jeudi, janvier 11, 2007

patterns, trends, and surprises

zeit·geist | Pronunciation: 'tsIt-"gIst, 'zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.
I'm often fascinated by these kinds of metadata-gathering efforts. Google's 2006 year-end zeitgeist report is no exception.
  • Some things were surprising and yet another affirmation that I'm bucking the pop-culture trend (I've never seen American idol, Project runway, or Dancing with the Stars and I feel no need to change that particular fact).
  • Others were sobering (cancer is the third most popular search term in the Google News section).
  • And some just made me laugh (check out all the references to Borat).
Google Press Center: Zeitgeist
A year’s worth of search speaks to our collective consciousness, and 2006 is no exception. To compile these year-end lists and graphs, we compared frequent queries this year against 2005 to see what sorts of things were top of mind. Click on all the tabs to learn something new — or confirm that you too reflect the spirit of the times. Except where noted, all of these search terms are global for
Very interesting. But what would be really cool is the ability to generate our own comparisons ... next year, perhaps?

P.S. You don't have to wait until the end of the year for the zeitgeist. Check it out by country and by month at the Google Zeitgeist Center.

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