Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ana Marie Cox has the internet on lockdown

Ana Marie Cox is the white Oprah of new media. You may not have known there was one, but there is, and AMC is she.

Her Twitter feed now has 62,830 followers. More than Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey or The Onion (though fewer than Barack Obama). It's also more people than could be seated at RFK Stadium. And they don't seem to tell you how fast the count has grown but my impression, having been a subscriber for a long time, is very fast.

It seems like a long time ago now that she was the original Wonkette, until she left (sold?) that operation for an ostensibly more prestigious job as a political reporter for Time magazine. Perhaps sensing that posting at Swampland, in between Joe Klein and Karen Tumulty, wasn't exactly the bleeding edge of online content, she started devoting more (like, a lot of) attention to her Twitter feed.

Many people, and by that I mean mostly nerds and some investors, are convinced that Twitter is going to be a really big deal. If they're right, AMC will be in even closer to the ground floor than she was with Wonkette as blogs were gaining popularity.

Techcrunch, which as the 16th most-followed has just over 100,000 followers, will always appeal more or less exclusively to serious geeks, so as the universe of Twitter users expands beyond serious geeks its share of the total audience is sure to shrink. AMC's feed is mostly funny, sometimes very funny political/internet coverage, with generous helpings of pop culture and non-political humor. The addressable market seems for that seems like it should be much bigger.

As a political reporter, she's not my favorite. Whatever the exact opposite of Charlie Savage is, she's in the ballpark. But she takes her comedy very seriously, and she definitely doesn't get enough credit for being consistently at the forefront of online punditry.

See, in the time it took me to write this post, 243 more people started following anamariecox.

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