Twitter

Re-Tweets Are The New Autographs

An interesting article proclaiming the (apparent) downfall of celebrity autographs:
Forget standing in line for hours, hoping for a scribbled, barely legible autograph on a wrinkled piece of paper. Or jockeying for spots behind the dugout, on the off chance a signed ball or batting glove gets tossed your way.

When it comes to souvenirs from your favorite athlete, the retweet is where it's at these days.

Fans have turned Twitter into a digital version of the autograph session, asking — sometimes begging — stars from every sport for a shoutout. Oh, sure, some requests are designed to raise the profile of a charitable cause. But most fans are simply looking for a little love from their favorite athletes.

[snip]

"It's almost like capturing a photo of yourself with that person," said Chris Abraham, senior vice president at Social Ally, a social media firm. "For a second there, you've breached their celebrity. They've actually allowed you to come over and take a camera shot of you two together, and you can share it with all your friends."

Now, a retweet might not sound all that thrilling. You can't frame it and hang it on a wall (though you could do a screen grab and print it out), and it can't be passed down to your kids and grandkids. You can't collect retweets in a book and show it off to your friends. And no one's going to pay six figures for a retweet, as someone once did for a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.

But that's the old-school way of thinking. An autograph is going to be seen by 15, maybe 20 people. Get a retweet from Shaquille O'Neal, and you're now the coolest thing ever with the 5 million-plus people who follow the Big Tweeter. To say nothing of the bragging rights you'll get when the folks who follow you see it.
The article seems to place an emphasis on athletes, rather than famous people from other areas of interest.

I have had two of my tweets re-tweeted by famous people in politics -- as that is my primary (read: only) interest on Twitter.

The first was last June, when famed humorist Andy Borowitz re-tweeted this gem (unfortunately, I don't have any proof, as the Twitters won't let me go that far back in his timeline).

The second, was this one:

So, yay for me.