Tag Archives: web 2.0

Celebrities: Maybe They Really *Are* Just Like Us!

A few days ago a big hubaloo was caused on Twitter when @mrskutcher signed up – aka Demi Moore. Yes folks, it really does seem to be her, as indicated in several news stories yesterday.

Why is the media writing on the fact that Demi Moore and her husband Ashton Kutcher – aka @aplusk on Twitter – signed up on this popular micro blogging service? Well your guess is as good as mine. But I found it really interesting that Mrs. Kutcher used it to turn the tides on the media yesterday with this Tweet and Twitpic:

Demi Moore's Twitter Page

Demi Moore's Twitter Page

Alleged paparazzi

Alleged paparazzi

This is interesting in light of the tech and business industry chatter about social services and communities, such as Twitter, being a “traditional media killer.” Do celebrities have the power to make that possible for Hollywood gossip rags as well? Imagine if more celebrities shared their own photos and comments in this manner – seeing a glimpse of how they really live would be way better than US Weekly’s interpretation of their lives. And with no one to buy those magazines because we’re all getting “front row seats” on Twitter…well…? It’s a big dream but not impossible.

All this begs the question, without all the glitz and Photoshop capabilities, would celebrities really embrace the opportunity to end the paparazzi frenzy?

Celebs on Twitter include many other musicians, actors, reality TV stars and blonde socialites – from Solange Knowles to Jerry Rice to Lauren Conrad and her “Hills” crew.  Even Perez Hilton has joined – to keep an even closer eye on his subjects, perhaps.

Total Transparency Is Overhyped

The whole issues of transparency in social media, networks and the like is driving me crazy. People keep blogging about being transparent and open but I think you have to keep it in context.

There have been some good blogs about this – for example, Penelope Trunk once blogged about her twenty-something business partner and the fact that he had personal photos of himself partying on his Facebook page. She talked about the age difference and how his generation is just “like that” and us Gen Xers need to lighten up. But uh, here’s the thing, some people – I would guess younger folks – have a lot less to lose. Perhaps he is just starting his career and doesn’t realize the impact total openness could have on it. Perhaps he doesn’t have a family to support or a mortgage to pay. If he loses a job for something he did or said on the Internet, he can probably get another one pretty easily without a lot of personal strife.

Transparency does not mean let it all hang out. It means to be honest and straight forward – as much as it makes sense. Don’t set up a flog or post comments under the guise of being someone else. Don’t establish a presence on social networks, communities or blogs and post comments or act like you are simply a loyal customer of some company when you actually work for them. Being transparent means being honest and open in this manner – identify yourself as an employee, or a client as a client, before posting comments – not showcasing your Friday night forays for all the world to see.

The Forbes Top 25 Web Celeb list yesterday also reminded me of this. My favorite “celeb” highlighted was someone I’d never heard of – Heather B. Armstrong. Besides being an amazingly honest, open and engaging writer, she talks about how she was fired in 2001 for blogging about people at her job. For her, total transparency meant unemployment. And even though – now – the road she was forced down as a result has paid off, it’s a one-in-a-million shot for the same outcome for most bloggers. (Despite that we’ve all come a long way since 2001…and she talks about how she had to learn her lesson on “boundaries” of transparency after hurting her family with early blog posts.)

She’s lucky – because now that she makes a living as a blogger, she can be totally transparent. And she is – and it works brilliantly. But for the rest of us – who still have to answer to clients or employees or employers – the total transparency of our opinions, thought and actions is something I question – and again say “all in context.”