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Ashton Kutcher: Twitter King

posted July 30, 2009

Posted by Erin Brown in technology trends uncategorized

Who maintains the most popular Twitter feed on earth? Guess again, it’s Ashton Kutcher.

The Iowa-born actor came to fame playing Michael Kelso on the FOX sitcom That 70s Show. In 2003 he created a minor media sensation by hooking up with Demi Moore, who had launched her career on the ABC soap General Hospital when Kutcher was only 4. Also in 2003 he became the creator, executive producer, and host of the MTV series, Punk’d, in which hidden cameras catch celebrities at the receiving end of practical jokes.

Now Kutcher, whose Twitter handle is @aplusk, is becoming a star in the tech sector, too. In April of this year (just as Oprah was sending out her first Tweet), Kutcher won a much-publicized race with CNN to become the the first Twitterer with 1 million followers.  For a recap of the whole “feud,” see Kutcher’s 4/17 victory appearance on Larry King Live:


Some criticized Kutcher’s achievement as a little more than a PR stunt and questioned the means by which he’d amassed a million followers. Still, Kutcher seemed earnest about the democratic power of microblogging, telling King,

“We now live in an age in media that a single voice can have as much power and relevance on the Web, that is, as an entire media network.”

Kutcher also emphasized to King that the brilliance of Twitter is that it is not only a “send out” but also a “take in” medium, through which he is having a direct conversation with his fans.

Now approaching the 3 million followers mark, Kutcher highlighted the potential of Twitter’s “take in” feature recently when he sent out a Tweet asking followers to suggest a joke for a scene in his upcoming movie, The Killers. The jokes flooded in, and apparently one of them fit the bill. As reported by Fishbowl LA, Kutcher’s making no promises that the joke will survive the movie’s final cut. (Also, it remained to be seen whether the contributing fan would receive credit, or payment, for the joke.) Still, the incident must have made The Killers’s screenwriter(s), and perhaps writers everywhere, a little uneasy.

Tweet Others with Kindness . . . or Else

posted June 30, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in publishing technology

Early hardback edition cover
Image via Wikipedia

Be careful what you tweet! Author Alice Hoffman found this out the hard way.  When a not-quite-glowing review of The Story Sisters, Hoffman’s latest novel, appeared in the Boston Globe on June 28, Hoffman reacted by posting her own opinions on her Twitter feed.

Hoffman’s first tweet was a personal attack on the critic: “Roberta Silman in the Boston Globe is a moron.” Hoffman then continued to criticize Silman, stating that “any idiot can be a critic” and wondering, “So who is Roberta Silman?” Perhaps Hoffman was not aware that Silman is an award-winning novelist and critic, with stories published in such periodicals as the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly.

Hoffman also slammed the Boston Globe and the city of Boston (her hometown, by the way), and she tweeted Silman’s contact information (including her phone number) and encouraged her Twitter followers to write to Silman to “Tell her what u think of snarky critics.”

Hoffman’s Twitter account was promptly deleted (by whom exactly is unclear). Hoffman issued a statement via her publicist in which she apologized if she had offended anyone. “I feel this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion,” Hoffman stated.

The moral to this story? Someone may actually be reading your tweets, so don’t tweet it unless you mean it! For additional information on Hoffman’s tweets, see this gawker article.

The Power of Twitter

posted April 5, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in technology

Many businesses are turning toward social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to increase visibility. I think it’s a great way to provide a public “face” and to open the doors to interactive communication. Our business, Thomas Riggs & Company, operates in a virtual office, and we are scattered across the globe. Since we all live in different cities, it’s good for us to find ways to feel more connected with others. Services such as Twitter will not only help us form a community but also introduce our company to the online world.

So we’re planning to use Twitter to make announcements about upcoming books and events and to get to know our Twitter friends better. It should be a lot of fun, so please join in and follow us at

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