The Oprah Has Twatted

Like watching a toddler take her first awkward steps, the Internet is collectively watching Oprah Winfrey use Twitter. As befits the Empress of Enthusiasm, her first message was an all-caps HOLLER!

In preparation for today's big Twitter show, Oprah set up her account yesterday and has already attracted parodists, hangers-on, and an obsessive website devoted solely to the phenomenon of Oprah's use of the microblogging service.

The undercurrent of messages replying to Oprah on Twitter seems to be that Twitter will change Oprah. This new medium promises to let deserving people bypass the vast bureaucratic apparatus of Harpo Studios, interact with the queen herself, and get on her show. Which is nonsense, of course. After a day or two, some junior producer will be assigned to monitor replies and mentions and direct messages on Twitter. It will just become another mailbox to monitor for viewer feedback.

Instead, Oprah will transform Twitter. The addition of every celebrity turns it more and more into a broadcast medium, where the messages of everyday users are drowned out by famous people who are frankly more interesting. All of the petty publicists, search-engine marketers, blustery bloggers, and other riffraff are about to meet someone who is far better at self-promotion than they'll ever be. Welcome to Twitteronia, Oprah. The place is all yours.