Social media has finally come of age in 2009, playing roles in world events and pop culture. Here are some of the biggest moments this year.
Brit actor and writer Stephen Fry blogs praise to new and old 100K followers: “I love your wit, your kindness, your observation.” An early adopter of the social networking site, @stephenfry headlined a year of celebrity tweets and twitpics.
“We’ve hired three full-time bloggers and we’re going to launch a site that’s going to be synonymous with our show,” explains new host Jimmy Fallon on the hip net-savvy Late Night strategy for beating Conan, Dave & Jay.
“Interweb the rainbow”? Skittles’ remixed tagline inspires a marketing stunt: Redirecting visitors from the candy brand’s official website to a Twitter #skittles topic search. (Two days later, inane and profane tweets forced a homepage re-think.)
“No one is laughing now,” assures Britain’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan on Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream” performance. Instant fame hit as 2009’s top YouTube clip (100M hits!) for the Scottish songstress who trumped frump and slacked Simon Cowell’s jaw.
The White House uses Flickr — so can you! State visits and pick-up basketball games: These were the ops in the White House’s first monthly Flickr photo set, part of Obama’s follow-through on a social media-savvy American presidency.
Twitter user @Change_For_Iran communicated from opposition frontlines during Iran’s election protests. Crowd-sourced #iranelection tweets and cellphone footage on YouTube dominated mainstream media coverage.
Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart announces Facebook’s violation of Canadian federal law: “We found serious privacy gaps in the way the site operates,” she says, citing the indefinite storing of users’ personal information. (Facebook revised the policy in November.)
“The Internet and devices like the BlackBerry or the iPhone have made the office pretty much redundant, thereby collapsing life and work,” explains web 2.0 academic Andrew Keen, on a recent survey that found BlackBerry users work an extra fifteen hours per work.
Thirteen-year-old style blogger Tavi Gevinson‘s “MAAAAAAARRRRRRRCCCCCCCC” blog posting of front row point-and-shoots from Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2010 show. More seats were reserved for bloggers and online fashion publications than ever before.
“Unfriend” is Oxford American Dictionary’s 2009 Word of the Year, so understandably, @stephenfry posts an almost-last tweet (“Think I may have to give up on Twitter. Too much aggression and unkindness around. Pity. Well, it’s been fun”).
Fry’s now one million followers convince a turnaround tweet: “A mood thing. Sunshine will help. So sorry.” Later crowned “King of Twitter” at London’s 140 Conference, Fry praised Twitter for letting celebrities “cut out the press from our PR requirements”.
“I will wear you out”: Us Weekly’s releases Tiger Woods’ cheating sexts (sexy mobile texts). The golf great’s now a mere mortal for an activity that, according to a recent MTV-Associated Press poll, 33 per cent of ‘texxxt-ing’ teens partake in.