Britain’s top 10 tech celebs
1. Neil Gaiman (SCORE: 77)
Now based in Minnesota, England-born Gaiman is most famous for his Sandman series of comics. And, as it happens, he’s also one of the funniest men on Twitter. Following on from a slightly surreal flow of tweets about arming squirrels, he said: “Off to bed. If squirrels take over in the night, I, for one, welcome our new bushy-tailed scampering overlords, & I know where the nuts are.”
He’s quick to respond to interesting tweets, which is one of the reasons he’s accrued more than half-a-million followers. This is also a reflection of his reputation as a “rock star of the literary world”, a status he’s living up to now that he’s dating Amanda Palmer of rock group The Dresden Dolls.
Despite being a prolific writer (and tweeter), he still finds time to write around 20 detailed blogs each month and although you can’t comment directly on posts, Neil often incorporates email correspondents’ messages into the blog – a level of interaction that the likes of Andy Murray (23rd in our list) would do well to note.
And, just to underline his chart-topping status, there’s more than a hint of the geek about Neil too. He’s been blogging since 2001, takes a mean photograph with his omnipresent camera, and is clearly hopelessly addicted to the internet.
2. Dave Gorman (SCORE: 75)
Fame, Dave Gorman will be relieved to know, isn’t everything. In fact, you could argue it’s Dave Gorman’s relative lack of fame (compared to, say, Stephen-on-blinking-everything-Fry) that keeps him so grounded. Not for him a lackey to update his blog and Twitter feed – can he even afford a lackey, we ask ourselves? – because you can tell every entry is crafted by the man himself.
One of the things that lifts Gorman above most others is his sheer approachability
One of the things that lifts Gorman above most others is his sheer approachability. Readers who respond to his Twitter feed or blog have every chance of receiving replies, and he’s even involving a number of them as “human GPS systems” for his round-the-country cycle ride – if you know the route from Wycombe to Cambridge, say, then you can keep him company for that stretch.
With around ten Twitter updates per day, and almost 40,000 followers, he’s a signed-up member of the Twitterati, but quite aside from this he’s an unabashed geek. You’ll find his finely tuned photos sitting on his blog, casual mentions of Google Maps and “real” satnav for planning his UK tour by bike, and even proper insight into technological issues – such as why being “interactive” on Twitter isn’t actually anything to do with how many people you follow
He was also smart enough not to be rebuffed by BT’s support desk when his broadband went down for five days. When all else failed, he took his complaint to the CEO of BT – and within hours, miracle of miracles, the problem was fixed.