This week I managed to get a few precious minutes with the actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director and social media aficionado Stephen Fry.
In November 2009 Fry’s Twitter account reached 1,000,000 followers. He commemorated the million followers milestone with a humorous video blog in which a ‘Step Hen Fry’ clone speaks from the year 2034 where MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have combined to form ‘Twit on MyFace.’
In November 2010 Fry exceeded 2,000,000 followers on Twitter. More people now follow the @stephenfry Twitter account than buy The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times (source: The Guardian: ABCs – National Daily Newspaper Circulation December 2010). I asked Stephen a few questions about social media, these are his answers:
Hi Stephen. You are a prolific Twitterer, currently having over 2,000,000 followers. Do the numbers matter?
It’s a huge number of course and matters in the sense that one has to consider impact, influence and possibility of overloading servers…
Many people have chosen to opt out of social media. Do you think these people are at a disadvantage?
Not especially: for me it’s not “important” or “crucial” – it should be personal choice.
Do you ever get overwhelmed with the sheer speed at which the Internet moves or experience information overload?
It could be argued that Twitter is as revolutionary as Email. Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?
We’ll be doing something similar… I fear that particular genii is out of that particular bottle.
Social media has helped a lot of great causes. Do you have a favourite story?
I suppose missing people: there have been a few lately. Making a difference is very pleasing.
Most people have a book that changed their life, the way they thought or even just how they conducted business, what’s yours?
A massive thanks to Stephen for answering my questions as I know he is incredibly busy. If you’re not already (and chances are you are) you can follow @stephenfry to stay up-to-date with his musings and insights.
I would like to leave you with this video interview with Stephen from April 2010 entitled ‘What I wish I’d known when I was 18.’ Stephen discusses technology, life and lessons learned—it’s a video I go back and watch every few months. You can’t argue that Stephen is not a GBOL. If you have 30 minutes to spare then I highly recommend you watch this video:
Stay tuned to find out who the next interviewee is by following @jonnycampbell on Twitter. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.