10 Social Media Women That Deserve a Vanity Fair Article 44

Earlier this week, Vanity Fair put out an article featuring 6 women they deemed “America’s Tweethearts”. Each of these women has garnered a significant audience through Twitter and other social media tools… but the main point the article seemed to stress was that these women were physically attractive (in addition to painting them as more than a little “cheerleaderesque.”)

The thing is, I don’t follow any of them on Twitter, and have actually only heard of a few of them. Maybe that’s a sign that I’m not as up on the social media game as I should be. More likely, it’s that their content isn’t what I’m looking for, personally — not because it’s not good, but because it doesn’t fit my interests and needs.

(That said, I saw a video of one of these “Tweethearts” interviewing an executive from an auto company this week that was simply awkward — perhaps “pretty reporter” syndrome has followed women into New Media, too?)

It wasn’t long after checking out the article that I began making a mental list of women — women that I have interacted with through social media, and many in person, too — that understand the unique attributes of social media, and how to use these tools to help businesses and non-profits, and further their own careers.

(They might well own trenchcoats and high heels, too… but how good they look in them doesn’t have much to do with their other skills.)

And so, I present my list of 10 Social Media Women That Deserve a Vanity Fair Article:

Alicia Staley (@stales) is a three-time cancer survivor using Twitter to build her charitable enterprise, The Staley Foundation. She is also a social media activist at WEGO Health, and many other places across the web where people are having important conversations about health care.

Amber Naslund (@ambercadabera) is a smart, crazily organized “social media and marketing crackerjack” who concentrates on effective community management with Radian6. Amber leads by example, and is one of the most thoughtful bloggers in the social media space.

Jennifer Leggio (@mediaphyter) is a high-level thinker (with a strong dose of practicality and down-to-earth perspective) and blogger at ZDNet, an online security pro, and co-host of the quick n dirty podcast. When Jennifer weighs in on a topic, people take note.

Meg Fowler (@megfowler), through her eponymous personal blog and a Twitter stream that, like her, is rarely “on topic” — though when she is “on”, she displays an amazing grasp of marketing and branding strategy — has built a career as a freelance writer from the ground up. (Oh, and she has fantastic taste in men, too. 😉

Rachel Happe (@rhappe) is a connector of ideas and people, and speaks from a place of both vision and practicality. Her extensive enterprise business experience gives her an action-oriented view on community, which she is putting to work with her (and partner Jim Storer’s) Community Roundtable. If you mix Chris Brogan-eque perspective with her metrics-minded advice, you get a powerful 1-2 punch.

Rebecca Corliss (@repcor) has used her passionate love of music and social media to create innovative marketing campaigns for Hubspot. A PR pro by training, she shines in helping teach small businesses use inbound marketing, as displayed in her work spearheading Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing University.

Stefania Butler (@citymama) came to prominence as one of the original parentbloggers at her CityMama site (note: I didn’t say mommyblogger!) and continues to provide wise, sensitive community leadership across that space. You can find her working as a communications pro with her own Clever Girls Collective enterprise.

Tamsen McMahon (@tamadear) is an “intellectual magpie, finding what shines in branding, arts, higher education, and life.” (That’s an awesome Twitter bio! Who could say it better?) She worked for many years helping social organizations build brands, and now she’s helping brands become more social with Sametz Blackstone Associates.

Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) is an independent UX designer, writer and consultant. She is sought after by a wide range of clients for her expertise in, amongst other areas, integrating social functionality into corporate web design. And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she is also a much in-demand speaker in her field.

Zena Weist (@zenaweist) is a blogger, and digital and media pro with experience providing executive leadership in digital start-ups, account management with interactive agencies, and client-side roles in online brand engagement, project management, social media initiatives and web implementation. In other words, she walks the walk, and Zena is also an autism awareness advocate (how’s that for alliteration?)
UPDATE: Great timing, and proof of her business prowess, Zena has just accepted the position of Director of Social and Interactive Media for H&R Block. Congratulations, Zena!

  • http://www.donmartelli.com Don Martelli

    Great, great list man…well done.

  • http://twitter.com/mvolpe Mike Volpe

    Go @Repcor!

  • AmberNaslund

    Gradon, you're a peach. Thank you so much, especially for including me with a list of some outstanding women, many of whom I know and admire (and a few new ones for me to pay attention to). I'm flattered. Thank you. :)

  • http://jimstorer.com jstorerj

    Great list! And thanks for @TheCR shout-out. Rachel's the brains behind the operation. 😉

    Jim | @jimstorer

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Thanks, Don, but all I did was put a list together. It's these 10 women who deserve the credit. :)

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Indeed! And good on you, Mike, for being like a hawk with Hubspot's trackbacks. :)

  • http://twitter.com/rhappe Rachel Happe

    Wow – thank you sir! Great list of smart, interesting women to follow (how did I get there?!? lol) and… isn't that why you follow people in a primarily text-based medium?!? Because they are interesting? A much better/accurate picture for Vanity Fair would have been all of us standing around in business casual attire with our phase in our iPhones/Blackberries :)

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    You're very welcome, Amber!

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    And you're the looks, Jim. I understand. 😉

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Or maybe a group hug, a la Biz & Ev in GQ a couple months ago. :)


  • http://twitter.com/rhappe Rachel Happe

    oh, that made me laugh… maybe we could have Jim dress up in a trench coat and heels? It would make for a rocking good time at #TheCRLive… when's the Hasty Pudding Day parade in Harvard Square?!?!

