It’s a stream of media that can’t be watched like a television show or read like a book. Twitter, Facebook and Reddit are similar to radio, you tune in every once and a while, sometimes more often than you should, and you absorb this flow of continuous information.
Using NodeXL, I searched through the twitter feed and created a network graph, a social network visualization, of 150 tweets from users who used the hashtag #pewdiepie from the 10th of May to the 11th of May. This is just a small sample of the hundreds of thousands of people utilizing this hashtag every hour of every day.
In the above image we can see that Pewdiepie, the dog image at the center, is central to these otherwise unconnected individuals, he acts as a conduit for the community to become involved with him and other users.
Pewdiepie is a world famous micro-celebrity, an individual who uses social media and the affordances of the web to maintain and gain a following. On Youtube he has the 4th highest number of subscribers, and the most viewed videos of any channel.
Pewdiepie has such an enormous following of devoted users because he constantly interacts with his audience through twitter.He’s essentially creating a celebrity facade, maintaining a performative intimacy between himself and his viewers through images, videos, fan mail and generally acknowledging his fan base.
Socialblade 2015, Pewdiepie, Socialblade.com, viewed 15 May 2015 <http://socialblade.com/youtube/user/pewdiepie>
Twitter 2015, Felix Kjellberg, Twitter.com, viewed 15 May 2015 <https://twitter.com/pewdiepie>
Marwick A. Boyd D. 2011 “‘To See And Be Seen’ Celebrity Practice on Twitter”, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies pg. 139/145, viewed 15 May 2015 <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/370596/mod_resource/content/1/Celebrity%20Practice%20on%20twitter.pdf>