A LOT of hype was going around this past week as two twitter accounts raced towards the million follower mark, CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk, which was not owned by cnn until this week) and Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk). The debate was raging on as to whether or not this was a legitimate thing to be shooting for. But legitimate or not, people are missing out on the fundamental issues here (@aplusk kept reiterating it), that this is not about merely a popularity contest, this is about an individual being able to use the same tools for distribution as traditional media companies, and reach as many or more users without the need for traditional media players.
The democratization of media distribution is a key tenet of what we’ve been discussing for years when it comes to social media, and it seems like we now have our poster child for the movement. That poster child is Ashton Kutcher. Though to be honest I would rather have seen someone unknown from mainstream media become the first twitter millionaire, but thats far harder than getting a celeb like Ashton to the top.
So what does this really mean? Simple, it means that any individual with enough interesting content and charisma can theoretically get the reach that a traditional media conglomerate was wielding in the past.