4 billion dollar faux pas

Posted on May 18, 2007

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Anyone who is in any doubt about the power of the social web or, specifically, blogging, should take a look at the graph on the left. This was the moment that Engadget’s Ryan Block posted that Apple’s iPhone was going to be delayed by several months.

In six minutes, $4 Billion dollars was wiped off Apple stock. Even that terrible drunken Christmas moment when you said something bad about your mother in law’s toupee has nothing on this.

The fact that the post was based on bad intelligence has obvious ramifications for Engadget’s credibility and as Mr Arrington says, the discussion will go on and on, but more interesting is the unprecedented speed and the power of a single source of information. I guess this kind of thing happens, and has always happend in traditional media but not with anything like the same kind of virality.

Does this mean the major blogs have too much power? Or is this just the way life is – fast moving, quick and arguably over-hasty reacting to news? And – a more interesting question – is it just the 2 or 3 blogs right at the top of the pile which have this kind of leverage? It’d be interesting to see if the viral power of these sources outstrip other blogs in some kind of meaningful pattern. I bet you 50p it’s a long tail/power law type graph…

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