  • http://twitter.com/rhappe Rachel Happe

    Yes – might send the wrong message to have us all as anti-social as we can sometimes seem in person.

  • http://jimstorer.com jstorerj

    oh, you two are funny……… looking!

  • http://twitter.com/rhappe Rachel Happe

    On a side note… it might get a lot of viral attention to get a few of you manly men to mimic the VC photo shoot. It would be a hoot… and make a point (i.e. no one really wants to see social media men in trench coats and heals without anything else on so why do we need to see women that way?). I would definitely send that around!

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Between that and the tweets about Aaron Strout in ruby red heels, my mental image-maker is on overload!

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Actually, that's a brilliant commentary on the VF article. I'd be open to it — though I don't own a trench.

  • http://uptownuncorked.com geechee_girl

    Good list :) Some of my favorite women / friends

  • http://twitter.com/rhappe Rachel Happe

    The mind does boggle 😉 The only issue is getting everyone in one place… sounds like a SXSW activity!

  • Maria

    Great list! I actually follow most of these people. (I also didn't follow any of the people in the VF article.)

  • http://twitter.com/stales Alicia C. Staley

    Gradon – what a wonderful post. I'm honored to be included with some very brilliant, inspirational women. Well done! Thank you so much!

  • http://twitter.com/repcor Rebecca Corliss

    Gradon! What an honor to be listed among such incredibly accomplished women!

    Thank you for making a list of people recognized for their brains and contributions. <3

  • nwjerseyliz

    Great additions, Gradon. But probably a list of 100 wouldn't be able to include all of the women I think should be on such lists. At least your list, unlike Vanity Fair's, includes some folks who live outside the U.S.! VF's list was all young, all white, all Americans. Talented women on both of your lists but huge blind spots as far as VF is concerned. I think the VF writer only considered people whom she personally followed on Twitter.

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Agreed. I could make individual lists of 10 notable women in each of the respective industries represented above (community management, marketing, nonprofits, etc), and still be lacking many deserving people.

    To be (not overly) fair to the VF writer, my list is based on people I follow, too.

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Agreed. I could make individual lists of 10 notable women in each of the respective industries represented above (community management, marketing, nonprofits, etc), and still be lacking many deserving people.

    To be (not overly) fair to the VF writer, my list is based on people I follow, too.

  • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

    Gradon! Thank you so much for including me among these *incredible* women. I'm so grateful to people like you who give credit to professional women for what they do, not simply how they look.

  • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

    Great counter-point to the over glammed article on VF. Your bias for Meg considered, she is one of the great social media folks we have in Vancouver.

  • http://jamiepappas.typepad.com/ jamiepappas

    Amazing list, Gradon! Thanks for taking the time to so thoughtfully highlight the amazing accomplishments of these women!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mediaphyter Jennifer Leggio

    I'm honored, Gradon. Thank you so much for thinking of me and grouping me with so many impressive women. I think my magazine shoot would be much more real. You know, me at home in my pajamas toiling over my laptop, with a cat meowing nearby. 😉 Good stuff.

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    You're very welcome! As for the photo shoot: It's all about keeping it real, right? :)

  • http://twitter.com/carissao Carissa O'Brien

    Gradon knows a smart lady when he sees one. Thanks for a great list of ladies I know, respect and appreciate, and a couple new ones I'm looking forward to meeting.

  • http://detroit.fwix.com Jamie Favreau

    I think Amber provides leadership in this space and also a ton of insight of how to do things. She is one of my favorite reads as far as strategy goes and setting goals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mlcottingham mlcottingham

    Overall, I agree with your list… except, you're missing my #1, Melanie Notkin (@SavvyAuntie), founder of SavvyAuntie.com – The lifestyle destination for all fabulous, kid-loving women, not just mommies. With over 12,000 Twitter followers, it is clearly not just my opinion that she's the tops.

  • zenaweist

    Gradon, I'm speechless! Thank you for including with this amazing women – many I already look to for advice and inspiration and a few more that I will add to my arsenal.

  • http://www.gradontripp.com gradontripp

    Thanks, Tris, but if I have my way, you'll have one less social media folk in Vancouver pretty soon. 😉

  • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

    Only because she's moving to my hometown is that even moderately okay 😉

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  • greeblemonkey

    Tweeted this last night, but totally agree with your sentiments and your list. I do know some of the ladies in the VF article and thought they were deserving, but didn't care for the “sweetheart” aspect of it.

  • http://www.mommaontherocks.blogspot.com/ Jenn Belden

    I agree this IS a great list – these are amazing women, as well.

    However, please consider the fact that Vanity Fair did these women a great injustice by giving the article a definite cheerleader-esque spin. The picture was pretty, now people know their name, but a more realistic article would have included the work they have done and how they use Twitter to do it.

    But then again, that would be more like Forbes, not Vanity Fair. Who obviously went for fluff, not meat.

    BTW, Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans) also made Forbes' 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter, invesp's Top 100 Most Influential Marketers of 2009 and ereleases' 30 PR Experts to Follow on Twitter.

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  • gimmy0001

    Hi people,
    Well I am new here and really enjoyed reading the article. Do keep us update with some more great articles.

  • CristianStar

    You could easily become a media trainer if you would want that. I think that many people would join your classes and with all the technology today, a video conference could gather many. many people.

  • CristianStar

    You could easily become a media trainer if you would want that. I think that many people would join your classes and with all the technology today, a video conference could gather many. many people.

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  • http://suedepumps.livejournal.com Suede Pumps

    I’ll back again for sure, thanks for great article 😀