I was wondering why the Emerald Viewer story seemed to generate more intense reaction from the Second Life community than just about any other controversy in the last two years. It seemed like analyzing Twitter activity might shed some light on the question.
First, I created this word cloud from tweets which included the #emeraldgate tag. (Placement of the words doesn't matter, only the size. The larger the word, the higher its frequency.) As you can discern in a glance, the retweet (RT) is what fueled the explosion, sparked by a handful of originators whose tweets were RT'd by a larger pool of participants. A textbook case of the power of the social network. You can click through for a larger image.
The second visualization is from a wild site called "IS Parade" which creates an animated parade from a Twitter user name or text phrase, including tweeps and tweet excerpts. It really gets across the crowdsource roots of the #emeraldgate meme.