My top 24 Twitter feeds (WAY better than TIME’s top 140)

Here’s a case of bad first impression…

My attention was just called to this piece at, “140 Best Twitter Feeds,” which includes such micro-literary stylists as Sarah Palin, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Ashton Kuchner.

At least, those are the ones pictured.

So I was set to tee off on a rant about the descent of a once semi-respectable newsmagazine into the seamier depths of trash culture, full of references to lowest common denominators and defining deviance down.

How, I was prepared to demand indignantly, could one prepare a “best Twitter feed” list without Roger Ebert, to name but one?

But then, when I finally found something to click on that gave me the full list (one of the most irritating things about such lists by TIME is that they tend to make the full list — the main thing that interests me — something you have to hunt for; what they want you to do is click through them one by one, so that you see as many ads as possible, I suppose)… and there was Roger Ebert at number 15.

And there was Nicholas Kristof, another great Tweeter, at No. 2. And there’s Felicia Day at No. 26. You go, Felicia!

OK, well then, never mind…

Although I will gripe about how lame it is that you can’t easily link from the list to these Twitter feeds so you can check them out. Which would not only be nice; one would think it would be obvious.

Anyway, I’ll be interested to read your thoughts if you check it out.

Meanwhile, here are my faves from my list of 500 feeds I follow, a deliberate mix of local and national, substance and fun:

