Many have criticized the popularity contest flavor of our outreach for innovators in social media. But at least one commenter, Barbara Gibson, weighs in with a recommendation:

But one problem with lists like this is they’re actually quite backward-looking, including only to people who participated in social media very early. So it’s mostly the same names everyone already knows. Why not ask all those people for a favorite but relatively unknown person to profile?

I would go one step further. Instead of just naming someone relatively unknown, how about telling us about something innovative that that person is doing? In other words, I think we’re past the names stage of this process. Now it’s time for ideas and action. Any thoughts?

I got into a Twitter exchange with Peter Kim about this. He said that social media is about finding “meaning in niches,” and that naming a “general innovator would be an oxymoron.” I would be very happy to find someone doing interesting stuff in niches, either geographical or professional. No need for a universal generalist. In any case, I asked Peter for some nichy recommendations, and he replied: “@pistachio & noah brier for what they’ve done; @jevon & @charleneli for what they will do.” He didn’t provide specifics. But then again, 140 characters didn’t give him much room to ramble.

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