I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit crushed. I read Craig Hlavaty's fantastic overview of the Twitter universe (or as named in the article, "The Twitterverse"; somewhere Dwight Shrute and his "funtivities" -- short for fun activities -- approve), and in it he manages to do a masterful job of weaving the history of that genre of social media with specific stories, mostly Houston-based, of people who have managed to use Twitter advantageously. Some, you could argue, even draw a small modicum of celebrity specifically for their Twitter exploits.
I am on Twitter, you can find me @SeanCablinasian. As local sports-talk radio hosts go, I would call my following "healthy" as I have a couple thousand followers. Tweeting is the one thing in my life that I actually feel like I'm kind of good at. I manage to squeeze more dry humor into 140 characters than The Office has squeezed into this entire season (another topic for another time). If there were a NTA (National Tweeting Association), I feel like I'd be a max level free agent, or at the very least that Twitter would be trying to work a sign-and-trade with Facebook.
And then I read Craig's article and he listed a bunch of awesome Houston-based Tweeters and my name wasn't on there. I felt like I was sitting in the green room in New York waiting for Roger Goodell to call my name and hold up my Twitter jersey for the cameras, and before I knew it, I was an undrafted free agent. (Of course, then I read Craig's follow-up blog post
listing out the Five Most Annoying Things that Tweeters do, and I realized that at any given time, of the five, I've done like twelve of them.)
Thankfully, radio has thickened my skin. I picked myself, dusted myself off, and lived to fight another day. In fact, I decided that I would use this Friday's blog post to spotlight ("Follow Friday" style, or #FF in hashmark-ese) some of the unsung Houston-area folks that I follow on Twitter whom I feel should have WAY more followers than they do:
(In the spirit of fairness and so as not to be called an bold-faced panderer, I'll keep this one free of 1560 personalities, but just know that all of the ones on Twitter are great, especially @johngrant1560, who is completely, 100 percent real.)
KATIE SOWA (@ktsowa -- 299 followers), freelance blogger: Aside from being the former mascot at the University of Texas, Katie has possibly the single best idea for a quick hit humorous blog with todayonthelightrail.com, where she chronicles her daily rides to and from work on the Houston light rail. Lots of good creeper/overzealous law enforcement smack, both of which we need way more of in this world.
THE SOPRANOS BLOG (@SopranosBlog -- 782 followers), Sopranos enthusiast: It's not based in Houston, at least I don't think it is, but if you are a Sopranos fan, this is the ideal follow for you. They tweet maybe 5-10 times a day, and it's either a Sopranos quote which will make you laugh, or sometimes some Sopranos trivia where they give away prizes. If you're really lucky, you'll be following on the occasion where the owner just starts tweeting as if he were Tony Soprano himself. BADA BING!!
DAVID ANDERSON (@whiteout89 -- 1,928 followers), Houston Texans wide receiver: Anderson is perhaps the funniest of all the athletes here in Houston, and a genuinely enjoyable person. As you know from my blog earlier this week, D.A. has an ongoing beef with Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, and one of his goals going into the season is to try and top Justice's 6,000+ followers (that, and that whole "win a Super Bowl" thing). Won't you please help him?
Side bar: Anderson was asked if he could have a camera crew follow him on a trip he made to Prague this winter. The first snippets are out on ESPN.com.)
DRUNK HULK (@DRUNKHULK -- 21,916 followers), some dude who is acting like the Incredible Hulk after a bender: Again, not a Houston-based follow per se, but let's face it -- the Hulk would show up anywhere at anytime so long as Dr. David Banner needed to stay presumed dead. This version of the Hulk tweets in ALL CAPS, and conjugates his verbs like...well, like a drunk Hulk. Just trust me.
KYLE MANTHEY (@taskmaster1560 -- 273 followers), producer of the "Sean & John Show": I promised I wouldn't include any fellow 1560 employees, but Kyle is forced to toil in the wretched shadows of my massive ego on a daily basis, so I'm throwing him a bone. My suggestion to all of you would be to not throw anything at Kyle, because chances are he's intoxicated and would probably react the same way a sleeping tiger would to your dumping battery acid on his tail. In short, if you want to know where the good bar fights are going to be in San Leon that night, follow Kyle.
FAKE MILO HAMILTON (@miloeey -- 228 followers), someone impersonating Astros announcer Milo Hamilton: My belief is that Twitter is at its best when you follow someone and it feels like an extension of hanging out with them. This Twitter account is nothing like Milo's on-air personality, but I have a feeling it may be closer to his off-air personality than we think. A must follow.
STEVE IN KATY (@SteveintheKT -- 266 followers), 1560 listener: Steve is not someone many of you know; in fact, off the top of my head, I can't remember his last name (or else I'd put it here), but his observations on the world of sports are ten times wittier than those from people who are actually paid to be witty. There are probably a million "SteveintheKT" types out there on Twitter we don't know about, toiling in virtual anonymity. All I can do is call attention to the one that I know, and he's hilarious. You know those commercials where they say that for thirty cents a day, your money can feed this one kid, and they show you a picture of that kid? Well, my Twitter "thirty cents a day" kid is @SteveintheKT.
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CHARITY CHICKS (@charitychicks -- 1,693 followers), Houston-based charity events organizer: If your charity bug needs to be scratched with something other than helping people find more Twitter followers, Charity Chicks is a pretty cool follow just to keep you up to date on different events around town, how to donate, how to participate, pictures from events, etc. Every Twitter page needs a public service reminder. This is mine.
STEPHANIE STRADLEY (@StephStradley -- 965 followers), Texans Chick blogger on Chron.com: I've had a chance to do radio with Stephanie, and she's become kind of the voice of the educated Texans fan. I'm trying to say that without sounding snooty, because she is anything but snooty. Her blog caters to the hardcore fan, especially those that are into the statistical side of football and what it means to the Texans. Thankfully, she breaks all of that stuff down in a way that is a really good read; also, a quality source for good NFL content on re-tweets, which is always key. (It's almost like having someone shop for groceries for you, when you find a really good "link retweeter." Twitter enthusiasts know what I mean. Let's move on...)
ALYSON FOOTER (@AlysonFooter -- 4,054 followers), Astros Senior Director of Social Media: Alyson actually works for the Astros, which you would think might tie her hands in some ways as to exactly how sarcastic she can be about the team's performance so far this year. Gradually, as you follow her, you realize this is less and less of a concern. I'm sure she can't say EVERYTHING she's thinking, which makes me wish that for certain folks on Twitter we could pay like $4.99 a month to read their "Deleted Scenes" tweets.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.