Monday, October 19, 2009

Check out the remediation of balloon boy

First, the initial report ...

Then, the media response, and I mean that in the most general sense, open to anyone in any form as modern technology now allows instantaneous worldwide distribution of media material, regardless of production value or talent, including this song:

Then, the Oops!

And the cover ...

And the press conference ...

And more amateur response (obscenity warnings on these). ... Again, technology allows instantaneous worldwide distribution of material, regardless of production value or talent:

And, yes, even the "Downfall" parody, presented as if Hitler is in charge of CNN ...

The idea of a media hoax certainly isn't new, even one involving balloons. Here is a story about the one pulled off by Edgar Allan Poe. He wrote it for the New York Sun in 1844.

What really has changed, though, is the technology of the media environment. In what ways did that affect the outcome of the recent balloon boy story?


"Within minutes of the story breaking the term "balloon" was trending on Twitter at over 1600 tweets per minute. Twitter accounts were created, claiming the names @boyintheballoon and @balloonboy almost immediately. A website, was created to provide updates on the story. Before the boy was even found, "Save Balloon Boy" t-shirts were available for purchase online. Just now a tweet came through my TweetDeck advertising Balloon Boy shirts for $30."

And by the way, any similarities with the case study we examined last week regarding the attention-seeking dad of "Adolph Hitler"?

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