Wednesday, December 24

The Long Tail of Current Events

Americans are always looking for a good topic to rally around online.

Take the Iraqi Shoe Thrower. A current event snippet, which 5 years ago would have quickly died down into a historical footnote and recurring punchline on Jay Leno reruns.

But these days it spawns a widening spectrum of social media and viral content. There are Facebook's Fans of Guy Who Threw His Shoes at Bush (111,000 fans and growing) and Lisa threw a shoe at you, throw one back! tag games. Parody videos on YouTube (1, 2, 3, 4). Online games where the objective is to... well... you know (1, 2, 3).

Eventually these will burn out and we'll move on to something new. However, as with most things on the internet, they will never go away. The smoldering embers of this Iraqi's 5 minutes of fame live on. Just a few search results away from an additional slap at Bush's legacy.

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