From CNN: “How many people does it take to break the Internet? On June 25, we found out it’s just one — if that one is Michael Jackson.”
The news of Michael Jackson’s death on Thursday apparently rocked cyberspace. There was so much commotion online through social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, that servers struggled to keep up with traffic. It was a cyber log jam, an equivalent of rush-hour merging from I-5 to I-405 near Irvine.
As the use of these sites increases globally, the effect they have can be seen when events like yesterday’s happen. Even the wunderkind, Google, had trouble managing its intense traffic flow.
Michael Jackson was an icon. That is an understatement. He was loved and abhored in equal parts around the globe. I can recall flickers of images of screaming teenagers in Japan aching to get a glimpse of him in the ’90s. And I can also recall how the new Thriller cassette felt in my young hands. I remember the freedom I felt dancing alone to PYT (Pretty Young Thing) and Beat It. Michael Jackson had a firm grip on my early youth only bested by Madonna.
To my generation who grew up witnessing his transformation he seemed beautiful, odd, misunderstood and incredibly cool (all at different times, of course). Even though it has been quite some time since I have listened to any of his music, I know that it remains a seminal feature in my evolution as an American girl who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s.
His life was at once beautiful and tragic. But we have to also think that he may at last be at peace. However, it is clear that he can still make a crowd go into hysterics, as witnessed in cyberspace on the day of his death.
Posted by Shoshana Hebshi on June 26, 2009
This article spun out of a series of Tweets from Susan Orlean. It’s a great view into the life of a writing mother:
Posted by Shoshana Hebshi on June 12, 2009
I love this article from today’s USA Today about the evolving etiquette on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s an excerpt:
“We’re in the ‘whee!’ stage of social networking. The trend for 2010 is that everyone is going to cut back, filter, decide whether we really need to follow 1,000 people if they’re not interesting. Next year, only the best tweeters survive.”
Read the article here.
Posted by Shoshana Hebshi on June 10, 2009
“The more I Twitter, the less I Facebook.”
I follow @susanorlean on Twitter, and this was her deft post today. It caught my eye because I am the opposite. The more I Facebook the less I Twitter. But what comes next is interesting. She wonders if she Twitters more because she would rather blast out her commentary to a more faceless audience than the more intimate community on Facebook.
This is something to think about in how we communicate and how these activities affect the way we communicate with each other. Does it bring us truly closer together? Does it provide the adequate wall of separation so we can be enabled to share our true selves? Or are we just projecting some sort of avatar self, someone who we want to be, who we think we should be, but can only be when we are online? Perhaps this is an easier task in a world where people don’t really know you or what you’re talking about.
I have one more think to add regarding this Twitter vs. Facebook duel. I once attempted to attract friends to Twitter saying it was low-maintenance and much less involved than Facebook, which, as everybody knows, draws you in and won’t let you out. But now that I am caught in the clutches of Facebook it seems pointless to Tweet. What else do I need to broadcast? And my audience is exponentially smaller.
I like having a soapbox. Now I have three. I Tweet when I need to make a quick chirp into the ether. I Facebook when I want to expand on that chirp to a known group of friends and acquaintences from all my past lives. I blog when I need to process and extrapolate. All in all, I get my communication needs met. And I thank you for putting up with all of them.
Here’s an aside:
These applications or time consumers, more like it, have become verbs. In addition, their presence as created an entire lexicon of verbiage to be thrown around, such as Tweeting and Facebooking. I wonder when the Associate Press Stylebook will come out with a new addition that includes a special section detailing how to appropriately use these new terms. It happened with website and e-mail and the like, but things have turned on their heads. We may even need a new dictionary.
Posted by Shoshana Hebshi on May 26, 2009