From VJs to TJs: MTV Hires “Twitter Jockey”

TJ is the new VJ.

MTV is making social media waves with the hiring of its first "Twitter Jockey," a 23-year old named Gabi Gregg, reports the New York Daily News.

Gregg beat four other contestants for the position by winning a web-based contest last earlier this month. To capture the coveted gig, she had to plan and execute a successful event in New York City with only eight hours notice. Luckily, she utilized connections she'd built in the city's fashion world borne out of blog she started while an unemployed college graduate in 2008, a site called

"I decided to combine my passion for writing and fashion," Gregg says of her blog, "and specifically for plus-size clothing and fashion, because I'm a plus-size woman and I know how difficult it can be to find clothing that is trendy and young."

Her event? A fashion show on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge featuring plus-sized models. She naturally used Twitter to rally her fans.

Like other famous MTV video jockeys "Downtown" Julie Brown, Dr. Dre and Ed Lover, and Matt Pinfield, Gregg will riff on pop culture, celebrities, fashion and music using Twitter, Facebook and a blog on the MTV website. Her Twitter account is @mtvtj.

But whether or not the Twitter jockey job ends up being a publicity stunt or a position with a serious portfolio, the mere fact that MTV felt compelled to create the role speaks to the increasingly rarefied position that outlets like Twitter and Facebook  now occupy in the media landscape.

Facebook now boasts over 500 millions users and is one of the most heavily used sites on the internet. Politicians like Sarah Palin use Facebook to broadcast messages to fans and air their take on the events of the day, bypassing traditional news outlets along the way. The site has so penetrated the culture that the story of its creation is coming to the big screen this fall in the David Fincher directed, "The Social Network."

If Facebook has become the internet's equivalent of a high school reunion dinner - the structured place where memories are shared and long lost friends are found - then Twitter is the rowdy cocktail party that follows, full of unedited gossip and witty banter. It has become the preferred venue for everyone from Kanye West to Bill Gates to say what's on their minds at that very moment, making it a fascinating place to see what tastemakers across almost any field are thinking and doing.

Both of these sites, along with others like Foursquare, YouTube and Tumblr, promise to continually challenge and shape the way we live, work and play. Don't be left behind by the Twitter flock.

Selected Reading: New York Daily News, EW, Mashable

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