I saw a great story this past Sunday on the CBS Sunday Morning news show. It was about the death of Michael Jackson, but the story didn’t go exactly how I expected. The story talked about how this week was a significant milestone in the growth of the Internet and social networking sites. Everyone took notice as the social networking sites and blogs disseminated information faster than anyone thought possible – last week proved that people are talking, listening and engaging through social networking now, more than ever.
The celebrity gossip site TMZ.com posted the news of Michael Jackson’s death approximately 6 minutes before the coroner actually pronounced him. Word of his passing spread like wildfire throughout Twitter and tribute pages on Facebook gained thousands of followers per minute, posting condolences, photos and videos of the dead pop star.
I only heard about the news because I happened to catch the 5 p.m. newscast in a waiting room, I was skeptical at first – how could they know? Is the story accurate or just gossip? But when I got home and logged into my Twitter and Facebook accounts, the chatter was overwhelming and even CNN and all of the reputable news sites were reporting the same story. He was dead.
Last week was the first of many milestones Facebook, Twitter and many other social networking sites will experience. There are bound to be ups and downs, but I am just glad I get to go along for the ride.