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Scottish villager Susan Boyle is now a media queen

April 21st, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

The Washington Post is reporting that Internet star Susan Boyle is headed straight to the history books.

The video of Boyle's performance on "Britain's Got Talent" has set the record for the number of views in a week -- and shows no sign of slowing down.

According to Visible Measures, which tracks videos from YouTube, MySpace and other video-sharing sites, all Boyle-oriented videos -- including clips of her television interviews and her recently released rendition of "Cry Me a River," recorded 10 years ago for a charity CD -- have generated a total of 85.2 million views. Nearly 20 million of those views came overnight.

The seven-minute video that was first posted on YouTube and then widely circulated online easily eclipsed more high-profile videos that have been around for months. Tina Fey's impersonation of Sarah Palin has clocked in 34.2 million views, said the folks at Visible Measures, while President Obama's victory speech on election night has generated 18.5 million views.

But it's not just in online video where Boyle, the unassuming woman from a tiny Scottish town, has dominated. Her Wikipedia entry has attracted nearly 500,000 page views since it was created last Sunday. Over the weekend, her Facebook fan page was flooded with comments, at some points adding hundreds of new members every few minutes. The page listed 150,000 members at 1 p.m. Friday. By last night there were more than a million.

To media observers, the speed and scope of Boyle's online ubiquity is a testament that the marriage between old media (her performance first aired on British television) and new media (it then made its way to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) is broadening the reach of all media, from one channel to another, from person to person.

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