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The real Best Tweeter in Birmingham

September 8, 2011

Best of B'ham 2011I am flattered. I am humbled. I am agog.

Thank you, Birmingham Magazine readers, for selecting me a second consecutive year as Best Tweeter in the Best of B’ham 2011 online poll.

It means a lot to me to be singled out for something I do for fun and for my job, for something that is at times rather silly and at other times a valuable and urgent way to share vital information.

Here’s what writer Jena Hippensteel said …

Birmingham Magazine - Best Tweeter - Best of B'ham 2011

Best Tweeter:
Wadeontweets

In the year since he became the first winner of our Best Tweeter award, Wade Kwon has gained more than 1,000 followers. Kwon is a former Birmingham Post-Herald and Southern Living writer and editor who now makes his way as a full-on “citizen journalist” through Birmingham Blogging Academy and Magic City Post. He gives followers a mix of local news, comical personal statements and analysis. twitter.com/wadeontweets

FINALISTS : James Spann, meteorologist, twitter.com/spann, Taylor Hicks, entertainer and restaurant owner, twitter.com/TaylorRHicks

Pretty good stuff, right? Don’t worry, I’m not going to get a big head over this. Y’all are good at keeping me honest and humble.

One perk of all this fuss is that it will give me a chance to shine the light on other tweeters worth your time. I had occasionally shared these Twitter luminaries with the simple request, “Recommend you follow …”

I plan to resume that feature, as early as next month, with daily tweet recommendations of who I believe warrants attention and why.

It is an awards acceptance speech cliche to point to a more deserving nominee while snatching the trophy. But as I look back on 2011, I know in my heart that James Spann is the real Best Tweeter in Birmingham.

He should be up here accepting the virtual trophy, not me.

Birmingham’s TV meteorologist extraordinaire @spann has earned it. In 2011, I have written about his Twitter expertise not only on this site but also in a local newspaper.

The reasoning is simple. Yes, Spann has nine times my Twitter audience. Yes, he is a machine when it comes to tweeting. And yes, he is considered not only a top forecaster (having won the category in the same poll in 2010 and 2011) but also a top communicator.

But one inescapable fact puts him far above the rest of us on Twitter.

Spann saves lives.

The April 27 tornadoes killed 239 people across Alabama. Had it not been for Spann sharing real-time weather data and warnings through Twitter, going beyond his broadcast duties, the death toll would have been much higher.

In the aftermath, he continued to use his Twitter channel to reach tens of thousands of people in an ongoing effort to aid rescue personnel, direct food and supplies and give comfort in a difficult time. What I share is sometimes useful — what Spann shares is often life-saving.

Fortunately, we can all be a @spann in social media. We can spend the time to grow our audience, to be generous in sharing what others tweet, to listen carefully and to respond quickly and helpfully.

All it requires is a love of and a commitment to your community.

Also:

I want you to shine in social media. Contact me, and let’s work
together to help you and your company succeed.

Contact me

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2011 11:22 am

    Congrats on your win!
    I enjoy your tweets and info, but I have to agree with you about @spann… he is a social media maniac and keeps me informed on everything from weather to traffic. During the storms, his twitter feed kept everyone up to speed minute by minute and he was an amazing influence in the cleanup and rescue in the aftermath. I honestly don’t know where he finds the extra time in the day to be as productive as he is!

    • September 8, 2011 2:23 pm

      Thanks, Melissa!

      Spann has talked in public appearances about how he integrates Twitter into in his day. He sets aside some time, but also just makes it a routine. He has the same time constraints as most of us — he’s just really smart about how he manages his time.

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