Around the middle of the morning the words Sir, Bobby, Robson and RIP started to trend on twitter. It seemed that once again the social web had broken the news of the sad demise of a celebrity. There have been several instances where this happened, a phenomenon first identified by this blog in October of last year, with the most notable occurrence being with the recent departure of Michael Jackson.
An analysis seemed to confirm that twitter was first to the news if only by a few minutes. At 10.18am (BST) @RobertMNHarvey was the first to tweet ‘RIP Bobby Robson’. The Yorkshire Evening Press website was hot on his heels with an article timed at 10.22am, the first of the so-called conventional media to publish the story. Four minutes later the news was on Bobby Robson’s Wikipedia entry but there was still nothing on Google News.
I contacted the author of the twitter scoop. Was he a hospital worker, a friend of the family, a football agent with inside knowledge perhaps? No, he had seen the story on the TV, Sky Sports News to be exact. The crowd are are on the twits and they think it’s all over. If you think it is time to blow the whistle on conventional news media, think again.