The Most Influential Technical Communicator Bloggers

The Technical Communicator community has many influential bloggers. Yet for an industry known for its communication skills, we were surprised by the lack of social media experience even among the elite. Astonishing, given the nature of the industry. I suspect that will change as Technical Communicators become more comfortable with today’s communication tools.

In compiling our ranking of the most influential Technical Communicator bloggers, we chose a variety of metrics to measure influence. Our Most Influential Blogger (MIB) formula consists of a weighted average across a range of metrics including Alexa, Klout Influence, Google Page Rank, Technorati Authority, and Twitter Followers.

In determining which bloggers are most influential the following criteria needed to be met:

  1. The individual needed to have a blog with regular updated posts.
  2. The blogger needed to have external activity on 3rd party sites like Twitter for additional influence points.
  3. The blogger’s focus needed to be Technical Communication subject matter

The MIB formula illustrates how much influence the individual has in relation to the other bloggers. These thought leaders were first scored for influence then compared to one another to create the top 25 ranking. For example, Scott Abel would have been the most influential had he been more active on Twitter.

Although Abel has 4437 followers, he is not active enough and does not engage others to promote his influence. According to Klout, “@scottabel needs to engage more with others or be more active to gain influence.”

The Top 25 Most Influential Bloggers in Technical Communications

MindTouch Names the Top 25 Most Influential Tech Comms!

The Top 25 in detail

Keep in mind the rankings are relative to the others on the list. That means everyone on the list has a much higher influence than the average active Technical Communicator Blogger. Note, most of the five dimensions that make up the MPV were taken in the last 3 days.

RankNameAlexaGoogle Page RankTechnorati AuthorityKlout ScoreTwitter Followers
1RJ Jacquez150,000*6637483582
2Tom Johnson91,1085432301274
3Scott Abel551,16371134437
4Sarah O’Keefe1,175,0005025599
5Ellis Pratt1,433,0005027642
6Anne Gentle1,234,176510014981
7Aaron Davis and Scott Nesbitt**1,484,662411529425
8Sarah Maddox1,487,000510024328
9Rhonda Bracey447,462443418156
10Gordon McLean1,968,396511220215
11Simon Bate1,175,0005015123
12Bill Swallow11,200,0004027985
13Alan Pringle1,175,00050087
14Ben Minson2,380,000442016143
15Colum McAndrew2,399,0004113344
16Julie Norris4,101,0003031426
17Paul Pehrson1,885,933419192
18Rahul Prabhakar3,534,000416655
19Ivan Walsh1,492,00020141745
20Tristan Bishop5,601,2840044846
21Matt Sullivan8,694,0006011295
22Bill Albing533,190308195
23Craig Haiss1,476,0004100044
24David Farbey3,846,000410479
25Alistair Christie1,026,00031080101

* Since the blog was located on a URL with other blogs, we triangulated traffic data on RJ’s blog to determine an approximate Alexa rank

** Since we could not distinguish Aaron from Scott on their blog or Twitter, we included them both

Follow the top 25 on Twitter with one click RJ Jacquez from Adobe narrowly emerged as the most influential over Johnson and Abel primarily due to his Klout score and Twitter use. He is well connected within the community and always has an engaged audience on his Technical Communication and eLearning blog.

Honorable Mentions

Larry Kunz, Julio Vazquez, Janet M. Swisher, Edward Martino, Keith Soltys, Miriam Lottner, Susan Wu, Rachel Houghton, Peggy Harvey, Rachel Peters, Edward VanArsdall, Kai Weber, Gautam Soman, Chris Borokowski, Andrew Brooke and Bill Kerschbaum just missed making the list only to be outdone by their more social media savvy peers. Did we miss anyone? What did we get wrong? Please give us your thoughts by commenting below.

Are you one of the Top 25 “Most Influential Technical Communicators”?

Add one of these badges to your site or blog to let people know that you are one of the most influential bloggers in Technical Communication.

MindTouch Most Influential Technical Communication Bloggers

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MindTouch Most Influential Technical Communication Bloggers

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MindTouch Most Influential Technical Communication Bloggers

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70 Comments

  1. Heh, I like the pencil-wielding robot badge. Thanks for putting this list together!

  2. Oh, wow – an honorable mention, how cool! :-)

  3. Great post! It seems like there's a really strong groundswell going on – with MindTouch playing a big part, thanks – to increase the strategic value of technical communicators (thanks for not calling us just doc writers!). Seeing who has the biggest megaphones helps us all. keep up the great work.

