Are you on Twitter? Do you think you'd have no use for it? Did you start an account and then never bothered to use it? Did you reserve your twitter handle just in case you ever decide to see what all the fuss is about?
Back when Twitter was really starting to get its legs, I remember writing on my Facebook wall (Are you on Facebook? Do you think you’d have no use — wait, that’s another post), "I don’t know WHAT I’d tweet."
Actually, this was back when everyone on Facebook was talking in the third person, so I wrote, "… doesn’t know what she’d tweet."
It’s been three years now that I’ve been on Twitter, and it has proven its worth to me countless times.
I used it to determine if I wanted a Nook or a Kindle. I went with Kindle.
I’m currently using it to determine if I stay with Verizon or move to Sprint.
I used it to bring national attention to Jamie and Ali McMutrie’s plight in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.
I used it to raise $15,000 for Make Room for Kids.
I use it to let my readers know why I might not be posting until later in the day.
I use it to talk about the things that are too brief for their own post here or on ThatsChurch.com.
Sure, on Twitter you have to filter through pictures of what people are having for dinner or through tweets of people complaining about their loves or their lives or their loneliness, but I assure you the value of Twitter for the most part outweighs the "Going grocery shopping!!!!!!!!!!" tweets.
If you are on Twitter or are thinking of using Twitter, your experience will be greatly enriched if you follow the right people.
In addition to following people you know in real life, here’s a little selection of Pittsburghers who are worth a click on the "Follow" button. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start, and I’ll be sure to do similar posts every other week or so with new names you might not be following:
- @verz. KDKA’s Jeff Verszyla tweets the forecast and weather emergencies and is great at responding to questions on twitter from his followers. Got a weather question? Ask @verz.
- @rupper17. The Penguins’ Mike Rupp tweets about hockey and his life
- @fsmikey and @fsbigbob. The Kiss Morning Freakshow boys are Twitter superstars who respond to anyone that tweets at them and regularly fill my Twitter stream with lol hilarity. Oh, and TWITTER CONTESTS. Lots of Twitter contests for tickets to sporting events and local shows.
- @tallcathy. Also from KISS 96.1 FM, Tall Cathy tweets her random thoughts and hilarious witticisms and her encounters with the famous people her job allows her to interact with.
- @mayorluke. As we near the anniversary of his last tweet, now is a good time to follow him in case he’s an annual tweeter. I have $20 that says his next tweet will happen on Thanksgiving Day and will say, "Myself would again like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving!"
- @texburgher. Geoff Barnes is one of Pittsburgh’s most smart and witty tweeters. He makes you think and laugh.
- @cranberryperson. Like @texburgher, Jason’s tweets regularly make me laugh out loud, particularly as he struggles to lose weight and tweets about being a father. One of my favorites, "It’s good if your kids can make themselves barf in case they accidentally drink poison, but not for use as a ‘get out of veggies free’ card."
- @hilarybeec. Mrs. Mike Comrie Hilary Duff tweets about her travels, her life, and, at times, the Penguins and Pittsburgh.
- @browneyedbaker. A local baker’s tweets are more often than not delicious, mouth-watering must-try recipes.
- @fakejulie. So it’s not the real Julie Bologna, but who can resist a Twitter account with the bio, "I put the HEAT in weather."
- @SeanCon66. Pittsburgh Magazine’s sports writer Sean Conboy tweets about local sports and often gives his followers a chance to ask questions of the local sports stars he interviews like Kris Letang and Heath Miller.
- @pghsciencenerd. A female microbiologist with a hilarious obsession with Jaromir Jagr. Anyone who can dig up a recent Czech news photo of Jaromir Jagr playing a ukulele while wearing tiny shorts is worth a follow.
- @jimlokay. Tweets about traffic giving you instant updates on why the Parkway East is hell on earth on this particular day.
- @PittsburghMag. Of course. A great way to know when new blog posts are up.
Like I said, this is just a start of what will be a growing list of people you might want to check out on Twitter. Outside of this list, there are Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers, Penguins, local media folks from every local outlet, politicians, local businesses, and my favorite, regular Burghers who manage daily to put a smile on my face with their observations, insight, and advice.
Where else can you find laugh-out-loud random thoughts such as this from @cranberryperson: ‘It’s a pretty short leap from your mechanic telling you you have a busted tailpipe to Googling the age you need to have a colonoscopy."