So many Tweets, so little time.
The social networking and micro-blogging phenom known as Twitter has created a whole new lexicon of communication, allowing virtually anyone with a thought to tweet it to the world in 140 characters or less. Celebrities, rock stars, corporate CEOs and every day people now share important news, pass on information, or indulge in mindless self-promotion in short, digestable bites thousands of times a day.
It's not the number of Tweeters out there that's the problem though, merely the unending blather that must be waded through to find the good stuff. Here's a recent sampling:
"Going home for a drink and a smoke."
"Here's to another 12-hour work day."
"Can't sleep, watching re-runs of McHale's Navy."
"Off to bed with the chillins."
So we set a goal: Find 10 Greater Cincinnatians with something to say who are actually worth following on Twitter. The process could be maddening. And excruciating. And, to be honest, kind of fluid - there were those who seemed intriguing for a day or two only to drop off the deep end. And as we look at this Top 10, there are probably a couple who may fade in the coming weeks. That's the beauty of tweeting - from relative obscurity to overnight sensation and back again.
Here are 10 that are worth following. Where notable tweets from our 10 are included, we've left in any mispellings or grammatical errors of the original tweeter to keep it real-time.
Kevin Dugan (@prblog)
Twitter bio: "Marketing geek, social media experiment, Dad - not in that order."
Why he's worth following: His tweets are a smart and sometimes enlightening mix of personal and professional observations. They’re filled with interesting links, clever jabs and the occasional witty turn of phrase ("So the twit’s hit the fan then?"). Dugan even has a Twitter-related honor -he was recently listed as #21 on Conversationagent.com’s global list of 100 PR people worth following on Twitter. Be sure to check out his wonderfully savvy blog. Downside: He is a PR guy, after all. And he sometimes falls into PR-guy mode.
"To all the Twitter haters that ‘don’t care what so and so is having for lunch?’ I'm having pad thai."
"10 signs you're a twitter addict. http://ow.ly/tccA snarky goodness."
"Crowdsourcing music lyrics? http://ow.ly/tBPv I predict kids will start crowdsourcing homework and soon we’ll have more crowd, less wisdom."
Dave Knox (@daveknox)
Twitter bio: "Author HardKnoxLife.com, Brand Manager - Digital Innovation at Procter & Gamble (P&G) Productions."
Why he's worth following: Up-and-coming P&G star. An engaging know-it-all in the ways that people and technology work together. His tweets are a mix of music, business, entertainment news, intriguing links and self-promotion. He also keeps a thought provoking business-related blog. Downside: Outsiders may be overwhelmed by the abundance of P&G-speak.
"I love this graphic - 'And you wonder why a Brand Manager's job is tougher today?' - http://bit.ly/3XypL5"
"New post on Hard Knox Life - Ian Schafer's Great Adweek Keynote: "Social Media is Mature. No It Isn't" http://bit.ly/8n57K“
"Being a Cincinnati Bengal fan is so painful. Kicking is not supposed to be this difficult."
Shawn Mummert (@shawnmummert)
Twitter bio: Mummert is a rarity. He doesn’t have a bio.
Why he's worth following: Mummert is Cincinnati’s version of Woody Allen’s "Zelig" - A software developer by trade, he seems to be everywhere. And his tweets reflect it - football, beer, bands, software coding - he dabbles in it all. A brainy observer of everything that's going on around him, Mummert is rarely the centerpiece, but never far away. Downside: Haven't found it yet.
"Eating good sushi is like listening through great stereo speakers - once you do it, you can never go back."
"At the Know for Tinhorn Molly. Crowd in thrall of undeniable charms of woman playing a saw."
"Corn is husked. Items with shells are shucked. Isn’t it odd for employees of farm-centric restaurants to condescend toward ag?"
Kate Crossen (@kate_the_great)
Twitter bio: "The 30-something single girl searching for her way in the world. I’m definitely all grown-up, I just haven’t completely figured out what that means."
Why she's worth following: Clever and sometimes hilarious, Crossen’s tweets are an appealing mix of the travails of everyday life mixed with her obsession with Cincinnati Bengal Dhani Jones (@DhaniJones). Like many good Tweeters, she's an avid blogger, as well. Downside: TMI. But then, social media is all about balance, right? If she's willing to trot out the personal stuff, there are voyeurs ready to read it.
"I'd love smaller boobs, but then I'd be out of proportion."
"Insomniac thought: Pillows are not a good substitute for a man.""
“Praise the God of Fossel Fuels - the heat is on in this effing apartment. No shivering tonight in Oakley!"
Margy Waller (@margyartgrrl)
Twitter bio: "VP, Arts and Culture Partnership at the Fine Arts Fund."
Why she's worth following: Waller, a recent transplant from Washington, DC, is a great guide to the fine arts in Greater Cincinnati. A flash mob dance on Fountain Square. A street art show in Clifton. A Streetscapes project. An Erich Kunzel memorial. Waller is there and posting images. Downside: Waller rarely wanders very far from the beaten artistic path. And she almost never posts anything besides links and photos. We'd love some opinion or reflections from someone so connected to the arts.
Waller's tweets are singularly unmemorable, but what makes them intriguing is the wealth of material at the other end of the links.
"Shoe art. http://tumblr.com/xew3d9hcb,"
"Sullivan Street window art. http://tumblr.com/xew3dm6yw."
