Dead: Michael Jackson, Facebook, Twitter, and (R.I.P.)

Michael Jackson, Facebook, Twitter, and all died Thursday: may they rest in peace. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers shed a tear for the king of pop, the Fail Whale, and Web reliability.

By Richi Jennings -- your humble blogwatcher -- who selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Joe Biden's patriotic song...

David Sarno blogs at the LA Times:

Michael Jackson, Facebook, Twitter, and died: R.I.P.
As the news of Michael Jackson's fate unfolded, sites around the Web felt the strain of spiking interest. On Twitter, the volume of Jackson-related messages – up to 5,000 per minute at peak – put such a demand on the site that it slowed considerably. ... Facebook saw a frenzy of activity, too. ... The number of status updates during the hour after the Jackson news emerged was triple the average.



Online chatterers reported slowness at other social hubs, including AOL’s popular instant message system and at the blog site LiveJournal. The Los Angeles Times website creaked beneath the weight of the story as well, with nearly 2.3 million page views in one hour, more traffic than during any single hour last Nov. 5, the site’s highest-traffic day.

Dean Takahashi calls it "a test of the emergency broadcast system": got the scoop about Jackson being sent to the hospital. But the site went down from the surge of traffic. ... the following sites all slowed significantly: ABC, AOL, LA Times, CNN Money and CBS. Starting at 230 pm PST, the average load time for a news site slowed from 4 seconds to 9 seconds.

This is not supposed to happen. ... And yet networks still buckle under the weight of traffic when something like today’s events shakes the whole world. ... And that leads me to consider the future. As tragic as Michael Jackson’s death is, it’s only a small taste of what would happen in a true calamity. ... Who will be there to listen when we collectively Tweet for help? What will we do if the emergency plan is stored on the network?

MG Siegler notes another failure (and after ten hours, it's still dead):

Perez Hilton’s hugely popular blog may have failed as people rushed there to try and confirm the news. ... It was probably to be expected that Twitter would struggle as reportedly hundreds of thousands of tweets came in about Jackson in a very short amount of time. While I only got a couple actual Fail Whales, the site was really sucking wind for much of the hour that people were trying to get information about him.

Tom Chamberlain hears a distant wake-up call:

It's a reminder that the web still has a long way to go before it can replace one way venues such as television. In fact I'd go further and say the technology industry needs to take serious note of this. As the industry pushes more and more into programs and services that require greater bandwidth it's instructive to see how even people seeking simple text can bring the biggest sites to their knees.

We are living on borrowed time bandwidth wise and, as Robert X. Cringely is so fond of pointing out, a web where everyone is streaming in HD is not something our current bandwidth capabilities can support. That's something we should all take notice of.

Harry McCracken misattributes a Charles Haddon Spurgeon quote:

As Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is just putting on its shoes.” (Actually, I’m not positive that Twain said that–but he’s often quoted on the Web as having said so. If he didn’t, the quote is self-affirming.)


When I checked in with Twitter ... this afternoon ... the Twittersphere was mourning Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and…Jeff Goldblum. Jeff Goldblum? Yes, the sad news had broken that he had fallen to his death while filming a movie in New Zealand. Many accepted the reports as true ... Imperfect though Twitter may be, I love it. But I consider it a source of news leads, not news.

ABC; easy as 123; baby Nick O'Neill girl: [You're fired -Ed.]

The world will move on but it there’s no doubt his Facebook Page will become one of the top Facebook Pages after news of his death revives peoples’ memories of the idol. My entire Facebook news feed has become a stream of messages about Jackson’s death and filled with peoples’ memories of the legend. It’s impressive to watch the amount of conversation currently taking place around the web all about Michael Jackson.

For those that use, the site is filled with songs from Michael Jackson. All around the web there is Michael Jackson memorials sprouting up which is an interesting thing to watch and with the web becoming increasingly social, it’s mostly conversations about people’s memories of the man. It seems like people have practically ended business for the day to memorialize him and are blaring their favorite Michael Jackson songs.

So what's your take? King of pop or prince of 410?

Get involved: leave a comment.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

And finally...

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter or FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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