We’re getting down the last stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, I’ve been having a blast. That is, when Twitter isn’t over capacity. Before the World Cup I had the feeling that Twitter, being an American company, would vastly underestimate the scale and passion of the World Cup. No, they said, they were ready, no problem! In fact, Twitter failed almost immediately. Oh no, they said, it’s just routine maintenance! It’ll be fine! Well, it hasn’t been fine, and the fail whales keep surfacing, especially when someone scores (which has happened 123 times so far) and at half time when everyone goes online to compare notes and cheer on their teams. Twitter normally carries about 750 tweets per second, but after Japan beat Denmark in their last group game, for example, Twitter saw nearly 3,300 tweets per second, and those are just the ones that got through!
I almost don’t mind the fail whales because it’s making so many people (read: Americans) finally notice what the world has been crazy about since 1930. The sudden eruption of football fanaticism on the social web has taken many by surprise, and from what I’ve seen, most bystanders have either surrendered or gotten on board. They realize that resistance is futile, and that being assimilated is really quite a lot of fun. Whether you like statistical analysis, partisan hoopla, razzing the refs, or eye candy appreciation, it’s all out there on the web. YouTube has even gotten in on the fun: soccer-related videos now have a vuvuzela button (look for the soccer ball) that you can press to add some 2010 World Cup atmosphere to the video. Speaking of vuvuzelas (and who isn’t?) I’ll leave you with a couple of brilliant videos on the ear-splitting trend that is sweeping the globe.