Just when things seem their worst - layoffs, foreclosures, bankruptcies - along comes a hero for people to rally around. Where better to do that than Facebook.
Capt. C.B. Sullenberger - or just "Sully" - is America's latest hero, the pilot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 who safely put down an Airbus A320 into the icy waters of the Hudson River, avoiding Manhattan skyscrapers without losing one person on-board.
A Facebook fan page for Sully has 49, 820 fans (refresh), umm, make that 49, 883 fans (refresh). Now, it's 49, 922. Of those, 3,560 have written on the wall.
It's another example of how Facebook - like Twitter did in real-time during the rescue efforts - is changing the way people are using social networks to react and interact with live events. On election night in November, for example, then-candidate Barack Obama added more than 40,ooo fans in a single day. It was a new record for Facebook. I don't know when the clock started on Sully's page, but it seems to me that he may have given the president-elect a run for his money. Sully surely has crossed the 50,000 mark in the time that it's taken me to write this. And the crash was only yesterday afternoon - some 27 or 28 hours ago. Facebook said people are becoming fans of Sully at the rate of about 100 per minute.
Go to the page, take note of the number of fans, wait a minute or so and click refresh. Pretty impressive.
My own message to Sully: Thanks for giving me something else to write about - something bright for the end of the day on a Friday. I was really hoping to go into the weekend with something a little but more upbeat than another round of layoffs or anotger rumor about Steve Job's health.