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Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, announced the top ten Tweets of 2010 – yes, it’s that annual ritual of lists. Anyone whom might doubt the influence of Twitter might consider that in 2010, so far, more than 25 billion Tweets have been sent.

The number one Tweet was written by NBC’s Ann Curry:

In the wake of the Haiti earthquake last January, the U.S. military took control of Haiti’s airfield. A Doctors Without Borders plane carrying much-needed supplies and medical aid wasn’t given clearance to land — depriving the wounded of help from its team of physicians. Jason Cone, the organization’s communications director, wasn’t able to get in contact with Pentagon officials to let them know the problem — so he tweeted about the issue. Curry saw the tweet and in turn, tweeted the request asking the military to let the plane land.

“@usairforce find a way to let Doctors without Borders planes land in Haiti: http://bit.ly/8hYZOKTHE most effective at this,” Curry tweeted.

“When I came back and saw [Cone's] tweet that Doctors Without Borders couldn’t land their plane, I said, ‘Wait a minute.’ The idea that they could not land was just unacceptable, in my view, in terms of saving lives,” Curry explained during a Social Media Week panel in New York City in February.

This is a powerful example of how a 140 character message can have a beneficial effect after a natural disaster during a time when telephone service was down as well as basic infrastructure such as electricity.

One of my favorites is one from @ev Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter:

Met the Dalai Lama today in LA. Pitched him on using Twitter. He laughed.
22 Feb via web

I imagine that if anyone were to convince the Dalai Lama to embrace online social networking, it would be Evan.

There are various ways to measure the “influence” of Twitterers; one way is to look at the ratio of the number of followers to the number of those that are followed. As of today, there are 1,134,100 followers of the Dalai Lama’s Tweets. He follows no one – wonderfully consistent with Buddhism!

My favorite Tweet of 2010 is follows, from the Dalai Lama:

I believe that whether a person follows any religion or not is unimportant, he or she must have a good heart, a warm heart.

Let me conclude with a broader perspective. Twitter influencers can also be measured by “Klout” Below is a sampling of those with the most “Klout”, whether we like the list or not, in rank order:

Klout Score
Justin Bieber 100
Lady Gaga 91
Barack Obama 90
Sarah Palin USA 85
Dalai Lama 78

Photo source: Brafton Custom News Marketing

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