The 100 Sexiest Jews on Twitter: Thanks #JTA100

Co-written by Harry Rubenstein (@HarryR) and me, David Abitbol (@Jewlicious).

By day they are Jewish community professionals, bloggers, writers, social media consultants and community activists, but by night they unleash their pent up sensual energy and become the sexiest Jews known to mankind. They are this years 100 Sexiest Jews on Twitter. With fingers and minds well honed from crafting clever 140 character missives, these Jews and Jewesses will blow your mind and your… well, you know.

Last year the JTA released its first list of the 100 Most Influential Twitterers. Born in sin (you must read our Jewlicious post on the subject – Jewish Twitter Girls Gone Wild – The Top 50), it was a rushed affair that generated results that weren’t so much controversial as they were patently ridiculous. One thing that the powers that be at the JTA did notice was that the list “became the fifth-most read article on our website that year.” That apparently trumped all journalistic considerations regarding accuracy and this year, a new list was hastily formulated with similarly laughable results. To wit, high rankings for twitter users with relatively few followers or any real Jewish influence and a massive round of self-congratulatory tweets from people who felt the results were relevant, when really, they ought to have known better.

To the JTA’s credit, they did try to do it differently this year. They solicited nominations with comic effect as frantic Jewish twitterers sent messages far and wide soliciting as many nominations as possible, mistakenly thinking that their ranking was going to be affected by how many nominations they received – as if the nomination period was a voting period! Because of this only 177 nominations were received for a list of 100. People didn’t want to nominate others that could be seen as competitors I guess. The JTA also decided to rely on objective and measurable criteria by using Twitalyzer again this year. There’s nothing wrong with Twitalyzer of course, but the fatal error that JTA made is that they used a single 30 day sampling period to formulate a list that purports to represent all of 2010. This might explain why a list that claims to measure “influence” is so wildly out of sync with the metrics one might find using, say, – billed as “The Standard of Influence” or a tag based influence approach found on

Heavy users of twitter are by nature a little self promotional. Thus when the list came out, as I have already mentioned, it was inevitably followed by a barrage of self congratulatory tweets. These heavy twitter users for the most part knew that the list and the rankings were virtually meaningless. If they didn’t know, more experienced Internet users also tweeted criticisms of the list. But of course there were those who made excuses for the list: Because it appeared on the JTA it lets the Jewish establishment know that social media is important; The list is a good start and we can use the visibility; People who work for non-profits get so little recognition, why not let them have their moment?; the list is an opportunity to meet new and interesting tweeterers; the list recognizes the important and growing role of twitter in Jewish life; If the list makes someone feel good then who cares?

Well, if you care about the role of social media in Jewish life then you should care about the weaknesses of this list. Are you trying to impress less net-savvy members of the organized Jewish community and let them know how important social media is? They aren’t dummies. A quick and rudimentary analysis of the list reveals its bogosity. Are you trying to show potential clients how much influence you have? Great! You made the top 100 of a list of 177 people. That kind of percentile score on the SATs will get you into the community college or diploma mill of your choice! Lets face it, those of us who made the list did not win a Nobel prize or a Macarthur genius grant. A word to the wise: If you cite your position in the JTA list in presentations or cvs, you will be mocked and ridiculed. Not just by me but by anyone with the faintest clue. If ever a situation called for humility, this is it. Most savvy twitter users know this already, but I’m throwing that out there for those whose giddiness has gotten the better of their common sense. The congratulatory expressions of pride are silly.

What isn’t silly is the power of twitter to disseminate information and ideas. By all means use the list as a way to meet and interact with new people on twitter. By all means use the list to discuss the real impact social media is having and can have on Jewish life. But the list doesn’t have any meaning or real relevance beyond that. It may as well be a list of the 100 sexiest Jewish twitter users.

Speaking of which, no, there won’t be any photos or profiles of hot Jews and Jewesses. That was just a cheap ploy for attention. Much like the JTA 100 Most Influential Jewish Twitter Users 2010.

cross-posted to