Charlie Sheen is now a member of the Academy. More specifically, the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences, a.k.a. the group of individuals who will determine the winners in the fourth annual, social-media-focused Shorty Awards.
Sheen — the tweeter who amassed 1 million followers in record time, largely because he started his Twitter feed in the midst of an epic and wildly entertaining breakdown — is in some impressive company in that Academy. Fellow members include novelist Kurt Andersen, New York Times columnist David Pogue, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley and fellow celebrity tweeters Alyssa Milano, MC Hammer and Nick Cannon.
“There may be no one who understands the power of social media better than Charlie Sheen, who coined some of the memorable hashtags in Twitter's history,” said Greg Galant — CEO of Sawhorse Media, the tech company that produces the Shorty Awards — in a statement. (Hey, Twitter is almost six years old now. It definitely has a history.)
So what are the Shortys, exactly?
Dubbed the “Oscars of Twitter,” the awards honor particularly clever and adept creators of concise social media content across a variety of platforms. Nominees are determined, naturally, via tweeted suggestions, with the Academy members ultimately determining the winners. In case you’re wondering, past victors include Nathan Fillion (celebrity category), Neil Patrick Harris (actor), “Mythbusters” (science) and Conan O’Brien (lifetime achievement award recipient).
A separate set of industry awards are presented to brands, ad agencies and tech professionals, with those winners determined by a separate jury. Sheen won’t be judging those, which is good since he is nominated in several categories, including best overall brand presence on Twitter and the best use of a hashtag on Twitter.
He’s clearly a lock in that second contest. Do the people behind Hershey’s Cookie Headquarters (#CookieHQ) and the Olympics buzz-building #1yeartogo really stand a chance against #winning?
This year’s Shorty Awards ceremony will be held March 26 in New York. It’s not clear whether Sheen will be there. (“We’re still confirming if Charlie will be available to make it in person but his social media manager and #TigerBlood intern will be attending,” Sawhorse’s vice president, Natan Edelsburg, said via e-mail.)
But as per tradition, we do know that all acceptance speeches will be limited to 140 characters. Which, come to think of it, is a pretty good template for all awards shows.