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Either if you are a millennial (81% of whom check twitter at least once per day) or just ‘a bit’ older, chances are you have a social media profile and frequently engage with others. For instance, recent stats show that social media users spend an average of 135 minutes per day online. According to, “the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.95 billion by 2020, around a third of Earth’s entire population.” Only in the US, 81% of the population already has at least one social network profile.

We are all living digital lives now. Online participation and networking have become a fundamental part of our routines and habits. We consume information, chat, learn, discuss, work, and have fun with social networks. However, one of the most significant aims is to build relationships with like-minded people and influencers in the subjects that interest us.

Even if sometimes the information is overwhelming, and we are flooded with contacts, and followers, as well as confused with never-ending social media novelties, we keep on asking ourselves: shall we expand our list of social acquaintances and influencers? Well, we probably should. If it means that we are doing it with a clear strategy to learn and connect better, or we are organising and cataloguing our feeds; then, we should!

Tell me who you follow… (and I will learn from them)
Recommendations can be tricky if we do not entirely align with our advisers. However, here we are listing our 4X4 front-runners: four top influencers on four topics we love in Smartmatic. Discussion time is open! Please check out the list and share it if you find it useful, expand it with your suggestions, and make sure you also engage with us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and LINKEDIN.

When considering whom to follow, please keep on your radar influencers in topics we are passionate about in the organisation, such as tech-news outlets, eDemocracy, Election Management, and online voting. Thus, if you decide that now it is a good time to enlarge your lists of contacts, here are our 4X4 recommendations:

1.       Technology News
ü @WIRED Wired magazine, which focuses on how technological innovations can affect the world we live in and the future. If you love it, check out other top tech magazines.
ü @mashable from the multi-platform media and entertainment company. It is the go-to source for digital culture, tech biz, and entertainment content and videos for its influential global audience.
ü @TechCrunch An online publisher “dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.” It offers analysis and stories about start-ups, Silicon Valley, venture capital, gadgets, apps, and more.
ü @verge The Verge (Vox Media). It covers the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture, with in-depth reporting and long-form feature stories, as well as breaking news, product information, and community content.

This category could go on forever. There are zillions of technology news providers out there. We could add similar profiles (@CNET @Gizmodo @Engadget) depending on layouts, updates frequency, tone and voice, or even depending on your specific geek’s taste. However, when it comes to the latest technology trends and gadgets, the above mentioned are among the most popular, followed, and updated news outlets in social media.

2.       eDemocracy
Just in case you don’t follow us yet… Start here @smartmatic. eDemocracy is one of our favourite topics to track on social media! (We have even made it to the top 5 influencers list on the hashtag #eDemocracy according to

ü  @edemo E-democracy, a non-profit pioneer fostering inclusive online engagement, global open government knowledge sharing, and innovative civic technology.
ü  @govtechnews Government Technology magazine. An array of news and resources on eGov, #stategov & #localgov to help authorities solving problems “through the smart use of technology.”
ü  @EU_ISA2 The European Commission's programme (ISA² Programme) “developing IT solutions to simplify bureaucracy.” It supports the modernisation of public administrations, eGov and open gov.
ü @nesta_uk Nesta supports governments and public sector bodies to make smarter use of people, data and technology to reform public services, improve citizen engagement and deliver social impact at scale.

3.       Elections management
ü  @IFES1987 IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems). An independent NGO promoting sustainable democracy. “Giving people a voice in the way they are governed.”
ü  @Int_IDEA The International Institute for Democracy & Electoral Assistance. An inter-governmental organisation that promotes sustainable democracy. “Improving and consolidating electoral processes worldwide.”
ü  @NDI The National Democratic Institute. A non-profit organisation that is working to strengthen democratic institutions through citizen participation, openness and accountability.
ü  @IPUparliament Inter-Parliamentary Union. The global organisation of national parliaments. “Driving positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.”

4.       eVoting and online voting
ü  @WebRootsUK WebRoots Democracy is a think tank focused on the intersection of technology and democratic participation.
ü  @evotingcc E-Voting.CC, the Competence Center for Electronic Voting and Participation (Austria). A professional and independent centre and event organiser for discussing and improving the use of information technology in election processes.
ü  @RANDEurope RAND Europe, a research institute that helps improve policy and decision-making, in consortium with @OpenEvidence, is currently examining the extent to which remote voting solutions are employed in Europe (particular emphasis on internet voting.)
ü  @_mikesummers And of course, we should not miss our very own Michael Summers. Online voting expert, e-Gov and Digital ID advocate. #WeAreSmartmatic

Ps. If you have decided to keep your digital life as far as possible from work, just remember you might be missing significant opportunities to listen and learn, network, stay updated on latest trends, show off your knowledge and achievements, and ultimately, helping others in similar paths seeking advice or opinion.

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