50 plus 50 equals 100 most influential UK journalists on Twitter?

The Press Gazette has announced its Top 50 most influential UK journalists on Twitter and I suspect most people won’t be surprised by many of the names. Like any such list though, there will always be people we might have expected to see who aren’t included.

With this in mind I put together this list of 50 (using Lissted), one or more of which on another day, on another basis, might well have made the cut.

Of course there will be other contenders too, so please feel free to suggest them in the comments.

I’ve created a Twitter list of these 50 plus the Press Gazette 50 here.



@bbcnormanS (Norman Smith)


@BowenBBC (Jeremy Bowen)


@Dannythefink (Daniel Finkelstein)



@dpjhodges (Dan Hodges)



@Freedland (Jonathan Freedland)


@gallaghereditor (Tony Gallagher)


@greensladeR (Roy Greenslade)












@maitlis (Emily Maitlis)









@PennyRed (Laurie Penny)


@ShippersUnbound (Tim Shipman)







@toadmeister (Toby Young)




RSS subscriptions reach 100 million?

According to Forrester Research the use of RSS has reached 11% of US online adults. Steve Rubel and others have discussed the other main finding that of the other 89% only 17% are interested in adopting RSS in the future. The implication being that RSS is running out of steam and needs mass education to continue its growth rate.

However I wonder if this discussion is potentially missing a relatively obvious numeric point. What does 11% of US online adults equate to? With an estimated 220 million US internet users applying 11% gives 24 million that use RSS (and another 26 million who apparently aren’t sure if they do – 12% responded thus). However this assumes that minor users follow the same proportion which may not be the case but for the purpose of this calculation lets accept this limitation. To put this in context this compares with around 60-70 million US users of Facebook and Myspace. Unfortunately the study was only based on a survey of US internet users so it is not possible to extrapolate this analysis across global internet users on a rigorous basis. However if we make the (over?) simplifying assumption that this study is indicative of general RSS use then based on approximately 1.5bn internet users worldwide this would give approximately 165 million RSS users worldwide. As penetration rates go I would say that was still pretty impressive. Obviously these calculations are more back of a postage stamp than back of an envelope :) but they illustrate the point that this percentage implies some fairly big numbers in absolute terms.

The other point to consider is the potential influence implications of RSS subscriptions. What would be really useful to know would be the detailed makeup of the 11% and the sites that they subscribe to. Were it the case for instance that this analysis showed that key influencers and decision makers in certain markets are proportionally more likely to receive their news via RSS its importance in influence terms would be magnified. If anyone has access to the full report and any information on this I would be delighted to hear from you.

A £bn here a £bn there…

According to various sources the nitty gritty of the Government’s bank recapitalisation plan is going to be announced tomorrow morning. The coverage reminds me of a quote from The West Wing “A billion here a billion there. Sooner or later it starts to add up to real money.” The important point is what will our £39bn/£50bn get us? By my back of an envelope calculations, based on Friday’s closing share prices and the current rumours, taxpayers are indeed (as per ft.com) about to become the controlling shareholders in HBOS and RBS.

Royal Bank of Scotland

Market capitalisation on Friday £11.9bn.
Rumoured ordinary share investment (according to ft.com) £15bn
Post investment shareholding = 15/(15+11.9) = 56%


Market capitalisation on Friday £6.5bn.
Rumoured ordinary share investment (according to ft.com) £9bn
Post investment shareholding = 9/(9+6.5) = 58%

Of course the HBOS situation will then be further confused by the rumoured £5bn investment in Lloyds TSB and the (apparently) still planned merger of the two.

Finally there is the issue of whether given the current investment environment we should even be investingon the basis of Friday’s closing price anyway? Shrewd investors know how to take advantage of weakness. It will be interesting to see what deal Gordon Brown will have negotiated for us as his track record isn’t the best or perhaps he is already in bed.

Media Trust PR Strategy Seminar 25th September

Very late in the day I know, but for anyone who might still be interested I will be speaking about all things online at the Media Trust PR Strategy and Planning training event, this Thursday 25th September at BBC Broadcasting House.  The Media Trust works with not for profit organisations to support them in their promotional and community engagement activities. Other speakers include Cinzia Marrocco, Head of Communications for Sense, Gerry Hopkinson, Co-founder of Unity PR and Mary Baker, Director of Porter Novelli. The event is being chaired by Gill Dandy, Chair of the CIPR Fifth Estate group. Anybody interested in last minute attendance can find more details and booking information here.

Lucky number 8?

There was a lot of talk during the Olympics about how the Chinese consider the number 8 to be lucky as the word for “8” sounds very similar to wealth. Well following on from my post on Tuesday about financial media language I couldn’t go home without a quick word on today’s events on the stock market. Shares have surged today with the FTSE-100 closing 8.8% up, it’s single biggest gain in a day and for once, unlike my earlier comments, any hyperbole will get no argument from me. In fact surged seems a little conservative, rocketed wouldn’t be overdoing it.

Will this “double 8″ change prove to be lucky? We can only wait and see, but I suspect we may not find out the answer to that question for quite a while yet. In the meantime we may all need to keep a thesaurus close at hand :)