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The 100 Sexiest Jews on Twitter: Thanks #JTA100

By day they are Jewish community professionals, bloggers, social media consultants and community activists, but by night they unleash their pent up sensual energy and become the sexiest Jews known to mankind. They are this years 100 Sexiest Jews on Twitter. With fingers and minds well honed from crafting clever 140 character missives, these Jews and Jewesses will blow your mind and your… well, you know.

Last year the JTA released its first list of the 100 Most Influential Twitterers. Born in sin (you must read our Jewlicious post on the subject – Jewish Twitter Girls Gone Wild – The Top 50), it was a rushed affair that generated results that weren’t so much controversial as they were patently ridiculous. One thing that the powers that be at the JTA did notice was that the list “became the fifth-most read article on our website that year.” That apparently trumped all journalistic considerations regarding accuracy and this year, a new list was hastily formulated with similarly laughable results. To wit, high rankings for twitter users with relatively few followers or any real Jewish influence and a massive round of self-congratulatory tweets from people who felt the results were relevant, when really, they ought to have known better.

To the JTA’s credit, they did try to do it differently this year. They solicited nominations with comic effect as frantic Jewish twitterers sent messages far and wide soliciting as many nominations as possible, mistakenly thinking that their ranking was going to be affected by how many nominations they received – as if the nomination period was a voting period! Because of this only 177 nominations were received for a list of 100. People didn’t want to nominate others that could be seen as competitors I guess. The JTA also decided to rely on objective and measurable criteria by using Twitalyzer again this year. There’s nothing wrong with Twitalyzer of course, but the fatal error that JTA made is that they used a single 30 day sampling period to formulate a list that purports to represent all of 2010. This might explain why a list that claims to measure “influence” is so wildly out of sync with the metrics one might find using, say, klout.com – billed as “The Standard of Influence” or a tag based influence approach found on wefollow.com.

Heavy users of twitter are by nature a little self promotional. Thus when the list came out, as I have already mentioned, it was inevitably followed by a barrage of self congratulatory tweets. These heavy twitter users for the most part knew that the list and the rankings were virtually meaningless. If they didn’t know, more experienced Internet users also tweeted criticisms of the list. But of course there were those who made excuses for the list: Because it appeared on the JTA it lets the Jewish establishment know that social media is important; The list is a good start and we can use the visibility; People who work for non-profits get so little recognition, why not let them have their moment?; the list is an opportunity to meet new and interesting tweeterers; the list recognizes the important and growing role of twitter in Jewish life; If the list makes someone feel good then who cares?

Well, if you care about the role of social media in Jewish life then you should care about the weaknesses of this list. Are you trying to impress less net-savvy members of the organized Jewish community and let them know how important social media is? They aren’t dummies. A quick and rudimentary analysis of the list reveals its bogosity. Are you trying to show potential clients how much influence you have? Great! You made the top 100 of a list of 177 people. That kind of percentile score on the SATs will get you into the community college or diploma mill of your choice! Lets face it, those of us who made the list did not win a Nobel prize or a Macarthur genius grant. A word to the wise: If you cite your position in the JTA list in presentations or cvs, you will be mocked and ridiculed. Not just by me but by anyone with the faintest clue. If ever a situation called for humility, this is it. Most savvy twitter users know this already, but I’m throwing that out there for those whose giddiness has gotten the better of their common sense. The congratulatory expressions of pride are silly.

What isn’t silly is the power of twitter to disseminate information and ideas. By all means use the list as a way to meet and interact with new people on twitter. By all means use the list to discuss the real impact social media is having and can have on Jewish life. But the list doesn’t have any meaning or real relevance beyond that. It may as well be a list of the 100 sexiest Jewish twitter users.

Speaking of which, no, there won’t be any photos or profiles of hot Jews and Jewesses. That was just a cheap ploy for attention. Much like the JTA 100 Most Influential Jewish Twitter Users 2010.

Co-written by Harry Rubenstein (@HarryR) and me, David Abitbol (@Jewlicious).

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Publisher at Jewlicious
Founder of Jewlicious? Publisher? Man I hate titles. I coined the name Jewlicious and I slave over the site. I live in Jerusalem and I need to get some breakfast.
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26 Comments

  1. Melissa

    1/3/2011 at 7:45 am

    LOL!! You realize of course that Jewlicious will never get press coverage from the JTA ever again, right? Jewlicious can cure cancer and solve the Middle East conflict and the JTA will not cover it.

  2. Miriam Schwab

    1/3/2011 at 7:49 am

    Hilarious. I didn’t realize that there were only 177 nominees. It seems that the nomination process was a failure for some reason. I didn’t even know about the nominations. I mean, I spend less time on twitter than I used to, but I’m not a light user, and I missed it.

