This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published June 24, 2011)

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, June 24, 2011
Metro section

Gaga’s Twitter reign continues

Lady Gaga’s dominance of Twitter continued this week when she increased her followers by 10 per cent in record time to just over 11 million.

According to an article by Shea Bennett posted to AllTwitter.com, Lady Gaga “reached nine million Twitter followers on March 25, 2011. It took her 50 days to reach 10 million (from nine million) (May 14), and just 37 days to reach 11 million (June 20).”

Canadian teen singer Justin Bieber is only the second Twitter user to hit 10 million users, a milestone he reached on May 28.

Celebrity Twitter shame

Meanwhile, the same AllTwitter.com writer posted an interesting article on June 14 that called out a number of celebrities for not following anyone on Twitter despite enjoying the benefits of having millions of followers. These include: Eminem, Kanye West, Stephen Colbert, Rev Run and the Dalai Lama.

Celebrities called out for only following one other account include Jim Carrey and Conan O’Brien. Twitter’s top user – Lady Gaga – follows more than 200,000 other accounts.

Featured YouTube channels

Every week, I highlight three YouTube channels for you to check out:

KurtHugoSchneider – youtube.com/kurthugoschneider (1 million subscribers): Kurt is a music producer who makes videos with his friends, including the amazing Sam Tsui whose cover of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and an incredible mash-up of Love the Way You Lie, Dynamite and Teenage Dream have close to 25 million views between them.

Thecomputernerd01 – youtube.com/thecomputernerd01 (710,000 subscribers): Josh is another one of those goofy (but very friendly and likeable) teens who just started making videos in their bedrooms – only to find that there was a market for their antics. Josh and his buddies make fun little comedy and music videos about various things going on in their lives. Josh’s videos are pretty family-friendly, so not a lot of worries about your kids learning too many bad habits when they watch.

FluffeeTalks – youtube.com/fluffeetalks (566,000 subscribers): This Canadian vlogger from Brampton, Ont., is definitely not family-friendly. Lots of profanity and adult themes, but his sarcasm is quite entertaining if that’s your bag. He usually takes a news story and then does a funny rant about it, starting with his tagline, “Hey, what’s up?” Again, definitely not exactly family-friendly, but still hilarious!

Facebook’s most engaging pages

According to an AllFacebook.com article by Brian Ward posted June 20, religious Facebook pages are flexing their muscles on Facebook for engaging with their followers. In fact, it seems that even Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber can’t compete with Jesus and the Bible.

According to the article, Facebook top engaging pages are: 1) Jesus Daily (5,948,071 followers and 1,645,286 interactions); 2) The Bible (7,609,076 followers and 1,071,096 interactions); 3) Justin Bieber (29,756,538 followers and 933,719 interactions); 4) Mario Teguh (an Indonesian motivational speaker) (4,221,188 followers and 838,761 interactions) and 5) Lady Gaga (38,213,784 followers and 739,791 interactions).

It’s interesting to see the difference in Lady Gaga’s and Justin Bieber’s fans. While Gaga eclipses Bieber’s numbers on Facebook by nearly nine million followers, his fans are clearly more engaged. What is more important? Sheer numbers or the level of engagement? Both are important, but engagement is the lifeblood of social media, so Bieber has to be given kudos for that despite the fact that he trails in Facebook followers.

Roger Ebert in hot water over tweet

Film critic Roger Ebert is in a heap of trouble after a tweet that offended many. Earlier this week, Jackass star Ryan Dunn was killed along with two others in a fiery car crash in Pennsylvania. Ebert – who has had part of his jaw removed due to cancer – tweeted that “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive,” in response to reports that Dunn may have been drinking before the accident.

Dunn’s friend and castmate Bam Margera responded angrily, according to a report by Kathleen Perricone in New York’s Daily News. “I just lost my best friend. I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of (crap) roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents… Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat … mouth!”

Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton also chimed in, chastising Ebert for the insensitive reaction to Dunn’s death.

Ebert, who has benefited greatly from widespread compassion and good wishes in regard to his battle with cancer, was unmoved and refused to apologize. Regardless of the alleged circumstances behind Dunn’s death (autopsy results are pending), I think Ebert could have opted to hold off judgment at a horribly sad time for Dunn’s family and friends. What good did it do?

Subsequently, even Facebook got into the swing of things and inexplicably removed Ebert’s page, causing Ebert to complain on Twitter. Facebook eventually announced that the page was removed in error. My guess is that Jackass fans sabotaged Ebert’s page by revenge-clicking en masse on “Report Page,” resulting in Facebook automatically putting the page on hold for review. Goes to show that freedom of speech comes with freedom of reaction, too!

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