Tag Archives: Trent Reznor

trent_reznor leaves Twitter

I had only been following for a couple of weeks before I had  the misfortune of watching the trolls run “trent_reznor” away from Twitter.  It’s sad, but sometimes people forget that it’s other people on the other side of the Internet (I think everyone does this to some extent — even I’m guilty to a small extent).   It seems that “trent_reznor” was emotionally hurt by the whole experience.  I think, though, when people open up their personal lives online  they are setting themselves up for hurt and rejection by people who had imagined the real person to be much different.  This is why I think celebrities should keep most of their private lives to themselves, because, in the in the end, what they say will only be treated like tabloid fodder.  But it seems that was a risk “trent_reznor” took in order to try to feel close to his fans.

This bothered me somewhat, because I feel that anyone should be able to go out there on the Internet and engage with people.  I think for renown people, followers get caught up with the celebrity’s name, hence why it’s best for all to hide behind an avatar.  Hiding behind an avatar is a way to fit in because it levels the playing field.  This way renown people can infiltrate whatever community they are interested in and have a more authentic conversation and perhaps makes some close online friends.  As for “fan service” — well, that is part of the marketing machine and it needs to be done.  I think celebrities have accept along with fans,  they, also,  have the focus of a small group of haters and crazy people.   Haters and crazy people can’t be transformed outside of themselves to rational people, so it’s best not to worry about them and keep tight security to keep the violent ones away.  But I don’t fault Twitter for this, because haters and crazy people will always find some way to vent.  The Internet, though, makes it much easier to be heard by a large audience and possibly the celebrity.

Now addressing the technology:  Twitter is lightly regulated free-for-all.  Twitter tried to make it such that only followers could send replies, but people balked at that.  There are no readily available filters, rather if someone wanted to filter the stream of Tweets coming at them, they have to pull their own feeds and apply an external filter.  It seems to me there is plenty of opportunity for Twitter to develop some tools to help people make sense of their Tweets for a fee.

All-in-all, I feel bad that “trent-reznor” is leaving Twitter.  I’m not the kind of person who cares deeply about the lives of celebs, but I like the person “trent-reznor” showed his fans.  And, though, 90% of his Tweets were pointless, they did provide passing entertainment for me.  I follow people on Twitter because they have some important information, like news headlines, or because I find their pointless Tweets entertaining.  It lets me know I’m not alone in my small existence and there are others out there who enjoy small everyday things, even “trent_reznor.”  Twitter doesn’t have to be about anything, though, it can be powerful when used for a purpose.  I firmly believe people should Tweet and Blog for themselves.  100% of my my Tweets and 100% of what I write in this blog are me pointlessly rambling my opinion.  It is for me and I put it out there for me, kinda like that “Kilroy” guy — I was here.  If people read it and want to communicate with me, then that’s the icing on the cake :).


Addendum:  Looks like “trent_reznor” is waiting for Twitter to improve blocking.  Agreed.  Twitter needs more improvements than that, though.  Twitter also has horrific spam and lolita problems.


Addendum 2:  Looks like “trent_reznor” is back.   Hahaha!!!  Hopefully he’s Tweeting for himself and not worrying about the trolls ;).  I get the feeling this may be a cyclical thing with him :).  Well, to each his or her own.  Tweet on man, tweet on … It’s still very interesting to observe.


Addendum 3:  “trent_reznor” blew away his Twitter account today.  Hahaha!  I would too!  Having 600,000+ followers is just too many to be useful and enjoyable.  Well hopefully he comes back under a different alias, so he can enjoy Twitter without the burden of being “Trent Reznor.”


Addendum 4 (10/20/2009): “trent_reznor” is back on Twitter again.  It looks like he’s promoting the 20th anniversary of the “Pretty Hate Machine” album.  I wonder whether this is just a “peek-a-boo” or whether he gonna be around on Twitter for a while.


