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Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson causes ‘go slow’ @ networking websites

Following the break in the news of the passing on of the musical icon, Michael Jackson, at the weekend, social networking sites have witnessed ‘go-slow’ on the World Wide Web (www).

Investigations last weekend showed that one of the social networking sites, Twitter, the volume of Jackson-related messages went up to 5,000 per minute, basically at the peak of the news break, thereby putting such a demand on the site that it slowed down to a large extent.

Michael Jackson died last Wednesday night (Nigerian time) at the age of 50. Even as local electronic stations; both radio and television were saturated with tributes and music of the King of Pop.

Confirming this development, co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone said that they witnessed doubling of participants on its platform as soon as the news broke.

“We saw an instant doubling of tweets per second the moment the story broke. This particular news about the passing of such a global icon is the biggest jump in tweets per second since the U.S. presidential election,” he declared.

According to him, regarding performance, “there were reports of slowness following the spike in activity. It highlighted an opportunity for improvement which we’ll be acting on right away.”

Online chatterers reported slowness at other social hubs, including AOL’s popular instant message system and at the blog site LiveJournal.

It was also reported that 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.

Another social networking site, Facebook, equally saw a frenzy of activities, as affirmed by the spokeswoman, for the company said the number of status updates during the hour after the Jackson news emerged was triple the average. She said Facebook remained free of performance issues.
Traffic to the leading online news sites throughout North America was at least 20 per cent above average, according to Akamai’s Net Usage Index, which monitors online news consumption around the world.
The intense interest among Web users was evident on sites that track which terms are most popular among users. Phrases such as “Rip MJ,” “King of Pop” and “Thriller” were among the most frequently used on Twitter, and on Google.com, “Michael Jackson died” became the most popular query.

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