Who? Games producer and writer.
Following: 11.1K on Twitter.
Originally from Aberdeen, Ellison became a full-time writer last year. She started her career as a games tester on Grand Theft Auto IV and worked at Gamestation before the retail chain’s closure. Her industry insight makes her a compelling video-game journalist, yet she writes about the subject in a way that even non-gamers can understand. No surprise that she’s built an impressive following in a male-dominated industry that’s worth an annual £540m to the UK economy.
Who? Vine star and co-founder of GrapeStory.
Following: 4.8m on Vine.
In case you didn’t know, Vine is a mobile app owned by Twitter that allows you to create six-second looping videos. Jarre is not only one of the world’s most famous Vine stars, but he also owns the talent agency (GrapeStory) which represents 19 other stars. The French-born business-school dropout is famous for accosting strangers in the street, attempting to dance with them, serenading them and, sometimes, even playing with their beards – all in six seconds. His catchphrase: “I love life like crazy.”
Who? New York-based YouTuber and comedian.
Following: 1m on YouTube.
Hart, sometimes known as Harto, is most famous for her YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen, in which she attempts to cook something while getting increasingly intoxicated. She’s adored by her million subscribers on YouTube for many reasons, but one of them is how candidly (and hilariously) she has talked about her experience of coming out. From a conservative family, Hart jokes that before she came out she was the most homophobic person she knew. We love her for her honesty.
Who? Photojournalist based in Cairo.
Following: 36K on Twitter.
Mosa’ab Elshamy’s photograph of two Mohamed Morsi supporters carrying the body of man who had been shot in the head was among the most powerful of the Egyptian revolution and its aftermath. His repertoire ranges from current affairs to in-depth socio-economic and cultural photostories and his work has already been seen in Time magazine, the Economist, Foreign Policy magazine and al-Jazeera English. In 2013, Time named the picture as one of its 10 best photos of the year. At 23, Mosa’ab is well placed to document Middle Eastern society – where around 60% of the population is under 30.
Who? Political editor at BuzzFeed UK.
Following: 4.9K on Twitter.
When BuzzFeed UK launched last year, many said its brand of “content creation” wouldn’t suit the UK’s media landscape. Particularly perplexing was how the website would approach its relatively new political offering. Waterson has proved himself a master at combining BuzzFeed-style viral lols with the sometimes dry, grey-suited world of Westminster politics. His best work includes 25 people who are really confused as to why Grant Shapps follows them on Twitter and 21 pictures of politicians in wellies staring at floods. And in the run-up to the 2015 general election, BuzzFeed UK content will be clogging up our newsfeeds even more.
Who? Chief technology officer of new blogging platform Ghost.
Following: 5K on Twitter.
Blogging has transformed journalism, but mainstream blogging software hasn’t changed much in the past decade. John O’Nolan, the 26-year-old former deputy head of the WordPress user interface team, saw that the most popular blogging platforms had become better suited to website-building than to quick, easy publishing. He enlisted Wolfe to help him build a free, opensource platform that didn’t let anything get in the way of writing. The whole team at Ghost deserves to be in this list, but as one of the few female developers making waves out there, Wolfe is in our top 10.
Who? YouTube chefs.
Following: 700K on YouTube, 35.4K on Twitter.
OK, we’re cheating a bit here – there are four of them (Barry, Ben, Jamie and Mike) and all they pretty much do is cook on YouTube but it really works. The Sorted Food YouTube channel promises a mix of “food, recipes, videos and banter” and they have more subscribers than Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay combined: just over 700,000. They’re followed by Barack Obama and David Cameron on Twitter and their recipes range from microwave chocolate cake in a mug to healthy midweek dinners. They are inspiring their young audience to think more about what they eat.
Who? Fashion YouTuber, designer and “vintage extremist”.
Following: 80K on YouTube, 25.8K on Twitter.
Half-British and half-Egyptian, Dina Torkia (her real name) was raised in Cardiff and has made her name as a fashion video blogger, designer and hijab-wearing style icon. Her Instagram account has nearly 181,000 followers and she has a truly international fanbase – from Indonesia to Canada to Dubai. She’s one of the few people talking about fashion for Muslim women – from hijab tutorials to burkini reviews. She is currently working on a range of ready-to-wear designs, which – she has promised her fans – will be launched soon. Needless to say, she rocks the hijab with style.
Who? Owner of SBTV, a YouTube channel and broadcast company.
Following: 146k on Twitter, 409K on YouTube.
It all started with the Christmas gift of a video camera when he was 15. Eight years later, Edwards is worth an estimated £8m. His YouTube channel, SBTV, which stands for Smokey Barz, made its name with films of performances by rappers and MCs in London’s grime scene. The company, which started in his bedroom on a west London council estate, now employs 12 people and has branched out into different genres – a music video they made for squeaky-clean singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has had nearly 8m hits.
Who? Yemeni journalist and campaigner.
Following: 7K on Twitter.
A surprising choice, perhaps. He doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, or a blockbuster YouTube channel and million-dollar sponsorship deal. He doesn’t even have a good internet connection.
But the work of journalist, youth activist and anti-drone campaigner Farea al-Muslimi has taken him on quite a journey. This farmer’s son from the poor Yemeni village of Wessab was invited to appear before a US senate judiciary committee in April last year. Six days before he was due to speak, his village was hit by a US drone.
He subsequently gave a moving first-hand account of the suffering, arguing that the drone strikes were counter-productive in turning people away from the US and towards the insurgents. “What our violent militants had failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant,” he told the senators. Video of his testimony was shared widely on social media.
With the help of a US State Department scholarship, he spent a year at a US high school improving his English, before studying public policy at the American University of Beirut.
“I don’t know if I got into journalism, or if journalism got into me,” he says. Farea started his media life as a local journalist on Yemeni papers, before working as a “fixer” – an assistant and translator for foreign journalists. He was frustrated with the lack of Yemeni voices talking about the country to an international audience. “What is written about Yemen isn’t accurate,” he says. “I decided to channel my frustration and I started to write.”
He wants to improve the representation of Yemen’s rural population. “If you talk to people in the capital city about the problems faced by those in remote towns, it’s like you’re talking about people in another country,” he says. “It’s ironic that it was more possible for me to deliver my voice to the parliament of another country than to the parliament of my own.”
Perhaps surprisingly, he is somewhat sceptical about the power of social media, stressing that the platforms sites such as Twitter are largely meaningful only if you speak English and, more importantly, if you have access to the internet. In his home village of Wessab, there isn’t even electricity.
He says he owes his precocious success to so many people – including those who taught him English and awarded his scholarship money. Nonetheless, Al-Muslimi is the ultimate example of what it’s possible to do if you have an internet connection and a story to tell.
Via: The Guardian