Posts Tagged ‘Ashton Kutcher’

Giving 1 Million Followers a Purpose

By now, most of you have heard about the original @Drew auctioning off his Twitter Handle to benefit the Live Strong Foundation. I’m sure you’ve also heard about & Drew Carey and his series of increasingly generous bids – now potentially reaching $1,000,000 – should Mr. Carey’s Current Account Accrue a total of 1,000,000 Followers – Effectively Attributing a $1 Value to each person.

You can check out Mashable’s Coverage of #BlameDrewsCancer & the surrounding story, as well as CNN’s take on the situation.

I’m not breaking any news here – but I would like to make a comparison, even if it’s an obvious one. If you recall, it wasn’t too long ago that Ashton Kutcher, Oprah, and a slew of other celebrities pathetically riding their diamond studded coattails, joined the ranks of Twitter Personas, despite some vehement protesting that they do (and still do) nothing to add value to the community. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t celebrities who DO engage with their followers, ala The New York Jets, Dave Matthews, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon…and others

However, it takes but a quick look at Mr. Demi Moore Willis’ recent posts to see he’s just broadcasting, adding little to no value, using twitter no differently than he would any other medium.

This is also not to say that he’s using twitter any differently than 90% of the rest of the popular platform’s patrons. However, he made a point to garner followers and attention, ‘racing’ CNN to reach 1 million and make the history books – and has since done absolutely nothing with that accomplishment, or his fan/follower base. All that influence – just going to waste.

Meanwhile – Drew Carey’s going to get a million followers (probably, maybe?), and even if he can’t interact with each and every single one – he’s still engaging, adding value to the community by validating their existence, giving them a reason to follow him other than to voyeur on mundane celebrity activity – he’s giving them VALUE – $1 to be exact. Thus enabling every single one of his followers to contribute to a charitable cause just by lifting a finger and without even having to donate any money themselves.

And what does Mr. Carey get out of this? He certainly doesn’t need the additional attention any more than Kutcher, the guy hosts “The Price is Right.” Sure he gets some added PR and a bit of an ego boost – but it’s costing him up to a million dollars.

This whole situation begs us to compare the two and their respective endeavors to reach one million followers – Ashton’s was vain, self serving, and ultimately pointless. While Drew Carey’s is clearly altruistic, not only donating his own money for a good cause but also rallying the masses and facilitating their involvement in charity, in the simplest possible way, through both traditional and new media. I think we have a winner here.

This then begs another question – how will Mr. Carey’s actions impact nonprofits and charitable organizations in their use of social media? Initiatives designed to raise attention for a given cause can elevate a charity from relative obscurity to a zeitgeist phenom with people dedicating their Facebook statii to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, en masse, or Greening their twitter profile picture to reflect the political situation in Iran.

Further, Microdonation campaigns have used the Twitter ripple effect and apps like Facebook causes to refocus attention from low quantity, high volume donations from philanthropic giants to relying, instead, on individuals, average Joes & Janes, donating in small increments but also in great magnitudes.

Now a new method makes the foray into the fray – something of a spin on celebrity endorsements and PSAs with a bit of 90’s domain squatting thrown into the mix, albeit with a more benevolent agenda in mind.

Back on the Ides of April ’09, CNN set what could have been a terrible precedent when they purchased the CNNBRK account, potentially opening the doors for malicious squatters to register for brands’ preferred social media profiles and hold them for ransom. [Note - @cnnbrk has been ridiculously inactive of late – wonder if CNN is regretting that decision]

Personally, I’m curious to see if Mr. Carey’s Actions will catch on – is auctioning off popular twitter accounts a viable means of raising money or is this a one-time deal?

It also calls into question the role of celebrities on Twitter – how should they be using twitter? If they can accrue a vast number of followers with relative ease (or $) do they have a responsibility to activate those followers?

Thoughts Please!!!!

A great many people have attempted to define twitter. The site, so addictive and understood by its users – yet so difficult to explain to those who haven’t graced the twitterverse with their presence. Microblogging? That just begs the question…”well, what’s microblogging?”

However you want to define Twitter, one thing is for certain, it is a conversation…an ongoing and open dialogue between vast multitudes of people from every walk of life. A Plethora of simultaneous conversations intersecting and overlapping – leading to the valuable exchange of information. But this entire system is predicated on 2 (or 3 or 4 or more…)-way discourse.

Perhaps the most prominent criticism of brands and marketers who employ twitter for customer/consumer relations is the one-way broadcasting of information. Many brands – Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Dell…to name a few, and most recently Domino’s – have responded by evolving their twitter presence into actual human-human conversationalists. And props to them.

Arguably, the only excusable one-way broadcasting on twitter, IMHO is when it’s done by news outlets. That’s what people expect, and want, from them. Information. That’s not to say it isn’t awesome when journalists and reporters become active participants in the discussion, and many are, but people have come to accept and rely on actual outlets for simple headlines and breaking news. Wonderful.

Which brings us to celebrities. Shaq, as well as The Jet’s Kerry Rhodes, John Mayer, even Kim Kardashian, plus a few other celebrities, are known to utilize twitter as a means to converse with their fans. But Oprah & Ashton Kutcher – the recent poster children, spokespeople, sell-out twitter celebrities – the focal point of what must be half of all tweets in the last 24 hours – haven’t conversed. And my question is – “Will they?”

With a million+ followers – how do you choose who to reply to, if anyone at all? And if you don’t converse…why are you on twitter? Are TV, Movies, Celebrity, and Sheer Wealth just not enough? If you ask me, if feels cheap. At this moment – Oprah is following a totally of 9 people…and followed by over 94,000, while the man who brought us Dude Where’s My Car, Punkd and Beauty & The Geek has over 1 million and only follows 73. Crazy ratios right? And those lucky individuals – other celebrities, like Jimmy Fallon, Tony Hawk, and Larry King.

I’m sorry Oprah…you don’t need twitter. You probably won’t use it properly…but by all means, please, prove me wrong. Converse, Engage, Listen, Interact, Respond…You Too Ashton…btw, I liked you better on that 70’s show when you had a mustache…at least the you could poke fun at yourself.