Of Moguls, Media and Mr Demi Moore…

Mogul? That's from Harry Potter, right?

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and just say it: I don’t care what Sean “Diddy” Combs says – Ashton Kutcher is not a new-media* mogul.

In Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People In The World” issue, Kutcher makes the grade with the sub-head “From actor to new-media mogul”. Pee-Diddly had the following to say: “Like me, he’s [Kutcher] a mogul – a new-media mogul.”

Poh-Doofy’s little ego-trip/dubious-declaration-as-an-authority-on-the-subject aside, what kind of proof is there that Kutcher can own that title? Unlike Jimmy Fallon (2k9’s Webby Winner: Person of the Year), Kutcher hasn’t exactly made waves in social media. Sure, he beat CNN to the finish line in million-follower race, but what else has he done? He’s no evangelising the merits of social media (unlike Fallon on his talk show). He’s not attending SXSW. He hasn’t used it to get a light shone on his talent.

Social media didn’t make him famous. Mass media did that. Kutcher got his audience on “That 70’s Show” and now he’s broadcasting to his existing audience.

At the time of writing, Kutcher’s Twitter account had 4.5 million followers. He follows 458 back.  His value to his followers can be measured in content like: ” Can u keep your other four toes on the ground and just tap your big toe to a beat?” and “great work today @mrskutcher”. That kinda kills Poof-Fluffy’s little assertion that Kutcher “uses Twitter to connect, strike up conversations, to send positive messages to the millions of people who read his words”. No, what Kutcher has done is turn Twitter into his own little no-budget-required reality show and added fuel to the fire that perhaps Twitter is the social media opiate of the masses.

As a bonus, with the US Library of Congress archiving every Tweet in existence for posterity’s sake (and probably for the FBI/CIA/NSA to dissect for years to come in a pointless profiling exercise), Kutcher’s also done his bit to reserve a few bytes for his perpetual legacy.

And that’s why I don’t believe Diddly Combs when he claims “This guy will show us the future.” Sorry to burst the bubble, but the future is here.

Let’s be clear: as an entertainer Kutcher has amazing global influence (on tweens and similar). He’s a likable guy, he’s married to Demi Moore (awesome!) and he’s funnier than a kid falling on its face in the rain (well, publicly anyway). Hell, I’ll even admit that I LOVED “What happens in Vegas”, but he’s not a social-media mogul. Not by a longshot.

If you want to look at someone who really gets social-media and the digital platform, who really uses them to enagage and entertain and evangelise (and not just push their own little pointless thoughts), then you want to look at people like Neil Patrick Harris and Joss Whedon or the guys who run the Penny Arcade site or Mitch Joel or the guys behind TED

In fact, the only person who gets it less is P.Dippy, the man who still refers to social media and the digital platform as “new media”. It’s 2010, Mr Combs. Wake up. It’s not new. It’s everywhere…


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