Denver ranks as the third most socially networked city in America

Last fall, Men's Health magazine — which seems to exist solely in order to rank cities in various random categories — put Denver fifth on its list of sex-loving metropolises.

This was disappointing, since just two years earlier the Mile High City had ranked number one when it came to doing the wild thing, according to another study by But, hey, failing to rise to the occasion can happen to anyone, right?

Now, though, we know what the problem is — and it's not the outing of Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard. Apparently Denver isn't getting off as much as it used to because Denverites are too busy getting on — or at least getting online. In its March issue, Men's Health names Denver the third most socially networked city in America, behind Atlanta and Washington, D.C. (Attention, Ted Haggard: Colorado Springs came in at 41.)

"When we first decided to crown one town America's Most Socially Networked City, our money was on Palo Alto," the magazine writes. "As home to the headquarters of Facebook, Palo Alto might as well be called Zuckerburgh. But the title instead goes to Washington, D.C., a city where staying connected can get out the vote, and virtual handshakes help shape our nation. We started by calculating the number of Facebook and LinkedIn users per capita, followed by overall Twitter usage (NetProspex). Then we looked at traffic generated by the major social networks, including Myspace, Friendster, Reddit, and Digg (analyzed by ad network Chitika). Finally, after factoring in the percentage of households that check out chat rooms and blogs (SimplyMap), we had the results you see below. Go ahead, tell a friend."

Actually, don't.

Why? Because you're most likely drunk. Men's Health has repeatedly ranked Denver high on the list of drunkest cities (we took top honors in 2007), and everyone knows that drunk tweeting and drunk Facebooking is a very bad idea — unless, of course, you are that Red Cross employee who accidentally used the organization's Twitter account to talk about #gettngslizzerd on Dogfish Head beer; that tweet, and the media hubbub that ensued, resulted in more money and donations to the Red Cross.

And although Dogfish Head beers are available here, you should buy Colorado beer instead, because according to the most recent numbers from the Brewers Association, the state has fallen to fifth in the number of breweries per capita — and we'd like to get that number back up again. Maybe Twitter can help. Or just get out and drink a beer instead of staying home and going online.


Lights out: Louisana-based CenturyLink and Qwest Communications plan to consummate their long-anticipated merger on April Fool's Day; only Oregon, Washington and the Federal Communications Commission still need to sign off on the deal. And even if the Qwest brand stays in some form (thanks for ruining the name, Joe Nacchio), the neon sign that has bathed the downtown Denver skyline in an eerie shade of blue for more than a decade is likely to fade away.

"There hasn't been an announcement on that yet," says Qwest spokeswoman Stephanie Walkenshaw, who referred questions about the name and the sign to CenturyLink representative Debra Peterson, who added only: "We will be sharing the combined company name in the near future, so stay tuned."

Which leaves the fate of that sign, as well as the fate of the 7,300 Qwest employees in Colorado, up in the air.

Currently, the majority of those employees work in five buildings in the metro area (Qwest has 31 facilities statewide), including the building at 1801 California Street that's topped with the Qwest sign. But that will probably change, since Qwest leases that space — and hasn't renewed — while it owns two other downtown buildings, at 930 15th Street and 931 14th Street. No decisions have been made yet, Peterson says. The second of those buildings is also the historic Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company headquarters building.

But like Ma Bell, Qwest will soon be history.

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