Becoming a Twitter user can be an arduous task. You have to go through the steps of setting up an account, creating a profile, uploading a picture and then hardest of all, you have to find accounts to follow that interest you.
For many Twitter users, that’s a process akin to looking for shells on the beach. There are a lot of choices, but some are much better than others. And once you’ve found a solid group of users to follow, Twitter becomes an excellent way to streamline the news you want to know.
At Columbia Patch, we use our Twitter account, @ColumbiaPatch, to send out links to our stories, break news and interact directly with our readers. But we also follow a number of accounts that keep us updated on issues affecting Columbia, Howard County and Maryland. Here is a list of some of the accounts that have helped me, as a journalist new to Columbia, keep up with local news:
@CNSmd – Capital News Service, MD, tweets updates from reporters covering the state government in Annapolis.
@ColumbiaFDdn – The Columbia Foundation's account details its latest work around Howard County and upcoming events.
@CA_intheNews – Provides links to news stories written about the Columbia Association as well as updates on upcoming events. Great way to stay informed about the activities of the Columbia Association.
@hocorising – Twitter feed maintained by Columbia Association board member and community blogger Tom Coale. He covers Columbia and Maryland politics from a local angle. His blog is located at http://www.hocorising.com/.
@GovernorOMalley – The official Twitter account of Gov. Martin O’Malley keeps followers up to date on state issues. The feed is maintained by Zoe Pagonis, new media manager for the governor, but O’Malley occasionally tweets directly.
@JessieX – Jessie Newburn, a Columbia Association spokesperson and GenX blogger, tweets about social trends, technology and what’s happening in her life.
@explorehoward – Explore Howard tweets links to articles and breaking news from throughout the county.
@LisaARossi – Lisa Rossi is the associate regional editor for 12 Patch websites in Maryland, including Columbia. She tweets often about big news stories in Howard County.
@macsmom - Local teacher Julia McCready updates her account with a personal perspective on local issues.
@hocoblogs - An aggregation account that links to new blog posts about Howard County.
@MerriweatherPP – The Twitter account for the Merriweather Post Pavilion tweets information about upcoming shows and announces ticket sales.
And of course, other local Patches.
@EllicottPatch - Ellicott City Patch, maintained by editor Brandie Jefferson.
@SavGuilfrdPatch - Savage-Guilford Patch, run by editor and frequent Columbia Patch contributor Brian Hooks.
@ElkridgePatch - Elkridge Patch's feed is updated by editor Elizabeth Janney.
We've probably missed some of your favorites, so if you follow local people on Twitter and enjoy their feed, please share them with your friends, neighbors and fellow Patch readers in the comments.