On Sunday night I published a piece I had been working on for weeks – The Top 100 Digital Influencers In Ireland For 2016.
I (Ali Ryan, CEO and Editor) had thought about doing this list over a month ago because of the enormous rise of ‘Digital Influencers’ in Ireland – on this tiny island we have a huge group of bloggers, Instagram stars, Snapchatters, Content Creators and so on.
Since I published the list there has been a lot of questions over whether we as a publication had a right to decide the Top 100, and we have been questioned over and over again to why we picked the people we did.
I didn’t think I had to put it in black and white why I chose who I did, why I left out people that I did, but when the readers speak I listen and clearly people want to know.
The criteria for this list was about one main thing: INFLUENCE. This doesn’t mean large followers or celebrity status it simply means these are the strongest people influencing their audience within the digital realm.
For example I included some competitors on my list, other people running media publications, because they deserved their place there.
Sites like JOE.ie, Pundit Arena, Waterford Whispers and Lovin Dublin are all influencing their readers, creating trends, sharing viral content that we all consume every day (much more than traditional media these days).
Then we’ve got a lot of beauty, fashion, travel and lifestyle bloggers in there – whether you like it or not these people have influenced a serious amount of their followers (maybe even you) to book that holiday, buy that dress, wear that jumper…
Suzanne Jackson and Joanne Larby have created full careers from their influence, selling books, creating beauty brands – if that’s not an example of influence I don’t know what is.
Marissa Carter has built a hugely successful beauty brand which has gone global and has hundreds and thousands of loyal followers across social media, not just following the brand, but following her.
Then we’ve got someone like Blindboy Boatclub from the Rubberbandits – not typically what you would describe as a ‘digital influencer’ but he certainly is.
Through the Rubberbandits’ social media pages he is influencing hundreds and thousands of people, people that are all heavily engaging and are really listening.
Then there’s someone like Erika Fox aka Retro Flame I mean she is an inspiration to anyone trying to get into the digital game, she has literally changed her entire life, moved half way across the world – and she can now blog full time because of the influence she has worked so hard to create.
And let’s talk about Conor McGregor, not only is his name constantly trending worldwide after he shares a single tweet or posts an Instagram, he also just set up his own website following his every move: influencer at it’s best.
There are business owners on this list, best-selling authors, musicians, cooks – you name it. This list is nothing but a celebration, and it’s something we will do every year.
I could go through every single person on this list and explain why they are there in exact detail, but I shouldn’t have to.
It was in no way a ‘these are the only good people in the industry’ post, I took out and put people back in dozens of times, really the list should have been 200, but it wasn’t, it was 100.
There aren’t enough publications out there truly believing in and supporting the people working in digital – be it an ‘influencer’ by trade, a blogger, a website owner, a Snapchat Star or someone using their status to influence people online.
We are trying to change that attitude, I am trying to change that attitude, and with the original post sparking a lot of conversation (good and bad) I think we’re off to a good start.