On Saturday morning I spotted a tweet from @timbuckteeth nominating me for a Shorty Award:

I nominate @briankelly for a Shorty Award in #tech because he is on the ball with new technology http://bit.ly/shorty

I had had noticed a number of similar tweets in my Twitter stream, but as I regard Twitter posts as potentially useful but also disposal, I was not motivated to follow any of the links.  But as this one arrived in my Mentions column in Tweetdeck it was easy to spot.

So what are the Shorty Awards? From the Shorty Awards Web site I discover that:

The Shorty Awards honor the best people and organizations on Twitter. These unique awards are for the Twitter community, by the Twitter community. Online voting is public and democratic, culminating in an awards ceremony that recognizes the winners in 27 official categories as well as those in brand new crowd-sourced ones.

The page goes on to describe the process:

In January 2010, the community is invited to nominate Twitter users for excellence over the past year. The awards recognize each content creator’s entire body of work, not just an individual tweet. Nominations are made by sending a tweet, whether it’s through this site or on Twitter.

As I’ve previously written quite a number of posts on the potential of Twitter I have no qualms if an organisation wishes to recognise those who have been involved in exploiting Twitter’s  potential.

As I have only one vote for each category I wondered who I should vote for in the #tech category.  Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth) would be an obvious choice – and not just because he nominated me but because of his engagement with the “VLE is Dead” debate which took place at the ALT-C 2009 conference, but also on his blog and on Twitter, centred about the #vle tag during the ALT-C conference.

But to nominate Steve for his engagement in the VLE debate on Twitter would be to ignore the contributions made by @josiefraser, @jamesclay and @sputuk (Nick Sharratt), Steve’s fellow panellists at the ALT-C debate.

Mike Ellis has always been a lively cheap drugs online Twitterer, as you can see from his blog posts on “The Person is The Point“.  But, as described in his “Many Me” post, Mike’s use of two Twitter accounts has fragmented possible nominations – if I nominated @m1ke_ellis I’d be worried that @dmje would get upset:-)

There are lots of others in the JISC development community I could mention whom I’ve got to know much better though use of Twitter.  But it is difficult to pick an individual from that list.  So I thought about the people I’ve encountered on Twitter outside the UK.

I first encountered @scenariogirl when she tweeted me immediately after a talk I gave a year ago at the OzeWAI conference a year ago – and followed that up with a tweet which succinctly summarised my talk in three words “Accessibility isn’t binary”. As I described in a blog post that encounter led to @scenariogirl (Lisa Herrod) contributing to my most recent accessibility paper – that was a tweet which had impact.

So I’ve nominated @scenariogirl for the tech categorty of the Shorty Awards (using the short form of the nomination):

#shortyawards @scenariogirl #teche Initial contact: http://bit.ly/76FL5U & followup: http://bit.ly/8BNAPF led to a paper http://bit.ly/8DBi8o

But what about the other categories? It would be nice to nominate @bathcsc, the pioneering work in use of Twitter to provide news and alerts (and a sense of community) for user of First Buses in bath and Bristol. But sadly that work, which was set up by @custardether (Kirsty McGill), ceased due to cutbacks:-(

In the absence of @bathcsc the @UniofBath Twitter account has come to the rescue for many at Bath University during this year’s bad weather.  As I mentioned recently  I heard the news that the University of Bath was closed due to the snow conditions via a tweet I received before 7.30 am, while I was still in bed.  So here’s my nomination in the #travel category:

I nominate @UniofBath for a Shorty Award in #travel because news of Uni closure arrived while I was in bed:-)  http://bit.ly/shorty

Anyone else any additional suggestions?