Twitter: It made the VMAs worth watching

I used to "live blog" award shows. Oh, those were the good old days before micro-blogging was invented... I have to say that for all the people that STILL proclaim that they "Don't get Twitter," I respond with "I don't get how you can sit down and watch an award show for 3+ hours without it".

Over here on the left coast (if you are lucky enough to have ATT U-verse) we had to wait until 9PM to see the hot mess that was the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. But that didn't mean we didn't get to share in the controversy and "WTF's?" with the rest of the country. The Twittersphere was ablaze with comments on Lady Gaga in drag, Niki Manaj's stuffed animal chained to her leg, Katy Perry's Cheesehead hat and all the questions about "who the girl singing in the chair" was.

In fact, according to this article by Mashable, the single most Tweeted moment EVER to this point was when the lovely Beyonce flashed her belly pooch to the world, confirmed the much speculated rumor that the singer is indeed with child. 

According to Twitter’s Global PR team, Beyonce’s baby reveal at 10:35pm ET gave Twitter a record bump of 8,868 tweets per second. That means that Beyonce’s VMA moment received more mentions per-second than the Women’s World Cup, Japan’s New Year or Osama bin Laden’s death.

The baby bump heard 'round the worldA pregnant Beyonce got more tweets than the death of public enemy #1. 

Insanity. But? OHMYGOD, how sweet was that?! #SQUEE. 

There has been lots of controversy about the VMAs and the fact that MTV even still hosts them considering they no longer actually play music videos. (You can check out Stef's coverage on Adam Levine's VMA tweet here, and my counterpoint here.) But you must admit it's always good for laugh. The silly musicians trying harder and harder to outdo each other in ridiculousness (love the sugical mask trend this year) but watching with 5k friends makes it that much better.


Additional stats include:

  • Best VMA day ever on with 1.9m visitors on Sunday August 28, 2011.
  • More than 1.2m live streams were served across and on iOS and Android.
  • Social media traffic was up 76% from 2010. Twitter referral traffic to was at its highest level ever.

I started thinking about it: when you open your Internet browser, or check your iPhone/Droid/Blackberry, where do you go first, Twitter or Facebook? I threw the question out to my Tweeps and the majority of them said Twitter. So now the next question really is why? Do we love the quick checks? Do you want to see what people in your stream are up to? Or is it all about you and your latest 140 character thought?

Also, did you tweet or follow along with the VMAs last night? If so, who was your favorite person to see updates from? 

Social Media Circle of Life, or, Why You Should Never Tweet About People You Are Sitting Next To At Starbucks.


I was born in Barbados. Most people have never really thought much about Barbados until Rihanna (the Island's biggest export next to Mount Gay Rum) became big.

It's a small island in the Caribbean and while I'm American, and both of my parents are, they were living there at the time of my birth. My mom floated her prenatal days away in the warm ocean while my dad ran a parasailing business. Ahhh, the life. While I haven't been back since I was 16 (sigh) I (of course) keep up to date on Island happenings by way of the official Barbados Facebook page. Last week they announced the upcoming Food and Rum Festival, which I reposted on my wall with some comment of regret. 

And yes, there is a point to me telling you this. 

Coming away from BlogHer '11 with so many ideas, thoughts and action items, I took advantage of our babysitter being at my good friend's house (her kids are the same ages and sex as Lucas and Zoe which equates to play date GOLD) and dropped the kids off and headed to Starbucks to put my head down and work. When I walked in I took the only open seat next to a power outlet, next to a man working on a computer and a woman and two men in what appeared to be a business meeting. 

As you sit there working, you can't help but overhear conversations. At one point the woman to my right talked over me to the man on my left, something of a personal nature, so I gathered that they knew each other in some aspect. This woman was meeting with these two men about something to do with them selling her their new cloud-based technology to help her with whatever her business is. It had something to do with meetings and events, but my head was down in a world of writing and my own things, so I wasn't really paying attention, but it was pretty obvious that it wasn't the best business meeting for any of the three people sitting at the table. I've been in those meetings before - trying to explain something the other isn't getting, time running long, etc. Then the woman says something that stopped the conversation and made of of the two men look really, really uncomfortable. Noting this, I fired off a Tweet:

"I love working in coffee shops and listening in to others conversations. Esp biz meetings that you can tell are not going well. {evil}"

I go back to working my work and doing my stuff. The meeting to my right is coming to a close and as she stands up, the woman comments on my bag then asks me what I do and what I'm working on. Turns out she runs a business networking group, she then introduces me to the man on my left, who is a photographer. Cards are exchanged. Pleasantries are made. The woman then whips out her phone to show the photographer the latest picture of her beautiful infant granddaughter, who just happened to be currently in Barbados. The next picture is of Rihanna and the baby and it turns out that her son-in-law is the tour manager for pop star. 

About an hour later, I'm at Target with the kids when I get a text from Stefanie asking "who is @PadillaBowen?" See, when I handed my card to the nice photographer at Starbucks, he immediately followed me, and SDMOMfia, on Twitter. Even taking a moment to note:

"Nice to meet @SDMomfia today! Just shows, you never really know who you are sitting next to right now..."

to which I respond with:

"Maybe I should learn not to tweet about pple I'm sitting next to @Starbucks."

Social media lesson of the day? Learned. 

And? Now everyone I met this weekend at BlogHer has a 3 degree separation from Rihanna.