Posted by Tom Foremski - October 5, 2012
I caught up with Marshall Kirkpatrick earlier this week, and the launch of his venture Little Bird. The former lead reporter for ReadWriteWeb, and his team of four, have developed an interesting technology which aims to find the top 500 people on Twitter that are influential about any subject.
For example, typing "Broadband" into the service comes up with influencers such as Robert Scoble, but it can also identify up and coming people that aren't as well known but are becoming more influential.
Here is his description:
It would seem that most people would know who the influential people are in their particular sector. However, for PR agencies, journalists, and others researching a particular topic, it can take a lot of time to identify the right experts.
The Little Bird service has a free component but the goal is to gradually expand its monthly subscriptions.
The venture recently received $1 million in seed funding from a group of angel investors led by Mark Cuban. Marshall said he got Mr Cuban's attention by e-mailing him a list of trivia about his team, the Dallas Mavericks, that Little Bird had discovered. He emailed back within ten minutes keen on doing a deal.
The round was led by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who been a great lead investor to work with through our private beta period. Our other investors are Howard Lindzon's Social Leverage, Wieden + Kennedy, Hubspot and OnStartups.com founder Dharmesh Shah, leading marketing consultant Jay Baer, Henry Copeland, Jonathan Siegel, Matt Haughey and Blaine Cook. If you're familiar with the last 10 years of social media history, you'll probably recognize these as some incredibly experienced and innovative people.
I wish Marshall the best of luck. I have very fond memories of a trip to Japan he an I were on as guests of startup, Lunarr and co-founder Hideshi Hamaguchi. It was an amazing trip and taught me a lot about Japan's culture -- both modern and ancient. Here (above) we are at the Ministry for Trade and Industry in Japan (Marshall is in red.)