Update: MTV has narrowed it down to five finalists, and Lytle is still in the running, along with Gabi Gregg, Jose Iniguez, Xavier Moreno, and Dannielle Owens-Reid
Original Article: It came to my attention today that one of the 18 finalists for MTV's TJ (Twitter Jockey) job is from just up the interstate a piece from our headquarters, so I figured that was as good a reason as any to reach out to him for his take on the contest and his hopes of being the chosen one.
"MTV took a unique approach to finding all of the candidates by scouring the web for what they called some of the most immersed pop culture enthusiasts in social media," says 22-year-old Ryan Lytle who lives just outside of Cincinnati.
"I have been using Twitter for almost two years and have a website dedicated to pop culture and entertainment," he says. "All of this plus a YouTube channel, a LinkedIn account and a DailyBooth account. I have made an effort to be a part of the social media push and it has paid off with this opportunity with MTV."
"I have made a conscious effort to be a part of the social media landscape," he says. "As an online journalism major at Ohio University, I knew that this would be something very important to marketing not only my work, but my personal brand as well." Here is more of his bio.
For fun, I asked Lytle if he thinks Twitter's frequent "Fail Whales" will interfere with the job if he gets it. "I wouldn't think so at all," he says. "I think the 'Fail Whales' are just part of the game. When Twitter goes down, we all are affected by it! I can't see that changing the game plan at all for me."
I also asked who his favorite VJ from MTV's history was. "I'm going to have to say Tyrese. I just remember when I was younger, Tyrese was on top of the world. He was a famous singer, an actor, model and an MTV VJ. I thought the guy was amazing. Even today he's still putting together a solid career as an actor. He was in 'Four Brothers,' so that puts him on top in my book!"
I don't expect that Lytle's love for Tyrese will affect MTV's decision one way or another, but at least he didn't say Jesse Camp. My guess is that MTV will be more concerned with statements like this one he gave us: "I want to be a part of the conversation, no matter what it is and social media has really helped me be a part of it."
MTV says it still has two spots left in its top 20, which will eventually be narrowed down to five, at which point the winner will be picked on August 8th.