Balloon Boy or why 15 minutes of fame are now 15 seconds

It’s nothing new. The concept of 15 minutes of fame has been attached to Internet notoriety ever since web functionality enabled both user generated content and user determined popularity.

I couldn’t help thinking about how, in the case of balloon boy, the rise and fall of the story felt quicker than usual.  Maybe because the news outlets picked up on it even before the web, even though it dominated searches (34 of the 40 top searches on Google) even before the boy was found alive in the family’s attic.  The incident happened on Thursday, the local sheriff cast doubts on Friday, by Saturday it was a joke on SNL and Sunday it was labeled a hoax.

What will be interesting to see is how the story will continue to be played in traditional media and online.  While it seems like the entire story has died down on the web, we may yet see Falcon Heene on the cover of People…


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