Celebrities on Twitter

I’ve done something completely contrary to my personality and decided to follow a celebrity on Twitter.  I never thought I’d do this because I find what most celebrities have to say is meaningless.  I’m also skeptical that celebrities actually use Twitter to address their fans.  Rather, I had come to believe, based on no information, that either random people pose as celebrities or celebrities hire some poor smuck to handle their online identity.    Based on this conjecture, celebrities online are pointless.  That said, on a whim, I decided to follow “trent_reznor.”  I have no idea whether it’s the real celebrity, but the mix of optimistic idealism and random crankiness fits my perception.  My feeling about this so far is 90% of his Tweets are pointless.  What attracted me to follow him were his fund raising efforts and rest of it is passing amusement — but then again, I consider Twitter in general to be “passing amusement.”  (I, also, have to admit I had it in mind to blog about the experience as I am now).

Today “trent_reznor” left an interesting Tweet:  “The price of attempting to engage an online community is high and probably ultimately not worth weeding through the sewage.”  With 600,000+ followers on Twitter alone, plus fan forums and whatever other online assets “trent_reznor” owns, I can’t exactly call any of this a means of intimate fan engagement.  Imagine if only .2% of his followers per day were brave enough to send replies and personal messages through Twitter, that would mean he gets 1200 little messages a day.   That is beyond any human’s capacity to sift through, even if a person had nothing else to do all day but Twitter.  This leads me wonder whether there’s any meaning in this.  Well, meaning is up to the individual.  Replying to a celebrity and hoping the celeb reads your message and gives a crap is pointless.  However, you can imagine if a celebrity gets a ton of overwhelmingly positive messages then that can be a source of positive affirmation and inspiration.  I see my replies to anyone on Twitter as more of a commentary on the Tweet, rather than trying to actually reach the person.  On the other side, for the celebrity, Twitter is what they make of it.  It’s merely a tool to send messages out to broad audience that has interest in what the celebrity is up to.  I think “trent_reznor” used Twitter well for his charity effort and to give updates about his current tour.

To sum it up, fans and celebrities should not expect Twitter and forums to lead to an intimate relationship between celebrity and fan.  Fans need to understand to a celebrity their replies are most likely taken in aggregate to gauge the general feeling towards the celebrity.  I hate to put in these terms, but basically fans are willingly giving marketing machines data when they reply to Tweets and participate in forums — and yes, believe it or not, “trent_reznor” has a marketing machine, though he may be loathed to admit it.  For the celebrity, Twitter is an excellent way to broadcast to those that genuinely take an interest in the celebrity.  In this sense, depending on the saaviness of the celebrity, a lot of good can be done, particularly if Twitter is used to rally support for a cause or to disseminate event information.  Beyond, that, celebrities should understand prattling on about their personal life will become fodder for the tabloids, though, I imagine there are plenty of fans who hang on every word that is Tweeted, mainly because they live in some twisted fantasy world … well whatever … I imagine dealing with crackpots is one of the prices of fame ;p.

Food for thought for the marketing end of celebrity-dom:  it may not hurt to buy a week from a web programming geek to get a filter and analysis package set up to collect data from fan’s reply Tweets.  I think if you get a general sense of the Tweets coming at you, you can send a “personal” reply to big blocks of followers who have Tweeted very similar messages.  You can, also, gauge the feelings towards your products — be they music, movies, prose, or whatever … Consolidation of messages into general themes can take out most of the noise and, then perhaps, some gems can be extracted from the “sewage.”
Now Tweet that!

Trent Reznor Experiments with the Music Business Model

Here’s a reprint of a blog entry from CNET.  I’m fan of NIN and I personally plan to buy whatever music Trent puts out there that I like.  I’ve never had a problem with paying for digital content so long as it’s decently priced and the artist gets most of the money.  If people don’t want to pay money for music, believe me, the artists will figure out how to make some money, which means that artists will resort to subjecting fans to advertising subsidies — which may or may not be a good thing for the quality of music.  Anyhow, I really see this type of approach as returning control of music back to the artists and the fans, where it should have been all along.

How will this affect music though?  Will this get rid of the “album” as we know it now that artists no longer have to come up with 30+ minutes of music at a time?  Will this bring back the era of the “single”?  Could we possibly get better, more creative music now that artists don’t have to obey the corporate marketing machine?   Will the radio stations finally play more than the same 20 songs over and over again?!  How fast will this revolution happen?  I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.