Don Lemon has recently been in the news, inspiring me to look back at the interview I did with him in October 2009 on my Twitter Shared Experience theme.
He was hot back then but these days, Don Lemon is in the news for the ratings he brings to CNN. I realize he takes some heat for controversial moments, but my personal experience with him is that he has a good soul. I felt it when he hugged me (see video).
Some recent articles about Don Lemon
The Wrap: Why CNN Should Give Don Lemon Anderson Cooper’s Slot
GQ: Interview with Don Lemon
CNN and Twitter
As I mention during my five minute interview with Don Lemon, Don was the first CNN anchor to break out on Twitter.
In April of 2009, CNN Breaking News (@CNNBrk) which was purchased from James Cox when it was already at around 947,000 followers would go head to head with Ashton Kutcher for a televised race to hit 1,000,000 Twitter followers to benefit MalariaNoMore.com. Ashton Kutcher tweeted that he would donate 10,000 mosquito bed nets ($100,000) to charity for World Malaria Day in late April if he beat CNN, and 1,000 mosquito beds if he lost. CNN agreed to do the same.
I recall watching Ashton Kutcher @APlusk and Demi Moore (at the time her handle was @MrsKutcher, today it is @JustDemi) live stream their personal activity at home during the key moments close to the finishing line of the contest. I see here that there were just 17,692 viewers on UStream that night …. I was one of them. These were still fairly early Twitter days in April 2009. It was a simple process, Ashton tweeted ‘come see me at ustream.tv/ashton’ and we were instantly on. Nothing to see there now but here is a YouTube recording of the climax of the contest from ustream.
Social Media for Social Good
Mentioned in the video is “social media for social good”. More recently this has become the hashtag #socialgood.
It is a topic of great interest to me as I seek to support I have a Dream Foundation – Los Angeles, an organization that does a great deal of good.
The Good Old Days of Twitter in 2008 and 2009
In general, Twitter users were relatively small in numbers in 2009 and even smaller in 2008. The Good Old Days are about intimacy access. It was the days before Oprah set up a Twitter account. There were few celebrities in the traditional sense. In 2008, we had Twitter notables like Robert Scoble @Scobleizer, @ChrisBrogan, Pete Cashmore @Mashable and @GuyKawasaki. They tested the boundaries of Twitter. For me, it was fun to rub shoulders and talk geek. They were at conferences like BlogWorld and SxSW in 2008, so I got to rub shoulders with them in person. Another fun thing in those days was that Twitter was listening to early user feedback to shape the platform.
In 2009, Twitter was still the world of early adopters, but the ratio of male to female voices being heard shifted as women gained prominence on the platform.
Women Gain Prominence on Twitter in 2009
Marsha Collier interviewing Guy Kawasaki BlogWorld (Oct 2009)
In this 2009 video, female early Twitter adopters, Laura Fitton @Pistachio; Mary Smith (then known as the “Pied Piper of Facebook”); @AlexiaTsotsis, now a writer at TechCrunch; Barb Dybwad @DoctorParadox; @JulieSpira, the cyber dating expert, @HeatherMeeker and @AVFlox shared their Twitter tips.
Minor broadcast TV celebrities like Alicia Silverstone jumped on Twitter to promote their books. Alicia was promoting Kind Foods. She appeared at a Green Lounge (owned by Nicole Sherwin) event.
Justine Ezarik @iJustine is another minor celebrity on broadcast TV but an established internet celebrity first known for publishing a video about her 300 page smart phone bill in 2007.
More on my Twitter Shared Experience theme from 2009
My interest in the Twitter Shared Experience that I discussed with Don Lemon on October 16, 2009 was carried over from this set of interviews on the topic filmed at 140tc a Twitter Conference in Los Angeles in September 2009.
Current Cure for Intimacy and Accessibility on Twitter is Twitter Chats
I have a couple of Twitter chats that I participate in regularly. One of them is #BlogChat. BlogChat launched quite early, in March 2009 and is still going very strong Sunday nights at 6pm PST. This is host @MackCollier’s introduction to #BlogChat. These are my tips on how to participate in a Twitter Chat, mainly based on BlogChat.
My second regular Twitter chat is at 6pm PST on Tuesday. #CustServ hosted by @MarshaCollier and a cadre of capable assistants: @GregOrtbach @RoyAtkinson @AlHopper_ This chat also kicked off in 2009. Very active and useful chat if you care about Customer Service.