Charlie Sheen, Winning… or Losing on the Web?

Charlie Sheen on Twitter and UStreamBooze and drug-fueled Las Vegas weekends with porn stars, emergency hospital stays, bizarre rambling interviews filled with outrageous quotes – and that’s just in the first few months of 2011. Charlie Sheen has been a very busy boy recently, and now he’s moving his one man show the social media world.

Last week Charlie signed up to Twitter, amassing over a million followers in just over 24 hours, and has almost 2 million as of just a few minutes ago. He’s managed an unheard of Klout score of 91, more than such up-and-comers Ellen, Oprah, Ashton Kurcher and even some guy called Barack Obama. This brings up a whole other question about what ‘real’ influence is, which I’ll get into in a future post. For now I’ll link you to Saul Colt’s latest post “If Charlie Sheen told you to jump out a window: A lesson in Influence“.

On Saturday night Charlie went live on UStream with Sheen’s Corner, a loose, rambling 50 minute ‘show’ featuring Charlie, his buddies and unfortunately just one goddess riffing on a slew or random subjects. The show attracted more than 100,000 viewers at one point, which surely included legions of the curious seeing as how the numbers dropped throughout the 50 minutes to as little as 30,000 at the halfway point.

So, why are so many of us interested. Why are so many people following him on Twitter or bothering to tune in and watch a streamed, unrehearsed Charlie Sheen chat show? The folks over at theorize that our attraction is a form of Introjective Identification.

Introjective Identification is the psychological process of taking someone into our being and experiencing that as if we were them. It is usually done with regard to positive figures from Jesus Christ to God to role models, but it can also be done with regard to very negative and self-destructive people like Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and others.

And on the internet we get a minute-by-minute close-up view. Its all Charlie, all the time. What began a few weeks ago as the climax of another Hollywood flame-out has turned into an interesting study of how to go directly to your fans through social media. While other transgressing celebrities are quickly hidden in a shroud of carefully constructed PR moves of tearful apologies and rehab vacations, we are seeing none of that in this case. Maybe it’s partially because his publicist Stan Rosenfield quit at the beginning of last week.

However this all turns out – and I do hope it doesn’t turn out tragically – fact is, I’ve watched more of Sheen’s Korner (in all of its awkwardess) in one night than I’ve ever watched Two and a Half Men.

In coming out directly to the world through social media platforms like Twitter and UStream as his ‘crazy-ass’ self, is Charlie winning the PR battle with social media?


  1. Lesley says

    Winning the PR battle? God no. To what end? The guy’s going down in flames. Social media is simply a vehicle through which he can do so more publicly. That’s all.

  2. says

    Whether he’s going down in flames or just taking things in a new direction, he’s entertaining millions of people. As an entertainer, that’s his job; and he’s using social media to do it in a way he couldn’t’ have done before these tools existed.

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