Wozniak made his dancing debut Monday night on the eighth season of the reality show, garnering harsh criticism and only 13 out of 30 potential points from the panel of judges. With the lowest score of any of the 13 stars who danced last night, Wozniak is depending on his online fans to vote him through to the next round.
With sites like votewoz.com and woz.org supporting the Silicon Valley icon, he's hoping that he'll get enough viewer votes to push him past other Dancing contestants like Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, rapper Lil' Kim and Bond girl Denise Richards. The Vote for Woz page on Facebook has more than 1,500 members and Votewoz on Twitter has more than 1,000 followers.
"Your support has made a huge difference in my outlook and transition from fear to enjoyment, at least so far," Wozniak wrote in a post on woz.org. "So thank you very much for everything. I'd like to demonstrate, by viewers and voters, that people in the entertainment businesses (including professional sports) are not the only people in this world that count. If you think that you cannot possibly dance or that you are the world's worst dancer, I'm going to show that it's not true."
He also noted in the post that an iPhone app that will make it easy for people to vote for him is slated to be in iTunes stores soon.
"This is a weapon that Wozniak is in a unique position to wield," said Dan Olds, principle analyst with the Gabriel Consulting Group. "I would hazard a guess that very few high-tech geeks actually watch Dancing with the Stars and that fewer still actually care about the outcome. Except when one of their own, Woz, is competing, and that, along with the sheer fun of pushing him over the top, is serving as motivation for them to vote for him regardless of his dancing ability."
And Olds noted that there's a lot of power behind social networking communities like Twitter and Facebook. That could be a huge boost for someone who has more fans than... well, dancing ability.
"If even a small portion of these folks get behind him, they might have a huge influence in the early rounds, when there are more competitors diluting the overall votes," Olds added. "The thing about technology folks is that they are persistent and challenges greatly appeal to them."
Two couples are slated to be eliminated in the first week.
This story, "Stayin' Alive: Woz Twitters to Survive 'Dancing with the Stars'" was originally published by Computerworld.