Awesome Twitters?
May 24, 2008 7:43 AM   Subscribe

I just saw this, from the Tower Bridge, and for the first time I thought: "Twitter could be awesome for things like this!" Any similarly awesome twitterers you can recommend? (Strict awesomeness criteria inside.)

For the most part, I think of twitter as an "Incredibly Shitty Blog," but towerbridge changed my mind. It's not really the kind of thing you would bother to put on a web page, but twitter's format of small updates is perfect here. I can't find much else like it though, so please help me with some recommendations.

I am looking for things that:
1. Are not about one person. That's what blogs are for.
2. Are not marketing. "Choosy moms choose JIF" is a bad tweet.
3. Are Micro-updates, not Macro-facts. MarsPhoenix and CNN below are good examples of things I would rather see on a regular web page, maybe with an RSS feed.
4. Are Awesome. This is a matter of taste, and I hope this doesn't make this question too chatfiltery. MeFi has an eclectic blend of personal tastes; if you think it's cool, please post it here.

Examples, both good and bad:

1. Tower Bridge again: Awesome. Micronews, but interesting, in a nerdy trainspotting sort of way.
2. LAFD: Awesome. Micronews again. Tax dollars are being spent on saving lives here.
3. Mars Phoenix: Kinda cool. Fun facts aren't really updates though -- maybe this will improve when it gets to Mars.
4. LAX: 4 updates in the last 5 months is not Awesome.
5. CNN: The news here is too macro -- really this is like a crappy version of their RSS feed.
6. Stuff about people, even interesting people: Not what I'm looking for here. Good stuff gets blogged, eating sandwiches can be skipped.

I did find this list but wasn't too impressed; I'm hoping metafilter knows some better twitterers. Any suggestions?
posted by rossmik to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I've been trying to convince my school district to use Twitter as a notification system for when one of the servers gets taken offline for work or upgrade. No luck so far but the concept is sound. It would have been very handy yesterday too when school in the entire district was canceled due to air quality concerns because of the fires nearby.

Oh, and my Twitter does not suck. Well, not too bad.

Twitter mashed up with Google Maps could also be really handy for commute and traffic updates, especially delivered to a web-capable phone or GPS.
posted by fenriq at 7:52 AM on May 24, 2008

Here's some Twitters from fictional figures that I find amusing:

Joke Factory posts jokes like this: "Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? A: Being run over would be a merciful release from the horrors of factory farming, America's shame."

Soupy Sales ruminates on his life as a washed-up comedian that used to life it up in the days of the Rat Pack.

Phunphacts keeps you informed with amazing trivia like "The skin of the scrotum, if stretched completely flat, can hold five pounds of jumbo prawns!"

Full disclosure: The guy who writes them is a friend of mine.
posted by ignignokt at 8:16 AM on May 24, 2008

How about CookBook?

I do all the cooking at home, and from time to time see an interesting twitter here. Always interesting to see how she manages to fit a complete recipe into a single twitter.
posted by Mutant at 8:17 AM on May 24, 2008

You know about the mefi sidebar twitter feed, yes? I think that meets your criteria.

I'm also amazed by the Tower Bridge and Mars Phoenix accounts. I hope there are more like that out there, especially if they were useful to me. What about sports teams? I'd want just-the-facts, end of game scores.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:19 AM on May 24, 2008

Would Amber Alerts qualify for Awesome Twitters?
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:57 AM on May 24, 2008

Hmm. I don't think any of the Portland, Ore drawbridges tweet yet, but our transit system does, albeit fairly infrequently. Which is a good thing, since it's mostly service disruptions that they tweet. I get morning and evening pre-commute tweets from the weather. No idea who's responsible for piping all of those cities' forecasts into Twitter.
posted by mumkin at 10:44 AM on May 24, 2008

how about the zappos or jetblue twitter streams?
posted by krautland at 12:14 PM on May 24, 2008

There are quite a few Twitter accounts that repost quotations or similar daily - see Tiny Buddha and Jenny Holzer.
posted by so_necessary at 12:26 PM on May 24, 2008

All of your suggestions are interesting; thank you. Some of the ones not marked best answer were better off as webpages or a little bit too much marketing. Though I didn't mark Amber Alerts as a best answer, it's intriguing. If I pushed twitters to my phone that would be much more useful -- I rarely hear amber alerts on the TV or radio due to my listening habits.
posted by rossmik at 3:02 AM on May 26, 2008

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