Tom Callinan (@tcallinan)
Twitter bio: "Day job: Editor/VP Content. Twitter tribes: Blues, cooking, travel, law, media."
Why he's worth following: As editor and VP/content and audience development, he's the guy who is ultimately in charge of everything that appears in the Cincinnati Enquirer, all of its Web sites and every one of the non-daily publications associated with the paper. As the most powerful media man in Greater Cincinnati, he is usually very circumspect in his tweets. He tosses out opinions, but rarely anything to rattle the corporate sensibility. Every so often, though, he is surprisingly candid. Those are the moments worth waiting for. Downside: Lots of newspaper-related tweets. If old media tires you, look elsewhere. Callinan may be a local new media kingpin, but in his heart - and in his tweets - he reads like one of those cigar-chomping newspaper editors of yore.
"Watching overpaid Yankees vs real baseball Twins - best argument for NFL type parity. If not just let 4 big market teams have at it. Zzzzzz."
"Neighbors coming over for Southwestern frittatas and margaritas tonite. Anyone in neighborhood welcome. First fire on new patio."
"As we try to grapple with Ohio's billion $ budget deficit in '10, came across this factoid: A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive."
Stacey Recht Czar (@staceyczar)
Twitter bio: No online bio.
Why she's worth following: Czar is youthful, arts-savvy and socially conscious. A former staffer at the Contemporary Arts Center, she is now part of the increasingly young and hip staff at the Cincinnati Ballet. Her tweets are a mix of personal, professional and poetic commentary. And because she's always out and around, she is often a first source of breaking news. To wit: She was one of the first to report that downtown bar Cadillac Ranch had bailed mid-act on the MidPoint Music Festival. Always insightful and interesting. Downside: Not much.
"Invariably, 'seeing' a band is really seeing the back of tall white guys' heads, even in the smallest of venues. Sigh."
"My day two MPMF strategy: I am a leaf on a river."
"Reaching deep for motivation and inspiration. Finding none, I seek the discipline to keep up the pace today."
Bengal Watch - John Thornton (@JohnThornton) and Chad Ochocinco (@OGOchoCinco)
Twitter bios: Thornton - "Father, Husband, Athlete, Lover of the Internet and Las Vegas, 10 yr NFL Veteran." Ochocinco - "see for yoself/www.rocksoftware.com"
Why they're worth following: They define the extremes of Cincinnati Bengals culture. Ochocinco is a talented clown, revered and loathed in nearly equal parts. And even though Thornton is retired from the playing field, he is remembered as a mainstay of a hard-working, but not particularly memorable Bengals' defense. Ochocinco is a prolific tweeter. But his messages are surprisingly un-football-centric. Lots of personal messages. Lots of navel-gazing. Thornton is more analytical about the game. Downside: Thornton can be a little pedantic. And unless you're a committed Ochocincophile, his tweets can be tedious.
(referring to media coverage of him) "they like the negative,I'm glad there's Twitter, you get the real me not what the media makes me, out to be,I've a voice now."
"Davids Cafe at noon Miami folks, cigar, coffee and Cuban food for everybody who's free,17th n meridian, courtesy of the interesting one. Zzz"
"OGOchoCinco If paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper, what beats all 3 at the same time? Answer: Ochocinco."
"Most in media and other teams fans look at Bengals history when they form an opinion. They don’t think like Bengals fans."
"The Browns are a mess. Derek Anderson lost his security blanket, even tho he wasn’t so secure(bad hands)."
"Gotta respect Tim Tebow. The ultimate leader. Offensive and defensive players and coaches look at him like he’s a coach."
Julie Niesen (@Winemedineme)
Twitter bio: "I'm into marketing, food, and Cincinnati. Not necessarily in that order."
Why she's worth following: While she's the area’s reigning online foodie, there's no shortage of tweets about her condo search or her social life. But wade through the fluff and she actually has some decent reflections about local restaurants. For more info, though, you should visit her blog. Downside: Too much noise, not enough food talk.
"the roast cornish game hen is to die for. Amazing crispy skin."
"Kimball’s magazine IS excruciatingly boring. I don’t subscribe anymore."
"Dear Hertz: My car smells like pot. Your attendant told me so. Thanks. Truly."
Peter Blackshaw (@pblackshaw)
Twitter bio: "Proud Father of Three; Nielsen Online EVP; Book Author; WOMMA Co-Founder; Chair, National BBB; Founder, PlanetFeedback.com. Ex-P&G. Proud Banana Slug (UCSC)."
Why he's worth following: He's smart, articulate and well-connected. And though he has a quiet online demeanor, he offers far more intelligent reflections on social media than most of those who are shouting out their so-called observations. Downside: Not much. Unless you're looking for more entertainment value. In that case, follow Ochocinco.
"TRAVEL TRUTH: I dare anyone to convince me that the blatant NYC calorie labels don't act as a determent. 410 calories 4 a cookie?!"
"twitter not being used by kids...not adopted in same way as facebook. - parry, wiredtrust"
"kids use text as primary channel. 24 percent of teens sleep w/phone and too many driving w/them."
"Closing off a chunk of Times Square for pedestians makes it truly feel like, well - a zocolo-esque town square. Perfect."
Not to tweet our own horn, but you can follow Soapbox on Twitter too, as well as Development Editor, Randy Simes and Innovation and Job News Editor, Feoshia Henderson.
Photography by Scott Beseler
Julie Niesen photo provided by Mikki Reynolds-Schaffner