It went down to the wire, like watching election night results in a close race, but at 2:13AM EST Ashton Kutcher @aplusk beat CNN to 1 million Twitter followers late Thursday night…actually early Friday morning on the east coast. TechMeme, TechCrunch, and the whole tech world was pulling for Kutcher to prove that the Internet really can democratize media, and create meaningful social networks. CNN pushed hard on TV with Anderson Cooper and Larry King urging people to follow CNN, while Ashton went live on UStream, an Internet video streaming service.
Oprah Winfrey @Oprah joined the fun on Twitter. Ashton will be on Oprah Friday morning…where she will do her first Tweet.
I first wrote about the race to 1M Twitter followers on April 7th. That blog post was picked up by MG Siegler at VentureBeat, The Standard, and later by CNN, ABC News, and many others. Shortly after this MG Siegler joined TechCrunch and picked up the story there. This race to 1 Million followers has focused a lot of attention on Twitter, and has been fun to watch.
Why does it matter?
It is about democratizing media, no more gatekeepers deciding what we see and hear.
It is about being connected in a social community. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media allow people to feel connected and empowered.
It is about 1 million people finding inspiring stories, sharing insights, being connected, and having fun.
The economy is in the dumper, people are hurting, and need some relief. Would you rather hear about doom and gloom on the TV news, or find uplifting stories and connect with interesting people on Twitter? Easy choice.
Watch this video. It is about 30 minutes long. If you only have a few minutes, advance to the 24:00 mark. Demi Moore dancing in the background is pretty cute.
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