Cosmic 140 graphs Twitter’s most influential users
That’s not a star map. It’s a chart published by Information Architects displaying Twitter’s 140 most influential users. Called the Cosmic 140, it uses some kind of data special sauce to determine who the most influential people are on the network of millions. Download your own PDF of the map and read how it works. (Credit – I found this via Mashable.)

I follow some of these people, but not all of them. Should I be following all of them? Perhaps, considering my line of work, but I find more useful, influential information from accounts that originate closer to home. (Plus, if anything these people tweet out makes news, I’ll know about it asap via Mashable, TechCrunch or someone else retweeting their information.)

What accounts impact my daily life?

  • Friends
  • News organizations
  • Government organizations (like KDOT and KTA)
  • Local businesses

Another powerful form of influence that Twitter has over me is the random feedback I get from followers. I can tweet a question about anything to just over 1,400 people and get a variety of responses in a few minutes — heck, sometimes in a few seconds.

Example: I want to upgrade the Twitter app on my iPhone. I tweeted asking what app people would recommend. I got about 20 responses in 10 minutes, most of them telling me to hold off until Tweetie 2 (a paid app) was re-released as Twitter for iPhone (a free app). End result? I’m waiting. Those people influenced where I spend my cash in the app store.

It’s not just about purchasing power, either. It’s about building a personal information network that I trust. While some of the accounts I follow are globally popular, most originate in the communities where I live my daily life.

What accounts are most influential to you? List a few in the comments – I bet some of them are the same as mine.