I’m interesting… and you’re not

Screenshot of NEWS.com.au home page

So… Right now there’s this graphic with two canaries on the very motherfucking front page of NEWS.com.au which links to a story listing 10 of Australia’s most interesting Twitter users. I’m one of them.

Stilgherrian (@stilgherrian) Fiercely opinionated blogger and former broadcaster Stilgherrian (“yes, I only have one name,” he says) is one of the busiest Twitter users in Australia with more than 16,000 posts. Subscribe to his feed for thoughts on media, technology and politics from a web-savvy point of view.

Example: “In all of this, pls differentiate between ‘news’, which we all pass on, and ‘The News’, which journalists manufacture.”

I wonder why they didn’t pick example tweets like this or this or this?

The list also includes Crikey cartoonist First Dog on the Moon (@firstdogonmoon), Fake Stephen Conroy (@stephenconroy) and possibly the least interesting Twitter user of all, Kevin Rudd (@kevinruddpm). Please check out the full list, earn poor Mr Murdoch some advertising revenue and, more importantly, suggest some other folks who might be good additions.

I think it’s hilarious. But I’m also amazed by some of the initial reactions…

All I know about the selection criteria is that journalist Andrew Ramadge (@aramadge) says the list was chosen by news.com.au staff and was by merit rather than number of followers.

Clearly the story is aimed at people who’ve never used Twitter. There’s an obvious What is Twitter? link. Fair enough, there’s fewer than 1 in 5000 Australians using it so far.

Picking just 10 people to appeal to a mainstream audience is a tough call, but reactions on my Facebook profile were harsh. I’d link directly to the item but I can’t figure out how to do that so you’ll have to go digging.

  • “I am pretty fucking pissed off I, @mpesce, @silkcharm and @kcarruthers, @bronwen, and who could not forget @lu_lu and the grossness of @grum … FFS News Ltd. FUCKING FAIL FUCKTARDS”
  • “does this mean Twitter has jumped the shark?”
  • “and why the heck is @stub left out? seriously, we have some credibility right?!? ggrrr!”
  • “With all usual love to Stil who has rightly been identified as wheat, most of us are Chaff? Noice one, MSM demonstrating their haughty we know everything stance on something they clearly have no freaking idea about. In the words of Nelson ‘ha ha, your medium is dying.'”

Now it’d be much easier for me to comment if I wasn’t on the goddam list myself, but I am, so take that on board however you like. I’m certainly not saying there’s other people who aren’t also “worthy”, or “important” or “well-known” or “they’re a good friend” or “they’re nice”. And Twitter is indeed representative of an important new mode of human communication and it’s fascinating to talk about social media — if you’re a social media consultant.


The criterion was “interesting”. To a mainstream, non-geek human. Bearing that in mind, what you you think of the list?

Please suggest away. I’ll link to people’s Twitter profiles for you, possibly after some delay.

13 Replies to “I’m interesting… and you’re not”

  1. Look, the title was “Australia’s most interesting Twitter users”, and looking at the list, it’s obvious that finding even 10 interesting Twitterers was a stretch.

    If it was a list of “The Most Annoying and Shameless Self-Promotors” or “The Most Hand-wavingest Futurists” or “People who love Eurovision”, then sure, I could see the likes of @SilkCharm, @mpesce, and @NickHodge on the list.

    Why do those folks even give a crap, anyway? I thought MSM was an irrelevant dinosaur?

    Nevermind, I’m sure someone will come out with a counter-list (if they haven’t already) that corrects this outrageous miscarriage of justice.

  2. I’ll reveal a secret that most bloggers/twitterati (present company excepted) won’t tell you. 🙂

    They’ll bag MSM (mainstream media) aka newspapers and TV networks mercilessly on a day to day basis, however:

    1. If they get mentioned in the MSM than all is forgiven and the MSM is sage-like arbiter of quality, separating wheat from the chaff etc.

    2. If they feel that MSM has ignored them than the anti-MSM vitriol will be doubled.

  3. It all makes sense now, here was me thinking MSM meant something else (Men who have Sex with Men) http://gaylife.about.com/od/gaydictionary/g/msm.htm

    The picture they have on the front page also has “e on gay penguins if yr interested”

    I’ve no idea too how @KevinRuddPM made it on the list, his tweets are probably the most boring on Twitter

    All I can say is it must have been a slow news day at news.com.au

  4. I’m currently getting new Twitter followers at the rate of one per minute. This is insane. I’ll reply to comments and stuff later, when the silly giggly excitement subsides.

  5. firstly, we all knew Stil was an icon in Australian media and has always been at the forefront of new media (from trees to data) – i liked this article – it shows that Twitter has some appeal for the common folk, the only risk here, is that Twitter might get de-geeked to the screams of those that love it as a forum for tech talk…
    but hey – who cares, congratulations Stil on the accolade, now all you need is for news.com.au to pay you mega bucks to publish your thoughts!


  6. I agree with Rob. Your inclusion is very deserving (not that I think you’re needing to be told that, but I just have to say it). You’re definitely right up there with the most interesting in my Twitter stream.

    While Rudd’s tweets are not at all ‘interesting’ he is of course ‘of interest’ – and so maybe it’s because he’s actually on Twitter that they find him worthy of being on the list.

    Yes, lots of obvious ones missing but it’s hard with such a broad audience who are probably Twitter virgins. It wouldn’t be a bad list to start off with if you’d never touched Twitter before and you wanted the experience to be interesting. Maybe it should just be called ‘some interesting people to follow’ rather than ‘the most interesting’.

    The good thing is everyone can have their own list and comment / pull apart any existing ones. Which … err… they seem to be doing!

  7. Interestingly, a friend emailed the news.com.au story to me today – after reading it, she finally understood what twitter was about. Journalists, have cheer, there must still be some life in the old dog.

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