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Zeitgeist Shows What We Really Want

David Gilbert


Zeitgeist Shows What We Really Want

It’s a strange thing looking at the top search terms for the past year. It dilutes down the essence of a nation and the results aren’t always what you expect – or hope for. If we take Google’s Zeitgeist search results as gospel then the UK in 2010 was populated with webcam-chatting, curious, hotmail-using, iPad-toting, Justin Bieber-loving, soccer-obsessed, Facebook-trawling, money-worrying voyeurs who just love talking about the weather.

We don’t know about you but it doesn’t quite tally with our own perceptions of people in the UK but we guess the figures never lie. The top ten Fastest Rising searches in the UK show a definite technology slant with Chatroulette, Formspring, Hotmail, the iPad, Facebook (or fb as it seems to have been shortened to), YouTube and Metcheck all in the top ten.

These results can be seen as part of the 2010 Google Zeitgeist, were Google has gathered the most popular and fastest rising queries from the year to “capture the joys, sorrows and curiosity that many of us felt—capturing the spirit of 2010.” In the UK the top search term was Chatroulette, the Russian-based website that pairs random strangers from around the world together for webcam-based conversations. Second was Formspring, a questions and answers website, which launched only one year ago in November 2009.

‘Hotmail sign in’ was next on the list just ahead of Apple’s tablet the iPad. It's probably better not to discuss the person in fifth place though the World Cup not coming in a higher place than sixth is not too surprising considering England’s early exit. Facebook comes in seventh on the list ahead of bank Santander, reflecting the uncertain times we are living in. Ninth comes YouTube which continues to attract internet searchers as does Metcheck, the refuge for those who just love to talk about the weather.

While the Fastest Rising list shows the trends of 2010 the Most Popular list reveals staples such as BBC, YouTube, eBay, Google, games, mail and news with Facebook topping them all. FInally we have to mention, or rather question, the results of the Fastest Rising Person Searches - Kristian Digby. Who? Right, we're off to Google this guy to see who ye were all looking up.

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