1. Here’s the number of tweets including the phrase “slow news day,” over the past three years.
When people feel like nothing’s happening on the internet (and, by extension, in the world), they like to complain about it on Twitter. Occurrences of the phrase “slow news day” on the social network can actually be a good indicator of how slow a news day it is, from the point of view of English-speaking Twitter users. Below, the five days in the last three years with the most “slow news day” tweets, in ascending order. (Frequency data via Topsy.)
2. May 18, 2012
This was the day of the Facebook IPO. The reason for the “slow news day” peak: this snarky and much-retweeted comment by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey:
We now know the Facebook IPO didn’t go so well. So this was probably not a real slow news day, just not as big as Facebook might’ve hoped.
5. March 30, 2011
“Slow news day” was big on this day mostly because author and Squidoo founder Seth Godin tweeted a link to a meditation on his blog on slow news days. While the Arab Spring was in full swing and Japan was still reeling from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, there don’t seem to have been many major US headlines that day.
6. July 5, 2012
This slow news day kicked off with a tweet by Arizona resident Jon Gabriel, who posted the above photo with the comment, “Slow news day in Phoenix.” That went viral, retweeted by Huffington Post Media and BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski. It was also a day without a lot of big US news.
7. March 21, 2012
The second-biggest day for “slow news day” since 2010, and also perhaps the purest. No breakout tweets today, just lots of people talking about what a slow news day it was. And the day was mostly devoid of big US headlines, except for the New Orleans Saints, who suspended their head coach Sean Payton (above) for his role in the team’s bounty scandal.
8. May 2, 2011
This was the day after President Obama announced the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The news leaked in the US on the night of May 1, and Steve Martin made this joke a few hours later:
He got over 4,000 retweets. Given all the followup stories about the raid, May 2 wasn’t a slow day for news, unless you compare it to the previous night.
So basically, days with a lot of “slow news day” activity on Twitter are either actual slow news days, or days when famous people are making jokes about slow news.