Talking heads

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Someone asked me the other day who to look for online; who are the voices they could tap into outside of the usual channels?

Here’s a dozen go-to folks

@John Battelle – the web’s favourite professor-turned-entrepreneur. He penned one of the original books on Google and his Search Blog is just as worthy of your time. Runs Federated Media and many a web conference. If you want a mature take on a fast changing industry, this guy is premier league.

@marissamayer – all have been waiting for some divine intervention to turn around the lost-without-a-map-Yahoo! Their board made a mistake or two and have landed on this ex-Google senior. She looks set to stop the rot – unfortunately she doesn’t appear to be giving us a tweet-by-tweet breakdown.

Jack Dorsey – one of the main founders of Twitter who simultaneously started Square, the system that threatens to shake up the world’s mobile payment services. He’s young, dynamic and clearly on a winning streak. Doesn’t tweet every business thought but what a brain to tap into.

Seth Godin – the original marketer online. Written 14 books, founded Squidoo (and others), has the sharpest and most practical business mind I’ve ever had the privilege of reading, let alone meeting. No tweeting as such, but daily blog posts since Noah was a boy. All-time-hero.

Kara Swisher – can make Jeremy Paxman look like a children’s presenter when interviewing for All Things Digital. Super sharp business mind, coupled with a journalistic tech slant. Must have incredible inside tip offs as no-one’s crystal ball could be that good.

Jason Calacanis – a loud, ballsy inspiration from Brooklyn. JC is a tenacious start up advocate, angel investor, CEO, leader, creator. He sees all the angles before things play out and even started a launch conference because he wanted to better the industry. If he’s got a horse in the race, I’m backing it. Kudos.

Gary Vaynerchuck, – even louder New Yorker. If you don’t like Americans this is NOT your guy. But if you want be inspired by a rag-to-riches business story then tune in as he’s a fierce grafter (he’d say, “hustler, baby!”).

Alex Bogusky – he’d put the cool into Donald Draper. This is the guy Microsoft, Burger King, Virgin and Volkswagen called when they wanted a new campaign. Since turned to more philanthropic and thought provoking projects. What a guy to be stuck in a lift with.

Robert Scoble – he’s to tech what Seth Godin is to marketing. One of the world’s most popular bloggers, peerless on Twitter and Google+ and the guy you’d call to gauge the worthiness of your new widget if you ran Google or Facebook.

Chris Brogan – blogger-turned-author and consultant. He has a day rate of $22k but he’s a huge giver, too. Many fools call themselves ‘gurus.’ This guy wouldn’t dare, but you wouldn’t mind if he did as he’s in a class of his own. His blog is as helpful as it is insightful. If only I could afford him in person.

Martha Lane Fox – she’s a Brit (yay!), co-founded a web classic in, ran Selfridges for a spell and now sits on several boards (incl M&S) and is the Government’s Digital Champion. Tweets plenty. You want her as a non-exec, don’t you?

Reid Hoffman – has a Midas touch for picking Internet winners: billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, PayPal, early investor in Twitter, Friendster, Flickr, Facebook. Board member of Mozilla, Zynga, and AirBNB. Frighteningly intelligent and wants to create things that have a positive impact on the world. With that record, you can’t really doubt him.

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