The #JWA100: Jewish Women Who Tweet

First we had the #JTA100; now the #JWA100.

from Jewesses with Attitude:

Something exciting happened on Twitter [last week]. The result is the #JWA100. Unlike the #JTA100, the #JWA100 is not a contest. It does not measure or rank tweeters, nor is it limited to100 people. The #JWA100 is simply a list of more than 100 Jewish women who tweet – and it’s still growing.

… While the #JWA100 list was growing, the #JTA100 list was simultaneously generating a lot of controversy on Twitter. JTA hosted an online discussion of the metrics behind the contest. Things were starting to get heated between those who approved and those who disapproved of JTA’s methodology, or of the list’s overall significance in the first place. This was in striking contrast to the love-fest happening in our corner as folks generously lauded their female friends and colleagues and made new connections. I had purposefully kept the “goal” of the list vague; after watching the bickering over the #JTA100, I resolved to keep it that way.

In a way, the difference between these two conversations is indicative of the contrast between the purpose of social media and our attempts to measure it. As a “social media professional” (or “specialist” according to my job title), I am perpetually frustrated by the way social media evades simple evaluation. But I am even more frustrated by the way we try to force evaluations and measurements onto social media. Programs like Twitalyzer and Klout process data in complex algorithms to determine “influence.” But can “influence” really be measured in numbers? Even when we gather data, it can be difficult to determine if it’s actually meaningful.

To repeat: the #JWA100 list is NOT a contest. It includes Jewish women of any nationality (even though the Jewish Women’s Archive generally focuses on North America). It is open to Jewish women who tweet about Jewish stuff and those who tweet about not-so-Jewish stuff. There are no metrics or rankings. It’s not even restricted to 100 names; in fact, it will continue to grow. The #JWA100 is about building a community of Jewish women using Twitter to make connections and have conversations. Isn’t that the whole point of social media?

[eJP note] As mentioned above, the #JWA100 is not limited to 100. In fact, it currently stands at 181. You can submit the names of more Jewish women who tweet (even yourself!) by using the hashtag #JWA100.