A ripple in the Twitterverse: When Oprah tweets, people follow

Apr 23, 2009 By Rex W. Huppke

The social networking site Twitter is closing in on one week A.O. -- After Oprah -- and, as expected, the media mogul has inspired a horde of new users to sign up.

According to the monitoring company Hitwise, visits to on April 17, the day of Oprah's first tweet, were up 43 percent over the previous Friday.

As of late Wednesday, Oprah had nearly a half-million people following her Twitter updates, though she has only tweeted 16 times since Friday. And there appears to be no quantity/quality correlation -- Oprah's paltry number of have been mundane, if not downright dull.

"Worked out an hour. And now going to read the Sunday papers and have a skinny cow or 2!"

"Hey tweeters, hope you're loving your Sunday as much as I am."

That doesn't sound like the kind of life-improving inspiration Oprah's fans seek. It sounds like every other microblogger detailing life in 140-character bursts.

Beyond uninspiring tweets, many in the Twitterverse worry that the talk show queen and her mainstream following might rob Twitter of its cool. Purists have begun attaching the note "herebeforeoprah" to their tweets, to indicate they were pre-Oprah pioneers.

Sounds like it might be time for Dr. Phil to sign up for Twitter. Tweeple out there have issues.

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(c) 2009, Chicago Tribune.
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