And it Was Tweeted, “Sarah Killen, Your Life is About to Change”

March 9th, 2010 |
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A long time ago in a far away land called Los Angeles, there was a great king named Conan O’Brien. After several years of his reign, his network turned on him and he went into hiding. Those still loyal to him searched high and low to no avail. Then on February 24th, he came to Twitter and announced, “Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.”

He was back, sort of. Before long, his people came back together. Over half a million followed him wherever he went, reading his tweets and, in some cases, retweeting. Soon after, Conan did something most interesting – he began to follow someone. Just one. The “followee: was a 19-year-old college student in Michigan who had only started tweeting two days before Conan under the handle @LovelyButton. O’Brien would then tweet “Sarah Killen, your life is about to change.” And so it did.  Very quickly.

The tweet that launched a new celebrity

Killen hadn’t taken the comment seriously but soon enough, word blazed across the social media lands and she had a following of over 15,000 people. Quite a large number since she was new to Twitter and only had about three followers beforehand. Not only was her name gaining notoriety, she was also amassing a small fortune. When her webcam threatened to prevent her from doing a video interview with MTV, some kind soul who sells horns in Florida bought  her a new Apple computer. And with her wedding set for later this year, she is being offered a tailor made wedding dress by a designer in New York.

We still aren’t sure why Killen was the chosen one. She says that Conan’s people contacted her through MySpace quite randomly and she said sure, not taking it too seriously. But with all the attention and very real treasures, she’s probably had a change of heart. Thousands are reaching out to a girl who, just a couple days ago, was practically unknown.

No one knows what O’Brien is plotting. Him coming onto Twitter was strange enough, but following only one person makes us all scratch our heads. I guess we’ll have to keep following Conan and Sarah to see where all this ends up.

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Sunil Ramsamooj

Hashing Out at Kanye II: The Instigation

October 22nd, 2009 |
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What does Kanye West have in common with author Dan Brown?

Although both love seeing their names printed in italics and are obsessed with ancient artifacts (in Kanye’s case, his reputation), both have a link to the theoretical subfield of noetic science. Dan Brown’s latest novel, “The Lost Symbol,” delves into this discipline which studies vast quantities of information that can, when dissected, support the existence of a collective consciousness. This theory is the basis for outings like We Feel Fine, Global Consciousness Project, and the Web Bot Project, which crawl the internet looking for recurring keywords, phrases, and data that can reportedly detect the underlying “mood” of the masses.

What does this have to do with Kanye? On Wednesday, Kanye fell victim to the noetic field yet again after being beset with the hottest hashtag, #RIPKanyeWest, on Twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lauren Cannon

Hashing Out at Kanye

September 15th, 2009 |
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Michael Jackson. Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Jim Carroll. 2009 has been the unofficial year of the death of celebrity, literally and figuratively. From the passing of the aforementioned to the sheer irony and foolishness of Chris Brown’s bow tie, Twitter followers have been some of the first to break the news of a trending event in the realm of pop culture.

Last night saw the #VMA hashtag all abuzz with the news that, yet again, Kanye West stole the spotlight (this time from an unsuspecting #TaylorSwift) to protest her win for Best Female Video in lieu of #Beyonce. A day later has brought us not only the continuing gossip regarding the buffoonery of West, but the tragic passing of actor Patrick Swayze. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lauren Cannon