Dear CNN, I Have A Twitter Challenge For You

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dear CNN, I Have A Twitter Challenge For You

I'm sure you remember all the publicity and the great deal of fanfare made when Ashton Kutcher was racing for that magic Million Follower mark on Twitter. I mean, how could you miss it? It was -everywhere-.

Now, I understand that part of that had to do with the fact that Ashton's a celeb, that his "feud" was with CNN and that Larry King was involved. But if you remember the frenzy, and the resulting flood of new Twitter users -- can we forget when Oprah joined? And then tweeted!-- then you'd have to believe that hitting a million Twitter followers has to be an event of fairly epic proportions.

Well, I have a question for all the news outlets out there.

Have you heard of @Agent_M?

@Agent_M is none other than Marvel.com Editor Ryan Penagos and he's currently got 979,988 followers.

I want to know when you're going to cover his "Race to 1 Million Followers"? And, if you're not, why not? It is a milestone and I think it's actually loads more relevant to the power of Twitter and social media than Ashton's campaign earlier this year. (FYI, I'm not hating on Ashton Kutcher. I'm more than happy to give him his due, but indulge my reasoning below, hm? )

If you read this article on Marvel.com you'd have the basics. But here's a bit more info from my personal experience. If you follow Ryan Penagos, you know he's got a thing for kittens, tacos, zombies, all things cute and he's deeply in love with his fiancee. It's also very clear that he's working with and for Marvel.Com to bring Marvel fans the most up to date news on all things Marvel.

So, yes, it's marketing and I think he's amazingly good at it.

But it's so much more than that and this is where I think Ryan not only shows the growing value in the use of social media as a marketing tool, but how to be amazingly human and help the community at the same time.

On any given day, you'll see tweets from @Agent_M answering questions for new Twitter followers about how to actually use the service. He frequently tweets about local New York taco and dessert trucks (and includes Twitter names where applicable), shares links to pet adoptions, and shares information about breast cancer awareness. I have a feeling more than one New York restaurant has seen an increase in business or interest because Ryan decided to tweet about their drink menu or the amazing dinner he just had. (Oh, can I just say, I love when he does that after too much wine. Hee.)

He was included in Wired's 100 Geeks You Should Be Following On Twitter and he's on Twitter's recommendation list for new users when seeking interesting people to follow.

In short, @Agent_M is an ambassador for Twitter, Marvel, and New York. Not to mention, he's one of those people my Twitter feed would feel utterly naked without.

So, here's my challenge to you, CNN and any of the other news outlets who likes to talk about Twitter and the influence of the Twitterverse.

How about making this a story? ;-)

p.s. The follower count jumped up to 980,157 while I was writing this, so we only have 20K to go.

8 comments:

  1. Eh. I had followed him in the beginning, and he was one of my faves.

    Over time though he started to sound more and more like a frat boy, though, and I cared less and less about the things he was promoting. I finally unfollowed him after about the fiftieth time he mentioned "seekrits" in the course of a day. I assume most people working at Marvel see at least some stuff before it hits the stands, and it was rarely anything astounding and did not be alerted every time he saw something.

    My husband worked with him at Wizard, and confirmed that he kinda was a meat head. Nice enough guy to get along with, but not terribly profound.

    I also think zombies are overrated and overdone.

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  2. Aside from my inability to post the link... @Agent_M is not only awesome in the geek sense, but a human being. Doing a job, living his life, with Lucy and Maybe and @BadCoverVersion (who is also way awesome.) We have to be able to celebrate someone doing a great job at their job, but also being a really interesting person in their own right. It's the beauty of twitter.

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  3. I followed @Agent_M because of the Wired article but didn't really sit up and take notice until he started the #morningcuteness thing. Why? Because so much sadness was going around in the world. When I payed attention, I found someone I'd ... well, like Geek Girl Diva said, my Twitter feed would feel empty without him. I think of him and @badcoverversion as long-distance friends, and that's because Ryan is able to project warmth through the web, something a lot of people often fail to manage.

    By the way, categorizing him as a meat head is ... well, pretty darned unfair. He has an array of interests, a sincere love of his fiancee, his cats and animals in general and he is -genuine- in trying to help people. If that's the definition of a meat head? Bring 'em on by the tens of thousands.

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  4. I hate to be the kind of person who comes onto a message thread for the first time and picks a fight, but seriously, amarygma? You need to get yourself a life...or some class...preferably both.

    If you don't like Ryan's Tweets, that's fine. And share that with whomever you feel. Yeah, he mentions things at Marvel like they're state secrets and uses goofy internet speak while doing it. It's part of his job and something that a lot of people seem to find fun. If it's not your thing, no big deal. Live and let live, etc.

    But to personally attack someone as a "Frat Boy" and "meat head" with absolutely no personal experience meeting them or no kind of evidence whatsoever to back up your hollow claims is low, even for an anonymous internet poster. Those kinds of names are most commonly associated with sub-intelligent cretins and misogynists with over-inflated egos and a proclivity for hurting others. Anyone who has ever met Ryan for more than five minutes can easily tell you that he's intelligent, kind, extremely respectful of women and men alike and one of the hardest working people in comics.

    I worked with Ryan at Wizard for a number of years, and I consider myself proud to have learned so much from him and even prouder to call him a friend. I don't know who your husband is, but he obviously wasn't one of the many dedicated and sharp people who made that sometimes noxious company a great place to work because anyone with half a brain in their head at that place knew Ryan was aces top to bottom and was sorry to lose him to a company like Marvel, regardless of the fact that it was a great step for his career.

    Grow up.

    - Kiel Phegley

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  5. He's certainly not a meathead. Ryan actually has many more layers to his personality than most I've met. He's a fanboy, a gamer, a journalist and of course a geek in every sense of the word. The last year has garnered him a ridiculous amount of "fame" yet, he always manages to respond thoughtfully to most questions and comments from random strangers who share his interests.

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  6. I have posted here before. I don't think I need to have posted repeatedly before my opinions can be valid opinions.

    Like I said, I was a big fan in the beginning, but it waned. And I still think he's a nice enough guy. I had a bunch of people follow him and when I decided to unfollow, I didn't run around telling anyone else to unfollow him. I might follow him again someday, just needed a break at least.

    And I don't have the connotations of frat boys as misogynistic. My school had frats and most were in it to make business contacts or share a particular interest (we had a frat for the crew team, as well as various majors). I didn't know many guys in them though, just a few. Like I said, they were nice enough guys, but no, not terribly profound. And both "frat-boy" and "meathead" were expressing my opinion that his tweets have become more pedestrian.

    I really don't mind that people like him. I get it. I just don't think he's the bee's knees anymore. I got tired of it. Yes, it's a dog, I guess that one's kinda cute. Yup, tacos still do taste good. Really, more zombies??


    @KP No, my comments were not a personal attack, because this isn't his blog. I'm "sharing with whomever" I feel, which was this blog. I don't get the Agent_M worship.
    Maybe "Ryan" is a lot more interesting in person, but "Agent_M" is the one I'm tired of.

    And sorry, but I REALLY don't think being the 84th account to cross the 1 million mark is CNN news-worthy.

    I find Geekgirldiva's tweets generally better than Agent_M's, so my feed does not feel empty without him. :)

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  7. The real question is: Is Twitter ever worth posting about?

    But clearly you and I are never goign to agree on that score.

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  8. @Anonymous

    :;grin:: You're right. But I still appreciate you commenting.

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