By now, I am sure you have heard of the Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter War, the race to be the first user with one million followers, and the subsequent backlash in the Twitterverse over their tactics… plus other celebrities like Oprah jumping on the bandwagon and making it feel well past jumping the shark – it’s landed on the back of Moby Dick and we’re in for a hell of a ride.
I am trying to muddle through whether this is good or bad.
As I mentioned to Dave Taylor below, it’s been interesting watching the wave of users come on Twitter in the last 6 months. [HI! IT’S ABOUT TIME, YO’S] These celebrities give us an intimate look at their lives, sure. BUT are they really relevant and interesting to ME? To my life? Are they “good” at Twitter? Or do they just spew fragmented sentences with bad punctuation and photos of Demi Moore’s ass?
Is celebrity of value all by itself? It depends on what you are looking for on Twitter. My friend Leaanthro is looking for two-way conversation. She talks about wanting more than just random tweets from a hot famous dude with a hot famous wife and a slew of shitty movies (ONE exception: The Butterfly Effect).
I tend to agree with her, although I really don’t expect celebrities of their fame level to see my silly name and my silly tweets and think “hell yeah, I am gonna tap into some of THAT shit.” Nor should they feel compelled to do anything other than what THEY want to do. I wrote before in my “Twitter Manifesto” [which someone on Twitter said “sounded communist” – a major highlight of my online life, by the way] that people should run their Twitter lives as they see fit. But, I also admit there are very few people I follow on Twitter who don’t follow me back. Plain and simple, I like to be either entertained or educated if I am not building a relationship.
I am neither educated nor entertained by Ashton Kutcher.
But so what? He’s an annoying douche looking for free PR in exchange for a mere 10,000 malaria nets. Clearly he’s a smart annoying douche. I checked out his Twitter feed for about 2 days, then unfollowed. Period.
But, what is more interesting is the big picture. The noise. Brian Shaler and I had an amusing DM chat one night trying to figure out who the hell half the trending topics were, because when it wasn’t #SteveJobs or #failwhale we were lost in sea of confusion. The face of Twitter is changing with all these new people and us old nerds are clearly uncomfortable with it. Hell yeah, it annoys me that Oprah was treated like royalty as she deigned to join Twitter, IN ALL CAPS NO LESS, and we were all supposed to spread like the Red Sea to get out of her way. But in general, Oprah at least does some good with her fame. Maybe her entrance will do some good as well.
As usual, no one sums it up better than my husband. We were talking about this over lunch on Friday and I recorded him into my iPhone. Because I am a nerdy early adopter who jumped on Twitter 2 years ago and stood in line TWICE to have the iPhone on the 1st day. And I also am a graphic designer with the slight oddity of a psychology minor, so I like to sit back and watch the world swirl around and see what happens. What a crazy fucking world.