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Tech

Is All of Hollywood the Bitch in Twitter "Sex Tape," or Just P. Diddy?

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Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Regardless of what you think of Techcrunch founder Michael Arrington's ethics, what has been revealed via the Techcrunch #twittergate is some of the most fascinating information to have hit the mediasphere in a long time. As Cult of the Amateur author A.J. Keen puts it, referring to the leak, technology start-ups have become the "hottest celebrities in America... receiving the same kind of obsessionally intimate coverage from the media that was once reserved for kings of pop like Michael Jackson or Elvis."

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The line between media and new media inevitably blurs when Silicon Valley startups receive the same invasive scrutiny as Hollywood stars; the Twitter document leak revealed a lot about their Hollywood strategy, namely that they have one. Debating how to handle the fact that nerdy people made something that pretty people use, Twitter management considered appointing P. Diddy to something called an "entertainment/marketing" advisory board -- mainly out of a desire, seemingly, to keep him out of their hair.

"Diddy values his contribution higher than we do," notes Twitter management. Techcrunch alludes to more celeb advisory related meetings on April 2, "potential advisors discussed included Shaq and Al Gore (presumably both would receive advisor shares as well.)"

click to enlarge Screen Captures via Techcrunch
click to enlarge Screen Captures via Techcrunch
The gist is that Twitter higher ups generally view celebrity as a "distraction," albeit one worth dealing with, as they move towards their objective of becoming "the pulse of the planet."

It is clear that the San Francisco based Twitter sees tension between their users and Hollywood. In a document called "TV and Hollywood," the notes read "there are many users of Twitter, none are officially blessed," which seems to segue into a discussion of just what a blessed, or "verified" account might look like. Well, probably a little like this:

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Barrett Garese, Founding Agent of the Online Department at United Talent Agency and current CEO at Spytap Industries has this to say: "Twitter aims to change the world and become to the current Web what e-mail was to the emerging Web. So it's not that they don't appreciate their celebrity users, but that Twitter isn't making a platform for P. Diddy and Ashton and Oprah and doesn't see their participation as "doing the platform a favor."

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Seeing that Hollywood's volunteered contributions so far are a lame reality TV show called Final Tweet, and Diddy's oh-so-humble offering, it's not a stretch to see why Twitter's management is being reticent. What's really interesting though are how these pretty self effacing guys see their product. While caged in seemingly humble language, the ambition is pretty clear: "Are we building a new Internet?" and "If we had a billion users, that would be the pulse of the planet."

Watch out Hollywood, these guys really will give you a run for your money when it comes to how important they view their product. Of course, when your big plan for becoming the "pulse of the planet" ends up being leaked, it somehow undermines its credibility. As far as we know, Oprah's plan for world domination is still under wraps.

You can follow our plan to take over the world on (what else?) Twitter at @alexiatsotsis and @laweekly.

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