Dorothy Crenshaw April 17, 2009 | 12:12:22

Following Oprah

She’s arguably the most influential figure in our culture next to the President…except, wait, she picked our President, right?

Seriously, the social media world is atwitter after the announcement that Oprah will make her first Tweet Friday on her show.  Only @Oprah, the Queen of Everything, could rack up over 40,000 followers before posting a single update, and heaven only knows what kind of traffic will result once she actually starts using it.  And it’s not just Oprah giving Twitter the Ultimate Endorsement.  She’ll reportedly be joined by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams and Aston Kutcher (or aplusk), who’s in a kind of insane race with CNN to be the first Twitterati to claim one million followers.

I love the idea of armies of soccer moms, retirees, and others joining the social media ranks in greater numbers, although too much, too fast could spell real trouble.  Twitter traffic surged 131 percent to ten million in March, and lately its infrastructure been clearly straining to withstand the traffic.

It has definitely arrived; let’s just hope it hasn’t also jumped the shark.