At 11.52AM on the 14th of May 2013 Colin was apparently here. Where you ask? Well the Twitter account of Sky News Newsdesk of course. The original post garnered over six thousand retweets and nearly 2,000 favourites before it was seemingly discovered by the account’s administrator 18 minutes later.
The tweet was subsequently deleted but some clever social brain over at the main Sky News account followed it up with this retort:
Since then, Twitter has been a flutter with Colin related banter, this being reflected in the trending topics section:
In a shrewd social move Sky News has created a Colin related account which plays along with the sudden, and sure to be fleeting, fame of the infamous ‘Colin’ yet simultaneously distances them from the antics.
The account already has 175 followers at the time of writing but has only two tweets. The first is the original ‘Colin was here’ and the second quoted simply ‘Ed Balls’ in reference to the on-going Twitter joke and has been subsequently retweeted by the politician:
There have also been other parody accounts created as a result of the sensation. Keen marketers including M&S, Xbox UK, Ladbrokes, B&Q the charity Unicef have jumped on the hashjack bandwagon with their own messages:
And then the usual celebrity suspects joined in too:
Although the true identity of today’s Twitter hero is still a mystery, Sky News Press Office have released two statements:
The second (below) is their final word so far. The term ‘disaster recovery test’ is fairly ambiguous though, does this mean they have tests in place for social media recovery? And if so, is the Sky News disaster code word Colin? Or is it more likely that they have no idea what happened and are eager to keep their board member’s and client’s minds at ease?