6 May 2011 – Osama’s death tracked through media

Posted: May 6, 2011 in Digital, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized


 It would have been hard to escape the big news story this week! From the cover of the Economist and the US stock market to the front page of the Metro and your facebook wall. But I think it is interesting how our reactions to the death of Osama bin Laden and our need to express our feelings and the search for information can be tracked in a way that would not have been possible two years ago. 
 Tracking the death of Bin Laden through twitter
 His death and the announcements afterwards are reflected in increases in twitter activity and at 12,4 million an hour, that’s a record number of tweets! This graph shows how they increased/decreased through the night and during President Obama’s speech. Follow the link for a better view of the graph below.
Google maps shows where Osama Bin Laden died
 It is unlikely this is the exact location where Bin Laden was found but it does tell us a lot about where he was hiding out. He was in a beautiful, urban area which was something of a tourist destination. Many are posting ‘reviews’ on the Place page expressing their emotions at his death.  
Osama is dead facebook page
This went live years before the announcement of Osama’s death in order to advocate the theory that he had in fact died ages ago. However within two hours of the report, this page had 150,000 likes and thousands of pictures and comments. It is rather un PC but serves as a real time discussion board so here is the link FYI.  
Spike in internet traffic
Users flocked to news sites for the latest information on Osama’s death causing a spike in internet traffic.  According to ‘Akamai’s Net Usage Index’ there was a 28% increase in traffic in North America and a 24% increase in global web traffic.  Akamai only measures news sites so overall traffic would be a lot higher as social media sites also saw huge surges in activity when news broke. Twitter reported 4,000 tweets per second around the time of Obama’s speech and according to ‘Mashable’, 50% of their readers heard about the event via social media.
Foursquare users check into post-Osama world

A quick search on Foursquare in New York for “Osama” reveals such checkin locations as “Osama bin gonathon” and “Osamapacolypse 2011.” The gesture recalls, on a much larger scale, how users began checking in to a major New York City snow storm in 2010 with made-up venues such as Snowpocalypse 2010.

 Social Media timeline of Osama’s death
This is quite interesting to see, it tracks the social media comments from Athar who first heard helicopters hovering ahead and unknowingly reported the raid in real time, to confirmation by Donald Rumsfield’s chief of staff. Follow the link below to see view it.
Happy Friday

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