Twitterholic

I admit that during the past two years of using the microblogging site, I have become a Twitterholic. I don’t ‘Tweet’ twenty times a day, but pretty much every chance I get I will check the Twitter app on my phone for news or funny ‘Tweets’. Because of the short messages it’s very easy to scroll through a lot of information in an efficient manner. Besides becoming my main source for news updates, I follow a lot of comedians and musicians on Twitter as well.

For this Social Media assignment I will describe my experiences while following Randy Blythe (@Lambvox), Mike Lamond (@HuskyStarcraft), and Kelly Oxford (@KellyOxford).

To prevent this post from becoming too long I will go through the specific questions for the assignment per person.

Mr.Blythe, who is from West Virginia, would fit in the category ‘quite famous’ as the singer of one of the most popular modern day Metal bands around, Lamb of God, with whom he has several world tours under his belt. They performed live on the Conan O’Brien show for one of the biggest TV audiences in America, and played at festivals such as Download and Rock Am Ring in front of crowds as big as 75,000 people. The band has been nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award in the category Best Metal Performance.

I am not sure whether the Twitter statistics for @Lambvox are a fair representation of his celebrity status in the Metal scene, with 17,285 followers as of today, but nonetheless this is quite a large amount of people. Current total number of Tweets: 7,520

What do I now know about this person after following them on Twitter?: The first thing I have learned about Mr.Blythe is that he spends an awful lot of time on Twitter, with sometimes as many as 50 tweets a day. He often starts discussions with fans, often Re-Tweets their replies to all his followers, and he also gives a lot of updates about the band’s recording process for the upcoming album. Following @Lambvox on Twitter did change my perspective about his person slightly. Before I followed him I respected him as a vocalist and imagined him to be an intelligent human being with a well balanced world view, based on the lyrics he wrote and interviews I had seen. After I started following him on Twitter I realized to my disappointment that Mr.Blythe, like many other (but not all) Americans, has an extremely nationalistic opinion regarding his country. To be more precise, he regularly refers to his country as ‘the best nation on earth’, which is the definition of nationalism, in that one feels his or her country is superior to all other countries. Many Americans appear to regard this as being merely patriotic, but in my opinion it is more than just that, and it has become rather tiresome for me to continually hear and read about it. Besides the fact that I value modesty, it remains a point of some debate given for example things as American Health Care, Economy, Foreign Affairs, to name just a few. When compared to other countries I personally find such a statement to be rather arrogant and far from humble. Nevertheless I still respect Mr.Blythe as a musician, I was merely taken aback by his nationalistic views.

How did you feel about them before and after trying to make contact?: @Lambvox has replied to a few of my Tweets, in which I replied to discussions he started about topics such as drunk driving and the role of a vocalist in a band. I found his replies to be quite friendly and considerate, and it did increase my respect for him in the sense that he takes the time to read through the many replies he receives from many fans aside from just his friends.

Next up: Mike Lamond, better known as @HuskyStarcraft, is an E-Sports commentator for the popular game Starcraft 2, which is played by millions of people competitively worldwide. His fame originates from his Youtube channel, which currently has 557,018 subscribers and a total of 77,171,580 views. He is a well known figure in the Starcraft community, and is often invited to commentate during large tournaments in North America and South Korea.

Twitter stats for @HuskyStarcraft: 32,907 followers. 1,238 Tweets.

What do I now know about this person after following them on Twitter?: As it turns out, Husky’s Twitter persona does not change anything about the impression I had previously, which is that of someone who is completely and utterly immersed in everything that has to do with Starcraft. It really appears his entire world revolves around it, which is quite impressive considering it is only a PC game. This doesn’t take away from the fact that it seems like he really does what he loves, and it shows through in his work.

How did you feel about them before and after trying to make contact?: I only tried to make contact with Husky once, when he said something about apartments and studios for sale in Los Angeles being insanely expensive, with prices starting at $300,000. I merely replied jokingly that surely the great “Husky laughs at that kind of pocket change”, which he immediately Re-Tweeted to his followers. This came as quite a surprise to me as he Tweets about once a day at most, always Starcraft related, and hardly ever replies to anyone. It didn’t really change my perception of him as a person, as it wasn’t a direct interaction, it just showed me he could appreciate the sense of humour I put forward in my Tweet.

Next up: Kelly Oxford is an official Twitter celebrity and blogger from Canada. She started blogging in the 90’s, when not many people knew what it was, and slowly gathered quite a following on-line due to what I can only describe as her original sense of humour. She currently has 206,044 followers, by far #1 in this list of Twitter celebrities, with a current total of 2,266 Tweets.

What do I now know about this person after following them on Twitter?: I had never heard of her before until I saw her name come up repeatedly on Twitter, because numerous people were Re-Tweeting her jokes and urging others to follow her too. What I realized was that she is indeed a very funny person, but not as funny as people made her out to be. I suppose an on-line reputation can start living its own life when more than 200,000 people are following you.

How did you feel about them before and after trying to make contact?: I noticed that @KellyOxford devoted a significant amount of Tweets to the Casey Anthony trial which was going on in America at that time, and that she was taking it rather seriously. (Casey Anthony was tried for the first degree murder of her three year old daughter, but was acquitted. The televised murder trial was called “the social media trial of the century” by Time magazine.) It caught my attention because she usually wasn’t very serious on Twitter at all. At one point she suggested the burden of proof should be put on the defense rather than the prosecution, to “prove beyond reasonable doubt she didn’t do it”. Because this would make it a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ scenario, I replied that this would be morally and ethically wrong regardless of the suspected crime. She immediately deleted the first Tweet and replied sarcastically that she regretted the fact she could not “pre-screen followers for a sense of humour”, implying that the deleted Tweet was in fact meant to be a funny remark. I thought this was rather immature, and thus I replied in equally sarcastic tone that it was unfortunate the Tweet was deleted considering its comedic value. She replied that she “never keeps Tweet[s] that 1000’s of people misunderstand”, thereby ending our short lived Twitter dispute. It surprised me that she even replied to me, but I suspect I may have hit a nerve considering the somewhat bitter tone of her reply. At the end of the day, the attempt at making contact and the end result didn’t change my perception of her all that much, although I found it interesting she even chose to reply at all considering she has over 200,000 followers. I still follow her Tweets and I still enjoy some of the funny ones she writes.

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One Comment on “Twitterholic”

  1. wfilius says:

    It was fun to read your blog because you made contact and got a real response. Especially the contact with Kelly Oxford, like you said it is interesting that she even chose to reply at all considering she has over 200,00 followers. So it is quite an ‘honour’ she responded to you!


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