Will Flight MH370 be Google+’s Big Break?

Note: A few years down the road, it appears that Google+ never really got a break of any kind.

This post can do nothing to explain the loss of flight MH370. If that’s why you’re here, I’ll save you the time. This post is about something trivial, but interesting to social media geeks like me: A recent, and “wildly popular” Google+ post attributed flight 370’s course diversion to an attempted emergency landing at Pulau Langkawi.

Swift, thorough critique makes the hypothesis appear untenable today. However, the initial spike in popularity and the ensuing discussion also makes the post very visible, and it may for some time even if it is wrong.

Google Plus has been written off as a universal flop…” so far. I wonder if this post will turn out to be the beginning of the bend in the hockey stick for what has been a mediocre G+ adoption graph. More mainstream readers will see the post acknowledged and linked in more mainstream websites like Wired and Slate

Until now, the (mostly SEO-related) reasons haven’t been that easy for most people to see. Repetition and dramatic stories can often be more influential than well-reasoned arguments. The same can hold true for simple explanations… even if they turn out to be overly simple. And, as the news buzz always demonstrates, tragedies can benefit media, even social media.