The Great and not so great!Posted: 21/09/2011
The great turned out not so great! As far as getting a response. It was Stephen Fry, among others, I choose to follow and send a tweet! I guess when you have 3,118,884 Followers it is impossible to react to all the tweets your followers sent you. Unless you have special team that answers all those tweets for you, like some companies do. But that is not the case here, as far as I know.
It does mean that interaction with your audience is going to be limited. Mostly like a one way street, with the celebrity pushing his messages onto his audience . It would have to be a pretty special tweet to get a reaction from him/her, often in the form of a retweet! I did find one recent retweet where he did that and coincidentally, it was about an organisation which my group will use for our group assignment: This is the tweet in question: “Staircase2Sep 20, 7:42pm via Web
Retweeted by stephenfry”
Now, the not so famous, micro celebrity “Marja Ruiterman” (coach among others @ the VU for the stop procrastinating and postponing everything course). She has only 824 Followers and is therefore able to interact in a much more sincere and direct way!
It was a couple of monhts ago when I became a bit more active on twitter, that I started following her. Before that, she had been only a distant memory of a course I once took. But the strange thing is that she immediately interacted and after a short explanation who I was, that she actually remembered me from the above mentioned course that I did with her. She engaged me on a personal level. Therefore she is for me the greater person, even if she doesn’t have as many followers as Stephen Fry or Alexander Pechthold who has 97,487 Followers.
I think for twitter it is the same like the study that was presented in class regarding Facebook friends, the more you have the more shallow or superficial the contact is going to be. There is a certain threshold of followers on twitter after which you can no longer engage your followers personally. I also noticed that celebrities regularly seem to tweet for tweet’s sake and not because they have something interesting at that time to share with the world. This, I saw rarely while following my micro celebrity ‘Marja Ruiterman”. Her tweets and retweets more often than not, mattered and were less of a self-glorificational nature than those of Mr. Fry and Alexander Pechthold.
Before and After following Marja, Stephen and Alexander on twitter; before following them on twitter, Marja was just a distant memory and Stephen and Alexander were pretty much 1 or at best 2 dimensional characters I sometimes saw on TV or read about in the newspaper or magazines. After following Marja on twitter, she became for a little bit, part of my live, as she engaged me in her tweets, showed me what she was doing and what was keeping her busy and interested. In this respect twitter added something where otherwise I might never have thought about her again. For the 2 celebrities Alexander and Stephen I can’t say following them really added something; I didn’t gain a deeper insight in their lives and interests that I would not have gotten through the traditional media channels, other than to say I got it sooner via twitter. But as they did not engage me on a personal level, I found their tweets less interesting and am reconsidering if I should keep following them in the future.
Last but not least I should say that I didn’t put any special effort in contacting my ‘micro’ and real celebrities. For Marja I drew on tweets we exchanged in the last few moths, mostly via DM and the tweets she publicly sent with her latest project or interesting insight she came across. Both Alexander and Stephen I sent a reaction to a recent tweet they had sent out last Tuesday and never heard back from them.
So that’s it for now,