Back in January, Hugo Chavez, the notoriously outspoken president of Venezuela, likened Twitter criticism of his administration to "terrorism." But as Conan O'Brien has proved, resistance to Twitter is near futile. This week, a government spokesman said Chavez would soon sign up for Twitter, and predicted thousands of Twitter users around the world would flock to the president's feed.
"Comandante Chavez is going to open his Twitter account soon to wage the battle online," said Diosdado Cabello, director of Venezuela's state-run telecommunications agency, according to Bloomberg News. "I'm sure he'll break records for numbers of followers." Unfortunately for Chavez, @HugoChavez is already taken. Moreover, as Bloomberg notes, the popularity of world leaders on Twitter varies wildly.
Still, the track record for late Twitter adoptees is good. In June of 2009, Conan O'Brien created a "Twitter Tracker" segment to poke fun at the popular micro-blogging platform. Then, after a messy game of tug-of-war over O'Brien's late night show on NBC – much of it played out in public – Conan took up Twitter with alacrity. He currently has more than 890,000 followers, a number that is sure to climb when Conan starts his run at TBS.
Then there's the case of Craig Ferguson, the Scottish-American comedian who joined Twitter in February. Ferguson had also poked fun at Twitter; he now uses the site to interact with his more than 185,000 followers.
Who else would you like to see join Twitter? A more important question: Will you follow Hugo Chavez? Weigh in here.