Top ten most memorable social media moments of the past year – Sun-Sentinel

December 27, 2009

Social media caught fire with mainstream audiences this year. Despite the economic recession, sites like Twitter and Facebook saw tremendous growth. There were lots of mistakes and successes along the way.

My top ten most memorable social media moments for the past year are:

The Hudson plane crash update was the tweet heard across the country. Sarasota resident Janis Krums snapped and tweeted a photo of the miracle landing of a plane into the Hudson River: “There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.”

The Iran election protests organized on Twitter showed people the power of citizen reporting. Citizens of Iran used the medium to organize and report on Iran’s presidential election protests, and U.S. residents used social media sites to successfully lobby for increased news coverage of the protests. The U.S. State Department even stepped in to ask Twitter to delay a planned upgrade to allow Iranians to continue reporting what was happening.

The dumbest Tweet of the year, a communications flub, ironically came from an executive of a slick New York City public relations firm. A vice president of Ketchum dumped on Memphis, the hometown of a major client, Federal Express, before meeting with the company, BNET reported. He tweeted, “True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say ‘I would die if I had to live here!'” He and his company later apologized..

The most damaging Facebook post came from a girl who complained about her boss, whom she had friended. He fired her in a reply to her comment, according to the message exchange posted at nextweb.com. Come on, people. Think twice before posting.

An amateur singer got more than 100 million views on YouTube, landing her a top-selling album. YouTube helped thrust Susan Boyle, an unemployed church volunteer, into the limelight with a video of her singing on Britain’s Got Talent. Jill and Kevin Heinz found YouTube fame as well when their walk down the aisle in a St. Paul Minn. church turned into a dance led by their enthusiastic wedding party.

The movie “Paranormal Activity” became the first film to get a national release after people demanded the movie through Twitter and Facebook. The horror movie, produced for $15,000, grossed more than $62 million as of October.

Google includes real-time search results that pick up social media posts. As more people turn to social media sites for breaking news, Google announced on YouTube this month that it will include them in their search results.

Zynga, maker of social media games ” Mafia Wars” and “FarmVille,” was valued at $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.

After a highly publicized race with CNN, Actor Ashton Kutcher became the first Tweeter to collect 1 million followers. Kutcher crossed the 1 million mark on April 17 narrowly beating CNN’s breaking-news feed, which had 998,239 followers at the time. He later told Larry King, “We now live in an age in media that a single voice can have as much power and relevance on the Web, that is, as an entire media network.”

What’s number 10, you ask? A Facebook friend request from my cyber phobic mother was the most memorable social media moment to me.

Seth Liss is SunSentinel.com’s News Community Manager. You may reach him at sliss@sun-sentinel.com.

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