Ashton's Push For Breaking 1 Million Visitors
He continued "and I was looking at this thing and to put it in perspective which is kinda knocking my socks off CNN is currently at 897, 969, so I currently only have like 50,000 less followers than CNN, which kinda makes me laugh, but uh that's just crazy."
Challenge To Ding Dong Ted Turner
Then Ashton said on his UTube video, you know what, "if I beat CNN to 1 million followers on Twitter I will literally go and ding dong ditch Ted Turner's house while I'm in Atlanta." He continued "and I will video it and post the video of me ding dong ditching Ted Turner's house." Ashton said in reference to his Twitter followers "that's crazy. Holy Moley!"
As you can imagined that was a throw down to CNN and the two were in a heated competition to beat each other. The media helped build an International buzz about it and it became a Twitter and Social Network phenomenon. Bottom line, Ashton took his Twitter campaign viral.
Oprah's Response To The Ashton And CNN Competition
Oprah laughed about the media buzz about Ashton and CNN and said "yes, we needed something to lift our spirits." She also explained that on Friday, April 17th at approximately 1:00 am CST" Ashton beat CNN to 1 million followers on Twitter.
Oprah said "so I'm honored to have the first television interview with the newly crowned king of Twitter, Ashton, skying in from his office in California." Ashton appeared on screen and Oprah said "congratulations."
Why Did Ashton Want One Million Followers?
Then she asked "why did you want a million people following everything you're doing?"
Ashton said "I didn't actually say I want a million people following. What I thought was really interesting is that in some ways this is kind of a commentary the state of the media because I believe that we're at a place now with social media where one person's voice can be as powerful as an entire news network, an entire media network."
Power Of Social Media
He continued "and that's kinda, that is the power of the social web. You, through your own stream can actually have a voice that's as loud as a media network. You can create your content, through a collaborative effort, you can edit your content, you can broadcast your content, and you can consumer your content all in one place. And I thought it was kinda almost like an uprising with the Internet in a way."
What Did Ashton Want To Say To His Twitter Followers?
Oprah said "and you wanted the followers because you wanted to say what to them?"
Ashton replied "I post all kinds of things on my feed for them to see from crazy news stories that I see to..." Oprah interrupted "to your wife's (Demi Moore) bottom." Ashton said "yeah pictures." He said "part it for me is that my life is on display anyway, and not always by choice. Like sometimes I walk out of my house and there are video cameras there are photographers there so instead of them publishing videos and pictures I don't like, I can publish videos of myself that are pre-approved that I'm happy with."
Using Twitter To Rally For A Good Cause
Ashton continued "and then on top of it, you can really rally people around different causes. What we've been doing is with this effect Malaria No More to actually put an end to malaria. And so you can rally people around causes. We did something with the Service Nation Act and helped get that passed through Congress. And so there are giant things we can do through this platform at 140 characters at a time."
Oprah said "so it's more than I just ate a sandwich?" Oprah referenced Jimmy Fallon's Twitter thread (at photo shoot) and said "so you can do that or speak out for Malaria.
Cutting Out The Paparrazzi
Then Ashton was asked "do you find there is any less interest in you in terms of the paparazzi, and the kinds of Us Weekly, the society we live in now that you tweet your own stuff. That fact that you put out Demi's bottom, as Gayle said, is there any less interest in seeing her bottom again? Or is there still the same frenzy there's always been? Or you have more control?"
Ashton replied "Uh well I don't thing the tide (media frenzy) has completely turned yet. But the difference is that if there is some sort of fallacy published in some magazine or some blogger has written about you, you can actually respond to it."
He continued "you can respond in a genuine way directly to your fans. As opposed to having to go through the whole riga-ma-roll of having a publicist and this, that and the other thing and trying to get them to write a retraction to the article when the retraction is on page 75 and the story was on the front cover.
Gayle said "but it really is astounding that one guy can take on a comglomerate and win. She said "I think you've changed the game. How people now get their information. I think that is really astounding."
How Digg Does It
Ashton said "well the game was already changing, I think that I was just allowed to be a part of it. I think if you look at what Kevin Rose has built at Digg.com he's actually built a place where the people decide what's going to be the top headline story of the day. By Digging up stories that are out there in the Internet, they actually decide what the headline news is going to be. Based on what they want to see."
Oprah said "you no longer have rumors about you at all. You can set the record straight. Immediately. You can beat the news."
Ashton teased "if say Demi's pregnant, I can say no."
What The Critics Say
Some critics have pointed out that Ashton Kutcher's million Twitter followers did not just happen. The point out that Ashton is not an unknown man who came out of nowhere who beat the big media CNN. Instead he is a major Hollywood celebrity who orchestrated a massive, social media publicity campaign to promote himself, Twitter and, by extension, Ted Turner and CNN.
It ultimately came to light that Ashton received an allegedly "pro bono" donation of 1,133 digital billboards which urged passers-by to follow Ashton on Twitter.
Others claim that Twitter "goosed" the Ashton race by making it impossible to Unfollow Ashton as the race heated up. Some long time legitimate Twitter communities were angry about Ashton's race stating it was a publicity stunt that undermined Twitter. Others claim he "cheated" and Twitter helped him make the million mark happen.
What Do You Think?
Some people on the Twitter community are unhappy about how Ashton used Twitter to promote his own battle with CNN. Do you think his use of Twitter was good or bad? Long term will it help Twitter or not? Do you think he "cheated" by using the pro bono billboards? Please let me know your thoughts about Ashton and his one million followers.
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