How Did You Hear About Osama's Death?

Where were you when you heard that Osama was killed, or likely dead, or probably the subject of an upcoming White House address on national security matters? This is one of those moments that serves as a cultural barometer for the state of media today. It may be a fluke depending on what you were doing that night, but collectively the scores can be much more revealing.

Take this quiz to see where you stand. Pick the most appropriate answer, note the points associated with the response, and then add up the total at the end to see what it all means.

1) Which device first delivered the news to you?
A: Radio (+1)
B: Times Square JumboTron (+1)
C: TV (+2)
D: Telephone - someone called you (+2)
E: PC (+4)
F: Mobile (+6)
G: Tablet (+6)
H: Next day's newspaper (-1)
I: None - I witnessed it in person within the walls of my $1 million compound, and I don't have phone or Internet access anyway (-100)

2) When did digital media first play a role?
A: I went to a mainstream media site after I heard about it elsewhere (+1)
B: I found out first online from a mainstream media site or email alert (+2)
C: I found out on Facebook (+3)
D: I saw it on a blog (+3)
E: I went on Twitter after hearing about it elsewhere (+4)
F: I found out originally on Twitter (+6)
G: I saw it on Reddit (+10)
H: My name is Mohcin Shah or Sohaib Athar and I inadvertently live-tweeted the raid on the Abbottabad compound as it was happening (+50)

3) Who was the source of the news?
A: A mainstream media outlet (+1)
B: Someone employed by a mainstream media outlet such as a producer, anchor, or columnist (+3)
C: A friend or family member (+5)
D: Someone you don't like and should have unfriended or unfollowed a while ago (-1)
E: Donald Trump (-20)
F: The Americans who stormed my compound (-100)

4) When were you first exposed to the news?
A: When President Obama announced it (+1)
B: Around 11 p.m. EST, after news had spread but before it was confirmed by the White House (+2)
C: Between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST as early reports came in (+3)
D: Between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST, before any major news outlet reported it (+5)
E: The next day (-1)
F: As it was happening, as Mohcin or Sohaib first tweeted it (+20)
G: As it was happening, as the Americans were storming my compound (-100)
H: Before it was happening, because I'm one of the elite members of the US Armed Forces, I'm on the National Security Council, or my name is President Barack Hussein Obama (+1,000,000)

So, how did you do? Here's what your score means, based on this pseudoscientific analysis:

-99 to -6: You need better taste in news sources.

-5 to -1: Who printed out this column and left it on your desk? Or did they fax it to you?

0 to 5: You're totally mainstream. There's nothing wrong with that. Heck, most Twitter users who think they're so trendy are just getting updates from mainstream media, so you do it without the middleman.

6 to 10: Digital media plays a significant role in your media consumption. You may like the control it offers, or you may like to be among the first to know, or you may have had to work late that night. It's doing something for you, though.

11 to 25: You're loving digital, and you're probably pretty active in social media. You're well connected or at least connected to the right people, places, and things, and you've got a hankering to be among the first to know. Or maybe you were in the right place at the right time. Come on, though -- you know you create your own luck.

26 to 1,000,000+: You're awesome, or were in the right place at the right time for a historic event. Who needs media when you create the news yourself?

Oh, and if you got a score of -100 or below, I've got two words for you: you're next.

Now that you've taken the quiz, share it or leave your answers in the comments. Better yet, submit your responses at this public version and we may revisit this in a future edition.

1 comment about "How Did You Hear About Osama's Death?".
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  1. Ari Rosenberg from Performance Pricing Holdings, LLC, May 4, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.

    This is a brilliant column

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