The Cable

The State Department’s dueling Twitterati

The Urban Dictionary defines "Twitterati" as "The Tweet elite, whose feeds attract thousands of followers and whose 140-character spews capture the attention of the rapt who doggedly monitor them." At the State Department, that honor applies to two rising stars, Special Advisor on Innovation Alec Ross (@alecjross) and Policy Planning staffer Jared Cohen (@jaredcohen). Both ...

The Urban Dictionary defines "Twitterati" as "The Tweet elite, whose feeds attract thousands of followers and whose 140-character spews capture the attention of the rapt who doggedly monitor them."

At the State Department, that honor applies to two rising stars, Special Advisor on Innovation Alec Ross (@alecjross) and Policy Planning staffer Jared Cohen (@jaredcohen). Both tech celebrities in their own right, the two are competing for the coveted title of most-followed State Department tweeter.

Ross was a famous Internet entrepreneur before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton created a new position to bring him into her personal office. So it’s not surprising that he has over 269,000 followers on Twitter. His tweets range from updates on his work related to Internet freedom to personal updates like "Kids in bed so Mommy and Daddy getting some Thai food and watching a movie…"

But he’s running second to Cohen, who has more than 319,000 "tweeps." On Cohen’s feed, you can find links to articles, ways to help Haiti, and updates on his many media appearances. Cohen has written books but is most often cited as the guy who got Twitter to halt maintenance so that Iranian protesters could keep tweeting.

(The State Department’s official blog, DipNote, currently has  13,327 followers on Twitter, and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, who just started her own Twitter feed last week, has attracted 790 followers so far.)

So who will reach half a million followers first? Ross or Cohen? Who is the better tweeter? Let me know via @joshrogin.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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