Michael Jackson, Global, Music & Social Media Icon

Michael Jackson Star
Image via Wikipedia

Savvy would like to take a moment to cover the passing of Michael Jackson. We all have our own views of the legacy of this American Pop Icon, so there are a few things we wanted to say to pay tribute to the King of Pop.

Michael Jackson, (1958-2009) changed the way our generation (anyone pretty much born in the 70s) experienced music. As a cultural and American Icon, Michael Jackson defined Pop music. From his days as the lead singer of the Jackson 5, to the release of his HIStory album, Michael dazzled us with his stage presence, vocal genius, and the way he could move on the dance floor — like no one else’s business.

Michael also defined the 80s with his release of Thriller. At just 24 years old, Thriller (produced by Quincy Jones) sold over 45 million albums…worldwide. A style icon, with the infamous red leather jacket in “Beat It“, to the individual sequined glove, Michael beared it all on stage and in the studio, but always seemed to be a man of mystery.

But not any more…there has been unbelievable surge in exposing this man’s life and death through the use of Social Media. Savvy was so entranced with the activity, that Michael Hummel, our Technologist extraordinaire, did a little digging into the various social networking and micro-blogging sites using our measurement and analysis tools. Here are a couple of things he found:

  • Sentiment – When Michael searched the keywords “Michael Jackson” in blog mentions, he found that the sentiment ratio was pretty much dead even…1:1. Sentiment is the tone in which people are talking about a particular subject. In this case that means that neither a positive or negative tone prevailed over one another.
  • Daily Mentions – In terms of how often “Michael Jackson” was mentioned by a blogger, or a tweet on Twitter, we found a huge surge (see graphic below) from Thursday to Friday.
  • Diggs – He found a link to YouTube, via Digg, of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk debut when he sang “Billie Jean” at Motown’s 25th anniversary. Here are the stats: Comments: 363 , Diggs: 3435
  • Twitter – As of our last count this morning at 7:52am EST, there were 91,705 links to Michael Jackson content within Twitter updates, with 443 covered in the last hour. The highest ranked tweet linked to a rant about Perez Hilton’s coverage of Michael Jackson, with 5,625 retweets.
  • Hashtags – Variations of Michael’s name on twitter appeared as #michael_jackson, #michael-jackson and #tribute_michael_jackson.
  • Google Searches – Two interesting notes here…the top search term is “lyrics michael jackson”, and the top region of the world searching for Michael Jackson is… Angola. Now that is fascinating!
Michael Jackson mentions
Michael Jackson mentions

And this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the various ways that one can monitor social conversations about a brand, content and trends. In this case, we just used the keywords “Michael Jackson” but there were so many other terms that we could have used to describe him.

The most salient point of this article is that for a moment, put Michael Jackson’s health and personal problems aside. He will be remembered and idolized for the incredible impact he had on music, people, world cultures, dance, fashion and peace. Michael was able to bridge gaps that very few individuals will ever be able to accomplish in their lifetime. We at Savvy are saddened by this most triumphant and yet tragic passing of a life. He will be missed and may he Rest In Peace.


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