For those of you not yet on Twitter — and aren’t you feeling so smug you’re not wasting so much time as the rest of us? — you’re likely not aware there’s a site called Twitterholic, which ranks the popularity of Twitter users by number of followers. Actually, despite what non-Twitter users may think, this social-media “microblogging” tool is proving to be quite useful for many in business, media and even government, if the list of Minneapolis’ Top 100 Twitterers is any indication.
To better understand who’s doing these rankings, here’s how Twitterholic cutely explains itself:
A few times a day, we calculate individual statistics for each twittering twit in our database. In other words … WE”R IN UR TWTTR PAGES, READN UR STATZ. This list is updated daily, so you can find out who the most popular twitter users are. To participate, do what you normally do — twitter constantly — if you deserve to be on the list, we’ll find you.
Twitterholic ranks users across the world, with Barack Obama still leading the pack, CNN now No. 3, and Twitter itself down the list further at No. 9. But, beyond that global ranking, the two developers who built the site (located in Orlando, Fla.) devised a way to rank Twitter users by city — seemingly, in our case, by finding the word “Minneapolis” or “Mpls” in the individuals’ profiles. Note that some people choose to leave that part of the profile blank, while others insert something cute like “here” or “Earth,” and thus would not be included in their city ranking. (Note also that the Minneapolis ranking, of course, does not include our friends across the river in St. Paul.)
But what are some things we can learn from the list of the Mill City’s top Twitterers? First, that there are some on the list that have been twittering almost since Twitter first became available, back in early 2007. The man in first place, Lee Odden, fits that bill and now has more than 5,000 followers. Lee is a consultant in search engine optimization (SEO) and speaks frequently at conferences all over the country. He obviously knows how to spread the word about his Twitter page, online and off.
Some locally based media organizations made the list, too, with Finance & Commerce ranked No. 26, MinnPost at No. 36, and the StarTribune at No. 74. Media organizations naturally tend to use Twitter to send out links to stories as they publish them. The Strib’s number of updates listed in the rankings, however, boggles the mind: 37,947! Could our local daily be putting out that many links in 1.5 years? Note that the highest-ranking media person on the list is James Lileks — his personal Twitter page being ranked No. 6.
Others types of folks represented on the list include at least a couple of execs at local big companies: Barry Judge, Best Buy’s CMO, at No. 7, and Pete Steege, an exec at Seagate in Shakopee, at No. 20. PR and advertising types also dot the list, including Nos. 11, 16, 22, 27, 85 and 93, among others. (I’d put myself in that category, too, now moving up the rankings at No. 31.) A recruiter is at No. 29. And several folks qualifying as Web 2.0 consultants or geeks obviously dot the list as well. No question that many tweet at least some of the time about their personal lives, but you would be surprised to see that most on this list write or post links about business matters quite often, on such topics as how technology is used in their work lives.
The most surprising thing of all, though? Our city’s tech-savvy mayor, R.T. Rybak, comes in at No. 38! So, local government has at least one representative. And our city’s convention bureau folks, which tagged itself “Meet Minneapolis” some years ago, is ranked at a very respectable No. 57.