Tuesday, May 29, 2007

That Allison Stokke photo

Yes, this is an experiment in evil link baiting. If you don't know who Allison Stokke is, then let me introduce you to the latest viral internet fad. Looks like this pole vaulter has become incredibly famous because of the picture above.

Google News
Washington Post
Allison Stokke hits the front page of the Washington Post

But then , this story is quite relevant to a tech blog - it shows the incredible power of the internet nowadays to make somebody famous practically overnight.

Quote from the Washington Post article above:

Early this month, 18-year-old Allison Stokke walked into her high school track coach's office and asked if he knew any reliable media consultants. Stokke had tired of constant phone calls, of relentless Internet attention, of interview requests from Boston to Brazil.

In her high school track and field career, Stokke had won a 2004 California state pole vaulting title, broken five national records and earned a scholarship to the University of California, yet only track devotees had noticed. Then, in early May, she received e-mails from friends who warned that a year-old picture of Stokke idly adjusting her hair at a track meet in New York had been plastered across the Internet. She had more than 1,000 new messages on her MySpace page. A three-minute video of Stokke standing against a wall and analyzing her performance at another meet had been posted on YouTube and viewed 150,000 times.

Update #1: Meet Alllison Stokke by Erik Gunther on Yahoo Buzz predicted this back on May 18th.

Update #2 : Google Trends graph shows queries for Allison Stoke today in the U.S. - the trend is like a rocket taking off.

Update #3: This google blogsearch gives a good indication of the viral spread of this story.