Opinion: Social media wrap: Glenn Beck rally, Sarah Palin light up Google Realtime


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Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin lit up the newly launched Google Realtime instant search engine before, during and after their joint rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that pledged to ‘restore honor’ to, er, something or someone or other.

A steady stream of about three Beck-related tweets every second appeared on the Twitter post tracker under the search phrase ‘restoring honor,’ which was the No. 1 topic on Google Trends for much of Saturday morning.


‘Glenn Beck rally’ and ‘Sarah Palin’ also were top or near the top of Google’s ‘hot searches’ category throughout the day. Beck is a conservative radio and TV show host while Palin is the former governor of Alaska and one-time Republican VP candidate widely believed to be exploring a run for president in 2012.

Google launched its Realtime function that allows tracking of individual tweets by keyword to much media scrutiny this week, but judging by its coverage of ‘real-time’ tweets containing the phrase ‘restoring honor,’ it could be considered a successful....

...test run amid extremely heavy Twitter traffic. Google’s search engine displays the tweets in its main window and links to more traditional media sources in a separate list to the right. Users can search for tweets in real time or track tweets that were sent at a particular time of the day. Peak activity on Realtime was at 11:12 a.m. when concurrently more than 100,000 were watching a video relay of Beck’s rally on Facebook. Beck has more than 275,000 Twitter followers, while Palin has more than 2 million Facebook followers

Most of the major news outlets shaped their Saturday Web coverage around Beck’s rally, with the event that drew thousands to Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech featuring in the central main display of news sites from CBS and CNN to the Los Angeles Times and the other one in New York.

Most major outlets also tweeted their coverage.

For more photo coverage and a Palin podcast, check out Tammy Bruce’s website right here.

Beck, who repeatedly urged supporters to turn to God during his religion-fueled address, was strangely quiet on his social-media pages.


Palin, meanwhile, tweeted:

‘Amazing. We are here. America is beautiful. Washington, DC is filled with extraordinary patriots today to honor our U.S. military.’

(UPDATE: 8:12 p.m. Using aerial photography, an expert independent company commissioned by CBS News estimated the rally crowd at between 78,000 and 96,000.)

-- Craig Howie

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