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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicestwittersocial networkssocial mediainternetFacebook

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?