Time magazine released its annual list of the “140 Best Twitter Feeds” on Monday, and the federal IT and government community made an abbreviated appearance in the rundown.
While the list was mostly dominated by high-ranking journalists of different categories, which spanned from business, celebrity and comedy to sports, tech and weird, a few civil servants and IT pioneers were recognized for their ability to be social-media savvy in 140 characters or less.
Most notably, Bill and Hillary Clinton got the nod as a duo in the politics category for mastering “the power selfie.” The real winner here, though, is Hillary, whose social prowess is evident not just in her following, but also her advocacy of the digital medium. Expect that if she announces a run for president in 2016, her already massive presence on Twitter will likely blow up even more.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 1, 2014
The Interior Department’s feed found a place on the list, but not where you’d expect. Though the handle does pass on valuable information about preserving America’s beautiful outdoors, its main focus is showing, rather than telling, through pictures. Daily, if you follow DOI on Twitter, you’ll find beauties like this:
— US Dept of Interior (@Interior) April 27, 2014
Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the bowtie-sporting former national coordinator for health information technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, was highlighted for his ability to tweet about dense health care and health-tech topics in no more than 140 characters.
Congressional antics also found their way into Time’s list via Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Paul is known on Twitter for his hubris and ability to roll with the punches, while Sanders’ reputation comes from his spitfire tweets as the voice of the far left.
Specifically, the IT community was scarcely represented in the list, with only Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer of Cisco, making the list in the tech category. The rest of the honorees were mostly gadget- or startup-focused techies or reporters. While her company’s innovations in networking focuses heavily on the federal side, Warrior’s own work and tweets tend to skew toward the commercial market. Still, she keeps an eye on the government’s role in innovation and was rumored to be a candidate for the nation’s first-ever CTO under President Barack Obama.
In years past, government agencies made a much more sizable dent. In 2012, the list included the Census Bureau, NASA astronauts, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Director of Web Communications Jeffrey Levy and the State Department’s Alec Ross, senior adviser for innovation.