Charlie Sheen Web 2.0 Blitz: Revolutionary or Nightmare?

In traditional media, having your TV show go from No. 1 to being shut down indefinitely is bad news, especially when paired with allegedly drug-induced public rants. But on the Web, it spells winning (or, more aptly, #winning) and it's that wave of Internet success that actor Charlie Sheen rides today.

After a series of bizarre and controversial interviews ,including those with Infowars.com and Good Morning America, Charlie Sheen has transported his troubled ink-and-paper tabloid celebrity onto the Web, breaking records, inventing a new pop lexicon, and raking in dollars.

It started when Sheen became @CharlieSheen. Without tweeting a single word, Sheen went from zero to 100,000 followers ... in one hour. His Twitter account was pinched from a squatter and fast-tracked to verified status by Ad.ly, a firm that runs celebrity endorsements through Facebook and Twitter. Then, in just 25 hours and 17 minutes, Sheen reached 1 million followers, and is now in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Remember when Ashton Kutcher and CNN's race to score 1 million Twitter followers was a big deal? Remember how long it took? The gambling group Ladbrokes now gives Sheen an even money chance to overtake Justin Bieber in Twitter followers by the end of March.

In the two days that Sheen has been tweeting, he's coined the hashtags #tigerblood and #winning, the former a reference to his tolerance to drugs: "I have tiger's blood and Adonis DNA." Other celebrities are helping the Sheen lexicon: "Sheening," the verb that South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker coined , is being used to describe the act of going completely out of control.

And while some ad companies may shirk from Sheen's modern-day impersonation of Hunter S. Thompson, others are raking in the dough. The Twitter-based image sharing website TwitPic--which hosts Sheen's six photos--is making roughly $1,600 per snapshot, according to Forbes' calculations. However, $1,600 is gumball machine money when compared to the estimated loss of a quarter-billion dollars that CBS is facing now that Two and a Half Men's plug has been pulled.

There's no question about it: Charlie Sheen has become an Internet celebrity, spawning t-shirts, LOLcats, and mash-ups with Charlie Brown. But there's some contention about whether Sheen's recent behavior is helping or hurting his overall reputation. HCD Research conducted a study of 748 Americans that indicated Sheen was less likeable, less favorable and less sincere, and 85 percent polled believe that Sheen cannot stay off drugs.

However, there's no doubt that Sheen has leveraged social media and made it his own.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebooksocial networkstwitterInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?