July 23, 2009

How Yasmin Ahmad became the top Trending Topic in Twitter

I have to start with apologies first. 

One is for it being on one's misfortune to suffer a stroke before it happened. 

The second is that I was one of the people participating in the exercise and may have (but I checked, I didn't) retweet the news about something far worse than a stroke attack.

And lastly, for not having a screen shot of it.

Here how I watch a bit of Malaysia history on the web, unfolded. I was actually going to switch off my PC at 5pm this afternoon when I look at what is on Twitter at that moment. I saw one of those whom I followed saying something like "Please tell me it is not true about Yasmin Ahmad". Then I found one tweet saying she was dead. That was what kept me in my seat. I tweeted a few others asking whether it was true (the news about Rick Astley and others being dead did helped in asking first before retweeting) and then the news came like a torrent.

Before we go further, let me introduced those who is not in the know who is this lady all Malaysian should know. Yasmin Ahmad is a national icon. Consider her as the uber indie film director who bridged the great divide that Malaysia harbour under our toleration of our fellow Malaysian. Her breakthrough film was about a Malay girl falling for a Chinese guy. Simple and poignant. Then she came out with a few other movies in which there was those which was not shown in cinema here. Consider her as our Malaysian Zhang Yimou in his earlier years when he was not allowed to show some of his movies in China, then. She also has her muse, like Yimou's GongLi,  in Sharifah Amani, an unassuming girl who is now a star in her own right.

Anyway, you can read more of her in this blog A Malaysian Abroad by a blogger friend, among others. As for Yasmin herself, her blog can be found here. I met her a few times these last months and even talked to her. I really hope she will recover. Her is a picture of her I managed to take at TedxKL :

Back to the Twitter. Her news came quick and fast. I think within 10 minutes she became the 4th or 5th Trending Topics. Then in half an hour she was the top Trending Topics. That was when I saw a few people asking who is she? I think someone posted her YouTube link and her blog. I retweet that post. I think it last just a few minutes (or maybe hours) but I wouldn't know as I was in some free movie screening.

However, I think it was great to see people from Malaysia (mostly) came together to send positive vibes to her. I also think that the timing of the tweet played a part too as the people who are most on Twitter (the Americas) were mostly going to sleep then. When they do, "Goodnight" always becomes a TT.

I was going to do a piece on Twitter but decided to delay it and now I consider this an opening post for my Twitter post. I will be doing a proper one later. And if you still have not a Twitter account (like those news agencies in Malaysia which do not realised how people can spread unclarified news fast, especially when the event or tragedy was at your premises) then follow me (or not) at Twitter.com/kruel74.

And please pray for Yasmin Ahmad. She is still needed here and hope she will recover soon...


*lynne* said...

I like how you "qualified" the beginning of this post! For me, I felt kinda the same, I was kicking myself that it took Kak Yasmin's misfortune to prod me off my behind and finally feature her works in my Malaysia in the Movies post!

Thanks for the linky love!

*lynne* said...

p/s: Just a small request: if you don't mind, could you make the link SEO-friendly? A slight rephrase of the sentence could have "a malaysian abroad" as the anchor text instead of "here" :D

(I put this in a separate comment so that you can choose not to publish it, but hopefully you'll consider the request!)


Kujie said...

semoga diizinkan Allah akan disembuhnya…amin…

julian said...

Interesting that a Malaysian topic can make it up the international trending topics... The time may be relevant as you say, although e.g. 20.00 here is 14.00 Europe time, and 9.00 East coast (I think). Maybe the speed of tweets counts too? i.e. if there are more per minute in Malaysia it can beat a slower topic in USA?

KY said...

one of the first times a Malaysian became a trending topic yah

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