Stephen Fry Twitters. Twitter flutters.

This has to be one of the most exciting email titles I’ve ever received: “Stephen Fry is now following you on Twitter.”

Ok, so it may have been an automated email from Twitter, but there’s no doubt that this is the real Stephen Fry following me and, at the last count, 515 others.

After announcing the news on his website earlier today, he’s nearly hit 800 followers as I write this, and has caused a massive stir in the Twitter community. This isn’t just any celebrity – this is Stephen Fry, who has got a devoted online fan following and makes a big effort to interact with his fans.

He’s already had a small impact – anybody who didn’t know he’s on tonight’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks does know and just one small Tweet, with typical self-deprciating humour, has probably boosted viewing figures for the show a bit.

It’s also set the mircoblogging tool buzzing and is currently the topic of conversation, with people equally excited as I was that Stephen Fry is following them. Or begging for him to follow them.

You wonder how many of the fans from his website forum have signed up because he has. And without wanting to sound too hyperbolic, could Stephen Fry be the person responsible for taking Twitter even further into the mainstream? How many will join just to follow him?

Of course Stephen Fry isn’t the only celebrity on Twitter. Andy Murray’s on there as well, providing a small snapshot of his life (which sounds, in all honestly, exactly like you’d expect a young, reasonably level-headed tennis player to sound). There’s probably a few others I don’t know of. But somehow, Stephen Fry really is an A-list celeb on Twitter. And one that will probably interact.

This Tweet from CMRLee probably expresses what many Twitterers are feeling today:

“I’ve never seen anyone joining Twitter to cause as much excitement as @stephenfry. This is my first experience of Twitterstarstrucknes.”

It’ll be interesting to see how his Twitter feed develops. Will it see other celebrities joining? Would it work for other celebrities who’ve got very different personas and fanbases from Stephen Fry?

One thing’s for sure, Stephen Fry can show a lot of other celebrities the way when it comes to using social media online. He could teach a lot of PR people a thing about this as well.


10 Responses to “Stephen Fry Twitters. Twitter flutters.”

  1. 1 Clarissa October 9, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Hehe, just found you googling for “stephen fry following twitter” – I had the exact same reaction as you getting that email (which I got while watching tonight’s Buzzcocks, so it was doubly weird).

    Interesting point you make about him taking Twitter more towards the mainstream. I feel part of what makes him so “worshippable” online is his geekiness – so in my experience at least, his followers are likely to be above-average geeks.
    Kind of like Douglas (sob) Adams and, to a lesser degree, Wil Wheaton, who made it from “normal media/culture” to becoming “celebrity geeks”.
    Tho of course the sheer MASS of “normal fans” may still make a difference.

    Anyway. Star-struck I certainly am (and he’s following 1814 as I post this).

  2. 2 Meaghan October 10, 2008 at 11:18 am

    We were just discussing a related topic in the office yesterday – how to get more people from the UK and London in particular to start using a lot of these nifty social tools. We were specifically discussing StumbleUpon which is harder to promote with celebrity endorsement in the same way as Twitter but I think this might be a lot of Londoner’s first foray into web 2.0 tools beyond Facebook and Myspace.

  3. 3 Andrew Sampson October 10, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Gary,

    I work with Stephen Fry and we’re currently getting ready to go live with a new website bristling with 2.0 apps (and code).

    Dtephen is literally hand clicking each member and following them as they follow him.

    Great comments as well above.


    Andrew Sampson

  4. 4 Gary Andrews October 10, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Wow, thanks for leaving a comment Andrew. I’m not a regular on Stephen’s site, I have to confess, but I definitely think I’ll be stopping by one a more regular basis after these last couple of days. You’ve got a great strategy for Stephen online – and that’s a great image of Stephen sitting at his computer clicking on the thousand of followers!

    You’re spot on Clarissa – it’s about knowing what works well for any given celebrity. There’s a couple we’ve discussed setting up Twitter feeds for in the past, but we’ve never been entirely convinced it’d work. It’ll be really interesting to see how many people have signed up to Twitter off the back of Stephen Fry signing up.

    Meaghan, that’s again a really good point about getting celebrity endorsements for Twitter than, say StumbleUpon. I don’t really use the latter very much, but it doesn’t seem like such a cosy social beast (although it’s still a social beast) as Twitter which, once you get your head around it, is very chat and sharing driven. Plus there’s nothing that is quite comparable or loved in the same way, while StumbleUpon has the likes of Digg and to contend with.

    BTW, are you the same Meaghan who writes on The Top Floor Flat? I really like that blog!

  5. 5 Richard Kendall October 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I use twitter and the twitter/facebook application to update my facebook status at the same time with associated tinyurl’s, ‘working smarter not harder’ as they say!

  6. 6 The Red Rocket October 15, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Good post Andrew – you were certainly quicker off the blocks than me getting yours up.

    Interestingly, from a blogger engagement point of view, was seeing one of Stephen’s team putting a comment up confirming that he was in fact manually ‘following’ people.

    It’s something that big brands could learn from. Put something out. Track it. Then start engaging with people that write about you.

    I’m still in two minds about a potential celebrity micro-blogging trend though…

  7. 7 Andrew Sampson October 16, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Hey Gary,

    No problem. Next time I’ll try to spell my web colleague’s namesake correctly as well.

    You’ve probably already seen Stephen’s twit feed but the new version of the site is now live.


    Andrew Sampson

  8. 8 dawnie January 26, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    stephen fry is the funniest man alive

  1. 1 How to win friends and influence Tweeple « Gary Andrews Trackback on October 20, 2008 at 10:01 pm
  2. 2 How to win friends and influence Tweeple | Gary AndrewsGary Andrews Trackback on April 22, 2014 at 10:21 pm

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October 2008

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Yes, this is my name. And my email. Use it wisely or you're not getting a biscuit with your tea: garyllewellynandrews [at] gmail [dot] com

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