Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Is the Internet Ready for Michael Jackson’s Funeral?

michael-jacksonMichael Jackson’s funeral service starts at 1 pm Eastern today and you will have to try very hard not to see it: In addition to wall-to-wall coverage on the news channels, any Web site capable of live-streaming the event will be doing so (list at bottom of this post). Is the Internet ready for the coming traffic jam?

I’m betting it is. Jackson was a global icon and his funeral will purportedly be a star-studded affair. But I just don’t think this will compare to the two events that have already tested the Web’s capacity this year alone: Barack Obama’s inauguration and news of Jackson’s death.

Recall that Obama’s first speech as president managed to get most people to stop using Google (GOOG)–voluntarily. And Jackson’s death was a news event that pretty much everyone wanted to hear more about, at least for a couple seconds.

But on the Web at least, Jackson was old news by last week. And my hunch is that anyone who truly wants to watch today’s event will do so on a TV.

But if do you want to watch it on your laptop, try one of these outlets:

TMZ (of course) (partnering with Facebook again, a la the Obama event).

E! Online

ABC News

Fox News



CBS News

Want to watch in the company of others? Cinedigm will be screening the event, for free, at the theater chain’s screens in 31 states. Details here.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik