Oprah on Twitter: This Is What We Were Waiting For?

The blogosphere was a-buzzin’ all day yesterday about Twitter’s mysterious “big news,” cryptically mentioned in a tweet by founder Evan Williams. “Tomorrow just became a very big day,” Williams wrote. What could it be? What was this monumental occurrence? WE MUST KNOW!

The shocker, it turns out, was just as a certain Robert Scoble suspected: Oprah was sending her first tweet. Holy. F’n. Crap. It’s even more exciting than we could ever have imagined.

Oprah on Twitter: The Cult of Caps Lock

Just to be clear, yes, I was being completely sarcastic there. I realize that Oprah has a cult-like following of devoted fans, and that’s fine — but, as my cohort Steven Hodson pointed out a few days ago, numbers do not always equal quality when it comes to the world of social media. In fact, they often seem to equal just the opposite.

Not to take anything away from Oprah — her work clearly strikes a chord with plenty of people, and that’s great. But I think the debut of her account on Twitter can reaffirm something I hope we can now all admit: Being a celebrity does not automatically make you an interesting Twitter user.

Take, for example, Oprah’s magical moment, which tens of thousands of Twitterers had signed up and eagerly waited to see:



The Social Media Hierarchy

The “queen of all media” isn’t the only royalty to just discover social media. Howard Stern, the self-declared “king of all media” made the leap himself earlier this month. Stern’s Twitter presence has proven to be equally compelling, with updates such as “Robin is doing the news” and “I’m just staring at the back of Ronnie’s head.”

Then you’ve got Mister One Million himself, the great Ashton Kutcher (or, as he’s known on Twitter, aplusk). Kutcher may have reached a million followers this week, but come on — is his stream of updates really that interesting? If he weren’t Ashton Kutcher, would anyone care? (See CNET’s post: “How to Unfollow Ashton Kutcher“)

Look, I’m not out to knock these people’s thoughts or their takes on what Twitter’s all about. All I’m saying is that having a famous face and a famous name doesn’t necessarily mean your every thought is earth-shattering. I’ve looked at Ashton Kutcher. I’ve looked at Howard Stern. And in the end, I’ve found far more interesting and engaging interactions with users whose names and faces few people know — and, most magical of all, those people actually interact back with me, too.

Social media as a two-way road. How novel.

I better go tell my Twitter friend MC Hammer.