Balloon Boy – The balloon hoax heard round the world. I remember right where I was, October 15th 2009 – a day that will live in infamy, I was attending a WebCam (cool conference, lame name) session when the tweets began to swirl about the boy who floated away from his home in a home-made balloon. The event attracted world-wide attention and made us all tweet “WTF?!”
@shitmydadsays – My dad says messed up shit all the time. It’s good to know someone else’s does too. By tweeting otherwise useless, but hilarious things that come out of the mouth of a 73-year-old man, @shitmydadsays has effectively entertained nearly 1 million followers in 2009.
Whopper Sacrifice – Ditch 10 friends get a free whopper? Don’t mind if I do! The promotion caught on and tens of thousands of Facebook users rapidly ditched their so-called “friends” for free burger coupons. Crispin Porter + Bogusky, representing Burger King, really stepped it up when removed friends got a message stating you’ve “been sacrificed for a Whopper”. The promotion has since been killed, but it sure fired up the first part of 2009 for social media.
Celebrity obituaries – I found out about Michael Jackson’s death on Twitter. I saw Facebook updates informing me Farrah Fawcett had passed away. And I learned that Brittany Murphy died from Twitter reports… Along with the rest of a pool of other celebs that passed in 2009. Twitter has reported the deaths and given friends, family, fans and fellow celebs a place to publicly mourn. Not to mention online streaming video of Michael Jackson’s funeral… But I won’t get into that one.
Susan Boyle – YouTube helped thrust Susan Boyle, an unemployed church volunteer, into the limelight with a video of her singing on Britain’s Got Talent. She went on to sell records, get a high profile makeover and even be featured on Access Hollywood. FTW!
Ashton Kutcher breaks 1 million followers – After a highly publicized race with CNN actor Ashton Kutcher became the first Twitter member to reach 1 million followers. How or why this happened I will never know. When was the last time Ashton Kutcher did anything worth following? #truckerhatsareover
Dominos FAIL – This is how Dominos rolls: They put snot in their sandwiches. And fart on the salami. And we all saw it streaming across YouTube. I bet hiring the high college student picking his nose in the interview isn’t looking like such a bright decision now, eh?
Hudson plane crash – The TwitPics, Tweets and Facebook updates heard round the world. 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 United States of Obama – The Obama election campaign was arguably the best social media campaign of 2009. While they didn’t invent anything new, they did pioneer the social media for politics movement. By bolting together social networking applications, both niche and mainstream under the banner of a movement, they created an unforeseen force to raise money, organize locally, fight smear campaigns and get the vote.