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Top 10 stories of 2009 to hit the social media space


Written by:
2009/12/30 10:27 AM RssIcon

At this time of the year everyone is posting the top stories of 2009, No doubt the choices are largely affected by personal bias. Which is not a bad thing because we all have different interests. But then there are those stories that are just so big that they transcend personal interests and become part of our social chit chat.

What has been the top stories for you during the year of 2009? Here is my list, yours might be different.

1. Susan Boyle

Without a doubt Susan Boyle has to be the top story of 2009. Her introduction to the world on Britain's Got Talent, was phenomenal. After everybody sneered and laughed, their jaws dropped to the floor then a loud applause with a standing ovation.

Susan Boyle broke all sorts of internet and world records. Boyle’s performance is the top Internet video phenomena of all time with more than 100 million views. She is still breaking world records. With the release of her debut album, she became the fastest selling debut album of all time. The 48 year old internet superstar did not win Britain’s Got Talent, but she certainly won a lot of people’s hearts as she wowed thousands in America.

2. Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson is a star in his own right as the king of pop, but his death shocked the world and almost brought the internet social media sites to a standstill. With Facebook fans And Twitter tweets, the news was spread far and wide. It suddenly became very personal as fans and enemies alike mentioned his death and paid their last respects all over the internet.

3.Hudson River Plane Crash.

It is never nice to watch a plane crash. Even if it is only on the news. We become accustomed to the small world we live in as many jet set all over the globe. Air travel has become second nature to many. The US Airways plane bound for Charlotte crashed into the Hudson River after aborting its take-off from LaGuardia Airport. All 150 passengers and 5 crew members were reportedly safe.

What made the Hudson River Plane Crash significant and worthy of a top story spot is not the crash itself but the way the news of the crash spread. Witnesses to the crash video taped it with their mobiles and camcorders and within seconds it was posted on YouTube. People Tweeted about it as it was happening through their mobile devices. Live news via twitter.

As rescue efforts began, we were kept abreast of the latest happenings minute by minute as people used Twitter to keep millions informed.

This was significant because it really showed off the power of Social Micro Blogging networks like Twitter. Citizen journalism at it’s best.

4. Barack Obama

BarackObama Voted as the first African American USA president in history. A significant and newsworthy item in and of itself. So what made this worthy of a top story. Well besides the presidency, it was the live streaming event of his inauguration.

Microsoft's Silverlight technology was chosen to stream U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony live on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's Web site.

Silverlight had been used to stream other important events such as the Olympics for broadcasting giant NBC. Is internet news streaming going to be the in thing in 2010?

So significant was the event that Twitter noted 5x normal tweets per second on Inauguration Day on January 20th.

5. Twitter Valuation @ $1 Billion.

Without Twitter a lot of the above would not have been possible. Global Language Monitor named "Twitter" the top word of 2009.  Twitter is a live Micro Blogging service that allows you to Tweet 140 characters for the world to see.

For the first half of the year, the micro-blogging service experienced a rocket-ship trajectory. Although the growth has plateaued a bit, investors still see significant  worth in the company as they value it at $1,000,000,000. For a young start-up that's a lot of moola.

6. Zynga worth $1 billion

With incredibly popular games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille, Zynga sees 100 million monthly unique visitors and has registered over 200 million active users. FarmVille, the most popular social networking game ever with almost 75 million monthly active users on Facebook.

With the micro blogging and social networking wars becoming ever hotter, we are stunned to hear that Farmville is 3.8 times more popular than Twitter.

7. Facebook buys FriendFeed

Facebook goes cash-flow positive (September). Facebook hits 300 million users (also September). Facebook shares rise 42% in four months (November). Facebook hits 350 million users (December). There were a lot of notable Facebook stories this year and most of them simply reiterated the same thing in different words: "Facebook is still growing a lot.”

But probably the Facebook story of the year is it’s purchase of microblogging site FriendFeed. Noted by many as an effort to compete with the likes of Twitter in the Micro Blogging market.

8. Pirate Bay

Pirate bay, a site where you could download copyrighted content such as music, videos and software went on trial this year. The trial and the verdict was covered extensively via the internet with the likes of Twitter giving us a minute by minute report.

Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, and  Carl Lundström were all found guilty. The four received 1 year in jail each and fines totalling $3,620,000.

The trial split the internet users in half where one camp were appalled at the illegal downloading of copyrighted material, while the other half applauded the rights to free content, free music and free software.

This battle is not dead yet.

9. Tiger Woods

Voted as the greatest athlete in the last decade, Tiger Woods fall from grace was great as well. But all is not lost for Tiger, as he is still number 1 to many sports fans around the world. It seems that cheating on your wife is not as serious as cheating on the Golf course. Had Tiger cheated while playing a major championship, I’m sure he would have lost much more fans.

Tiger Woods seemed invincible on the Golf Course, but sadly not in married life. Albeit at the time it was just a rumour. The Tiger Woods affair, will it ever be forgotten?

Many blogs had their traffic spike as they covered Tiger Woods related stories and used him in their blog posts on how “HowTo” and “NotTo” posts.

10. Caster Semenya.

Caster SemenyaIs it a boy? Is it a girl? No! It’s a Super Athlete.  Caster Semenya is a top South African athlete who won a Gold Medal and the World Champion in the 800m final in Berlin this year. But Caster Semenya’s glory had been stolen by accusations and gossip regarding her gender. “She is male” is the outcry. “She cannot run that fast without being a man”

She was later subjected to illegal gender testing to find out that she was an hermaphrodite. Things heated up in the sports and political arena as at first the South African Athletics Council denied all knowledge of Caster Semenya’s condition, then admitted lying to protect her.

As many voiced their disgust and opinion via Twitter South Africans took to the Cyber Highways to defend and rally behind their own. This story brought to the forefront that many South Africans do use technological marvels such as twitter and that they are not in a third World Black Cyber hole as many might assume.

What's your tops story of 2009.

There were so many important and memorable stories during the year. But perhaps you have one or two that you are convinced outshone all others. Why not list your tops stories and why you think they were significant in our comments below.

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