The 2014 Oscars were last Sunday evening, March 2nd. If you don’t live in a cave, you probably heard about Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie that broke Twitter.
One Message ~ Over 2 Million Retweets
Basically here’s what happened…
Oscar host, Ellen DeGeneres, encouraged Bradley Cooper to take the infamous picture of her and the cozied-up group of A-List actors, including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Long before midnight that night, Ellen’s selfie was retweeted more than 2 million times. The overwhelming influx of network traffic brought Twitter to its knees. Or, to use a highly technical term, “they were hosed”. So much so, that Twitter later sent out an apology regarding the 20 minute disruption in service that happened after 8 p.m. PST.
Why it’s a big deal…
People who don’t use Twitter don’t get how big this is, both on a technically and humanly—the way we work and live.
I’ve been a technical writer in the software industry for a number of years, and have been exposed to a broad range of technologies in some of the most influential companies in Silicon Valley. Twitter, and other high-profile companies that provide real-time services, have substantial server farms to compensate for traffic during peak times. Nothing short of World War III should bring them down.
So … for ONE TWEET to hose the services of a company like Twitter is HUGE.
But something else was remarkable about this phenomenon. It shone a lantern on how Twitter affects the way we interact and communicate as a society.
One message shared over two million times because it resonated with a population, is nothing short of amazing.
This says something powerful about instantaneous connectedness. How the world is a global community in which we share thoughts and ideas in a fraction of a second. More important, how much we have come to depend on this ability.
I was one of the many who live tweeted through the 2014 Oscars broadcast, talking with people across the nation and around the world, retweeting and replying to tweets. I experienced the “Twitter crash” in real-time, the frustrating sudden loss of being able to communicate with other tweeters.
The retweets-heard-round-the-world from Ellen’s single tweet demonstrated our power as a collective whole. Because at the end of the day, technology is nothing without us—the people who drive it.
How does technology affect the way you communicate and live?