We're not as LinkedIn as you might think. Just because your mom has a Facebook account doesn't mean Cleveland is anywhere near the pinnacle of social networking. You probably could have guessed that, but Men's Health magazine measured LinkedIn and Facebook users per capita, overall Twitter usage and an array of other online services such as Reddit and Digg and handed out grades for 100 metro areas. We earned a C+. Star Students: Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Denver; Minneapolis; and Seattle finished one through five, all receiving an A+ from Men's Health.
We asked avid Cleveland tweeters such as techie Michael DeAloia (@techczar), comedian Chad Zumock (@chadzumock), and bloggers Alexa Marinos (@clevelandsaplum) and Amelia Sawyer (@chefswidow) for their 140-character bits of advice for Twitter newbies:
@techczar: Two things matter when composing the perfect tweet — max readability and max retweetability.
@techczar: I like to do this in two ways — think like my readers and bring excellence to the text (be pithy and funny).
@clevelandsaplum: If you don't use the whole 140 characters allowed you're more likely to get re-tweeted.
@chadzumock: Learn how 2 be funny before u open a twitter account. u can't teach funny, you just have to b funny. If you're not funny, stay on friendster
@clevelandsaplum: Before hitting the 'send' button ask yourself if you would want to read your own tweet.
@chefswidow: be quick witty & honest and never tweet while drinking!
A Wire Calling
Don't try telling Brett Lindsey that Cleveland lacks connectivity. As the COO of OneCommunity, a broadband technology nonprofit, he's helped bring $75 million in federal stimulus money to the region for improved connectivity during the past 36 months. That means more than 1,000 miles of fiber optics have been created, with another 1,000 miles on the way over the next two years. Here's what it'll mean to all of us.
1. Connecting the Core
Government, health care and education institutions are OneCommunity's priority. This means increasing Internet speeds to schools and linking rural hospitals to main campuses at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. "We're doing new fiber builds across 24 counties, all leading back into Cleveland," Lindsey says. By 2013, OneCommunity must connect 800 more entities to its network based on the requirements of its government funding.
2. Cutting the Cost
OneCommunity is currently building a government network that will connect Cuyahoga County with 10 surrounding counties and the largest city in each. "The idea would be that Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland would offer their services out to support other cities in the region," Lindsey says. That could lead to sharing of email services and criminal databases, lowering the cost of information technology to each government entity.
3. Creating a Community
OneCommunity's Connect Your Community program, launched in September, has trained more than 5,000 Northeast Ohio residents to use the Internet and has helped establish broadband networks in homes. "We are addressing the digital divide," Lindsey says. "These are people who have never been on the Internet before."