Dave Weiner grabbed my attention with his tweet:
RT @davewiner "My dad didn't wake up this morning.." http://tr.im/q3YX
That took me to the twitter page of YoungBillyMays
His tweet was a little longer, a bit more poignant.
"My dad didn't wake up this morning.. I'm sure you'll all hear about it. It hasn't yet hit me but it's about to."
So I ask myself, "who is this guy Billy Mays, and a quick Google reveals he's the pitchman ubiquitous on early and late night TV.
The google search results show pics of Mays that I recognize.
flickr image by andrewstclairnyc
I click on his wikipedia entry and already, it reflects that he's died-- imagine how long it used to take the old print enyclopedias.
Billy Mays - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I'm writing this while sitting at a conference table at a local writers conference. Jim Donovan, the guy sitting next to me, and a friend, looks over my shoulder as I'm editing the photo I've grabbed from flickr.com, and asks me, "how did he die?"
I'm so focused on how this is more a story of a poignant "tweet," that I' haven't even let that question enter my mind.
I use google news to get a sort of answer here in the LA Times, TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead at home.
Well, not exactly an answer. I learn that Mays, who was 50, just like Michael Jackson, was found dead, no cause yet determined.
Normally, this remark might have reached a few close relatives and friends. But young Billymays has over 3400 followers, Dave Winer has over 22,000 followers. I do a twitter search on the phrase, "My dad didn't wake up this morning." Aggh. I thought I might have a scoop, writing about this, but no. The Drudgereport has tweeted it. In a short time, this young man's poignant angst has spread around the world, probably to millions, in less time than it took me to write this.
I go to Drudge and maybe I assume too soon. Matt Drudge has gone with a straight story on Mays' death.
I decide to cut here. This is a new way that hearts are touched and surely, youngbillymays will receive more "support" as he describes it in a followup tweet, than he would have otherwise. It's a bottom up call for help and a bottom response to soul in mourning. Welcome to the bottom up world we now live in. Embrace it and it will embrace you back.
update: Posted this to OpEdNews.com and Huffingtonpost.
Went back to check the twitter search and dozens more had retweeted it, including just one, anncurry with 145,000 followers.