Radio Gaga’s Influence – 6.715.838 followers and counting..

On: October 11, 2010
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About Elias van Hees
Elias van Hees is currently a MA student of New Media, he studied at the University of Rotterdam and received his Bachelor Degree in Information Technology and Communication (2009). Elias is a self-employed web strategist, more information is available on www.eliasvanhees.nl. Interests: social media, research, politics, music, webdevelopment, seo, branding, concepting, user experience and usability.

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Only 506 tweets resulted in the most popular page on microblog Twitter when it comes to the number of ‘followers’. Lady Gaga claimed two months ago that she is the queen of Twitter and since that day her amount increased with over a million new followers.

Exept describing Twitter as the  the medium of the movement (according to the protests in Iran), Twitter  can also be seen as a source for fandom. And fandom results in social change, most of the time on micro level and sometimes even bigger. Most of us know the examples of the Obama Campaign, Iran and the plane crash in the Hudson River (New York). Although, an online medium like Twitter can be used for social activism as well. Huberman et al. state that:

Many people, including scholars, advertisers and political activists, see online social networks as an opportunity to study the propagation of ideas, the formation of social bonds and viral marketing, among others. This view should be tempered by our ndings that a link between any two people does not necessarily imply an interaction between them (p.8).

Especially on National Coming Out Day it’s funny to mention that Lady Gaga posted a youtube message to the senate last month. In this message she took a public stance against the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and she pleaded the government for more space:

Soldiers are being searched, superiors are going through their emails and private belongings, calling family members, and operating based on assumptions (Examiner).

So it can be stated that Huberman’s claim is right, Twitter is still often used as a tool for social movements. She creates a basis by using her influence over the crowd that is in fact admiring her already. So they are vulnerable and subject for her comments and vision.It remembers me of the Obama Campaign, because social networking sites do “have the capability of affecting the electoral process” (Williams, 2007: p 18). This social change started when he was still a senator and the presidential elections were not relevant at all. Gaga’s influence grew after she posted this video on Youtube and Twitter, which can be concluded via Trendistic. The ammount of followers increased and the trending statistics became larger. At 12 pm (on the day the online video was published) 0,22 % of the Tweets included Lady Gaga’s name which are among 120.000 tweets in only one hour.

Lady Gaga set the record on Facebook because she was the first on the planet who reached 10 million friends on the social networking site. So who’s to say that the first lady has more influence than her right now? Gaga has 19.867.596 followers right now and even guru Barack Obama has less attention with 14.464.698 friends. I guess she will be a good candidate for next elections which will then result in a new wave of ‘change’ afterwards. Or it comes out that she has been putting up her ‘pokerface’ for too long and comes out that she is in fact, a real conservative girl?

  1. Bernardo A. Huberman et al. Social networks that matter: Twitter underthe microscope. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, pp. 1-9, 2008.
  2. Christine B. Williams and Girish J.Jef Gulati. Social Networks in Political Campaigns:Facebook and the 2006 Midterm Elections. American Political Science Association, pp 1-23, 2007
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