One of the attendees at the WAW SoMe 101 workshop last Wednesday mentioned Ashton Kutcher on Twitter. I exclaimed, “Oh I hate that guy!” [Note: Yes, that was quite unprofessional of me. I apologize for my outburst.] We all laughed, she asked why, and I said I’d tell them if we had time.
So here’s some time and my thoughts and perceptions on Ashton Kutcher and his presence on Twitter.
First, I don’t like him as an actor. (I know, that wasn’t part of it.) I’m already biased. I said it. From this point, it is up to you if you want to read about the rest of my dislike.
Second, when he started his Twitter account, I believe the news hype was that he was going to challenge CNN to a race. He bet that he could get 1,000,000 followers before CNN. He would give his 1,000,000th follwer a copy of “Guitar Hero.” (Dude, you’re a gazillionaire. You’re going to donate one measly game?) Twitter isn’t a game of who has the most followers. It’s about creating dialogue: top to bottom, bottom to top, side to side, and diagonally.
I find it irritating that he plays this card of “Oh I can talk to my fans directly. It’s the democratization of media.” Guess what, Kutcher? You are still perpetuating the top-down model of communication from Web 1.0. Here is this guy who’s already famous, a celebrity, and he is sending messages out to the world. Followers reply back to him, but he rarely replies back. How is this a dialogue? It’s not. It’s more top-down messaging and the antithesis of the democratization of media.
In a sense then, Kutcher is at the top of the communication pyramid and we are all still at the bottom.
Thanks, man, for keeping us down. (I’m being sarcastic.)
Articles of note, or people who can write better than me and have the same reaction:
Hey Twitter, Keep the Shades Off – http://news.cnet.com/hey-twitter-keep-the-shades-off/
Everything Old is New Again (Marketing Profs) – http://www.mpdailyfix.com/2009/04/sheeple_everything_old_is_new.html
The Real Meaning of Ashton Kutcher’s 1M Twitter Followers (AdAge) – http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=136049