Ricky Gervais: social media pioneer?

Ricky Gervais... obviously

Alex Webb

As someone who made his name by creating characters whose painful self-awareness led to often uncomfortable hilarity, it is perhaps unsurprising that Ricky Gervais is a giant of the blogosphere.

According to trafficestimate.com his blog got some 256,000 hits in the past month, although Gervais himself claims to get over a million.

Posting wittily more or less every day, he gives readers a peak into his daily life without actually telling us much at all.

But his blog does offer food for the celebrity press, both exclusives about his latest projects and the occasional controversial comment. From Gervais’ perspective, however, his blog serves as an important weapon against the press. He dispels rumours and corrects misquotes, and he does it with vitriol. For example, when a journalist claimed Gervais had lost 3 stone “for Hollywood”, his retort was “Unbe-cunting-lievable”. No holds barred.

Although on this level Gervais does make the news an interactive process, by engaging with the media, he is not someone who actually engages with his fans. Despite his blogs and podcasts, he is not on Twitter or Facebook, although he was briefly on the former last year. He is no Ashton Kutcher, the king of Twitter.

Perhaps there are not the characters for his verbosity, perhaps he does not want to compete with the Twitterati, or perhaps he simply doesn’t want to interact, to have a conversation with the general public. With a blog, he can simply state his opinion without having to defend it, and simply allow readers to agree or not.

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