Welcome back folks. In case a blog isn't ego-centric enough, I just added a sidebar widget that will display my five most recent tweets on Twitter. After signing up for Twitter months ago, I am just starting to get comfortable with it and can appreciate it's good and not-so-good points. I have actually bored of Facebook and use FB just to play WordScraper and the asinine time-waster known as Farm Town. FB is also my virtual Rolodex as so many of my friends there are publishing people and authors. While I'm tempted to close my FB account, I just don't want to lose those connections.
But Twitter is a whole different ball of wax. Most of the people I follow don't know me and I don't know them. There are a good number of people I do know, or at least know about, but most I've never met and probably won't. It's the epitome of anonymity and it's a socially acceptable way to stalk someone. If you're into stalking.
Twitter is a fun and easy way to get tidbits of information quickly and from a wide range of people. Granted, I usually follow people with one of two of my main interests: food and books. But even within those two simple categories there is much variation. I follow authors/illustrators, editors, agents, publishing companies, marketing departments, celebrities, a couple Mythbusters, tennis players, publications, associations, chefs, food people, book people, libraries & librarians, a few friends & family, Brooklyn/NY info, food trucks, trend watchers, a shoe designer, and one teleprompter. Yes, a teleprompter (@BOTeleprompter).
For instance, here are some Top Chef people I follow:
Toby Young @toadmeister
Fabio Viviani @fabioviviani
Padma Lakshmi @ThePadmaLakshmi
Gail Simmons @gailsimmons
Top Chef @BravoTopChef
Richard Blais @RichardBlais
Rick Bayless @Rick_Bayless
Stephanie Izard @StephanieIzard
There are more from Top Chef out there but I am choosing not to follow them. That's the beauty of Twitter. You can follow anyone you want. In FB, you have to ask someone to be friends which can lead to awkward situations if one party doesn't really want to be friends, even virtual friends, with the other person. Of course, the flip side of Twitter is that anyone can follow you. You can block people who follow you but that's a little hostile in my opinion. I only block the spambots peddling prescription meds, porn, "outstanding" business opportunities, etc.
Other well-known food people/blogs/publications I follow:
Cake Wrecks @cakewrecks
Molly Wizenberg (Orangette) @mollyorangette
Grub Street @grubstreetny
Rocco Dispirito @roccodispirito
Jennifer Heigl @dailyblender
Anthony Bourdain @NoReservations
Mark Bittman @bittman
Michael Rhulman @ruhlman
Bobby Flay @bflay
Ruth Reichl @ruthreichl
Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg @KarenAndAndrew
New York Times Food @nytimesfood
Smitten Kitchen @thesmitten
Dorie Greenspan @doriegreenspan
Bon Appetit Magazine @bonappetitmag
New York Times Dining @nytimesdining
Clotilde Dusoulier (Chocolate & Zucchini) @clotildenet
Adam Richman (Man Vs. Food) @AdamRichman
I think that's enough to get you started. There are oodles of food and book people out there and there is no way to follow everyone.
So why do I follow anyone anyway? Because they offer ideas, opinions, tips, chuckles, knowledge, and inspiration in 140 characters or less. And it's entertaining. Usually.