Ashton Kutcher finally gets it. Writing for public consumption can be tricky. Even one’s fans expect a lot. The rub is that writing or producing any content takes research, editing, and, oh yes, the thing this modern society hates most: time.
This can run directly against what Twitter touts as its most valuable asset: immediacy and raw opinions.
Kutcher tweeted too quickly that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was fired because Paterno had been an underperforming football coach of late --- that is, not winning lots of games. (Penn State on Friday was ranked 12th in the nation. Not too shabby). But, of course, we know this line of reasoning far from resembles why and what happened to Paterno and all-things-Penn State over the past few days.
Now, in the wake of all of this, Kutcher says he will give up some control of his tweets -- editing them and checking the facts --to the "management team" at his Katalyst production company.
You can't blame Kutcher too much. He isn't a journalist -- and he did apologize.
Still, he is a TV producer and when producing shows, one needs to determine: 1) the characters involved; 2) the key dramatic and comedic truths; 3) an ongoing storyline; and 4) the sensitivity of your potential audience.
Do celebrities and athletes -- who can't help but reveal their personal feelings on all kinds of subjects -- take time to think about this? No. Because it comes down to spinning a little marketing buzz about one's brand. In the end, it's about one's opinion. Everyone has one. But you still need facts to make an opinion.
TV shows can have a dozen or more writers -- which doesn't often make them good. However, there at least seems to be a plan.
With Twitter, there is no plan. At times, it's just verbal diarrhea. How many times have people had to backtrack on comments made on Twitter.
Concerning Penn State, many questions are still being asked -- and that is what journalists do. Yes, it does suck that it takes time to confirm stories and facts. TV shows and films go through a much longer process when it comesto re-writing. That process can suck as well for those involved.
Kutcher says Twitter is a great way to communicate with people. Recently, Billy Crysta tweeted that he was returning to host the Oscars in the wake of the departures of host Eddie Murphy and producer Brett Ratner. I'm guessing Crystal confirmed this intel.
Still, I give Kutcher credit. He says on his blog: "A collection of over 8 million followers is not to be taken for granted. I feel responsible to deliver informed opinions and not spread gossip or rumors through my Twitter feed."
That's good news. If more people understood these differences, it would make a difference. Then, Twitter might become something else -- but perhaps not a TV show.