Saddam Hussein’s life, the perfect story for a blockbuster movie, came to an end (everyone thought so) on December 30, 2006 with his hanging. But, his indelible mark has been left behind on the digital space with his hanging videos – the official version as well as the controversial illegally shot version – doing the rounds on the Internet and the mobile platform. Readers might be wondering what Saddam is doing in exchange4media. Here, we are trying to estimate how Internet and mobile phones played a key role in extending the Iraqi dictator’s his life, albeit virtually.
‘Saddam Hussein’ has been the most searched term on almost all the search engines over the past few days. Looking at some statistics, this term has been ranked No. 1 in the Yahoo Buzz Index consecutively for the past eight days. The Google-Zeitgeist lists it as the second most searched term on Google for the week ended December 30, 2006. It is also the most searched word on the New York Times’ website.
Even the video of Saddam being hanged has registered a tremendous viewership and downloads. Online video portal, Youtube.com, has around 5-7 different variants of the clip and the total viewership of the clips totals to a whopping 3.5 million views. There are numerous other similar sites and portals which throw up even more mind-boggling figures. Most of these sites’ records are not public and in many cases, they cannot even be tracked. As a result, one can just imagine the total viewership of this 1.25 minute clip.
For the record, if you type in the term ‘Saddam’ in Google search, it will throw up around 132,000,000 word matches for him on the World Wide Web. From being the most talked about man when alive, he still continues being the most talked about personality in the online world even after his death.