Twin Cities Social Media “Titans” Recognized

The list of the top 10 social media personalities from the Twin Cities includes business leaders, writers, a disc jockey, and a lifelong Vikings fan.

A list of the top 10 social media personalities from the Twin Cities was announced last week, and the diverse pool of winners reflects the wide array of uses-and users-of social media platforms.

The Twin Cities Top 10 Titans in Social Media 2010 recognizes individuals who have “made an impact on Twin Cities society through using social media in the past year.”

Nominations were open to the public in November, and more than 40 nominees were selected from the group. The top 10 were then handpicked by a panel of local judges, including David Erickson, director of e-strategy at Minneapolis-based Tunheim Partners; Kate Iverson, editor in chief of L'etoile magazine; and Judy Grundstrom of St. Paul-based Just Judy Creative Communications, which sponsored the contest. Erickson and Iverson were named among the Top 10 Titans in Social Media in 2009.

Rounding out the top 10 social media personalities are:

Greg Swan: As digital strategy director at Weber Shandwick, Swan leads a team that has helped clients like the U.S. Army utilize social marketing. He also serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association; manages a music blog,; and speaks about social media at conferences.

Amy Nelson: As social media editor for the Pioneer Press-a post created based on her suggestion-Nelson manages the newspaper's Facebook page and Twitter accounts, performs Web analytics to drive online traffic, and trains journalists in the latest social media technologies, among other duties.

Taylor Carik: Carik's many titles include publisher of Mediation Productions, as well as writer, producer, and media consultant. He helped launch news distribution site, and he now leads local media outlet Secrets of the City, where he has increased social media presence.

Jason Barnett: The founder and executive director of video-based media organization The UpTake, Barnett uses social media to spread news. His organization trains citizen journalists and helps them publish work. He recently produced a live online video for on its “Give to the Max Day.”

Lisa Grimm and Kasey Skala: As co-chairs of the communications committee for Minnesota Public Relations Society of America, Grimm and Skala have overseen the successful development of a communications strategy to help advance the chapter's online efforts.

Jake Rudh: A disc jockey and host of events throughout the Twin Cities, Rudh has been voted Best DJ for eight consecutive years by City Pages readers and has been recognized for his use of social media in promoting events.

David Ostlund: Direct Line Services, which is co-owned by Ostlund, produces a variety of guides for the local restaurant and hospitality industry, including The Twin Cities Food Finds Restaurant Guide. Through social media, Ostlund has built a local Internet sensation akin to Groupon.

Rob Callahan: Callahan used Twitter to publish one short story per day in exactly 140 characters. He gained recognition as he spread his work to other social media platforms-and he now works as a full-time paid writer.

Missy Berggren and Arik Hanson: The duo was recognized for putting together the first-ever Minnesota Blogger Conference earlier this year in St. Paul. Berggren-a health care marketing professional-and Hanson-a principal at ACH Communications-are both established bloggers.

Cory Merrifield: The founder of Vikings fan group, Merrifield has worked to get his hometown football team a new stadium. Due to Merrifield's social media activity, more than 300 stories have been published in the press about his efforts.