#FollowFriday – The Hawaiian Ohana

This is a weekly series that I’m hoping to help add some more relevance to the #FollowFriday (what’s this?) Twitter activity that originally started through Lijit’s own Micah Baldwin to help connect Twitterers with one another.For this week’s selection, I’m going to focus on a more geographic selection. Many of my friends that I have come to know on Twitter are from my old stomping grounds in Hawai’i and I’d like to recognize some of those folks here for you to follow.

Lori Chun

My first pick for #followfriday stems from my working relationship with Lori. She was one of the people on this list that I’ve worked with during my early career in Hawaii. She does some remarkable creative work and has a sound understanding of what users want to see when they visit a website. Moreover, she’s quite knowledgeable when it comes to social media and is always eager to learn more about its applicability. One of the many enthusiasts of social media within my former company and always a great friend.

IHawaii SXSW Tweetup - Ryan OzawaRyan Ozawa

Another former colleague-in-arms..Ryan Ozawa…what can I say about him? We first met not online, but when I was interning with a NGO in Hawaii. Always great to “talk story” with and definitely a leading expert when it comes to understanding social media and the web. An avid LOST fan, Ryan and his wife both produce a highly popular podcast about each episode and since LOST is filmed in Hawaii, Ryan has occasionally found them filming and captures the moment with a camera he has at the moment – usually his iPhone. Oh, and did I mention he’s a passionate Apple product fan? Well okay, I didn’t say everything about Ryan was positive now, did I?

Michael Ni

Michael Ni is someone whom I recently met here in San Francisco but works at one of Hawaii’s best public relations agencies. Of course we connected via Twitter, but soon realized that his agency and my former agency in Hawaii were owned by the same parent company. So in essence, we’re former co-workers! Michael’s a cool guy who’s done some phenomenal work in helping to bring awareness of Hawaii to the rest of the United States. He understands the value of the web and takes advantage of it in any way – and he’s also very passionate about connecting with people as well.

Hawaii SXSW Tweetup - Noe Mendiola & Neenz FaleafineNeenz Faleafine

You want to know someone who knows practically everyone? That would be Neenz. I met her at South by Southwest last year and she’s a great resource of information. Did you know that she works with Guy Kawasaki? She’s AllTop’s chief evangelist and is always open to talk about AllTop, social media, Hawaii, or anything else you can possibly think of. I really think Neenz is one of Hawaii’s best when it comes to web insights, technology, and understanding where things are going.

Melissa Chang

One of Hawaii’s most well-known food bloggers, I’m quite certain that it’s not all Melissa is known for. I have not actually had the pleasure of meeting Melissa but I believe we both, at some point in time, had worked for the same company in one shape or form – unfortunately not at the same time. But why am I recommending Melissa? Because of her charming personality and how in this day & age where we’re living right now, she is getting things done and continues to be productive and seems to be upbeat about what awaits her in the future. That’s why.

David Uchiyama

Yet another “local” twitterer that I have not had the pleasure of meeting, but I do follow his tweets. David Uchiyama is the guy at the Hawaii Tourism Authority (the big government agency responsible for bringing in tourists to the state) who is tasked with coming up with interesting marketing campaigns & strategies. I used to work for one of their tourism bureaus for a few months and it was lots of fun, but if I known of his latest efforts, I would have definitely wanted to be involved if I could. So what was this grand effort of David’s?

David is the man behind the plan to bring bloggers, video & photo authors to Hawaii for a week to help show and promote the fun that could be had on all the islands. Just who did he bring in? A bunch of travel and social media powerhouse players, that’s who! He had Christine Lu, Jim Turner, Rick CalvertSheila ScarboroughMark C. Tafoya and many others document their time there. These people were there partaking in the activities offered and they were videocasting, livestreaming, Twittering, blogging, snapping photos, and much more – all of which will go very far in making Hawaii a even more appealing place to visit.

You want to know more about #FollowFriday and who other people are recommending? Then check out this great site created by Micah Baldwin.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.