The death of pop icon Michael Jackson is dominating the web right now. TMZ broke the story, went down under the strain, but is back up now. Meanwhile, various sites and tweets talk about Twitter getting some fail whales and massive traffic spikes, which isn’t all that surprising after all. The King of Pop has been in the limelight for so long, it is just huge. At a time, the trending topics on Twitter was more or less exclusively dominated by his death, with people forgetting all about Iran for a little while at least.
People rush to Jackson’s Facebook page, currently sporting 880 991 fans, but expect that number to grow tremendously. Facebook overall is performing sluggishly now, possibly due to the artist’s death. It will be interesting to follow up on traffic spikes and surges later on. Meanwhile, I’m surprised to see that michaeljackson.com is still up and working, but then again it it’s just a simple HTML page with a Sony Music statement.
TMZ might have broken the story, and Twitter is full of discussion, anger, salutations, grief, and slandering, but old media managed to prevail anyway, despite being late to the show. The following quote is from Eat Sleep Publish, which pretty much sums up the media landscape for the masses right now:
Michael Jackson wasn’t, as far as I could tell, widely considered dead until the LA Times independently reported that doctors had pronounced him dead.
It’s not true until I say it’s true. That’s power.
True, for now at least. That’s something to think about.
But that’s for another day. Let’s remember the King of Pop by listening to his music, or at least by keeping it classy (I’m looking at you, Perez Hilton). The circus that was his life wasn’t about all the media nonsense, and it is a shame that Jackson wasn’t able to wrap up his career with the 50 (!) sold out shows in London.
1958-2009. Rest in peace Michael Jackson.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.