Schofield broke the internet (sort of)

I’m very conscious that I can occasionally get a bit obsessive about things, and Twitter is no exception. I’m also very conscious that I keep mentioning Twitter on this blog (cough @paulseys cough).

Anyway, earlier today Sam Shepherd (@samshepherd) twittered that Philip Schofield had just mentioned Twitter on ‘This Morning’ and as a knock on she was witnessing an influx of new followers. I don’t follow many celebrities on Twitter, its not really my thing – although I do make the exception for Will Carling, Johnathan Woss and the legend that is Robert Llewellyn off of Red Dwarf. I like the fact that those that I do follow regularly interact with the people following them (although I don’t follow him I understand Stephen Fry is similarly motivated) and its not just an excuse for a fan club, in the way that connecting on Facebook seems to be.

Having a full-time job, and arguably a life, I’m fortunate enough not to have to be subject to daytime television but thanks to Ben Ayers I was able to watch the footage via YouTube.

There seems to be a bit of a debate at the moment around the benefit of Twitter and how much it’ll catch on in the mainstream. When Sam Shepherd mentioned the instant impact Schofields comments had I wanted to check it out for myself.

Thanks to Tweeteffect I was able to estimate the Silver Foxes initial follower numbers at about 450 before he mentioned it on ‘This Morning’. By 11am this had risen to 1,795, by 1130am 1866. At the last count before writing this post the total number of followers was sitting at 2,450 (at about 13:40) and still rising. 2,000+ new followers in the space of 2 hours, not bad for a mornings work.

Its impressive to see the scale with which main stream media like this can have an impact. While this was going on I decided to monitor the situation thanks to another Twitter service, Twitscoop. It was amazing to see all the new users popping up, and although most likely only a snapshot of the real uptake, funny to see how many were tweeting along the lines of, “OK Schofield, I’ve signed up… now what?”.

Results for "Schofield" on Twitscoop

Results for "Schofield" on Twitscoop

The thing that interested me the most was the reasoning behind all these new users signing up and the motivation behind it, if it wasn’t for the celebrity endorsement how many of them would have signed up to Twitter? Will it be down to the ‘celebrity’ users that Twitter finally gets dragged into the UK mainstream and will that sort of uptake negatively impact on the early adopters in anyway?

It’ll be interesting to see how much more the Twitter numbers swell by the end of play today based on this issue. I can’t think of a way of effectively measuring this sort of phenomenon, and I certainly don’t have the inclination to take time out to figure it out either but I’m sure it’ll get a few more mentions in the media by tomorrow.

Here’s the YouTube clip if you’re interested.

Vaguely related links

2 comments Write a comment

  1. LOL I think we are witnessing Twitter become mainstream. That’s at least 3 uk tv mentions it has had. The problem to begin with, as you rightly pointed out, is people won’t know what to do with it, like an ape staring at a toaster. I think I read somewhere that a large percentage of Twitter users haven’t even posted 1 tweet, let alone realized the benefit of using it.

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