Twitter: The Next PR Agent?

Can Twitter, with its 140-characters-per-tweet limit, be the next celebrity PR agent?

Okay, let’s look at the facts.

1. Currently, there are approximately half a billion Twitter users worldwide.
2. Twitter users send 175 million tweets a day.
3. The most popular events on Twitter generate tens of thousands of tweets every SECOND.

Judging from these statistics, I’d say traditional PR agents better look out because Twitter might just take over their jobs.

I’m sure most of you are aware of Kanye West’s twitter rant that happened last month. (Here’s a link to an article about it if you didn’t know.) The internationally-renowned hip-hop artist and fashion designer started a Twitter tirade that caught the attention of his six million followers, which basically meant non-followers of his caught wind of it too. (That’s social media for you.) West tweeted about his new clothing line, and went on to reveal plans for his new company, DONDA, named after his late mother. The rapper might have gone on a Twitter overload – with over 70 tweets within three hours – but it definitely caught people’s attention, especially on the news of him planning to launch DONDA.

Since Kanye West is such a huge celebrity, his tweets about DONDA inadvertently gained him a lot of attention. Even to the point where DONDA trended on Twitter. This goes to show how powerful Twitter (and social media, in general) can be. If West had gone the traditional way of releasing a press release on his plans for the new company, it would still have got a lot of attention from the world, but probably not as much attention as what Twitter has done.

This isn’t to say that PR companies are going to be out of jobs in the next few years. A publicity stunt like this can only be successful if one has a huge star reputation like Kanye West. Celebrities like Lady GaGa and Rihanna may follow the same path as Kanye West; using Twitter as a publicity platform. However, if a relatively unknown musician who does not have millions of followers on Twitter tries to adopt the same method, it will most likely backfire. In this case, just stick to the PR companies and let them do their jobs.


Trees and Travel

Social networking websites have helped us discover new found connections not only with our friends, but with people all over the world too. These connections can be related to our work, taste in music, places we have travelled to, and so on. Social networking websites make it easier for us to find these connections with complete strangers, but have you ever thought of using these websites to find long-lost blood connections? Or maybe you wish to find out if you are related in any way to someone famous. If that sounds appealing, then just sign up for a Geni account!

Geni is a social networking website that allows people to create their own genealogies. You can build your own family tree, and if that sounds like too much work for one person to do, you can invite your family members and relatives to help build the family tree as well. Geni’s aim is to create a family tree of the world; a shared family tree of common ancestors. Thus, you can find connections to other people that you didn’t even know were in any way related to you. The website also features the family trees of famous people such as the US presidents, athletes, actors, and many more. Geni is a great way for families to keep track of their historical records, ensuring that everything is easily accessed in one convenient place.

Another useful social networking website that allows people to find unexpected connections from all over the world is TravBuddy.

TravBuddy specifically caters to connecting travelers everywhere. It allows users to find travel buddies; people who are traveling to the same destinations as you at the same time, create blogs, upload photos, and post reviews of hotels, tourist attractions, and anything that might interest travel enthusiasts. TravBuddy is extremely useful in finding out about your favorite travel destinations, interesting places recommended by fellow travelers, and of course, to find a potential travel buddy to accompany you in your world adventures.

With the abundance of social networking websites, it is almost impossible to not find one that specifically caters to your particular interests, so start searching and start connecting.

Farewell, Geography. Hello, World.

This is one of my favorite cartoons from Hugh MacLeod, a cartoonist and writer of Evil Plans. It so simply states how massively powerful the Internet can be, and what it can do for artists who wish to showcase their creative products to the world. Before the Internet, more specifically social media, most artists knew that in order for them to really be heard, they had to move to big cities like New York and London. Of course, success was not a sure thing once they moved, but living in these places made the slightest chance of that happening possible.

Although New York is still probably one of the most ideal cities to be in as an artist wanting to make it in this aggressively competitive world, the advent of social media is the best thing that has happened to artists everywhere. No longer is it necessary for musicians, writers, painters etc. to pack their bags and move to a city full of people with the same dreams. Just staying right where they are, even in the smallest of towns, is enough to make themselves be heard.

Take Bandcamp, for example. Bandcamp is an online music store, which also doubles as a platform for new and independent musicians to promote their music. Membership is absolutely free. The public can also listen to songs by these musicians free-of-charge, and if they like what they hear, they can buy the albums directly from the website itself. Bandcamp is practically heaven for budding musicians who wish to get their music out there, and also for people who love discovering new artists. That is what makes it so effective. It combines everything into one neat package, bringing musicians and their fans that much closer together. And Bandcamp is not the only website that does this. Other sites such as SoundCloud and Topspin offer similar platforms for independent musicians to share their works.

Social media is probably one of the greatest things to have come out of the Internet, and knowing how to utilize it can do wonders for an artist, especially a new and emerging one.

First photo: A Generation Ago by gapingvoid
Second photo: How To Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon