As I look back at what changed for me in 2010, Twitter grew in stature significantly. My followers doubled and I used the Twitter iPhone and iPad apps more during idle moments. In addition, the social media source largely overtook RSS to become my “go to” starting point to explore the latest news in tech, film and other subjects.
None of this would have been possible without having a great set of people to follow in the first place. Interestingly, while there’s a very smart population on Twitter, I find the majority tweet too infrequently or keep content strictly self promotional. Thus to make this list, it was important to be prolific and insightful with the 140 character limitations of the medium itself.
What follows below is a handful of Twitter users I’m happy to have started following in 2010, organized roughly by subject matter.
Scott Tobias is the film editor behind the growing A.V. Club over at The Onion, while Matt Zoller Seitz is a film and TV critic for Salon and other organizations (I’ve highlighted Matt in a previous article.) Both writers offer a nice balance of personal, off topic observations along with movie related opinions and links to other publications. They also are high caliber writers whose reviews I tend to agree with.
Nicholas Patten is a video editor and designer providing links of interest centering primarily on graphic and web design with occasional forays into technology. In contrast, Mindclay, a Florida based creative agency, focuses on social media, marketing, and advertising spheres. Both Nicholas and Mindclay fire off a large volume of tweets daily, generally a practice I avoid following on Twitter (that’s why I subscribe to RSS feeds.) Nevertheless, the consistency of their content – it’s usually excellent – keeps them in my Twitter purview.
On a much smaller scale, David Chartier is a tech editor for Macworld, something not at first glance that noteworthy; the number of technologists on Twitter is basically infinite and almost anyone on Twitter even vaguely interested technology already follows big names like Kevin Rose and Leo Laporte. David serves as an interesting counterpoint to better known voices with lot of solid personal commentary along with spotlighting the occasional Mac or iOS feature or application I’d normally not discover on my own. He’s also very friendly with the Twitter community at large, retweeting a lot of good content that I’d otherwise miss.
moorehn (Heidi N. Moore)
I generally avoid journalists from traditional news sources on Twitter, reserving those info sources more for my RSS feeds. However, I’ve made an exception for Heidi Moore, a financial journalist out of New York who formerly reported for the Wall Street Journal and has had work appear in other business news sources like the Financial Times.
It all comes down to familiarity and skill with Twitter as a medium; at least 90% of the journalists I find online don’t have it, endlessly retweeting their own publication’s articles and adding little opinion to the fray. Heidi clearly doesn’t fall into that trap – though I may not always agree with her stance, she’s not afraid to express her point of view and highlight a pretty diverse set of articles.
Twitter hasn’t just become a one stop source for breaking news or deep insight; with some I follow like Gary Whitta and Ice-T, it’s more of a relaxed place to unwind. Gary is a former gaming journalist and current film writer (most notably of last year’s “The Book of Eli”) that I recently discovered via Tested.com’s weekly podcast. He’s a smart, funny guy, and his tweets are all over the place, covering everything from random Netflix recommends to the state of the video gaming industry. There’s an energy and mix to his tweets that keeps me reading.
Then there’s Ice-T: for anyone with an even passing knowledge of 90’s hip hop and alternative music, the man needs no introduction. The fact that Ice-T is now a prolific Twitter user and hard core video game fan (his commentary on first person shooters like Call of Duty is extensive) is pretty amazing, and his profanity laced, often hilarious (yet genuine) tweets keep it interesting.