Who would you back in a fight? Barack Obama or Stephen Fry? When it comes to being popular on Twitter these two are the only real contenders for the title if you discount news organisations and the like. Currently, of course, US President Obama has the size advantage with an incredible 220,000 people following him. Meanwhile Stephen Fry, actor, author and the most popular intellectual in Britain, has the advantage of speed. His momentum has carried him right up to 100,000 followers, many of them added after an appearance on the Jonathan Ross chat show last week here in the UK. On that show Fry discussed how he uses Twitter, and it would seem that many were prompted to look him up, and it up, as a result. To put his Twittering success into some perspective, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, or at least the Downing Street Twitter account, can only muster 26,500 followers. Chat show host Jonathan Ross himself can do better, 43,289 followers and that beats John Cleese with 43,046.
According to The Telegraph the 100,000th Fry follower was Hayley Elliott who is following nobody but the man himself. Fry welcomed her by saying "Hi there Hayley! You are my 100,000th follower! And I'm proud to be your first. Welcome to Twitter xxx." Fry told the newspaper that he touched and pleased, but admitted that keeping up with 100,000 followers was proving to be increasingly difficult.
Obama, on the other hand, will find it a lot easier to manage all those followers. Not least because I doubt he has any 'hands on' involvement in his Twitter account at all. It is, no doubt, operated by members of his staff.
Which, in my mind, makes Stephen Fry the winner in this fight by way of a technical knockout.