Time's best Twitter list: The Onion, Yoko Ono and ... US Census?

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama both made the cut. So did Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

While it is not surprising that the Twitter accounts of those political luminaries made Time Magazine’s list of 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012, what is surprising is that at least six other accounts associated with federal officials and agencies made the list.

Keep in mind it is a highly idiosyncratic list, dominated by humor purveyors (The Onion and Steve Carrell) and celebrities. Its “experts” include an account for “Beer Advocate" and Yoko Ono's feed is included as one of the best for style.

Still, the U.S. Census Bureau and Library of Congress made the cut.

“We know what you’re probably thinking: What’s so great about Census data?” Time social media editor Allie Townsend wrote in the March 15 list. “We’ll leave the value of the information up for your discussion, but the bureau’s Twitter feed is extremely active. Not only will they take questions via tweet on data-related requests, but they host Twitter chats, pull out interesting and relevant archive content, all for our perusal.”

And the Library of Congress? Its “daily doses of history are a welcome interruption to a Twitter feed that is so often focused only on immediacy,” Townsend wrote.

In the “experts” category, the “NASA Astronauts” Twitter feed sponsored by NASA also was a winner, as was the account run by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Jeffrey Levy, director of Web communications.

At the State Department, Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation, was listed among the top Twitter feeds.

Rounding out the govies on the list was Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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