Yesterday a little perusal of the amusing local blog LOL/OMG brought to my attention just how out of touch I am with local news sometimes. Point in case being the fact that Ellen DeGeneres apparently visited Minneapolis on Monday with her sexy wifey Portia, and I had completely no idea (I suppose that’s what not listening to the radio or having a tv will do to you). The two were hamming it up at Target field among the regular ol’ hotdog-stuffing, beer-guzzling, sweaty-foreheaded Minnesota sports fans.
I must admit that I’ve always been a fan of Ellen, because, quite frankly, I think she’s REALLY FUNNY. But, in addition to the draw of her humor, I found the way she was able to harness the reach of social media fascinating.
Through Twitter, she was able to make her visit a full-blown, interactive parade throughout the city that involved the suggestions of locals (visiting the Mary Tyler Moore statue) and the public accompaniment of our own R.T. Rybak–talk about bells and whistles!
I almost want to equate this sort of touring to that of the political arena: the public appearances with important figures and the display of “normalness” in the form of a sporting event. I think that it’s probably safe to assume there is a lot of preparation that goes into a visit like this. But I have to wonder how much of Ellen’s interaction on social media actually stemmed from her own Blackberry, her own agenda and voice, and how much was secretly written in the shadow by some sad, malnourished underling. And, in addition, does it even really make a difference or dilute the exchange either way?