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OPLIN 4Cast #228: Buzz gone wild

Posted in 4cast

Since last week’s 4cast, two events—the British royal wedding and the death of Osama bin Laden—have generated record amounts of Internet traffic, particularly on social media sites. While bin Laden’s death was unexpected, the royal wedding was highly anticipated and heavily promoted ahead of time. All sorts of organizations, from the British royal family to ice cream makers, geared up to capture the Internet interest in the wedding and to make a little money from it. But once again, social media proved very difficult to control, and the “buzz” wasn’t always what it was supposed to be.

  • The scorecard on royal wedding Internet traffic (MediaBeat/Dean Takahashi)  “Akamai Technologies, which handles 20 percent of the world’s web traffic, said page views peaked at 5.4 million a minute early Friday morning for 100 news portals that it serves. That was the sixth-largest amount of traffic ever, short of the 10.4 million record page views set on June 24 during the World Cup last year. The number was high considering most North Americans were asleep at the time.”
  • William and Kate’s World Wide Wedding (BBC News/Iain Mackenzie)  “Leading the online celebrations was the British monarchy’s own royal wedding website. Visitors were directed to the official Clarence House Twitter feed, the royal Flickr photo account, and the wedding ‘event’ page on Facebook.”
  • Royal wedding’s ‘Frowning Flower Girl’ rules Internet (Digital Life/Helen A.S. Popkin)  “…3-year-old bridesmaid Grace Van Cutsem is hands-down the royal wedding meme to rule the Internet. As newlyweds Wills and Kate shared an uncomfortable micro-kiss from the Buckingham Palace balcony, the roar of the adoring crowd proved to be a bit much for little Grace, who will no doubt live down her new meme moniker, the ‘Frowning Flower Girl’ well into her senior years.”
  • The pitfall Of Twitter’s ‘Promoted Trends’ #RoyalWedding (TechCrunch/Alexia Tsotsis)  “For the past few days the chatter around the #RoyalWedding has been plentiful, but not necessarily all positive. Diet shake Slim Fast bought the #RoyalWedding Promoted Trends slot yesterday, and at some point had its brand message (and its inexplicable link to its Facebook page) associated with sundry undesirable content.”

Advertising fact:
Twitter’s Promoted Trends place an advertiser’s message at the top of the “trends” section of users’ pages. Twitter only sells one per day, and the price is reported to be around $100,000.