Though the Bay Area is the first California destination most people associate with the tech industry, Los Angeles is an up-and-comer in the field, with a lot of exciting ideas and companies coming out of the Southland. In social media, terms, LA clearly has a certain set of voices that rise above the rest. These are the top 10 most powerful, influential and well-connected tech and Twitter personalities in LA. Because Silicon Valley is great and all. But, thanks in large part to these particular people, the LA tech scene is quickly catching up - and with much better weather to boot. [And let's stop calling it "Silicon Beach," folks. There are many many great tech companies in LA that aren't located in Santa Monica. Like Ranker!]
Drew Olanoff is the former Director of Community for textPlus and current director of community management for Get Satisfaction, with 15,000 followers on his Twitter account @thatdrew .
Olanoff is most famous for turning his personal battle with cancer into a massive social media campaign that raised money and awareness for cancer research and charities, including Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Livestrong . In a well known publicity drive, he auctioned off his old Twitter username @Drew to comedian Drew Carey, netting a million dollars for the charity.
Today, Drew Olanoff continues to be a social media celebrity, with speaking engagements, interviews and - of course - his day job at Get Satisfaction. And, even though he is in remission, people continue to #BlameDrewsCancer, just as he continues to raise awareness about the disease and the many efforts to stop it. see more on Drew Olanoff
Mark Horvath was homeless in Hollywood a little over a decade ago. Now, he runs invisiblepeople.tv , a multi-platform social media and web-based effort to bring attention, awareness and aid to homeless people around the country.
Horvath is as well known for his hands-on approach to helping people as he is for capturing engaging, affecting interviews and broadcasting them to an audience that includes 9,180 followers on his Twitter account @HardlyNormal .
Founders of the discontinued LA tech and social media mainstay LaLaWag , Sean Percival and his wife Laurie Percival are the quintessential LA tech power couple.
Percival is a former VP at Myspace, and has been personally involved in most of the major moments in the LA tech scene. He's a web developer and a web personality, with a unique and comprehensive take on the entire local tech world. And, of course, with over 12,000 Twitter followers, he's clearly an influencer to boot.
From Mahalo to LAUNCH to This Week In , Jason Calacanis is one of the most prolific entrepreneurs in the LA tech scene. He's bluntly honest, sometimes to the point of being controversial, but he's always intelligent, ahead of the curve and well-spoken.
With over 100,000 followers on his @Jason Twitter account, Calacanis remains clearly a vibrant voice in the local tech scene, not to mention a bit of a startup guru.
#86 on Famous People Named Jasonsee more on Jason Calacanis
Mark Frauenfelder started as an editor at Wired back in 1993. Now, he's a co-editor at Boing Boing and the editor in chief of MAKE magazine. As a blogger, editor and illustrator, he's got his hands in all manner of media.
Based in Studio City, Frauenfelder has over 16,000 followers on his Twitter account @Frauenfelder , who hang on his every word about everything from AP Style to new advances in auto-tune apps for the family dog. see more on Mark Frauenfelder
Erin Kotecki Vest & Marsha Collier
This one's a two-fer. In order to keep the list to the nice, round number of ten, I had to combine two of the brightest, most business-savvy women in the LA tech scene into one power-packed punch of an entry. But don't get it twisted. These are two of the most important influencers in the LA tech scene, and together, these two could probably take over the world.
As Political Director and Special Projects Producer for BlogHer, Erin Kotecki Vest is a major name in social media, working to make politicians and policy more connected to communities and constituents through social media and technology.
As @QueenOfSpain , she has over 19,000 followers who appreciate her uniquely authentic take on politics, blogging, motherhood, media and more. She's a fixture at conferences and panels, and a powerful voice and role model for women on the web.
Marsha Collier is a brilliant author and businesswoman who has written a number of "For Dummies" books about eBay and social media. She's an expert at making technology accessible and engaging for everyone, as well as a prolific connector, creator and curator of great web-based content.
Marsha makes regular appearances at conferences, panels and radio shows, where she shares her incredible wisdom about the intersections of business, technology and customer service. She's also a major social media influencer, with over 26,000 followers and her own regular Twitter chat, #custserv.
Longtime entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, Suster is a fixture in the upper echelons of the LA tech scene. With over 14,000 people following his words of wisdom on Twitter @MSuster , Suster does a fantastic job of opening up the business side of the tech industry in a way that is understandable and accessible to all. He's also at the heart of many of LA tech's major ventures, and his passion for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship is contagious, making him a major influencer and connector.
Jessica’s web-savvy began years ago as an eBay-er. She transitioned into the wonderful world of blogging, contributing "thoughtful consumerism" to Celsias.com and EcoChildsPlay.com. She is currently a panelist on momversation.com. Oh, and she’s one of Forbes 14 Power Women to follow on Twitter and #16 in Babble’s Top 50 Mom Bloggers.
@JessicaGottlieb has over 16,000 followers who love her unique brand of irreverent, authentic witticisms about her family, her friends, her tech finds and her life as a professional blogger and influencer.