Possible Duplicate:
What’s a good word for a person that’s being followed?

For example, a Twitter user can have many followers. Twitter refers to the users that another user is following as following, more in a verbal sense of the word.

@johndoe is following 283 users

What one word could be used as a noun to label those whom one is following? I thought of followee and a coworker came across guide, of which I’m not sure how it works.

  • Guide only makes sense if you mean literally following, as in going where they tell you to go. In this context, "following" means you are keeping track of where they go -- they are not leading you but informing you. So guide doesn't really work. Oct 22, 2012 at 18:53
  • Aha! Now I get it...
    – Kyle Macey
    Oct 22, 2012 at 19:09
  • 6
    "People I stalk"? Oct 22, 2012 at 19:10
  • @VictorStanciu Hmmm, might be viable... However, not only am I seeking a one word answer, but I'd like to keep my users from feeling uneasy about using our site :)
    – Kyle Macey
    Oct 22, 2012 at 19:12
  • 1
    The title made me think quarry or prey, but then I saw that the question was about "following" in the Twitter sense, and I no longer find those very appropriate. :-P
    – ruakh
    Oct 22, 2012 at 19:16

4 Answers 4

  • 1
    "Publishers", "Syndicators", "Sources" going on whiteboard. "Feeds" and "Subscriptions" are already referring to something else
    – Kyle Macey
    Oct 22, 2012 at 19:47

Twitter's under-the-hood term for a user you follow is friend. The URL https://twitter.com/friends is also an alias of https://twitter.com/following.

As a general term, I'd suggest leader or interest.

  • Yes. "Friend" is a little bit informal for what I'm going for. Good suggestion, though.
    – Kyle Macey
    Oct 22, 2012 at 19:34
  • 2
    "Interest" is now on the whiteboard
    – Kyle Macey
    Oct 22, 2012 at 19:43

A suggestion for someone you follow might be doyen:

doy·en   [doi-en, doi-uhn; Fr. dwa-yan] noun, plural doy·ens  [doi-enz, doi-enz; Fr. dwa-yan] The most respected or prominent person in a particular field



  • Object, subject, focus, focal point
  • Polestar, lodestar, cynosure
  • Center, hub, navel, omphalos

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.