On the day last month that Apple released its newest iPhone, tweets using the hashtag #iPhone5 – the device people were expecting rather than the 4S – were coming so fast and furious that you could barely read one tweet before it was pushed down the Twitter or TweetDeck screen by the next entries.
When Gilad Shalit, a short while later, was released from Hamas captivity, there was also a steady stream of tweets, though far fewer per hour. There's no question that this simple form of communication has become a way to see what's hot and what's not.
And so, after a series of serious posts on this blog, I thought it would be suitable lighter fare for the weekend to look at which Jews are trending on Twitter (we’ll save Jewish topics for another day) and who has the most happening hashtag.
Since Twitter, unlike Google, doesn’t quantify search results, the contest will have to be judged only by the frequency and freshness of the tweets that appear. To avoid comparing apples and oranges, I used only full names in hashtags, so keep in mind that other permutations of a personality’s identity may be getting more traction.
Going back to Nov. 15, two and a half days as of this writing, here’s what I found in my thoroughly unscientific survey:
I started with Gilad, since there is still plenty of news about him and he still deservedly has many fans out there.
No doubt already enlightened about Twitter's existence, if not net yet enjoying his freedom to tweet, Gilad’s stats were impressive: Four tweets about Gilad today, Nov. 17, and two from Nov. 16.
Thoughts of Jews and Twitter made me think of a certain disgraced politician who put a little too much “me” in his social media. But the mighty, it seems, have fallen not only from power but from the Twitterverse. Only one tweet for #AnthonyWeiner appeared today, with the previous two going all the way back to Nov. 12.
You can’t talk about social media and Jews without thinking of Mark Zuckerberg, but while he has millions of friends on Facebook, only two people hashtagged him today, two more on Nov. 16 and one on the 15th.
The newest appointee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is getting some traction due to the debate over whether she should recuse herself from the high court’s review of the Obama health plan because of her former position in the Obama administration. An #ElenaKagan search produced two tweets from today, three more from Nov. 15.
A more low-profile Jewish justice, #RuthBaderGinsburg, had no tweets at all. Ditto for boring #StephenBreyer.
Among other Jews in government, #DebbieWassermanSchultz had no tweets, though #BarneyFrank was trending a bit, with two Tweets today, two yesterday and one on the 16th.
#JonathanPollard's results weren't much better than his prospects of getting out of jail. One tweet on Nov. 15th, the same as comedian #SarahSilverman.
What about the most important (and only) Jewish elected world leader? #BenjaminNetanyahu had only two tweets today, two on the 16th and one on the 15th, although #Bibi probably would produce more discussion on Israel’s prime minister.
Another famous Israeli, #NataliePortman, did somewhat better, even though she doesn’t have a movie out now: Five tweets today and one each on Nov. 15th and 16th.
Now that we’ve switched to Hollywood, the battle should be more fierce. But #AdamSandler, who does have a movie out, is as forsaken on Twitter as his widely panned “Jack and Jill” is at the box office. Just two tweets today and one on the 15th. That most recent tweet, from BrianCBock was "#Dear Hollywood, Please stop letting #AdamSandler make movies. He's just not as funny as you seem to think he is." Ouch.
“Tower Heist” star #JerryStiller, who recently discussed his iffy halachic Jewish status on Saturday Night Live, did somewhat better, with three today, two on the 15th.
An appearance on David Letterman Wednesday night boosted #JerrySeinfeld, who despite having no movies or TV shows out, had four tweets today, two yesterday. The #JerrySeinfeld feed was the only one I actually saw move, though nowhere near as fast as #iPhone5.
Desperate for a breakout, I tried #ElieWiesel (two tweets in two days) and #DrRuth (one tweet on the 15th). Then I decided to think outside the box, and entered #CharlieSheen, who recently claimed that his mother is Jewish, in the search window.
Despite staying largely out of the news for a while with no movies, TV shows or arrests, #CharlieSheen has 10 tweets today, three yesterday and one on Nov. 15.
So despite speculation that he made up the Jewish claim in response to a flap over his nasty remarks about Jewish producer #ChuckLorre (three tweets): For purposes of my contest, Charlie, mazel tov!
You’re as Jewish as #AlanDershowitz (one tweet).