I'm very proud to present our first guest post! The author, Michele Weisman, is a Buzz Builder working with us this summer. Make sure you connect with her on Twitter, too (@ottogrl) - she kind of rocks.
When it comes to endorsing consumer products, the Oprah Effect is legendary. Now that Oprah herself has actively engaged in the Twitter community with over 1.5 million followers, she has literally spawned countless new Twitter users. Just imagine the potential of those Oprah followers to become "mini Oprahs". If just a fraction of those new Twitter members who joined because of Oprah have something interesting and tangible to contribute, then they too will gather a following.
While nobody has the celebrity of Oprah, many people are experts in their own right. People who share their expertise with others (no matter how small the niche) greatly improve the quality of Twitter and become reliable "go to" individuals. Many of these individuals devote their life's work to a particular topic. Wouldn't it make sense to follow such passionate nondescript champions rather than a star athlete or a television host?
No doubt, it's great fun to know that Oprah just went to see her friend Phylicia Rashad on Broadway. It's amazing that Twitter allows us to interact with Shaq in real-time during the NBA finals. However, the true potential of Twitter lies with the buzz, which could be created by the Average Joe, i.e. the hottest summer camps, the best cell phone devices, the cheapest vacations, the local post office with the shortest lines, the cheapest gas prices, the best movies just released on DVD, the best restaurant specials, etc-practical stuff that only ordinary people would care to know about. Pampered celebrities receive everything for free and live in a world where most of the population can only dream about. Oprah and Shaq may be great promoters of themselves, but they cannot create buzz about the majority of the products, which you and I need.