Oak Harbor grad aims for one million Tweeps

“Socialnomics,” the go-to book for everything social media, reports that celebrities Ellen DeGeneres and Ashton Kutcher have more followers on Twitter than the populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama, and if Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest. Social media doesn’t seem to be a passing trend, and one can only imagine what the tech world will look like years, or even just months, from now. That’s why one Oak Harbor tech junkie is working to get a snapshot of today’s social networkers.

  • Thursday, October 21, 2010 5:04pm
  • Business

University of Washington junior and former Oak Harbor High School student Arianna O’Dell

“Socialnomics,” the go-to book for everything social media, reports that celebrities Ellen DeGeneres and Ashton Kutcher have more followers on Twitter than the populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama, and if Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest.

Social media doesn’t seem to be a passing trend, and one can only imagine what the tech world will look like years, or even just months, from now. That’s why one Oak Harbor tech junkie is working to get a snapshot of today’s social networkers.

Though Facebook has snagged a lot of attention lately with its big screen movie and new tracking features, Oak Harbor High School graduate and current University of Washington junior Arianna O’Dell is launching a project to showcase Tweeters or “Tweeps.”

Inspired by “One Million People,” a book that aims to capture one million Facebook users’ photos in a book, O’Dell and her friend Ludo Antonov, a Seattle developer, have created “One Million Tweeps.” The friends launched a website on Oct. 4 where people can upload their photo and Twitter handle to a tile that will later be placed on a page of the book. While businesses and public figures are charged $5 pertile, for the general public, tiles are free.

Though the site has only been accessible for about two weeks, O’Dell and Antonov have collected about 800 user photos and hope to hit a million by December. Once that goal is reached, they’ll look to publish the photo spreads in a book.

“We’ve talked to a couple publishers, but we’re still researching the most cost effective way to do this,” O’Dell said. “The community in Seattle has been really supportive, we got an article in Tech Flash and after that we got a lot of attention.”

O’Dell said she hopes the books will find homes on coffee tables everywhere. She plans make it a large publication and hopes to sell it for between $75 and $100.

O’Dell wants to start her own business after she graduates from UW, more specifically an ad agency, so the project is giving her good experience. Ad space on the “One Million Tweeps” website has been purchased from places all over ranging from locals businesses, to California-based companies to across the Atlantic Ocean in the United Kingdom. O’Dell plans to use the ad revenue to help cover publishing costs.

O’Dell herself has had a Twitter account for about two years and has the handle @arianna. She said she was surprised how easy it was to meet people in the Northwest tech scene with the social media tool and has found herself hooked.

“I love Twitter,” she said. “I’m on it way too much.”

To view O’Dell’s website and sign up for a free tile space in her book, visit www.onemilliontweeps.com.

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