the CEOs, CFOs, and CMOs who use Twitter.  In fact, we follow them (via @mipro), and many of them follow us back.

Then again, none of them are on this list, either.  Why?  Because their business isn’t new/social media, and that’s what dominates ZDNet’s list.

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2 Responses

  1. Totally agree, Will. That’s why I say niche. When you have a list of consumer IT gurus talking about social media, iPhones, Wiis and consumer cloud apps, corporate IT and its associated technologies will have a difficult time cracking that list.

    Not impossible, but difficult. It’s a matter of audience size and message.

  2. Consumer IT will always have a bigger footprint than enterprise IT. Us CIOs toil in anonymity.

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