The Best and the Worst of Twitter
In the social networking sphere, Twitter is virtually an unstoppable force that allows users to share pretty much whatever’s on their mind in 140 characters or less. It may seem like a short amount of space, but it’s allowed celebs to raise money for charity, push a cause that’s on their heart, promote a project, apologize to fellow followers, ruffle feathers, and perhaps even incite a lawsuit! Check out our latest list of Tweet-Worthies (the folks making important statements or just having some good, old-fashioned fun), alongside a few cringe-worthy Un-Tweetables that could still use some etiquette lessons.
Besides tipping people off about his shaved head (which sent gaggles of girls gasping), the always-wholesome Justin Bieber has turned to Twitter as a vehicle to provide self-esteem assistance to his tween and teenage peers. For starters, he participated in a public service announcement encouraging safe and responsible usage of social networking sites, and also waged an anti-bullying campaign that encouraged his fans to uplift rather than insult.
Besides being today’s top-selling artist, Lady Gaga also sits atop the Twitter throne with an absolutely astounding 9,815,736 followers as of this writing. Though she earns daily headlines for outrageous outfits and behavior (just like Madonna did back in the day), the “Born This Way” diva also attracts plenty of attention for her humanitarian efforts, namely the ability to raise a quarter of a million bucks in 48 hours via her Japan Prayer Bracelet – just from Tweets alone.
Long before the dawn of Twitter, Skillet amassed a legion of “Panheads” the old-fashioned way, by touring like crazy and shaking hands after shows. Though that trend continues, the crossover favorites are continuing to cultivate those relationships by giving followers a first crack at clearance merchandise, exclusive live photos, links to members’ personal blogs, and in-store appearance information.
Remember that hoopla about Jay Leno wanting his time slot back on “The Tonight Show” and Conan O’Brien being cast aside? Before that, the late night favorite never had time to Twitter, but during his hiatus from television, he managed to rack up 300,000 followers by the end of a day, and within a month, had over a million. The results led to a sold-out stand-up comedy tour, followed by a captive audience for his new TBS show “Conan.”
The Jonas Brothers
The nicest guys in pop today seem especially willing to chat personally with fans at a moment's notice, and are known for announcing ways the faithful can win free concert tickets, meet-and-greet passes, and other exclusive stuff. Now that the group is taking a break to focus on solo projects, the brothers are often seen cheering one another on and keeping each other abreast of their whereabouts.
Though her musical career hit a middle-aged slump, Mariah Carey's popularity as a celebrity remains at an all-time high, thanks to tying the knot with actor/comedian/rapper Nick Cannon. And you'd have to be living under a rock to have missed the happy news of the birth of their twins, which has gotten endless Twitter attention – from choosing baby names to shopping for cute outfits.
Ever since Michael Tait took the reigns as lead singer of the Newsboys, the band has been practically reborn and introduced to an entirely new generation of fans. The desire to reel in a younger audience continues on Twitter, including sneak peaks at rare videos, free streams (and sometimes downloads!), plus interactive webcasts, assuring members' accessibility, even amidst arena-filling fame.
Between hosting "American Idol," syndicated radio programming and endless television appearances, Ryan Seacrest is all things pop culture these days. Find out who he’s been hanging out with, previews and personal picks on "Idol" and even fun personal tidbits (like buying a Mother's Day gift or going to a buddy's wedding).
Country-turned-pop, girl-next-door Taylor Swift often tells followers what CDs and MP3s she’s listening to, and while that might not seem like a big deal to non-fans, it has actually given newer artists a major leg up on the competition. She’s currently raving about Andy Grammer’s upbeat acoustic pop ditty “Keep Your Head Up,” while social networking connections also helped modern rockers NEEDTOBREATHE line up several dates on the superstar’s summer tour.
As the fastest person in Twitter history to reach one million followers, it would appear that Charlie Sheen would have something compelling to say, and though he does on occasion, much of it is random (and sometimes senseless) ramblings. By now, the whole world knows he’s been ousted from “Two and a Half Men” and that his Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour pretty much bombed, but that doesn’t stop curious onlookers from staying tuned to the inevitable train wreck.
Well-known as the wife of the late, great Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, some may be quick to forget that Courtney Love founded alternative rock heroes Hole. These days, she’s merely a shadow of herself in the studio and has embarrassed herself on stage and the social networking scene, even inciting a defamation lawsuit from a clothing designer over derogatory Tweets.
Ever since his interruption of Taylor Swift acceptance speech at the 2010 MTV Music Awards, Kanye West’s been attempting to repent over Twitter, but often appears erratic and unnerving in the process. Though that press frenzy has died down, he continues to send mixed signals to his followers, sometimes thanking them profusely and other times boasting about his musical genius, which may be warranted at times (just not all of the time).
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About the Writer
Andy Argyrakis is a Chicago-based entertainment writer/photographer who appears in the Chicago Tribune, IllinoisEntertainer, Daily Journal, Concert Livewire, Hear/Say Magazine and Image Chicago (to name few). His record label writing credits include Warner Brothers, Atlantic, Curb, EMI and Universal, with additional photo credits for Fuse TV, Live Nation, Nikon, Pollstar, Celebrity Access, Paste Magazine, MTV.com and Vibe.com. He’s also the author/narrator of "Access Matthews" (an audio CD tracing the career of Dave Matthews Band) and spends considerable time on tour, including outings with Arlo Guthrie, The Guess Who, Madina Lake (on Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution) and Gospel Music Channel’s very own "Gospel Dream" (where he served as season one judge).
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