VALPARAISO | Orville Redenbacher is still the king.
At the Fourth Annual Indiana Social Media Summit in Indianapolis Friday, the Twitter feed from Orville's statue in Central Park Plaza was awarded the Best in Show trophy, the top category of the six in which awards were given based on votes cast online.
The summit is the creation of Amy Stark, a social media consultant in Indianapolis. It has been held at the end of the year at an Indianapolis brew house since 2009. Orville beat out 16 other nominees, including the Indiana Military Museum, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, The Honest Toddler, The Fort Wayne Hipster and Butler Blue, the university mascot.
Orville's Twitter account was set up through the city's Redevelopment Commission shortly after the statue's unveiling in September, and he already has 255 followers. A spokesperson for the commission said the city was unaware the statue was nominated until word began to appear on Twitter.
Dave Woodson, of Michigan City, nominated Orville. He also nominated Leanne Hoagland Smith, an area sales coach, who took the Social Media Summit prize for Most Influential Dame. Woodson himself is a past winner of the Most Influential Dude honor. Other categories are Nicest Peeps, Most Ethical Peeps or Presence, Grooviest Peeps or Presence and Most Influential Up and Comers.
Once the redevelopment commission learned of the nomination, word was put on the city's Web site urging people to vote for him. The commission spokesman said the win was a surprise since Butler Blue has more than 5,000 followers, about 20 times the number Orville has.
Woodson said the secret to the win was not dividing the vote but getting people behind one local candidate. He was bringing the trophy back from the summit because Orville couldn't attend personally. He's bolted to his bench. Delivery also was expected to be a problem because the identity of Orville's Tweeter is a secret.