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Posted on 04.28.2011

The Royals Go Modern Day and Embrace Social Media

Prince William and Kate MiddletonI must admit I am obsessed with anything and everything that has to do with the royal wedding. The date has been marked on my calendar for months and I will join the millions around the world who will be glued to our televisions early Friday morning. This event will indeed be a media spectacle for the record books, so it’s no surprise that even the British Monarchy has joined the social media bandwagon and, honestly, they would be crazy not to. This is no different than any other media event:  If people are going to talk, you might as well try to control the message. According to Greenlight, a London-based marketing firm, online mentions of the wedding are up 700 percent in one month and that is expected to continue to increase throughout the week. The wedding has its own Facebook page, official web site, Twitter account, YouTube channel and wedding photos will be available on Flickr. Of course, providing the public with this much access is not without risk. “The Internet gives people a huge megaphone that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” said Micah Sifry of the Personal Democracy Forum in an ABC News report. Even though the positive comments outweigh the negative comments 6:1, there are protestors out there and social media outlets can help the naysayers rally quickly. But British authorities are devoting many man hours to monitoring all the social media sites for any signs of protest, so they will be ready for any disturbances on the big day. Other issues include urgent upgrades by mobile providers to handle the influx of additional texts and tweets throughout the week and there are tons of unofficial apps launching everyday. Let’s say the royal family didn’t embrace social media. This event was going to cause a social media frenzy whether they actively participated or not, so kudos to the British Monarchy for providing the public with this level of access. This allows us commoners across the ocean to feel a part of one of the biggest media events of our lifetime. Best wishes, Will and Kate!

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