There really is a ghost in the machine.  Managing image the electronic way:  When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking

The rapper 50 Cent is among the legion of stars who have recently embraced Twitter to reach fans who crave near-continuous access to their lives and thoughts. On March 1, he shared this insight with the more than 200,000 people who follow him: “My ambition leads me through a tunnel that never ends.”

Those were 50 Cent’s words, but it was not exactly him tweeting. Rather, it was Chris Romero, known as Broadway, the director of the rapper’s Web empire, who typed in those words after reading them in an interview.

“He doesn’t actually use Twitter,” Mr. Romero said of 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, “but the energy of it is all him.”

Everybody’s doing it:

Britney Spears recently advertised for someone to help, among other things, create content for Twitter and Facebook. Kanye West recently told New York magazine that he has hired two people to update his blog. “It’s just like how a designer would work,” he said.

It is not only celebrities who are forced to look to a team to produce real-time commentary on daily activities; politicians like Ron Paul have assigned staff members to create Twitter posts and Facebook personas. Candidate Barack Obama, as well as President Obama, has a social-networking team to keep his Twitter feed tweeting.

Well, not quite everyone:

The basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, for example, is a prolific Twitterer on his account — The Real Shaq — where he shares personal news, jokes and occasional trash talking about opponents with nearly 430,000 followers.

“If I am going to speak, it will come from me,” he said, adding that the technology allows him to bypass the media to speak directly to the fans.

As for the temptation to rely on a team to supply his words, he said: “It’s 140 characters. It’s so few characters. If you need a ghostwriter for that, I feel sorry for you.”

Creating jobs:

An unabashed user of ghost Twitterers is Guy Kawasaki, a new-media consultant with more than 80,000 followers, who is full of praise for the two employees who enliven his Twitter feed, often posting updates while he is on stage addressing a conference.

And without any stimulus funds.

Thanks to Mediabistro

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