Websites crash as fans pay tribute to Michael Jackson Online
The Internet suffered a major slowdown as millions of thronged to news websites and blogs to pay their tribute to the legendary artist or to get the latest update on the controversy surrounding his death.
TMZ.com, a popular celebrity gossip website was the first to break the story following a tip-off that a paramedic had visited the singers home. At 11:30 pm LA times, the website reported Jackson's demise which led to massive surge in the online traffic causing the website to carsh several times.
Millions of users who looked up the star's name on Google or Twitter were met with an 'error page'. According to the BBC site, Google's trends page showed that searches for Michael Jackson had reached such a volume that in its so called "hotness" gauge the topic was rated "volcanic". The BBC news website reported that traffic to the site at the time of Jackson's death was 72 per cent higher than normal.
BBC also reported that before Twitters servers crashed, TweetVolume noted that "Michael Jackson" appeared in more than 66,500 Twitter updates. According to initial data from Trendrr, a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites, the number of Twitter posts on Thursday afternoon containing "Michael Jackson" totaled more than 100,000 per hour.
This incident re-confirms the growing influence of social media in today's aggressively net savvy world and has established its edge over not only the print but also the television media to deliver important information to a wider audience in a fraction of minutes, or even seconds.