"It could go down as the biggest mobile event in history...people wanted to keep tabs on this story, but if you're an accountant you're supposed to be working on your spreadsheet. So they were using their personal cell phones to do so,"
CNN reported a fivefold rise in traffic and visitors in just over an hour, receiving 20 million page views in the hour the story broke...Twitter crashed as users saw multiple "fail whales"...Google Trends rated the...story as "volcanic."
Neda? Iran? Iraq? Sanford? Korea?
But in the midst of the MJ tsunami that crippled the web last week, a fake story about the death of actor Jeff Goldblum (and Harrison Ford) starting making the rounds, requiring public debunking. It was this site that generated the spoof celebrity death stories - the Goldblum and Ford riffs were spread through social nets, twitter, etc, and became "trending topics" - a near-guarantor of exponential meme proliferation.
Generating templated fictional stories that then index well on search engines and proliferate through social media (impacting organic and paid search results) was the strategy behind W+K's 2009 Silver Cyber Lion-winning "Swaggerize Me" effort for P&G's Old Spice.
As Linnie Rawlinson and Nick Hunt reported for CNN in regards to the fast spread of fake news: "The Web can disseminate news -- but like any form of communication it can also help us create what we expect to see next." Or - don't believe what they tell you about Mark Hamill.