    • Chip: Good point. Writing is not what we do…we communicate and we more often (today, at least) have to consider the type of communication, how the audience will consume the content, and many other factors. I'm glad the founders of the STD had the wisdom to call our largest member organization the "Society for Technical Communication" and not the "Society for Technical Writing". Now if we can just get many of the die-hard writers to realize this….alas, times, they are a changing.

  4. Thanks for compiling this list, I'm honoured to be included in such illustrious company!

  5. Mark,

    Thanks for the mention on the list and, by extension, the vote of confidence. Aaron and I are delighted and honoured to be in such good and interesting company!

    >Since we could not distinguish Aaron from Scott on their blog or Twitter, we included them both

    It's a team blog and a team feed, so we're kind of indistinguishable in those venues. In case you're wondering, in the photo in your montage Aaron is on the right and I'm the guy with the goofy smile on the left

  6. Wow, I'm honored! Congratulations to all my esteemed peers!

  7. Wow! I'm honored to even be on the Honorable Mentions list!

  8. Thanks for the honorable mention – this section should have included everyone's links too!

  9. Good list. I'd like to see more detail on how the rankings were calculated. Next time, I'd like to suggest some additional items to measure influence:
    - Bookmarks on delicious, stumbleupon, etc.
    - Fans/likes on Facebook
    - # of incoming links from other bloggers/tweeters in the top 25
    - avg number of comments per post (one possible measurement of influence and engagement)

    Tx!

  10. These are good suggestions Rick. I'll try to incorporate next time. The difficult part is finding all of the information you've listed above and making sense of it.

  11. What a lovely surprise to be jealously reading Colum's blog post about his place on this list…only to find myself there as well! Thanks for the invitation to include our personal links in these comments & I'll be writing my own blog (brag) post about it later today!
    http://blogs.roundpeg.com/
    @mattrsullivan

  12. Honoured and hugely flattered! Look out Rhonda and Sarah, I'm coming after ya!

  13. What an honour! Thank you for mentioning me and my blog and for compiling the MIB formula. It's a very interesting exercise. Thank you too for the badge, which my blog now sports with pride and pleasure. :)
    Cheers, Sarah

  14. I was pleasantly surprised to see my name here. What makes it even more special is that I am the only Indian in the list. Thank you so much! And congratulations to my fellow technical communicators from all across the globe :)

  15. Way cool! It's an honor to appear in such great company, and I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this list. Congrats, fellow bloggers!

    I agree with Anne, that robot badge rocks! I'm gettin' one. ;o)

  16. I'm honoured and humbled to be listed in such illustrious company! And thanks for the badge, which is proudly displayed on my blog now.

  17. Nice to see many familiar names in the list. You all definitely deserved this honor. I've just posted this on StumbleUpon.

    @Anne & Craig: I also like the robot on badge. He reminds me of the droid in our logo. :)

  18. You guys are smart. Really smart! Your list is s brilliant idea for so many reasons. Thanks for honoring me. I look forward to learning more about your products and the direction you are heading.

    But, Twitter? Really? That's so 2009. Where are the Facebook influencing factors? It's the largest social network in the world and one giant influence-fest. And, no Linkedin factors? Not even "recommendations" or something? Anything? LOL

    Maybe next year you'll find a way to dump the outdated "Alexa" scores (which are so meaningless, in my view) and the Google page rank (which measures my blog but not my influence nor any place else I guest blog, write articles, contribute content). This is the same for everyone on the list. I'm not bitchin', just sayin'. :)

    Everything is changing so quickly it's difficult to keep up. The metrics we desire today often aren't available until many tomorrows later. I'm very impressed you took the initiative and reached out to the technical communicators you are trying to reach and engaged them in way that got their attention. So many software and services firms struggle for years to do what you did in just one effort. Kudos. Brilliant. <trigger applause sign now!>

    Now, that the fun part is over — let's see what you got! Anyone up for a demo? I've got clients who really need a flexible authoring environment … and I have to say, if they could create a site as beautiful, well-organized, and useful as your website, they'd be elated.

