Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

On Twitter, Even a New iPhone Can’t Keep Up With the World Cup

If you’re one of those weird people who delights in not following the World Cup, you’re going to want to stay off Twitter for the next month.

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the… uh… world. And Twitter has worldwide reach. So you can figure out where this is going, right?

Here’s the story in numbers, via Trendrr, which pulls data from Twitter’s API: Matches for 48 different World Cup-related terms are showing up about 150,000 times an hour.

That’s the same kind of intensity we saw Monday at Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 4 unveiling. But that traffic crested only in the last hour of Steve Jobs’s presentation. And this has been pretty steady all morning, since the South Africa-Mexico game kicked off the tournament, Trendrr says.

Here’s the traffic by minute. That first crazy spike, of more than 8,000 per minute (that’s a rate of 480,000 hourly), was prompted by the tournament’s first goal. (Click chart to enlarge.)

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work