The Top 50 Digital #PowerPlayers14 in #ukhousing



You want to get to the list don’t you? 

Hold on. It’s coming.  

Before you look at the Top 50 influencers please read this guest post from Shirley Ayres who kindly agreed to collaborate with me on #powerplayers14.

For me…it sums up perfectly what it’s all about….

When the first Power Players 50 list was published I was surprised and complimented to be included.The list was intended as light hearted fun but the interest generated in who was included and why sparked a very lively debate.

I was delighted to be invited by Paul to collaborate on the #powerplayers14 list and we agreed that we needed to widen the criteria. We accept that Klout is an imperfect algorithm so added in scores from PeerIndex. We also invited public nominations. You can read the criteria we used here.

We wanted to create a different kind of list celebrating the diversity of people with an interest in housing who are using social media to connect, inspire and challenge.

We were particularly keen to encourage nominations for people working in and around the sector and we were pleasantly surprised by the diversity. 140 different people were nominated.

Digital technology has democratised access to information and created very different ways of enabling people to connect and share resources, thoughts and opinion. We live in a digitally connected world and in the crowded social space online influence is becoming increasingly important.

Influencers select, share and create content around topics which attract diverse audiences and offer real opportunities to drive action and effect change.

At a time when the housing sector is having to redefine their core mission and purpose, online engagement can amplify voices and offer alternative views to those presented by the mainstream media. Influencers are passionate about their interests and have invested time to grow and develop trust with those following on their social networks.

We all have access to a wide range of social media tools. It’s what individuals do with the tools that is important. Shared experiences on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and  blogs are valuable in earning trust over time.

Possibly the term power players is a bit of a misnomer in this context and a more appropriate term is super connectors. The housing sector is at an early stage of recognising the potential of social media to make new connections which are not limited by sector boundaries. It’s a potential for new collaborations , with the active involvement of customers in the development of new services.

Becoming a social business often requires a cultural mindshift which goes beyond thinking that social media is just a communications channel. People increasingly expect that organisations will not just reach out but also listen to them. The nominations for power players represented a cross section of people who are building connected communities and and modelling how social technologies can creatively help housing associations build new networks.

I believe that we need more opportunities to inspire staff and people who use services from across housing, care, health, charities and social enterprises to collaborate in exploring how to embed digital innovations as an integral part of the support available within every community.

Power players are by nature engagers and connectors who understand that social media is about connecting with people.

If we are battling for hearts and minds we need ambassadors who understand the issues at every level of the housing sector and are able to contribute to debates.

This list represents the new world of housing associations


So that’s the list! Congratulations to everyone who was nominated.

A diverse range of people and interests.

There are substantially more CEOs present than last year – a sign of social being taken more seriously?

Notably 7 of the Top 10 are women.

We’d love to get as many of your thoughts, congratulations or disagreements as possible in the comments below.

Do you agree with the list? Any omissions? Who should get special mention at the House Party awards for significant contributions?

Over to you….

Update: If you would like to follow a Twitter List featuring all the final 50 click here. Thanks to Jarrod Williams for this.


42 thoughts on “The Top 50 Digital #PowerPlayers14 in #ukhousing

  1. Reblogged this on Connecting Social Care and Social Media and commented:
    Congratulations to the Top 50 Digital #PowerPlayers14 in #ukhousing it is certainly a fascinating and diverse list. Last year David Cameron was number one, this year @HelReynolds is top of the list. It was a complex and challenging exercise but most importantly it showed how social media is encouraging new and different voices to contribute and inform debates about the role of housing associations in the 21st century. A comment made yesterday at the Housing Goes Digital event offers a wonderful vision. “Housing 2.0 would concentrate on building communities not just houses” I passionately believe that housing, health and social care need to collaborate much more closely to support communities in identifying and building on their strengths. The people recognised in the #powerplayers14 list are at the forefront of thinking differently and radically about how social media could make this can happen. If we undertake this exercise next year I hope there will be a larger number of community voices included. What is becoming very clear is the role of social technology as a game changer in making connected care a reality.

    1. Thanks Shirley. What’s pleasing about things like this is the new connections that are being made. I have heard a few people accuse these type of lists of being backslapping or navel gazing.

      But the huge interest – over 300 views in an hour – swiftly moves into people following new people. And as you note in the blog – it’s this spread of ideas and information that has the power to amplify voices and effect social change.

  2. Genuinely shocked, and absolutely chuffed, to make this list – even more so to be in the top 20! It’s lovely to be recognised by some truly brilliant digital champions here – thanks so much everyone – and thanks to you Paul, and Shirley, for making this happen.

