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Will Jonathan Ross crash Twitter? Update: No

Standby for the Fail Whale. But in a good way.

Either Twitter has some ahhh-bsolutely brilliant public relations chaps working their magic here in the UK; or the platform is really beginning to hit critical mass. Newspapers and their respective websites are alive with Twitter introductions. Half the BBC news reporters are on Twitter during live broadcasts. It’s getting big.

So big that the likes of Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) are hitting it big time. Fry just zoomed straight by the 50,000 follower mark. The guy is developing some *serious* real time influence.

At the beginning of the month I posted a note about Twitter being ‘brilliant, brilliant, brilliant for famous people‘ and it that story I speculated upon this matter:

I can see a huge growth for Twitter in this area in terms of attracting the normobs. The folk who don’t understand and simply don’t care about Twitter. But they care about celebrities and they’ll most certainly tune in directly if they are educated enough about it.

Speaking of which, it appears that Jonathan Ross (@wossy) has asked if Stephen Fry — appearing on Ross’ new show this month — would be interested in Twittering live during the show.

If that happens, you can now leverage the X million people watching BBC1 and get’em signed up to Twitter and your feed.

Fast forward a few weeks and here’s a prediction that MIR technical contributor, Dan Lane, postulated last night on Facebook:

Prediction: Twitter will go down at about 10:30 – 11pm GMT tomorrow if @wossy talks to @stephenfry about it on his show.

For those of you reading from the re-born United States (well done on electing someone who can speak assertively in public), you might not know Jonathan Ross.

He’s a broadcaster here in the UK. One of the highest paid. Uber-well known across the mainstream media with various television and radio shows.

Jonathan, having taken a leave of absence because of a stunt-gone-wrong, magnified by a previously bored mainstream media, is back with his Friday night show. Think David-Letterman-Sort-Of.

He’s got Stephen Fry on the show this week (more details about the show). We know this because Fry and Jonathan have been discussing the fact publicly on Twitter. Indeed the other day I followed Stephen’s array of comments about the filming process.

Well, a few hours ago, Ross stated on his Twitter feed that he and his guests ‘discussed Twitter’:

Indeed, Tom Cruise — another guest on the show (hugely and literally overshadowed by Stephen Fry) — ‘might sign up’. I think it would do him good to do so. Almost everything we read about Tom Cruise in the mainstream media consists of a load of stale rubbish about him jumping on a sofa.

So.

They discussed Twitter. Jonathan, Stephen — and, from that Tweet, even Maverick himself.

Did they even ‘Tweet’ with each other during the filming of the show?

If any of this gets on air… If there’s any attempt at explanation — particularly by the gifted communicator that is Mr Fry — then I think Twitter is about to begin a march toward an impressive UK zenith. Millions of folk watch Jonathan Ross’ show.

Millions more will tune in ‘to see what happens’ having been given a build up by the rest of the shocked-and-saddened-from-Surrey brigade appalled by Jonathan’s ‘behaviour’ (here’s the background).

And millions will hit up Twitter and have-a-go, if it’s explained properly, if Stephen gives a decent enough advert. Indeed, the knowledge that you can get unadulterated communications from Wossy and Fry is likely to send their followers skyrocketing beyond even Scobleizer proportions.

Exciting. Very exciting.

I’ll be watching. I’ll maybe even watch live.

And if we see the Fail Whale from the millions of folk logging on to Twitter simultaneously… great. Great because, well, the Twitter engineers really have done a good job recently. I haven’t seen the Fail Whale image for months myself. And if we begin seeing it tomorrow night, that’ll indicate that there’s a ton of new Twitterers about to join us.

Follow Mobile Industry Review news story updates here: @MIReview

Follow me personally here: @ew4n.

Update: Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross did discuss Twitter — briefly — on the show. Not enough to explain the concept to the normobs though. One or two people appear to have noticed a bit of a slowing of Twitter as a result. Fry’s followers have jumped by about 10k. Good. But clearly not indicative of a huge normob shift to Twitter.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

11 replies on “Will Jonathan Ross crash Twitter? Update: No”

It will be interesting to see how the mainstream accept Twitter. Everybody uses it for a different reason, and at the moment 99% of my followers are in the digital media/tech industries. I have tried to introduce a number of my 'normal' friends to Twitter, but few have yet been able to see the point. I wonder if the ability to follow celebrities lives will be enough. Actually, what am I talking about, we live in Britain, of course it will.

It will be interesting to see how the mainstream accept Twitter. Everybody uses it for a different reason, and at the moment 99% of my followers are in the digital media/tech industries. I have tried to introduce a number of my 'normal' friends to Twitter, but few have yet been able to see the point. I wonder if the ability to follow celebrities lives will be enough. Actually, what am I talking about, we live in Britain, of course it will.

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