@CharlieSheen, Tastemaker

More

Sometimes, an epic fall in real life is accompanied by a meteoric rise in the digital world.

Since Charlie Sheen joined Twitter, the Two And A Half Men star and current hot mess has witnessed an explosion in popularity on the ubiquitous social network. Sheen gained more than 100,000 followers in the first hour without tweeting a single comment; at the time of this writing (11 a.m. EST), Sheen has more than 800,000 followers.

Does this make Charlie Sheen one of the most influential celebrities on Twitter? His follower count is nowhere near already-entrenched celebs like Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) or Alyssa Milano (@alyssa_milano), although his growth rate is impressive. At the same time, there's no consistent metric for measuring online influence in the social space. I decided to consult Klout, one of the most popular tools for "identifying influencers across the social web."

Picture 65.png

Charlie Sheen, tastemaker? According to Klout, Sheen's audience includes more than 58,000 users who actively engage @CharlieSheen through mentions, retweets and other actions. This is somewhat surprising, since the man's only tweeted 12 times, although his short-form musings do foreshadow the lifestyle of every young man's dream (i.e., partying with P. Diddy):

@iamdiddy Get dressed my man... sending the driver..!less than a minute ago via web

But given the media's current fixation with Sheen's ongoing hijinks, it's no surprise that @CharlieSheen can be a rising star on Twitter without lifting a finger. Perhaps Sheen's new digital soapbox is part of a larger act, an Andy Kaufman-esq spectacle for the world to bask in. Still, the instant spotlight created by Twitter, highlighted by Sheen's instant online "influence," doesn't necessarily bode well should the star be undergoing a serious mental crisis, as some have speculated. Forbes media reporter Jeff Bercovici sums up the problem nicely (and, appropriately, via Twitter): 

Congrats in advance to whoever gets 1st interview with Charlie Sheen's next of kin after his media-enabled self-destruction is complete.less than a minute ago via web

Jump to comments
Presented by

Jared Keller is a former associate editor for The Atlantic and The Atlantic Wire and has also written for Lapham's Quarterly's Deja Vu blog, National Journal's The Hotline, Boston's Weekly Dig, and Preservation magazine. 

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In