  3. Well I am utterly delighted and very amazed to be on this list, never mind number one!

    Special thanks Paul and Shirley for creating a real debate around the role of digital and social conversations and networks to strengthen the UK housing sector.

    I’d decided to fight imposter syndrome this month and then I go and top a list of a sector I admire, champion, but don’t work for!

    I need to diet a fair bit before I can literally navel gaze but I’ll ensure I use any extra visibility I gain from being on the list to do good things and help anyone who wants it in #UKHousing.

    And now to the booze cabinet to celebrate 🙂

    1. Thanks Helen – what a lovely comment! I’m not going to embarrass you but there are important lessons here about being social and spreading a message. Well done – it couldn’t be more deserved.

  4. Blimey! Haven’t been on a list since (insert your own joke here) and so high up it too, well 32, what do you mean it counts down?

    Is that mid table security? Or as @johnpopham says 34 really?

    Thanks for all those who voted for me, and more importantly shouted about social housing, why it’s needed more than ever and took on the @Channel4 trolls

    Every time I do I turn out as a resource investigator so I’m delighted to be thought of as
    a connector mind you I started out as a conductor #onthebuses

    Finally as it’s Friday time for some music #powerplayers14

    PS where’s RobG @simplicitly whose understated blogs and powerful tweets make me more determined

    1. Thanks Tim – one of things I’m most pleased about in this years list is it highlighted the campaigns. I pick this up in my 24 Housing piece. From SHOUT to Council Homes Chat to Housing Stories to Housing Goes Digital – there is very strong representation from the people making change happen. As ever with these things – there’s not room for everyone who deserves it.

  5. Incredible work guys! Really honoured & rather humbled. Amazing to see so many new diverse faces ..

    1. Agree Immy and really important to see housing extending beyond bricks and mortar into social innovation! Well done to you Tessy and the gang

    1. Love this John. And what I like about things like #dogcast is it demonstrates the accessible nature of social media. If you can do a post walking the dog you can’t use the excuse “I don’t have time for social”….

  6. WOW…

    Not often I am speechless! And adapting to 140 characters I always thought impossible but I love social media and the connectivity, conversations, opening of doors, new relationships and ideas … It makes sense so to be nominated for this is just brilliant. Being recognised for something you love doing and know makes sense is a double bonus!

    I am off for a cup of tea (Yorkshire trait) and to reflect and compose my thoughts and response….. So many fab people in this list who I admire and aspire to be like…. Pinch pinch..

    Paul, Shirley, everyone… This is a great initiative for 1,000,001 reasons but it also highlights what a big difference effective social media can make! Thanks for making it happen 😄

    1. Well deserved Lisa! And I’m noting the high level of CEO representation from the North of England. Interesting. Maybe it will become known as the ‘Nick Atkin Effect’.

  7. I am delighted by the very positive response to the #powerplayers14 list. I thought it would be helpful to share some of our thinking in determining who would be included in the list.

    We decided to make this a UK wide list because we do not believe that social influence is constrained by country boundaries. Of course anyone is free to establish their own list but this would have the same impact and we are keen to encourage wider connections and collaborations.

    Having an adjudicator from outside of the the housing sector but who is very familiar with the issues was an important guarantee of independence for the list.

    In the spirit of openness and sharing which is an important element of social media we would encourage more transparency about the criteria used for inclusion in a list to be adopted by organisations preparing similar lists.

    I love this comment from Shaun Tymon in response to my question about why he thought there had been such a phenomenal level of interest in the #powerplayers14 list:

    ‏@ShaunTymon (1) anyone can be on it, (2) SM based list inevitably SM interest & (3) great respect for the authors

    1. It was a fun and exciting process. It has made a lot of people think about digital. Those mentioned are generous and kind as well as connected. I have made lots of new friends and contacts through Twitter. And my blog Fabrickated!

    2. I too love the comment from Shaun Tymon. And I think ‘anyone can be on it’ goes to the heart of why social media influence is so interesting. They can. The 2015 Power Players (or Super Connectors) list could be completely different.

  8. Nice list!

    Agree with previous comments that it’s nice to see a good variety of people of all ages, of all ranks, of all professions from a wide geographical area. As also previously pointed out it’s good to see people who have stepped up and ran some campaigns getting a mention.

    You can always throw criticisms at lists like this for being A) Ego boosting pat on the back festival or B) Flawed based on numerous objective factors but the key thing that I like about this is that it celebrates the online social movement within housing and thats a good thing. If it inspires a few more people to get online / put a bit more effort into social then it’s worth doing and I believe a list like this will do that.

    Well done to everyone involved.

