They came up with plans to prevent suicide and tackle climate change. Then on Day 4 of the reality TV challenge came a final twist-of-the-neck challenge for the contestants: They had to get an audience member to sign a petition that would be delivered to the White House.
They chose their first audience member, a man named Robert, who agreed to sign the petition and later became the first-ever Nobel prize winner in social justice. The producers asked Robert to do something unusual for the “reality” show: He appeared on television in his underwear while asking viewers to sign the petition. He said he would do it again for charity. The petition eventually made its way to the White House, where it created a national conversation about the need to curb climate change.
It was no small feat to get Robert onto a TV show with a reality TV production company that has produced the game show on which he has worked so assiduously. Robert is a “big fish” who had to be “busted out” because he didn’t fit the character’s needs as the game show producer.
His story is a testament to the power of social media on the Internet and in particular on Twitter, which became Robert’s platform while he was on the show. His ability to find his way onto the show and to his new-found celebrity brought him newfound success. But social media also brought with it challenges he had to overcome.
The challenges he faced were different depending on the platform. They were connected to the fact that his fame in the world of Internet and social media was not an easy thing to come by. It is not the kind of fame that comes with money and status and can be carried around in a briefcase.
Robert’s story begins in 2008 when he was working as a social media editor at Reuters Corp. Robert began tweeting out a daily weather report to his followers, but he still wasn’t making a living as a freelancer. So he