Charlie Sheen Web 2.0 Blitz: Revolutionary or Nightmare?

In traditional media, having your TV show go from No. 1 to being shut down indefinitely is bad news, especially when paired with allegedly drug-induced public rants. But on the Web, it spells winning (or, more aptly, #winning) and it's that wave of Internet success that actor Charlie Sheen rides today.

After a series of bizarre and controversial interviews ,including those with Infowars.com and Good Morning America, Charlie Sheen has transported his troubled ink-and-paper tabloid celebrity onto the Web, breaking records, inventing a new pop lexicon, and raking in dollars.

It started when Sheen became @CharlieSheen. Without tweeting a single word, Sheen went from zero to 100,000 followers ... in one hour. His Twitter account was pinched from a squatter and fast-tracked to verified status by Ad.ly, a firm that runs celebrity endorsements through Facebook and Twitter. Then, in just 25 hours and 17 minutes, Sheen reached 1 million followers, and is now in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Remember when Ashton Kutcher and CNN's race to score 1 million Twitter followers was a big deal? Remember how long it took? The gambling group Ladbrokes now gives Sheen an even money chance to overtake Justin Bieber in Twitter followers by the end of March.

In the two days that Sheen has been tweeting, he's coined the hashtags #tigerblood and #winning, the former a reference to his tolerance to drugs: "I have tiger's blood and Adonis DNA." Other celebrities are helping the Sheen lexicon: "Sheening," the verb that South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker coined , is being used to describe the act of going completely out of control.

And while some ad companies may shirk from Sheen's modern-day impersonation of Hunter S. Thompson, others are raking in the dough. The Twitter-based image sharing website TwitPic--which hosts Sheen's six photos--is making roughly $1,600 per snapshot, according to Forbes' calculations. However, $1,600 is gumball machine money when compared to the estimated loss of a quarter-billion dollars that CBS is facing now that Two and a Half Men's plug has been pulled.

There's no question about it: Charlie Sheen has become an Internet celebrity, spawning t-shirts, LOLcats, and mash-ups with Charlie Brown. But there's some contention about whether Sheen's recent behavior is helping or hurting his overall reputation. HCD Research conducted a study of 748 Americans that indicated Sheen was less likeable, less favorable and less sincere, and 85 percent polled believe that Sheen cannot stay off drugs.

However, there's no doubt that Sheen has leveraged social media and made it his own.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebooksocial networkstwitterInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?