    You get a sense when reading the JTA’s report that they realize how ridiculous their list is. They’re not very enthusiastic.

  3. socialhell

    1/3/2011 at 8:16 am

    Great post. I appreciate you not mentioning specific twitter users. Very subdued, are you losing your edge ck? Not one f-bomb in the entire post? Good to see Harry on Jewlicious again though. I also agree with Melissa, there goes all your JTA coverage. Not that they ever really covered you that much to begin with.

  4. Hannah @A Mother in Israel

    1/3/2011 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for writing this post and laying out the issues. I was pleased to be recognized–tied for #5 is good even out of 177. My Klout score is lower than some who ranked below me. I like to think I ranked high because I answer questions and give useful info.

    The most disturbing part of the contest wasn’t the flaws in the JTA system. It was the small number of people who had to let the little people know their true value, writing snide tweets about the worthlessness of the rankings and how the winners should “get over themselves.”

    I know my ranking won’t get me into Gan Eden or earn millions. But I’ll use it for self-promotion just like any blogger who uses ranking based on contests, Google stats, or other metrics.

    • ck

      1/3/2011 at 10:31 am

      Hannah, none of us making critiques is seeking to denigrate the efforts of anyone on the list. You for instance run a wonderful blog. I find it interesting, informative and amusing (Your son’s answers to questions on the Hesder program, the Mother in Law from Hell annotated letter etc.). The criticism was aimed at the list and we also strongly disagree with anyone who seeks to present the list as authoritative. The JTA makes use of precious community resources – quite well for the most part – however, when they mess up, it’s our responsibility as critical thinkers who care about Jewish community, to call them out on that. It’s that simple. I’m not snide. Neither is Harry. We’re quite nice really. We just call it like we see it.

      • Hannah @A Mother in Israel

        1/3/2011 at 2:24 pm

        Thank you for the unexpected compliment. It’s heading over to a good spot on my blog sometime soon. 🙂
        I don’t dispute your niceness–I’ve met both of you–but threatening to ridicule people does make it personal. I don’t see the point.
        And do you really think a Twitter ranking is worth community resources in the first place?
        When you use a nomination system, some good candidates aren’t included (and as you suggest, there’s less incentive to retweet a nomination form than your own rankings). If you don’t use nominations, you have to sort through thousands of candidates, and some gems won’t be recognized.
        Once they narrowed it down, Twitalyzer is an impartial metric. If you were #2 after 6 weeks on Twitter last year, I say good for you, you were doing something right. Using only a month’s worth of tweets is also legitimate. If they used a year’s worth people would complain that high rankers hadn’t tweeted in six months.
        I do agree with Vicky about sticking to people who tweet mostly Jewish stuff, but that’s very hard to gauge.
        All in all I don’t feel you made your case. It’s as silly or worthless as any other social media list or contest.

        • ArielaZ

          1/4/2011 at 12:24 am

          It sounds to me like you are substantially agreeing with ck.

          • Hannah @A Mother in Israel

            1/4/2011 at 12:36 am

            To me it sounds like ck believes the JTA could come up with a list that has significance if they took more time and effort (and more Jewish community resources :)). I don’t– sure the methodology was flawed in some ways but every method has limitations.

        • ck

          1/4/2011 at 6:39 am

          There’s silly and worthless and then there’s rushed to be out in time for the New Years List season. The JTA could have done a better job.

          Also, here’s a great article on Twitter and the concept of influence. Anyone who cares should read it.

  5. Vicki

    1/3/2011 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for expressing in so many words my opinions on the list in a much more succinct manner. The list is ridiculous becuase, like you said, one of the top 20 people is someone who tweets nothing about Jewish life, has no Twitter bio, and tweets exclusively in Spanish. Also around 250 followers. Also, you can’t even click on the Twitter names on the list directly. Poor design. And why group everyone into specific categories? Too lazy to actually research everyone and write a quick, under-140 bio? In that case, why not have the top 10 or the top 50? Quality over quantity.

    Although it is nice and flattering to be on this list, it’s nothing but a huge circlejerk with no effective implications for the online Jewish community. I’m hoping to tackle this in writing this week sometime.

    • Josh

      1/3/2011 at 5:58 pm

      “Circlejerk” just about sums it up. But to be completely honest, I nominated you because you’ve always been good to the J and our various online endeavors. I was thrilled to see you on the list, meaningless though it may be. Strangely enough, it never occurred to me to run a campaign for nominations for @16thstreetj — with 167 total names it seems like I could have gotten the same results by nominating myself.

