(Hint: It’s probably a brand.)
Do you follow your home state on Twitter?
If you do, chances are it's owned by Patrick O'Hara. He is the CEO and founder of @TravelDeals, a company that specializes in snatching up “valuable” Twitter real estate — like @maine and @pennsylvania — and then tweeting out links to, you guessed it, travel deals on attraveldeals.com. The company owns 30% of all the state names on Twitter, from @california to @washington. O'Hara is one of the lucky few who was able to get in on the Twitter land grab early, and just about the only one who has gained anything from it. Most states, however? They're more like territories.
Eleven state accounts are suspended — there's just nothing there. While there is a process for states to reclaim these, it doesn't seem like many have asked. (Twitter was unavailable to comment on specific accounts.) The only state governments that have succeeded in scoring their Twitter names have done so through their tourism offices, which use the accounts to promote reasons to travel to or within their state. Like New Mexico, the land of enchantment. What's up, New Mexico?