When I read this morning Jeffrey Levy's tweet that the RSS feed for EPA's Greenversations blog had reached its 1000th follower on Twitter, it got me thinking... what's the level of "followship" for other U.S. government Twitter streams.
Using the excellent government Twitter list maintained by BearingPoint's Steve Lunceford as a starting point, I dug into the list to find which executive branch sites had more than 500 followers -- what I've dubbed the 500 Club.
I stuck only to Twitter accounts officially used by executive-branch agencies. (Hence, TheWhiteHouse does not make the cut. But if I've left out from the analysis any with more than 500 followers, please let me know.) Also, follower numbers are as of about 4pm today, so the figures below are subject to change.
The results were a bit surprising.
First, NASA dominated the list, appearing in all of the top five positions. One stream in particular -- the NASA Phoenix mission to Mars -- was light years (sorry) ahead of every other site. Clocking in a whopping 41,300 followers, it left the next site, the NASA general information stream, in the Martian dust with only 9,377 followers.
Moreover, NASA had four streams with more than 5,000 followers; the Mars Rover and Saturn Cassini missions helped propel (again, sorry) NASA into the lead.
But in the number 6 slot, it wasn't DoD or State. It was HHS.
And no, it wasn't the CDC or the FDA.
In fact, barely edging out USA.gov was the National Women's Health Information stream with its 1,513 followers. This shows what a valuable public-service function Twitter can serve, and the extent to which Twitter users hunger for such information.
In all, I counted 34 different executive-branch government sites with more than 500 followers. I set up a quick google doc with the full list if you want to see the others.
It will be fun to track these in the coming weeks as Gov 2.0 initiatives continue building more momentum.