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McMurray Musings

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Top Tweets in YMM

In late January I wrote a McMurray Musings blog post about the top 12 YMM Twitter accounts of 2012. I did it as a bit of lark, never expecting it to elicit the reaction it did. It got a lot of views, certainly, and generated a great deal of interest – but it also generated some questions, like how to get on the top Twitter list next year. I was a bit chagrined by this as I didn’t anticipate making it into an annual event, but it seems my readers (and Twitter users) had another idea. I’d like to introduce you to a very few of the Twitter accounts on that list – and then I will tell you how they ended up on it, and maybe a few accounts to watch in 2013, too.


First up we have the venerable @rvthomas67. This is the handle for Russell Thomas, RMWB councillor, communications professional, and community connector. Russell is a must follow for YMM because he connects the dots, brings community members together, and knows what is happening. He is perhaps the most dedicated individual on Twitter, faithfully tweeting not only what he is doing but also what others are doing, busily retweeting news and local events and information.

For political savvy of all levels one must follow @kyleharrietha and @jon_tupper. These two are my go-to guys for everything YMM business, industry, and politics. Both have a certain dry and sardonic sense of humour that amuses me deeply. If you want to know what is happening in Fort McMurray in terms of the very fundamentals you need to follow Jon and Kyle.

For pure entertainment and community pot-stirring there is no one finer than @toddske of @ymmpodcast. Toddske is one of those unafraid to dive into any battle, defending his opinion with vigour. And the great thing is you can back him up against a wall, knife to his throat (metaphorically speaking, of course) and he won’t cry uncle. I’ve seen him argue for points way past their best-before date, and while I don’t always agree with him, I truly appreciate his ability to never waver (although if you can convince him he’s wrong he will in fact admit it, another quality I appreciate - but the convincing is not easy, let me tell you).

In the category of top non-profit account we find @fmspca. In a very short time this account was taken from few followers to a very respectable number today, and I can guarantee they raised the profile of the SPCA in this community. Non-profits often have very small budgets for advertising because they need to reserve their funds for the actual work they do, and so embracing free social media is essential. The YMM SPCA is a shining example of how to do this, and do it well.

Now, this is a small sampling of the Twitter accounts I listed in my top 12 from 2012 (which because I am a writer and lousy with numbers ended up being several more than 12, but who’s counting really?). How did they – and the others on my list – end up there? Because they are, in a word, interesting.

When I am on Twitter I want to be a) informed b) entertained c) engaged and/or d) enlightened. If you aren’t doing at least one of these things (and preferably more than one) then my interest will waver, and I will move on to one of the other million Twitter accounts that amuse me or educate me (like @extragrumpycat who may not be local or educational, but who says the things I wish I could say in public). When you are time-pressed (like most of us) you aren’t going to read about what cereal someone had for breakfast (unless you found a mouse in it; that I do want to know). I want funny, I want information, I want inspiration, I want interaction and I want some brevity, because you better know how to fit it all into 140 characters and have it make sense, too. The accounts I mention above do all that and more, which is why they (and several others) made my Top Twitter List of 2012.

Now, about those accounts to watch in 2013? I’m keeping an eye on @FortMacRaven, a YMM birdbrain who has taken to Twitter to squawk about local events (with a decidedly twisted sense of humour). I’m watching many of the YMM non-profits, because they seem to have realized that Twitter is like being handed newspaper pages or radio minutes of free advertising, and several are embracing it with the kind of passion you usually see in newlyweds. Some local businesses have also taken to Twitter and are tweeting up a storm – and, well, I am keeping a close eye on all those who made the 2012 list, too. I believe that success tends to repeat itself, and I suspect those that topped the list in 2012 will continue to provide fascinating reading in 2013.

My Twitter advice? Go to the #ymm hashtag and follow everyone you find there. If they don’t entertain, inform, engage or enlighten you, the “unfollow” button is just a click away – don’t be afraid to use it.


A freelance writer, blogger and professional communicator who is passionate about her child, her work, her pets, her community and the power of words, Theresa Wells believes perfection in life is achieved when she is surrounded by amazing people, fantastic stories, cold gin and really hot shoes.