Michael Jackson and Social Media

Posted by on Jul 7, 2009 in Analysis

June 25th was an interesting day as there was a flurry of activity online especially Twitter. As the morning progressed RIP Farrah Fawcett and Farrah Fawcett replaced Iran on the top 10 trending topics on Twitter. However as the afternoon progressed there were a number of tweets stating that TMZ had confirmed that Michael Jackson was dead. Soon the trending changed to RIP Michael Jackson and other similar versions. This trend has continued since then. My newsfeed on Facebook was filled with updates from my friends giving their thoughts on the impact of his passing on their lives. The Bloggosphere was filled with content where people expressed their opinions on the situation or the impact of his music to their lives. Here is the scoop.

A social media analysis during the Michael Jackson Memorial Event

From a technological perspective it has stretched most sites like Twitter, Facebook etc.. to the limits as people view, share and post updates from June 25th to the Memorial Event. mj-memorial-paris1


Well what can I say, there are millions of Blogs out there with everyone giving their opinion since June 25th. Some spread gossipspeculationrumours, defending their friend MJ, news outlets and finally the every day people giving their experience of MJ in their lives.


The activity online has surpassed the inauguration of Barack Obama. His Facebook Page has topped over 7 Millions Fans!!! The most popular application being the free virtual MJ glove. fb-page-mj According to Mashable, there have been over 500k updates posted to Facebook. This is probably why I have managed to get onto Facebook only once today. There are many discussions started on his Fan Page and it appears that this page is unmoderated. Do check it out, I do have to warn you that some of the content is very offensive.


There are various trending topics on Twitter that has been changing at a record pace as the Memorial Event progresses today. mj-twitter Some topics were M’s, We are the world, Gone too soon, KFC, MJs and much more. So what has KFC got to do with MJ? Majic Johnson shared a story of his dinner invite to MJ’s house where he was blown away that MJ ate KFC.

You Tube

The types of videos on YouTube vary from MJ Memorial Tickets for sale to scenes from outside the Staples Centre. Fans videos and much more. The news channels also posted their videos here as well.


There were a lot of updates on Flickr. These images are by various people that were outside the Staples Centre. It gives great insight to what was going on outside.


The live feed had a lot of updates



Provided live streaming of the MJ Memorial Event. mtv-fb-connect

Twitter updates….


Facebook Connect


Online News

The Globe and Mail

gb-mail-mj     The Globe and Mail used Coverit Live to provide live coverage of the MJ Memorial Event.   gb-mail-mj-2

The comments were disabled due to the high volume of participants and offensive participants.




Live blogging as well as aMacleans posted the moving video of Paris, Michael Jackson’s daughter.This video was posted on YouTube by CNN Live.

Live Streaming


CBS provided live coverage of the Memorial event. They used Facebook Connect. cbs-live-mj


Facebook Connect to follow the conversations on Facebook. Your Voice, the capability to email your comments. cnn-live-mj The online news channels did a great job of quoting some of the comments from Facebook and Twitter.

So what does this all mean?

In the past our only source of news would have been the media outlets possibly with live TV/Radio coverage and the newspapers possibly creating special editions that evening or the next day. Social Media has now changed all of this with the traditional news channels competing with every day citizens to provide the news. It has also given us the incredible ability to express ourselves, our emotions and connect with each other. It has also enabled us to break down geographic barriers and socioeconomic as well. We can now share information instantly via photos, videos, text and audio as well as give our feedback on what is going on or what we think or feel. What’s important is not just what the media channels are saying but the news from the eyes of the everyday citizen. This certainly does not make traditional media obsolete but just provides a more balanced perspective. What’s been great is the way these traditional media have now embraced social media and are finding their own flavor of incorporating them into their reporting. Since June 25th Michael Jackson has been dominating the online channels and has given people the opportunity to express their sorrow and grief. The flip side is that this topic has overshadowed other news worthy events. Now that Michael Jackson can rest in peace these social media channels will be free to discuss the next big event.

Some further analysis

Michael Jackson’s Massive Impact (On Google, Facebook, and Yahoo) Michael Jackson Dies: Twitter Tributes Now 30% of Tweets

Michael Jackson and Social Media Witnessing The Growth Of Social Media With Michael Jackson’s Death The World Was Watching: Michael Jackson’s Memorial, By The Numbers King of Pop Proves to be King of Traffic: Traffic for Michael Jackson’s Online Memorial Pushes Internet’s Limits