    You do use your own software to create your website…don't you? (just checkin')

    Scott Abel
    The "third place" Content Wrangler <– LOL

    • I may need to consult you on next years MIB formula Scott. And yes we do use our own software :-)

    • Scott's comments about using other/better metrics pretty much echos my sentiments from earlier. Regarding the focus on Twitter, I've come to the realization that I may be doing it all wrong… http://bit.ly/d426wc

    • Agreed, Alexa is useless. Facebook is hard to factor. LinkedIn is a great idea. All in all though, I think it's clear this is a really solid and credible list.

      Yes, MindTouch is powered by MindTouch. As for Demo…I'd like to have every person on this list to participate in the coming year in a webinar and communicate the importance of Tech Comm. What about a Tech Comm podcast? Who's running one? Every one in this post should be highlighted.

  19. Contracts RJ, Scott et al!

    BTW, if anyone wants to meet these people in person, three of the top four (and several others on the list, plus Mark Fidelman) will be speaking at LavaCon 2.0: The Conference on Digital Media and Content Strategies in San Diego in September: http://lavacon.org

  20. I can see it now: this list will become an annual competition in the community. For the experienced writers who don't blog/tweet enough (raises hand), getting on this list is something to strive for as well. Thanks for putting this together.

    • I'll consult with all of you on how we measure influence for next year's list. I'd like to hear some ideas from all of you on how to measure Facebook influence on Tech Comm (I can't conceive of a way due to it's focus on many areas, but let's discuss). And LinkedIn, you may have recommendations, but maybe they are unrelated to Tech Comm.

      Again, love to hear your thoughts on improving the formula. I believe we got it right this year, but we always want to improve.

  21. I found this, Bulk page Rank Checker, Download Here for free
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  22. As a novice writer looking to break into technical writing, I'm so glad to find such an active community of technical writing bloggers. I've subscribed to many of them in the hope that I can learn from the best. I really appreciate everyone's efforts.Congrats!

  23. It certainly came as a surprise to see my name on a list of “influential” technical communicators.
    http://mindtouch.com/blog/2010/07/29/the-most

    Of course, they are giving me credit for a lot of what is done at KeyContent.org, which is only partly due to me. A large part of the credit must go to Rick Sapir who has contributed a lot as well, and without his work, the site would not be up and running. Together with Sherry Steward and Ann-Marie Grissino, we have kept up the web site for KeyContent.org for many years now.

    I hope to be doing more blogging (and communicating in general) about the profession. There is much to say; the profession is facing so many challenges as the way we communicate changes. From user generated content and social media to content strategy, information architecture, and content management systems, the very act of communicating is getting amplified and scrutinized as never before.

    If I can help articulate the direction things are going, or at least describe where we, as professionals, are going, I will have served the professional community well and paid them back for the recognition acknowledged in this ranking. Thanks to Mark Fidelman for the wake-up call to start blogging in earnest.

    I have always thought of myself as an Explorer. Mark’s blog called my attention to my Klout Classification. I’m glad to hear that someone else also thinks I’ll “be moving up”.

  24. Everyone is invited to check out what Julio Vazquez and yours truly are blogging over at the SDI website. Maybe not influential, but still worth a read.

    With 25 names in the list and 14 honorable mentions, it looks like the numbers above 39 are up for grabs. I'll take 42. You don't need much else when you've got the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

  25. Brilliant – to the list and the blog! Great – both fronts!

  26. I am grateful to be named alongside so many incredible industry icons. Thank you, Mark, for giving our profession this additional recognition. Technical Writers (called "Information Developers" where I work) have been making a powerful impact on customers for many years. Your acknowledgement shines light onto our collective progress. I like to think of us all, collectively – not just those on this list – as "Team Techcomm", out there saving the day for our readers in their moments of need.

  27. Hey I got it, http://pagerank.softsutra.com/ to Check fast bulk pagerank of websites…

  28. Many thanks for the honorable mention!

  29. Thanks for this awesome list. But Larry Kunz, and Julio Vasquez are most certainly influential and belong here somewhere. Does a blog not count if it's on a corporate website? Doesn't seem right.

  30. Thank you for coming up with the measurement criteria, reviewing my blog and online presence, and adding me to your list. It's indeed an honor, and I'm most appreciative.

  31. Many thanks to Mark Fidelman and MindTouch, Inc, for taking the time to highlight the positive impact and the importance of Social Media in our Technical Communications industry. I'm honored to be on this list among great company. Thank You!

  32. Breaking News: Also see MindTouch and LavaCon's new list, The Top 25 Most Influential Content Strategists.

    Who do you think are in the Top 10?

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