Halfway through 2010, Twitter boasted 190 million users accessing its website on a monthly basis, users that tweeted a total of 65 million times a day. That’s a lot of tweeting! Like just about everything else on the Internet, Twitter is filled with a lot of nonsense. Vapid, pointless, navel-gazing nonsense that will make your humble correspondents apoplectic with rage if we don’t go ahead and cut off this sentence right now. Phew. Breathe.
But! Twitter also has tons of great users. Users that will make you laugh and inform you with their interesting tweets. We’ve rounded up 25 of what we think are the best from 2010. All of the tweeps below either started tweeting or came into Twitter prominence during the past calendar year. And to drive the point home, we’ve included a gallery that showcases three tweets from each user on the list. Start following these folks now:
Unlike most fake celebrity Twitter accounts, the now-defunct BobDylanSays adhered strictly to things Dylan actually wrote—namely, his songs. The account’s ambitious goal was to tweet every Dylan ditty in existence, one line at a time. Since it’s highly unlikely that a demigod like good old Robert Zimmerman could ever be bothered to join Twitter, BobDylanSays is the next best thing for Dylan diehards. Some of the lines actually stand alone on their own pretty well, sometimes to hilarious effect (“It’s chicken.”). Maybe if Dylan puts out a new album soon it’ll wake up this account. —Bonnie Stiernberg
If you’re ever feeling low, just do what we do: Pull up Diddy’s Twitter page and read his daily Diddy devotionals, all-caps nuggets declaring that God loves us and we have to make every day count, and other such inspiring fodder, followed by exclamation points en masse. Whether you believe in it, chuckle ironically or fall somewhere in between, you will come away from it feeling better about life.
23. Drunk Hulk
THERE SOMETHING ABOUT SOMEONE PRETENDING TO BE INEBRIATED CARTOON CHARACTER ON INTERNET MAKE US VERY HAPPY TO BE ALIVE IN INTERESTING CULTURAL TIME. HERE TO YOU, DRUNK HULK!
“Funny and/or interesting” is an apt bio for this anonymous user who tweets and pokes fun of the day’s headlines, from sports to television to politics, and just about everything in between.
21. James Urbaniak
The Venture Bros. actor is almost always involved in some kind of conversation on his Twitter feed, often with other hilarious folks such as Sara Benincasa (see below), Paul F. Tompkins and Rob Delaney. Urbaniak’s Twitter is a harmonious melding of sarcasm, satire and left-field pop-culture references (i.e.: participating in the hashtag #jonathanlipnickileaks).
20. Sara Benincasa
Whether she’s taking on national politics or live-tweeting a competition show featuring college a cappella groups (On Yale’s Whiffenpoofs: “I want to shoot their heads off, zombie-style.”), comedian and writer Benincasa is biting, profane and wildly funny. She’ll make you uncomfortable sometimes, and she’ll make you think quite a bit, but above all, she will make you laugh.
You never forget your first (celebrity Twitter, that is). The Roots’ drummer has been tweeting since the early days of the site and remains as prolific as ever. Although Questo is mostly-business now, with tweets predominantly dealing with his work with The Roots and with his gig on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, he’s always engaging with fans and expressing his passion for the music.
18. Patton Oswalt
You can bet any time one of our favorite working comedians joins Twitter, we’ll be one of the first to follow him. Oswalt did just that this year, and we’re thankful. After all, his star is rising, and with that will inevitably come less stand-up shows. Luckily, his Twitter feed is like a miniature version of his act, with us everywhere we go.
17. Pete Cashmore
Scottish social-media maven and founder of industry blog, Mashable, Pete Cashmore is one of Twitter’s most influential figures, an implicit must-follow for anyone in the communication fields. From links to interesting social-media studies to getting professionals and social-media junkies alike together for events like 2010’s Social Media Day, Cashmore’s page is a hub for the like-minded to meet, discuss and create something beautiful together.
16. Alec Sulkin
If you’ve laughed at Family Guy in the last five years, there’s a good chance you’ve already enjoyed Alec Sulkin’s work. As a producer and writer, Sulkin has also contributed to The Cleveland Show and The Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and is working on a new, possibly-live-action show with his writing partner. His tweets are tiny, awesome bursts of observational/absurdist humor.
15. Anis Mojgani
Iranian-American spoken word poet Anis Mojgani is the perfect Twitterer to turn to when in need of 140-character-or-less inspiration. Not only is his page a great resource for finding out where his next gig with the Night Kite Revival Tour (which we’ve written about before) is, but he also offers dreamlike, eloquent strands of verse, perfect in between reading about what your social-media strategy is supposed to be or the really rad sandwich your old-school chum is eating.
14. Nick Kristof
Long after the cause-célebres of the developing world (Darfur, Haiti) have stopped making headlines, The New York Times’ resident voice of global conscience is there, providing snapshots of his many travels (the tweets from his recent trip to cholera-stricken Haiti are brief, but gripping), reminding us that just because the celebrity telethons are gone doesn’t mean we should stop caring about those around the world who struggle with disease and disaster. Maybe the Revolution Will be Tweeted after all.