  1. Nicholas Kristof — Talk about substance. Talk about getting it straight from the guy on the scene. Nobody covering the world beyond our shores brings the drama of international developments to our attention in a more thoughtful and humane manner. A remarkably self-effacing sage. Typical Tweet: “It’s interesting that attitudes toward Libya intervention don’t follow a left/right split. More int’list vs isolationist.”
  2. Mark Knoller — This guy’s Tweets are so awesome, frequent, informative and just plain interesting that the WSJ did a front-page feature on them last year. He is THE trivia master of the White House Press Corps. And he lets you know what’s going on in Obama’s house from moment to moment. Typical Tweet — actually a series of Tweets, since that’s Mr. Knoller’s specialty: “Then at 730pm this evening, Pres Obama addresses the nation about Libya, what’s at stake, how long will it take, who’s in charge, etc.”… “Tonight’s speech responds to criticism that Pres Obama involved the US in Libya without so much as an address to the nation.”… “Pres Obama will stress tonight that NATO is in command of US/allied military ops in Libya incl. no-fly zone & protecting civilians.”… “Pres. Obama also expected to make the point that US/allies responded to Libya far quicker than to Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Darfur, et al.”… “Pres. Obama offered a preview of his Libya address in his Weekly Address over the weekend. Transcript at
  3. Adam Baldwin — My favorite celebrity follower. The man who played “Jayne Cobb” rants from the right, but at a higher level than one often finds in rants. Such as his references to “repressive tolerance.” Typical Tweet: “Divisive Multiculturalism! | MT @MarkKnoller “While at Bell Multicultural H.S., Pres ☮bama will also focus on Hispanic educational issues.” (See, Adam also knows how useful it is to follow Mark Knoller.)
  4. Roger Ebert — Burl turned me onto Ebert’s Tweets, and I appreciate it. Of course, I like him less when he veers into politics, because it’s not his strength, but at least he provides some liberal balance to Adam Baldwin. Typical Tweet: “Reporter sez he wasn’t “kidnapped” by Joe Biden, and the blogosphere over-reacted. Who would tweet such a story? Me?
  5. Felicia Day — Like Adam Baldwin, another denizen of the Joss Whedon ‘verse. Why do I follow this offbeat beauty? Duh. Doesn’t every red-blooded American geek follow her? Typical Tweet: “March 29th the Dr. Horrible BOOK comes out! Tons of awesome stuff in there!”
  6. Adam Fogle — Former mastermind of The Palmetto Scoop (and author of the “TPS Reports”), Adam is perhaps SC’s wittiest Tweeter. Typical Tweet: “Got a diamond ring for this girl I like. It was a pretty sweet trade.” Another: “I stopped bringing my lunch in a brown paper bag because it’s just too easy for chickens to peck out of those things.” Yet another: “Being a local celebrity is a lot like not being a celebrity.”
  7. Meg Kinnard — Because this local AP reporter just helps me keep up with what’s going on. Typical Tweet: “AP – Carolinas utilities report radiation from Japan –
  8. TheBigPicture — This is really host Mark Quinn, and I list him for much the same reason as Meg, with the added factor that he is a consummate reTweeter of things of SC interest. Typical Tweet: “RT: @WolfeReports Michele Bachmann, blowing up the ads on The State.
  9. FrumForum — A separate feed from that of its author, David Frum, a conservative trying to save his party from Tea Party madness. Typical Tweet: “What Libya Reveals About Obama’s Views on War: Toby Harnden writes at The Daily Telegraph: America’s inte… #tcot
  10. Peter Hamby — I mention this CNN reporter, among all the national MSM people I follow, because of his expertise in the way SC interacts with national politics, and because it gives me another excuse to link to my flip-flops anecdote. Typical Tweet: “and as reported earlier, Bachmann has been laying the groundwork for weeks now:
  11. Lenore Skenazy — Crusader for sensible, non-obsessive child-rearing. Author of “Free Range Kids.” Typical Tweet: “Scientists develop perfect learning toy for babies. “Cube of Wood.” Short vid:
  12. Jeff Vrabel — An often-entertaining, irreverent commentator on pop culture down in the Lowcountry. First came to my attention for the way he trashed “Avatar.Typical Tweet: “Elizabeth Taylor, Nate Dogg currently having the most awkward conversation ever in the waiting room”
  13. Kenley Young — A former editor at The State and prolific local musician, Kenley and wife @shellevator (also a former editor at The State) have recently moved to LA, and it’s fun following their adventures on the Left Coast. Typical Tweet: “Actors also end phone calls by agreeing to meet up: “See you there.” They never say what time. It’s apparently never openly discussed. ESP?”
  14. Logan Stewart — An SC Democrat stranded in Charlotte. Secret to her appeal? She reTweets me a lot. Typical Tweet: “@kokomodianne I think u have me beat on the languages by long shot. I just squeak by with English, some spanish & a lot of tweeting&yelling”
  15. Thornton Kirby — The head of the SC Hospital Association doesn’t Tweet all that often, but when he does, he offers insight into the complexities of health care — from the hospitals’ perspective, of course. Typical Tweet: “The Stockdale Paradox
  16. Debra Legg — Debra’s a West Coast Mommy Blogger who also writes for ADCO. Typical Tweet: “To the commenter who blames the family: If the restaurant can’t swear a food is allergen-free, it simply should say so.
  17. Burl Burlingame — Because he’s our guy in Hawaii. Typical Tweet: “No matter how you spell Quadaffi or Khadaffy or whatever, you still know who is being addressed. Just throw a handful of consonants down.”
  18. Adam Beam — One of the best local MSM user of social media, effectively integrating the medium into his reporting. (Actually, I’d also list John O’Connor as an exemplar of the same thing, but I’m trying to make each feed on my list different from the others.)  Typical Tweet: “City Hall gets a security upgrade
  19. Rick Stilwell — OK,  I admit that I’m mainly putting him on the list because he’s from Cayce, and because I like the name of his feed: RickCaffeinated. Because I, too, love coffee. But his Tweets are fast and furious, and often interesting. Typical Tweet: “Told everyone in the house I wouldn’t do it. Swore I wouldn’t do it. Dang it. #turnedheatbackon
  20. Simran ‘Simmi’ Singh — Because Nikki Haley’s look-alike sister is just so freakin’ OUT THERE. Typical Tweet: “Grateful or Greatful? Be both. Full of gratitude and full of greatness! Being Light and Light Being? Full of Light…
  21. Alison Agosti — Her feed is called “Just_Alison,” and it is just… weird. But I like it as a sort of change of pace, a sorbet to cleanse the palate before going on to something else more, uh, relevant. Typical Tweet: “I’m going to print out this digital booklet so I can throw it in the actual garbage.”
  22. Jay Barry — Another co-worker. Jay is my cameraman on “The Brad Show,” and the drummer with Lunch Money. I’m putting him on the list for this one Tweet he did over the weekend, while his band was touring in the Northeast: “Driving through rural Mass. Saw a VW up on blocks in front of an organic farm.”
  23. Nathan Ballentine — The most avid Tweeter at the State House. And he doesn’t just Tweet politics. Typical Tweet: “this one might come down to Jimmy Chitwood hitting one at the buzzer”
  24. Harvey Peeler — This is to keep the Senate from being envious because I listed Nathan. The senator’s profile: “I am a milker of cows and herder of cats.” This is good. Almost too good. Wesley, are you or someone else doing this for him? If not, hat’s off to you, senator. Not flashy, but he gets the medium. Typical Tweet: “To me ‘March Madness’ starts when the House sends the budget over to the Senate.”

