Queen of the Twitterverse (that sounds cool)

I am really really honored by this profile article- columnist Cate Gable wrote about ME!

Coast Chronicles: Queen of the Twitterverse lives in Seaview
By Cate Gable
Observer columnist

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Rustic 1905 home in quiet Seaview on a large interior lot; a growing-up-in-St. Helen's-native returning to roost; active in the local restoration society; Republican 50-something mother of four and collector of recipes.

Now throw those clich├ęs out the window and hang on to your hats.

Nansen Malin will rock your boat no matter what continental sea you're on. Maybe the red hair gives her away but whatever your preconceptions, Nan will set you free.

Add to the list, vice president of the board for Sea Resources in Chinook, the oldest hatchery in the state; passionate environmentalist, particularly when it comes to salmon or the Seaview dunes; business partner with husband Brett of MR Data Corp. Inc. (www.mrdatacorp.com)

Oh, and, by the way, Nansen is the most-followed Republican Twitterer in the world.

OK, that last thing may need some explanation.

For those of you who have not yet stepped into the alternative universe of social networking, just know there's a big thing out there that is changing the landscape. So you tried e-mail and you're fed up with spam. Now your kids want you to get an iPhone and, moreover, if you want to see the photographs from their recent trip to New Zealand, you'd better get a Facebook account.
Welcome to the new age.

Twitter, for the uninitiated, is a Web space and application that allows you to blast to "followers" (people who choose to get your messages) mini-posts of 140 characters or less. I think of it as haiku-blogging.

According to a CNN article, Twitter "saw a 1,374 percent jump in unique visitors between February 2008 and February this year, up to 7 million from only 475,000, according to Nielsen NetView."

By comparison, Facebook, the tamer site - more like a Yahoo Groups on steroids - grew only 228 percent, to 65.7 million users, during the same period.

However you look at this phenomenon, it's a remarkable and innovative use of the internet.

Twitter, like any new world, has its own peculiar and charming language. You get the "fail whale" image (little blue birds lifting a whale out of the sea) when Twitter is over-capacity and freezes up because it can't process your request.

"Tweets" can be posted from any computer, cell phone or digital device, and sometimes, though less and less often now, answer the seemingly simple question, "What are you doing?"

"Tweeple" or "peeps" are the people using Twitter. They might like a tweet so much that they "re-tweet" it (RT), or send it out again to their followers.

Sometimes Twitter users even meet face-to-face in the 'real' world at an event called a Tweet-up. (Note: I'm sure we'll soon need another way of describing the tangible world of flesh versus the digital world as the latter becomes more 'real.')

You soon realize that anything you tweet may one day be read by your mother (unless it is a DM, a direct message you send privately); so mind your manners or you could feel very "tweepish" (sheepish about something you tweeted).

The "Twitosphere" or "Twitterverse" is the community of Twitterers. Tweeple may come to "twisticuffs" if they find it necessary to fight with someone on Twitter. But mostly tweets are either out to sell you something, give you advice, or simply make you ROFL, roll on the floor laughing.

Everyone in Twitter has an "avatar," a small picture or icon that tags along with each post. These are stand-ins for the real you and could be a picture of yourself, a cartoon, a picture of your dog or cat, or any image that can be digitized.

Nan started her Twitter account in April of 2008 during the presidential campaign, and as an early adopter gained a tremendous following because she understood the power of the technology and used it expertly.

She tweeted commentary during the presidential debates and from the floor of the Republican National Convention with her cell phone. C-SPAN cited her as one of the top-100 conservatives on Twitter and her followers burgeoned.

When I first spotted Nan on Twitter last month, she had a following of 33,000. As I write this article, her following has grown again to 72,402 (it went up in the last 10 minutes by 50!).

Nan also has a popular blog about beach life, seaviewwa (www.seaviewwa.com), and uses this platform to talk about what concerns and interests her. She has spoken about the beached whale, invasive species in the dunes, local personalities like Jim and Kathleen Sayce, the Pacific County Lincoln Day Dinner, and a downright funny-if-it-weren't-true rant about Astoria Ford.

Now you might ask, what is all this madness good for. Nan has a ready answer, "I am able to influence the world of politics from Seaview." And let me just say that she is not exaggerating.

Nan DMs with Karl Rove. When I ask what they 'post' about she says, "his hunting stories and photos, personal stuff, jokes...."

She also mentions that she has just been 'conversing' (please note that all verbs in this context should be understood as virtual in nature) with Saul Anuzis. Anuzis was the former Chair of the Michigan Republican Party and a candidate for Chair of the Republican National Committee in 2009. He tells Malin, "Wow you've done a heck of a job increasing your followers."

Malin shares another aspect of the social networking world - a more personal and, oddly, intimate one.

One day Nan, in her Seaview retreat, received a tweet from a pastor who was stranded on the other coast, on a highway somewhere near Tampa, Fla., out of gas.

Nan retweeted the message to her prodigious group of Twitter followers, who - no doubt - sent the message on and on again rippling through the Twitterverse.

In less than 30 minutes, another man of the cloth arrived with a full gas can ready to help.

"O brave new world, That has such people in't."

Our time is up. I close my notebook because Nan is about to be interviewed for an online television special for PJTV. She is hoping her camcorder will work right. Then she must prepare for her Social Networking seminar for the Republican Women in Seattle; and work on the details of her Tweet-up there April 26. Another dream of hers is to publish a Twitter Recipe Book.

Conscious of the precious nature of time and how often I feel as if e-mail is just another chore, I ask Nan how many hours she spends nurturing her Twitter account and followers. "Maybe eight hours a week, mostly at night. I can't Twitter while I'm driving though," she volunteers. "But Twitter shouldn't consume your life, it should enhance it."

"I've learned so much on Twitter and had such fun with this. And isn't this what politics should be about - community, creating change that makes a difference, protecting the environment?"

Nan and I may walk on different sides of the road occasionally, but we're certainly headed in the same direction.

Keep your eyes posted here for news about Nan's social networking class later this spring or early summer.