To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question

Blogger extraordinaire Dave Winer does it many times a day and nearly 30,000 people follow his every word. Sustainable food guru Michael Pollan thought he was going to do it, but probably found he was too busy and has only graced us with his 140-character apercus 15 times since he launched himself into micro-blogging.

Few of Berkeley’s luminaries seem to have got the Twitter bug. A non-scientific survey reveals Winer (@davewiner*) way out in the lead — with 29,521 followers and 24,385 tweets to date. Winer even includes the word “Twitterer” in his Twitter bio which reads “Bi-Coastal Media Hackerer, Twitterer, NYU Scholar.” And now that he spends half his time in the Big Apple, he isn’t technically even a 100% Berkeleyite.

Michael Pollan (@michaelpollan) has an impressive 13,027 followers, but has tweeted just 15 times.

Author Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) — pictured above — has taken to Twitter like a duck to water , and has racked up 1,917 tweets since she started and attracted 2,186 followers.


As one would expect from the author of Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What it’s Becoming and Why it Matters, Scott Rosenberg (@scottros) is a regular on Twitter. He has 3,243 followers and has tweeted 2,236 times as of this writing.

Similarly you’d be amazed if Markos Moulitsas (@markos) didn’t tweet. The founder of the liberal blog Daily Kos appears to do little else. He has 17,028 followers and has tweeted 12,651 times.

Interestingly, Berkeley author of The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard, who is currently on a major book promotion tour, has set up a Twitter account (@anniemleonard) but it has “protected” her tweets — meaning one has to send a request to follow her — and, perhaps as a result,  has no followers as yet.

Are there other Berkeley “names” out there we’ve forgotten? We do know there is a clutch of Berkeleyites we would like to see on Twitter. Here’s our wish-list:

  • Mayor Tom Bates (he has the Twitter handle at @mayortombates, but, as we have pointed out before, he has yet to publish his first tweet);
  • Any or all of Berkeley’s City Councilmembers
  • Author Michael Lewis, although given his reluctance to even use email, twittering seems improbable. In a recent piece on The Atlantic Wire he said: “I don’t tweet, I don’t Twitter, I couldn’t even tell you how to read or where to find a Twitter message. I don’t actually see the point of limiting communication to a haiku. I find the whole effusion of communications technology bewildering… I have an email address and I’m thinking of shutting that down.”
  • Food doyenne Alice Waters
  • Wine connoiseur and bon vivant Kermit Lynch
  • Ayelet’s other half, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon
  • Investigative reporter Lance Williams
  • Architecture critic and Berkeley resident John King

Any other Berkeley-related folk you’d like to see share their (succinct) words of wisdom in the Twittersphere?


*To see anyone on Twitter, append their handle to twitter.com, as in twitter.com/davewiner.