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From Infographics

LONDON, England (CNN) reports, "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.

Just when I thought last year's 2008 US Presidential Election where Barack Obama took office was the biggest Internet phenomenon, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson showed no mercy to the World Wide Web, even at death!

On the News Front:
As soon as news broke by, a Los Angeles-based celebrity news website, the website experienced several outages.

The Los Angeles Times was one of the first trusted news source to verify Jackson's death. They reported nearly 2.3 million page views in just one hour - the highest traffic the newspaper has experienced in such a short time. That page view record beats any hour during the Times' highest traffic day of all time - November 5, 2008, the day after Barack Obama was elected President.

According to Venture Beat, the load times for major news sites slowed down from four seconds to nine seconds. Sites impacted included ABC, AOL, LA Times, CNN Money, and CBS.

CNN reported a fivefold rise in traffic and visitors in just over an hour, receiving 20 million page views in the hour the story broke.

From Infographics
Google's search query for "Michael Jackson". Of this staggering keyword, almost 50% had spelt "Michael" wrongly!

It was also a historic milestone for mobile Internet traffic. AT&T reported 68,000 text messages per sec upon news release of Jackson's death.

From Infographics
The illustration is an inspired piece from the twitter “Over Capacity” error message, but instead of a whale being carried it is Michael Jackson

From Infographics
Tweets about the pop icon comprised 30 percent of total volume on Twitter, and that might be a conservative estimate

Twitter reports that there were 5,000 Michael Jackson related feeds in Twitter per min. Twitter's search capabilities were temporarily removed to cope with the high search request.

This is a replay of's real-time tag cloud of Michael Jackson's Memorial

Not surprisingly, Michael Jackson’s memorial took over conversations on Twitter 7 July 2009. Jackson related tweets occupy all 10 of Twitter’s top trending topics. Aside from “MJ Memorial” and the “#michaeljackson” hashtag, users are discussing the activities of the proceedings, various performers, presenters, and the venue (Staples Center) all of which occupied the top slots.

From Infographics
However, Jackson's story was actually most shared on Facebook and not Twitter

That’s not altogether surprising considering that Facebook’s userbase is still much larger.

The King of Pop has vaulted from a mere 80,000 fans prior to his passing to nearly 6.7 million in just 1 week. That makes Jackson’s fan page the most popular on the entire site, surpassing Van Diesel and President Barack Obama. The huge following leaves the singer’s heirs and his record label with a massive network to communicate with fans and continue the massive resurgence of interest in Jackson’s music.

Wikipedia saw a flurry of activity, with close to 500 edits made to Jackson's entry in less than 24 hours. On hearing Jackson's death, fans logged onto Wikipedia immediately and change all of his details from present to past tense - "Michael Jackson is a recording artist" to "Michael Jackson was a recording artist".

Wiki was also forced to later lock Jackson's edit page to ensure accuracy.

From Infographics
Visible Measures (an Internet statics company), which goes beyond YouTube views and instead aggregates views from 150+ video sites, reports that videos of Thriller have been viewed almost 28 million times since his death (report as of 1 July 2009).

"Thriller": Record released on November 30, 1982. The 13min short film directed by John Landis changed MTV forever

"Smooth Criminal" from the short film "Moonwalker"

But my all time favourite MTV is Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal". I remembered catching the MTV on VHS tape specially recorded by Daffy's dad and hand delivered back from Hong Kong. Back then, MTV screenings in SG were a rare commodity. We always insisted Daffy's dad to faithfully record this MTV segment on HK television called "Salem A Video A Day", where the cigarette company, Salem would feature one MTV a day. We would gather to catch these tapes when he returned. Remembering how my jaw dropped when I saw the anti-gravity lean! It was totally crazy!

Jackson's death jumps sales of music and memorabilia, online and offline. and eBay had a sudden surge in demand on everything related to Michael Jackson. and Apple sees Michael Jackson topping the best selling chart.

Financial analysts commented, at this rate in sales, Jackson's 1/2 a billion debt will be paid off in a couple of months.

This never before seen WWW eruption is causing the Internet big boys to review web infrastructure to preamp another such celebrity death and study key consumer behaviors. Searching, sharing and reacting to the news followed by online tributes has become the modern way to mourn.

Amidst the celebration and honour to probably the most talented entertainer in our century, the world continues to seek the truth behind everything about this man. Too much of his life was intertwined between the real and reel. A lot remains to be uncovered from his drug abuse, his assets, his family...

We can't stop. Not 'til we get enough.
And we probably never will...

1 comment:

  1. This was awesome! Thank you. MJ continues to break records even after death! I love it!


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