    Lots of love,

    18th Biggest PowerPlayer in Housing 2014 (or as I prefer to say, the number 1 PowerPlayer in housing who has a beard.)

    1. Thanks Thom – I’m looking for some award categories for House Party so the beard might yet prove decisive.

  9. Congratulations. As a novice and newcomer to social media I am very pleased and dead chuffed to be one place behind Tim Morton.(As you know we are never seen in the same place together) When Paul Taylor announced the list I tweeted that most lists failed to reflect the diversity in housing and beyond. Paul asked me to wait and see. Therefore I am delighted that 7 of the top 10 are women and that in the main the list reflects a wider diversity. Including if I may say age!! If as Shirley says connection is the name of the game, I thank you all for making me feel a little more connected. I guess I would add that there needs to be a point to the connection and mine is still to campaign for the traditional values of the housing sector delivered in new and innovative ways. Once again congratulations to all who appear on the list and to those who made it possible. I feel honoured to be among you.

    1. Thanks Tom – one of the best things about this list is , as Shaun Tymon has said, anyone can be on it. You have people who are self confessed novices alongside highly experienced bloggers. CEOs next to people at the beginning of their careers. If you have something to say and can take people with you – anyone can be a connector of people and ideas.

  10. First up I’m very pleased to be on this list. I’m definitely going to share it on my Facebook and I’ll probably show my Mum and Dad the magazine version.

    I’m seriously chuffed and grateful to be number 38 from a very impressive list of the digital greats.

    But with power comes responsibility. So I thought instead of just basking in the glory of being number 38 I’d actually sit down and commit to ‘paper’ what I’m going to do to live up to being a ‘PowerPlayer’.

    So here are my pledges as a #PowerPlayers14..

    1. Love this pledge Rae and it’s given Shirley and I the idea to ask other people for their pledges for the year ahead. Looks like the start of a movement….

  11. I would agree with everyone’s comments, it is good to see a wide spectrum of people, from diverse backgrounds, on the list. Speaking as a non professional but independent board member on a division with over 12,000 homes as part of the Riverside Group, I do hope other board members (tenants, residents or like me independents) will be encouraged to find a voice on social media and I am truly flatted to be number thirty.

    Big thanks to Paul and Shirley for all their hard work, on what must have been, such a big effort with no mention of themselves.

    Best Wishes


    1. Great comment William. One potential downside of the list is that it risks creating the idea of a “digital elite”. I don’t believe this happens in practice but it’s worth reminding ourselves – as you have pointed out- that there are huge numbers of tenants, board members and staff who don’t use social media.

      I agree it should be a priority of all us of to help those people find their voice too.

  12. There are some fantastic communicators doing great work for the #ukhousing cause – and social housing in particular – in the digital top 50. I’m just bimbling along doing my thing as and when the mood takes and time allows – so I’m surprised and delighted to find myself in among them. Thanks to Paul and Shirley for all their work compiling the list. 🙂

  13. No problem Alex – it’s great to see how well Housing bloggers have done. Also interesting that 35 of the final 50 do have a blog of their own – all contributing to the narrative around housing in very different ways.

    Thanks for commenting.

  14. Blimey that was a pleasant shock!

    I am truly surprised and also very humbled to be included on a list with so many other people who I respect and learn so much from. The digital world has provided me with the opportunity to learn from so many people who I previously would never have had the opportunity to make contact with.

    I have to confess to feeling like a fraud. All I do is try to emulate others around me who I see leading the way and follow in their wake. Unsurprisingly a large number of them also feature on this listing.

    What is clear is that the world has fundamentally changed. We have both talked before about whether 2014 does finally become the year that the housing world follows the lead from other sectors in understanding how digital can revolutionise both the customer experience and service offer. It also offers the potential to totally transform how organisations work. With the onset of developments such as the £30 tablet and big data, technology has truly become affordable and offers possibilities that didn’t previously exist just 12 or 18 months ago.

    Digital also enables organisations and their services to be more human. As Peter Kay says about garlic bread, it’s the future!

    The only downside is that for me personally the only way is down! However if that’s because #ukhousing has raised its digital game then it’s a fall I’m happy to take!

    Here’s to #powerplayers15 and what will doubtlessly be very different again!

  15. Thanks Nick. I think you’re being far too modest but it’s what we’ve come to expect of you. I don’t think anyone has driven the importance of digital leadership in the housing sector more than you.

    The watershed moment in the social maturity of the housing sector was the Northern Housing Consortium event that you were behind. It was first time we met in person and already people like Helen Reynolds were on the line up.

    You’ve been a voice for change in a sector where things needed a shake up and I think that’s why you bring out such strong support.

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