A free-wheeling Michael Jackson thread, since I wanted to post this rabble article and figured the thread would go all over the place as news comes in about the results of the autopsy and all that.
Four days later, you can still find a documentary or biography of Jackson somewhere on television. From the moment news broke of his death, radio stations and music networks were broadcasting non-stop musical tributes (if you haven’t seen at least a clip of an MJ video lately, you are somewhere very far off the grid). I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard “Thriller,” “Billie Jean” and “Say Say Say” (seriously) on the radio since Thursday. Maybe none of this is remarkable. But what has happened on the Internet is.
The entire web experienced a slow-down between 6 and 11 p.m. Thursday night. Websites related to Jackson buckled under the traffic. Search engines were going bonkers. Most fascinating to me was how quickly the so-called twitterverse set ablaze. Two minutes after the news broke, I initiated a search on tweetdeck for “Michael Jackson” – the ensuing column refreshed 100 new results every minute for hours. As intrigued as I was by the tweaction, it was impossible to keep up. Even now, a Google blog search for Michael Jackson yields nearly 70,000 results.
The Internet has become such the predominant source and outlet for info, it was more than half an hour after hearing about Jackson before it even occurred to me to check what was happening on television. As I sailed up and down the satellite dish dial, “breaking news” blips were interrupting most programming.
This is interesting. I found out about his death on Facebook, around 10 p.m. that night. I was out for supper with a friend for several hours beforehand and they were playing Michael Jackson songs in an endless loop, which made me wonder, but it didn't occur to me that something happened to him.
Also - Michael Jackson is one of those icons that spans several generations. I have friends who are anywhere from 15-20 years older than me on Facebook, and 10-15 years younger than me as well. And people of all ages were posting Michael Jackson videos. A friend who is a decade and a half older than me was posting early Jackson 5 stuff. Friends my age were posting Thriller/Bad era stuff. Another friend who is around 20ish was posting Black Or White and more recent stuff of his.
It was really interesting, and kind of strange, to be doing our remembering in such a communitarian sort of way, online.