You may be one of those people who thinks Twitter is some kind of narcissistic echo chamber. That it's a place where folks broadcast their breakfast to the world in 140 characters or less.
Still, even the social media skeptics here at the High Country News have gotten swept into the Twittersphere and we've discovered that ... it's not all bad. In fact, Twitter can be a very valuable tool for catching news and gleaning important opinion from all of those Inter-Tubes running around cyberspace. Indeed, following @highcountrynews is a great way to keep track of breaking and ongoing Western news.
For those of you who're thinking of taking the dive into this Twitterific new world, or if you've already started tweeting but still find yourself following Tweeple who update on every personal hygiene event and non-thought that enters their minds, we compiled a list of some of our staff's favorite quality tweeters out there - Tweeps whose tweets show that Twitter can provide substance beyond the musings of superstars like @aplusk and @oprah.Social Media Guru Stephanie Paige Ogburn @highcountrynews
@matt_weiser: Sac Bee reporter on water and environment. Posts great breaking news stories and tweets interesting news items.
@EnviroLawNews: A good source for wonky updates on environmental law.
@revkin: Indispensable NYTimes reporter covering climate and planet-wide environmental challenges.
@ThePhoenixSun: Freelance writer Osha Gray Davidson's always up on solar and other Western environmental news
@agahran: Western-based new media guru with an environmental bent.
@cfra: Center for Rural Affairs - not only Western news but rural news and issues important to many Westerners
@tomphilpott: NC-based food editor for grist.org; a must-follow for anyone who cares about food.
@AmericasPower: follow coal industry front group to see what PR trick the coal kings have up their sleeve next.
@wildnevada: The Nevada Wilderness Project. Need I say more?
@navajonation: News from the Rez. Infrequently updated but always interesting.
@gjsentinel: The Grand Junction Sentinel helps me keep up with Western Colo. news.
@seedmag: The dorkiest accessible science news around (closely tied with @newscientist)
@ConsBio: Conservation Biology news from Corvallis, Ore.
@NREL: The National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden's always working and tweeting on something interesting.
@COIndependent: great local investigative reporting out of Colorado
@Sightline: Environmental, economic and social news from Cascadia
Editor Jonathan Thompson @jonnypeace (Where he micro-blogs about mostly un-HCN stuff, like good food and weird thoughts.)
@jontalton: The Rogue Columnist tweets about the Arizona "Kookocracy" and more.
@CalFireNews: It's like watching the fire scanner of the whole state of California, with commentary tossed in.
@Defenders: Defenders of Wildlife gives an activist-bent to enviro news.
@jfleck: Thoughtful, sometimes snarky, take on New Mexico water and more.
@drgrist: No holds barred mini-blogging from David Roberts of Grist. Likes to tear @AmericasPower a new one.
@humphryslocombe: Okay, this is a San Francisco ice cream place. It has nothing to do with Western news, and I can't get any of their ice cream here (Golden Beet Saffron; Bacon Peanut Brittle). But after a long day of slogging through copy, I want some ice cream (even if just vicariously).
Associate Editor Jodi Peterson @Jodi_Peterson
@NewsRimes4Lines: From Native journalist Mark Trahant. Sample Tweet: Congress in a mad rush to sell more cars/finding a subsidy from the stars/Oh wait that money's not free/we're actually borrowing it you see
@HDJEditor: Western lit mag High Desert Journal's twitter feed.
@nytimesscience: Science, environment and space news.
@NewWest: Western growth and development, plus environment news and great book reviews.
@ecopolitologist: Tim Hurst's thoughts about politics, energy, environment.
@RDavidian: This SoCal guy tweets about all things outdoors: hiking, backpacking, birding, wilderness survival and photography.
Assistant Editor Sarah Gilman @Sarah_Gilman
@inciweb: Regular status updates on nearly every wildfire in the country, with cool statistics on firefighters and equipment involved in various blazes, acres burned, acres contained, and any new developments.
@AltEnergyNews: Good rundown on national energy news, with western tidbits.
@kate_sheppard: Grist's snarky political writer, who often blogs on energy-related stuff
@TheOilDrum: Wonk-fest about fossil fuels and peak oil. Energy expert Randy Udall turned me on to this one.
@judlew: HCN contributing editor Judith Lewis, who tweets infrequently, but insightfully.
Intern Arla Shephard @tres_arla
@moniguzman: Monica Guzman follows Seattle's more quirky news for seattlepi.com's award-winning The Big Blog (@bigblog), but it's her personal Twitter that keeps me in tune with what's happening in the Emerald City.
@BluandYellow: This Denver-based environmental justice group, formed by women of color, aims to promote economic, social, and racial diversity in sustainability issues.
@seattletimes: The Seattle Times covers cultural, political, and social issues in Washington— and is still my favorite Western paper.
@TreeHugger: TreeHugger's extensive number of media platforms (blogs, Twitter, daily newsletters, video segments) keep enviros up-to-date on all things sustainability.
@highcountrynews: I can't help it. Where else can I get comprehensive coverage on environmental issues in the West?
Did we miss your favorite Western Tweeps? Add them on to our list in the comment section!