      []Oh, and follow us too! twitter.com/16... []

      • Vicki

        1/4/2011 at 7:53 am

        Thanks for your nice compliments 🙂 . And you are right.

  6. Alice

    1/3/2011 at 9:16 am

    I seem to recall you, Jewlicious, citing your rank on last year’s JTA Twitter list a number of times. That’s ok, but not this year? What changed?

    • ck

      1/3/2011 at 9:39 am

      You do? Really? Was I all “Woohoo! I’m number two and I should thus be taken super seriously?” I doubt that given the post I wrote last year skewering the list: Jewish Twitter Girls Gone Wild – The Top 50. Last year I was number 2 despite the fact that I had only been tweeting for 6 weeks. Nothing’s changed Alice. It’s almost the same critique.

  7. David Levy

    1/3/2011 at 9:34 am

    Just curious… who exactly is claiming that this list is anything more than you say it is? We all know that the word “congratulations” means different things contextually — congrats on making that jump shot vs. congrats on curing cancer. It seems that all your protesting, including this article, cross-posted on eJewish Philanthropy including links back to your own twitter account and blog, are doing exactly the same thing you accuse everyone else of doing — parlaying this into more exposure for yourself. But unlike you, I’ll acknowledge that’s part of the game if you want anyone to hear that actual content you’re trying to disseminate, and congratulate you for taking advantage.

    • ck

      1/3/2011 at 9:52 am

      David, landing a good jump shot is always impressive. It requires skill, practice and dexterity. Making it to the JTA100 list requires little more than showing up. More than half those nominated made the cut. As for more exposure – I’m a blogger and Jewlicious runs Festivals and other activities. Of course we want exposure! But one of the main things I do is inform and that was the main purpose of this post. We weren’t mean. we didn’t name any names we simply wanted it out there that this list is bogus and that the JTA should have done a better job. This in the hopes that future lists put out by what is still a very important and vital media resource like the JTA will actually be informative. In that respect I was just doing my job. Sorry if it rubbed you the wrong way but your criticism is misplaced.

    • ArielaZ

      1/3/2011 at 12:49 pm

      All those doing the back slapping and handing out mazel tovs are implying that inclusion in the JTA100 list is worthy of back slapping and mazel tovs. This post clearly demonstrates why it isn’t. The JTA100 list does a disservice Jewish social media. But it is a bonanza for the social media “experts” lining up at the trough hoping to earn a few bucks ministering to bewildered and frightened Federation executives and philanthropists. Don’t be coy David.

  8. Benji Lovitt

    1/3/2011 at 9:35 am

    Agree with all of it. But as I asked Harry, if the majority of Jewish decision-makers and gatekeepers out there don’t have a clue that it’s bogus, is it not worth using our rankings in marketing to them? I’m torn between trying to win them over and trying not to look like an idiot to my smarter friends.

    • Vicki

      1/3/2011 at 10:34 am

      Do the majority of Jewish decision-makers even know what Twitter is?

      • Benji Lovitt

        1/3/2011 at 10:44 am

        Even if they do, probably not well enough to know the list is silly.

  9. Charley Warady

    1/3/2011 at 10:51 am

    So…wait a minute…I’m NOT on the list of The 100 Sexiest Jews on Twitter? I read this whole article for NOTHING?!

    • Benji Lovitt

      1/3/2011 at 10:53 am

      Forget top 100 Jews…David deserves credit for bringing us all together on a BLOG. This is all soooo 2008.

  10. Jack

    1/3/2011 at 12:53 pm

    I’ll wander out on a limb and suggest that most of the commenters are users of social media and proponents of its power.

    Furthermore I’ll suggest that we are in agreement that it would be beneficial for members of the Tribe, especially those who work in positions of authority/power/influence/communications to understand how it works.

    It would behoove the JTA to understand why their list was flawed and work on improving it so that it is taken seriously.

    And on a side note you are correct that users of Twitter are big on self promotion. It is part of the package. So don’t forget to follow @thejackb and his new blog. 😉

  11. Lauren

    1/12/2011 at 10:20 pm

    u want to know who the hottest jewish tweeter is? Brett Novek. Hot Model.

  12. Eric Beric

    1/28/2011 at 7:51 am

    I fucking hate you all. You people are a disgrace to the Jewish people, you stupid self absorbed cockmunchers. pigs.
    All day with your stupid twitter and facebook and shit. You make me sick. Sucking up to each other, licking each other’s balls and vaginas. Networking. Fuck you all.

    • themiddle

      1/28/2011 at 10:09 am

      Eric, you need to see a shrink. Fast.

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