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10 Years Into Twitter, These Are Our Favorite Personalities to Follow

Twitter: the blue bulldozer that removed all barriers between social classes, geography and, most uniquely, between producer and fan.


With Twitter’s first (and probably best) full decade on the books, it’s time to look back on what the social network has given us. Popular from the beginning, it took less than three years after the first tweet (“just setting up my twttr” – @jack) for Twitter to overtake all but the powerhouse social networks of Facebook and Myspace in monthly visitors. It’s biggest draw was also an common topic of early detractors: the 140-character limit.

A universal lesson on brevity, the character count stifled oversharing common on Twitter’s contemporaries and prioritized the punchy. The influential could now share their thoughts and engage in discussion with fans, but they had to do it fast — distilling the dopamine high of web browsing down to a stream of blue birds, all chirping in real time. This “nowness” facilitated community; Twitter during sporting events and national tragedies, or just checking the line at a store, came to present a new kind of social search engine.

But our favorite aspect of Twitter is the blue bulldozer that removed all barriers between social classes, geography and, most uniquely, between producer and fan. Instead of handwriting fan mail to your favorite musician, or author, and waiting a few weeks to receive no response, Twitter allowed for immediacy in interaction with our heroes. These are the ones that matter most to us when they chirp. — J. Travis Smith



Wanna get inside the musings of a modern day mad scientist? Here’s your handle. @elonmusk



Astrophysicist, proud nerd, not afraid to pull punches when bawling out flat-earthers. @neiltyson



All things tech with one of The Verge‘s top editors. @LaurenGoode



“ABC News producer. Photographer. My favorite superhero is Lois Lane.” @MeredithFrost



The writer who once joked about having a child’s heart on his desk muses politics, shares his love of dogs and flies his wry, creepy flag for all the world to see. @StephenKing



The incredible bass player’s tweets are not always sensical (“Who wants to mash wild jasmine rice in my chest hair”), but are always entertaining. @Thundercat



At 77, the prolific writer has turned her pen to tweeting, releasing a steady stream on the topics of politics, poetry and everything in the wide space between. @JoyceCarolOates



Charlie Pierce slams the politicians who deserve it, left and right. @ESQPolitics



The “Horological Batman” focuses on Instagram but calls out fake watches on Twitter, too. @FakeWatchBusta



Creator of Hodinkee, the all-consuming watch blog. @Benjaminclymer



The iconic climber’s brand of simple zen cool feels perfectly at home within 140 characters — like a climbing Buddha. @conradanker



Where Slater “points out absurdities and tackle serious subjects like the cutback.” @kellyslater



The on-the-ground F1 reporter for NBC Sports, Will Buxton pours the same emotion and energy into his tweets that he does the camera. @thebuxtonblog



Artist Ian Cook is an avid car enthusiast and translates that love by painting using radio-controlled cars, car tires and toy car wheels. His Twitter feed shares his work. @popbangcolour



The New York Times‘s restaurant critic extraordinary blends eats news with snappy quips about food culture. @pete_wells



Food writer and documentarian Michael Pollan tweets at the front lines of food culture, ethics and health. @michaelpollan



Glenn O’Brien has worn many hats (first editor of Interview, host of the NYC public-access show “TV Party,” GQ’s “Style Guy” for a decade and a half) and it shows in his oft-cheeky Twitter feed, which covers a diverse range of subjects from arts to politics to style. @lordrochester

Further Twitter Reads
The New York Times‘A Window Into Other Lives’: Twitter at 10
WiredOn Its 10th Birthday, a Short History of Twitter in Tweets
GQThe Twitter Hall of Fame
FiveThirtyEightThe World’s Most Prolific Twitter User Tweets Mostly About Nothing
TwitterThe company tweeting on its own birthday

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