By RICHARD LAVEN, Managing Director, Apollo Research
We’re so used to discussing the extent to which some tech writers influence the buyers of tech products but it’d be good to know who or what influences the tech writers.
So armed with a bit of free time over the festive period we decided to do a bit of research and see what revealed itself. Having identified over 1,100 writers who are based in the UK and have written pieces about technology in the last 12 months we had a look at who they follow on social media.
What we found was that the group they follow more than any other is, funnily enough, technology writers. They, of course, are interested in lots of things such as news feeds, politics and comedy but the main place they hang out on social media is with their peers, fellow tech writers.
The chart below shows the 20 tech writers that they follow the most. The ‘reach’ figure (shown as a percentage) is based on the number of UK based tech writers that follow each of them. For example, Rory Cellan-Jones is followed by 181 writers which is 15.8 per cent of the sample.
The first two, Rory Cellan-Jones and Charles Arthur are way out front and if we’d done the same analysis five years ago then the likelihood would have been that the first two would probably have been the same.
Here are a few points to consider when you look at this information:
- These figures are an indication of the respect that these writers command amongst their peer group. No-one has forced the sample to follow these writers but from their own volition they have chosen to do so. These are the top 20 in a very long list.
- Getting a product or company mention from any of these writers means that you are likely to end up in the news feed of hundreds of other writers which will inevitably act as a major boost for the awareness of your brand.
- This list may look very different in a year or so as some of these writers move on to other things. For example, Matt Warman was Technology Editor at The Telegraph but at the last election became a Conservative MP (we left him on the list because we were unsure whether his high score was inertia from his time as a writer or as his new found fame as an MP…or both).
So what else are UK based tech writers interested in? Below is a chart that lists the top influencers that are not tech writers. You’ll notice that they are all media sources with not an analyst, security specialist, CTO or CIO in sight.
The various feeds from The Guardian dominate the top three places but for an audience of tech writers it’s interesting to see how few of the 20 media sources are technology related. It’s also interesting to note the number of US based media sources that appear here catering for a UK based audience.
Finally, you want to know what tech writers are interested in when they’re not working? Their favourite things are politics and comedy. More UK tech writers follow, the satirist, Charlie Brooker than either The Guardian or Rory Cellan-Jones.
In politics, UK tech writers follow Tom Watson (MP), Boris Johnson and David Cameron more than any other politicians. Jeremy Corbyn is already within a couple of percentage points of Cameron, and is likely to overhaul him in the coming weeks. Looking down the list of politicians, it would appear that tech writers are more left leaning than right.
As a group they’re not much into sport, but football is the sport of choice with Gary Lineker being the most popular sports personality.
So there you have it, a bit of insight into what UK based tech writers like. I’ll probably do the same for US based tech writers in the next few weeks so look out for that one.
If you have any questions regarding this analysis then please message me via LinkedIn or send me an email: richard [ at ] apolloresearch.com
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