What a strange and powerful tool – Twitter, Ashton and me

April 19, 2009

Earlier today, I retweeted a post about the ways in which Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) and Oprah Winfrey (@oprah) were using Twitter incorrectly. This caught the attention of Ashton Kutcher – who I’m fairly confident does all his own tweeting – and he sent me a note.

He asked why I felt that his Tweeting technique was wrong. In that astonishing moment I was frank with him that I thought he was actually playing in the Twittersphere correctly but Oprah was naive and untrained in her use of this social media tool.

Be that interpretation what it is, the thing that surprised me the most was that this celebrity took the time to interact. Ashton Kutcher sent me an @ message and then he followed me.

That’s right. The King (nay Jester) of Twitter – with 1.2Million followers added me to the list of people he’s following. I’m number 82.

Now this situation might change when Ashton realizes I like to talk about journalism and the Red Sox and that I’m barely versed in the nuances of today’s music. He might dislike people from Boston who ride scooters and sometimes report for NPR. And that might be the end of this journey and conversation with Ashton.

But I am a tech reporter and he likes to use technology, so I might linger. And this lingering might be a direct result of our open exchange on Twitter.

You see, within moments of his note to me, my email box became full and my own Twitter following count jumped up by 2%. That was within seconds. I wonder what might happen when we talk again…on a weekday…when more people see it.

How very crazy that the very power Ashton talked of during his interview with Oprah on Friday is manifesting itself right here in this very personal way.

What are your thoughts on this real and remarkable exchange?

What would you share with Ashton – or with Oprah – if they were following you?

What would you want them to share with you?

For now, I’m going to see what I can learn about the challenges of celebrity now that the walls have been removed. It’s intriguing and exciting to share some of that power Ashton spoke of last week.

I hope he keeps the conversation going.

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