The 25 Best Twitter Users of 2010
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13. Erykah Badu
It’s openness and accessibility that make Erykah Badu’s Twitter particularly captivating. Her tweets are often very immersive: About two years ago, she and then-partner Jay Electronica both live-tweeted the home birth of their child. She often responds to and retweets fans, answering them with a frequency and candor one would be hard-pressed to find in any medium.
12. Colin Meloy
We’ve written about the Decemberists’ frontman’s Twitter before, but he merits a second mention. He’s as literary as one might expect, often mentioning what he’s reading at the time, and is a great source for recommendations for new artists (recently name-dropped: Wye Oak and The Besnard Lakes). Plus, he’s really good at keeping fans updated on Decemberists-related news, and with that new album they have coming out in January, it’s an easy way to keep your ear/smartphone to the ground.
11. Fake AP Stylebook
Ken Lowery and Mark Hale didn’t start their Twitter account with the intention of getting a book deal. “It was just amusing ourselves,” Lowery told Paste early this year. But when the account found 1,000 followers in its first day, “we knew something special was going on and we didn’t want to blow it.”
10. Steve Martin
We were really excited when we found Steve Martin’s Twitter page over the summer, and he delivers. The man who found fame with quick one-liners and catchphrases on shows like Saturday Night Live (“Two wild and crazy guys!”) fills his Twitter with wit in less than 140 characters, a veteran comedian’s eye for punchlines in a 21st-century setting. “A watched iPhone never syncs,” he writes. And boy, do we know it.
9. Tim Siedell
Tim Siedell, the creative director of a brand communications studio in Nebraska, hears from some impressively high-profile folks thanks to his Twitter account. “I get weird responses from famous people,” he told Paste in May. “I’ve had a prominent director reach out to me and want a screenplay. There’s a big thing in the works that I can’t talk about that involves a few famous people who also reached out to me.” We’re looking forward to it, but in the meantime, we’ve got his new book to keep us busy.
8. Chris Weingarten
Certainly the only member of this list with a commemorative box set of his tweets, Chris Weingarten logged 1,000 album reviews on his Twitter account in 2009. Although he won’t reach that many reviews this year (he’s in the low 400s as we write this), his refreshing, unfiltered criticism is one of the reasons Twitter is so great when done right. Come for the encyclopedic music knowledge, stay for the angry-guy outbursts. Both are worth reading.
7. John Moe
He’s a public-radio host by day, a regular contributor to McSweeney’s and author of the book Conservatize Me: How I Tried to Become a Righty with the Help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith, and Beef Jerky. But on Twitter, he’s a veritable font of hashtags, and his regularly retweeting of basketball player Chris Taft brings an absurdist humor to his feed. May he live long and continue to innovate within the 140-character form.
6. Kelly Oxford
A year ago, we had this to say about hilarious housewife Kelly Oxford: “[She] uses her Twitter account as a vessel to pontificate on all sorts of stuff, including but not limited to celebrity culture, race and her precocious children. Someone get this gal a book deal.” She’s blown up in 2010, sharpening her already-on-point tweets, and has myriad projects in the works because of it. Something tells us her name will be known for much more than Twitter soon enough.
Paste spoke with the anonymous person who encapsulates an entire artist discography with each tweet in July, and they only added to their mystique: “I’m definitely not a robot. I’m not a musician, but I’ve been in and around the music business since the ‘90s. If you’re the sort of person who likes to read album credits, my name might be familiar. And I’ve been on TV and on the radio, so some people know me from that, too. I spend an inordinate amount of time talking and pondering and analyzing and arguing about music. And I’m someone who—for professional reasons, and not just for fun (even though it’s almost always fun)—has listened to a vast amount of music and acquired a fair amount of knowledge about it. I live in one of the two cities in the United States in which you’d probably expect me to live. And that’s all I’m going to tell you.”
4. Shit My Dad Says
When Paste spoke with Shit My Dad Says creator Justin Halpern in late 2009, it seemed his Twitter feed had hit its critical mass at 700,000 followers. Since then, Halpern’s followers have nearly tripled, and a book and television show have spun off of his father’s quotable tweets. “I’m the luckiest motherfucker in the world,” Halpern says. “I often think if it wasn’t me in this situation, I would probably hate me. ‘What, they gave this asshole a TV show from 70 tweets?’ The best I can hope for is to write a really good show so people don’t feel this opportunity was wasted on some dipshit.”
3. BP Global PR
The BP oil spill in the Gulf was one of the darkest moments of 2010, bringing with it environmental repercussions that we will be dealing with for a long time to come. But one oil-slicked sort-of silver lining came in the form of a Twitter account lampooning BP’s public relations department. For giving us a laugh and holding those responsible for the disaster accountable at the same time, @BPGlobalPR, we salute you. We didn’t need all those pelicans anyway.
2. Roger Ebert
Prolific, curmudgeonly, unflinching in one’s convictions—these are all the makings of a great critic, and appropriately enough, Roger Ebert’s Twitter feed is all three. From film and television to politics and taking down the usual stable of pundits to just sharing some interesting links, Ebert’s tweets are varied, fiercely opinionated and always fun to follow. If all figures from the “old guard” of entertainment media become as savvy and successful with social media as Ebert, imagine what incredible conversations would take place.
1. Kanye West
From the day it first appeared, Yeezy’s Twitter has been a never-ending source of wonder and magic in 140 characters or less. With moments of introspection and celebrations of extravagance (dude turned #goblets into a hashtag), it was a perfect complement to the character study of delusion and grandeur that was his 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. His feed is the gold standard by which all future celebrity twitterers will be judged. Bonus points to the myriad spin-off Twitter accounts created in the months that followed—especially our favorites, #kanyenewyorkertweets, budgetkanyewest and kanyejordan, the latter of which basically consisted of someone putting “Liz Lemon” in front of Yeezy’s actual tweets. Brilliant.