Some people astonish us. So do some numbers. Take the case of Shashi Tharoor. When his candidature to the Lok Sabha election was announced in March 2009, lots of Indians were surprised. Many (inlcuding me) hoped for a different type of politician.
Many of them wrote him off saying that he is too sophisticated for politics and will not be able to handle the rough and tough of politics. He walked out of a political debate before the elections. This was telecast live and he had to draw a lot of flak for that. This only added to the perception that he cannot handle criticism. But he astonished us all with his landslide victory with a margin of close to 1 Lakh votes. Then again, he surprised us again by becoming the MoS for External Affairs.
Now, he has astonished us again with some “astonishing” numbers. I am talking about his number of followers in Twitter. He started to tweet on March 17, 2009 as part of his election campaign. As of June 2, 2009, his Twitter followers had grown to around 4500+. (I don’t remember exactly, but I was his Twitter follower number 2700 ( or so). By the end of that month, June 2009, his number of followers crossed 10,000.
He got a new title as he himself tweeted on June 24, 2009 “In Dubai my old friend Sheikha Lubna, UAE foreign trade minister, hosted a friendly lunch at which she greeted me as ‘Minister Twitter’!”
The progression from that point was quite interesting. Jacob Joseph, Tharoor’s Secretary, has been tweeting about the number of followers. Here is a sample of his tweets.
August 4, 2009 – Shashi Tharoor (@shashitharoor) has crossed 20,000 followers
(Priyanka Chopra apparently had the most number of followers among Indian celebrities at that time and there was a race for the top spot)
August 26, 2009 – Shashi Tharoor (@shashitharoor) adds 3000+ followers overnight on twitter
August 27, 2009 – Shashi Tharoor (@shashitharoor) crosses 36,000 followers on twitter!
August 29, 2009 – Shashi Tharoor (@shashitharoor) crossed 50,000 followers on twitter.
Astonishing isn’t it?
The secret of these numbers is that his untiring commitment to tweeting. His tweets are informative, witty and lively. He has tweeted 1235 times(as of September 7, 2009) at an average of 200 per month.
No wonder he is able to get such a fan following. What is next? 5 Lakh by the end of this year?
Will he ever overtake Barack Obama(20 Lakh + followers)? Or is it question of when and not “will he”?
Image Credit: Stuti
- Who Will Be India’s Hung Prime Minister ?
- Elections, Political Parties & Cheap Publicity
- To Vote Or Not To Vote?
- The Battle For South Bangalore
- Mr. Advani-Are You Listening?