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All aTwitter: Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN for 1millionth Follower – @aplusk wins!

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The bet was on: It was a man-using-digital media-versus-media network-race.
The goal: Who will be the first to reach a million twitter followers?
As CNN’s Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper – name/handle on rallied his side for CNNBRK (@cnnbrk) in-between news breaks, Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk – Twitter name/handle) championed his crew on with mega support from his twitter fans, P. Diddy (@iamdiddy) and wife Demi Moore (@mrskutcher). Kutcher gave tweets and video sound bites to listeners; exhorting all to log-on, sign up, and support the race to the millionth mark.
What were they offering in return? Well, both CNN and Kutcher had agreed that whoever won will make a donation of $100,000 to buy 10,000 mosquito bed nets to a global charity ( for World Malaria Day to be celebrated this April 25th 2009 ….
An additional offer kicked-in from Electronic Arts who promised to give follower #1,000,000 (1 million!) every game they make in 2009, a specially created avatar just for them, and a donation of 5,000 mosquito nets in their name to same charity.
Even Larry King (@kingsthings) got in on the act with an invitation to Ashton to join him after the battle. The internet was abuzz with excitement and energy; supporters and detractors alike clicked off 140 character messages about this major media Twitter event.
At different moments, as both sides “duked” it out in the heated competition for twitterers, either CNN or Ashton Kutcher led the pack. Eventually, Kutcher pulled ahead and nailed it.
Pete Cashmore (@mashable), TechCrunch (@TechCrunch), CNET (@CNET) and a host of others announced the winner all over the internet. – The final outcome at Advantage. Game. Set. Win to …. Ashton Kutcher! Kutcher and friends danced to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration,” drank champagne and he thanked supporters.

In a blow by blow recording of the event on video , Kutcher called his effort a media revolution. Elsewhere, he described it as a David versus Goliath event; where one person can have a voice as loud as a media/network outlet.
Is this a media revolution? Is this a media circus? Yes to both, yet only time will tell if the trend continues as a way to raise much needed funds for charities and perhaps other important good work.

Today, Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) offered her first tweets on Twitter. Should we expect another charity fundraiser with Ms. Oprah aiming for 2 million followers?

Regardless of where people stand at this revolutionary, digital media circus, one thing is clear, social digital media networks will continue to provide us with some of the most powerful ways to garner public support for popular/unpopular platforms. After all, President Obama (@barackobama) used Twitter and other internet platforms during/post the elections.

This event raises a lot of questions and tells us something about the profound power of social digital media to rally the crowds for causes. Will it work for everyone and who ultimately stands to benefit? Celebrities? Politicians? Big Business? Joe Schmo? What are the pros and cons of using this modality to trigger massive responses? Think about it…

Who was the 1 millionth person to take Kutcher to the top? Stay tuned…. Question is: Can he/she parley it into a successful online business?

At the time of this writing, Kutcher (@aplusk) had 73/1.036+m (he follows 73 and 1.036 follow him) while CNN (@cnnbrk) had 6/1.017+m…. both continue to grow.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

6 Comments leave one →
  1. rbfrankas permalink
    17/04/2009 6:27 am

    when larry king is twittering – you know that its time to consider how one’s living their life… who ever wins, getting those nets are a good thing… so twitter on…

  2. eof737 permalink
    17/04/2009 6:32 am

    Glad to read you are enjoying the twitter explosion… The Oprah show with Oprah (@Oprah), Evan William (@ev), Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) and Demi Moore (@mrskutcher) was awesome and I guess we will see what next… The journey matters.
    Thank you!

  3. Allegra permalink
    17/04/2009 9:15 am

    I read about this yesterday. I’m surprised that Ashton won so quickly. I guess Twitter is a good way to rally your fans together so they can work for your own personal benefits. I read that Kevin Smith did something similar recently — on, his movie “Clerks” was in the Final 4 for their Most 90s Movie Ever contest, and so he posted the link to the poll on his Twitter profile repeatedly so he could get his fans to help his movie win the title. They were successful (unfortunately for us who don’t think Clerks should’ve won). So this isn’t the first case of Twitter being used like this but it’s probably the most profiled. Anyway, intersting blog. Also, one last thing — EA is going to make the millionth follower a character in The Sims 3, not just a random avatar. Adios

  4. Goz permalink
    17/04/2009 8:51 pm

    Compelling for sure…would love to see where this all is, 6 months or a year from now!


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