Why 24? Because that’s how many I had after a quick pass through those I follow. I grabbed them hurriedly, and on another day I might have grabbed different ones. But I thought you might find these interesting.

22 thoughts on “My top 24 Twitter feeds (WAY better than TIME’s top 140)

  1. Brad

    Just got a reply on Twitter from Adam Baldwin (whom you can see on “Chuck” these days, by the way):

    “‘rants from the right’? ~ Methinks your understanding of the word ‘rant’ is mistaken (especially in the Twitterverse). Thanks anyway…”

    I admitted that “rant” is a bit … expansive… for a 140-character format. I wonder if there’s a better term in the thesaurus somewhere.

    In any case, it’s always a thrill to hear from one of my favorite TV stars…

  2. Angel

    I’m a huge Adam Baldwin/Joss Whedon fan and follower of most of the folks you’ve highlighted; the others I will definitely look into. Thanks for sharing your ‘list’ with us Brad.


  3. Brad

    Adam Baldwin just added a suggestion for a substitute for “rants:”

    “How about ‘insights’? ;-)”

    I said that’s a good thought, and I would offer it as an alternative version. I can put it in the “bonus features” when the blog comes out on DVD…

  4. Logan Stewart

    I totally don’t deserve to be on this list, but thanks, Brad; it is an honor. You are a great blogger and always factual and interesting while still being entertaining. One of the original and still one of the best!

    Glad I have people like you to help keep me fired up while I am stuck up here in Charlotte. Just kidding — this is a great town and I can’t wait for you all to be up here for DNC 2012. Party at my place.

  5. Kenley Young

    I, too, am honored to be on this list. And judging by all the Joss Whedon-related folks in your feed, you have impeccable taste, sir.

    Jayne Cobb tweeted you back?! I would totally be flipping out! :)

  6. Brad

    Thanks, Burl! One of my motives in posting this was to learn about more cool feeds. As I mentioned before, Burl led me to Ebert — and Felicia Day, too, I believe. He has excellent taste. As of course, do all members of the Radford High School class of ’71.

    All 600 of us.

  7. Brad

    Brook Bristow’s making me feel bad by so generously congratulating some of those on the list when he was not included… because I ALMOST included him, but didn’t because I had Jeff Vrabel in there, and I thought they brought a lot of the same qualities. Brook also overlaps somewhat with Adam Fogle. And I was trying to make each feed in my list a good example of something very different from the others. Which is why, as I explained above, I did not include John O’Connor after I’d included Adam Beam, even though I’m equally impressed with John’s Twitter work. And I didn’t include Jim Davenport after I had included Meg Kinnard, because they are both solid local AP reporters who make good use of Twitter. (And the fact that Meg Tweets more often and more widely served as a tie-breaker.)

    So, sorry about that, Brook. And John. And Dav. As I said, on another day I might have made other picks. And I’d be proud to have y’all on the list as well.

  8. Brad

    Hey, you got a MENTION. I even gave you credit for another guy’s Tweets. It’s way cool; it’s like praise by proxy.

    As for becoming a 6-timer… ah, come on — you can’t keep me off the show. The key demographics love me. That’s what my agent says, anyway…

  9. Wesley Donehue

    I cannot believe I’m not on your list. So much for you making it to the Pub Politics 5 timers club.

    As for Senator Peeler’s tweeting, I am no where near that clever. It is ALL him. I set up his account and that was about it. He’s on a roll.


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