Arijit Guha (@Poop_Strong)
Social media channels like Twitter are great venues for venting, but our gripes often go unheard. Not so for Arizona State University graduate student Arijit Guha. He took to Twitter to complain about the limits of his health insurance. The reward for his rants: Aetna will cover “every last penny” of his treatment for colon cancer. Guha initially went online to raise money for his...
Dog’s best friend is a man with a Twitter account — at least when the pooch is lost. The information network helped reunite a Jack Russell terrier named Patch with his owner Deidre Anglin, after the dog took a ride on the Irish Rail. After Patch’s 20-mile ride from Kilcock to Dublin, word of his arrival at the last station quickly spread across Twitter when Irish Rail posted a...
Lyle Denniston (#teamlyle)
Lyle Denniston, a journalist who has covered the Supreme Court for more than a half-century, doesn’t even use Twitter after briefly giving it a try last year. But his name will be all over the site today as the court announces its decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s healthcare law. Denniston is one of the rare few whose reputation has earned him a Twitter hashtag...
Joyce Grendel (@joycee_emily)
Ohio teenager Joyce Grendel has much more class than Mike Stone, the Minnesota teen who invited porn stars to his high school prom. When Grendel’s prom date backed out at the last minute, she asked her Cleveland Browns hero, Joe Haden, to escort her instead — and he drove her in style in his white Lamborghini. Haden also tweeted photos of the night to his 86,500 fans, including the...
Chris Newton (@NewtyIce)
What’s a teenager to do when he gets to an autograph event and realizes he doesn’t have the fat wallet necessary to enter? Tweet about it, of course. Chris Newton did, and New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes came to the rescue of Newton and his three friends (@Dylan_DiNatale, @hunt_30 and @Blackewalker11) in a green Porsche. Spikes was at the event the four young men...
Lauren Lane (@laurenlane1984)
When Lauren Lane’s plans to wed Daniel Welch were threatened by the collapse of the British events company organizing her big day, she turned to Twitter for help: “Please RT to help our story! £4.5k stolen with 6 weeks to go - need a little help from our twitter friends.” Lane’s online appeal worked, as even two celebrities retweeted it. Companies offered Lane and Welch...
Brad Keselowski (@keselowski)
NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski gained more than 100,000 followers in two hours while live-tweeting from his car during the Sprint Cup’s premier race, the Daytona 500. From his car, he tweeted a now-famous picture of a fire on the track while the race was delayed. Some observers wondered whether Keselowski had violated a NASCAR rule against recording devices in cars during races. But NASCAR...
AnnMarie Walsh (@padschicago)
AnnMarie Walsh found a home by tweeting about her homelessness. She also was featured in a teaser for a documentary about Twitter and traveled to Los Angeles for a speaking gig at the “140 Characters Conference” focused on Twitter. Walsh told the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, that she has recruited other homeless people to Twitter. “Twitter is our community....
Emma Sullivan (@emmakate988)
Emma Sullivan never expected to be making headlines during her senior year in high school, but she became a media sensation after a tweet that mocked Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (@govsambrownback). “Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot,” she tweeted while representing her school at a Youth in Government event. That outburst caught the...
Mona El Tahawy (@monaeltahawy)
Turning to Twitter is becoming second nature for people who personally feel the brunt of government crackdowns in the Middle East. Journalist Mona El Tahawy, a central information source during protests in Egypt, is the latest example. El Tahawy tweeted that she was “Beaten arrested in interior ministry.” The next day, after a global outcry, she tweeted, “I AM FREE” and...
George Overbey (@groverbey)
Be bold when you tweet at celebrities. Oklahoma State University senior George Overbey was, and he got to play flag football game with a professional basketball star and scored coverage on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” Overbey found his way into the spotlight by replying to a tweet by National Basketball Association star Kevin Durant, who was seeking a football game to break the...
Irene Tien (@Irene)
For one weekend only, the real @irene became the @irene on most people’s minds — Hurricane Irene. Irene Tien, ironically a product strategist at a digital media firm, gave control of her Twitter account to her colleagues so they could assume the identity of the storm to share warnings and laughs. Ross Morrison (@Inconsolable) and Bjorn Larsen (@bjorn) were the creative minds behind...
Stefanie Gordon (@stefmara)
Stefanie Gordon was in the right airspace at the right time on a clear Monday morning earlier this month. The unemployed event planner snapped and tweeted a photo of the space shuttle Endeavor soon after it broke through the white clouds on its journey into space. The next thing she knew, she was “an instant ‘15-minute celebrity’ for a few pictures I took with my phone.”...
Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual)
One well-timed tweet, even in the middle of the night, is all it takes to achieve momentary fame. So it is for Sohaib Athar, who “unwittingly” told the world that Osama bin Laden was about to die. “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event),” Athar tweeted as U.S. Navy seals targeted the compound in Pakistan that they believed housed bin Laden. By the...
Keith Urbahn (@keithurbahn)
If you want to break news on Twitter, it pays to know people in high news places. Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (@RumsfeldOffice), heard about the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden from a television news producer and ironically reported the news first on Twitter — about an hour before President Obama issue a public statement. While...
Daniel Morales (@putodanny)
Cell phone, Twitter, homeless man and a long lost daughter — those were the ingredients for a technologically inspired reunion. Daniel Morales hadn’t seen his daughter, Sarah Rivera, in more than a decade. Then Underheard in New York, a project whose goal is “fighting homelessness 140 characters at a time,” gave him and three other homeless men at the New York City...
Wael Ghonim (@Ghonim)
Wael Ghonim no doubt would object to being recognized in the Twitter Hall of Fame. “Please don’t turn me into a hero. I’m not a hero,” the Google marketing manager pleaded after being released as a captive in Egypt’s democratic uprising. “The heroes are the ones who were out on the street.” But like it or not, Ghonim became the face of the movement. His...
Stevie Johnson (@StevieJohnson13)
On Twitter, Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills will be remembered as the athlete who “cried out” to God after dropping a game-winning catch. He dropped the ball in overtime, and the Bills dropped the game 19-16 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Clearly upset by his failure, Johnson wept at his post-game interview and then took his hurt to Twitter in a very public display of...
Josh Simpson (@MrJoshSimpson)
For months, the Internet world knew Josh Simpson only by the parody Twitter handle @BPGlobalPR and the quips he published through that anonymous account to mock the company responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Simpson finally revealed himself this week in an interview with The Awl. He recounted how his work (bolstered by fellow contributors) became a viral Twitter hit: “Roger...
Leigh Fazzina (@LeighFazzina)
The takeaway from Leigh Fazzina’s Twitter story is simple: Take a smartphone everywhere you go. You never know when you might need to tweet for help after an accident leaves you stranded alone. While competing in a Connecticut triathlon, Fazzina crashed her bike, rolled down a hill and injured herself badly enough that she needed help to escape. When her yells went unanswered and her...
Melissa Skabich (@mommyblogger76)
Mommy blogger Melissa Skabich earned her Twitter fame the hard way — by giving birth and tweeting about it. Her decision triggered a backlash, but in the end the “Twitter Mom,” who even had a false Twitter labor, didn’t tweet much during the birthing process. “Wish I could have written more,” she tweeted, “but the whole thing was very quick and...